Weird situation with amps and the PA (probably not weird at all)

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ijontyijonty Frets: 27
Hey folks

I played my first live gig last weekend, so my first experience with a PA.

I've only got a small amp, so was concerned it wasn't going to be good enough. It's this one from Cornell:

https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/Cornell-Romany-10-1x10-Guitar-Combo/1R66

Specifications

  • Power:10 Watts
  • Speaker:'Jensen CH1070' x 10 inch Blue Label speaker
  • Valve: ECC83 x 1, 6L6GT x 1
  • Input Impedance: Input Hi 2.2 MegOhm
  • Controls: Pre-amp Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble
  • Output: 10 Watts RMS, Class ‘A’
  • Cabinet: Plywood-shell and baffle

However, I was told that it wouldn't be a problem because the amps would be mic'd up.

Anyway, as I feared, the amp was hopeless and I had to borrow someone else's.

My question is: why does it matter what power your amp is if it's going to be mic'd up?

In my ignorant head, it doesn't make sense. Because you can mic up a harmonica to the volume you want, can't you? Why did my amp not work? Is there something obvious I'm missing?

Really appreciate your advice, as I've got another gig coming up and wondering if I just need to buy a new amp.

Cheers,

Jon


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Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
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Comments

  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 4283
    I guess it depends if you want to use it as a monitor as well. Not being able to hear the PA speakers clearly and not having a monitor / iems can seriously affect your ability to hear properly

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

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  • In what way was it hopeless? 

    It should have been fine if it's mic'd but that generally refers to the front of house sound. 

    I'm guessing your problem was you couldn't hear it, in which case you should have had it loud in your monitor, obviously I don't know what the monitor situation was for your gig.
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  • ijontyijonty Frets: 27
    The sound engineer said it was no good for FOH sound (if that means ‘what the audience hears’). I had monitors too but they weren’t the problem. It wasn’t that I couldn’t hear it. 


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    Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1526
    It’s only a problem if you don’t have a way to hear yourself.    Decent PA and monitors and you’re fine.  

    Band I was doing sound for last week had his ac30 stop working and he had a tiny little vox deacy amp as a backup.    I ran him into all the monitors and everyone was happy - well they got through the gig.     
    As a general rule though you want an amp that you can hear in rehearsals over your drummer - 10W will be cutting it fine unless you have a very quiet drummer.  
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3535
    In general almost any amp will work when mic'ed up .... I've played Portsmouth Guildhall with a 20 watt solid state amp and a 5 watt Blackstar valve amp. I'm not sure what problem your FOH engineer had, generally engineers love small backline as it makes their job easier 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • FiftyshadesofjayFiftyshadesofjay Frets: 458
    edited May 12
    ijonty said:
    The sound engineer said it was no good for FOH sound (if that means ‘what the audience hears’). I had monitors too but they weren’t the problem. It wasn’t that I couldn’t hear it. 
    Sounds like it was the sound engineer that was no good for the gig, not your amp.

    You technically don't need anything that makes any sort of volume to get a decent FOH sound provided your monitors are good. Hence why so many people use modellers straight into the desk, not to mention DI'd keyboards, Electric drums, vocals, acoustic, all a lot quieter than what your amp was kicking out.
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  • ijontyijonty Frets: 27
    Thanks everyone. I rehearse with the amp all the time and it's plenty loud enough to play with our drummer. I didn't feel knowledgeable enough to question the sound engineer, but perhaps it was him, not me.


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    Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1689
    ijonty said:
    Thanks everyone. I rehearse with the amp all the time and it's plenty loud enough to play with our drummer. I didn't feel knowledgeable enough to question the sound engineer, but perhaps it was him, not me.
    It certainly sounds that way to me (I'm a guitarist *and* sound engineer) 

    R. 
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 149
    Sounds seriously strange.  I have mic'd up all sorts when doing sound.  The only time it might be an issue is if your amp is really small and quiet and all rest of backline is huge and up quite loud and the volume of yours isn't much louder than what its picking up from other instruments in which case it won't just be putting you through that channel which could cause all sorts of issues.  

    That said i wouldn't have thought any 10w amp up loudish would suffer that problem.  If sound man had a min spare I would have asked him (say you were trying to get right amp for gigging and would appreciate advice on what was wrong with what you had).
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 149
    Only think i can think otherwise is maybe venue PA isn't up to job and needs more sound from backline to reduce how much volume is expected from PA.
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 149
    Maybe ask venue or someone else who may know who sound man was and maybe pm him on Facebook and ask the advice on picking a better amp and wondered if he could help with what was wrong with amp you had????
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  • ijontyijonty Frets: 27
    mr-mac said:
    Maybe ask venue or someone else who may know who sound man was and maybe pm him on Facebook and ask the advice on picking a better amp and wondered if he could help with what was wrong with amp you had????
    Thanks for this. I ended up just borrowing someone else's as it was chaos during the sound check. Good idea about contacting the sound guy. The PA was his and it was pretty hefty.


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    Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 149
    In which case try and give him a shout and play it with advice to make future gigs easier for soundmen blah blah... Just for curiosity sake 
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  • GulliverGulliver Frets: 410
    Bin off the low wattage amp, get a 100W JCM800. problem solved!
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1202
    Gulliver said:
    Bin off the low wattage amp, get a 100W JCM800. problem solved!
    And loads more created ;)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30905
    Fiftyshadesofjay said:

    Sounds like it was the sound engineer that was no good for the gig, not your amp.
    This.

    *Any* guitar amp that's louder than a human voice - which is probably all of them - will work for a gig, if you like the sound of it and you can hear it in the monitors.

    I've gigged with a 5W Fender Tweed Champ with an 8" speaker a few times, both mic'ed and in some cases - small bars - unmic'ed, and the only problem I ever had with it was once being told it was too loud!
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ijontyijonty Frets: 27
    mr-mac said:
    In which case try and give him a shout and play it with advice to make future gigs easier for soundmen blah blah... Just for curiosity sake 
    So I've now heard back from the sound guy and this is what he said:

    " headroom is word used meaning that if you have more power on hand you can produce more sound with ease and thus have more flexibility through a sound scape! Valves produce more! But aren't always practical.. So many guitar amps out there but also when playing outside sound gets lost! So I think 40w to 60w amp is enough a good make it will last! Valve will be louder! If the wattage is to low you will lose that clean sound at volume.. Plus most of the time you will not be micing your amp, gigs in the pub! So to get over the drums you need a bit of power 12" speaker or a 2x12 is a better spread of sound.. Try some and talk to the guys in the shops then shop around I use a 60w fender transistor and it kicks it out £60 on eBay!"

    Not sure that's cleared anything up though. My amp is a valve amp.


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    Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
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  • vasselmeyervasselmeyer Frets: 2194
    Whilst illiterate, that's not all bollocks for playing unmiced. However, if I remember your original post it was that he said your amp wasn't loud enough even when mic'd up which is nonsense. If you can get your amp at the same volume as a human voice then it can be mic'd up and put through the PA and be found a place in the mix. If it's not loud enough for you to hear it over the drums then you could ask for more guitar in the monitoring. It's not ideal but certainly doable.

    However, if you will be playing unmiced in pubs then a 10W probably won't be good enough. For most pub gigs a 30W valve amp is probably more than enough. Check out the Laney VC30 for example. I played one in a loud classic rock band and never had that amp above 4 on the dial and it stayed clean all the way despite a heavy handed drummer.
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 149
    edited May 22
    He's talking crap tbh... Most of reasons he's Listed are for general not his specific gig.  

    got a feeling he looked a size of it and assumed small solid state and wouldnt be powerful enough to play over background sound.

    tbh reckon he just made a mistake on night.  yeah 30-50w would probs cover all based but a majority of soundmen these days want smaller amps to reduce stage volume and make it easier to mic and mix cleanly.  

    Do what you wish yourself as tbh can't see any reason you couldn't have used the amp
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  • ijontyijonty Frets: 27
    Whilst illiterate, that's not all bollocks for playing unmiced. However, if I remember your original post it was that he said your amp wasn't loud enough even when mic'd up which is nonsense. If you can get your amp at the same volume as a human voice then it can be mic'd up and put through the PA and be found a place in the mix. If it's not loud enough for you to hear it over the drums then you could ask for more guitar in the monitoring. It's not ideal but certainly doable.

    However, if you will be playing unmiced in pubs then a 10W probably won't be good enough. For most pub gigs a 30W valve amp is probably more than enough. Check out the Laney VC30 for example. I played one in a loud classic rock band and never had that amp above 4 on the dial and it stayed clean all the way despite a heavy handed drummer.
    Thanks, and yeah, I wasn mic'd at the gig, so surely the amp was good enough.

    mr-mac said:
    He's talking crap tbh... Most of reasons he's Listed are for general not his specific gig.  

    got a feeling he looked a size of it and assumed small solid state and wouldnt be powerful enough to play over background sound.

    tbh reckon he just made a mistake on night.  yeah 30-50w would probs cover all based but a majority of soundmen these days want smaller amps to reduce stage volume and make it easier to mic and mix cleanly.  

    Do what you wish yourself as tbh can't see any reason you couldn't have used the amp
    Yeah, that's what I thought. We had a reasonably long sound-check so he had an opportunity to hear what my amp could do, and it's surprisingly loud for such a small unit. As I think I mentioned, in rehearsal, it's definitely loud enough to play over a drummer at about 7 on the dial, and our drummer really wallops them!


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    Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 149
    Just put it down to experience :)
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  • ijontyijonty Frets: 27
    mr-mac said:
    Just put it down to experience :)
    Absolutely.  I thoroughly enjoyed the gig regardless! Sounds like I don't need to upgrade my amp. But that doesn't mean I can't window-shop though, right?


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    Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 460
    If you want an amp to suit most venues, something that is at least 30w and preferably with 2x12. A 100w is not necessarily over-kill, but certainly as heavy as some speaker cabinets!
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  • CabicularCabicular Frets: 2161
    Aye he’s a tit
    if there want enough head room you could turn the amp down and the mic up

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30905
    Cabicular said:
    Aye he’s a tit
    if there want enough head room you could turn the amp down and the mic up
    Exactly that. He seems to be confusing the requirement for the amp to be able to fill the room on its own and sound good, with the requirement for it to sound good at a volume that doesn't interfere with the mix because the PA is doing most of the work. It may well not be able to do the former, but it can certainly do the latter.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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