On loudness and wattage

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by iron broadsword, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. iron broadsword

    iron broadsword Well-Known Member

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    Anybody here gig low wattage amps?

    I use my class 5 a lot, and I've been gigging two of them lately in a Y formation for good spread. Not everybody can (or wants to) get away with a 5w but the headroom and volume is perfect in my band. I actually attenuate it a little just to get it where I want it.. If I crank it I can go from cleans to crunch to solo just on the volume knob, but I usually put the volume at 4 on the dial and use a boost for solos just to make it a bit easier juggling delays & stuff..

    Anyways, it always surprises me how loud the amp really is. When compared to my 900 4100 into a 1960a with 75's, the class 5 with the vol at 4 for crunch is pretty much dead on with the 900 with the volume at 2 in 100w mode set to the same crunch level on channel A. That's quite a bit! The 900's volume knob relaxes after 2 and from 2 to 5 and moreso beyond it climbs much slower, just to give you an idea where that is sonically.

    Between the two at this volume, I really like the c5's tone better even if it sounds smaller, just because it's power tube grind and Lord knows I like that better. Now, when the 900 is attenuated and running with the master wide open and the preamp gain (chan A) on half, it blows the C5 out of the water with that low mid el34 chest thump and is possibly the best tone my ears have ever heard, but to get that without attenuation you are looking at volume I'd never be able to use outside of a stadium or something, haha. And that's not even considering speaker breakup.
     
  2. whatsacleantone

    whatsacleantone Active Member

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    I liked the power tube distortion from my 15w tweaker, so I tried it at practice once but it wasn't loud enough even through my 1960a.
     
  3. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    I set my volume by the drummer so we have a good balance in the room/stage. I let the PA take care of the rest, so I could gig with the Marshall battery amp if I wanted to (I don't). I like some stage volume so I can wander around. I'm probably using 10 watts or so - we're a fairly loud band. I would never want less than 45-50 watts on tap though.

    Ken
     
  4. tubes

    tubes Well-Known Member

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    Hi Iron.

    To me, the main point is possibly where you say:

    This is a good skill to have.

    I could imagine gigging my Mk3 cranked up on 25 watts for everything - IF I could find that happy place.

    I have not found it yet.
     
  5. iron broadsword

    iron broadsword Well-Known Member

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    For sake of reference, when I jam with my bro who is a loud rock/metal drummer I set the 900 around 2.5 for the same effect. So yeah, definitely couldn't use the class 5 with him and get cleans, but if I was gigging a clean amp with it I could get by no problemo.

    I find too that in a practice setting, you need a louder amp than when gigging.. haha. In a smaller room it doesn't breathe as much and your drummer will go deaf because the amp's pointed at his head long before most guitarists can hear themselves properly. When I crank the class 5 at home it doesn't seem that loud, but in a big room it's very different cause I am usually farther away from it.

    Anyways, I always mic whatever amp I'm using whenever I can just for the sake of leaving it all up to the sound guy, and lets me just plug in n play. Just curious about what you guys have found.
     
  6. Kladen

    Kladen Active Member

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    O boy I love doing biker parties:) get the crank my mkIII 2500 on regular basis :) and looking forward to start using my super lead this year :)
    Sounds wise I could gig my 20 watt lionheart and mic it but it just don't feel or behave the same as a larger amp and the guitar reacts different as well:)
     
  7. tubes

    tubes Well-Known Member

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    One of these days I'll stand right next to the drummer at rehearsal - to experience what he hears.
    For a while I tried having my cab behind the drummer at rehearsal. This way I could hear the guitar from a distance.

    But this activated the snare at some (actually many) frequencies - and caused a lot of racket.

    Meanwhile, yes, a restricted amount of space has it's own peculiarities.

    But I'm not sure who is the most likely to go deaf.

    Sometimes I suppose that the person most likely to go deaf is whoever stands near the cymbals.
    Our usual drummer is no smasher, but cymbals are loud.
     
  8. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    At practice I always set up to the side of the drummer with my speakers pointed at about a 45 degree angle to him. Then I can adjust both my volume and the angle so I'm loud enough in my ears but not too loud for the room.

    On stage I just let the PA handle the room; we always mic.

    Ken
     
  9. Georgiatec

    Georgiatec Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Looking for something I don't remember what.
    I've used both a Class 5 and SL-5 for rehearsals and miced up for gigs. The SL-5 I run with clean flat out and OD about 80%. The Class 5 I have on 1/2 volume, which gives a nice crunch, cleans up with the guitar volume. A clean boost gives a nice classic lead tone and a Caline Orange Burst provides a higher gain lead tone that turns down to heavy crunch from the guitar volume knob.
    Both amps can cope easily with a live drummer, who's a player, not a thumper. I use both with 2 x 12 cab though to give more depth. (In addition to the on board V30 with the SL-5 and instead of with the Class 5). :wave:
     
  10. iron broadsword

    iron broadsword Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I am probably going to be picking up a DSL40c at some point and slapping a creamback in it so that I've got a loud portable amp as well. Kinda on the fence about doing the 40c or going with a 900 DR 1x12 actually.. cause with those few tweaks the one I've got now is a thing of beauty.
     
  11. tubes

    tubes Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Ken. That makes sense to me.

    But it seems that for own own rehearsals there is no simple solution.

    I don't want to derail the thread, but people have already mentioned rehearsal mixes, amp output requirements in different situations.

    At our place rehearsals (and gigs) can involve up to seven vocalists, up to three or four percussionists, keys, horns. Three power amps always for vocals and some instruments - and monitors everywhere.

    Now that I spell it out I can see that there is no simple solution for best mixes at rehearsal.

    Still, I was moved to mention it because I know members here have played in all kinds of bands, all kinds of line ups, all kinds of gigs and recording situations.
     
  12. EndGame00

    EndGame00 Well-Known Member

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    I've used my 12-watt amp for church gig several times. I upgraded the speaker to 50-watt Lynchback.
     
  13. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    Ah...yes I see you have a complicated issue! If it were me, I'd make sure the room sound was good and use one of those monitors so I could hear myself.

    Ken
     

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