The Tube Midget weighs about the same as the Bassman head. Thar's not that bad (although I would probably not use a backpack), but oversized cabs are a pain.I threw a 30 pound bassman in a backpack and hauled the oversized 2x12 cab for years. It sucked.
If I needed that much firepower (I don’t really, 25-30 watts & and attenuator works best for my music as far as headroom/squish), I’d get a modern bassman clone in lunchbox format like a frenzel or a sovtek tube midget and a 2x10 or 1x15.
I have seen doom bands use smaller amps. The Hot Rod Deluxe is pretty popular. A doom band frequents our rehearsal room and the guitarist always brings a LP, a HRD, and a mountainous pedalboard. I've heard that Matt Pike actually uses a Champ pretty frequently in the studio, although that's just hearsay.Depends what type of music. Have you seen doom bands use Princetons? What about metal bands?
The Tube Midget weighs about the same as the Bassman head. Thar's not that bad (although I would probably not use a backpack), but oversized cabs are a pain.
I'm still using bigger amps. My bedroom amp for the electric sixes is a Twin Reverb, and I'm hoping to upgrade to a full Ampeg fridge (8x10) for my basses. But I'm just a back porch player. I don't have to please anyone but myself. It pleases my ear to move some air. On the flip side, if I were gigging local pubs then there's no way I'd cart that stuff from pillar to post simply to amuse punters who don't know from shinola. That's what DIs are for.. . . So, my question is, why aren't more people using bigger amps?
I don't think I've ever seen a comment I agree more with. Especially with the fads and crazes part.Some ramblings to be ignored…
For me, playing music is all about inspiration. If a piece of gear doesn’t inspire me to play with my heart, I don’t want to play it. It’s completely subjective and aesthetically bound. I don’t want to play back porch blues through an amp with a polished chrome grill. In this case, it has nothing to do with sound.
As for power, well, power inspires me. I like having the throttles in my hands, so to speak, and knowing I can handle a high performance piece of equipment. I like jet planes. I like steam locomotives. I like the sound, the feel, the hotness, of a cranked guitar amp.
Micro amps, on the other hand, do not inspire me.
Another thing that doesn’t inspire me are fads. I’m allergic to fads and crazes. If everyone has to have something, I’m sure that I do not. Going your own way is inspiring, because playing from your heart is always going to have an element of going your own way.
“…music is spoken in many ways, but it comes directly from your heart.” —Michael Hedges
Whatever you do, find the amp that inspires you to play from your heart. Have I said it enough?
OK I‘ll bites.100 watts solid state clean is the same as a 100 watt tube amp clean.
Uh, transporting loading volume level not playing at a stadiumWith modern technology, it has become possible to run a cranked Marshall at less than 80db easily, or just run it into a line-out. I can get a Harley Bentonville PA-100, load box, attenuator, and DI box, all for around $100. The OX is an incredible tool as well, and is incredible versatile. So, my question is, why aren't more people using bigger amps?
Every boutique amp I see on the market is 30-watts, or has an option to bring it to 30 or less from a maximum of 50. Vintage 50-100 watt amp prices are remaining steady. That would be a good sign normally, but due to COVID, vintage stuff in general has soared.
I've always loved big amps. With one, you can get as loud as you need, and as quiet as you need too. At lower volumes, put an OD in front, at higher volumes, turn a rangemaster on and let the tubes do the work. I believe that bigger amps have more of a bass response, and sound rounder in general, in experience as well as in principle. I've owned more 100 watt amps than amps below 50 watts at this point, like a Fender Roc Pro, a cheap Danelectro SS amp, a Fender FM100, a Fender Dual Showman Reverb, Ace Tone Bass 6, Carvin VL100, Fender Stage Lead 212, Carvin X100b, Kustom K250-1 and probably some more I'm forgetting. They had overall a rounder and fatter sound, even on clean channels, than their 20 watt brethren.
I know of weight issues, but carrying an OX Box and a head isn't as bad (imho) as a 20 watt combo with a 12" Alnico speaker. I've carried that Carvin X100b and I've carried a Hot Rod Deluxe, and the X100b was so much easier. The same people touting the Tonemaster amps seem to neglect that a 50+ watt head weighs less in 90% of cases. I guess that if your venue doesn't have any cabs, it'd probably be better to get a combo, but that's not a very common occurrence, for me at least. Anyways, you can just use a line out direct to the PA with a cabinet emulator, which has the exact same effect as the people micing their 20 watt combos.
Anyways, this rant has gone on long enough, if you have any other reasons, let me know in comments.
Why would you want something to needlessly take up more pedalboard space than it has to?Well, I owned a Sonicake Reverb mini-pedal and it was hands down the best budget reverb I've ever had. I'm using the mini Sonicake Blue Skreamer in my church rig, and it's also perfect for Cream woman tone when dimed on the Loud setting. If they were in full pedal enclosures, I wouldn't mind, but they cost less this way. It's never bothered me or anything when fumbling with pedal settings before or during sets.
Where are any of you going, as performers or as audiences, where the music is quiet enough to talk over?Gigs are different where I am than when I was gigging around Houston in the '90s. Back then, I'd bring big 100-watt amps to gigs and mic them through the house PA. Crowds and venues wanted it loud, and big amps looked cooler, too.
Now, a lot of venues want conversational volume or a little more. And PA systems are better than they used to be, so running a 5-watt amp and making the PA do all the work is a good option, though it wouldn't have been 25 years ago.
And "rock" as we knew it in the '80s and '90s doesn't have the same cultural dominance now. The tropes of the big rock band, including big amps behind the hero guitarist acting like he's slaying a dragon, look pretty silly now to a lot of folks.
A good amp made well can cost a lot regardless of wattage; it doesn't bother me that a 15-watt amp could be as expensive as a bigger amp. The amount of plywood in the cabinet and the size of the transformers aren't a huge part of the cost of an amp.
“Having the PA do the work” is making a whole lot of assumptions about the quality/wattage of the PA system and the amount of microphones available.Over the past few years I have used a variety of 15 watt amps, and never found a situation where it was not loud enough. In fact, more often than not my volume is on 3 or 4 and people are telling me I'm too loud. Yet many, many people here believe it is impossible to gig with anything smaller than 40 watts. I know this because they say so around here, frequently. I guess it all depends on what kind of gigs you have, and how big the rooms are. Even then, it seems better to mic something smaller and let the PA do the work.
That said, I would love to have the kind of gigs that required a twin reverb, so I could justify playing through one. But that does not seem to be in the cards.