Walls of Marshalls - how

Echoplexi

Gold Supporting Member
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10,083
I played a gig with the band Jucifer. They tour in an RV, and they had cabs all the way across the stage from floor to ceiling. I recall a rack of power amps or something behind the wall. The other guitarist and I had one full stack each, but these guys were LOUD!

edit:
Here’s a pic of their backline
 

zenas

Member
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8,767
As legend has it the first Marshall "stack" was made at the request of Pete Townsend, he wanted 8x12 cabs instead of just one 4x12 cab. The 8x12 was pretty cumbersome so he wanted them cut in half and Jim started making the straight cabs and the "stack" was born. (of course Pete switched brands after that but that's another story)
That was like 1965 or so, PA systems pretty much sucked and you needed a bunch of speakers to handle a powerful amp anyways, because speakers then couldn't handle much power. So it all made sense to begin with. Remember the Beatles couldn't even hear themselves playing over the screaming kids back then, they stopped touring.
By the 70s PA systems and speakers had come along way but people just expected to see those huge stacks of amps. You wanna have a rock band, you better look like an effing rock band, and that means a wall of amps!
How many of those acts used dummy cabs I don't know, but Marshall was a marketing genius. Get your name out in front of people and they'll buy your amps. It's that simple. If the guitar player actually had an old tweed Fender, or whatever, off stage MIC up through the PA, or played a Marshall or three, it didn't matter. By the 80s it was hair bands, pretty much all about putting on a show and that means stage props. Hell most of the guys in those bands were props!
I don't know if Marshall actually built the dummy cabs or not. Kind of an interesting subject really but I'm not inclined to research it.
And I'm not saying everyone used them ! ! !
 

Fulldrive-1

Member
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5,824
a lot of those 412 cabs int he 80s were for show and not plugged in. Cream in 68 is probably another story...

That's right. All these amps are working 100%.

experiencemay69.jpg



ETA: With four-jack Marshalls, you can jumper the inputs and daisy-chain them with short guitar cords.

N.B. to OP: Most TGP'ers have never, and will never, play a really big rig loudly. I didn't have a Wall; but for punk gigs and other large stage and outdoor shows I ran a 100w into 4x12, and a 50w into 4x12. You'd think you could hear that rig into the next zip code, but outdoors or in a larger venue it's really not all that loud. I still needed (?) to mike up almost everywhere. There's something anomalous about 150 watts of Marshall power running eight 12-inch speakers, and only miking one of those speakers, but there it was.
 

woodymq

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
132
for reals
The craziest thing about Mascis’s rig isn’t the 4 full stacks - he also has a full Hiwatt stack to his right, but not pictured above. No, the craziest part of his rig is the Fender Twin at face-level and full blast that acts as his stage monitor for his rig. He’s gotta be pretty close to completely deaf at this point. Even with plugs in, Dino Jr are brutally loud live.

E702B4A6-CB17-41CE-B2D5-72B76A6848CA.jpeg
 

jnovac1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,482
a lot of those 412 cabs int he 80s were for show and not plugged in. Cream in 68 is probably another story...
yep i saw them in san diego. also saw the original ramones at the bacchanal in san diego, medium sized club. 3 marshall stacks i‘m sure they were all active. absolutely unbearable volume.
 

JSutter

Member
Messages
322
Watch some rig run downs. There are plenty of "secrets" shared.

Slayer's Kerry King runs multiple amps to multiple cabs in such a way it sounds right to him as he walks around on stage, without blowing his ears off.

AC/DC, has like a dozen amps going at once.
 

Crash-VR

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,058
Watch some rig run downs. There are plenty of "secrets" shared.

Slayer's Kerry King runs multiple amps to multiple cabs in such a way it sounds right to him as he walks around on stage, without blowing his ears off.

AC/DC, has like a dozen amps going at once.
Wizard amps do say the line out is for amplifier ganging. The thought of a dozen Wizards going is insane.
 

Reno Chavez

Member
Messages
83
The craziest thing about Mascis’s rig isn’t the 4 full stacks - he also has a full Hiwatt stack to his right, but not pictured above. No, the craziest part of his rig is the Fender Twin at face-level and full blast that acts as his stage monitor for his rig. He’s gotta be pretty close to completely deaf at this point. Even with plugs in, Dino Jr are brutally loud live.

View attachment 317833
Yeah, they are Motörhead loud.
 

teemuk

Member
Messages
3,180
Those old huge rigs look impressive but sound horrible. Back in the days you couldn't hear Jimi Hendrix singing if he plucked the strings at the same time and you certainly couldn't make out how great his tone was from all that deafening roaring. ...and I can't even imagine phase delays of Grateful Dead's "wall". I am quite glad we have come forward from those days because you can actually enjoy and hear the music -clearly- now.

Last time I saw a doom band performing with cranked full stacks I couldn't even hear anything but LOUD screeching noise and windows rattling. Every second of every song sounded the same. Distorted mess that is. They probably thought they sounded great just because they were louder than every other act that night. I know not to waste money to their concerts in the future.
 
Messages
183
The craziest thing about Mascis’s rig isn’t the 4 full stacks - he also has a full Hiwatt stack to his right, but not pictured above. No, the craziest part of his rig is the Fender Twin at face-level and full blast that acts as his stage monitor for his rig. He’s gotta be pretty close to completely deaf at this point. Even with plugs in, Dino Jr are brutally loud live.

View attachment 317833
Agreed, saw them in Denver at the bluebird (1000 people sized club). J was definitely louder than the PA. Pretty sure the mics on the cabs were just for show.
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,273
Yes, usually just daisy-chained. "But how can an input be an output?" is usually where the confusion comes from. The deal is that inputs on an amp are basically in parallel so any signal on one is paralleled on the other. In a rig that was more than two amps (sometimes you'd see something like 4 smaller amps) there might be an extra box so that the signal didn't get loaded down by too many parallel splits, but that's all it is.
 




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