Behind the Curtain (5w amps mic'd offstage - can you tell?)

s360guitarist

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,239
Hey,

Recently I have been struggling with stage volume, and in an effort to get the right mix for all concerned at the church where I play a couple times a month, I offered to move my amp offstage. (There is a large curtain at the back of the stage that hangs from ceiling to floor. Behind that curtain there is a stairwell that leads to closed off portions of the church. I place my amp behind the curtain at the base of the stairwell that leads up and away from the stage.)

We use an Aviom system where each person has their own mixer to blend in the band mix that they want to hear. I use in-ear monitors/headphones and dial in the mix I need to hear - usually the lead vocal, the acoustic, and the kick drum.

My main amp is a 90's Ampeg Reverberocket RI loaded with a C-Rex. With this amp I have no real issues as I can get a good clean base tone to start with for pedals. My second amp is an awesome 5e3 Tweed Deluxe clone loaded with a WGD Green Beret, and made by TGP's own Hot Tube Tone. In an effort to diminish volume I have it loaded with 6K6's to take approximate volume down to 8 watts. With this amp I cannot get the sweet spot dialed in enough without too much volume bleeding out from behind the curtain. This is not an issue for me, I could care less how loud it is. If the amp volume from the stage is too loud the sound guys typically pull our amp out of the front of house mix altogether. Yes, all dynamics are then lost when you want to play soft then loud kinda stuff. I end up looking like a stripper dancing to no music.

My question, finally, can you close mic a small 5 watt amp that typically has an 8-inch speaker with a sm57 and get a a decent all around tone? I of course realize you can't put a 5e3 next to a 5f1 on stage and get the same sound, but if they are in another room and being piped in through the mix, how big a difference are we talking?

Details: In my pea brain I have in my head to pick up something like a Swart 6v6SE, Tungsten Mosaic, Victoria, Fender Champ, etc. etc. etc. Want to stay away from 1 watt amps...although my hero here in town makes those Bambino's! (I am aware that I could get some of the above with a 12" to make things easier tonally, and lastly, I could get a small attenuator for my 5e3.)

Details that make the question tricky: I have a 4 month old at home that really does not care much for my dialing in the sweet spot on my 5e3.

What say you folks!?!
 
Last edited:

jamesrsmith

Member
Messages
864
i have a bad cat mini watt, 5 watt amp with an eminence copperhead speaker, sounds great mic'd up. it also has a direct out line also,, if you can use the direct out it will sound exactly like it sounds coming from the amp.
 

Telecaster62

Member
Messages
3,484
I do small bar gigs all the time with a little Gibson GA-5 reissue mic'd. It sounds huge out front and is plenty loud enough on stage for me to hear. I keep it on an amp stand about 3 feet directly behind me. A small amp can be pushed to it's sweet spot without being stupid loud. When you mic an amp that is at its sweet spot it sounds FAT out front. I love this setup and use it a lot.
 

Mullenski

Member
Messages
1,348
I play the same type of gig you do -- church, Avioms, want to keep stage volume down, etc. My amps are a Mesa Express and Budda Superdrive. The Budda is just plain loud and the Mesa is too, even on the 5 watt setting. Attentuators are my friend.

The THD Hot Plate is outstanding and has a line out. Sounds great, except at -16db where the effect on tone becomes pretty apparent. Am also using a Dr. Z Brake Lite. Not as much attentuation as the Hot Plate, but enough to get by. No affect on tone.

Caveat -- when I say "doesn't affect tone" that is in a live setting with plenty going on and an audience that is not there to critique every nuance. Recording; would be a different story, but probably no need to knock down the volume.

Good luck.
 

iambloomsurf

Member
Messages
165
both electric guitarists at my church use enclosed speaker cabs on stage... I recently talked to one of them, and he said the AC30 he playes through is completely cranked, but with the enclosed speaker cab, he's completely covered up by the electric drum set, acoustic guitar, and female vocalist... I seriously can't stand the sound at most churches due to the fact that everything is so turned down and covered up. I used to play bass at a church I was attending, and I couldn't even hear myself while standing right next to the amp!

Now that the rant is over, I saw a reasonably priced jet city enclosed cab on MF the other day.... Believe $400 was the price tag. Maybe give it a looksey.
 

vbf

Member
Messages
4,970
I consider myself extremely fortunate to play in a large church with a professional engineer running sound. All of our amps (mine, acoustic, and bass) are on the platform and we use DI's. We're able to do that because the acoustic players amp, and my amp as well, have speaker outs. I use a Blackstar HT-40 and the simulated speaker output is really good. The amp sends a fixed-level signal to the board via DI regardless of how loud my amp is set. The amp's tone controls are affected in the simulated speaker out but not volume. So I can fully adjust my amp' volume to everyone's satisfaction and I get great tone whether I'm playing clean, using pedals, or using the amp's overdrive channel. Whereas the other solutions offered may work well for you, it may be worth considering the Blackstar HT-40 because it sounds fabulous and can work extremely well in a praise and worship setting. Here's a picture of our sanctuary:

sanctuary3.jpg


Here's a picture of the sound area in the balcony (boards have recently been replaced with Heath and Allen's)
SoundBooth.jpg
 

s360guitarist

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,239
Thanks to all the commenters so far! A lot of good points of view/suggestions.

There really are a lot of options out there for low powered amps, and many more than those I threw out there in the original post.

As for the sound guy buying you in the mix, well...it makes things really tough.
 

LJOHNS

Member
Messages
936
I am also in a similar situation. I use a Fender Super Champ XD because it has the line out feature. I turn the amp up to 2 and that's it. I am looking at some other options for some different sounds this year. I have even thought of going with a POD HD.
 

Ekluksdahl

Member
Messages
1,100
Get a Reason Bambino man. They sound killer and work great at 2 watts



Hey,

Recently I have been struggling with stage volume, and in an effort to get the right mix for all concerned at the church where I play a couple times a month, I offered to move my amp offstage. (There is a large curtain at the back of the stage that hangs from ceiling to floor. Behind that curtain there is a stairwell that leads to closed off portions of the church. I place my amp behind the curtain at the base of the stairwell that leads up and away from the stage.)

We use an Aviom system where each person has their own mixer to blend in the band mix that they want to hear. I use in-ear monitors/headphones and dial in the mix I need to hear - usually the lead vocal, the acoustic, and the kick drum.

My main amp is a 90's Ampeg Reverberocket RI loaded with a C-Rex. With this amp I have no real issues as I can get a good clean base tone to start with for pedals. My second amp is an awesome 5e3 Tweed Deluxe clone loaded with a WGD Green Beret, and made by TGP's own Hot Tube Tone. In an effort to diminish volume I have it loaded with 6K6's to take approximate volume down to 8 watts. With this amp I cannot get the sweet spot dialed in enough without too much volume bleeding out from behind the curtain. This is not an issue for me, I could care less how loud it is. If the amp volume from the stage is too loud the sound guys typically pull our amp out of the front of house mix altogether. Yes, all dynamics are then lost when you want to play soft then loud kinda stuff. I end up looking like a stripper dancing to no music.

My question, finally, can you close mic a small 5 watt amp that typically has an 8-inch speaker with a sm57 and get a a decent all around tone? I of course realize you can't put a 5e3 next to a 5f1 on stage and get the same sound, but if they are in another room and being piped in through the mix, how big a difference are we talking?

Details: In my pea brain I have in my head to pick up something like a Swart 6v6SE, Tungsten Mosaic, Victoria, Fender Champ, etc. etc. etc. Want to stay away from 1 watt amps...although my hero here in town makes those Bambino's! (I am aware that I could get some of the above with a 12" to make things easier tonally, and lastly, I could get a small attenuator for my 5e3.)

Details that make the question tricky: I have a 4 month old at home that really does not care much for my dialing in the sweet spot on my 5e3.

What say you folks!?!
 

s360guitarist

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,239
Get a Reason Bambino man. They sound killer and work great at 2 watts

Like I said above, he is a bit of a cult hero in my book. I took my main amp, the Ampeg Reverberocket RI that he designed for St. Louis Music, back to him here locally to put it back to original specs. (EL34's). It is tops in my book.

The Reason line is great...but I would have to dump the 5e3 to fund a used Bambino Combo...and that open up a whole new discussion really:

Do I sell the 5e3 to fund of one the boo-tek amps previously mentioned in this thread and often in this forum, or do I just pick up budget friendly amp, say a Vox Pathfinder or Valve Jr. that is a decent amp at lower volumes and keep the amps I have.

Isn't this fun!?!

EDIT: The Bambino is cool, but I want a Bambino with the normal channel and that is it. I want a Pro Jr. that doesn't hiss and comes in at 5w...seems like an awful lot to ask huh?
 
Last edited:

christhered

Member
Messages
393
Like I said above, he is a bit of a cult hero in my book. I took my main amp, the Ampeg Reverberocket RI that he designed for St. Louis Music, back to him here locally to put it back to original specs. (EL34's). It is tops in my book.

The Reason line is great...but I would have to dump the 5e3 to fund a used Bambino Combo...and that open up a whole new discussion really:

Do I sell the 5e3 to fund of one the boo-tek amps previously mentioned in this thread and often in this forum, or do I just pick up budget friendly amp, say a Vox Pathfinder or Valve Jr. that is a decent amp at lower volumes and keep the amps I have.

Isn't this fun!?!

EDIT: The Bambino is cool, but I want a Bambino with the normal channel and that is it. I want a Pro Jr. that doesn't hiss and comes in at 5w...seems like an awful lot to ask huh?
check out the red iron 5 watter. may be your bag in this case.
 

silentbob

Member
Messages
1,540
If you already like the tone of your amp, why not try an iso box? Building one has to be less expensive than trying to find a low power amp with tones that you like.
 

s360guitarist

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,239
Thanks all for the good ideas/leads.

Silentbob - thanks for the idea of the iso. See note about baby in the OP...oh where does the time go?!? :)

Picked up an attenuator last night off of the emporium. Just want to see if I can take it down just a notch - maybe that will do the trick.
 

jkokura

Member
Messages
895
One thing that should be noted is perceived volume versus actual volume.

When it comes to watts indicated for power volume, everything doubles in volume at 10 times the wattage. That means a 20 watt amp is approximately twice as loud as a 2 watt amp. A 200 watt amp is twice as loud as a 20 watt amp. That means that if you're running an 8 watt amp, a 5 watt amp isn't going to be that much different. If you were running a 15-22 watt amp, a 5 watt amp could be a small difference, enough to solve the problem you're seeing.

If it were me, I would say that you could look at either the Princeton or Champ circuits, but the Deluxe tweed circuit you have with the lower wattage isn't going to be that much of a difference that it somehow fixes the problem you have. You may just find that for a particular amp the sweet spot will come in at a lower volume. You may even find that switching to a Blackface type 5e3 will fix the problem, as Tweed amps tend to need to run a little hotter to get a great sound in my opinion.

Another option may be to look at an iso cab for you amp. Then you can run just about any combo amp, mic it, and it doesn't matter what the volume is, it's all the same to the Front of House.

To clarify, I use a silverface Vibro Champ these days. I also play with a guy who has a tweed deluxe and a tweed princton, and blackface princtons, deluxes, twin, and a bassman. He also has a real '59 Bassman which is just about unusable live. I know how these amps work in live, church situations. He uses the Blackface Deluxe often, with the Tweed deluxe coming in second. If he needs less volume he goes with the blackface princeton. Mind you, he runs them at full power, unlike yourself.

I really, really like the Champ circuit. At full volume I can still have a conversation over it if it's not right next to me. It's super small and easy to move as well.

Jacob
 




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