Walls of Marshalls - how

hangten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,185
for reals
we left the last Dino Jr show I went to because it was too loud.
I mean WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too loud.

I heard them soundcheck, heard the guitar without PA, sounded great - loud but fine.

Opening band played, then Dino came out and they absolutely cranked the PA.
Sold out show, my pants legs were moving in a full crowd (meaning plenty of bodies to absorb the sound).

we stayed for 2 songs, too loud even with earplugs.
not cool.
 
Last edited:

MrBobP

Member
Messages
10
So, in the old days when rock'n'roll was loud and we did no wear helmets when we went out with the rubbish bin bands would sport these huge, typically Marshall, stacks on the podium. Walls of those things. I saw Slayer one of those days and there were 30+ 4x12 Marshall cabs on the stage.

Of course, we know that today we can make way better sound with just one or two cabs and perhaps without a cab at all. Today's stages are mostly empty and while the change in style has something to do with it, it surely has technical reasons, too.

It always bothered me, however - how was the bloody thing WIRED? Did they use some kind of s split and ran the signal through 10 Mashall heads? Seems like a nightmare to me.
A small number of heads feeding several boxes? Sometimes it almost looked like those things were dummy empty boxes just for a show.
One head for the pre-amp and the EQ + a rack of "dumb" power amps?
All I can speak to is the only Marshall I have owned, a JCM-900. The amp had 2 outputs, main and extra speaker box, BUT, the trick here is that the amp had 4,8/ 12 and 16 ohm settings. The cab had a second jack to "daisy-chain" cabs. So, with that configuration, you can chain 4 cabs at 4 ohms to each output. Wired in "series", this would add 4 ohms to each additional cab and set your swich accordingly. If you want more cabs past that, just "line in" to 2 other amps from the end of that chain and power4 more per "side". More likely, you "line out" from the amp to the mixer and put as many empty cabs on the stage as the stage can hold.
 

Decca

Member
Messages
8
See my sig picture

Used a double 4 X 12 that my cat would use as a heat source

I used the wall of sound for about 10 years


Absolutely nothing like it
 

NonHormonic

Member
Messages
21
The Dead's Wall of Sound has been mentioned but really answered. Was it REAL? Every speaker connected? What did they use for power?


1
 

Hulakatt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,713
we left the last Dino Jr show I went to because it was too loud.
I mean WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too loud.

I heard them soundcheck, heard the guitar without PA, sounded great - loud but fine.

Opening band plated, then Dino came out and they absolutely cranked the PA.
Sold out show, my pants legs were moving in a full crowd (meaning plenty of bodies to absorb the sound).

we stayed for 2 songs, too loud even with earplugs.
not cool.

The Joy Formidable was about this loud when I saw them a few years ago. Even with plugs in and finding a spot up front and underneath the roar of the mains, I still had a bangover for 3 or 4 days.

I'm at the point with my tinnitus that I'll only risk it for a very small number of bands including:
the Red Elvises
the Joy Formidable
Weezer
the Black Keys

I'd say the Beastie Boys but I think that dream is long gone :(. Not getting to see them live is one of my few concert regrets and I got to some pretty cool shows in the 90's.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,873
The Dead's Wall of Sound has been mentioned but really answered. Was it REAL? Every speaker connected? What did they use for power?


1
My understanding was that it was McIntosh at times, and maybe Dynakit at others? You could hang 4 cabs off the 4 output of one of those, so it wouldn't have to be a huge amount of amps. And I can attest that 200w of CLEAN power is just WAY too much. I was playing a 100w Marshall into a 412 cab today, with -20 earplugs it was fun. Same ear plugs, a Sound City Pa200 into a 215 with JBLs? Just painful and things falling off shelves all around the room. Not fun!

It's worth mentioning that you can't just daisy chain a bunch of amps by plugging into one input of one and running out the input of another from just your guitar. The initial input has a 68k input impedance on a Fender head (for example). The more you put in line, the more you drop the impedance and increase capacitance with resulting loss in treble and volume...
 

Geetarpicker

Member
Messages
2,905
It’s worth mentioning that early late 60s through mid 70s Marshall 100s had four speaker jacks. Hooking up four 4x12s was possible.
 

atarilovesyou

Member
Messages
368
Malmsteen's tech told me he only ever is playing out of two cabs, left and right. Can you imagine how **** it would aound if somebody tried to play through them all?
 

hangten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,185
The Joy Formidable was about this loud when I saw them a few years ago. Even with plugs in and finding a spot up front and underneath the roar of the mains, I still had a bangover for 3 or 4 days.

I'm at the point with my tinnitus that I'll only risk it for a very small number of bands including:
the Red Elvises
the Joy Formidable
Weezer
the Black Keys

I'd say the Beastie Boys but I think that dream is long gone :(. Not getting to see them live is one of my few concert regrets and I got to some pretty cool shows in the 90's.
Saw the Beasties 14 times in 1994 on a couple weeks of Lollapalooza - they crushed it every time...
Nick Cave too.
 

Peacenik

Member
Messages
17
NonHormonic said:
The Dead's Wall of Sound has been mentioned but really answered. Was it REAL? Every speaker connected? What did they use for power?

My understanding was that it was McIntosh at times, and maybe Dynakit at others? You could hang 4 cabs off the 4 output of one of those, so it wouldn't have to be a huge amount of amps. And I can attest that 200w of CLEAN power is just WAY too much. I was playing a 100w Marshall into a 412 cab today, with -20 earplugs it was fun. Same ear plugs, a Sound City Pa200 into a 215 with JBLs? Just painful and things falling off shelves all around the room. Not fun!

It's worth mentioning that you can't just daisy chain a bunch of amps by plugging into one input of one and running out the input of another from just your guitar. The initial input has a 68k input impedance on a Fender head (for example). The more you put in line, the more you drop the impedance and increase capacitance with resulting loss in treble and volume...
The Dead’s Wall of Sound was all real And an engineering feat never to be repeated. Each instrument had its own bank of amps and cabs and Phil even had knobs added to his bass to control separate signal paths.

Macintosh power amps provided the overall power section. There’s lots of info on it if you do a search.
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,846
the Red Elvises

That’s a name I haven’t heard since probably the late 90s - great live show!!
 

Hulakatt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,713
the Red Elvises

That’s a name I haven’t heard since probably the late 90s - great live show!!
Consistently one of the best live bands I've ever seen. Easily one of the most entertaining. They usually tour the states once a year and are pretty thorough.
 

Butch1970

Member
Messages
263
View attachment 317980
Kevin Shields was another one. The weird part was he would walk past listening to each cab while playing. It was just astonishing because he’s admitted he’s lost most of hearing currently, I mean appreciate trying to get “the sound” but damn.
MBV at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC was probably the loudest show I've ever been to . They were handing out earplugs as you walked in to the venue.
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,846
Consistently one of the best live bands I've ever seen. Easily one of the most entertaining. They usually tour the states once a year and are pretty thorough.
yeah I’ve only seen them in the States ... which is not that often, since I don’t live there :-(
 

OldBones

Senior Member
Messages
105
Alice in Chains p2 pulled the wall of fake cabinets trick when they opened for Velvet Revolver in 2007. You could see movement through them too. It was shameful.
 

Microdot

Member
Messages
465
NonHormonic said:
The Dead's Wall of Sound has been mentioned but really answered. Was it REAL? Every speaker connected? What did they use for power?



The Dead’s Wall of Sound was all real And an engineering feat never to be repeated. Each instrument had its own bank of amps and cabs and Phil even had knobs added to his bass to control separate signal paths.

Macintosh power amps provided the overall power section. There’s lots of info on it if you do a search.
 




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