Is my amp playing too loud?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by chris_dk, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. chris_dk

    chris_dk Member

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    Hello there!

    I am starting to wonder if my amp is playing too loud, and if I'm not getting the benefit of a tube amp as much as I should.

    I have a Traynor YCV40T 2x10". I have replaced the original Celestion Tube 10's with two Eminence speakers - a Copperhead and a Ragin Cajun. I did this to increase the clean headroom of the amp. The original speakers only had a sensitivity of 96 dbs, whereas the new Eminence speakers are 99 and 100 dbs.

    Now I have A LOT of volume in the amp and also enough clean headroom, but I never get to turn the volume past halfway - otherwise my ears would probably start bleeding! So I tend to have the volume from 9 - 12 o' clock.

    I actually like the sound of the amp, but am I missing out on something when I run the volume so low? Is there anything to do about it? Or should I consider going for a smaller amp?
    It just seems kinda wrong to me that I only use half the available volume...

    Right now it's equipped with 3 x 12AX7 JJ tubes in the preamp, but I have also tried a NOS 12AY7 in V1 and a NOS ECC81 in the V3 (splitter) position. This made the amp a little more quiet, but I actually think I prefer the sound with the JJ AX7's.
     
  2. jtindle

    jtindle Member

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    12 o'clock is 50% of full volume correct? I would think that would have the tubes cooking enough to sound really good. Maybe not 9 o'clock though.

    If you drop down in wattage you'll lose the clean headroom that you desire.

    Jeff
     
  3. Zuper

    Zuper Supporting Member

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    Every amp has a sweet spot. Very rarely is it running full-on. If it sounds good, it is.
     
  4. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane apolitical Silver Supporting Member

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    It sounds like you were lookin for clean headroom and you've got it now. 12 o'clock is usually more than 50% volume. Many tube amps don't go much louder than 1 or 2 o'clock. After that, they just distort more.

    Your amp doesn't care how you set the knobs. If you want more distortion, turn the amp up more and turn down the volume control on your guitar.
     
  5. cap'n'crunch

    cap'n'crunch Member

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    Yeah, but,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, turning down the volume on the guitar "cleans" it up.
    ????
     
  6. chris_dk

    chris_dk Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    Yes that's correct! It only gets too 50% rarely though - and that's when we play really loud...
     
  7. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane apolitical Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes it does. The idea is that you turn the guitar back up to get distorted sounds. If it's too much volume for you, turn the amp around to face the wall.
     
  8. chris_dk

    chris_dk Member

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    Thanks! But wouldn't it be a compromise in sound quality to turn it against the wall - i.e. when playing live.

    Also, I have always been running my volume control on my guitars at max, since I was afraid of losing some quality soundwise in a cheap guitar-pot...
     
  9. RCCola

    RCCola (|@ / \ @ |.) Gold Supporting Member

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    Not necessarily. Apparently, Roy Buchanan used to do this with his Vibrolux Reverb. Only one way to find out - try it. It'll of course have different effects in different venues. If you find you don't like it, you can just turn it back around :)

    Another tip I've read (not tried) is to point the amp across the stage instead of toward the audience.

    Anyways, one of your first questions was "am I missing anything" and the answer is "depends." You're not getting output tube distortion, but it sounds like you don't want that. So, yes and no - you're missing something you don't want.

    You're also not getting output transformer saturation and compression, but, again, sounds like you might not want that. You said you're happy with the sound, so that's what matters.
     

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