#1
I'm playing by myself on a 15w Blues Jr.

I played last week in an empty garage and the Blues Jr had an amazing tone in the sweet spot I found.. which.. was very easy to find in a empty concrete garage! The tone, chime, and sound was amazing.

Now.. I played tonight in an empty very large warehouse and I was satisfied with my sound.. But I feel like I'm learning something very new and important. Controlling volume to fit the size of your room your playing in.

Tonight I wasnt satisfied untill the volume was ear splitting.. and then I wasnt happy. I dont mind ripping up the walls and roof with some ear splitting solos. But the amp was just too loud. Now.. I'm familiar with the concept of your amp being 'loud' for the situation. Even at low volume in a small room you can achieve 'loud' at 2. Maybe 'loud' is achieved at 5 in a larger room like an empty garage. Anyways.

What I wanted to do tonight was fill that warehouse, blast it from one side to the other. But standing 5 ft from my amp. It was punishingly loud. Now. Get rid of numbers on volume knobs. If I have a sound that is getting increased in volume. At a certain point for the area the sound is 'loud'. If I upgrade my 15w amp too say a 50w amp. Will I hit 'loud' at the same volume? (Not talking about the number on the dial. Just the general rate of volume increase for the space). Is that why people buy larger watt amps so it doesnt get 'loud' so easy? I understand the concept 'headroom'. Does that work the same with 'loud'?

Because my little 15w amp is too 'loud'. I was trying to project my sound to other people on the other side of the warehouse. Is there a way to have those people say 100ft+ away still feel a large sound from the amp with out it being punishingly loud for me when I play it? Or do I need a 50ft cable and keep the amp super far away.

I noticed playing with the amp facing away from me, I really like the sound at large volume. But who plays guitar standing behind their amp lol.

Maybe its earplugs I'm looking for ?? hmm

Because when leaving my amp on a loop and walking say 25ft away and walking back. There is a deffinite space where the volume is 'loud' and then just high volume but not sounding 'loud'.

Or am I trying to achieve something that can be achieved unless I use a PA system with speakers all around the warehouse.

You hear all these storys from the 60s about how LOUD everyone played.. but I'm going to call bullshit because who wants to be in front of a punishingly loud amp?? Maybe they could play loud for the audience 150ft away from the stage but for the band... hell no... punishingly loud is punishingly loud.

But we all ackowledge the fact that at high volume, you can feel the sound moving through you from a tube amp. Thats what I'm trying to get. We all know its a totally different instrument at high volume when the strings are hot. But how do you achieve that with it out being 'too loud'?
Last edited by StylingPaT at May 28, 2013,
#2
Larger cabinets with more speakers push more air so people farther away can hear. Maybe you should get an extension cabinet so people in the back can hear you. When you go up in wattage, it's mainly a headroom thing. 15W and 100W are both really loud. It's just easier to push 15W. If you like power amp distortion, I would try an extension cabinet first.
#3
You use the PA to balance everything out. Mike up everything. We find that we have to put a fair bit of drums through the PA to keep up with me and the bass player. Sometimes you need to add guitar into the mix, sometimes the bass. It depends on the room as well as the equipment being used. The PA is your friend.

And it isn't bs man. I still play a cranked 100W marshall (well, I've been running it at 50W but still). I need that sort of volume because of the way I use feedback, also why I use a 6x12. Aussie Pub Rock (ie early ACDC) is the way it is because it was played really loud in little pubs. It really was played at punishingly loud volumes, as you put it. There are still a heap of us doing it today - it sells a lot of beer. If people can't talk, they drink.
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#7
He's getting some in as well. The owl is more determined and has the most guts.
Gilchrist custom
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Telecasters
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#9
In the end he grows up, gets smart and grows talons. It's a brave cat that takes on a fully grown owl.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
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Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#11
My demons run when they see me coming.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#13
first off, all amps are different and some with get louder faster....not associated to volume. 2 od the loudest amps ive encountered are an ac30 and most types of DR. Z. i played a 18 watt dr. z in a small shop and i could barely use it. every setting was "holy crap" loud. the amp just want to be turned up.

i specifically bought my tweaker 40 over many smaller amps because i believe i can control the volume better and it sound better at lower volumes.

5 feed away? stand further back. that might help. back in the 60s they were not exactly putting thier ear against thier cab.....it was on a massive stadium stage and they had no PA. but yeah it would have been ear splitting.

bigger amp are in fact louder, but not exactly 2,3,4 x as loud. its more about the tone, headroom, and power you need for something things....like playing clean or pushing heavy gain or bass for heavy music, etc.

sometimes the tone of the 60s really isnt designed into small amps. there is a reason people like john frishante use a 200 watt marshall major.....and it isnt volume. its the sound it puts out.

if i was choosing an amp i would consider a few things:
can i get enough headroom for my FX loop, time based FX to come through clean?
can i still pull off good cleans at most places i would play?
cant i overdrive (preamp at lest) and get touch sensitive crunch?
is it a small, light, portable amp?
can i get a good tone out of it at low volumes!!!!!
and of course, does the inheret tone sound good, features i want, flashy buttons and switches, etc.

generally, this leads me to a 15-20ish watt lunch box amp to take me from bedroom to gigging. if it was purely bedroom, i would be all over the smallest wattage tuber with an FX loop.

i bought my 40 watt casue again it had everything i want in the right price range, and it sounded the best at bedroom volumes.
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Last edited by ikey_ at May 29, 2013,
#14
I just came across a nice AC30 CCS for $550. Maybe I'll pick that up and see what I think, if I want to stay in that range of amp or drop back down and try a different 15w amp becides the Blues Jr. Maybe its that 'boxy' sound that I'm starting to notice now that the Blues Jr are known for, and I'm trying to turn the volume up to get rid of it yesterday.

Does anyone know about the CC2?
#15
You need to be loud to be heard over a drummer. And drummers usually are pretty loud. And in the 60s people didn't mic their amps. They just cranked their amps up. And to achieve big sound they used those huge walls of Marshall. Today the walls of Marshall are there just for the looks because usually people mic their amps and everything is played through the PA.

Remember that your amp alone might sound loud but when you add drums, you might notice that you don't hear your playing and need to turn it even louder. And yeah, it has to do with the room you are in. When I play in my bedroom and have my volume at 2, it sounds loud (my amp is a 30 watt Laney VC30). But in my living room I can almost crank the amp without sounding too loud. Yes, it sounds loud, but I can stand it (and in my bedroom I couldn't).

TS, have you ever been in a rock concert? Usually gigs are pretty loud - even today, not just in the 60s.

If it feels painful (and even if it doesn't), I would advise to use earplugs. Though I really don't like using my earplugs because they remove some frequencies and it makes guitar sound fizzy to my ears. I think you have to make compromises.

And yeah, a 50 watt amp at the same volume (decibels) sounds as loud as a 15 watt amp. More watts just means less power amp distortion at the same volume, ie you can get cleaner sounds at louder volume level with a higher wattage amp.
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#16
If you have lots of space, and don't need to be within control-twiddling distance, a wireless system may also be a good idea so you can stand a good distance away.

It may not reduce the effective distance enough to lower the volume, but at least you won't have the speaker pumping out ear-perforating volumes mere feets away from you.

If for some reason you have long cable runs, some wireless have a built in buffer too.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at May 29, 2013,
#17
The answer is, "mike up everything and don't be a ****ing pussy."
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#18
Quote by StylingPaT
I just came across a nice AC30 CCS for $550. Maybe I'll pick that up and see what I think, if I want to stay in that range of amp or drop back down and try a different 15w amp becides the Blues Jr. Maybe its that 'boxy' sound that I'm starting to notice now that the Blues Jr are known for, and I'm trying to turn the volume up to get rid of it yesterday.

Does anyone know about the CC2?

That 'boxy' sound with the Blues Junior is the speaker, in my opinion (though that opinion is pretty well reported amongst BJr users.)
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Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#20
Quote by Cathbard
Yeah. A nice speaker would certainly help. Maybe this:
http://wgs4.com/content/g12c

I like this breakdown of the most common choices: http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=295

I ended up with a Cannabis Rex and love it.

(In my opinion the first paragraph is just selling mod kits... But he is right; I haven't heard them so I could be wrong.)
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
Last edited by tubetime86 at May 29, 2013,
#21
That's a pretty good list, Dan. The WGS Jensen clone is cheap and Fendery which is mainly why I suggested it.
Of course though, 'twer it mine I'd stick in one of those Aussie boutique greenback clones I like so much. Throw some Brit overtones to it and crank the amp to 11.
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Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
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#22
Yea, from what WGS says about it it sounds like an even better option than the Jensen. I went with the Cannabis Rex because I wanted headroom, efficiency, and warmth... But I could definitely see a few others on the list working well for me.

The idea that speaker should be done last is a little odd to me though. Some people (like myself) will replace the speaker and not feel anything else is necessary... And it's the cheapest and easiest thing to upgrade aside from tubes (which I always replace anyway, just to get a set of spares) so I don't see how it could hurt. His site has great info, but I do get the impression he thinks every BJr on the planet needs his mods.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#23
Alright, I've actually tossed around the idea a year back about putting in a cannabis rex in my Jr and never got around to it. Maybe I'll do that before I buy another amp because I really do enjoy having and using my Blues Jr. Its deffinitly got a ton of power and playability, and I never have a problem getting over a drummer with a compressor and/or fuzz, and I can carry it easily in one hand!
Last edited by StylingPaT at May 29, 2013,
#24
A Blues Junior wouldn't be loud enough for what I play (i am one of those guys that plays at punishingly loud volumes) but if it suits you then that's what matters. It really does sound to me like you should just fine tune it to suit your needs. The speaker is the first place to start, followed by tube selection. The BJ is a fine little amp really, it just needs tweaking.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#25
Quote by StylingPaT
Alright, I've actually tossed around the idea a year back about putting in a cannabis rex in my Jr and never got around to it. Maybe I'll do that before I buy another amp because I really do enjoy having and using my Blues Jr. Its deffinitly got a ton of power and playability, and I never have a problem getting over a drummer with a compressor and/or fuzz, and I can carry it easily in one hand!

If the description on BillM's site appeals to you then I say go for it. It's actually a good bit for efficient than the stock speaker also, so you'll gain some volume.

Quote by Cathbard
A Blues Junior wouldn't be loud enough for what I play (i am one of those guys that plays at punishingly loud volumes) but if it suits you then that's what matters. It really does sound to me like you should just fine tune it to suit your needs. The speaker is the first place to start, followed by tube selection. The BJ is a fine little amp really, it just needs tweaking.

Yup. JJ EL84s (like I have to tell you, ) some assorted NOS preamp tubes, and a Cannabis Rex and mine has opened up a lot from the dreaded 'boxy' sound. It may not beat the '69 Super Reverb I played a while back, but for the price and the size it's a beast.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#26
Quote by tubetime86

Yup. JJ EL84s (like I have to tell you, ) some assorted NOS preamp tubes, and a Cannabis Rex and mine has opened up a lot from the dreaded 'boxy' sound. It may not beat the '69 Super Reverb I played a while back, but for the price and the size it's a beast.


I just recently just put in some Electro Harmonix EL84's and Electro Harmonix 12AX7's in this year. So now all I got left is the speaker. I'm very excited now!
#27
Just got done playing last night, playing about 15ft away from the speaker and it fixed my problem I was experiencing last time. I'm still going to replace the speaker tho!

So know I have two sets of cables. One for playing in a smaller space and one when I go blast my warehouse
#28
You are getting it off the ground aren't you? Proper angled amp stands aren't expensive, and worth it. Failing that, a milk crate. Trust me, get it off the ground.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band