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Why big amps?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by GuitarHack, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    That's not the argument. Do any of you're "plenty of guys" play un-mic'ed with a clean sound using their small amps? If the material they are playing does not require a clean sound - Then that's a different story.

    The point is small amps have their place and I agree. But, if you need clean headroom for Funk, Motown and Dance stuff you have to look elsewhere.

    I tried with a Victoria 35210 Super and it didn't work. Do they make a better one maybe with only 20 watts? Wow. And I thought this was Guitar 101???
     
  2. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    I traded my Victoria 35210 Super for a 50212 Low Powered Twin and it worked out well. Wow. I'm trying to imagine the High-Powered version.

    I say congratulations to all the guys here who have found a small, light, portable amp with tons of clean headroom, as one of the posters suggested "pleny of guys" have. I'll admit - I'm jealous.
     
  3. M Fowler

    M Fowler TDPRI Member

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    It doesn't need to be physically large amp but there is a noticeable difference in bass response and tone when pushing the amp with larger power transformer and high quality output transformer.

    Even when building a 50w amp many builders will use the 100w transformer which has higher mA rating.
     
  4. HillbillySims

    HillbillySims Tele-Meister

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    In my experience.. .the heavier built the amp is.. and the more roomy the cab... the better & bigger it sounds.

    My 80w Bogner Shiva combo fills a room.. plenty of bottom end & just sounds fantastic,... on the other hand.. if I take my 22watt Fender which sounds awesome at home to a big stage/big show... I have a hard time with it sounding big enough & keeping up with the band (even though its being mic'd)

    Even solid states.. i have an old Yamaha G100 1X12 which is REAL heavy.. it sounds way better tone wise & bottom end wise than nearly all the typical line-6 / musicians friend S/S combos
     
  5. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    that sounds like a soundboard/monitor problem.

    I dont know, I dont really worry about "lack of bottom end in a small combo". Thats the bass players job. If I bring a small amp to a club gig with a soundman, I ask for more ME in my monitor after the first song or two, if I cant hear the amp.
     
  6. Jack Wagon

    Jack Wagon TDPRI Member

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    I haven't re-read all these posts, but I don't think anyone has said they've found low powered light amps with tons of clean headroom. Or suggested that their Vox AC4 would work for country music while unmic'd at a club over a drummer. But mic'd up at a club with a high powered PA, and with adequate monitoring, I'll take a cranked low powered amp any day over a high powered amp on 2 and 1/2. And the soundman and band-mates will love it even more, as long as you are in their monitors too.
    And to those who miss the bass response, or presence, or air moving, do you miss those same things when you crank up a Queen song on your stereo and the solo sounds thicker and creamier than a Ben & Jerry's milkshake? Cranked low powered tube amps rock.

    As an aside; cranked high powered amps obviously rock too. Check out the thread yesterday about the guy who used two cranked twins pushed by a Gibson ES335 to support Janis Joplin at Woodstock. I guarantee the majority of us on TDPRI won't ever play any venue that allows us to crank a 100 watt tube amp. If you do, I am very jealous. But you are busting your back for nothing dragging that behemoth to Tony's Bar and Grill.
     
  7. refin

    refin Friend of Leo's

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    I just sold my Boogie 55 watt Nomad...LOUDEST 55 watts I've ever heard.A good friend suggested "just use your tweeds,that's where the tone is." He's right.If those cannot fill any stage,it's not time to get a new amp,but a new soundman.
    Outside of that,I use a Classic 30--plenty of amp for me!
     
  8. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1 to the Classic 30. If you cant get a good loud clean out of that, I just dont know what you're doing wrong. Maybe you guys just play really loud. Point a Classic 30 up towards your head and stick a mic on it.. if you cant hear that, maybe its time to shoot the drummer.
     
  9. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe one of the reasons people are talking past each other over large and small amps is that the small-ampers are assuming you have to crank a big amp for it to sound good. A Twin sounds fantastic with the volume on 3 and you get a great spread from the two 12s. But it's a different sound than you'd get from a 15 watt amp playing at the same volume, which would be compressed and overdriven. For the way I play, I prefer the sound of a Twin on 3 than a Princeton on 10. I never crank my Twin. But that doesn't mean I'm carrying a heavy amp for nothing. The spread and strength of a Twin at lower volumes can't be achieved by a small amp at the same volume.

    I don't play my Twin at home, though. I don't even take it home. At home, I play through a Champ or unplugged. But who cares how I sound at home? At home, I practice. Out at festivals and theaters and bars, I perform, where it matters what my tone sounds like.
     
  10. Jack Wagon

    Jack Wagon TDPRI Member

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    Yes, Tiny (which I'm sure you aren't if you gig regularly with a Twin), that was my assumption that all tube amps need to be turned up pretty high (half way up anyway?) to get the tubes cooking to hear the benefits of tube technology, such as the warm sounding natural compression and overdrive without needing a pedal. I guess if your musical preference is clean and non-compressed I can see your point, especially if you sometimes play festivals and want the option to go unmic'd. I would have to borrow someone's Twin to do that and now I'm stuck because I offended the Twin players.
    But seriously, do those things really sound good on 3? When you kick on a good overdrive pedal does it sound as good as a lower powered Fender like a Deluxe Reverb on 7?
     
  11. Jimo

    Jimo Tele-Afflicted

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    Easy Peasey....

     
  12. Jimo

    Jimo Tele-Afflicted

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    WEll sure.....

    Hey, its ALWAYS time to shoot the drummer......:lol:

    p.s. "Best Practices" indicates that the first step before even plugging in, is to go over to the drummer and just slap the crap out of him, just to start off right....unless he's bigger bigger than you.....:lol:
     
  13. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a 100 watt amp because I need the clean headroom. It's not a volume thing. I never push my amp as I use pedals to get all the OD tones I need - At any volume. I've been there done that with the pushing the amp thing. I love the idea but it never really works for me because I play a wide variety of covers. I need the flexibility of the pedals to make it work.

    I always go for "the big sound" and then I add my gain - But not too much as I like to dig in and hear the note separation vs mush.

    But in any case it is up to every player to be responsible with their volume. I'm sure most of us here have dealt with a loud Bass player. I hate volume wars.
     
  14. umasstele

    umasstele Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes Twin reverbs do in fact sound really good on 3, no dirt, but nice and warm...shimmering sounding.

    I guess I'm reading this thread and scratching my head...I play at some bars and myself and my band are a little too loud sometimes yes, but people buy drinks and dance and enjoy themselves and therefore the management is happy. That being said, I also have seen bands play at bars with Princetons and blues juniors, and been delighted at their tone, with a volume which I could talk over.

    Its all up to the player guys. I prefer using a twin or vox ac30 on 3 with distortion pedals. I need the headroom frequently enough that I use big amps

    It may just seem simple to use something small and mic it, but in my experience the clean tones suffer. ALSO, we must be on different planets, because the PA system my band takes around, and the PAs which I have always used in my other bands in clubs/bars haven't been complex enough to do serious micing, etc.
    I guess I'm playing at bars, and you guys are playing at 500 seat theaters or boston garden...I dunno!

    What did Frank Zappa say? "Shuddup and play yet guitar!"
     
  15. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    I play in an original Americana band, with mostly countryish guitar. I leave an OCD pedal on a lot of the time to add some boost and a slight purr of overdrive. I use a fuzz for lead and drive sometimes, but mostly I just knock my guitar volume up from 3/4 to max for leads. Sounds great with a Twin, with nice definition and snap. Definitely punchier than you can get from a Deluxe, though Deluxes sound great, too.
     
  16. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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  17. umasstele

    umasstele Tele-Afflicted

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  18. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    That's an interesting article. Maybe the CDC going to put a ban on big amplifiers? Apparently they are harmful to more than just the ears!!

    On a serious note. I guess it's unfair to put everybody here in the same pool as far as what gear is approriate and so on. But honestly speaking for myself I do gigs where I have to cover a broad spectrum of music. There is no way I can do what I do with a Fender Deluxe Reverb pushed at the brink of wolly distortion the whole gig. It's like once you're there, there's no going back. Again great if you're doing Rock, Blues or SRV covers 100% of the time. But I don't. As much as I love to Rock out I can't all the time.

    When I hear guys play songs like Brick House, Shinning Star, and even Little Wing with too much distortion from start to finish I cringe. Those songs IMO do not get any justice played like that. And of course you can always say "who cares?" But I do.

    Plus we all know the cleaner the sound - The bigger it is - The more it cuts through the mix. For me a usable amp starts with a pair of big bottles and 12" speaker. A quartet is even better. Just my opinion, YMMV
     
  19. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    It depends so much on what sound you're going for - Country, rock, alt, etc- but generally yes, a big amp sounds good at low volume and sounds great with an OD pedal kicked on. I don't play a Twin, but I play a Super Reverb which is more or less a Twin's ugly little cousin, and it has wonderful depth and projection even turned down below 3.

    Having said that, I won't gig with a Fender amp, any Fender amp, without an OD pedal. Natural Fender distortion just isn't enough for a lot of songs, especially if you're the rythm guy. Lead guitar though, my god but they can sing!

    Justin
     
  20. Jimo

    Jimo Tele-Afflicted

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    Super....

    A blackface Super IS my "little" amp......hahaha :eek:
     
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