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#1
Just what is an appropriate amp for home practice anyway? Do 100 watt amps turned down really really low sound like crap? Will it eat your babies? Where can you find a 5 watt hi gain amp?

There's a lot of misinformation flying around.

The biggest culprit is that tubes amps don't sound good at low volumes.
Sometimes this is true...if you are going for power tube distortion. What if you don't care about power tube distortion? What if you need hi gain preamp distortion? HMMM???

Let's throw some splience in here.

-------
So I've got this spl meter in my phone. It's not the most accurate shit in the world but in a controlled experiment it's fine enough for comparative purposes.

Here's what I did. I placed the the spl meter 1 meter away from the speaker where I was sitting which would let it give a reading of how loud I was hearing the amp.

I had my mic set up close to the speaker connected to my mic preamp. I adjusted the mic preamp so that the signal going into the interface was the same no matter how loud the amp was. That means that as the volume on the amp was turned down the gain on the mic was turned up.

no settings were touched on the amps at all except for the master volume the entire time. All both amps are eq'd treble/bass at 9 mid at noon, presence/depth at noon. Gain dimed.

Here's what my meter says about spl levels.

110 - chainsaw, 1m distance
100 - disco, 1m from speaker
90 - diesel truck, 10m away
80 - kerbside of busy road, 5m
70- vacuum cleaner, distance 1m
60 - conversational speech 1m

The most important thing is to get a control level.

--

Just rocking out on the guitar acoustically with the spl meter 1 meter away yields a spl for me of 70 on my meter. I'm going to call that the lowest bedroom volume you could practice at. If you can practice less loud then the quietest your guitar sounds unplugged you can't practice at all.

Here's the control sound.

70 decibals 1 meter away - mic pointed away from me at the cab.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/spl/acoustic70.mp3

110 - Imagine a chainsaw in your ear. Measurements taken at peak reading on the meter
Deliverance at 106 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/spl/d107.mp3
SlO at 106 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/spl/s106.mp3

100 - ur backfiring at the disco....
Deliverance at 100 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/spl/d100.mp3
SlO at 100 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/spl/s100.mp3

95 - standing out in the street in the city
Deliverance at 93 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/spl/d93.mp3
slo at 95 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/spl/s95.mp3

80 - same but a quieter street
SlO at 80 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/spl/s80.mp3

70 - Ur mom is vacuuming your room and it's hella annoying. Notice that the acoustic sounds of the guitar can be heard over the amp at this point.
Deliverance at 73 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7394209/spl/d73.mp3

Do tube amps sound worse turned down low? The Deliverance cannot saturate below 70 spl. The slo can't saturate below 75 with the gain turned all the way up. You can get quieter if you don't dime the gain.

So wtf is a practice amp anyway? For me the answer is my slo. my deliverance. and my pitbull ultralead.

Discuss! clappityclappityclappity.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jul 12, 2010,
#2
I live in an apartment, I use my VK212 to practice with almost every day. It can be really quiet, but I usually use it at higher than bedroom levels, because my neighbors don't care. It doesn't sound like shit though. It certainly sounds much better than my Vypyr and my Royal 8. Yeah, it's a tube amp, but it's bullshit that tube amps don't sound good at low volumes.
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#3
That was alot of work you just did

I think that a practice amp is any amp that you use for playing other than gigs (smartass remark) Everyone just assumes a practice amp is mostly just the crappy SS amps like spiders. So what if an amp is just for practicing? I think its a waste of money to buy a crappy amp just because its not for gigging. A 120W head might be overkill for bedroom playing but who cares, I would rather practice through that than some little $100 amp
what kind of palm muting is best for metal?
cut off some guys hand and place it under the strings. brutal low end bro.
#4
I run my 800 wide open in the power section most of the time and use the preamp volume to control gain.

Some stuff like AC/DC you need to turn it down to 4/4 or 5/5 though.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#5
That was painful to read, yet interesting.
I'm guessing you could use anything as a practice amp really. If it isn't amazing awesome at the tone turned down low, it's not that terrible because it's a practice amp. You're practing, not trying to impress someone or trying to rock out at a show.
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That deserved a lolmeter

#6
i think the biggest difference when amp is cranked/turned down, is the amp's response. of course you'll have a bit more saturation when you turn it up, but i think it's more of the amp's response to the guitar player. some amps DO sound like crap when you turn it down, because the master volume is built that way.
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#7
Quote by ECistheBest
i think the biggest difference when amp is cranked/turned down, is the amp's response. of course you'll have a bit more saturation when you turn it up, but i think it's more of the amp's response to the guitar player. some amps DO sound like crap when you turn it down, because the master volume is built that way.


right but thats a problem with the amp. some amps just don't sound good no matter what, some have a very limited sweet spot. but it's got nothing to do with the wattage of the amp ya.


Quote by Fadetoblack5:03
That was painful to read, yet interesting.
I'm guessing you could use anything as a practice amp really. If it isn't amazing awesome at the tone turned down low, it's not that terrible because it's a practice amp. You're practing, not trying to impress someone or trying to rock out at a show.
Mine is Peavy Vypyr 15w and it gets the job done for my standards


well you're lucky it was mostly in english cuz I could have written it in cray cray and then you'd all be like wtfwtfwtf and i'd be all like roflcopter awayyyyyyyyy
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#8
Quote by AcousticMirror
well you're lucky it was mostly in english cuz I could have written it in cray cray and then you'd all be like wtfwtfwtf and i'd be all like roflcopter awayyyyyyyyy
I don't care that much about this thread but that was just too funy
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#9
Also, my practice amp when i'm not gigging or messing about finding a tone with the JCM 800 is the Flextone I. It has fewer knobs and no digital display unlike the more recent versions, so I like it better for messing around because all the settings are visual like a real amp.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#10
excellent thread.

For the sake of balance, i think we should point out that the amps you're turning to low volumes are total badass amps which get pretty high gain, but other than that, agreed.

EDIT: oh, even better idea. Do you still have any low wattage amps? I can't remember if you sold the orange or not. If you do, could you take some SPLs of a 5 watter (if you still have one) at clean, edge of breakup, distorted etc. (i'd do it but i don't have an spl meter, lol)? I'm just about sick of everyone recommending 5 watters for practice if you want to crank them.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jul 12, 2010,
#11
there really is no absolute answer to this question cause everyones situation is different

my practice amp is my only amp, cause I don't gig. I have an old 15 watt solid stater that was my first amp but obviously that has been long since retired.

Hopefully upgrading very very soon.
Last edited by handbanana at Jul 12, 2010,
#12
practise amp -> something portable, lightweight, compact, has built in effects, something you can **** around with and hear yourself doing chromatic scales on if you don't want to bring your SLO with you everywhere you go. I know you want to, but it's impractical and dangerous (for the SLO and those who aren't worthy)
#13
Quote by Dave_Mc
excellent thread.

For the sake of balance, i think we should point out that the amps you're turning to low volumes are total badass amps which get pretty high gain, but other than that, agreed.

EDIT: oh, even better idea. Do you still have any low wattage amps? I can't remember if you sold the orange or not. If you do, could you take some SPLs of a 5 watter (if you still have one) at clean, edge of breakup, distorted etc. (i'd do it but i don't have an spl meter, lol)? I'm just about sick of everyone recommending 5 watters for practice if you want to crank them.


I have a valve junior in my car i'll grab. and update the thread.

@handbanana ya everyone is different. if you want power tube distortion you're playing a different game entirely. I'm saying exactly what your saying that get a smaller amp isn't the answer to every question.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#14
sweet, that'll do, awesome, thanks

just out of interest, what version vj is it? from what i read, the older v1 and v2 with the wrong impedance OT probably weren't putting out as much volume as they could with the correct impedance. But I'm guessing it's still going to be pretty loud, i mean i have a v2 VJ and it's not really any quieter than my vht special 6.

And yeah, if you want to be able to crank them, then 100 watts isn't going to work, agreed. But 5 watts is still likely too loud (though granted a lot more crankable), plus single-enders don't really sound the same as push-pull amps anyway.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#15
^ I don't think anybody cranks 50 and 100W amps without load boxes these days.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#16
possibly not, you know more than me. but yeah, i mean if you want the tone of a 100 watt stack cranked you kinda have to crank a 100 watt stack, or use some form of attenuation/powerscaling. and the latter will affect the tone a bit, but if you can't crank out the spls, anything you do is going to affect the tone.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#17
^ Actually it just affects the perceived sound, which is why reamping works so nicely.

You hear a treble and bass dropoff, but it's just your ears fooling you because of the lower volume.

Attenuate down to nothing and record a track with a SM57, then play it back at a normal volume and it'll sound identical to one recorded ear-shatteringly loud and played at the same volume.

That doesn't help you in a live situation, but it's a neat fact.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#18
aye
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#19
seeing as you could mic any amp?

i've seen people gig with a vox pathfinder and a superchamp xd, what a lot of us consider practice amps.

they sounded great by the way. tone being in your.....
#21
pants. tone is in my pants!

I'd be interested in seeing what the minimum wattage for a slo or vht style preamp would be before mud. The way the deliverance is designed you'll pretty much never get power tube distortion unless it's in a lock box inside another lock box inside another lock box.


Quote by ze monsta
AM, get a ZVex Nano Amp and ramble about it some.


REFUSE! real men use real power tubes.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#22
Quote by gregs1020
they sounded great by the way. tone being in your.....

Ass, which is where most of these guys are also talking out of.

And yeah, some small amps make fantastic gigging amps when miced.

I know somebody who uses a homebrew 10W plexi circuit with 6V6s and it sounds awesome.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#23
Great thread
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#24
Quote by bubb_tubbs
Ass, which is where most of these guys are also talking out of.

And yeah, some small amps make fantastic gigging amps when miced.

I know somebody who uses a homebrew 10W plexi circuit with 6V6s and it sounds awesome.


ya but he doesn't play the brootz.

different tools for different jobs.

A big non master volume amp will be harder to practice with but easier for gigging if you play with power tube distortion. A small master volume might be good for practice but it's definitely gonna hurt gigging.

You'd have to assume 100 percent total transparency on the mic set up as well. Which is possible but not every. Plus on the used market 50w/100w master volumes aren't really that much different in price.

wait wut are we even arguing about.


Quote by bubb_tubbs
^ Actually it just affects the perceived sound, which is why reamping works so nicely.

You hear a treble and bass dropoff, but it's just your ears fooling you because of the lower volume.

Attenuate down to nothing and record a track with a SM57, then play it back at a normal volume and it'll sound identical to one recorded ear-shatteringly loud and played at the same volume.

That doesn't help you in a live situation, but it's a neat fact.


ya this...i thought my clips sounded the same during playback. but definitely not during listening. I could barely hear the 70-80 spl tracks over my strumming when I was recording.

I dunno though from a sound tech standpoint you'd still have to consider the robustness of your p/a power system though right? The big difference between the 108 spl clips and the 80 spl clips is that the louder clips did not require nearly as much microphone preamp gain whereas the 80 was pushing the mic for all it's worth. Given the quality of your mic pre's that's going to introduce noise.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jul 12, 2010,
#25
^ Dunno.

New topic: Which is better - T or A?
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#26
I think the proportion of t to a should of course remain the golden ratio.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#27
Very cool thread.

Im getting a lot more out of this than I intended.

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#28
I don't practice with an amp very much.

But when I do, it's a 60w valve head with a 212. It doesn't sound very bad at low volumes, but as I turn it up, it gets better.

Is this still a practice amp?
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#29
Hey guys,

Casually listening I didn't really notice any differences so I decided to do a bit more of scientific investigation.

So I ran all the clips through a freq analyser to see if there were any major differences. By the looks of things, the only real difference is the bass response seems to change as the volume goes down but it's nothing significant really. Could actually be due to different riffs being played. Anyway, I apologise for the crap quality of the screenshot...but here it is.

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#30
Quote by idiotbox919
Hey guys,

Casually listening I didn't really notice any differences so I decided to do a bit more of scientific investigation.

So I ran all the clips through a freq analyser to see if there were any major differences. By the looks of things, the only real difference is the bass response seems to change as the volume goes down but it's nothing significant really. Could actually be due to different riffs being played. Anyway, I apologise for the crap quality of the screenshot...but here it is.



that's genius!
what program is that.
I can't use it cuz I have a computer for retards .
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#31
haha it's just the CurveEQ plugin from Voxengo...with Reaper as the DAW.

It's a pretty cool little plugin, and best of all...it's free
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Cab: Framus FR212
#33
Quote by bubb_tubbs
^ I don't think anybody cranks 50 and 100W amps without load boxes these days.


I crank my ~50 watt Fender roughly every time I play it.
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#35
Quote by TNfootballfan62
I crank my ~50 watt Fender roughly every time I play it.

+1

I was going to say I practice fairly loudly with my 50w Quick Rod. Maybe not cranked but cranked tones come in starting at 10 o'clock.


Pod Farm is great for quiet practicing.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jul 12, 2010,
#37
: P any time. Its under the pluggin option for spectral i think. Its been a year or so since i dealt with logic pro. But there is one.

Edit: i want to say its the spectral gate... or something similar to it...
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Last edited by mexican_shred at Jul 12, 2010,
#38
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
+1

I was going to say I practice fairly loudly with my 50w Quick Rod. Maybe not cranked but cranked tones come in starting at 10 o'clock.


Pod Farm is great for quiet practicing.

I was thinking more along the lines of 2 to 3 o'clock, though that isn't much louder.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#39
Quote by bubb_tubbs
I was thinking more along the lines of 2 to 3 o'clock, though that isn't much louder.


you wanna know a secret....
the d120 108 clip was recorded with the master at 8. that mutha is loud as balls.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#40
Quote by bubb_tubbs
I was thinking more along the lines of 2 to 3 o'clock, though that isn't much louder.

yeah it actually doesn't get much louder after 12 o'clock, anything over 11 o'clock and I wear ear plugs, 9 to 10 o'clock is where it usually sits. Gain is usually between 1 and 3 o'clock.
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