Why I think people who insist on NMV are being kind of awkward

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Rena Rune, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    Alright first off, I respect some people will just have their preference and regardless of how much tone difference there "really" is, they may simply like having a piece of tech that works that way, the same way people like to collect old video games consoles that are more or less perfectly emulated.

    However it does bother me when people insist on the "purity" of higher wattage, NMV Tube amplifiers, from a technical perspective, and won't at least try an alternative where appropriate.

    As a gigging electronic musician, I tend to work with the sound man perhaps more closely than the average musician. I use guitars, and even some tones that might not be far off what the average TGPer would use at time, but I run them through a modeler as it's just far easier.

    I don't think guitarists realise how awkward they are being here. If an electronic musician showed up to some night running his TB303 through a Bass amp that had to be turned to a specific volume, it would drive people mad, people would have no time for him.

    One of the main problems here is that your sound will be different for every venue. You can't keep the volume, and therefore level of dirt, the same everywhere. Back in the old days when guitar amps were magic boxes it might have been acceptable, but people know better now. This is a nightmare on so many levels. A dirtier tone is generally brighter(and more compressed), so other band members as well as the sound man have to work around that.

    It's not really being "rebellious" and rock'n'roll either, just kind of awkward. Afterall insisting on sticking to an old technology is pretty conservative unless you're actually coming up with a great new use for it(I know a guy who plays amps, Oranges and ****, turned all the way up, but plays really quietly).
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  2. chrisrocksusa

    chrisrocksusa Member

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    b/c of this post I'm selling all my gear and going to an all solid state rig

    thanks
     
  3. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    That's not really the point, though I think you're kind of proving mine.
     
  4. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    Noted :aok
     
  5. Miles

    Miles Member

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    I think you make a solid point - though, you better get your flame suit on. :) I know what you mean. When it really comes to making music, it's all about the tools that can do it. The very idea of purity when you're discussing electronic components to design, manipulate, and amplify sound is sort of arbitrary. If you can shape the sound you want and get it loud enough, any tool is relevant.

    I agree that modelers are wonderful. If I can ever play in settings consistent enough to use them on a regular basis, I would. Many theaters or clubs we play are fine to use something since you have decent soundguys and monitoring systems. But when we play dives, modelers are irrelevant.

    It's far better to use my decent sized 1x12 combo that has 2 channels and a master volume and is just a "blunt force trauma" tool. Easy, quick, and effective for the situation.

    My "dream" rig right now would be a Line 6 PodHD system right into my own monitor with a great FOH mix. When I have soundguys that actually care what I sound like out front, I'll jump on this rig. Until then, my master volume amps do just fine.

    For the record, I also own a NMV higher wattage amp. It basically collects dust anymore, but I love it too much to sell it. Does it sound purer than modelers I've owned or my master volume amps? NO.
     
  6. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    I think NMVs are good for home when you want that "GONNA CRANK IT UP!" feel.

    I reminds me of an idea some guy on a Fuzz pedal forum once had to build a fuzz pedal inside some kind of big steampunk tank/chamber, and turn the valve for MORE FUZZ. That'd be pretty hilarious and epic, though it might fall short as the difference between "Fuzz" and "More Fuzz" isn't all that noteable.
     
  7. halfnote

    halfnote Senior Member

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    mv is easy to achieve theses days......... who cares anyway.
    post something worth talkin about will ya! LOL,LOL,LOL
     
  8. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    Because, from a technical perspective, installing a master volume will negatively affect the overall tone of an amplifier. Its fine if it is being used as an effect. Just as using a modeler is fine as an effect. Neither is wrong from a performance standpoint. But neither is going to interact and react as well as a non-master volume amp at volume.

    The big joy of playing a NMV loud amp is that the sound from the guitar goes into the amp, and then goes back into the guitar, creating a new experience of sound as you play. It is very reactive, and for a lot of musicians, gets them more involved in the sound and what they are playing.

    There is no way to install a master volume, attenuator, power scaling, etc. without affecting the tone of an amplifier. That doesn't say it is going to sound better or worse, just different. And each different variation will sound different.

    The other issue at hand is that a 4 watt amp cranked will sound better than a 100 watt amp choked, 99 percent of the time. Trying to bring down a massive power amp to low wattage volumes does a number of things to the spectrum of sound being produced, as well as the tonality of what is being played. The spectrum will get thinner, so you won't get as much high end or low end in the sound as you squash it. Just like using a compressor. Ask any good studio engineer.
     
  9. dangeroso

    dangeroso Member

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    I tend to agree and will further make the point that the difference in "tone" between the driven power tube design and the quality MV design is completely lost in the realities of gig volumes, mics, PA systems, and sound engineering and EQ in the types of places most of us play.

    I'm sure a few of us on here are playing the good gigs in the really high quality venues, but most of us are playing the places where the house sound is not the greatest anyway.

    Recording is one thing, but I honestly believe that much of our "tone" is lost in gigging.
     
  10. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks Member

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    how does simply installing a master volume on an amp that would not have one effect the tone of the amplifier.
     
  11. vibrostrat43

    vibrostrat43 Supporting Member

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    Depends on the type of master volume, but even when all the way up most still have some effect...but I generally struggle to hear it.

    The typical post phase inverter one will provide a signal path to ground through 1M (with the pot all the way up) plus the typical extra wire argument. The Lar/Mar mv seems like it would have much less degradation (I'm assuming we're talking a MV at 10 compared to a NMV) in my opinion, but I'm still learning so what do I know?

    I think the argument that the extra wire required to make a pot or switch usable to the player, is always going to be at least one of the arguments against these things.
     
  12. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Supporting Member

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    But they make NMV amps of all sizes so you can choose one that allows you to crank it to its sweet spot in the specific venue you're playing.

    I've played lots nights with MV amps that sounded great, really great.

    I've only had the magical tone nights with NMV amps that were perfectly suited to the room.

    I didn't feel awkward either. :)
     
  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    As always, it's a matter of horses for courses, isn't it?

    NMV amps do sound different from MV amps, if for no other reason than adding another circuit changes the sound. In many cases, it veils the sound a little, though there are some amazing MV amps that sound wonderful.

    I use both kinds of amp. Why limit yourself?
     
  14. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    This is a pretty long post about something that has really become a non-issue these days with the advent of high quality attenuation. You can get cranked NMV amp tone when and where you want it at whatever volume you want it as one of the MANY tools in the modern musician's toolbox. Not sure what the point of the post is. I think the post itself is quite awkward.

    I have low wattage and high wattage NMV amps and the high wattage amps attenuated with an Alex or DX2 sound bigger to me than the small amps cranked to the same level. This is a well known and documented phenomenon. Same is true with my favorite MV amps.

    And, both of them seriously smoke all modelers I've tried or heard clips of. And, yes, I can easily hear and feel the difference at live gigs. Modelers have come a long way but they are not quite there yet...at least not for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  15. Crikey

    Crikey Member

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    I have modelers, though modest ones bought used. I use them when I have to.

    I have master-volume amps. Some of the best. I use them when I have to.

    When I get to do what I want, I crank a non-master amp and play it with my volume knob. And a fuzz pedal.

    Because it sounds much, much better.

    I'm sorry you feel I'm awkward. I feel fine, myself.

    But then we are both posting on TGP on a Saturday night.
     
  16. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I have no problems using my NMVA in a variety of rooms. And with fewer knobs, I find NMV amps to be less awkward, actually. :)
     
  17. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Supporting Member

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    I don't even use effects loops. Talk about AWKWARD! :bonk
     
  18. chrisrocksusa

    chrisrocksusa Member

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    i find it more awkward when modeler or SS guys try to tell me why my amp of choice is awkward.

    kinda like when jehova's witnesses show up @ my door show up at my door and try to talk to me about their little cult.
     
  19. Tread

    Tread Member

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    ....ya either like them or ya don't ... I like both ... Big deal.
     
  20. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Member

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    I'm happy to now know the OP is the arbiter of this topic. Thanks!
     

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