Why do people use big amps?

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  • shaunmshaunm Frets: 899
    zepp76 said:
    shaunm said:
    This weekend I’m gigging my JTM45 with a 2x12 cab for the first time. I don’t know if it’s going to be too loud or it’s going to be a good fit. 

    The last time I played this venue I used a Fender Supersonic 60 and it was way way too loud.

    The time before I used an 18 watt amps and I didn’t cut through the band at all. 

    On paper it looks like a good fit.
    @shaunm ;I look forward to hearing how you get on. Have you considered having a PPIMV fitted? I have one on mine and it helps keep things sane without losing tonal quality.

    @zepp76 I shall let you know. The other night at practice I had it up pretty loud I’d say 70% of the way so I don’t expect it to get much louder than that. 

    I have a closed back 2x12 and I turn it away from people so hopefully that will help. I still expect it to be too loud though. This isn’t a venue where they appreciate you being loud on stage.
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 601
    The good thing about the JTM45 is how well it takes pedals so you can get a decent crunch at most volumes with a drive pedal. And it's not too loud either. Despite being a high gain player I do have a soft spot for them amps still.
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  • zepp76zepp76 Frets: 426
    shaunm said:
    zepp76 said:
    shaunm said:
    This weekend I’m gigging my JTM45 with a 2x12 cab for the first time. I don’t know if it’s going to be too loud or it’s going to be a good fit. 

    The last time I played this venue I used a Fender Supersonic 60 and it was way way too loud.

    The time before I used an 18 watt amps and I didn’t cut through the band at all. 

    On paper it looks like a good fit.
    @shaunm ;I look forward to hearing how you get on. Have you considered having a PPIMV fitted? I have one on mine and it helps keep things sane without losing tonal quality.

    @zepp76 I shall let you know. The other night at practice I had it up pretty loud I’d say 70% of the way so I don’t expect it to get much louder than that. 

    I have a closed back 2x12 and I turn it away from people so hopefully that will help. I still expect it to be too loud though. This isn’t a venue where they appreciate you being loud on stage.
    @shaunm Good luck with the gig, I hope it goes well for you. What kind of stuff do you play if you don't mind me asking?
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  • slackerslacker Frets: 947
    ICBM said:
    robgilmo said:
    So guys, what if the type of music you play requires a perticular amp which just happens to be loud as hell, if its played quietly it wont sound right at all, what do you do then?
    Get an attenuator.
    I think that the sound suffers the more you attenuate. I played a 50w Plexi that sounded amazing with a Hotplate on 3db cut. It wasnt that distorted but any overdrive sounded fantastic. 

    IMHO you have to work out what you want to achieve and how to get it. I saw a player maxing out a Marshall stack in bar with a drummer using an electronic kit. If his goal was to look a twat and get the audience to find another bar-sorted. 

    So if you are looking at classic rock originally done on a 100w Marshall maxed out, then the obvious option is a lower powered amp with a 2x12 or a 1x12 combo. If that isnt satisfactory then a 100w or 50w amp needs help in a number of ways. 

    Vintage 30s or G30H's are 100db efficient. Greenbacks are 97db. There's a drop. 

    As @ICBM stated earlier an attenuator will work to a point. There's another drop.

    Dont run the amp too loud and add an overdrive for higher gain sounds. Some are designed to emulate an amp. 

    If you amp has an effects loop run one of those volume controls in the loop. 

    One of the best things I did for my sound was use Tone Tubby speakers as they beam less than others. There are beam blockers or you can use tape, with varying results. 

    Some of the above will work some will not. My biggest amp is a 30w Bad Cat 2x12 combo and it does sound amazing but its heavy. I do a Christmas gig every year and I run it as loud as I dare with the preamps jumpered and a couple of overdrives. 




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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 423
    lukedlb said:
    I’ve never tried this: turning the cab to face the stage wall, turning up the amp and gigging on the reflected sound, which should be a little more dispersed and the highs cut. 
    Anyone ever tried such foolishness?
    Josh Smith likes to get his sound from cranking Fender amps and will sometimes just go with what the venue has. If it happens to be a twin then he'll just use another amp as a baffle to reduce the volume 
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  • HushHush Frets: 17
    I generally turn up during a gig, but this is usually to compensate for the drummer and vocalist warming up, but i don't consider turning it up excessively, I am happy to ask the sound engineer to turn up the guitar in my monitor, several times during the course of a gig, for the same reason as above, I just have to hear myself on stage, next to a very good drummer with a great technique, and once he is in full flow, it is loud. Vocals are in ear so no problem with that, I'm one in one out ear piece fella, I am happy as long as we have a sound engineer, who is co-operative and not up himself, which I have encountered over time occasionally. As regards a big amp, no need these days, unless it is a personal preference, and doesn't spoil the rest of the band, we must remember, we are part of a team!!!
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  • ReverendReverend Frets: 1687
    I've seen a fair few gigs ruined by everything being too quiet as well. 
    Any one got to High Voltage?
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  • CabicularCabicular Frets: 2193
    Outdoor or Marquee gigs need a lot more horsepower
    When I did Kelvingrove I had a full 100w late 60s Marshall and 2 4x12s and it was cooking to keep up
    Conversley in a pub gig we would ditch one of the 4x12s and run the rig in the kitchen or backroom and I would run a Laney Linebacker onstage for my own Volume as well as what went through the monitors
    fast forward 20 years and I was running a dual terror or a two rock JEt struggling to be heard but keep the stage volume down
    Enter the Helix, exit the amp
    Now with 4 independent Monitor Mixes I can give myself a ton of guitar without blowing the audience or my band mates away but still enjoy the gig
    Everyone else can select how much they like and FOH is nice and consistent.
    Do I miss the ‘amp onstage sound’?
    after the first song I forgot all about it and just enjoyed being able to hear myself
    I get the headroom of a 100W valve amp and the thump in my chest from the monitor without the weight noise or other hassle
    If I was doing a big festival like that again I might wheel out the hardware but probably not as long as I was sure the monitoring was sufficient
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  • Creed_ClicksCreed_Clicks Frets: 54
    edited May 26
    Should a guitarist always be heard above the drums ? I’ve played gigs with 15watt tube amps where in parts the drummer laid into the kit and the guitar just got lost. On bigger stages sometimes the projection got lost. Not sure if this was down to volume or size of amp. (Blues Junior). I’d have miced it up anyway. 
    An Orange dual terror was always loud enough for me on 15 Watts. Not sure why it seemed “louder”.
    How do you get a balanced sound on stage if amps aren’t lined out though.
    I like the idea of trying to get what a loud amp dies without the weight!

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  • lukedlblukedlb Frets: 178
    lukedlb said:
    I’ve never tried this: turning the cab to face the stage wall, turning up the amp and gigging on the reflected sound, which should be a little more dispersed and the highs cut. 
    Anyone ever tried such foolishness?
    I watched Dan Patlansky a few weeks back at a club venue. He had his 50w Dr Z head going into a 4x12 cab turned backwards. No idea how much was then going through the PA, but he sounded great.

    Talks about it at about 2:15 in this vid...




    I’ve got to try it. Practicing at home 5foot from the amp is beginning to damage my ears. 
    Good find, that. 
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  • xbrooomxbrooom Frets: 250
    My favourite amps are 15w (or thereabouts) combos. With that said, I do like big amps as well and I find they can sometimes be usable even at lower volumes. However the biggest issue for me is ease of transportation and weight. And that is the real reason why I'm considering selling my early 68 JMP.
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  • DominicDominic Frets: 3705
    Depends on the amp itself
    I had a Matchless Lightning 2x12 combo ,supposedly 15 w but it slaughtered a bandmates 50w Plexi
    running through a 2x12 ;the thing was brutal 
    A well sorted AC30 can be incredibly loud and painful ........the 30w is no indication of volume
    Conversely I have a Pleximan which has a 5w and 50w setting........other than the obvious headroom on the clean channel there isn't much volume difference between the 5w and the 50w 
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  • FezFez Frets: 200
    We don't play many places where there is a PA so we mostly use our own rig vocals and sax. Last night the pub had mounted Mackie 450's (great no effing tripods) we used our desk and monitors I took my B rig 'cos the stage was small (DSL401 + 1x12 extension on top of it). I think I could get away with the Jet City 50w and 2x12 set vertical. I find I need 50w or thereabouts as I need a good clean sound so I tend to get drive from pedals. 

    I have found that small amps can run out of steam sometimes but I wouldn't want to lug a 4x12 around let alone two.
     
    The idea of using a modeller and not lugging heavy valve amps around does have some appeal I have heard good sounds from modellers though in my head the jury is still out as to whether it's for me or not.
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 548
    ecc83 said:

    Nobody has so far mentioned one advantage of a big (say 50W and up?) amp but whoever gave the 'car' analogy came close?

    Reliability. All else being equal, driving the tits off 2 EL84s is going to be riskier than coasting along with  2 or 4 EL34s.

    Dave.


    I had a Peavey with an EL84. Great sounding wee amp. Didn't gig it, but replaced the output tube annually. That's why I sold it on. My main amp is a 50w Sound City. I play it on "4" and only changed the tubes at a service 6 years ago because I didn't want to rely on the installed Mullards that had been in it for over 40 years, even though I had no issues with them.
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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 868
    To get a big sound
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  • shaunmshaunm Frets: 899
    @zepp76 played the amp at tonight’s gig and although it is a big amp it didn’t overwhelm everything, though without an attenuator it was a little tough to keep the volume down. 

    What i I will say is that I think at volume it’s an astonishingly good pedal platform. What is interesting is how little I ended up using fuzz, I got most of my tones from my Broadcast and Peacekeeper which have both never sounded better with me.
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  • zepp76zepp76 Frets: 426
    @shaunm  Nice one, I'm glad it went well. I've only ever used reverb through mine so it's good to hear it takes other pedals well. I may just try my Sunset through it if that's the case just for a bit more drive. 
    I bought my JTM in the hope of one day gigging it so it really is good to hear it stands up well in that environment, I already use an attenuator with it or I can use the installed PPIMV to keep the volume down so not a problem there. How did you find the bass side of things? I know these amps can be a bit bass heavy, also what speakers did you use? Sorry for all the questions but I haven't come across anyone gigging these amps before so I'm really interested in how people are using them.
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  • Creed_ClicksCreed_Clicks Frets: 54
    lukedlb said:
    I’ve never tried this: turning the cab to face the stage wall, turning up the amp and gigging on the reflected sound, which should be a little more dispersed and the highs cut. 
    Anyone ever tried such foolishness?
    I saw a band recently in Dublin do this. A Spanish guy called Ivan Ferreiro. The two guitar players were using Hot Rod Deluxes I think. Probably a rented backline.
    Not a big venue, but not a small one either. I was stood in front of the stage, and the overall sound was very balanced. None of the instruments were over powering. The guitars sat well in the mix.
    As the amps were facing the back wall, I'm not sure how much of the amp the guitar players heard coming from behind them. As a punter, I just heard everything through the PA speakers which sounded pretty good.
    The bass player did have his amp facing the audience.
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  • shaunmshaunm Frets: 899
    zepp76 said:
    @shaunm  Nice one, I'm glad it went well. I've only ever used reverb through mine so it's good to hear it takes other pedals well. I may just try my Sunset through it if that's the case just for a bit more drive. 
    I bought my JTM in the hope of one day gigging it so it really is good to hear it stands up well in that environment, I already use an attenuator with it or I can use the installed PPIMV to keep the volume down so not a problem there. How did you find the bass side of things? I know these amps can be a bit bass heavy, also what speakers did you use? Sorry for all the questions but I haven't come across anyone gigging these amps before so I'm really interested in how people are using them.
    @zepp76 I used a 2x12 Zilla cab with two G12h30 70th anniversary speakers. They sound quite harsh at low volume but really come alive when pushed. 

    Gigging wise it’s a great choice of amp. It was loud on stage which was the struggle. At first I turned the cab backwards but the. I didn’t hear myself quite as well (I am going to switch to an open back cab to fix this). The sweet spot on the amp with a Semi guitar is probably 50/70% up on the volume. At that point you get that lovely break up. Unfortunately I couldn’t play it at that volume last night. It engulfed the stage. But, it wasn’t that much of a problem as the pedals really do sound great through the amp. I’d say they sound better through this than they do any other amp I’ve tried. As a pedal platform it is great which I suppose makes it a great gigging amp. 

    Bass wise it wasnt a problem at all at all because I turn the bass off, the presence on 4 and have all others on full (excluding volume). I also jumper the inputs so I plug into the top left and use a patch from top right to bottom left. That gives the best sound to my damaged ears.
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  • zepp76zepp76 Frets: 426
    shaunm said:
    zepp76 said:
    @shaunm  Nice one, I'm glad it went well. I've only ever used reverb through mine so it's good to hear it takes other pedals well. I may just try my Sunset through it if that's the case just for a bit more drive. 
    I bought my JTM in the hope of one day gigging it so it really is good to hear it stands up well in that environment, I already use an attenuator with it or I can use the installed PPIMV to keep the volume down so not a problem there. How did you find the bass side of things? I know these amps can be a bit bass heavy, also what speakers did you use? Sorry for all the questions but I haven't come across anyone gigging these amps before so I'm really interested in how people are using them.
    @zepp76 I used a 2x12 Zilla cab with two G12h30 70th anniversary speakers. They sound quite harsh at low volume but really come alive when pushed. 

    Gigging wise it’s a great choice of amp. It was loud on stage which was the struggle. At first I turned the cab backwards but the. I didn’t hear myself quite as well (I am going to switch to an open back cab to fix this). The sweet spot on the amp with a Semi guitar is probably 50/70% up on the volume. At that point you get that lovely break up. Unfortunately I couldn’t play it at that volume last night. It engulfed the stage. But, it wasn’t that much of a problem as the pedals really do sound great through the amp. I’d say they sound better through this than they do any other amp I’ve tried. As a pedal platform it is great which I suppose makes it a great gigging amp. 

    Bass wise it wasnt a problem at all at all because I turn the bass off, the presence on 4 and have all others on full (excluding volume). I also jumper the inputs so I plug into the top left and use a patch from top right to bottom left. That gives the best sound to my damaged ears.
    I jumper the inputs too exactly the same as you do, I use a George L's cable specifically made for the JTM to keep things nice and tidy. I look forward to hearing more about your gigging experiences with the amp, I hope it gives you many hours of joy!
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  • jeztone2jeztone2 Frets: 986
    Hmmmmm

    The Marshall thing IMHO is often psychological to sound engineers though. My Blackstar Artisan 30 is far louder in 10watt mode than my Marshall TSL60 & 4 x 12 ever was. I get no shit from sound engineers nowadays because it looks less threatening. Whereas in the past I was being asked to turn it down before I’d even played a note. 

    Most guitarists.are just trying to hear themselves over the drummer. But for some reason, we get demonised more. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32823
    jeztone2 said:

    The Marshall thing IMHO is often psychological to sound engineers though. My Blackstar Artisan 30 is far louder in 10watt mode than my Marshall TSL60 & 4 x 12 ever was. I get no shit from sound engineers nowadays because it looks less threatening. Whereas in the past I was being asked to turn it down before I’d even played a note.
    I once wheeled a Marshall 4x12" onto the stage and a voice came over the monitors... "you're too loud!"

    I knew the sound engineer - although until that point I didn't realise he was doing the gig - and he was just having a bit of fun, and he knew the joke very well... but there's a grain of truth in it.

    (Although to be accurate, I think *any* valve guitar amp is louder than TSL60. It's the weakest-sounding "60W" amp I've ever heard.)

    jeztone2 said:

    Most guitarists.are just trying to hear themselves over the drummer. But for some reason, we get demonised more. 
    Partly because the drummer doesn't put the source of the sound on the floor where he can't hear it, and then produce a beam of death out into the audience because he doesn't realise how loud and trebly it is...

    It baffles me that there are still guitar players doing this. Raising the amp up, tilting it back, pointing it sideways, or any combination of those *always* sounds better and makes it easier to mix as well as much easier to hear.
    "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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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2053
    Fez said:
     
    The idea of using a modeller and not lugging heavy valve amps around does have some appeal I have heard good sounds from modellers though in my head the jury is still out as to whether it's for me or not.
    I've really moved away from amps over recent years not least because of weight..I just can't carry the weight like I could when I was younger.  Nowadays its normally  one of my Tonelabs through the PA unless there's no PA when I'll use a smaller amp such as my Cub, dsl401 or VC30-210. 
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • KalimnaKalimna Frets: 450
    Possibly going off at a tangent here, but would it be of use to angle the speaker in a 1x12 cab/combo up towards the player rather than being perpendicular to the floor? 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32823
    Kalimna said:
    Possibly going off at a tangent here, but would it be of use to angle the speaker in a 1x12 cab/combo up towards the player rather than being perpendicular to the floor? 
    Like this?

    https://thumbs.worthpoint.com/zoom/images4/360/1213/29/superb-wood-surround-boxer-60-watt_360_b3af708b124f0d1bd05a585510a4ed2b.jpg

    Yes.
    "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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  • KalimnaKalimna Frets: 450
    Yes, that's exactly what i was picturing mentally. 
    Is there any downside to a cabinet structured in this way?
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32823
    Kalimna said:
    Yes, that's exactly what i was picturing mentally. 
    Is there any downside to a cabinet structured in this way?
    Not that I can think of. If anything it should be slightly stronger.

    The only problem I can think of with building it like that is than in a valve combo, it will conflict with the components on the underside of the chassis. That amp is solid-state.
    "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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  • martinwmartinw Frets: 1906
    shaunm said:
    I also jumper the inputs so I plug into the top left and use a patch from top right to bottom left.
    Try *not* jumpering the inputs, but wind up the volume on the 'unused' channel.
    The channels on the JTM are interactive even when not jumpered, and you might find this thickens the sound just enough for you. Put it on max if you need to.
    The JTM doesn't need much from the normal channel, so its often enough this way.
    The 5E3 Deluxe is the same, as in another thread.

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  • ricorico Frets: 880
    I recently made the change from a JCM800 50w head to a (probably) 100w Matamp. The reason being was that the 800 just didn't have the oomph for thick, downtuned fuzz riffs. The downside is that the Matamp head is double the size and weight of the 800 head (it's deeper than it is high!) and weighs around 25kg but it's a price I happily pay. The transformers are the size of a small house!
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  • lukedlblukedlb Frets: 178
    What is the preferred method to raise an amp? I have a head and 2x12 cab. Using the cab’s flight case? A pub table? A fold up chair? Is there a dedicated solution? I know there is a triangle device to angle amps up from the floor. I wouldn’t want to rely on sometime that could shake or cause unwelcome reverberations. 
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