Why the hell did I ever buy a tube amp?

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by powerbert, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. powerbert

    powerbert SS.org Regular

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    - Peavey 6505+: $900
    - Boss Overdrive: $50
    - Decimator 2: $130
    - Reverb pedal: $75
    - Pedaltrain: $100
    - Power Supply: $30
    - Loadbox, Cab Sim and Headphone amp: $400
    - Cables: $30
    - Tap dancing instead of playing songs properly: priceless

    Sorry, just venting. So glad I still have access to technology that's 50 years old.
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    And the problem is.....? A comparable digital rig would cost just as much wouldn't it?
     
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  3. powerbert

    powerbert SS.org Regular

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    Well, yeah...but minus the tap dancing, frustration and setup times, it would have been worth it from day 1.
     
  4. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    Power supply should say $170, otherwise spot on :)
     
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  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Tube amps. I know, right?

    :shrug:




    So...

    Does everybody here use a gate, OD and reverb pedal?

    My tube amps have always been pretty quiet. When I get one that has less gain than I need, I have to use the OD pedal, then I get too much noise, so then I need a gate... But if you start with a high gain tube amp, you can use a boost that increases saturation in a much nicer way and is a lot less noisy, in my experience, then you can get away without the gate in live situations. And, I've never used a reverb pedal, but I do love a little BOSS DD-7 delay.

    A related vent - why is it that the Q-Tron/ยต-tron/auto-wah/touch-wah thingie on my Roland Cube bass amp sounds so much better than any pedals I can dial in, and yet there isn't even a dial on the amp to mess with, it just always sounds nice and quacky. I want a pedal that I can use on a big amp that does the same thing, or heck, even a switch on my bass... There's got to be some secret - I bet the thing is totally digital.
     
  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Ah, I thought the complaint was a price thing. So what you're saying is that you don't like individual pedals then...? Digital rigs can just as easily lend themselves to tap-dancing if you've setup yourself up for it.

    IMO the fastest route to a frustration-free rig is just to minimize the number of separate sounds you need. For me, I can get away with basically one sound per band. If there are pedals involved they're always on. If I need a clean sound, which is rare, I roll the guitar volume down. In one band I have a bunch of pedals that sit on top of my amp head and I just use one switch to turn the fx loop on and off.

    It's just as easy to get yourself stuck in patch-hell if every song and every verse needs a different amp model, and different eq settings, sometimes a boost to patch in, etc. etc. I personally would prefer not to deal with it. Even if I had a digital rig, I'd probably just find my one sound in it and stick with that 99.9% of the time. :lol: And I never both with a lead boost- I hate the idea of juggling two different volume levels mid song.
     
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  7. powerbert

    powerbert SS.org Regular

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    Yeah that is a good point and something I might be discounting. My setup is far from complex: I got a clean channel, a louder channel, and the loudest channel. I gotta wonder if anyone who recommends this rather orthodox setup ever actually played in a band. Oh well I shoulda seen it coming.

    Yeah I never heard about this. The thing is pretty noisy though.
     
  8. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

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    I feel like the benefits of digital have been getting really exaggerated as of late. How is your tube rig slowing down your set up times? You have a head, a cab and a pedalboard vs. a rack, a powered monitor, and a foot controller. As far as tap dancing, with only three effects there are a whole lot of ways you could creatively cut down on that. For price, you could have paid a lot less for that 6505, you could have easily made a pedalboard for like $10, you could have made a load box for about $30, and you can get plenty of amazing impulse packs for like $10.

    And remember in 10 years, your 6505 will still be the gold standard, and if something happens to it, any tech can fix it easily. The same can't be said for modellers. Not saying there aren't plenty of advantages to modellers, but I feel like people blow tube amps problems out of proportion sometimes.
     
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  9. powerbert

    powerbert SS.org Regular

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    This makes me feel a bit better. (warning: more complaining) But it would be nice to not have to carry and screw around with cabling. It's a bit more stressful than it needs to be, finding the right cables in the dark and everything 5 minutes before soundcheck, or then losing cables afterwards because it's all a mess. I'm trying to play music not run an IT shop. I'm going in-ear soon too, so it's just gonna be more cables.

    As far as the tap dancing goes. The most annoying bit is the overdrive pedal, the fact that it has to be on with the yellow and red channel, but off with the clean channel. The 6505+ takes a 7 pinner for the channel switch, so it's not like I can easily sync it up some how. Practically everyone uses an overdrive in front of the amp. Why hasn't anyone solved this problem? The reverb pedal, sure I could live without that, but that should be on with the clean channel as well.

    As far doing enough research to DIY this and that, it would still take time. Like, going to IKEA for hours to buy parts for a pedalboard? It's kind of a wash. Building my own load box and using impulse packs? I have to say I'm surprised that is even something I should have thought about doing.
     
  10. questin

    questin SS.org Regular

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    Get really popular and hire roadies to set up your rig then... I know you gave me a warning, but it's really not that bad.
     
  11. powerbert

    powerbert SS.org Regular

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    Says the guy with the Axe FX ;) I'm welcome to practical suggestions.
     
  12. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    It sounds to me like you don't know how to organize your rig, not that your rig is bad.

    Colour-code your cables. Use fluorescent tape. Generally know what you're doing.

    I bet if you had a fractal or kemper unit, your post would be "Why did I ever go digital? I spend all my time tweaking patches instead of playing guitar."

    It's not the gear's fault you aren't streamlined :lol:
     
  13. powerbert

    powerbert SS.org Regular

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    Hmm, that's a bit harsh, but I think there are things that I could do better.
    • Let's start with the loadbox. It's gonna be a radial headload prodigy, probably this damn thing should never be unplugged during a show. Where should it be housed so it doesn't get knocked out of the chain?
    • What's the cabling job that needs to be done for in ears so its going from headload -> hip pack in a way where I can still kind of walk around? Would ziptying a 3.5" or XLR to the guitar cable work?
    • Tell me how you would streamline the OD pedal/channel switch/reverb in the loop issue that I have, since you seem to find that one obvious.
     
  14. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    I love this bit. Totally going to include that line in some instructions :)
     
  15. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    - Peavey 6505+: $900
    - Boss Overdrive: $50
    - Decimator 2: $130
    - Reverb pedal: $75
    - Pedaltrain: $100
    - Power Supply: $30
    - Loadbox, Cab Sim and Headphone amp: $400
    - Cables: $30

    Spend a little more, buy this:

    https://www.boss.info/us/products/ms-3/

    Then no more tap dancing. Step on one switch, it all changes. ;)
     
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  16. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

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    I didn't realize you were using the load box live with in ears and such. In that case, in my opinion there is no way to make that complicated of a rig easy to set up short of putting it all in a rack.

    I don't expect to sway you, but if you want my two cents: ditch the whole load box and in ear thing live unless/until you're a big name act. Whenever I've seen a smaller band using that kind of set up it has always taken them ages to get set up, and then ages longer for the sound guy to figure out what to do with all their shit (because lets be honest, the sound guys at the venues smaller bands tend to play either don't care enough or aren't properly equipped for that kind of stuff). By the time they played the crowd was already annoyed because of the set up times.

    For some actually helpful advice, maybe consider something like a Boss LS-2, with your noise gate and OD in one loop, and the verb in the other. That way to switch from boosted, gated dirty channel to verbed clean channel it's two presses. A little bit of tap dancing but a manageable amount IMO.

    I think more than anything, I can't understate the importance of practicing stuff. Even setting up your rig takes "practice" to get real fast. At this point I can set up my amp cab and pedalboard super quickly just because I've done it a billion times.
     
  17. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Or $450 lol go mondo or go home lol
     
  18. powerbert

    powerbert SS.org Regular

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    Thanks, this is very helpful. I definitely didn't expect people to think in-ears being a complicated setup. People seem matter of fact about it but I definitely hear you on this one. My hope was with the loadbox/headphone amp (I'd still run a cab), I could get a direct feed of my guitar into an in ear. That's it really, I don't care about a full band mix. I don't really need to hear anyone else in the band, just the drummer and myself. I'm already having to set up a wireless mic and in-ear for the vocalist, so yeah I'd definitely rather not bother the sound guy with another feed.

    (P.S. I'm ready for you to tell me why this won't work.)

    I also get the whole, why put so much effort into a small act, but I feel I should have the integrity to do at least the bare minimum to put on an acceptable show. I mean some people actually show up to watch this stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  19. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Yeah - in ears are excessive unless you play serious stages for most of your gigs.

    You're saying you need all this stuff to put on an acceptable show, but there's so many bands out there who aren't using in ears, direct feeds, load boxes etc. who are putting on great shows and touring hard, building their brand.

    Again, it's not the gear's fault. What's the bare minimum you need to get your sound? Once you have that down, practice setting up and tearing down to make it as fast and painless as possible.

    Have you talked to your bandmates about what they think you can improve on? A band is a family - everyone should be helping out everyone else. If I see that our other guitarist has to take care of something, I'm going to set up his pedalboard and make sure his rig is plugged in once mine is taken care of.

    If you want to put on an acceptable show, write the best music you possibly can and be professional about arriving on time, set-up time and tear-down time, and playing within your set schedule. Talk to the other bands, actually watch them and let them know what you enjoyed. Thank the sound person, staff and venue. That's how you put on an acceptable show.
     
  20. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    I definite like having the ability to go from the sound of an ENGL model with two gates, a boost, and a perfectly mic'ed Mesa OS 4x12 to a FDR with a comp, chorus, two delays, particle verb and a perfectly mic'ed Jensen 2x12 just by hitting one button. Even running IEM and two on-stage monitors its still only four cables (minus the FOH XLR): Guitar In, L/R Out to Monitor, Headphone Out to IEM Mixer.
     
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