Low volume recording amp

Messages
4
I need some help!
I am looking for a low volume recording amp that doesn't compromise tone at lower volume.

So far I am considering Maven peal, Dabeck, and awaiting news of the 12watt straub amp. I would like a good variety of cleans and cranked tones. the amp must sound cranked convincingly at low volumes though. Some ot the 10 to 18 watt amps get too loud for my use when they reach that point. After half hour listening carefully to the tone at hat level, I am guessing more than I can actually hear the character.

I know some people on the board have used some of them / all of them ? Any comments, comparisons between those makers would be greatly appreciated. Please rate their ability to deliver at low volumes. Any suggestion is welcome.
Thanks alot

Jeangeniemusic
 

redjet55

Member
Messages
254
this has been discussed many times....

My opinion is that what you want in the way you imagine it does not and cannot exist, for many reasons.

Compromising your needs/wants can get you close
 

GAT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,807
I would look at a Swarts, check out Fat Sound's site.
 

Deaj

Member
Messages
4,674
I was on this search for quite a while. I'm now using a Fuchs ODS 50 for low volume recording with fantastic results! It has better low volume tones than any amp I've played or owned. The magic is in the preamp and the tone and response of the amp at very low volume is incredible. Lots of sustain, notes still bloom into harmonic feedback, subtle nuances in your technique shine through as a core element of the tone.

The following clips were all recorded late at night a few rooms away from my wife and son without disturbing them.

Low volume clip 1
Low volume clip 2
Low volume mic test 1
Low volume mic test 2
Low volume mic test 3
Low volume mic test 4

The last four clips are pretty much the same amp settings using different mics.
 

KenSea

Member
Messages
128
Originally posted by Deaj
I was on this search for quite a while. I'm now using a Fuchs ODS 50 for low volume recording with fantastic results! It has better low volume tones than any amp I've played or owned. The magic is in the preamp and the tone and response of the amp at very low volume is incredible. Lots of sustain, notes still bloom into harmonic feedback, subtle nuances in your technique shine through as a core element of the tone.

The following clips were all recorded late at night a few rooms away from my wife and son without disturbing them.

Low volume clip 1
Low volume clip 2
Low volume mic test 1
Low volume mic test 2
Low volume mic test 3
Low volume mic test 4

The last four clips are pretty much the same amp settings using different mics.
The amp sounds good and your playing is absoluetly soulful. I think it would have sounded great through a Fender Deluxe reissue even. Thanks for the short but nice clips
 
Messages
7,411
I think the Maven Peals are your best bet - run 'em through an attenuator at low power settings, you get cranked or clean amp sounds at marginally more than conversational volume.

His power knob isn't a master volume or an attenuator - it really does let the tubes cook, just lowers the power down to 1-watt (which is still reasonably loud - that's why I use an attenuator too).
 

emjee

Member
Messages
2,870
I love those fuchs clips! AND your playing is outstanding.
Thanks for the samples!

Matt
 

Roodboy

Member
Messages
1,469
+1 on the maven peal, my Tuskadaro sounds great clean and cranked at low volume and cranked volumes. It may be the best sounding amp I have played through, but then again I'm still in the honeymoon stage.
I have only had it for @ a month and am still amazed at the non mv Marshall tones. Blows away my 74 superlead, which got sold for this amp. I plan on picking up a pair a 6l6gc's for the bassmanish tones.
FWIW 1 watt may be louder than you might think and I still knock it down between 4db and 8db in the house.
 

Scottone

Member
Messages
1,525
Make sure that you check out the Stephenson amps as well. I have a custom amp from him (based on the LJ-15) that is great at all volumes. This amp utilizes London Power's PowerScale circuit to provide variable output power from a few milliwatts to 30 watts.

Reeves is also building a PowerScale equipped amp now, but I haven't heard that one.
 
Messages
144
I was just looking into the Stephenson LJ10 amp, specifically for the power scaling option.

Scottone, do you have any clips of your amp with the power scaling in action?? And does it really do what it claims: great tone at whisper-soft levels??
 

Scottone

Member
Messages
1,525
Originally posted by wishywashyfishy
I was just looking into the Stephenson LJ10 amp, specifically for the power scaling option.

Scottone, do you have any clips of your amp with the power scaling in action?? And does it really do what it claims: great tone at whisper-soft levels??
I don't really have the means to record a clip at the moment. The amp does produce nice low volume tones, however you don't get the effect of speaker break-up at the lower volumes so it's not an exact replica of a higher volume tone (assuming that you use speakers that do break up...I use Greenbacks).

Late a night, I like to set the amp up so the volume is only slightly above the unamplified electric volume and set to give the appropriate amount of breakup. I works great in this mode, and is much more satisfying that playing unamplified like I did before.

This is my 3rd power scaling amp, as I've had 2 generations of the London Power Studio amp and this one.
 
Messages
144
Originally posted by Scottone
I don't really have the means to record a clip at the moment. The amp does produce nice low volume tones, however you don't get the effect of speaker break-up at the lower volumes so it's not an exact replica of a higher volume tone (assuming that you use speakers that do break up...I use Greenbacks).

Late a night, I like to set the amp up so the volume is only slightly above the unamplified electric volume and set to give the appropriate amount of breakup. I works great in this mode, and is much more satisfying that playing unamplified like I did before.

This is my 3rd power scaling amp, as I've had 2 generations of the London Power Studio amp and this one.
Thanks Scott. This sounds like what I might be looking for. I like to play at "conversation levels" most of the time.

How's the build quality?
 

Scottone

Member
Messages
1,525
Originally posted by wishywashyfishy
Thanks Scott. This sounds like what I might be looking for. I like to play at "conversation levels" most of the time.

How's the build quality?
Build quality is excellent. It has a really funky 50's tube hifi look to it that I personally like.
 

chubbywolf

Member
Messages
399
I would definitely consider the Dabeck 18watt head. A truly great amp. I own a Dabeck Custom 50watt head, and have played the 18watter. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Chubbywolf
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
6,215
I've got a Stephenson LJ-10. Here's a little clip of me playing the Brothers In Arms outro solo rather sloppily. The setup was Fenix LP (Mastertone active pickups) -> Digitech Bad Monkey (level high, gain low, EQ flat) -> Stephenson LJ-10 -> 1x12.

Miced with a Sennheiser E609 -> SB Live soundcard. Due to time constraints I did the solo in like three parts which causes the changes in tone in the end..mic placement changes and I think I also experimented with the preamp tubes. The volume was at very ear-friendly levels (. Some reverb was added in the recording software.

http://www.saunalahti.fi/laxu/huu/thatsolo.mp3

BTW, tonedaddy, does the attenuator (set for load) -> poweramp -> cab setup retain dynamics better than an attenuator set for -12db or more attenuation -> cab setup? Because that's the only thing that really bothers me about attenuators..the tone gets more compressed the more you attenuate. Power Scaling doesn't do that.
 




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