At how loud do you practice at home?

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Carlos G, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ----------------------------- Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Let me also add the following:

    While I forget the actual dB number that's supposed to be the line for hearing damage, whatever that number is I call BS. The reason is we have people with all sorts of hearing tolerances effected by things like:
    • Age.
    • Amount of sleep.
    • Illness such as colds, chronic allergies, etc.
    • Any current hearing damage and/or where an individual is along that path toward hearing loss or weakness.
    • Other, mostly health-related, variables.
    For example, someone who's been playing in loud night clubs, standing within 5 feet of the drummer's cymbals on small stages for 30 years is pretty likely to have a much lower tolerance for further hearing damage over a shorter period of time. How many times have YOU been slammed with monitor feedback so far, and at what frequencies and for how long? Damage occurs in milliseconds. IIRC, that tolerance is rated somewhere around 88dB over an 8 hour period, correct? Regardless, someone as I described above may now be realizing continued hearing damage at lower dB ratings over shorter periods of time, so I wouldn't trust just going by that.

    Feels great when the volume hits you in the chesticals and compresses your eardrums, ain't it? Notice how your ears feel when you lay down to go to sleep after an evening at a rock concert? You should feel better by morning at the latest, but your hearing is slowly eroding away from that. Do it enough times over months or years and you will see some loss on the charts.

    Lastly, get your hearing checked at least once a year.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  2. Old Punker

    Old Punker Well-Known Member

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    Pardon my ignorance here, but by "LOAD down your amp's signal" do you mean play into a load box and monitor your sound via headphones or some other means?

    I think that may be essentially what I am doing when I use my Power Station. Once all connected, I set to an acceptable (low) volume on the PS2 and then proceed to dial in my input amp to its 'sweet spot' while listening to the result on the cab connected to my PS2. Or is my approach a little backwards?
     
  3. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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  4. Old Punker

    Old Punker Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, you are 100% correct.
     
  5. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    No worries... I use a THD Hotplate not to attenuate the signal like typical usage, rather I set it to LOAD, basically eliminating the LOAD Level signal which feeds the speaker cabinet.

    The THD Hotplate has a setting on it called LOAD and an adjustable Line out signal to drive FX. Well, I take that Line Level signal into stereo fx and then out of the stereo fx to another amp (usually a stereo power amp), though it can be done with 2 heads if running stereo fx, or just one if running mono.

    Doing that same thing without fx would be to take the Line Level signal-- after the Hotplate (or other brands) is set to LOAD, and send IN to another amp fx loop return or if a power amp, to the inputs and then plug your cabinets/Speaker into the 2nd power amp. Then adjust the listening level w/ the 2nd power amp. ;)

    Does that make more sense? I use my ears to monitor how loud to set the power amp's level to taste, not a meter.
    :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  6. Old Punker

    Old Punker Well-Known Member

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    Can you please speak up? I can't hear you. :scream:
     
  7. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    It's mainly the high-end frequencies which cause hearing loss like standing too close to a drummer's crash cymbals, on a small stage all night-- 2 feet from your head.
     
  8. Old Punker

    Old Punker Well-Known Member

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    OK now it makes sense. So that is what I am doing since my Power Station 2 is a re-amper. Anytime I plug my amp into the PS2 it feeds the signal into a reactive load and then the PS2's power amp re-amplifies the signal (I set the output volume) and send it out to my cab(s).

    The only thing I can't do is dial in my amp's sweet spot first while the PS2 is on bypass and then switch to attenuate, because the unattenuated volume would be loud enough to have the police called out. I wish it had a headphone jack!
     
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  9. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    Awesome!!!

    I just turn on the amps (Set to how I like them-- CRANKED up 7-10 w/ non-mv amps) w/ the level very low on the power amp, and adjust tone to taste on the head in real time, and raise or lower the power amp level to my desired listening level.

    1st turn on power amp, then heads. When powering down, turn off power amp 1st. Prevents your speakers from popping. Can be VERY bad for your speakers if playing at stage levels, and you do the process backwards
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  10. nickfox

    nickfox Well-Known Member

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    Busted... :)
     
  11. Derek S

    Derek S Well-Known Member

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    Great work! Love that Line of Fire solo, think it was one of his top three honestly. Digging that reverse head green super strat too.


    edit: on topic, medium low (just enough to fill the room with some sound) volume for daily woodshedding/jamming and sometimes even just raw, no amp, guitar unplugged tone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  12. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks man. That one (Line of Fire) took a bit of effort. Neal is SO Good!

    That green guitar is a Squier Showmaster that I got at a pawn shop for $100, and it's AWESOME!!!
     
  13. harleytech

    harleytech Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty much what I do with my Boss Tube Amp Expander... Sounds Awesome !
     
  14. Sustainium

    Sustainium Well-Known Member

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    Luv your playing....:bowdown:....as always!
     
  15. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like my more simplistic use of my Bad Cat Unleash for a solid state power amp source. Plus with its loop time based effects take on a more on top of the tone vs the mixed in sound of a traditional loop in between the preamp and power section. Both are noticeably different.

    I have no volume restrictions neighbor wise other than respect for my Wife. Even still I hardly ever practice loud other than the occasional amp cranked. I just have never felt that was necessary all the time plus over the years I grew tired of trying to make tube amps work at home. They were never designed for that on their own initially but today a player has a ton of options if you're willing to invest. In these modern times i just use my Helix rig. Very simple and it integrates very easily into modern concepts. I just don't use it for playing with others.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  16. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Well-Known Member

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    I practice at pretty low volume, not really louder than a speaking volume. I can't take loud volume at home for more than about 10 minutes. I save any damage done to my ears for when I'm with a band, and prefer that not to be overly loud anymore either.

    I don't practice with my live rig, just use a Park G25R which sounds best a low volume anyway. If learning (cover) parts I mostly will use headphones so I can really here the recorded guitar parts along with myself.

    I have a little hearing loss in my left ear, from having my half stack setup as side throw across stage for 7 yrs in my 20s. I also have a bit of tinnitus. My son married a brilliant young lady going to school to be a doctor of audiology so I'm looking forward to some free hearing tests some day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  17. Carlos G

    Carlos G Member

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    Shure thing, the sound really comes more alive at certain volume.... but now I'm kind of getting use to appreciate the sound at lower levels :rolleyes:
     
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  18. Carlos G

    Carlos G Member

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    You're definitely right, I think that the amp is built to really shine at certain level but putting 4 hours a day a meter away wasn't doing me any good. I find that being that close, the bass at least on this amp, is too much so I cut a lot of it but still db don't go down too much. I'm learning to appreciate the sound at lower levels now because my hearing was heading to a no good land :erk:
     
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  19. Carlos G

    Carlos G Member

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    Thanks for the useful information! And yes I think it will be a good practice to get used to lower volumes at least when not rehearsing or gigging..... its started to work for me
     
  20. CraigP

    CraigP Well-Known Member

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    ....84 -111 spl...not sure how that compares, or if my spl meter is accurate and true
    Right now I am at 87dBA on my meter in my listening room at what I consider "low" or "med" volume
     
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