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Why don't guitar amps use 3-way speaker arrangements?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by MrCoolGuy, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. MrCoolGuy

    MrCoolGuy Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    (Besides cost) Why don't guitar amps use 3-way speaker arrangements, sub, woofer, tweeter, like stereo speakers? I understand guitars produced a limited frequency band (minus two octaves up top, and above the bottom two), but would there be any benefit of having a broader, more thorough frequency representation?
    Just curious.
     
  2. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Try it and see.
     
  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Tweeters sound terrible on guitar amps IMO. I had an older Magnatone with one and disabled it.

    Can’t imagine a sub being useful on guitar amp.

    Putting mic’d guitar amp through PA sub, sure.
     
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  4. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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    While guitars may have limited frequency responses, distortion causes harmonics.

    Harmonics of distortion played into mid-range speakers and tweeters is not a pleasant thing to listen to!
     
  5. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    If we did, there would be one more thing to argue about, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th order crossovers....Enough is enough!!!!
     
  6. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    Guitar amp speakers sound TERRIBLE in anything other than a guitar amp! (or a few instrument amps in general)

    BUT ;)

    The speaker(s) is (are) a huge part of the tone of a guitar amp. Their frequency range generally rolls off around 5K and varies a lot from speaker to speaker, cabinet to cabinet. That's why every speaker and every cabinet sounds different. We are familiar with those sounds and we love those sounds. We can't just slap a 20 - 20K speaker array on a guitar amp and expect it to sound like a typical 80hz - 5k speaker. It doesn't work that way!

    Enter the world of modeling/profiling (Kemper, Helix, Fractal, etc... etc..). Those units are often designed to work with full range speakers like you are suggesting. However, in order to make that work they still need "speaker emulation"... cab sims and/or IR's (impulse responses) that simulate typical guitar cabinets! That however is a topic best reserved for the modeling form on this site.

    ^^^ This ^^^ is the best way to find out :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
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  7. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Depth and clarity are relative. I love for my guitar to sound fat and yet transparent. Boomy or spiky? No thanks.
     
  8. VillainSean

    VillainSean Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    I'm one of those guys that actually uses the tone knobs on my teles to roll off some treble/"ice picky"/"twang".
     
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  9. INFANT

    INFANT Tele-Holic

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    Hook your amp up to a 2 or 3 way PA speaker and give a listen...
     
  10. MrCoolGuy

    MrCoolGuy Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I understand that a typical guitar amplifier would not sound correct hooked up to a 3-way speaker arrangement. But an amp designed for it might be different.
     
  11. MrCoolGuy

    MrCoolGuy Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I'm the same way, I play Teles and Mustangs through Fender amps mostly (Tweed Bassman, HRD, BFDR)... no matter the combination, if my tone knob is maxed, I get ice picky... But a more specific, focused arrangement of speakers, specifically a tweeter, wouldn't necessarily mean more treble, but maybe clearer better representation of the high frequencies that are present... maybe?
     
  12. MrCoolGuy

    MrCoolGuy Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    [QUOTE="We are familiar with those sounds and we love those sounds. We can't just slap a 20 - 20K speaker array on a guitar amp and expect it to sound like a typical 80hz - 5k speaker. It doesn't work that way!"
     
  13. MrCoolGuy

    MrCoolGuy Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    @codamedia I don't know why those quotes didn't work right, but that was for you.
     
  14. srvbluezz

    srvbluezz Tele-Holic

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    I remember reading an article in guitar world with korn. They were talking about an amp that had a subwoofer. I can't remember if they were discussing a signature amp. I have never played a seven or eight string, but I would imagine a subwoofer would work well with the lower frequencies.
     
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  15. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Meister

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    As a kid, I put a pair of 100W piezo tweeters in a 2x12 Bandmaster cabinet and wired them to a jack and foot switch. When you kicked them in it sounded like a Twin Reverb with JBL's.
     
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  16. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    It depends. If you're trying to amplify an acoustic, you'll want the highs or it'll sound flat. Play an acoustic through a normal guitar amp and you'll know what I mean; I'd rather just DI it into the PA.
    If you're playing with drive with an electric though, those upper harmonics will get pretty harsh.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  17. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    There is a sweet zone for guitar in the mids area.
    You want to always keep it in that pocket.
    Any other freq sounds wanky.
    imho
     
  18. MrCoolGuy

    MrCoolGuy Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    That's interesting.

    Ok, question answered then I suppose...
    But it still seems like a fun way to experiment. I know you wouldn't get traditional sounds, but might get some interesting sounds.
     
  19. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    If you play clean, you're probably more likely to be 'ok' with wiring in a piezo tweeter (as one example).
    It can give a very bright, shimmering top end (probably too bright for most I imagine). A piezo tweeter can be wired in simple parallel (doesn't affect load 'seen' by the amp normally), so it's 'cheap and easy' to test.
    I have done that, and tend to agree with the rest that for most players, most of the time, it probably is not a desirable thing to do. If you play clean all the time, then maybe.

    Since low E on the guitar is at about 81 Hz, and most 'guitar' type speakers typically have a range of 80Hz-5kHz (or sometimes something like 70Hz-4.5kHz), the low-end is pretty well represented in the native output of your typical guitar speaker.

    Another twist on this theme (most likely for those players using modeling amps), is to swap the guitar speaker for a 'PA' type speaker. Typical they have a very 'flat' response curve (sometimes covering frequencies down to about Low E for the bass -- 41Hz or so -- and running on the high end up to about 4kHz or 4.5kHz. I built a cabinet around one of these, and it has good sound (although requires specific tweaks to tone stack to make it sound good). Freq range is: 45Hz-4000Hz, efficiency: 96db, etc. With a power handling of 450WRMS it is indestructible for all practical purposes (for me). It's got a huge magnet and so is super smooth and clean sounding. It works well in a modeling context.

    Edit: Most bass speaker cabs DO incorporate a piezo tweeter (bass players LOVE their fingers squeaks to get through and they can pop harmonics easier [ala Jaco]..). It's a no-brainer for an bass amp/speaker builder to do: piezo tweeters are dirt cheap, they require no crossover and can usually be wired in simple parallel. For an extra $5 or so, why not?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
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  20. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I assumed that the guitar speakers we all use are part of the sound of an electric guitar. The 10 or 12 inch "full-range" high-power drivers, together with the brute-force amplifiers have a certain sound quality that would be missing from a flatter-response speaker system. Isn't that why recording studios use these speakers with microphones in front of them to record electric guitars?
     
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