Are pedals and "bedroom level" amps two things that don't go together?

dconeill

Member
Messages
1,879
Everytime I do a search here for bedrooom volume amp recommendations, the same recs always come up: Fender Mustangs, Roland Cube, Line 6 stuff. All items that have some sort of modeling built in.

I take it that means most people dont use pedals along with their bedroom level amps? (by bedroom level i mean TV volume level). ...Do I scrap my whole amp/pedal board set up? What would you do? ... I often play to whole song backing tracks (using a boss looper) and therefore like the ability of using a pedal board to quickly switch tones during a song.

Thanks

The same amps keep getting mentioned because these amps have been found to produce acceptable sound quality at bedroom levels.

As to the menus and built-in effects, just because you've got 'em doesn't mean you have to use 'em. You are perfectly free to use the amp just as an amp, and use your own pedals in front of it.

And if the question is raised, "well, why should I pay for built-in effects if I don't want to use them?", that's a question jazz players have been asking for years. The answer is, because those are the amps that the manufacturers have decided to offer for sale. They're not going to market inexpensive niche amps that will sell in the dozens when they can market the amps that sell in the thousands.
 

jb4674

Member
Messages
6,853
My suggestion would be to build an ISO box for your guitar cab so that it's as silent as your build is.
 

NashVox

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
417
The best amp I have played for home use is the Tone King Falcon. 12 watts and three seperate channels (BF, Tweed and Marshally OD) plus the Iron Man Attenuator made it the Carr Mercury killer. Very flexible at any volume imcluding small gigs.

Having said that, I don't really understand low watt "clean" amps. Cleans are cleans pretty much at any volume, so why not have the extra wattage if/when you need it? You can always boost/OD the signal.

If you are going the all in one route, TK Falcon all the way.

If you are going cleans plus OD just find a clean sound you like and can afford and boost it. It will sound great.

I have been doing this lately with a Two Rock SP35 and a JHS Double Barrel. Works great at home or away.
 

MoonshineMan

Member
Messages
7,507
You could get an attenuator, set it to Dummy Load, and reamp through another amp, like a Roland Cube or something. You might even be able to plug it into an Aux input on a stereo or something like that.
I saw a video on the Marshall Forum of a guy BLASTING and reamping a 4-hole and he had killer tone, but you could hear the pick hitting the strings in the room.
 

wrathfuldeity

Member
Messages
1,965
So you say want a good sound at low volume due to family. Really you want the "perception" of good sound at low volume. Headphones can do it...but you don't want headphones....so ime/imho a good alternative is to do the same with 2 git cabs and position your self in the middle of the field/between the 2 cabs. I've done this with 2 amps (a 10 watt 6L6 and a 6 watt el84), one wet and one dry; or with 1 amp and 2 cabs; or use a modeler with a right/left outs; or use a modeler with some powered monitors or even little powered computer speakers. When you are sitting in the middle the perception is it "sounds huge" but volume wise its fairly low. If you then have some inefficient speakers you can crank the amp more or up the gain on the pedal. Anyway I've done all the above combinations. Amp/s with inefficient speakers are great if ur want analogue, modelers and powered monitors work well if you want a digital ambient thing.

Just saying often folks mistakenly think loud volume = good sound/tone...but by using a spatical field you can have the perception of good sound/tone without the loud volume.
 

DexterT

Member
Messages
688
I run a 50 watt Dr Z antidote with an attenuater at home. I like how big amps sound for what I play. I also have a little bogner 12 watter that is honestly almost as loud (although much dirtier). 5 watts is too much honestly. Play an amp you like the sound and figure out how to deal with the volume. I have a badcat unleash that is crazy good and I can get the sound of a cranked 50 watt non master volume amp in my apartment.

Play a bunch of amps and get what you like don't worry about tube or modeling or wattage. When playing out you can mic a small amp or attenuate a big one. There are so many tools these days that it just doesn't make sense to blow a bunch of money on something just for a specific volume.

I usually play clean at home when I am 'practicing' when I am goofing around I am usually playing with a ton of pedals to mess around with different sounds. When I play out I run a boost into my Dr Z Antidote and call it a day.
 

NewDr.P

Member
Messages
2,291
yeah, the class 5 doesnt sound very good at lower levels. id get a master volume low wattage amp with nice sounding gain and not mess with dirt pedals.
 

Mr.Woody

Member
Messages
1,603
Amp with good powerscaling also does the trick. The scaling on Reinhardt amps is just right. It always brings a smile to my face to crank it wide open and bring it down to whisper volume. Glorious! Also, the badcat unleash does well, but like with attenuators, ther will be some high roll off and less than TV volumes.
 

JGD5150

Member
Messages
1,193
I love my Tweaker 15 with pedals. I've literally tried it with 50 different pedals and I'd say 48 of them sounded great at low volume. It's a great, great amp for home use.


Same here. My Tweaker head is set for clean Fender tones, then I use a Wampler Plextortion and a Way Huge Green Rhino for dirt. Sounds great at conversational volume.
 

Alkane

Member
Messages
84
So you say want a good sound at low volume due to family. Really you want the "perception" of good sound at low volume. Headphones can do it...but you don't want headphones....
With two small kids, a modest sized home, and a warden of a wife I have been trying to find a good answer for this situation too.

If you are really talking about TV levels, and I don't mean movie theater levels. I mean keep it down the kids are sleeping levels, you're not going to get very much louder than the guitar is acoustically. I find that unsatisfying and it inhibits enjoyment and creativity to be constantly worrying that I might be waking up the kids. I know it sucks, but a headphone setup is the only way I've found to be able to really get the volume down and enjoy the sound.

Amp sims and studio monitors can sound great. But for my situation even that is too loud if is to be clearly heard over the acoustic sound of the guitar.

I am amazed people can get it done using guitar speakers. Either they have a different idea of bedroom volume, or I'm really heavy handed :dunno
 

ewheel

Member
Messages
202
I low volume practiced yesterday through a silverface Champ with a Timmy and it sounded great.
 

signine

Member
Messages
337
My Vox Lil Night Train does bedroom/TV volume just great, even through a Vintage 30. I couldn't ever gig with it, but it's more than loud enough to piss off the neighbors dimed, and sounds great at volumes that don't wake up the 12 month old sleeping on the other side of the apartment.

The neat thing is that it *does* take pedals well, and the tone controls once you've clipped the bright cap let you get a pretty impressive range. With an RCA Cleartop 12AU7 as the "power" tube, a JAN GE 12AT7WA in the PI and a GE 5751, the bass/treble controls let you go from Vox icy jangle all the way into Fender warm territory.

It also has a headphone out, in case you need to be really quiet.

That said, this is after some pain. I've done lots of tube rolling, I've clipped the bright cap, I've fiddled with this thing for a year to get to this point, and the master volume on it is finnicky at best. Put it at 9:00 when the gain is dimed on thick, and put it at 1:00 with gain at 12:00 on bright...and you have slightly louder than TV volume on both.

My next amp is probably going to to be its 2nd generation big brother, I like it so much. I've heard that the NT15H has a great master, from people who also like the NT2H.
 

JamesT

Senior Member
Messages
6,230
I have a 64 Vibrolux Reverb and usually sit 4 feet from it and pedals and volume are great.
 

LPBlues

Member
Messages
276
For bedroom levels I play a 1 watt Marshall offset (on the 1/10 watt setting) and I use an OCD, TS9, Way Huge Aquapuss, BOSS fender reverb and a Dunlop JH mini fuzz. They all sound great. Those pedals are also good with my Champ and heavily attenuated Remedy but neither of those are TV level...

I have a VOX DA5 that I bought for camping (it can run on batteries), with tons of built in effects but it sounds like crap compared to my tube stuff. Plus to turn on/off an effect you have to turn a rotary selector. I'll take the foot pedals whenever the option is available.
 

TheBuffalo

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,726
Funny I find bedroom amps to absolutely necessitate pedals. When my kids are sleeping I have my princeton reverb on 2 or 3 and a timmy pedal to simulate tube overdrive. It's not ideal and it doesn't sound perfect but nothing does at that volume. The main thing to learn is to use the volume knob on your guitar.

I just got a new peppermint fuzz and its actually even more fun to play at whisper volumes because of the bias and volume knob it sounds really cool

I know if there were no such thing as pedals I wouldn't even bother playing while my kids were asleep
 

59Vampire

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,598
Just find a tech 21 trademark ten. You won't need any distortion pedals, you will cover, Marshall, fender, and boogie tones all at mouse fart volumes.
 

warren3333

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,646
The best amp I have played for home use is the Tone King Falcon. 12 watts and three seperate channels (BF, Tweed and Marshally OD) plus the Iron Man Attenuator made it the Carr Mercury killer. Very flexible at any volume

The truth. Spot on.

A week ago I had an 'amp day'. Up to £2500 to spend, I went to 2 great dealers to find an amp that could accompany my existing Redplate CDS2.

Tried nearly all of the Dr Z range. Love their looks, customer back up, excellent supportive forums... but they just left me cold, and were way way too loud for my home use.

Whizzed an hour towards the excellent Coda Music (Im in England), and tried the following;

Carr Sportsman
Carr Impala
Tone King Sky King
Two Rock SP35
Swart
Tone King Falcon

I walked out with a (gorgeous) red Falcon. Without a doubt, THE best home amp that I have ever used. So much fun, so easy to dial in. Only 2 knobs, and the Ironman has to be played to be believed.

In all honesty, I have since swopped the Falcon for the Carr Sportsman. But this was a pragmatic decision - the Sportsman is one of my favourite amps ever, and id been offered an awesome deal (and they wife had sanctioned it !)

But rest assured, I will be back for the Falcon. Mind blowing, stunning amp... And no pedals needed.
 

warren3333

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,646
With two small kids, a modest sized home, and a warden of a wife I have been trying to find a good answer for this situation too.

If you are really talking about TV levels, and I don't mean movie theater levels. I mean keep it down the kids are sleeping levels, you're not going to get very much louder than the guitar is acoustically. I find that unsatisfying and it inhibits enjoyment and creativity to be constantly worrying that I might be waking up the kids. I know it sucks, but a headphone setup is the only way I've found to be able to really get the volume down and enjoy the sound.

Amp sims and studio monitors can sound great. But for my situation even that is too loud if is to be clearly heard over the acoustic sound of the guitar.

I am amazed people can get it done using guitar speakers. Either they have a different idea of bedroom volume, or I'm really heavy handed :dunno

Im with you. One 'bedroom' thread elsewhere talks repeatedly about a Dr Z Maz 18... Utter nonsense at true bedroom levels.

As per my earlier post, TK Falcon will attenuate to whisper levels...
 




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