#1
Hi

Let's say that about just over half of everyone on Ultimate Guitar have a Valve amp with over 30 watts, (Is that about right?).

Anyway, what does everyone do when they are just practicing at home, because I thought Valve amps sounded bad at low volumes? And surely hardly anyone has an attenuator?

I'm sort of worried because I want an amp that I can play at home with and have a good sound as well as gig with comfortably.

So my question is, what do all you guys with 30+ watt valve amplifiers do when you're playing at home? Does it not actually sound that bad at low volumes?

Thanks.
#2
it actually does not sound that bad at low volumes, it just sounds better louder. I have no problem using either my Randall V2 (which is hybrid but does have an all tube channel) or my 5150 (all tube) at lower volumes. If you get one you will not be disappointed. Which one are you looking at?
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#3
I have a Fender HotRod.. it's sounds awesome on low volume. Ofcourse, when pumping to volume to 11 it sounds even better, but I'd say don't worry.
#5
Quote by The Chimney Man
Hi

Let's say that about just over half of everyone on Ultimate Guitar have a Valve amp with over 30 watts, (Is that about right?).

Anyway, what does everyone do when they are just practicing at home, because I thought Valve amps sounded bad at low volumes? And surely hardly anyone has an attenuator?

I'm sort of worried because I want an amp that I can play at home with and have a good sound as well as gig with comfortably.

So my question is, what do all you guys with 30+ watt valve amplifiers do when you're playing at home? Does it not actually sound that bad at low volumes?

Thanks.



That's hogwash....
Tube amps sound BETTER at HIGH volumes. That we all know.
But somehow over time, that phrase has been missunderstood to mean that they sound bad at low volume. And It just isn't true.

They sound just fine at low volumes, just much better at high volumes.


One thing you can do to improve your sound at low volumes, is to put a volume box in your effects loop. That way you can crank the volume nobs on your amp as high as you want, then put the volume box down way low. You get the PREamp tubes fully cranked. Not the power tubes, just preamp. So it does improve the sound, but still not as good as fully cranked.

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Last edited by jonmo1 at Sep 1, 2009,
#6
Quote by chuckmehh
it actually does not sound that bad at low volumes, it just sounds better louder. I have no problem using either my Randall V2 (which is hybrid but does have an all tube channel) or my 5150 (all tube) at lower volumes. If you get one you will not be disappointed. Which one are you looking at?

+1

It is true tube amps don't sound AS good when not cranked, but to say they sound bad is false. They still don't sound as bad as most cheap SS amps. If you go with a 30-50 watt tube amp you will have no trouble playing at a reasonable volume, it will just sound a bit more dull than when cranked.
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#7
I've hardly ever used an amp at home. My Boogie used to stay in the band's lock-up at all times, and on the few days I'm not gigging my 18-watter stays in the corner of my room, not even plugged in.

I use Revalver III almost exclusively for practice, and it's much more useful than any of my valve amps would be at home.
#8
Quote by chuckmehh
it actually does not sound that bad at low volumes, it just sounds better louder. I have no problem using either my Randall V2 (which is hybrid but does have an all tube channel) or my 5150 (all tube) at lower volumes. If you get one you will not be disappointed. Which one are you looking at?


No amp in particular, just generally 30 watt valve amps, maybe 20 watt amps, but nothing higher than 30.
#9
as others have said, they sound fine at low volume's, they just sound better cranked. Even at lower volume's the sound is just as if not better then comparable solid state's
#10
Think of it like this...

It's more fun to drive a Corvette at 100 MPH.
Does that mean it's NOT fun to drive the same Corvette at only say 50 MPH ??


Edit, this may very well be the best most relevant analogy I've ever made...

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Last edited by jonmo1 at Sep 1, 2009,
#12
Quote by xwearesinking
i just always play loud

lol +1

i play in my basement, and i can keep it pretty loud during the day without anyone complaining
#13
Quote by jonmo1
Think of it like this...

It's more fun to drive a Corvette at 100 MPH.
Does that mean it's NOT fun to drive the same Corvette at only say 50 MPH ??


Edit, this may very well be the best most relevant analogy I've ever made...



That is a really good point though.
#14
I use industrial grade ear muffs and piss everyone else off lol. Or I play clean a lot which really no one minds because it sounds awesome to everyone.
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#15
Quote by jonmo1
T

One thing you can do to improve your sound at low volumes, is to put a volume box in your effects loop. That way you can crank the volume nobs on your amp as high as you want, then put the volume box down way low. You get the PREamp tubes fully cranked. Not the power tubes, just preamp. So it does improve the sound, but still not as good as fully cranked.


personally i think the its the pushing of the power tubes that makes the amp open up. i have a master volume on my amp and there is nothing like having your preamp tubes sitting in the spot where they start to break up and the power amp tubes breaking up ever so slightly.
#16
Just keep it in the basement and crank it.
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#17
Quote by joe_k
personally i think the its the pushing of the power tubes that makes the amp open up. i have a master volume on my amp and there is nothing like having your preamp tubes sitting in the spot where they start to break up and the power amp tubes breaking up ever so slightly.


this is the closest thing i agree with. mr. joe's statement has the most truthiness. this is also the tone i prefer, and this is also pretty much what most people mean by "yeah, of course, anyone with a frontal lobe knows that tube amps sound better at high volumes". what they are really saying is "when a tube amp is pushed beyond normal clean operating parameters, certain distortions and colorations form in the tone which are preferable to the majority of guitarists"

but saying that 'louder is better' breeds much confusion and is not really true or clear. when a tube amp is working within the realm of clean operation you don't get the attributes that make the guitar sound more pleasing to the ear. but at the same time, there are situations where some of those colorations and distortions may not be favorable at all because they have side effects that can cause bad tone. for example, most rock and blues and even jazz guitarists prefer a little or alot of power amp distortion, but heavy metal guitarist generally don't prefer it because it muds up their mix and doesn't produce a favorable tone in that situation. power amp distortion is precisely what happens when driving an amp at high volumes. metal guitarist compensate for this by getting 100+ watt tube amps that gets very loud without having to approach the point at which power amp distortion occurs and therefore help keep the mud away.

be careful of advice on this subject as mostly all your gonna get is half truths and opinions, try and educate yourself through unbiased sources if possible. your gonna find alot of bias toward tube amps on this site.

btw: my solution to home playing is a 50's kay that maybe has 5 watts that sounds gorgeous, highly recommend old school 'boutique' style amps
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Sep 2, 2009,
#18
I have a 50 watter
I don't gig
I do use a volume pedal (as I have no master volume)
I sometimes use ear plugs if I really want to crank it
Most gigs use PA systems so you mic it anyway (meaning it doesn't matter what wattage you have)
OD pedals are good to boost signal AND play at lower volumes


that is my contribution
#19
Quote by jonmo1
Think of it like this...

It's more fun to drive a Corvette at 100 MPH.
Does that mean it's NOT fun to drive the same Corvette at only say 50 MPH ??


Edit, this may very well be the best most relevant analogy I've ever made...

I drive a Tracer

Good point though.
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#20
Quote by jonmo1
Think of it like this...

It's more fun to drive a Corvette at 100 MPH.
Does that mean it's NOT fun to drive the same Corvette at only say 50 MPH ??


Edit, this may very well be the best most relevant analogy I've ever made...



That depends on the road/race track you are driving on. Which is also analogous to how people use amps in different situations.