Who's gone from big amps to lunchboxes + Power Station?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by marshall2553, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. marshall2553

    marshall2553 Supporting Member

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    I have a few 50W and 100W amps along with a 2x12 and 4x12 that I really like. But I have a baby on the way, my gear room is overflowing and I have no real need for these big amps and cabs. It's not a volume thing, I play pretty loud and I like the feeling of moving some air. I mostly want to reclaim some space and downsize to something practical that still sounds good.

    So I'm considering selling off the big stuff and buying a few lunchbox heads and a nice 1x12. The only thing that makes me hesitate is that I've tried a couple of the Friedman mini heads in the past and, even though they sounded great, they did seem to miss some of the low end grunt that my higher wattage amps have. Even at lower volumes the big iron amps just sound bigger. But now I'm wondering if running them into a PS2 or the new PS100 would alleviate that. It would also give me the option of picking up a NMV amp like the SV20H.

    So my question is: who has made the switch from 50-100W amps to lunchboxes into a Power Station and how did it go? Does the PS let you dial in the grunt that some of these smaller EL84 amps lack compared to their big brothers?
     
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  2. 8len8

    8len8 Supporting Member

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    I use an Unleash for some 40 and 20W amps. Works great.
     
  3. chrishurley

    chrishurley Member

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    I think you might be pleased with it.

    I've got a Randall RM20 and a Peavey 6505MH that I've run through the PS-2. Both of these amps sound good within their limits but run out of gas in an unpleasant way when you crank them all the way up.

    The PS-2 has been effective for me in being able to put the amp where I want it in terms of the sweet spot for the power amp and then make it louder if I want. It keeps you from making the small amp strain beyond where it sounds good.

    I've also got an RM50 which I also like but it is often too loud for home use. The PS-2 works well that way also.

    Many people seem to like the PS-2 reactive load but I've seen a few people say they didn't. I have been fine with it.
     
  4. bluejaybill

    bluejaybill Supporting Member

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    The PS will give you a bigger sound, but if what you mean by "grunt" is an overdriven Marshall output stage, then I would say no.

    The PS doesn't distort, so if "grunt" is lacking in the original amp, it will not be present after the PS.

    But amping up definitely gives a bigger sound. I like to use a DR turned very low for a clean sound, and then amp it higher with the PS, it sounds like a larger Fender BF amp.
     
  5. marshall2553

    marshall2553 Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I’m only going for “bigger".
     
  6. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    Sounds like what is taking up the most space is you cabs. Might be worth getting rid of a few of those and keeping the big heads which can be tamed by the power station.

    I don’t think you will get the thump you want from the small amps in general, save for a few exceptions. I know my experience with my Mesa ta15 is that it always has less thump than any of the bigger amps, regardless of running it into a cab or Suhr rlir. Never tried the ta15 into the ps2.
     
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  7. Someotherguy

    Someotherguy Member

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    No real testing or tweaking, but I've run my Dirty Shirley Mini through the PS2 a couple times and haven't noted that it had any more big iron type grunt or girth.
     
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  8. marshall2553

    marshall2553 Supporting Member

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    Hmm, that's actually one of the mini heads that I tried a while back and felt like the 40W version had a bit more girth. I was hoping the depth and deep controls on the PS2 might beef it up.
     
  9. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten Member

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    Yes and no.

    For your purposes, think of the controls on the Power Station as Eq’ing more low end into a small amp in your DAW after recording it. You can get all the low end and “bigness” you want, but it doesn’t sound the same as the amp with a fuller sound to begin with. Now, many people prefer recording with small amps, so it’s not to say that you wouldn’t like a small amp + PS better. That’s possible.

    The other thing to understand is that the PS is a 50W amp (or 100W in the case of the new one). As clean as its power amp is, it still has limitations. If you’re really cranking the thing up near its volume limit, the tubes in it will start to saturate, compress, and color the sound. Again, you may or may not like that.

    Something a lot of people overlook when they move to lower wattage amps are the speakers. IMO, H magnet speakers are the way to go for players who play big amps and want to move to lower powered stuff. They have a response curve similar to a big amp (heavy in the lows and highs with more contoured mids). This is why the Celestion 75W Creamback and G12H30 are popular in low powered combos. If you throw a Greenback in a 2 EL84 amp, you’re pumping midrange into midrange. If you put a 75W Creamback in it, you’re pumping midrange into something that accentuates low end and clear highs. It’s a nice balance.

    The PS is a great tool. It may or may not be the ticket to shifting your gear around and remaining happy. But IMO, it’s the big picture that needs to be looked at (how loud you’re actually playing, how discerning your ear is about the “bigness” of the sound, and what speakers you plan on using).

    Hope that helps.
     
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  10. aynirar27

    aynirar27 Notable Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I think you will miss the bigger cabs more than the bigger iron. A cranked amp through a 1x12 doesn’t give the same thrill as a 4x12
     
  11. Matteo11

    Matteo11 Supporting Member

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    ‘That is really good advice. As much as I am on this site and how long I’ve been around here I had never heard/read or even thought about taking that approach with small watt amps. I got a couple H75’s laying around and am moving to small lunchbox amps myself and will definitely give that a try.

    ‘This is a bit off the main topic but...

    On a similar note to that I always hated V30 speakers (or so I thought) and pulled them out of every cab / combo I owned. I had a Shiva 20th and the guys at Bogner and guys on here swore by the V30’s with the Shiva. I never would try them because I knew I hated V30’s. I eventually/reluctantly swapped them out in my cab one day and was blown away....the low mids that are typical of Bogners was a perfect match for the upper mids of the V30’s....went together like peanut butter and jelly. Kinda similar to what you are saying with matching the correct appropriate speaker frequency curve to compliment or fill in an amps voicing.
     
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  12. Russ73

    Russ73 Member

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    OP def keep a 2x12 around, I run few lunchbox heads through a 2x12 and Im very satisfied with the tone but I don't get extremely loud with them as I live in a NY apt, I do have a 50 watt head as well and its def fuller so to speak but a 15 or 20 watt head through a 2x12 will sound big enough, Ive tried 2 1x12s as well and its not the same...
     
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  13. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten Member

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    Exactly. Check out the H75 Creamback with your smaller amps. It has nice low end. It’s good for a clean robust sound with nice punch to it. The H30 compresses earlier and that’s good if you want the sound of a heavy magnet with the speaker being pushed a bit.

    Similar to how you hated V30s, I didn’t like H magnet speakers. That carried over from when I was using big amps. But I’ve found them to be great tools to let smaller amps punch above their weight.
     
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  14. Jchrisf

    Jchrisf Member

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    I've been thinking about getting rid of my small watt amps and buying larger amps and playing them through a Suhr RL/IR into monitors and FRFR. Still get that big iron sound and feel but at most any volume using up a lot less space.
     
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  15. marshall2553

    marshall2553 Supporting Member

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    I’ve tried that and the RL IR is great, I just can’t quite make the jump to FRFR only. I still prefer the sound of a real cab.
     
  16. milli vanilli

    milli vanilli Member

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    Keep your big thumping setup, it has the sound you like so make it work. Tuck it in a corner, shove the crib in front of it, hang a mobile from it, maybe put a bottle tray on top of it LOL.
     
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  17. ripoffriffs

    ripoffriffs Member

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    Origin Effects RevivalDrive line input to the Power Station + delay & reverb in the fx loop = PERFECT.
     
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  18. Thomas Boyd

    Thomas Boyd Member

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    I went from Mesa stack to
    Friedman 50 combo/2x12 cab and
    don’t miss the big boy’s at all
     
  19. Mack72

    Mack72 Member

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    I’m surprised the SV20H would need a PS2 or attenuator since it can be dialed down to 5W...
    (I just started looking into these for their simplicity, relatively low power options, and bedroom use)
     
  20. marshall2553

    marshall2553 Supporting Member

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    I had forgotten they had a 5W mode, though I think I recall seeing some comments about them still being pretty dang loud even on the low power setting.
     

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