Gigging With Small Tube Amps

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by grainman, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    .
     
  2. purpleplexi

    purpleplexi Well-Known Member

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    Also darned loud. I know because at the same time I was in a band with 2 guitarists both with ac30s. None of them sounded anything like Rory though. Sadly.
     
  3. Lukas

    Lukas Active Member

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    So I own both a JVM full stack and a DSL 40CR. I love the DSL 40 it sounds great, but play that for an hour and plug right in to the full stack and there is just no comparison, if anyone thinks there is your lying to yourself. Now this is un mic’d of course just going straight out of the speakers. Combos have a kind of boxy tone I think especially the smaller you go. Does that effect come thru at gigs using them mic’d or through the PA? I agree for 95% of people a 4x12 or especially 8x12 is just crazy. The only time I really open mine up is when the wife leaves the house. Kind of a shame to own a rig like that and it’s On a leash most of the time. But it sure is fun when I do that. I don’t play gigs just a home player, been playing about 26 years. I think of downsizing frequently perhaps trading the two 1936 cabs and just running the JVM through a good 2x12. I have the room for them tho and don’t really need the money but I also don’t want them to ever be hard to get rid of if I ever decide to later because no one ever uses them anymore. Quiet a predicament.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  4. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I too, love metal. But I tell ya, any venue here, the soundguy would tell you to turn it down. Also, if 40 w isn't enough at a rehearsal, your amp is not facing the right way for you or something else going on. It is not a whole lot quieter than a 100 save for the extra speakers. It should slaughter a drummer, even a loud one.
     
  5. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion there's two things that drive speaker cab selection, sound quality and portability needs. I rarely take my 4x12's anywhere, and they sound better and move more air than any 2x12 I've ever heard, so 4x12's for me.
     
  6. Thunderslug

    Thunderslug Member

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    4x12s and 100 Watters will still be around for those that want them but the point of the thread was that it is absolutely possible to gig with a decent 20W head and it doesn’t necessarily even need micing up as these beasts are LOUD. And as I say, without compromising the tone or in my opinion, the feel.

    There are a few other factors though... one is speaker choice. If you have high efficiency speakers like Vintage 30s then you’ll get more usable volume out of the amp. Use a less efficient speaker and it won’t be as loud.
    The other is type of music...if you are playing downtuned metal for example, chances are you’ll need more power to get the perceived volume as you’re playing at lower frequencies and not cutting through as well.

    I can only speak from my experience which is that I use a 2525 head into a zilla 2x12 with one v30 and one g12t-75. We’re tuned half a step down playing GNR, foos and other classic rock with a loud drummer and i am easily cutting through and I even have enough head room for a lead boost in the loop. I got told to turn down last gig....

    Took me a while to take the leap as there’s not much info on how giggable these small Marshall’s are but if anyone else is thinking of it, I’d say try it.
     
  7. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Nice. Thanks for the review! That's very good ro know.
     
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  8. SmokeyDopey

    SmokeyDopey Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Yes, it does. But that doesn't bother a lot of people, which is why they will argue lower wattage combos are better.
     
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  9. purpleplexi

    purpleplexi Well-Known Member

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    I never take my 50 watt plexi out these day but when I used to we did a huge indoor gig so I ran it flat out. The soundguy asked what I wanted in the monitor so I said just give me what's going out the front. He must have misheard me and thought I meant I'd hear what was out the front because he gave me no monitor at all. As soon as I walked away from the front of the amp the sound was totally lost. I think what I'm saying is there are times when you need a big amp and cab but these days I don't play any gigs like that so a DSL 40 is fine.
    Also there are people who say there's not a huge difference between a 50 and a 100 through the same cab. I've done gigs where I've played the 50 on say three quarters max and done the same gig same cab with a 100. The 100 (it was an AFD) was beyond brutal at three quarters. Like no comparison.
     
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  10. grainman

    grainman Well-Known Member

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    thats a thing you lose the punchiness of the other members and your own amps too...but with monitors it helps level things out ...but with my other band (a trio) we keep playing old fashion ...big Marshalls with attenuators ..im in between and I still love the 4x12
     
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  11. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    I agree with @marshallmellowed and @Headache. As much as I hate to admit, I've tried the smaller amps in a band rehearsal setting, and even at full volume, the smaller amps were not enough to keep up with a typical drummer. And, as others have mentioned, half-stacks have master volume knobs. The bigger cabinets just do much better with bottom end at higher volumes, whereas on smaller amps at loud volume, the EQ section kind of loses its effectiveness at a certain point. With a 100 Watt head and a 4x12", there are fewer limitations, and the amps can always be turned down to a reasonable volume, whatever is appropriate for the situation.
     
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  12. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

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    been there and back again... 100 watt half stacks, dual 100 watt full stacks, 20 -50 watt combo's, modeling ---> direct and/or using my own FRFR..... and after 30+ years I've got IMHO for me and the current rock/pop covers band I'm in...... the perfect setup.

    EVH 5150III 6L6 50 watt, 4CM with an Axe-FX-II, out to a Budda 2x12 cab loaded with celestion G12EVH and V30 speakers @ 4 Ohms. I can play anything from country, blues, classic rock, hard rock, pop, metal, synth stuff, key's stuff, you name it, this 3 channel amp+FX rig handles it all.

    I run my masters on the amp around 4.5 - 5, and use the master on the Axe-Fx II at 22%. This is my rehearsal and stage volume.

    Been using this setup for a year and half now, and tonewise I am completely satisfied. I'm waiting for Fractal Audio's new FM3 to replace the Axe-FX II + MFC-101 though as the Axe-FX II has a slight audio gap when switching a preset and amp channel simultaneously, and, it will allow me to go from a 55 lbs, 18 button midi controller with 3 expression pedals down to a 3 button, 8lb controller with a single expression pedal and no 2 space rack. The only downside will be having to run cables to it from the amp.

    my conclusion is, you need to work with your band to get a perfect live rehearsal room mix, bring that to the stage, and let the venue sound guy worry about the rest as it's out of your control anyways.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  13. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member

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    I do it all the time.
    You gotta judge the situation ..dont let ego get the better of you
    Last band gig I did was a Champ and a Lead 12
    Next run of dates comin up ,it'll probably be a Pro Junior and a Marshall 5010 (solid state version of a 4010,for those that dont know ...another amp y'all should all have )
    Ive been recording demos with the 5010 and just lovin it

    My 100 watters today are relegated to outdoor gigs close to home or Bass...and Im fine with it
     
  14. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I use any where from 18 - 50 W 1x12 combos when I gig and its more than fine. Still cant get them cranked but sounds good!
     
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  15. Pleximan

    Pleximan Active Member

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    I'm a Marshall guy 95% of the time but once in a while I will run my EVH3-LBX2 15 watt head thru my greenback cab for small venues and it works great. Not quite the same as my Marshalls but still nice for lower volumes.
     
  16. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a rock god like some on here, ;) but I'm playing a gig this weekend with about 120 people in a large hall. I'll be using my 2525H and it's matching 2x12 cab and I'm sure I won't have it anywhere near full up either. We played the same venue 2 years ago with the same set up (acoustic drums, 3 guitars, bass and 2 singers), so we know what to expect.

    FWIW I was going to use a Mooer Pre Amp live into the PA, but I seemed to get lost in a sea of menus and small adjustments. Only took a few seconds to dial in the sounds I want on the 2525H and I've put a clean boost in the loop (with a buffered tuner in front) to give me a lift for solos, plus a TS in front for some crunch on a few songs. Probably helps that I don't use any other effects I guess.

    So even though I'm using the newer, smaller output amp head I'm still a dinosaur when it comes to trying to use modelling equipment in a live setting...
     
  17. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

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    I'm totally onboard with that. and I must say that coupling these neo speakers with lightweight heads makes it even more interesting... I'm waiting my cab to arrive to put the G12CV 2x12 under 15kg is my goal.
     
  18. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    Similar here, but my entire "gig rig" is an Axe Fx II, MFC-101 controller, and FRFR powered speaker for monitoring. Direct to mixer live and FRFR for monitoring. I have 2 audio cables, one from my guitar to the Axe Fx II, and one XLR out of the Axe Fx II (2 XLR if running stereo). Our other guitarist uses a 50w 5150 III, lots of pedals, and a mic'd Orange 2x12. I much prefer my rig, simple and sounds much better (IMO). As for the audio gaps you mentioned with the Axe Fx II, that's only when using X/Y or switching presets. I never switch presets during a song, that's what Scenes are for, gap-less switching using Scenes. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
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  19. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member

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    ...And what some of you guys said about vocals ...very important
    The ol' saying, The singer is the song . The PEOPLE wanna hear the words
    Im the main singer in my ensemble . It's hard enough to keep the singing consistent with sub-standard monitor systems that you can encounter on the road .Easy to blow the voice out. There's no sense in me aiding the problem with my big ass guitar amp. AND , I STILL get plenty of complaints about being too loud ,with the small amps

    I had a great gig in England last Summer .That night was in a little lodge sized hall. I looked at it and just said, no way was I gonna make any friends with the 50 watter that night
    I jacked the Lead 12 (doesn't have to be a tube amp) into a 1965a cab and ran with it. Turned out perfect .....we could be invited back :)

    Neil Young has been kind of a role model over the years, in that regard. Tweed Deluxes n stuff ....can get to sounding pretty BIG in the right hands ....Of course it helps when you got your own FOH guy(s) every night
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  20. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    Getting really low watt here yet one of the most fun stretches I've had in a while was auditioning my 50th Anniversary Marshalls in a group where the drummer played a Roland set. They had a helluva PA system. Audio analizer tuned everything to the room. They could play loud outdoors or set up in your camp house. I ended up using my DSL1 with my JVM1 as backup. Unique situation for sure as i never envisioned using any of them out on purchase but i miked up and had the amp right in its sweet spot. Folks may scoff at the idea but it worked very well for them plus with owning all those amps i had the luxury of testing each in the mix at practice until i found the right guitar and speaker match. Keys, multiple backup singers as well as 2 rhythm guitarists, bass, etc. In all honesty i think the way they did things fits a huge chunk of playing out scenarios for the weekend warrior types. They had total control of the mix and all together it was great.

    I've played 100 watts all the way down to 1. My process is to fit the gear to the situation. I really don't care as i enjoy it all anyway.
     

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