#1
I bought a Fender Blues Deville 212 in November after upgrading from a Laney TF300 (120 watt hybrid amp). I love the clean sound which is why I bought it. I also play with a very loud drummer and bassist in a very small room and I figured that a 212 would be much better at being heard than a 112.

The only thing is, I do like playing with varying degrees of distortion, and I planned to use either my Boss ME-50 or Digitech Bad Monkey to help me get some decent sounds (the drive channel on the amp is said to be useless so I havent tried it much). Using the clean channel with a distortion over the top sounds fine, but I'm looking for a sound similar to the Black Keys or Jimi Hendrix which I believe is a cranked valve sound.

Is it possible to get this sound from this amp without smashing the windows? It is ridiculously loud and I'm kind of regretting buying such a big amp. I mean, what is the point in an amp this big unless for gigging? In which case you would be using a PA anyway right?

I have a few defined questions;

1. What is the point of amps of this size? Is it so you can gig without a PA?

2. What is the best way to get a good distortion at a decent level (decent level as in loud enough to piss the neighbours off but not too loud as to have to wear ear protection or be in another room to avoid hearing damage - something I currently do).

3. Would a smaller wattage amp still be able to be heard at band practise levels using the clean channel?

Any help appreciated.

lodgi
#2
1. The point of having amps with a lot of power depends on what sort of amp it is. But generally one useful attribute higher powered amplifiers have over lower-powered amps is more headroom. The amplifier can be fed with a stronger signal without distorting.

2. It depends on how you define 'good'. Also some amps react to lower volume levels differently to others, so it also depends on the amp itself.

3. It depends on how small it is and whether or not it is tube or solid state. Generally tube amps are twice as loud for their power than solid state. But even then different designs of solid state and tube amplifiers yield different volume levels.

Sorry for the vague answers, but you're asking very vague questions.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 17, 2014,
#3
1. Amp size is mostly (IMO) about headroom, ie the bigger wattage the amp, the harder it is to push and the longer it takes to break up, resulting in a louder clean tone.

2. You could use an attenuetor, although somepeople believe these diminish the tone somewhat and iirc theyre not cheap, this is why a lot of amps have master volumes that allow you to turn up the gain but keep the overall volume low.

3. A smaller wattage amp would be able to be heard in a band practice, although the clean headroom would be diminished, so you might not great cleans in a band setting. I used to gig with a 20 watt valve amp which did the trick in rehearsals, and i micd it for shows. it really all depends on the amp. Vox amps for instance are seen as very loud for the wattage as they are a very cleanly voiced amp.
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#4
Try the drive channel and use the Bad Monkey as a boost not as an OD. To do this: volume max, gain off, tone to your taste. This will boost your input signal and help give you that cranked valve sound at lower volumes. You can adjust the amps gain to what ever you want and then add the BM pedal to that to push it over the top.
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#5
I used my old 60W Abbey in everything from outdoor concerts to restaurants. Sometimes I'd run it through a 1960 (4x12), sometimes a 1936 (2x12) and sometimes through both. Run it through a 1x12 for than a couple of times too. 50 or 60W is a good all rounder.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Feb 17, 2014,
#6
I use a 60w Blackstar with some pretty mean valves running through 2x12s, neighbours haven't complained yet. I'd say 60w is pretty much the butter zone, good for practice and gigging, handles everything really.
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#7
60 Watts is probably too much if you want to get the power tubes to break up at home. This isn't a necessity since its a two channel amp with a gain knob/master volume.

The drive channel is far from useless; I'd give it a try. It's not your typical British overdriven sound, but there are a lot of good tones in there.
#8
Answers
1) You retain control and have a glorious 'push' to the clean sound, sometimes described as 'bell like'.

2) We'll come back to this.

3) at about 20w valve (30+ s/s) is where this stops being practical especially if the rest of the band don't co-operate. I have rehearsed with less and a clean sound when the drummer played 'flats' and the bass had a 60w combo but if they insist on blowing out windows it ain't gonna happen.

So to answer 2) we need to look at what makes an amp distort. there are a number of things that give a guitar amp it sound but we'll look at the major issues here.
if we have an active component (valve or transistor) it gets the feed/signal voltage and tries to increase/amplify its waveform by adding voltage from the power rails. Once the input signal multiplied by the amplification factor exceeds the available power at the rails the waveform no longer has that nice rounded top and bottom, it is clipped flat at the top (hence the expression clipped tones). once clipping starts the volume no longer increases much and the distortion fills a larger element of the sound which is also naturally compressed. Some people thing valves do this distortion better than transistors but there are good and bad of each type and the circuit design takes a part too. Now lets assume valve amps for a moment, the sound of distortion in a preamp valve is different to that of a power amp valve 9as well as different power amp valves having distinctive tone). Plus once you get the output valves working hard there is a soft compressed distortion in the now saturated output transformer 9not in transistor powered amps). Also the loudspeakers used for guitar amps are not hi-fi or uniform in their output so they 'thicken up' when pushed hard.
What does this all mean. Well a small amp pushed past it's design power will distort all the component chain to give a sweet sound (subjective) but a large amp with a master volume will likely only drive the preamp valves to distortion for the same overall volume level. But can be be clean at that same level. If you want an over driven sound at quieter volume an attenuator or power soak gets most of it (but not loudspeaker distortion). The downside is that you can't switch from attenuator to clean very easily and certainly not mid song. For this reason most people go on the hunt for a distortion pedal that gives an approximation of the total overdrive sound at pretty much any volume and let the amp take care of the clean sound.

I hope that makes some sense when you read it.
#9
there is no definite answer. all amps behave the same, and were designed thier way to sound a certsin way.

indirectly - YES to all your questions. there are amps that are smaller that can do everything you want, and yes, some big amps were made that way to sound that way.

guys like RHCP (i say teh band because both frischante and klinghoffer both use similar rigs) use a 200 watt marshall major for a reason. they mic it through the massive PA, but it doesnt matter. the tone they want is only going to be had from a 200 watt marshall. i mean, thats rediculous rig, but its true.

at the same time, some sounds are only going to be had by cranking a small boutique tube amp. completely the opposite.

if you really look into it, you will find many of these big bands run multiple amps at one time. black keys run anywhere from 2-4 amps live. thier rigs are huge. so you need to find a way to make an acceptable sounding copy with normal person means.
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#10
everything else has pretty much been answered, but as far as gigging, don't expect you'll always be able to use a house PA. When you're starting out, or putting on your own shows, or doing anything on the side that isn't endorsed by people with money, you won't have one. It all depends on the show.
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#11
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE

3. It depends on how small it is and whether or not it is tube or solid state. Generally tube amps are twice as loud for their power than solid state. But even then different designs of solid state and tube amplifiers yield different volume levels.



Why do you and others keep saying nonsense like this? I love tube amps, and own several, but they aren't magic physics-defying boxes that create increased volume, unicorns and rainbows.

They're just amps. A given output wattage through a given speaker will result in a specific volume level. No more and no less.

It really is just that simple.

Now, that being said there are some reasons why certain amps are perceived as 'louder', but it's not a tube v. SS issue.


To the question TS asked, 60w is a good solid number. It may be more than necessary under some conditions, but that's what we have volume controls for.
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Last edited by Arby911 at Feb 17, 2014,
#12
Quote by Arby911

Now, that being said there are some reasons why certain amps are perceived as 'louder', but it's not a tube v. SS issue.


Isn't this just a semantical technicality?

We know that a watt is a watt and all of that jazz, but at the end of the day, at the end of the chain when the sound is traveling from the speaker to our ears, tube amps sound louder from the same wattage at the same volume level. That may not be what's happening on a physical/technical level, but that is what we are perceiving, and isn't that what is most important?
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#13
Quote by Offworld92
Isn't this just a semantical technicality?

We know that a watt is a watt and all of that jazz, but at the end of the day, at the end of the chain when the sound is traveling from the speaker to our ears, tube amps sound louder from the same wattage at the same volume level. That may not be what's happening on a physical/technical level, but that is what we are perceiving, and isn't that what is most important?


No, I don't think it is because again it's not 'because it's tube' per se.

And because I'm loath to consider basic science a semantic technicality.

The problem with that thinking is that while YOU know the 'a watt is a watt' etc., there are a LOT of people that don't, and allowing misinformation to be disseminated is how music myths like the one about how tube amps are automagically louder get started. Case in point: Your comment that I bolded doesn't always hold true, there are too many other variables in the chain. (Input signal, EQ settings, circuit design, speaker efficiency, number of speakers etc.)

Couple that with the unfortunate reality that people have gone so far as to try to find 'science' to support the unsupportable (which is where the ridiculous even order/odd order harmonic claims come from) and we end up with a veritable plethora of useless information being presented as fact.

And I'll be damned if I'm going to let someone on the internet be WRONG!!
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#14
There's also the fact that amps are rated at what, 10% THD? You run tube amps way past that and they sound good whereas 10% THD in a SS amp sounds like crud.
Plus of course you have to take into account marketing douche bags who simply pull a figure out of their arse.
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