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Can't gig with my 20 watt head. What am I missing?

dukeh62

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,438
Sounds like the issue is more with your band mates needing to control their volume more than anything. I gig with an AC20, as well, and have much more volume than I would ever need.
 

Stephen0351

a Gazillion watts!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
471
I am not an expert regarding tube amps, however, I have read over and over that, in theory, my 20 watt tube head shouldn't be all that quieter than my 100 watt head and that I will mainly gain headroom and punch with the extra wattage. However, this is not my experience in practice. What am I missing?

I had a chance to take my Morgan AC20 to a couple of gigs recently with other players on drums, bass, other guitar (acoustic) & vocalist. I could scarcely hear myself, even with the power scaling off and the masters at 11 o'clock (no volume increase after that, just more breakup). It was not a problem to hear boosted solos (TC spark). Guitar was fender classic player. I should mention that the cab was on the floor, but angled against the wall so that the speaker pointed directly at my head.

In comparison, if I try to play my 100 watt plexi style head wide open I quickly become both deaf and incontinent if I continue to stand next to it.

As an experiment, I hooked up the Morgan to my plexi's 412 but there was no change in the volume differential between the amps. It was waaaaay more than 3dB, or whatever they say. So not just a question of speakers.

Am I doing something wrong? I would love to be able to gig with this little 20 watt wonder.

Thanks.
Fryette Power Station 2
 

Matt Sarad

Member
Messages
973
I'm using a Victoria Tweed Deluxe and a Tele at my gig this Sunday. Will have a Sennheiser 906 right in front.
 

Frank67

Member
Messages
1,566
I find my Marshall SV20 stupid loud. I cannot imagine not being able to hang with a band using it - haven’t tried though. I guess not all 20 watt amps are created equal.
 

GUITVOX

Member
Messages
149
We're back to this again....
I've got different sized amps for different jobs with live band work, unfortunately with some styles of music a 20w will not keep up with the dynamics of a drum kit played, unless the room size dictates a low sound level and the band behaves themselves.
I have a rule of thumb I use for band member size. If there are two guitarists I need at least 30+watts to get dynamic control. If there's keys possibly 50watts. Bass drums and guitar two 15watt combos.
Overall for me, the biggest decider is the power size of the pa and room size.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,489
We're back to this again....
I've got different sized amps for different jobs with live band work, unfortunately with some styles of music a 20w will not keep up with the dynamics of a drum kit played, unless the room size dictates a low sound level and the band behaves themselves.
I have a rule of thumb I use for band member size. If there are two guitarists I need at least 30+watts to get dynamic control. If there's keys possibly 50watts. Bass drums and guitar two 15watt combos.
Overall for me, the biggest decider is the power size of the pa and room size.
this. 12 / 20 / 35, plus a mic does it.
 

amstrtatnut

Member
Messages
13,102
I wonder if it’s an EQ thing. If you’re hearing boosted solos, it may be because of the eq change that is letting you cut through the mix. Perhaps the normal voicing is getting sawllowed by other instruments in the mix.
I saw a friend using an ac30 and they were loud but, he was inaudible. Makes me think AC type amps may not fare as well in volume wars. I could be wrong.
 

DonaldDemon

Member
Messages
9,557
It definitely depends on the amp AND cab. I had a Mesa Express 5:25 that couldn't get loud enough if I used it into my 16 ohm 4x12. When used at 8 ohms into my 2x12 it was doable. You would think the 4x12 would be louder but the impedance held back the power. It wasn't a very loud amo overall anyway. My little OR15 can hang with a band easily if you don't need cleans or if you playing outdoors, then it's 50 watts at a minimum unless miced properly. Overall, I prefer at least 40 watts and up.
 

dangeroso

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,613
I’m shocked how many people apparently play gigs without a PA. It’s not even about volume as much as it is about sound distribution and mix.
 






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