5e3 is still too much for my gigs ... thinking of options

wrxplayer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,523
I recently picked up a Greer Underdog 15. I wanted a low power amp with a small footprint for the small bars we're playing lately. It's a great sounding amp.

Gigged with it last night for the first time in smallish room where patrons are seated perhaps 10 feet in front of us. I had a very hard time getting a decent overdriven sound or one that really cut through the mix out of the rig. Kept volume about two, used a Plimsoul for dirt, used the bright channel and turned the treble up. But I remained open up the pickups and as a result was unable the "rock tone" I favor. Most settings sounded like the tone knobs were turned way down. That's not my preferred sound.

Here are four options I'm considering (possibly #1 and #1 together).

1. Point the amp backwards. Then I can turn it up a bit but not blow out the crowd.
2. Add a brake lite.
3. Swap it out for a 5 watt version.
4. Buy a Trademark 60 or Roland Cube which I think will get me most of the tone I want w/o being too much amp.

Thoughts?
 

lostpoet2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,290
If you like the amp, I would start with a basic attenuator such as a brake lite or Swart Night Light.
 

No457 Snowy

Senior Member
Messages
972
I use a Badcat Unleash with mine and also tilt the cab using a Standback to avoid slamming people right in front. I put a Texas Heat in the cab so now I can just run the amp's Volume knobs wherever I want to get the tone/breakup/clean I'm after and use the Unleash to set the final volume to suit any stage/venue. The added adjustable footswitchable level and loop (I add my Dr Scientist Reverberator here) are icing on the cake with this setup as well.

It's not the only way around the problem but it is very flexible for me and makes my 5E3 even better in any scenario.
 
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Phletch

Senior Member
Messages
9,896
I employ option #1 - face it backwards - with my Mini Rec in small venues. Works a charm.
 

H. Mac

Member
Messages
2,153
I'm not a fan of the Brakelite, as the one I had cut too much treble. No disrespect to Dr. Z though, and others I'm sure will disagree. I think the Weber MiniMass is better-sounding (less treble cut), easier to use, and it costs a good bit less.

But IMO, even the best attenuator cuts the touch sensitivity to some extent along with the volume and treble.

Between a 5E3 and a 5 watter (like a 5F1, a modded 5F1, the Greer Apache or Fury, or the Tungsten MKII), I'd go with the 5 watter. The volume on a 5F1 type amp is easier to control, as it doesn't suddenly jump like a lot of 5E3s do; the single 12AX7 preamp allows for more gain lower on the dial and it comes on more gradually than a 5E3 (and there's no dealing with the volume on the channel you're not using, like with a 5E3). And a 5 watter can be nearly as loud as a 12 +/- watt 5E3.

IMO, the cheapest, easiest, and maybe the best way to increase gain from a 5E3 is to plug into the high bright channel input, and jumper the low bright input into the high normal channel input. You can then use the volume knobs to blend the characteristics of the two channels.

I've never dealt with Nick Greer, but I hear that he's a pretty helpful guy, and it might be worth asking him for ideas.

Good luck!
 

Bryce_dude13

Member
Messages
117
I have a 5e3 and I use an EQD Speaker Cranker for low volume things. It sounds like whatever amp you're using, but turned up. I did a test with the pedal vs. the amp cranked up, and the pedal sounds very close. It sounded great when the amp was moving some air (but still clean). I almost got rid of the amp because I couldn't crank it often, but this pedal changed my mind.
 

djd100

Member
Messages
3,076
Try a Two Notes Torpedo CAB in the FX Loop assuming there one in your build.

Use the CAB's output volume as the master volume, and crush the CAB's tube power amp sims as needed for color.

In addition you get the CAB's's great convolution cab sims and EQ for DI work too.
 

Figaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,016
I vote for turning it around. You can also tilt the amp back so it's sound reflects off the back wall to you a little more if needed.

Also, maybe a less efficient speaker?
 
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redgold

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,925
Lark Street has a used AST Pro with a Nightlight for sale. Last time I was at Alto in Middletown they had a Tone King Imperial MKII...another killer amp with attenuator.

Sorry for the enabling, but this is TGP after all lol.
 

redgold

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,925
Someone mentioned the Unleash...the Power Station is also getting raves...either option would cut your volume and with a preamp pedal (tech 21 blonde?) give you a backup rig.
 

BradKinder

Member
Messages
147
If you still have the stock g12h30 in there you could go with a less efficient spkr like an alnico. I did this in my tweed deluxe and there was a considerable drop in volume and more spkr breakup. I went back to the g12h in mine because I liked the cleaner tones/headroom.

Channel jumping is a good Idea as well. Especially if using a tele.
 

ledzep618

Member
Messages
4,751
If your gigs are that volume restricted I would think about completely overhauling my rig with some sort of direct in options (Cab Clone, Torpedo Two Notes, Fryette Powerstation, Suhr Reactive load). A 5e3 on 2 is just not loud at all, and honestly a 5 watt amp isn't gonna be quieter.


I find no joy out of playing tiny amps, or amps on volume 1, and I have never tried an attenuator that I really liked. The new age of direct in/load box options is here though and will let you play a cranked 100 watt Marshall at any volume level and have it sound great. In fact, I bet in a few years it will be the new live music standard to just load your amp and run it straight to the PA with one of these options.

I'm using a Cab Clone with a variety amps including a Peavey Classic 30, a Twin Reverb, and a 5150iii. I have zero complaints at all, it sounds great and I can get the wicked cranked rock tones silently.
 

guitarvc

Member
Messages
1,550
I recently picked up a Greer Underdog 15. I wanted a low power amp with a small footprint for the small bars we're playing lately. It's a great sounding amp.

Gigged with it last night for the first time in smallish room where patrons are seated perhaps 10 feet in front of us. I had a very hard time getting a decent overdriven sound or one that really cut through the mix out of the rig. Kept volume about two, used a Plimsoul for dirt, used the bright channel and turned the treble up. But I remained open up the pickups and as a result was unable the "rock tone" I favor. Most settings sounded like the tone knobs were turned way down. That's not my preferred sound.

Here are four options I'm considering (possibly #1 and #1 together).

1. Point the amp backwards. Then I can turn it up a bit but not blow out the crowd.
2. Add a brake lite.
3. Swap it out for a 5 watt version.
4. Buy a Trademark 60 or Roland Cube which I think will get me most of the tone I want w/o being too much amp.

Thoughts?
Play bigger venues, don't play there again. I have a Mesa Lonestar Special, 5-30 watts. With a drummer if I am too loud, its the wrong venue...period.

I don't play coffee houses, and if its too loud for them, they are too old! Rock On!
 






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