#1
Hi all!

I have a Peavey Valveking 112 which I think sounds AWESOME even though quite a few people seem to not like them. However, for it to actually sound decent, you need to have the volume up at least a quarter of the way... which sadly is too loud for normal bedroom usage.

Does anyone know how to get the best sound out of a valve amp without needing to crank up the volume?

If there is no way and the amp is just too loud for bedroom usage, can anyone recommend a valve amp that can be played at a low volume? Is it a characteristic of valves that means they need the volume, or would getting a lower wattage amp help?

Thanks!
#2
You're going to need a reamping rig to get cranked sound at bedroom volume.

It involves a load box of some sort, and a power amp, which would involve you running your VK into the load box, then into the power amp, which controls your overall volume, which is then run into a speaker cabinet.

You'd need to take out your VK speaker and wire it to a jack, or get a separate cabinet for it to work properly, but ultimately this is the best and most effective method for what you want.

And I agree, they really do sound better at high volumes.. at low volumes they're really dark and at high volumes they're almost too bright, it's weird.
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#4
An attenuator isn't made to take an amp down to bedroom volumes, it's made to take the edge off of an amp too loud for stage volumes. What it will do for him at bedroom volumes will be more of a disservice than anything else as far as tone goes.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
What the hell is a G&L.



Quote by Flux'D
Gay & Lesbian I think, the box smelled funny
Greg what did you send me??
#5
Quote by Raijouta
An attenuator isn't made to take an amp down to bedroom volumes, it's made to take the edge off of an amp too loud for stage volumes. What it will do for him at bedroom volumes will be more of a disservice than anything else as far as tone goes.

You should also check this out http://www.tubejuiceattenuators.com/index.html:
Last edited by sstony at Jul 13, 2010,
#6
Unfortunately for those who want really sweet tone at low volumes, we're dealing with physics constraints. The nature of tubes is that they simply sound better (in audio applications) when they are being driven harder. That's the short story version.

But also, we can't forget about speakers. Speakers also sound optimal when they are being moved sufficiently. This equates to volume however. When a speaker is barely driven, the tone will unfortunately suffer.

There are workarounds, but sadly none of them will get you the tone of an amp and speaker combination that is being used at relatively loud volumes.
#7
Quote by Raijouta
You're going to need a reamping rig to get cranked sound at bedroom volume.

It involves a load box of some sort, and a power amp, which would involve you running your VK into the load box, then into the power amp, which controls your overall volume, which is then run into a speaker cabinet.

You'd need to take out your VK speaker and wire it to a jack, or get a separate cabinet for it to work properly, but ultimately this is the best and most effective method for what you want.

And I agree, they really do sound better at high volumes.. at low volumes they're really dark and at high volumes they're almost too bright, it's weird.

FastRedPonyCar on youtube uses this setup with a THD Hotplate and a Peavey Poweramp and his tone is killer
#8
An isolation cabinet is another option to crank your amp and get bedroom level sound. Further you can build one yourself for under $300 dollars. Look instructions on YouTube.
Last edited by _LoveFuzz_ at Jul 13, 2010,
#9
Hi Guys,
This is my first post here so go easy on me please!!!

I have the same problem with my Blackheart BH5H Little giant Head.
Even when I switch it down to just 3 watts you have to push the volume up too far to get the sweet distortion I'm after.
I was thinking of an attenuator too but this thread has put me off that so far.
I was also thinking of an OD pedal to increase the signal into the amp.
Would that work?
Otherwise, maybe I should go for the Killer Ant head which Blackheart do which is less than 1W. Hopefully the volume levels would be ok with that.

My final option was getting something like the blackstar ht-5 which has a master volume as well as a gain. As I understand it you can get some good tones at low volume?

I'm a bit of a newbie to all this so any suggestions would be much appreciated before I go and spend a load of cash on something that I don't really need or wont do the job.
Cheers.
#10
hence 1 watt practice tube amps like that little tube amps. bugeras 5 has an attenuator down to 1/4 watt.

for superb sound its going to get costly. imo, just play with the master and channel volumes. keep guitar volume high as well. i would go guitar maxed, channel higher, master lower
#11
Just use some pedals to get your distortion tones. Then you can play at any volume you want.
#12
Quote by _LoveFuzz_
An isolation cabinet is another option to crank your amp and get bedroom level sound. Further you can build one yourself for under $300 dollars. Look instructions on YouTube.


+1

Jet City makes a really nice looking 1X12 iso cab. Maybe look into that?
#13
Quote by fly135
Just use some pedals to get your distortion tones. Then you can play at any volume you want.


Would putting a pedal in front of a tube amp defeat the purpose of having a tube amp?
Or can you still get really nice tube tones with a pedal in front of it?

If a pedal could be a decent option, what sort of pedal would you recommend?
#14
Don't get a distortion pedal, that ruins the point of a tube amp. An overdrive on the other hand is great and practically everyone and their moms have one. TS9 and a Maxon OD808 along with MANY other OD's are popular.

There is nothing wrong with using pedal's in front of a tube amp, you just have to find out the right one for what you want.
Gear

Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head
Mills Acoustics Mach 212B
Peavey Vypyr 15w
ESP LTD EC-1000 guitar (BKP Nailbombs)
Fender American Standard Strat
PRS Custom 24
Dunlop KH Signature Wah
Menatone Red Snapper
Boss DD-7 Delay
Zvex Fuzz Factory
#15
Quote by RocknRory
Don't get a distortion pedal, that ruins the point of a tube amp. An overdrive on the other hand is great and practically everyone and their moms have one. TS9 and a Maxon OD808 along with MANY other OD's are popular.

There is nothing wrong with using pedal's in front of a tube amp, you just have to find out the right one for what you want.


Thanks very much for the reply.
At the moment on my Blackheart little giant I can't really push the amp's volume more than about 3 before it gets too loud for the neighbours!!
To get some natural distortion from the amp it need to go about 6.
Would you think an overdrive pedal could push it enough when the volume is on 2/3?
Or am I missing the point of how an overdrive pedal works?
Thanks.
#16
Quote by sheepy42
Would putting a pedal in front of a tube amp defeat the purpose of having a tube amp?
Or can you still get really nice tube tones with a pedal in front of it?

If a pedal could be a decent option, what sort of pedal would you recommend?
The purpose of your equipment is to get the tone you want. The HT-5 is nothing more than a pedal in a tube amp. I prefer to use pedals to get distortion and run my tube amp clean. I find using the amp's one distortion tone too limiting.

The Jekyll & Hyde is not a bad first pedal as you get a tubescreamer overdrive and a distortion pedal in one pedal. The list of recommended pedals could on and on without end. Guitar Center has a (custom made for GC) MXR Classic Overdrive that sounds good and only costs $30. That is if you can find them in stock.
#17
The actual fact is that distortion(solidstate and tubes) is achieved when your electric signal reaches the maximum output your power supply can give out. If the power supply in your amp gives out +50/-50volt, then your signal will start clipping(distortion) at 100volt peak to peak(because youre power supply cannot give over that amount). In short words, distortion is achieved by reaching high gain(higher volume).

There is actually something possible to do, but it requires engineering and I don't recommend it unless you know what you're doing. If your amp runs on a lower voltage power supply, it will produce distortion at lower volumes. I do not recommend it as it requires actual changes in the amplifier too. I have played with amplifiers on lower voltages before, and when you reach a certain voltage lower then what the amp is made for, it will malfunction and eventuelly burn your outputs/tubes/rest of circuit.

It would be something to test on a solid-state amp you don't really care about, but on tubes I'd pass. Tubes need high voltage(250-400v) to work. I wouldn't just mess around with such voltages lol.

But my suggestion would be to get an attenuator. I've never used one, but a good one should be able to reproduce your loud signal, as a small one. It might not sound good, but it can definatly reproduce the distortion at lower volumes. Altho if it doesn't use tubes, it will most likely be transistor distortion(solid-state).
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1. Tits.
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#18
Yeah some people like using multiple clean boosts or overdrives stacked on the clean channel to get there tone. I think an overdrive would be perfect for what you are looking for, try testing some out. Fiddle with the settings but a popular one is turn the gain completely counter-clockwise and then boost the level very high. Use this on top of a distorted channel of an amp to push it and get a little more pre-amp grit and grind, it sounds great to my ears, especially at lower volumes.

I don't recommend a distortion (again) but an overdrive should do exactly what you want. Sure there are some guidelines but the bottom line is try stuff out (with your setup if you can) and get what sounds good to YOU! Compare it to other products and you won't regret the purchase.

EDIT: Attenuators are generally far more expensive than a Overdrive pedal and aren't meant to be used to achieve bedroom volumes, I think an overdrive would do just fine, but for the 100th time, try to test it!
Gear

Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head
Mills Acoustics Mach 212B
Peavey Vypyr 15w
ESP LTD EC-1000 guitar (BKP Nailbombs)
Fender American Standard Strat
PRS Custom 24
Dunlop KH Signature Wah
Menatone Red Snapper
Boss DD-7 Delay
Zvex Fuzz Factory
Last edited by RocknRory at Jul 13, 2010,
#19
yeah your only practical option would be to get a good overdrive. Check out an 808, that will fatten up your tone a lot
#20
As your getting the tone you want at 1/4 volume then its not tube overdrive your looking for which is why people get an attenuator. Like someone said its just physics you gotta get the speaker moving to get that tone. Only way to do that is turn the amp up. My little 5w tube amp you still gotta have the volume up past what would be considered bedroom level to get that bottom end out of it I want. It takes less to move a smaller speaker but then wont sound as good as a bigger speaker.

An isolation box has come up but its still contained in a box muffling the sound. There really isnt a solution for your problem. I have a room over a separate garage so I can turn my amps up. Other than that I use a little practice amp or a headphone set up.