Using combo amps turned 180 deg around

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by AlRob, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. AlRob

    AlRob Member

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    I've recently been experimenting with turning the combo amps I use around 180 degrees and getting the sound mostly from the rear of the speaker. So far I'm loving the sound and find that it helps me play cause I'm loving the sound so much. I play in mostly small bars and clubs where there is usually no choice but to locate the amp directly behind. Our band plays blues , blues/rock, and some classic rock. In general, I hate the direct sound of speakers within close proximity, turning the amp around seems to create a more diffused sound and to my ears sounds much, much better. So far I've tried this with my Victoria Regal and my Fender Super Reverb with a strat that cuts well. Both sound great this way. The only minor problem is getting to the controls on the Super Reverb - not a problem with the Regal cause they're on top. I've tried the beam blockers and the "Mitchell Donut" but just turning the amp around has been a great discovery for me so far. We've also got good feedback from listeners. (our other guitarist has turned his amp around also)
    This might not work well in larger clubs/outdoors or with extremely loud bands.
    I was curious if anyone has tried this and can share there experiences?
    Much appreciated.
     
  2. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I've done this......bounce the sound off the back wall in a smaller venue.....lets you crank the amp more than usual and can sound really good.
     
  3. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Isn't being a guitar player great?? So many ways to personalize sounds.

    I've done some recordings with the back of a combo mic'd and it gave the recording a really unique vibe.
     
  4. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    I read an old article that claimed Les Paul passed this trick on to Hendrix for mic'ing combos in the studio.
     
  5. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    if you have an open back combo cab the volume effect would be minimal. The phase of the speaker you are directly hearing is different (you could get that by swapping the wires on the speaker. I'm not sure I really get the benefit. For a closed back speaker cab, totally get it...
     
  6. Rockyrollercat

    Rockyrollercat Member

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    lol I bought that for a second there.

    I find standing directly in front of your speaker gives you the most accurate indication of how well you're playing.


    RRC
     
  7. Terry Hayes

    Terry Hayes Member

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    I have been thinking of trying this as well.
     
  8. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

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    I've never found a benefit to doing this, but Roy Buchanan was noted for facing his Vibrolux backwards.

     
  9. AlRob

    AlRob Member

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    hmmm, are you sure the phase would be different? the phase is the speaker moving in and out in time. You could wire your speaker either way and you wouldn't notice a difference. I don't believe it will have any effect on the sound coming out the back or front of the speaker.
    As an example, you can have two speakers wired out of phase which will create the audible effect of phase cancellation - one speaker is moving out while the other is moving in.
     
  10. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    kimock has gone into great detail about the effect of overall rig polarity. by itself, i wouldn't hear a difference just from polarity reversal, but the guitar will sustain and feed back in a different way.

    flipping an open-back around would indeed reverse the polarity of what mostly hits you (which is the sound coming off the back of the speaker now).

    either way, since the sound out the back of a speaker cone is usually just as loud, you're likely mostly hearing the difference from the interference of all the "stuff" back there, the back panels, the speaker baskets and magnets, etc.
     
  11. Gris Gris Man

    Gris Gris Man Member

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    You'd get the same effect in terms of polarity by simply moving the amp a few inches forward or backward. The only difference polarity can make is with reflected sound and that's so random that you'd never be able to isolate the effect. Likewise your timing when playing notes. The biggest difference is that the sound radiates differently from the back than the front simply due to the different physical characteristics of the front and back and the placement of the frame in between you and the cone.
     
  12. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    Well, that and the most directional sound waves (treble) are all rushing away from you, leaving lush warmness coming at your face.....

    May have to try it :)
     
  13. djy8131

    djy8131 Member

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    Do you compensate by turning up the treble?
     
  14. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    Phase is borderline irrelevant when you're using a single speaker. There's nothing for your signal to be out of phase with, other than the reflections of the same wave off other surfaces, and there are so many of those in a given room, you can't really expect to get them all in phase... nor does it really matter as their amplitude is so much lower than that of the waves coming directly from the speaker.

    I don't care who claims otherwise; knowing the science, I simply cannot get behind the "flipping the speaker phase on your 1x12 combo/cab will noticeably change your tone" mentality. Although I guess I can always sit and play with this when I'm using my Bad Cat, because it has a phase flipper for the speaker.

    That said, turning the amp backwards is something I've kind of resisted since lately I'm using a Tone King Imperial (which has a very open-back design). But I think I'm going to try it tonight. I keep getting told that I'm too loud but I'd rather not turn down much farther, because at that point I won't be able to set my OD pedals up in such a way that they work WITH the amp. And I really don't believe in using pedals to create dirt from clean tone, at least in the sense that I wouldn't expect the pedal to get my tone independent from my amp. When the amp and pedal work together, it's more of a change in the drive characteristics and the compression than it is dirt on top of a clean signal. Can't do that with an amp running at 2...

    If turning the amp around doesn't do enough, I guess it's time to look at plexi shields and/or attenuators.

    Of course, this is all because the drummer has recently decided to bring a fishbowl for himself, which really puts a lot of extra pressure on us guitar players to get our volumes down to stupid low levels. Which of course cedes all the power to the sound guy when it comes to my volume; not to mention, a huge component of my tone.
     
  15. AlRob

    AlRob Member

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    If I did it wasn't much. I was using my strat which is a fairly bright guitar to begin with.
    However, at one point during the gig I decided to go to my PRS DGT in full humbucker mode. It wasn't cutting it so that was it for the DGT for the night. I think I would have had to make some adjustments to the tone controls to get the DGT to work for me.
    I was using a Victoria Regal w one 15" speaker turned 180 into a wall about a foot away. It sounded great with the strat - I had a great time playin this gig with this arrangement.
     
  16. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    Buy early and often. I couldn't find the quote, but there's these at least.


    When Jimi Hendrix was planning his Electric Lady Studios in the late 60s, he went to Les Paul for advice.
    http://www.lespaulbiography.com/



    They knew each other and hung out some.
     

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