Who likes how their amp sounds pointed directly at them?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Webfoot, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    We practice in a small rectangular room that is well padded. We all angle our amps up towards our ears so we don't play too loud and to avoid sounding like mush. However our amps sounds harsh this way (I know beam blockers etc.) and I just don't like it.

    Does anyone practice or gig with an amp pointed directly at their ears (amp stands, tilt back etc) and it sounds great for either cleans or distortions? Or is it beamy, harsh., funky, etc.

    What amp are you using?
     
  2. scottywompas

    scottywompas Member

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    I usually try to dial my amp in so it sounds best poitned directly at me. I know some guys dial it in standing over it or to the side of it then hate it when they step directly in front of it.

    I try to make sure I like what is coming directly out of it so I know exactly what someone sitting in the audience is hearing.


    Scott

    Mesa MkIV by the way.
     
  3. kurtsstuff

    kurtsstuff Member

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    Usually about 5-6 feet to the left for me w/back to the amp
     
  4. mcgriff420

    mcgriff420 Member

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    I've been gigging like that for nearly two years -combo or cab on a tilt back stand in front of me beside the monitor. Not one of those big stands just the little square tube ones on the floor.

    I won't go back to having it behind live me unless I'm forced to due to space constrictions.

    Currently using a 70th ann. H30. (swapping it for a 50w ceramic blue).

    I run the amp just a little off axis to me -not square on, and haven't found it too beamy, mind you they are open back cabs/combos.

    When I practice the amp is behind me but I feel like everyone else is hearing more of my guitar than I am. And I get way too much of the other guitarists amp -because it's behind him pointing at me.

    The amps I'm refering to are the Gainstar 30 112 combo and the Alessandro in my signature. Plus I'm using a tele and a strat - not exactly dark guitars.

    ..
     
  5. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    I like to know what it sounds like. Especially if it's going to be mic'd. Makes it easy for the soundman to get my tone to the audience.
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, where I live now the gigs are smaller, so my amps aren't miced through the SS much, so the amp has to be in back of me...I do use a Beam Blocker, but I've found one of the biggest differences to be the Scumback speakers...That and the high end amps I use..see signature...just are great to listen to....That's why I've spent the $$ I have on them..You can really hear the difference in the highs/harmonics bottom ect.....I also use a door stop to tilt the Budda combo back...a great tip I got from a fellow Gear Pager
     
  7. Buddy Boy

    Buddy Boy Member

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    Leo put those tilt back legs on for a reason.
     
  8. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    I get a serious dose of this every time I practice with my "loud" band. And it is not conducive to rehearsal enjoyment !

    If I'm gigging and being miked through the PA, then I'll like to have the cab pretty much pointing straight at my head. I can then hear a good approximation of what the mic is picking up and sending to the soundman.

    I haven't gigged using my own amp/cab as the main guitar sound source for years and years, but I will have to soon, as I have joined a new band which is intending to do this. It will surely be a whole new ball game, as the amp/cab will then have to be set up facing the audience and EQed to suit them, not me. To be honest, I'm not looking forward to it. I've been very spoilt for many, many years with good PA systems and a good soundman.
    My intention is to set the cab up behind me, at about waist/chest level if possible (on a table ?), pointing straight out to the audience. That would seem to be the best compromise between the impracticalities of siting a cab up at head level, and me hearing a reasonable tone and the sound getting to most of the audience OK. It all seems like a big compromise however you do it. :puh As I said, I'm not looking forward to it.
     
  9. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I think that's more about the speaker than the amp. Some speakers, mostly the high powered ceramic magnet types like an EV are punishing to listen to directly on-axis. I've found that the lower powered alnico speakers are much easier on the ears if you have to point the amp at your head.

    I don't often recommend gear that I've had a hand in the development of, but the hemp cone Tone Tubby has easily the most forgiving on-axis response of anything I've heard to date, and they sound great with gain and effects. High gain, musical presentation of digital effects, and tight monitoring are that speakers strong points.

    I don't have those tight on-axis monitor requirements, try to stay away from the directly on-axis thing if possible (nobody else is listening to me directly on-axis, why should I?), and I'm partial to the old JBL stuff mostly.

    Anyway, if it's giving you a rash, split the difference. If it's an open back combo, turn it around. If it's a sealed enclosure, that's part of your problem; they're beamy. If you like your amp onstage and don't like it at rehearsal, borrow some little amp from somebody and don't worry about it.

    If you want to throw some money at it, get a little single 12 cab with tilt back legs, a hemp speaker of some description and a power attenuator.
    One of those will do ya, but I'd try pointing it somewhere else a little first.

    peace
     
  10. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    Good ideas... sometimes I am so bummed I want to just toss the amp in a lake somewhere. I have ordered the weber 12F150 but am somewhat apprehensive as I have also liked alnicos over ceramics in my past life... but never really compared them for a direct-on sound.

    You would think everyone making amps would test them this way.
     
  11. Plague Dog

    Plague Dog Member

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    I've tried to point the amp at my head, right in front of me... I can't stand it.
     
  12. Terry Hayes

    Terry Hayes Member

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    These are very good suggestions. One thing that works for me is to use a plexiglass screen. This deflects the sound so that the audience essentially hears what I hear and I set the amp accordingly. If I don't have something like that with me for some reason, I try to point the amp so that no one is in the direct line of fire - this includes other musicians.

    Terry
     
  13. 3 Mile Stone

    3 Mile Stone Silver Supporting Member

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    I've noticed that almost no professional guitarists that I have ever seen in DVD concert performance or live ever have thier amps pointed at thier heads. Good enough.
     
  14. Terry Hayes

    Terry Hayes Member

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    I think that is often times true.

    About the only consistent, professional-level exception to this would be the Grand Ole Opry. Of course this is different than many other high-profile gigs in that (apart from the headliners) the guitar players with most artists use the house amps and need to hustle on and off stage quickly after playing 1 (or at most 2) song.

    Terry
     
  15. Mr. G.

    Mr. G. Member

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    I use a Traynor YCV50 Blue with a Vintage 30 on an amp stand, and love it. I recently tried it on the floor, and it almost made me gag! I don't have the amp pointed directly at my head, but it's pointed in the general direction.
     
  16. cochese

    cochese Supporting Member

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    It's a good way to go deaf having your amp pointed at you. The human ear is not really eguipped to listen to that kind of volume for any length of time. A microphone can handle quite a high spl your ear just can't. When you play live you have to usually compete with a drummer and usually your volume gets adjusted to that level. After that you have to decide if you are trying to project your amp to the room or if you are mic'd the soundman takes care of that.

    I would say if you know that your hearing is intact (meaning you've had recent hearing tests performed by an audioligist) you are in a much better position to jusge the tone of your amp. I usually set my amp up to my liking and then wear custom earplugs. I also use a plexiglass baffle to prevent the sound from beaming at the audience. When you record a great deal you really begin to learn how your amp will sound with various microphones and how they should be positioned on the cab. If you're in a situation where there is very little space I find it helpful to sometimes place my cab on a milk-crate.
     
  17. DejavuDave

    DejavuDave Member

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    There's no absolute answer to this for me. It depends on the amp, the cabs and speakers. I will say I don't like it when I don't like what I hear when it's pointed directly at me. When that happens it's usually because the cab is too beamy. In that case Weber Beam Blockers do the trick.
     
  18. SGNick

    SGNick Member

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    I depends for me as well. Last time I played live, all the amps were provided full stack Krankensteins(yuck!) and they were tall enough that they were almost at ear lever anyhow.

    When jamming, we try to stand somewhere with the bass amp facing the drummer, the guitar amp facing the recorder, and the drummer... well thats about it.

    I think pointing the amp towards you is a great way to avoid volume wars.
     
  19. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    Here's my present gigging amp. I've used it live now for about 3 months. Don't
    have to turn the volume up any louder than 5 1/2. I use it for all my venues, from small to large clubs, and all concert venues. I just set it in front of me tilted back, and I hear all it need to hear. All the tones I use are overdriven so I don't need a crystal clear clean tone.

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  20. candh

    candh Member

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    Can't stand it....I hate guitar in the monitors, too.
     

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