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Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Alexa run my life, May 7, 2020.
The volume war stories remind me of the guitar scene from ‘Waco’.
I've dimed every Marshall I've owned without an attenuator at least once. Worst so far has been a 100 watt 1959 SLP. Never sounded all that great with the attenuator so I would just open it up and let it do its thing. Had 4 different neighbors move in and out of the house next door in the 10 years i owned that amp..
When I was a kid I got so mad one time at my neighbors upstaira that i ripped off my boot and zinged it up at the ceiling so hard that it tore a good chunk out of the sheetrock.
Not trying to be snarky, but for those of y'all that do own 100+ watt heads & never crank them and/or always have them plugged into an attenuator or load box... Why? Kinda sounds like owning a lambo just so you can keep it in the garage and *maybe* sit in it every now and then.
I think it’s called being considerate of your fellow creatures. I’ll be in the garage sitting in my “Lambo”.
Because a lot of modern amps aren’t designed to be cranked, by to have a clear and tight low end. That is facilitated by large power sections.
My 5150 got kind of mushy when cranked.
When I had my Fender Bassman 100 silverface head ’72-ish, I set on full very briefly through my 2x12 oversized cab. In our small practice room, my heavy hitting drummer didn’t hear his toms
Yes - it sounded like ass..
Every amp that I owned was tried at max vol. Almost every amp sounded bad...
Did you not just leave a comment talking about how much you enjoyed being the loudest thing in your suburb?
Idk, maybe my situation is different because I rent a dedicated practice space so I can play at whatever volume I want. It's located in a warehouse that's been subdivided into artist's spaces & commercial fabrication so I have actual heavy machinery I have to compete with lol.
Edit: now when it comes to playing in my apartment I don't think I've ever had my Peavey rage 158 turned up past 2. I keep a decibel meter on hand and if it creeps up past 75 db (normal conversation volume) I turn down so I don't bother the other people in my building.
This is understandable. I had a 5150 2x12 combo that would flub out when the post gain got above 6 or 7, and even then I didn't feel like it was *that* loud. That's partially why I sold that amp, along with me just not getting along with 5150's.
Nice! I once used a baseball bat to the ceiling at another place I lived at. I keep my guitar amp relatively low, but some neighbors are straight up assholes.
Once, for 30 seconds.
When you live in a residential area cranking your amp Regularly is not ideal. That’s why you rent a dedicated practice room I would imagine.
Anyway apologies if I sounded cunty.
Ayy you're all good. And same if I sounded cunty. I live in a densely populated urban area so I would never dream of cranking my gigging rig at my place. Of course where I live I'd be more likely to get shot than have the cops called on me
Same here mate, I’d get shived or some shit where I live if I did it more than once. That’s why I love the attenuation on the WAZA-TAE and the headphone capability, I can blow my ears out and not bother anyone. Plus I already have hearing problems.
FWIW Amps smaller than 50w are not “practice” amps. You can play a club with a 5w or 10w mic’d and I’ve played an 18w with a drummer and bassist and not been overwhelmed.
The real difference is whether we’re talking modern channel switching amps with master volume that get their dirt only from the preamp... or single channel amps that get their tone and dirt from power tube distortion or both.
The first is going to sound like shit usually, especially once you introduce power tube distortion.
The latter sounds great when cranked.
There are obvious exceptions. Marshalls were originally based off the Fender Bassman circuit and even later models like the JCM handle being cranked better than other modern high gain amps. There are a lot of reasons but primarily it’s because they have less distortion than you think. Cantrell recorded with his JCM with all knobs at 10. The Beano album was anLP straight into a Bluesbreaker combo with everything on 10 and nothing else (no pedals).
But amps nowadays like (e.g. Diezel, KSR, Peavey) aren’t designed to handle power amp distortion. 5150 sounds like piss after 7 unless you swap out the PI preamp tube. And with all that actual distortion (not the good type) you’re likely to damage your speakers.
Anyways just mentioning because if you have a Twin Reverb or 2203 this might be fun, if you have a 5150 or Herbert not so much lol. For those of you that have never experienced a cranked Marshall and 412 you just won’t understand why it so awesome until you do. Nothing moves air like a Marshall on 10.
I've done it on every tube amp I have owned. What you get is just obnoxiously, painfully loud volume for what is usually a small room. It's awful and it doesn't sound good because it's so unbearably loud. This sort of thing is not fun unless you have a big space and long cable so you are not standing right next to it.
I'm all about good master volume amps so I don't have to do that. In my experience when you get above 95 dB @ 1m that is about as good as it gets in terms of tone, while still being in an area where you don't need hearing protection as long as you don't play it that loud for hours on end. This applies whether your amp is a vintage voiced one or a modern high gainer.
People overstate the importance of poweramp distortion and understate the importance of volume itself. I actually like my Bogner Goldfinger 45 Superlead better when its poweramp runs clean but volume is on the loud side. It still delivers all those classic Marshall overdrive tones because it doesn't need to rely on phase inverter tube distorting for extra gain like your typical Marshall Superlead would. My Vox AC30ish Victory VC35 has a good post-phase inverter master volume so it gets plenty of gain all the way to fuzz territory. If I try to use it like a non-master volume amp it is way too loud before you even get past the clean tones.
Also, on the topic of 5w, 10w, 18w, etc being loud enough to gig, I feel like people tend to forget the role that speaker efficiency plays when it comes to volume. You can have a 50w head running into a cab with high efficiency speakers (100db or more) and it will be louder than 100w amp going into less efficient speakers. Of course I'm sure most of us here are hip to that fact. For the record I play a high powered amp for the clean headroom, not just the volume.
Edit: just bull shitting at this point, but my band mate owns a Traynor YBA 200. It's a 200 watt all tube bass amp with two 12ax7's and a 12au7 phase inverter & four 6550/kt88's in the power amp. It's a bass amp so obviously it's not designed to do preamp distortion, but that amp will stay 100% clean with the volume on 10. It's an absolutely amazing pedal platform for that reason. It's a shame it's an unreliable POS because when it's actually functioning it sounds amazing
Even disregarding speaker sensitivity and impedance, I think people trick themselves by translating wattage into volume. Disregarding everything else (literally everything but output power), going from 5 W to 50 W output - while 10 times as "energetic" - is only a doubling in loudness.
Exactly. There's so many factors that come into play when we talk about volume, or rather PERCEIVED volume. Another often forgotten about factor when we talk about volume & headroom is the output transformer. The Sunn model T gets most of its tone from it's "big iron" aka ultra linear output transformer, as well as it's use of 6550/kt88's. Unfortunately UL output transformers are typically really expensive & also extremely heavy compared to other OT's, but the way they stay clean at high volumes & reproduce frequencies, especially in the low end, is exactly why they're often used in hi-fi systems.
On top of that people look at volume knob positions and try to compare those between amps. It does not work like that and a lot of tube amps have the worst volume controls.
Agreed. I mean I like loud amps, so it doesn't bother me as much as I'm sure it does other people, but pretty much every tube amp I've owned has been whisper quiet on 1 and then immediately goes to "HEY IM BREATHING FIRE" once you go past that. On the other hand, every solid state amp I've owned has been fairly linear when it comes to how the volume control functions.
This was exactly where the Fender Bassman came from and of course later the Marshall JTM45. Trying to keep up with the other musicians in the band once they got electric the 5-10w Fender Princeton or Gibson GA5 couldn't keep up. That was when everyone wanted super high headroom clean. Then they wanted dirt and Vox, Solasound, and Maestro pedals became necessary. And now we have KSR with a TS in front lol.