Big Amp On A Small Stage

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by billthemountain, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. billthemountain

    billthemountain Member

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    I own a Twin Reissue, and although it's too strong for some of the small places we play, I'm trying to wrap my head around head space.

    If I play at a small room volume (at 4) I know I'm not getting any of the Fender tone (which starts to happen around 6-7).

    But if I'm relying on my Tube screamer pedals for tone (and don't mind not getting the fender natural overdrive), then am I really missing anything out of the amp at 4?

    In other words, would you still recommend a smaller amp?

    Thanks. Looking forward to your opinions.
     
  2. MrTAteMyBalls

    MrTAteMyBalls Member

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    Have you considered an attenuator? You could crank the amp up to 7, and bring it down with the attenuator after the power section.
     
  3. The Funk

    The Funk Member

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    How clean do you want to be?

    If you really want a dead clean, loud tone, a twin is a nice amp.

    But lets be honest here. In a small space you do not need that much amp. It doesn't get to breath at all, and if you are looking for natural overdrive, it will be deafening before it gets anywhere close.

    I often gig with an ampeg jet. Its 15 watts through a 1x12 and I get told to turn down.

    In a bigger room you will be miced, and if you are miced, you want to not mess up the sound guy by being too loud either. Basically your amp becomes a stage monitor, and you need a BIG stage for a cranked twin to be a monitor.

    So, yes. A smaller amp might be more useful.
     
  4. MickyZ

    MickyZ Member

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  5. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    big amp on small stage = bummer.

    the right tools, for the right job.

    an attenuator is a good compromise.
     
  6. geekocaster

    geekocaster Member

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    I would assume one would be better off getting a smaller amp than an attenuator? I mean won't the attenuator accelerate the tube burning out?
     
  7. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    No.
     
  8. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    no, +1.

    if you run your tubes loud....
    and then attenuate....
    you are running your tubes at exactly the same state.

    it allows you to drive your amp harder, AND if part of your sound relies on tube and transformer saturation, it will let you dial that in without the volume.

    the down side is, a lot of 'your sound' comes from speaker excursion and the dynamics of the speaker/cabinet interplay, as well as the volume interaction with your guitar.
    so, if you are playing 'lower volume', your rig will sound different.
     
  9. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Supporting Member

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    No an attenuator won't wear out your tubes faster....but yes, you would be better off getting a smaller amp with that money, IMO. In my experience playing with an attenuator sucks. I would choose a smaller amp any day of the week.
     
  10. dank

    dank Consummate Beatles Fan Supporting Member

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    I tend to use smaller amps with master volume, i.e., a Dr. Z Maz Jr. We often play small clubs, and we mic everything so as to get balanced sound.

    In the early '90's I had a Twin, and I had a master vloume circuit installed. It was footswitchable. I would kick it on for solos.

    Now though, small amps are the way to go.
     
  11. Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic Victory Member

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    I have a twin and often pull the two middle tubes out. Mine's a red knob--ugly and derided by many--but versatile because of a hi/lo switch.
    On the down side, then the wattage doesn't match up well with the speakers.

    My smaller amp--a Fargen Miniplex--is great for saturation in small room settings, but won't stay twin-clean and still hang with a drummer. (Though I've been told--and believe--it will with more efficient speakers.)

    The Fargen has London Power Scaling, which is like an attenuator, and works very well at making it even quieter.
     
  12. billthemountain

    billthemountain Member

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    To be clear, I'm not looking for the natural overdrive of the Twin. I like the tone of my pedals now and want them to be prominent.

    But I am looking for the clean tone to breath it's fullest. From the Twin users, it sounds like a 4 or 5 volume doesn't cleanly breath as well. It needs to be turned up more.

    Thanks for your opinions.

    Follow up question... If you were a fan of the Twin, what smaller 35-40w amp would you go for?
     
  13. SkippyD

    SkippyD Member

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    Pro Reverb would be my first choice of a "light" version of a Twin.
     
  14. lspaulsp

    lspaulsp Gold Supporting Member

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    *****Twins are a great platform for pedals.*****
    Twins do not sound like Fender's they sound like TWINS. Loud, Clean, Minimal Break-up, and great Reverb.
    Vibrolux, Vibro-Verb, Deluxe Reverb, or a Pro might do ya.
    Silver face Bandmaster is a sleeper but 4ohms.
     
  15. burns

    burns Member

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    I've had a couple of Twins and at 4 they were way too loud for a small club! Attenuators don't do much for Fender clean (at least to my ears). Re-think your amp strategy. Pro Reverb (or Vibrolux) would be my choice too.
     
  16. Alambler

    Alambler Member

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    I did this for years on a reissue and silver face twins and never had any problems. It doesn't get you there like an attenuator would but closer.
     
  17. robare99

    robare99 Senior Member

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    I have a 100W JCM800. I get most of my tone from my BOSS ME5. The amp just kinda colors the tone, and I keep it quite low, ALWAYS mic'ing.

    No big deal.
     
  18. mixwiz

    mixwiz Member

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    I have a super sonic which puts out nice chimey Fender tones. It's not as loud as a twin but close. They now make a 22 watt version. Haven't tried one but it might be worth a listen.
     
  19. ~sounddjinn~

    ~sounddjinn~ Member

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    A really nice sounding, inexpensive amp that works great for small gigs is the Peavey Classic 30. They sound better than the cheap Fender amps. You can get them used on ebay for like $300 ~ I bought one for back-up and was shocked at how good it sounded, especially after putting good glass in it. The Carvin Nomad is a great little bar amp too.
     
  20. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    I had a '65 Twin back in the day. The thing was very loud and heavy, but it was before amps were commonly miced, and we played loud. I didn't use it for small clubs but in auditoriums and outside festivals were I could turn it up. And even then it was still a pretty clean sounding amp with little distortion. I didn't use pedals back then but I do today. IMHO, a Twin is a great amp for places where you need to be loud ( outdoor festivals ). But for most of my gigs, I'm using either a Vibrolux Reverb or a Fuchs modded DR. Both have plenty of volume and remain clean enough. We don't play nearly as loud as I used to. There is no need to, unless you're playing outside. And even then, with micing the amp and good monitors, you still do not need to play loud, even outside. I'd say a medium wattage amp, 15 to 40 watts, is usually all one ever needs. There are lots to choose from.
     

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