Why do people use big amps?

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  • vasselmeyervasselmeyer Frets: 2299
    lukedlb said:
    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. 
    I have a 2x12 cab and most of the time I stand it vertically for space reasons. If we play somewhere that will allow me to use it horizontally  I'll either snag an empty crate from the pub or requisition one of their tables. It really doesn't matter what it is as long as vibrations won't make it fall and you don't cover the back up (for either ventilation or changing the sound of an open-backed unit).
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  • JayGeeJayGee Frets: 451
    lukedlb said:
    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. 
    I have a 2x12 cab and most of the time I stand it vertically for space reasons. 
    Wisdom duly awarded. I’ve actually added an extra set of feet to one end of my cab.

    https://i.imgur.com/z2WN6YD.jpg

    Actually I kind of wonder if habitually using the cab like this is why I’ve never experienced the directionality and projection issues which @ICBM reports as being characteristic of Marshall 1936 cabs, it definitely sounds way better and more consistent between on-stage and in the room that way...
    Don't ask me, I just play the damned thing...
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  • lukedlblukedlb Frets: 171
    lukedlb said:
    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. 
    I have a 2x12 cab and most of the time I stand it vertically for space reasons. If we play somewhere that will allow me to use it horizontally  I'll either snag an empty crate from the pub or requisition one of their tables. It really doesn't matter what it is as long as vibrations won't make it fall and you don't cover the back up (for either ventilation or changing the sound of an open-backed unit).
    I forgot about the beer crate trick. I’ve been out of the game too long. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31628
    lukedlb said:
    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. 
    I always used the amp's flightcase (just the lid usually) when I was using bigger amps. Its the ideal size and very stable.

    JayGee said:

    Actually I kind of wonder if habitually using the cab like this is why I’ve never experienced the directionality and projection issues which @ICBM reports as being characteristic of Marshall 1936 cabs, it definitely sounds way better and more consistent between on-stage and in the room that way...
    Yes, a vertical 2x12" is far less directional than horizontal - I know that's counterintuitive. It also raises the top speaker up to about the right height where it correlates well with the out-front sound.
    "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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  • JayGeeJayGee Frets: 451
    ICBM said:
    Yes, a vertical 2x12" is far less directional than horizontal - I know that's counterintuitive. It also raises the top speaker up to about the right height where it correlates well with the out-front sound.
    It’s your line array thing isn’t it, which is why PA columns were a thing back in the day...

    The more I think of it the more reasons I can see why a vertical 2x12 on the floor is A Good Thing compared with a horizontal 2x12 on the floor. You get a smaller on-stage footprint, enhanced dispersion, the cab coupling to the floor for more bottom end, and a driver in free air at the right height for the top end. What’s not to love?
    Don't ask me, I just play the damned thing...
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31628
    JayGee said:

    It’s your line array thing isn’t it, which is why PA columns were a thing back in the day...

    The more I think of it the more reasons I can see why a vertical 2x12 on the floor is A Good Thing compared with a horizontal 2x12 on the floor. You get a smaller on-stage footprint, enhanced dispersion, the cab coupling to the floor for more bottom end, and a driver in free air at the right height for the top end. What’s not to love?
    Some people think it looks silly :).

    I can't think of anything else though... but in fact, depending on the type of music, the cab coupling to the floor isn't always a good thing. I've always found that the band mix is improved when the cab is decoupled, which rolls off the bottom octave and stops the guitar fighting with the bass - the bass cab needs to be tight down of course, so it *is* coupled. That way you get a more natural separation between the two instruments and both are audible better without the volumes and EQ mattering as much.

    But of course, you can always raise your vertical cab slightly as well, if you want - it doesn't take much, even a few inches will usually do it.
    "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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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11602
    edited May 29
    Fez said:
    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've never found a situation where a JCA50H wasn't appropriate, to be honest. It's got much better control at the low end of the volume control than the 20W versions, and more than enough volume for the biggest venues. I've played mine at everything from tiny pubs to big-ish festivals, with the O2 Academy in Birmingham in between.

    'course, now I'm Helixed-up, I'm going to be playing most gigs with the soon-to-arrive DXR10 either as a monitor with PA assistance, or as backline when the PA's not up to it. That's 1100W and a maximum 131dB SPL (apparently), and I make no apology for it D
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • springheadspringhead Frets: 93
    I saw JD Simo at the Barfly in Camden a couple of years ago.  Old JTM 45 up loud into a 2 x 12 pointed off stage.  He plugged a vintage LP into it, no pedals and sounded fantastic.  Not horrendously loud and got a wonderful range of clean to very dirty with just pickup selection and the guitars volume/tone controls.  Didn't touch the amp all night.  Wonderful example of what a skilled player can do.
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  • ReverendReverend Frets: 1617
    rico said:
    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!

    Presumably a horizontal input. my 100w 2203 has more low end than I need for doom. I usually have he bass on about 12 o'clock.
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6907
    I use big amps because they sound better for my needs.  They have volume knobs and I'm not going for power amp distortion so it makes no difference how loud it could get.  

    My solution to not being able to hear my 2x12 properly was to buy a second one and put it on top of the first.  The bottom one is on casters to keep things a little tighter and to make it easier to transport.  
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  • jeztone2jeztone2 Frets: 958
    ICBM said:
    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.
    Possibly, but really it’s usually drummers on shared kits that aren’t tuned properly. Whenever I gig most amps are up on a beer crate at the very least. Mine goes on it’s flightcase. 

     I once auditioned for a pro band for a US tour & at the audition, I was amazed at how quiet we were. Plus the drummer sounded huge. Yet the rented amps master volume barely touched two. That’s because that drummer had spent a long time tuning and dampening his kit properly. So the microphones did the job of projection rather than him.  For some reason I don’t think many drum teachers show people how to do this. But it is achievable. Not macho, but it works. 
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  • NelsonPNelsonP Frets: 475
    edited June 5
    Because it makes you a real man


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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7004
    jeztone2 said:
    ICBM said:
    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.
    Possibly, but really it’s usually drummers on shared kits that aren’t tuned properly. Whenever I gig most amps are up on a beer crate at the very least. Mine goes on it’s flightcase. 

     I once auditioned for a pro band for a US tour & at the audition, I was amazed at how quiet we were. Plus the drummer sounded huge. Yet the rented amps master volume barely touched two. That’s because that drummer had spent a long time tuning and dampening his kit properly. So the microphones did the job of projection rather than him.  For some reason I don’t think many drum teachers show people how to do this. But it is achievable. Not macho, but it works. 
    I know I've said this one before but I played in a band with an ex Marillion roadie and he said he was amazed at how quiet their drummer was. He put this down to the drummer always having great monitors so he could always hear himself that way, not the acoustic sound of the drums at all. Louder was a turn of a knob rather than hitting harder. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 4106
    Fez said:
    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've never found a situation where a JCA50H 
    I found a situation that it wasnt appropriate when I got my VH4. The JCA50H hasnt go an outing since :D
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  • samzadgansamzadgan Frets: 1432
    This question always annoys the hell out of me. It all comes down to the kind of music you play. If you play in a doom or drone band, then you, as well as the fans want to feel the music as much as hear it. I’ve been to small pubs with a doom band playing and been standing in front of orange or Marshall stacks...but that’s what I would expect...if the guitarist came in with an 18w combo the music or the gig experience would not be the same. It doesn’t matter how well you mix stuff up you will never get that sound from a mic’d up combo, or any kind of digital modelling amp. Obviously within the band you work on your own mix so you don’t drown out the other musicians, but that’s just a case of everyone turning up and drummer hitting harder.

    If this is a question purely for blues/rock/Jazz/pop etc bands then maybe you have a point...I wouldn’t know because I don’t really go to those gigs...and if I did I’d probably ask “why do guitarists use small amps!” ;)

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  • rockmonsterrockmonster Frets: 338
    I play in a 4 piece classic rock covers band. We’ve been going for about 12 years now. We are all old guys and experienced players and it’s what keeps us young!!  Singer and backing through PA only. No IEM’s -(old school) Bassist, one guitarist (me) and a rowdy drummer. (Really old!!) Sound guy is usually my Mrs who walks around the venue (pub) listening to the mix when we do a sound check (usually half a song! Lol!) I use an EVH 100 and 2 ported 2x12’s one on top of the other. Sound settings are pretty much the same most gigs. Played last night, playing again tonight. No complaints about volume only compliments about performance. I only turn up if I’m asked to (I usually get asked) as I think the mix is too important to be destroyed by a ‘knob on the guitar playing too loud through an excessively loud half stack’  I use a line6 so I can go off on one and listen to the mix while I’m at it- great sound last night- even out in the road outside the pub! I wouldn’t use a 1x12 20 watt amp- it would not be the same. Yes it would be heard as they are loud on full throttle but the size of the sound of our band would be compromised. A big amp running at lower volume in the right hands works superbly imho. Live music for us is about the LIVE experience. If you want conversation go somewhere else. If you want a fantastic mix put the juke box on. If you want exciting raw rock and roll watch the band. If it’s too loud then that particular band is not for you that evening. But for krissakes get out there play and enjoy it while you can! For us at least it’s about the excitement of the live performance. I think too many people have too many hang ups about this type of thing. The mix is really really important we try to get it right every gig. Loud music is not for everyone I understand this we are all different - the world would be very boring if we were all the same! but does it really matter? (Oops! Old git banging on alert!)
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