Low watt amp question...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by wondermoose, Jan 25, 2008.


  1. wondermoose

    wondermoose Member

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    I play relatively small gigs, 50 -500 people at the extremes. I have been playing through a 38w Maz Sr. and a 30w modded Peavey Classic. I've been thinking about getting a Cub IIr 15 watt, but I am a little worried about playing out with an amp with such low wattage. I am concerned about maintaining sparkly cleans whiel turning the amp up enough to get a good mix. We have a great sound guy and obviously my amp/amps are mic'd.

    I just wanted you guys to chip in some thoughts on the pro's and cons of "club-playing" with a lower wattage amp. Thanks!
     
  2. justonwo

    justonwo Supporting Member

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    I would buy an attenuator before doing anything, especially if you like the sound of those amps. It's the cheapest solution - you can always buy a used Hot Plate and flip it if it doesn't work out.

    And, frankly, I think an attenuated amp sounds better than a low wattage amp.
     
  3. wondermoose

    wondermoose Member

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    Well I am just really liking the tone of the Bad Cat Cub that a friend has, but I just have reservations concerning the wattage. Any of you guys out there gigging with 15w give or take a few?
     
  4. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    Not me, but Neil Young has been doing so in front of audiences of thousands for decades... a little 12-watt Deluxe (okay, so maybe his is souped up to 20 watts or so with 6L6s). Of course, as far has electric tone goes, he's not really known for clean.

    If the amps are going to be miked either way, I honestly wouldn't worry too much about the 15-watt one being too quiet. The actual difference in maximum volume between a 15-watt amp and a 30-watt amp is really quite small. The difference in headroom might be a little greater than the difference in volume, but still not that great (at least if you compare amps with similar circuits).
     
  5. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    A good tech can most likely outfit your Maz with a half power switch.

    That would be your least expensive solution.
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    I fear that the Cub 15 won't stay clean enough for you at stage volume...FFTT's 1/2 power tubes idea is great,..or buy a Hotplate,,,they work great
     
  7. wondermoose

    wondermoose Member

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    Now I am looking into the Divided by 13 CJ-11. I played one a few months back and loved the clean tones. But now we are talking 11 watts.
     
  8. ptecat

    ptecat Member

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    Home is where the guitar is!
    You could check out a Cage Corsa. Full up it is 30 watts but has a 1/2 power switch down to 15 for extra versatility. I played an outdoor gig on the porch of a nearby historic building. It was run through a 1X12 cabinet with an 80-watt Celestion and I had to go half-power because 30 watts was too much. It has great cleans and takes pedals well. Check it out at:

    www.audiocage.com

    Pete is excellent to deal with and he has some clips to listen to.

    Good Luck
     
  9. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Silver Supporting Member

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    I have the same two amps (my MAZ is a head) and I'm looking for the same thing you are. I want to follow the thread to see what you turn up with. Are you looking for a Marshall or Fender sound? Single coils or HB? BTW, the MAZ & C30 are both great amps.
     
  10. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    The Reeves Custom 30 with power scaling may be a good choice for you
    giving you 35 watts of KT66 Hiwatt headroom with a bit of JTM 45 flavor.

    The Custom 18 also comes with power scaling built on EL84's
    delivers about 20 watts.

    The Suhr Badger comes now 18 or 30 watts, also with their version of power scaling.

    I still think you should at least try the half power switch on what you have first.
     
  11. ScioBro

    ScioBro Supporting Member

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    You'll be OK with the CUB IIR
    Its a loud 15 watts.

    I have Matchless Lightnings (Sampson's "predecessor" to the CUB)
    you can't turn them all the way up unless you're at a loud gig...big room.
    And yeah then it'd be too dirty too. Not that big a deal to mike and amp for louder clean sound with a 15 watt amp. In my situation, small room gigs far outweigh the quantity of big ones

    Go play the Badcat....loud.
     
  12. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I love Bad Cat Amps, but I think you'll be much happier with
    the Reeves Custom 18 for clean headroom and versatility
    with the power scaling.
     
  13. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    I'm confused... I thought the OP was concerned about not having enough clean headroom, but not concerned about having too much volume. Did I read this wrong?
     
  14. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    The most common problem in a live setting with a low power amp is the
    players ability to maintain reasonable clean headroom over live drums.

    If you have high end in ear monitoring it's not such a big deal
    but if you're having trouble hearing, you play harder and that
    makes it infinitely more difficult to control your attack thus
    driving the smaller amps into distortion.

    Personally, I'd rather have 18-30 watts to work with and be able to control
    the cleans with the guitar volume knobs when I need those cleans.
     
  15. wondermoose

    wondermoose Member

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    Thanks for that. I was trying to gather some info on the pros and cons of using a low wattage amp in general, but I already have the low watt amps I like in mind. Headroom is my concern. I like sparkly fender cleans and I use an RC booster to get a little hair if I want it.

    I'm using an Anderson Hollow T Classic with M1's and an Atom with M1's in the neck/middle and an H2A in the bridge. I basically love the tone of the amps that I have found and I just wanted to know if:

    1. They will break up too early

    and

    2. If mic'ing the amp will solve the problem
     
  16. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    The CJ11 is a very cool amp, but unless your sound man can feed you a good monitor signal, I'm afraid you'll have trouble hearing yourself in a live setting.

    You could elevate the CJ11 onto an extension cab or stand and get it closer to your ears as another solution.

    It really depends on how advance of a sound system you're working with.

    If you can't hear the amp, you'll end up with it dimed and playing too hard
    to get any cleans.

    If you love the tone of your Maz, I'd spend an hour or so bench labor for a half power switch mod first and see how you like the results.

    I would just hate to see you spend $2000.00+ for a new amp when you already have a great one.

    If you're local Divided By 13 dealer is close by, perhaps they could bring the CJ11 and
    maybe the RSA 23 to your rehearsal space for a trial run.
     

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