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#1
Is it excessive or is it justified?

I like to use multiple speakers and mix sounds, but there's been something that I've wanted to do for a while now, I want to get an extension cab as well as use multiple amps.

I use to run two vintage amps (a fender twin & a verlage vtr100) in stereo with a lots of delays, fuzz, + other effects to create interesting soundscapes by building layers on my looper pedal, but I decided to change things around a year and half go because I wanted a more refined sound that was a little more intelligible (easier to play and sing to even though it hasn't quite worked out that way).

Since then I've been more focused on getting a stellar dry tone with one amp and I have become more reserved with the use and implication of effects.

There are plenty of ideas I'm still trying to workout in my head but this is one I feel like asking after watching plenty of videos/demos of amps (Friedman/Wizard/Bogner/Diezel...), speakers (scumback, wgs...), pickups (Bare Knuckle, Rio Grande, Seymour Duncan...), and other gear.

- Can I achieve something I can't with 3/4 stack or full stack that a single 4x12 or 2x12 can't?

- Can I get an added flavor or dimension to the sound by having a different set of speakers with the ones I'm using at the moment?

- Or is it all just an unnecessary goliath structure that would be a pain in the ass to move/deal with when the actually problem is the equipment I'm using doesn't suit my needs and everything I want and more should be achievable with the right head, cab, guitar (at least maybe for dry tone, when it comes to wet its stereo or die for me)?

Thanks for reading.
#2
I'd start with the absolute basics first. See just how far some simple adjustments with your head and guitar will take you, and if you cant get any closer to where you want with those, then I would think about getting a full stack. If your looking for something more punchy then a larger set of speakers can actually help in that regard, but it will also amplify parts of the tone that you may not like.

If your experimenting with tones beyond dry distortions and looking for something with more crunch, i've found it starts to become more at the whim of your guitar pickups-->head-->Cab past the 4/5 mark on the distortion knob, and less about what kind of strings, shape of guitar, material of guitar, etc.

In the end, sometimes it may seem like a waste of time and resources doing those little fiddly things to get the tone you want, but once you hit that sweet spot you've been looking for, its amazing, hah. One day I came across a guitar with a set up and tone that was just perfect for me in a shop, ended up playing it for 3 hours before I finally bought it.
Last edited by couchdweller at Jan 17, 2015,
#3
Quote by couchdweller
I'd start with the absolute basics first. See just how far some simple adjustments with your head and guitar will take you, and if you cant get any closer to where you want with those, then I would think about getting a full stack. If your looking for something more punchy then a larger set of speakers can actually help in that regard, but it will also amplify parts of the tone that you may not like.


I have been doing basic adjustment for the past 3 or so months when I replaced two of the speakers in my Olde Crow 4x12 (I didn't have a balance sound because the EV's were burying the Jensen & WGS) but I am still not quite where I want sound-wise.

As for a fullstack I'm not really keen on that idea I just wanted to see what people thought but I am very interested in adding a 2x12 for other frequencies in the mix mainly because I'm lusting for some Fane AXA12s but the ISP SL Vector looks like it could be a game changer for me, so IDK...

Quote by couchdweller
If your experimenting with tones beyond dry distortions and looking for something with more crunch, i've found it starts to become more at the whim of your guitar pickups-->head-->Cab past the 4/5 mark on the distortion knob, and less about what kind of strings, shape of guitar, material of guitar, etc.


For doing very elaborate post-rock and looper layers with distorted delays it seemed like lower output pickups were less harsh in the high end but that might also have to do with volumes I was playing at, but I'm not completely focused on that right now because I want to build from the ground up and I feel a separate wet stereo amps are needed for that. I do want more crunch (more like mids) that's why I want to replace the bridge HB in my strat.

Quote by couchdweller
In the end, sometimes it may seem like a waste of time and resources doing those little fiddly things to get the tone you want, but once you hit that sweet spot you've been looking for, its amazing, hah. One day I came across a guitar with a set up and tone that was just perfect for me in a shop, ended up playing it for 3 hours before I finally bought it.


It always feels like a waste of time (and extremely stressful) when things aren't working out right and once you started pouring thousands of dollars into this, but to accomplish something that could be magnificent I would feel a greater regret if I didn't try.
Last edited by MindIsMaster at Jan 17, 2015,
#4
I've found a lot of that "tone crafting" has to do with sub par equipment or technique.
In many case it has been cheap amps, for example I've never heard the cleans that I've had in my head until I plugged into Matchless Chieftain at $3k.
I guess look into the basics, upgrading the amp, guitar and cab. I think if you can't get the majority of the tone you're after with guitar->cable->head->4x12, then you need to look for a different amplifier.
Last edited by diabolical at Jan 17, 2015,
#5
when i started accruing more and more gear i started incorporating different pieces of equipment into my setup. it started pretty simple, like two amps on either side of the stage/practice space.

since we were only a 3 piece band eventually i started to feel more pressure to create more interesting sonic landscapes and started using more intense effects. this in turn lead to me wanting more elaborate setups of stereo and wet/dry sounds.

i really enjoyed this time, i got some very cool sounds and was impressed with some of the results. i recorded almost all of our practices and gigs and spent a bunch of time tweaking my setup based on recordings.

bottomline is that i don't know if it was worth the effort. at times i did get burnt out carrying 3 amps, two cabs and extensive pedalboards around. i don't do much of that anymore, but then again i don't play in bands like that anymore.

if you want to hear some examples:

https://soundcloud.com/gumbilicious/the-panchromatic-normalization

this was from the heydey of excess. 3 amps, panned left, center and right. the center amp was a 'dry' amp, the left and right were stereo effects amps. there was a wide range of amps and speakers used to help diversify the sound, you can hear quite a few different 'tones' if you pay attention to the stereo field. there was also lots of ring modulators, stereo delays and stereo phasing going on.

https://soundcloud.com/gumbilicious/bara-dragn-train

this is from a radio gig where i only brought two amps along with me. still some stereo effects, but it's a bit more low key. there is some interesting interplay on the rhythm guitar parts using the different amps.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#6
Quote by MindIsMaster
Can I achieve something I can't with 3/4 stack or full stack that a single 4x12 or 2x12 can't?
More bass.
That is, if you're playing without anything mic'd up, in which case if ya ask me even a 4x12 is overkill.
Quote by MindIsMaster
Can I get an added flavor or dimension to the sound by having a different set of speakers with the ones I'm using at the moment?
I'd say not an added dimension, but added flavor yes.
Quote by MindIsMaster
Or is it all just an unnecessary goliath structure that would be a pain in the ass to move/deal with when the actually problem is the equipment I'm using doesn't suit my needs and everything I want and more should be achievable with the right head, cab, guitar (at least maybe for dry tone, when it comes to wet its stereo or die for me)?
For a dry tone you'd ideally need one good amp, the guitar and the cables.
Have you ever heard a mesa lonestar?
That's one experience to try.

I'd say for a dry tone you could indeed get away with something like a couple cabs and a head if you want to do things the hard way (for example a lonestar classic head + lonestar 2x12 + lonestar 4x10) or you could get a single amp you really like the sound of (say a lonestar 1x12 combo) with possibly a pedal or two for slight delay/compression.

If you want a complicated stereo setup with lotsa fx and lotsa funny stuff, get a pod or an axe fx or similar and be done with lugging an exaggerated amount of stuff around.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#7
Quote by diabolical
- I've found a lot of that "tone crafting" has to do with sub par equipment or technique.

- In my case it has been cheap amps, for example I've never heard the cleans that I've had in my head until I plugged into Matchless Chieftain at $3k.


- I'd say it's bad technique from using sub par equipment and being impatient with the rate of improvement from the current upgrade... also being paranoid if something in the mix lacks quality resulting in a sound that doesn't reach my expectations (of what I think the gear I'm using is worth in sound, because there is no way in hell of meeting my actual expectations until they come down to something reasonable - which they slowly are or maybe I'm getting better IDK).

- Cheap equipment is great if you like cheap sound, but if your trying to get something more you need to throw down some coin for quality, I'm trying to mix lo-fi with hi-fi, as well as modern with vintage. It's a strange process but seems doable with a Fender Twin-Amp (with something else in stereo) and a Diezel Herbert. It's frustrating at times because everything is interconnected and the sound can be ruined or slightly tinged if I'm using the wrong pickups or bad cables or improper setting and so on.
#8
Quote by gumbilicious
bottomline is that i don't know if it was worth the effort. at times i did get burnt out carrying 3 amps, two cabs and extensive pedalboards around. i don't do much of that anymore, but then again i don't play in bands like that anymore.

if you want to hear some examples:

https://soundcloud.com/gumbilicious/the-panchromatic-normalization

https://soundcloud.com/gumbilicious/bara-dragn-train


The weight is something that concerns me, it has ever since the beginning but since I'm still in an infant state trying to find myself I've chose to ignore it and only deal with sound.

- How many pedals were you using?

I liked the recording, I can hear the ambition lol, it was very jam rock/psychedelic orientated. I would have liked a little more structure/direction with what was being played and layering with the stereo amps but then that just me, and if you were happy with it then that's all that matters (I really enjoy doing looping with stereo amps with heavy effects - did you ever do that?

- Also what have you created recently?
#9
Quote by Spambot_2
More bass.
That is, if you're playing without anything mic'd up, in which case if ya ask me even a 4x12 is overkill.

I'd say not an added dimension, but added flavor yes.

For a dry tone you'd ideally need one good amp, the guitar and the cables.
Have you ever heard a mesa lonestar?

If you want a complicated stereo setup with lotsa fx and lotsa funny stuff, get a pod or an axe fx or similar and be done with lugging an exaggerated amount of stuff around.


- My 4x12 has more body then my QSC PA's so micing it will be difficult if the time comes for that.

- An ISP SL Vector would probably add a 3d like sound but I doubt it would add flavor so I'm still torn on that Idea or getting a custom cab to my specs... also the ISP looks ugly, and would look like shit below or next to my hardwood cabinet

- I can't remember if I played/tried the Lonestar but I have tried the Mark V, Roadking (1 & 2), roadster, Triple Rec and a bunch of other amps from other brands as well when I was amp shopping a year or so ago. But I was playing them through Mesa, Orange cabs with Vintage 30's and I HATE those speakers so much.

(that pretty much was one of the main reasons I got a custom cab built because I loathe the speaker options they gave and how every company puts those into their cabs as well as the price you pay for what you get...)

After trying so many amps I eventually talked a guy down who had Diezel Herbert, played it, thought it sounded the best and bought it (that and the features it has/offers and all the other things it does right).

- I played/demoed an Elevenrack through multiple application, even through a power amp into a 4x12 Marshall cab, long story short I was not impressed and have never been impressed with any type of modeler.
Last edited by MindIsMaster at Jan 18, 2015,
#10
Quote by MindIsMaster
The weight is something that concerns me, it has ever since the beginning but since I'm still in an infant state trying to find myself I've chose to ignore it and only deal with sound.

- How many pedals were you using?


a bunch, about a dozen maybe.

Quote by MindIsMaster
I liked the recording, I can hear the ambition lol, it was very jam rock/psychedelic orientated. I would have liked a little more structure/direction with what was being played and layering with the stereo amps but then that just me, and if you were happy with it then that's all that matters (I really enjoy doing looping with stereo amps with heavy effects - did you ever do that?


i don't really expect anyone to ever connect with the music i make. it is a selfish enterprise for myself with very little consideration of what other people desire in the music they listen to. the first song was completely improvised anyway, so there won't be any real direction in it.

hopefully you got something out of what a setup sounds like using a bunch of different amps, speakers and effects.

i never got into looping much, never had a real looper and the dynamics of my musical partners never really lended itself to looping.

Quote by MindIsMaster
- Also what have you created recently?


music with more instrumentation. i kinda got over the power trio and craved writing in a different direction.

this is one thing i made a while back

https://soundcloud.com/gumbilicious/end-is-not-in-sight
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jan 18, 2015,
#11
I think the soundman has a lot to do as to how you'd be perceived live.

I've been asked to do few live shows with a touring band and in one of the instances when I was allowed to run sound with high end touring band setup we upstaged the headliner, as the in house sound engineer didn't care much or didn't know their set. I, in the other hand, was running it as studio gig, where I bumped up the leads, threw in stereo widening on the rhythm guitar (thank Eventide harmonizer for that), few spot vocal fx here and there.

In other words I think doing elaborate multi mic setup, dry/wet rig, etc goes only this far when you're fighting uphill battle with sound engineer that is just phoning it in, and in reality most in house crews are doing just that.
#12
"Is it excessive or is it justified... tone crafting"

Honestly I think a lot of it is petulant douchbaggery but we guitarists are a fickle bunch and we all do it to some degree. ""Searching for the Holy Grail" and all.

With gear, there is always a floor of quality but really excellent tone can come from pretty simple guitars and amps right off the rack. Many of the most famous recordings of all time were made with a stock guitar, Fender Champ and a 6" speaker. That said, I think most would agree that Dumble consistently produces fabulous tone that eludes nearly every other amp. They are now so precious that a lot of players will no longer gig with them. Sorta defeats the purpose I think.

After churning through 20 guitars and maybe 30 amps I now have a lot less interest in high $$ boutique stuff. I want tools I can gig with and make music night after night without hiring a security detail to guard my precious one-of-a-kind rig. Along the way I figured out that like Satch, Robben Ford, Guthrie Govan, and SRV, great tone is mostly in my fingers.
YMMV
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#13
i don't really expect anyone to ever connect with the music i make. it is a selfish enterprise for myself with very little consideration of what other people desire in the music they listen to.
As much as I would like to say I don't care what other people think about my art... I know it would be a lie, but I would rather please myself than others when it comes to that. Now only if I could do that with music (like I can with creative writing), I always find myself fiddling around like a lost soul searching for direction where there is no guidance but your own - kind of like life.

hopefully you got something out of what a setup sounds like using a bunch of different amps, speakers and effects.
I was using two amps before but I didn't like the dry tone (lacked clarity and punch especially with distortion) so I went a different direction, still use lot of effects and mixed speakers in 4x12.

music with more instrumentation. i kinda got over the power trio and craved writing in a different direction.
You should checkout Jakob, I guess they could be considered a power trio.

https://jakobtheband.bandcamp.com/album/sines
#14
Quote by diabolical
I think the soundman has a lot to do as to how you'd be perceived live.

In other words I think doing elaborate multi mic setup, dry/wet rig, etc goes only this far when you're fighting uphill battle with sound engineer that is just phoning it in, and in reality most in house crews are doing just that.


Either that or they're incompetent, but I guess it would be pretty hard to care if the band that is performing has shit settings/gear so what's being played can't be distinguished anyways let alone salvaged by the mic/mixer/pa. But I wonder how many local acts I've seen have been ruined because of bad mixing (probably 90%).

I think because of that there should be even more of an incentive to learn about what you're using and how it all works so you can deliver a good sound/performance, but a lot people in bands that I've sold gear to don't know anything/don't care and some are in it for the wrong reasons altogether so it doesn't matter.
#15
Lots of bollocks really being tossed around in here. Get one really good multichannel amp and a good floor board. What is all this bullshit? Seriously, simple is good unless you have a team of roadies. Hell, if you want lots of shit, just run a Pod into the desk and get a good wedge. You're over thinking it.
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
#16
If you're having a good time tone chasing, why not? I love my rig and if I couldn't acquire anymore gear I'd still be set and sound great, imo (which is what counts). I have everything I need. But I also love trying out new gear and screwing around with different gadgets, its a hobby.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#17
He sounds like a candidate for an RM1250 and a Pod.
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
Last edited by Cathbard at Jan 18, 2015,
#18
Quote by Cajundaddy
Honestly I think a lot of it is petulant douchbaggery but we guitarists are a fickle bunch and we all do it to some degree. ""Searching for the Holy Grail" and all.

We are Douchbags, that's probably a big part of why guitar (or guitar driven music/bands) have sort of fallen off as the musical focal point in mainstream music (besides economics, ease of use, transportation, the surge/growth of electronic music, etc...). I also blame the overly scoped sound and lose of mids that started with nu-metal in the mid 90s (as well as the copy cat nature and the demand from stubborn players who demand everything one way) and the transition from analog to digital, but I feel digital has finally started to catch up to analog so maybe there is salvation.

Quote by Cajundaddy
With gear, there is always a floor of quality but really excellent tone can come from pretty simple guitars and amps right off the rack.

True, just wish I could find this awesome sounding off the rack equipment... so I can scourer cragslist and get it significantly cheaper than new.

Quote by Cajundaddy
After churning through 20 guitars and maybe 30 amps I now have a lot less interest in high $$ boutique stuff. I want tools I can gig with and make music night after night without hiring a security detail to guard my precious one-of-a-kind rig. Along the way I figured out that like Satch, Robben Ford, Guthrie Govan, and SRV, great tone is mostly in my fingers.
YMMV

Tone starts in the fingers and ends there if you're playing acoustic... but if it's an electric everything from you guitar/strings/pickups/pots/caps through your cables/effects to your amps/cabs/speakers and whatever else is either going to enhance or take away from what you got. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's going to be fragile but it also could be something you don't want. I personally just prefer the sound to boutique to commercial there's just more pleasing frequencies.
#19
(^ to Cath)
Screw that, the RM sounds much better without a cheap multifx. I've confirmed it as fact.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
Last edited by lucky1978 at Jan 18, 2015,
#20
True, although my GT-100 mates up with it pretty well. This guy is obviously a pedalhead though.
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
#21
Quote by Cathbard
Lots of bollocks really being tossed around in here. Get one really good multichannel amp and a good floor board. What is all this bullshit? Seriously, simple is good unless you have a team of roadies. Hell, if you want lots of shit, just run a Pod into the desk and get a good wedge. You're over thinking it.

I think you're missing the point a little bit, it's about trying to find your identity through your playing and the equipment being used by understanding what is/isn't needed. I wish it was easy but some people desire more like nymphomaniacs always crave sex (maybe it's just perpetual lust IDFK).

I'll stop over thinking it once I feel satisfied and things start sounding/working right or settle or all three.
Last edited by MindIsMaster at Jan 18, 2015,
#22
"Pedalhead"

I'm a pedalhead in recovery, use to use anywhere from 5 to 7 at a time now I mainly use one.
#23
If you're in the US, look for an RM12 or RM4. Even an RM100 may sort you out.
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
#24
I'd say there's 2 different types of "tone chasing". One involves upgrades and "oooh, that sounds cool" gear acquisitions. The other involves compensating for lack of skill and "It doesn't sound good cause I need more, expensive gear" psuedo "skill" acquisitions.


Edit: You're doing it wrong if you're buying gear to "find" your identity. You've got it backwards.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
Last edited by lucky1978 at Jan 19, 2015,
#25
Quote by lucky1978
I'd say there's 2 different types of "tone chasing". One involves upgrades and "oooh, that sounds cool" gear acquisitions. The other involves compensating for lack of skill and "It doesn't sound good cause I need more, expensive gear" psuedo "skill" acquisitions.
Edit: You're doing it wrong if you're buying gear to "find" your identity. You've got it backwards.


I'd say I fall into both categories but I think I'm pretty good at justifying my purchases/exchanges (especially when I exhaust all possible reasons for why something doesn't sound right including personal skill level)

It's not about buying gear to find you identity it's about experimenting and figuring out what suits your playing style, I wouldn't expect a blues player or a SRV type to be happy trying to emulate his sounds on a PV 6505 or a 8 string Meshuggah wannabe creating Djent on a Fender Deluxe or Blues JR.

God bless his soul for trying... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YcTP8eJs1k
Last edited by MindIsMaster at Jan 19, 2015,
#26
Quote by MindIsMaster
I think you're missing the point a little bit, it's about trying to find your identity through your playing and the equipment being used by understanding what is/isn't needed. I wish it was easy but some people desire more like nymphomaniacs always crave sex (maybe it's just perpetual lust IDFK).

I'll stop over thinking it once I feel satisfied and things start sounding/working right or settle or all three.


Cathbard isn't missing the point at all. I also prefer to keep things as simple as I can get away with. knowing what to do with your gear is just as important as the gear itself. you can have the highest end stuff available and if you don't know how to dial it in then who cares. you don't have to look any further than Jeff Beck to see that you don't need a ton of gear to have great tone. Jeff gets more out of a fairly simple setup than some guys do with a mountain of gear. you also don't have to spend a fortune on gear either. I can get great sound out of my MIM strat (yes it's modded but most of that is for tuning stability) plugged into my Peavey Ultra with a couple of pedals. I take the time to really explore the gear I have and only if I really can't get what I reasonably want do I change things. you do have to be reasonable as well. I also rely on my actual playing to sound good. if you can't pull off the licks then having great gear means nothing.
#27
I think we all tend to give far too much credit to "special" gear for great guitar tone.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jan 19, 2015,
#28
Quote by lucky1978
I'd say there's 2 different types of "tone chasing". One involves upgrades and "oooh, that sounds cool" gear acquisitions. The other involves compensating for lack of skill and "It doesn't sound good cause I need more, expensive gear" psuedo "skill" acquisitions.

I do both, unashamedly! (More the former than the latter, TBH.)

I know I could be better if I practiced more, but I practice when I can.

In the meantime...MOAR GEER!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#29
So where does everybody stand on the original question though?

(I'll rephrase it)

- Is a big cab setup (3/4stack, fullstack, or some sort of multiple cab arrangement) overindulgence or is there an added benefit (that's justifiable) from a speaker EQ that goes beyond just a single 4x12 or 2x12 with mixed speakers? (Examples Vintage 30s with Greenbacks in a 4x12 or a Ceramic and Alnico in a 2x12)
#30
Quote by MindIsMaster
I

- Or is it all just an unnecessary goliath structure that would be a pain in the ass to move/deal with when the actually problem is the equipment I'm using doesn't suit my needs


This.

I've watched this happen before. As soon as the guy moved this horrendous concoction out of his practice room, the whole thing sounded so different he was almost in tears. We call it The Idiot Assemblage. It's sort of like an open back cabinet. The only person who ever hears it just the way he likes it is the guitarist, sitting in whatever spot he prefers, close to the amp and the walls it bounces off. Walk out in the audience and it's gone. Mike the speaker and you get nothing like what he's hearing.

My advice is to pick up either a Pod X3 bean (used, about $99) or an HD500X (used, around $350). Both will support two separate chains of amp/cab/FX at a time. Tweak to your heart's content with a really good pair of studio quality earphones (Sony 7506, AKG 240, Sennheiser 280, BeyerDynamic 770 or the like), run them in stereo, run them back together into a mono output, whatever floats your boat. You should then be able to run these golden creations out into an arena PA, a set of really good powered speakers, a pair of good recording monitors, etc., and have largely the same thing no matter where you go.

Worst case, it will tell you, more or less, what kind of "real" individual components you need to seek out. Best case, it will give you a solid and consistent tone that you can make minor tweaks on depending on room and so on at your venues.
#31
i am a bit shocked, it seems there is quite a bit of backlash on experimenting with gear. now i feel absolutely at home plugging my telecaster directly into my brownface deluxe and using my volume knob as my only adjustment to tone. no prob.

sometimes i want a ring modulator through a stereo delay run out to two amps.

it seems many of you think one of these scenarios is wrong and the other one is right. i just don't see it that way. i don't ever see someone ragging on keyboard players saying their setups are too elaborate and complicated... is it just because they play keyboard instead of guitar? should guitar just be plugged into one single amp? did i not get the guitar player instruction manual that dictates this?

if this attention to complex setups overshadows your playing, then i can definitely see that should be pointed out. it should always be about what you do rather than what you are doing it on. if you aren't getting any better, but your gear is then, your priorities may be in the wrong place (unless you are just a collector, which i also think is fine).

Quote by Cathbard
Lots of bollocks really being tossed around in here. Get one really good multichannel amp and a good floor board. What is all this bullshit? Seriously, simple is good unless you have a team of roadies. Hell, if you want lots of shit, just run a Pod into the desk and get a good wedge. You're over thinking it.


i think we all know how you feel cath, but i have never really understood your total disdain for a more complex setup than your own. i can dig, you don't like running complex arrangements yourself, but you seem to get genuinely upset when someone mentions using more than one amp.

i toted all my stuff around (and all the bass player's stuff and the PA), i didn't need a 'team' of roadies. if i was willing to do it then who was i hurting exactly?

i don't think anyone here has said that a multi-amp, complex setup is the way to go. in fact it seems people are saying it is quite a bit of hassle to deal with.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jan 19, 2015,
#32
Quote by MindIsMaster
- My 4x12 has more body then my QSC PA's so micing it will be difficult if the time comes for that.

- An ISP SL Vector would probably add a 3d like sound but I doubt it would add flavor so I'm still torn on that Idea or getting a custom cab to my specs... also the ISP looks ugly, and would look like shit below or next to my hardwood cabinet
- I played/demoed an Elevenrack through multiple application, even through a power amp into a 4x12 Marshall cab, long story short I was not impressed and have never been impressed with any type of modeler.


"Demoing" a modeler is usually what allows Internet Savants to proclaim that they sound bad. Running one through a 4x12, for starters, is coloring it and eliminating a large chunk of what it can do. Poking at the presets for 15 minutes is absolutely the wrong way to evaluate one. This is likely why you have "never been impressed with any type of modeler." And yet there are rafts of pros out there who've taken the time to figure them out.

The ISP SL Vector is essentially just a subwoofer for a guitar system that normally only reproduces low end either not at all or with extreme mud. It's a good piece for those extended range guitarists who want to reproduce 7 and 8-strings and who don't care if they have a bassist in the band or not. It doesn't do any "3D like sound" at all, nor does it add "flavor" (whatever you think that might mean); just reproduces bottom end that gets lost by 4x12 speaker cabinets that normally fail to produce even the low E on a six-string.You should be aware that ISP also makes a really trick cabinet that looks like a 4x12, but that contains a pair of 12" guitar speakers and the general mechanics of the Vector SL (15" subwoofer with its own 400W amp) in a separate internal ported cabinet). If you don't like how the Vector SL looks with your hardwood cabinet or your guitar's finish or your new shoes, then put it BEHIND your hardwood 4x12. Bass in those regions is surprisingly omnidirectional. *

Your 4x12 doesn't have more "body" than a pair of QSC K12s with a corresponding pair of 2x12 subs. I know that's a news flash, but there it is.

*I'm using two similar styles of speaker cabinet for playing out these days, in part because I play modeled guitar, keys (Korg Kronos X) and a bit of bass, depending. I settled on one style of speaker cabinet that will go very low and that will also maintain pretty flat response up to very high. I push a pair of these with a 1500W bass amp (Carvin BX1500) or with either a DCM1540L or an HD1500.

Two of these cabinets contain an Eminence Kappalite 15" neo-based 3015 LF driver, a 6.5" 18Sound mids driver and a 1" HF driver (google fEARful 15/6/1). One of them will handle 900W (8ohms), two of them will handle 1500W (4 ohms) total. Two of these cabinets are similar, but use Faital mids and HF drivers and are a bit smaller and built to tilt back or sit on a speaker stand (google fEARless F115). Same power handling. All will run down to at least 45Hz, lower if I want to waste the power (I have an HPF that drops anything below 35Hz in any case). Any pair or single one of these has far wider dispersion than any 4x12.

Most 4x12s are beaming any frequencies above 500hz and you're hearing something entirely different if you're off-axis. If your 4x12 is on the floor, make sure that the "body" you're hearing isn't boomy mechanical coupling with the floor and/or acoustic coupling with the floor/walls and room return. This is part of the reason that you'll hear something different if you mike a 4x12 compared to what you get if you walk around one in a room.
#33
Quote by MindIsMaster
So where does everybody stand on the original question though?

(I'll rephrase it)

- Is a big cab setup (3/4stack, fullstack, or some sort of multiple cab arrangement) overindulgence or is there an added benefit (that's justifiable) from a speaker EQ that goes beyond just a single 4x12 or 2x12 with mixed speakers? (Examples Vintage 30s with Greenbacks in a 4x12 or a Ceramic and Alnico in a 2x12)


big cabs have more internal space, this is considered to have a more developed low end. also the mutual coupling of the speakers is said to make the cabs a bit more low end heavy.

that being said, i don't think this makes some super huge noticeable difference that is objectively more desirable. 4x12's are also known to be pretty 'beamy', it is thought that they don't disperse sound very well and sound incredibly loud directly in front of the cab. i really don't see how this is different than any other closed back cab though.

there is the fact that a 4x12 has potential to handle higher power amps. like if you want G12M-25's, then a 2x12 can only handle a ~50 watt amp but a 4x12 can handle a ~100 watt amp.

i mainly use 2x12 cabs because i also like to mix speakers. i also have a couple 1x12 combos and ext cabs i can throw my different speakers into. i got rid of my 4x12 because it was a pain to move, i don't think it is 'wrong' to use them though.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#34
Quote by dspellman
I've watched this happen before. As soon as the guy moved this horrendous concoction out of his practice room, the whole thing sounded so different he was almost in tears. We call it The Idiot Assemblage. It's sort of like an open back cabinet. The only person who ever hears it just the way he likes it is the guitarist, sitting in whatever spot he prefers, close to the amp and the walls it bounces off. Walk out in the audience and it's gone. Mike the speaker and you get nothing like what he's hearing.

My advice is to pick up either a Pod X3 bean (used, about $99) or an HD500X (used, around $350)...

So I guess everyone is kind of forced to do something more simplistic (unless they're succeeding or feel like they are succeeding with their overly complex rig - otherwise they wouldn't be posting "Help Me" threads on forums) because of the abundance of factors that can cause it to go all wrong or not work once removed from your cozy practice space... but I don't know if I'm willing to accept that, unless it's start simple - accomplish something (either personal or commercial) - move forward whether that is more complex, the same or something different.

Not really interested in anything Line 6, sounds gross to me every time I've played them. What I'm building is Rhythm/Lead amp that is for pure playing and then two combos or smaller amps in stereo (size wise not so much watts) for post-rock/ambient/shoegaze/soundscaping/droning/etc... to play over-top of or with (I mean complete songs composed in this manner not one & done jams).
#35
Quote by gumbilicious
i am a bit shocked, it seems there is quite a bit of backlash on experimenting with gear.
it seems many of you think one of these scenarios is wrong and the other one is right. i just don't see it that way. i don't ever see someone ragging on keyboard players saying their setups are too elaborate and complicated... is it just because they play keyboard instead of guitar?

i don't think anyone here has said that a multi-amp, complex setup is the way to go. in fact it seems people are saying it is quite a bit of hassle to deal with.


Not even close. Experiment to your heart's content. I have two and a half flap-top bins full of pedals, 15 tube amps and probably another 15 extension cabinets (including some you've never seen and four 4x12s) in storage. I've played keyboards forever and had both a Hammond B3 and a Rhodes 88 to haul around, with a pair of custom-built 250W Leslies to boot.

It's just that these days you can do so much more with less. And those of us who've already been around that block are simply letting you know there's a better way.

The Korg Kronos X (I have a second keyboard on the same stand) does SO much more (including B3, Leslie and Rhodes 88 sounds) and weighs SO much less that it's silly to stack fifteen keyboards around you unless it's for looks.

I can easily blow Marshall stacks off a stage with what I can tuck into a Honda FIT. I can one-hand the pieces into the gig (and this coming from someone who puts wheels on anything heavier than a ham sandwich). And they'll reproduce higher and lower than any Marshall could ever consider.

I can run a pair of completely different signal chains with FX and different amps and different cabinets with what I can carry in a shoulder bag, and it will be consistent sound, from headphone to recording monitor to stage speakers to PAs. It eliminates mikes, mike placement, X-shape speaker placement in 90-lb cabinets, tiny connector cables that add RF noise and capacitance, a bunch of bitty power bricks and at least half a hundred individual points of failure. Someone drops one of those multitude of tube heads on its ear on the way in thanks to an icy parking lot or a steep stair, and what do you do for backup?

And I can run two different rigs on user bank #1 and two completely different rigs on user bank #2 and two completely different rigs on user bank #3, and I can change every parameter on every bit of FX on each rig with a single stomp.

There's no "backlash to experimenting with gear" here. But you do have some folks who've been there and done that and who've simply suggested that there's a better way. We've come a long way, baby, and while bass players and keyboard players have been on the journey all along, guitar players just haven't been paying attention. They still want to do all their cooking on a stick hung over a campfire because they're suspicious of a stove *inside* the cave.
#36
OOK! OOK!

The Black Monolith told me to use pedals, so I'll work with that.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 19, 2015,
#37
Quote by MindIsMaster


Not really interested in anything Line 6, sounds gross to me every time I've played them.


Your problem.

I've got Pods and Variax guitars out the bum (three Variaxes and a fourth, a second JTV-89F, that should be here before the end of the month). I know what to do with them. So do others. You don't. So you might go and listen to an Axe-FX (I've got an Ultra, but that's about three generations back now) or a Kemper and see if you like that better. Listen to a Pod HD fed through a Two-Notes Torpedo C.A.B. (I'm doing that these days).


Quote by MindIsMaster
What I'm building is Rhythm/Lead amp that is for pure playing and then two combos or smaller amps in stereo (size wise not so much watts) for post-rock/ambient/shoegaze/soundscaping/droning/etc... to play over-top of or with (I mean complete songs composed in this manner not one & done jams).


The Korg Kronos has a 16-channel digital sequencer (as does the PA3X). There are folks doing ALL the music for complete musical shows (including drums/bass/guitar/etc.) on these suckers. Not just composing, but live performance as well. The PA3X has the best bits of a VoiceLive (harmonies, autotune, yada yada) built in. I can be the flippin' choir, including basso male voices and female sopranos, on that thing.

FWIW, I've also used an Atomic Reactor 2x12 with the Pod bean mounted in it for rhythm/lead and then two smaller Atomic Reactors (1x12) running stereo (the Pods are stereo output) on either end of the band. Also built a pair of stereo 2x12s that had Eminence ProA's and a piezo tweeter at each corner and put them on either side of the drummer. That allowed four separate channels of sound, and I fed them with rack mount power amps and various preamps (including the nine-12AX7 Carvin Quad X, and a Mesa Triaxis). The Quad X has four channels, up to 11 gain stages, six (!) FX loops, tons of EQ, bass cloaking and more. A dirty little secret that never shows up at your local GC.

Been there. Done that. In spades.

I just thought I'd help with some shortcuts. Trust me, you're not having a creative brainstorm that hasn't happened over and over again for the last 30 years or so.

I'm looking forward to what you create.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 19, 2015,
#38
Quote by dannyalcatraz
OOK! OOK!

The Black Monolith told me to use pedals, so I'll work with that.


In honor of Martin Luther King's Day here in the US, I'd suggest that you just refer to it as the Monolith. I mean, after all, is there a RED Monolith anywhere around? Blue?

Besides, that Monolith is seriously a traditionalist Monolith (what with monkeys bashing at it, and the isolation on the moon and all). Of COURSE it's going to tell you to use pedals.
#39
Quote by dspellman
There's no "backlash to experimenting with gear" here.


then why hasn't one person (besides me) brought up one benefit of playing with a more elaborate setup?

if all these people have 'done that' then why isn't it possible to speak of the benefits, detriments and alternatives and let the person making the decision decide. this thread reads like a persuasive writing exercise. it's like the news: they don't just tell you about something, they tell you how to interpret it and how you should feel about it as well.

i seem to be the only one saying: yes it can be rewarding (to you if no one else), but yes it is a bunch of hassle setting up all the gear and it takes a lot of work to make progress (like all the hassle of recording and my hours upon hours of objective listening to improve results). it can also be expensive and gear won't improve you playing, but at times when i nailed a tone i liked i really enjoyed it and it made me feel good. i even have recordings to remember it by.

was it 'worth it'? to me, at the time, definitely.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#40
I used to use a 3/4 stack all the time. It only really has one benefit and that is that the top box is higher, facilitating very easy feedback. However, these days I use either a 4x12 or a 2x12 on an angled stand. I loved my 6x12 but honestly, it's just not worth the extra hassle.
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
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