amp too big

General amplifier talk.

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OrvilleBoy
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amp too big

Post by OrvilleBoy » Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:49 am

i've come to realise that my amp is rather useless... or is it?

its a 2002 USA fender hot rod deville, 60w tube with 4 x 10" speakers.

it weighs about 25 kilos.

ive noticed that i never usually turn it past 4 on the volume, whether gigging or practising.

max volume is 12.

anything past 5 or 6 i find that there isn't good tone anymore, it's just loudness.

i would love to hear some natural distortion by driving it up to full volume but i dont have any stadium gigs lined up soon.

therefore, i'm thinking...

if you're just a regular muso with the odd gig in a small club, you wouldnt need a big amp...

and if you are a famous muso, and u need a big amp, wouldn't you have enough money to buy say a Bassman reissue anyway?

lol i hate fender.

anyone up for a trade? i'm thinking of a 15w original Ampeg Jet from the 60s.

marcusnieman
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Post by marcusnieman » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:00 am

Quick fix to that is get an overdrive pedal like and Ibanez TS9 tube screamer - you can add the gain you are missing without having to crank the amp to gig levels.

I have a first run issue (93 or 94) tweed Fender Blues Deville (4 x 10) at 60 watts. Just like a Bassman but with and extra drive channel with master volume. Like you said, for smaller gigs, it's too much juice unless I use my tube screamer - which in doing so, really makes it a nice versatile amp (if you don't mind muscling it around to and from gigs).

Personally, I prefer my smaller amps around 15watts (Fender limited edition Blues Junior, Bad Cat Cub II with reverb and a new Ampeg Jet II) for most gigs so that I can drive the tubes without a pedal - the tone is much better. For larger venues, you can always mic your amp thru the PA and you'll need to do that if you are playing at full gig volume - once you push those little amps beyond about 6 on the dial, they get pretty crunchy and distorted.

I find the Ampeg to be a little bright for single coil p'ups but it is great for humbuckers.

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Post by Skybone » Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:03 pm

ive noticed that i never usually turn it past 4 on the volume, whether gigging or practising.
Look into buying an attenuator, such as the THD HotPlate (in the correct ohm rating for your amp), you can run the power valves flat out (at full volume) and then reign the actual volume back with the HotPlate.

IMO it's an essential purchase for anyone with a valve amp! I ran my 50w Marshall JCM800 with one, MV flat out, and the power valve distortion was simply stunning.
if you're just a regular muso with the odd gig in a small club, you wouldnt need a big amp...
It's also great for rehearsing at home and in the studio. However, at really low levels, it can get a bit "farty", you just have to remember to have enough power coming through to power the speakers.

OrvilleBoy
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Post by OrvilleBoy » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:59 pm

thanks guys, some nice tips

atm SIZE and VOLUME are too big reasons. I'm moving into a flat that's on the third storey. And also with neighbours a wall apart and a flatmate, I don't think I can turn the thing up too high.

But I'll get it to my amp doctor for the attenuator and/or get a tubescreamer... so I might just buy another small amp in the meantime!

I'm liking the attenuator more than the tubescreamer idea though.... using a tubescreamer sounds a bit too digital??? haha not that there's anything wrong with that, some people would say.

I'm playing an Orville LP Jnr atm, and also a Fender Jap 70s reissue strat, and a Epi Joe Pass with bigsby and new pups. I"m thinking in terms of small amps, there is an 60s Ampeg Jet that looks interesting.

marcusnieman, you were saying the Ampeg isn't too good for single coils, is that just for strat single coils, or maybe for p90s too???

marcusnieman
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Post by marcusnieman » Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:49 pm

OrvilleBoy wrote: marcusnieman, you were saying the Ampeg isn't too good for single coils, is that just for strat single coils, or maybe for p90s too???
I think that Strat single coils are the issue - remember that on a Jet you only have a single tone knob - no Bass, Treb, or Mid independent settings. You're pretty limited in dialing in your sound. My Strats sounded thin and jangly. My humbuckers sounded thick and warm with excellent high end clarity....

P90's have a nice fat sound to them....I haven't tried any of my P90 guitars on my Jet yet but I'll bet they'll sound pretty good. I might have to check that out.....I bought the Jet II recently (Ampeg is discontinuing them this year) and did so specifically for my humbucking guitars. My Fender Blues Junior sounds a little dry with humbuckers.(but killer with Strat single coils).....the Ampeg is rated as a class A amp and it has much more character than the Junior.

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Post by Ozeshin » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:05 am

Fender amps + Tube screamer= match made in heaven..!!!
SRV used that combination......Eric Johnson used it for a time...quite a few bluesmen swear by that combination.
I've always found that Fender amps stay too clean at higher volumes for my liking.

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Post by Guitargoblin » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:42 am

What's worrying is you say it doesn't sound good when you push it beyond 6. The whole point of tube amps is they're supposed to sound best when pushed. Maybe you could search for some decent NOS tubes to put in it? Especially preamp tubes, as I find they make the biggest difference. Modern amps including Fenders tend to ship with crappy tubes. I tried a Blues Deville 2x12 not so long ago & I agree that it just kinda bellows at you with no real texture to the sound. If the preamp tubes in your Fender are Sovtek 12AX7WAs then get rid of them. They're nasty. Just about anything's better, including Sovtek's other preamp tubes, the 12AX7WB & 12AX7LPS. For new preamp tubes I'd recommend Ruby or Tung Sol, but NOS is usually best if you can get it.
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XLarge
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Post by XLarge » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:44 am

I'm in the same situation.
I've a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, 40W, and when I play at home, I can't raise the volume knob over 2. Windows glasses start to tremble.
I was thinking to sell it (very sad) and I was thinking to buy a Fender Deluxe Reverb.
What do you think about it ?

OrvilleBoy
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Post by OrvilleBoy » Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:09 am

yeah maybe diff tubes would do it good too.

i think if u pushed my amp to 10, 11, or 12 on volume it'd sound sweet... but id be too deaf to hear it lol

6 is already getting bit too loud for me to play 10 meters away so anything at/past that level isn't really toneful, it's just plain loudness.

i must admit though, having a big arse amp behind u looks better than a puny little thing with a mike stuck infront of it... haha size matters, okay?

to make up for the crapness in playing, i think....

What are the specs on the Deluxe reverb?? how many watts & speakers?

XLarge
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Post by XLarge » Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:22 am

Features include a pair of 6V6 Groove Tube? output tubes, one 5AR4 rectifier tube, four 12AX7 preamp tubes, two 12AT7 tubes, one 12? 8-ohm Jensen? C-12K speaker, dual channels (normal and vibrato), tube-driven Fender reverb, tube vibrato, two-button footswitch for reverb and vibrato on-off, black textured vinyl covering and silver grille cloth.
This is a description taken from a website.
Looks good to me !!!

Ozeshin
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Post by Ozeshin » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:40 am

I use a B52 100 watt solid state 2x12 combo running through a 4x12 celestion quad box.
I can't go higher than 4 on my amp but the difference is that I run through the clean channel using a ZOOM modelling box and step on the dirty channel as a volume boost for solos.
Yes...I KNOW it's a solid state amp...but the song ramains the same...I too can't turn it up above 4(due to my bandmates ears bleeding) :P ...BUT...the difference is that the tone is to die for and because it's solid state rather than tube,the tone remains the same whether I run it on 4 or 12....same tone just louder.
If you want your tone to remain unaffected at all volumes then you'll need to make the switch to solid state.

marcusnieman
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Post by marcusnieman » Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:50 pm

OrvilleBoy wrote:
i must admit though, having a big arse amp behind u looks better than a puny little thing with a mike stuck infront of it... haha size matters, okay?
to make up for the crapness in playing, i think....
Well for me, it's the tone that matters. I'd rather have a monster sound than a monster amp - my bandmates always come out with their Dr. Z and their Matchless amps while I trot out my little 15watt Blues Junior - mind you they can't turn theirs up past 3 in a medium bar sized venue while I have my Vol and Master both on 5 (with plenty of headroom left) and I can hold my own with no problem.

The big differece is that their tone is so clean, it's almost antiseptic without a pedal of some kind. Mine on the other hand is pushed and with my tubes being cooked more than theirs, the tone is huge out of that little amp. Don't forget Clapton recorded with a little Pignose amp for that same reason

Bigger isn't always better (unless you're a fan of Freud)....it's about the sound. Besides, a bigger amp means that crap playing isn't going to sound better, it'll just be louder and more evident to the audience. :wink:

OrvilleBoy
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Post by OrvilleBoy » Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:31 am

lol haha freud? whats freud? :lol:

i guess my dream of being a guitar god has not yet dampened.

speaking of which... i just noticed i'm a tokaiforum guitar god...

taking baby steps indeed lol

yeah im guessing if i get a anttenuator put in it, i can get the best of both worlds? i.e. size and tone?

then upgrade the tubes and use a tubescreamer haha

marcusnieman
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Post by marcusnieman » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm

OrvilleBoy wrote:lol haha freud? whats freud? :lol:
Sigmund Freud - the "father" of psychoanalysis (mid-late 1800's).......his studies focused on the pscychosexual aspect of our being....basically, all of our actions and motivations have some sexual tie in. Big amp = little wanker or wanker envy.

Sorry to get off topic but you asked.....

OrvilleBoy
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Post by OrvilleBoy » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:22 pm

marcusnieman wrote:
OrvilleBoy wrote:lol haha freud? whats freud? :lol:
Sigmund Freud - the "father" of psychoanalysis (mid-late 1800's).......his studies focused on the pscychosexual aspect of our being....basically, all of our actions and motivations have some sexual tie in. Big amp = little wanker or wanker envy.

Sorry to get off topic but you asked.....
haha no i know freud, i was just playing the clown :P

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