The trend toward low wattage amps and low sound levels

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Trelwheen, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Old Punker

    Old Punker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2020
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1,762
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Maybe I'm getting old but personally I don't understand stuffing plugs into your ears and then cranking a 100W amp to the point where the mice in your attic explode. Why not just skip the ear plugs, use a somewhat smaller amp and get decent tone without making your neighbors hate you? Isn't 105 dB loud enough? As you said yourself, you are using the ear plugs to make the sound 'considerably quieter'. :scratch:

    I have amps of various sizes, including a couple of 50 Watt amps. I can make them all sound good at home-friendly volume (90-100 dB), some easier than others. I have to admit though, the one thing that surprised me is that of the various power ratings available to me (1, 5, 20, 50 W), it is one of my 50 Watt amps that has the best low volume tone. The 20 Watt amp also sounds great but likes to be turned up a little louder than the 50W. IMO the 1 Watt amps are not as convincing but do sound a lot better when their output is run through my Power Station's power amp. I don't own any 100 Watt amps since I figured I didn't need one to play at home.
     
  2. GregM

    GregM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2020
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    639
    Location:
    Australia
    Lol mice explode, have you been watching too much rocknroll high school?
     
    Sapient and Old Punker like this.
  3. Old Punker

    Old Punker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2020
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1,762
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I can't wear skinny jeans...cause I'm not skinny.
     
  4. ibmorjamn

    ibmorjamn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    8,466
    Likes Received:
    6,794
    Location:
    North
    @Old Punker That’s a good question , we went from a bigger place with separate garage to a small house and small room. I think the 4 x 12 would sound good. I have not even tried it. My 2 x 12 is quite loud but it’s not me that I have concerns about with the 4 x 12. I do not currently have a 1 x 12 cab here but I did plug in to the 2 x 10 cab (jtm30) and it is more home friendly to me. I would use the 4 x 12 if the room was bigger.
     
    Old Punker likes this.
  5. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    5,254
    Likes Received:
    8,061

    100%
     
  6. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2019
    Messages:
    3,565
    Likes Received:
    5,251
    Making the mice in my attic explode is just part of my pest control program. :flex:

    And...I have these magnificent beastly 100 watt Marshalls...four of them...and I want to play them and hear them where they sound best and that's cranked up. With the Etymotic plugs, I get to experience their majesty without pain. And literally nobody complains about the volume level because the house is well soundproofed. Even my most fractious neighbors won't complain because they never hear it.

    There are lots of amps that sound good at lower volume. Well, so what? You can have fun in a car at speeds under 50 MPH. But the REAL fun comes when you're out on the track and might hit 150+ before you get deep into the braking zone, rotate to the first apex, and nail the throttle as you set up for the sweep into the next apex. The most fun is had when it's fastest...loudest...most intense. No little amp can match the feel of a 100 (or 200) watt stack cranked up so high your balls are flapping and your pant legs are starting to fray.
     
  7. shredless

    shredless Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    5,424
    Likes Received:
    3,830
    .
     
    Trelwheen likes this.
  8. Old Punker

    Old Punker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2020
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1,762
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    "Making the mice in my attic explode is just part of my pest control program"

    :lol: :lol:

    "...a 100 (or 200) watt stack cranked up so high..." :iough:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Certified B.S. Launcher Double Platinum Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2017
    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    5,868
    Location:
    Texas
    How 'bout "Beta Male Manlets"

    I ain't sayin' a word. Nope.

    :headbanger:
     
    Sapient and Old Punker like this.
  10. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    9,445
    Likes Received:
    13,158
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Canada
    I have had occasion to turn up a hogh wattage amp once in awhile. Outdoors shows. It is awesome! That said, if wearing hearing protection at home muffles the sound at all, kills any of the highs, I just don't see the point of trying it at home.

    That and the fact that the wife is now generally home with our retirement and she only has one good war, they had to lose the right one in that brain surgery. So she is very careful about her hearing.
    That said, a 20 watt amp through a 2x12 is damn close to a 50 amd even a 100 through the same cab.
     
  11. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    5,254
    Likes Received:
    8,061
    yet to see a amp that didnt have its place somewhere.
     
  12. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    5,254
    Likes Received:
    8,061

    my case and point in my post just above.
     
  13. Old Punker

    Old Punker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2020
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1,762
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    "a 20 watt amp through a 2x12 is damn close to a 50 amd even a 100 through the same cab."

    Yes.
     
  14. Old Punker

    Old Punker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2020
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1,762
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Please understand that I love the big 100W Marshall's as they're absolutely iconic, just not so much at home. At a really large show they're magic. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2019
    Messages:
    3,565
    Likes Received:
    5,251
    Note that I've described the performance of the Etymotic high fidelity earplugs:

    Everything sounds the SAME as if you had no hearing protection at all, except that it's all much quieter.

    20 dB quieter, to be exact.

    It's the usage of them that allows me to enjoy the full sound of a cranked Superlead without hearing damage. I'm not hearing a muffled version. I'm hearing it as you would hear it from a safe distance. But really close to it.

    For about 20 bucks they're well worth the cost. I recommend trying them.

    They allow you to enjoy your monster amps at home. As for the neighbors...they can buy their own Etymotic earplugs if they want to. :cool:
     
  16. trax1139

    trax1139 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    809
    Oh, it’s just me being silly! I’ve always said that...it’s my motto, I’ve hated them since they showed up. It seems to boil down to the guys who remember the rock stages of old where the band was made up of musicians playing mostly from stage volume and sound reinforcement for vocals only. The clubs were packed and the people actually wanted to be there for the band. Now the bands are just annoying background noise to the 12 patrons in the joint.
     
  17. trax1139

    trax1139 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    809
     
    Old Punker likes this.
  18. trax1139

    trax1139 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    809
    I think they’re always magic. I just commissioned Greg @ Germino Amplification to build me a JTM45/100 (Monterey 100). I have his Classic 45 (JTM45) and a brand new Origin 50H going through 2 4x12s. Oh they’re loud...just not near enough “girth”. To me, that’s always the problem with the smaller and MV amps...too loud-no balls. So, the Origin 50H and the Germino Classic 45 are on their way out.
     
    Trelwheen likes this.
  19. FutureProf88

    FutureProf88 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    2,220
    Likes Received:
    1,577
    Location:
    St. Louis metro area
    I like guitar amps. I like big ones. I like little ones. I like student ones and I like pro ones. But I especially like ones with four big power tubes pushing quad boxes. When my band was a five piece we played a medium sized club as part of a showcase. Unbeknownst to us it was a metal showcase and we were not a metal band. But we went along with it. We were setting up and I'd brought a full stack. The sound guy came up and said, 'man you know we have a PA system. You don't have to be a d*ck.'. I was like, "I know what I'm doing. I like the way this sounds. How bout you let me do my job and you do yours." Their PA system popped a fuse and took our other guitar player's PA signal out. My two cabs were suddenly useful. In other places I've played half stacks and I've just used judicious volume control solutions - the club that we are playing in my profile picture maybe holds 50 people. I've seen bigger basement bars in some houses. And yet we played that place over and over. We've gotten compliments about how we sound at almost every place we've played at. We are a loud band and we tell the FOH engineers that. Granted, we are a three piece now and it's a bit easier for us to get away with it. It also helps that our drummer can hold his own. But it's rock and roll. I wear earplugs to protect my hearing, as do the other two guys. But it's rock and roll. It's supposed to be loud, and that's a little bit antisocial. It's rock and roll.

    Also remember that the original 100 watt amps were meant to be antisocially loud. They were used as the volume solution to the stadium problem after they were built, because they could do that, but Pete Townshend wanted to be obnoxiously loud so that people in the audience couldn't talk to one another while he was playing. The Who and Hendrix both used these things in full stack configuration in the Marquee. There's no way that the 30 watt JTM45 wasn't handling that venue. I saw Motorhead and Robin Trower in a 2500 person club. Trower used two 1987X's and his bass player used a VBA with an 810. Motorhead ran... everything.

    Long story short, if we start judging things by the yardstick of "you don't need that to..." we give up a lot of grins and a lot of those things that make the world a bit sweeter. I'll drink to, and fight for, that.
     
  20. Sapient

    Sapient   Silver Supporting Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2020
    Messages:
    2,336
    Likes Received:
    4,497
    Location:
    Yes

    I guess we learn something new every day. Hadta look that one up. Verdict: Fun, effective, but maybe a bit too clinical.

    :hbang:
     
    Old Punker and Trelwheen like this.

Share This Page