What amp for low volume tone/feel at full band volume?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pnak, Jan 4, 2008.


  1. pnak

    pnak Member

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    I was at band practice last night and the bass player and I was discussing the good tone I was getting while just noodling at low volume. when I turn the amp up for practice it kind of lost that woody tone and feel that we heard at low volumes.

    I am playing a Carvin V3 on 50 watt setting, not really known for great tone but pretty versatile for cover tunes. Im plugging it into a Avatar 4x12 with Vin 30's and 70th anniv GH30's in a X pattern.

    Its hard to describe what were hearing but I'll try.
    At low volume everything sounded smooth and woody. As the volume went up to play with the Band, the tone wasnt smooth anymore and a bit harsh and sterile.

    Any recammendations on amps that sound great at any volume.
    I was looking at maybe trying out a Mesa Lonestar Classic.

    For further info on my equipment I play a Alder body strat type with a Dimarzio chopper in the neck and a SD JB humbucker in the bridge.

    Any one out there have a suggestion.
     
  2. Ascension

    Ascension Member

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    Fender Prosonic.
    Use the class A tube rec 30watt setting for the lower volumes and switch to the tube rec A/B 50 watt mode or the 60 watt SS rec mode when you turn up. The Prosonic has more gain on tap than my Carvin MTS, Hot Rod Mod X100B, Legacy or Valvemaster did. The Prosonic is a Fender Custom shop Bruce Zinky design and is NOT your typical Fender.
     
  3. pnak

    pnak Member

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    I was starting to think that my ears were playing tricks on me.

    I will try the prosonic out next time I'm at GC.
     
  4. Roodboy

    Roodboy Supporting Member

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    I owned a V3 half stack for a year and was constantly tweaking it.
    Maybe you are having fletcher munson effect issue. My pea brain understanding of this is that at low volume the ear hears mids more prominently. You may want to crank up your mids a bit more and try to re eq the amp and maybe back off the presence a bit.
    Do you notice the same problem regardless of if you are in intense, thick or the other mode?
     
  5. pnak

    pnak Member

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    I think your correct in that at low volumes the smoothness of the low mids is what i'm hearing and taking a liken to. When turned up the high mids and prescence of the amp is taking over.

    Ive spent and wasted a lot of time tweaking this amp to only come backafter a day or two and tweak some more. Tube changes and different cords you name it.
    I have convinced myself that I need to find another amp that maybe is voiced more with the lower mids as an emphisis or maybe just shut up and play.
     
  6. strumminsix

    strumminsix Member

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    What settings did you change to get your "low volume"???

    Without that you will only get guesses.

    Here are 2 bits from me:
    1 - look up the fletcher munson curves and how midrange responds to volume increase - if you just turned your amp down.
    2 - if you used your guitar volume do you have a cap across the pots to ensure you don't lose highs as you roll off the volume?? If not then you know that reducing the treble is part of the mix...
     
  7. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Micing the amp at low volumes seems like the easiest solution. It's possible though that your ears are perceiving the sound differently at different volumes too.
     
  8. guitardr

    guitardr Silver Supporting Member

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    A cpuple of ideas...
    1. I use a Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special 1-12" combo for most jobbing/low volume rehearsals/reording. With it's various power/rectifier settings, it does a good job.
    2. A bit beefier is the Bogner Shiva 2-12" combo, and it can breathe a bit more fire but still be controllable.
    You didn't specify what style(s) you play or types of music, but with the fx loops & adjustability: the two above amps do a nice 30-80 watt job. And they come in various combo/head configurations. Plus the warranty factors too.
     
  9. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    More ideas:

    The smoothness of the MIDS are still there, but once you turn up, they may be overwhelmed by highs. Try taking away treble or presence. As usual, it's tweaking...I used to use a light grease pencil with my Mesa, at low volume HERE, at band volume HERE for the same tone...

    EP
     
  10. pnak

    pnak Member

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    thanks forn the help, I really appreciate it.

    We play everything from Country to Blues to Rock.

    Ill start tweaking alittle tonight and use the grease pencil method.

    Its the amp volume that I use and I do have the cap across the guiatars volume so not to lose highs when rolled off.
     
  11. strumminsix

    strumminsix Member

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    pnak, did you read up on the fletcher munson? what you are experiencing is how mids are perceived as you turn up.
     
  12. pnak

    pnak Member

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    I just read alittle about the Fletcher Munson Curve.

    Tell me if this is right :
    At low volumes I'm hearing more of a scooped mids thing going on, while at louder full band type volumes the upper mid frequencies are increased therefore giving me that shrill, sterile type tone.
     
  13. Randy Van Sykes

    Randy Van Sykes Member

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    Vox AC15HW or Peters Polaris 20 watt combo! ;)

    I'm finding 15 - 20 watt EL84 combo's are just perfect for gigging.
     
  14. Terry Hayes

    Terry Hayes Member

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    Good thread!

    I have dealt with this myself. As a result, I still tend to play at a pretty low volume. I usually roll of the treble a fair bit as the volume goes up. Plus, using some kind of plexi shield and/or "Beam Blockers" to disperse the highs helps as well.

    Terry
     
  15. mmorse

    mmorse Member

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    Everyone seems to be ignoring the elephant in the room. Those V30s can get rather nasty when the volume goes up. Don't forget the cab's contribution to overall tone. Speakers aren't linear. They aren't going to sound exactly the same being fed a lot of signal as they do when given a little.
     
  16. strumminsix

    strumminsix Member

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    Yes! Basically. AS you turn up the flatter your EQ becomes. So if you have a decent volume at rehearsal volume then you turn down you will sound scooped which is very pleasing to the ear. So as you turn up you need to drop the mids some and up the bass a tad.

    Try this!
     
  17. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    +2 on Fletcher Munson
     
  18. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I would think the best way to accomplish this would be with a high power amplifier. The reason is you wouldn't be pushing the power section as much which would help to keep the tone from getting too ratty.
     
  19. pnak

    pnak Member

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    This is great! FLETCHER MUNSON CURVE!
    I wasnt just imagining this. I wonder if this Fletcher Munson curve has any affect on the amps feel out louder volumes.
    I also sense a looser feel at lower volumes and a bit stiffer at higher volumes. Maybe this is just the amp.
    Through my research on getting a new amp I'm leaning towards something with a tube rectifer that will tend to feel looser.
     
  20. pnak

    pnak Member

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    Ive been running the amp at 1/2 power, 50 watts, Maybe tonight while tweaking I'll try the 100 watts.
     

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