Does "Big Iron" matter at lower volumes?

VICOwner

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,890
This is a vague question. No amplifier description included. An amplifier needs the properly sized transformers for it’s intended application and performance.
 

DeadLazy

Member
Messages
1,267
I vote yes, it does.

But my Dr Z Maz 18 is one of my all tome favorites and I think hangs with any amp.

For Plexi type amps I really want 50 watts. 50 or 100 but I prefer 50.

The SV20 and PT20 and those amps are great, but I notice. And that means: at any volume I can tell a difference.
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,209
I started a thread on this. I included clips, but they are cheesy iPhone clips, so not exactly scientific. Playing, the feel is a lot different.

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...-glass-vs-small-iron-tiny-glass-clip.2144742/

Another angle on this, I was playing through my Two Rock Sensor (50 watts) for a few weeks, which has good sized transformers but gets its goods from the preamp tubes. Going from this bouncer amp to the THD Bivalve, which gets its goods from the power tubes, the difference in response is huge. I almost have to change the way I play to get back on track with the Bivalve, it is that different. The Bivalve wants me to go into Strat #4 position and get SRV type tone.

So, I think, big iron amps can sound like small iron amps in their bounciness. The small iron THD Univalve is very similar in tone to the Sensor, but the bottom end breaks up on the Univalve but not the Sensor ... which holds everything together. I actually wish the low end on the Univalve would break up more and be done with it ... like a Champ.
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,303
I compared a 66 fender bf champ, 69 fender bandmaster reverb, and 72 fender twin reverb all through the same 4ohm 212 cab and my clear favorite was the twin reverb, just sounded bigger and warmer, especially compared to the champ and this was running all with the guitar volume up and volume on the amps low.

Since then I find I get much better results running the amp volume up and guitar volume down, at least for the bf/sf fenders. Vox amps are different and I find I need to keep my guitar volume at 8 or higher, versus a fender where I can run the guitar volume below 5.
 

Surgeon

Member
Messages
1,422
Yep, they will sound different. To me they sound better.

I know that small amps can be loud enough for many situations. Using bigger amps, for me, is not about volume (unless we're talking sub-5w small) it's about the tone.

Smaller amps have always been a compromise for the worse for me. I've owned a LOT of them and always end-up selling them and turn back to my big amps.

If they work for you great, you've never had as many choices as you do now. As for me, I doubt I'll ever own anything smaller than 50W anymore.
 
Last edited:

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,413
I always bring a Marshall 4x12 to coffee shop blues/jazz gigs. If it's more than a couple miles away, I demand the venue provide it as part of my backline.
It's even better if you bring two full stacks. I can really clear out a coffee shop quick with this thing. Once the customers leave I can really crank it.

 

Todd1357

Member
Messages
186
It depends what you're after. Obviously you don't need the volume offered by the big iron in this situation. But I feel there is a broader bandwidth that comes along with a bigger transformer that is audible even at lower volumes. For sure it will be noticeable between a twin and a champ. But I can even hear this between my dual showman and my bandmaster w/ a bassman transformer. There's a punchier low and more crystal highs to the Showman transformer.

And you can't discount speaker size, as mentioned above. A 12 inch speaker is going to have a broader bandwidth than an 8 inch speaker.
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
39,551
It depends what you're after. Obviously you don't need the volume offered by the big iron in this situation. But I feel there is a broader bandwidth that comes along with a bigger transformer that is audible even at lower volumes. For sure it will be noticeable between a twin and a champ. But I can even hear this between my dual showman and my bandmaster w/ a bassman transformer. There's a punchier low and more crystal highs to the Showman transformer.

And you can't discount speaker size, as mentioned above. A 12 inch speaker is going to have a broader bandwidth than an 8 inch speaker.
100% agree with all of this.
 

Surgeon

Member
Messages
1,422
It's even better if you bring two full stacks. I can really clear out a coffee shop quick with this thing. Once the customers leave I can really crank it.

Hey, even when I play an unamplified acoustic gig I insist on having a 4x12 on stage...
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,739
It is noticeable over a smaller amp even at the lower levels.. but if you're at home recording a lot of the bass and low end you probably will EQ out in the end. I think 'big iron' is more satisfying to play through no matter what, but nothing wrong with smaller amps for practicing/recording in 99% of scenarios. It really just depends on what satisfies you as a player.
 




Trending Topics

Top