#1
so im kinda new and ive been researching topics and cannot find an answer to my question. i got a really good deal on a marshall jcm 2000 dsl 100. now i know the maon reason tube amps are so sought after is because they distort at high volumes giving you a very tasty sound. now in my bedroom there is no way im going to have this amp loud enough to get this effect. even with my previous amp which was a 40 watt fender hot rod deluxe i could not get it loud enough. i imagine i couldnt even get a 15 watt amp loud enough without my wife getting angry. so i use pedals for distortion and overdrive needs. i prefer my pedals go through the clean channel of my amp. now i know this 100 watt amp is way bigger than i need. but since i use pedals and dont really want my amp to break up as i run them through the clean channel anyway, is there any downfall to using my amp at low volumes (usually around 2 with my gain at 12 oclock). as i said im new and i may be missing something. if im shooting for a clean tone is there any reason to have the amp cranked?
#3
In the future you could always buy a re-amper/attenuator (Unleash, ultimate, power station) to get power tube distortion at low volumes.
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#4
The only issue with playing a high power amp at low volume is some amps may not sound as good as they do cranked, while all amps will sound different at different volumes. It all depends on the amp, what speakers are used and many other things.

But you should have no issue with that amp at low volume. It just may be harder to get it there if the volume control is too sensitive or you feel the need to rock out

The main reason people go for tube is the way they distort and add a warmth to the tone.
#5
Amps have volume knobs for a reason, playing a 100 watt amp at bedroom volume is fine and will sound fine. If you crave raw tub distortion, get a micro head. Even 22w valve heads are mostly too loud to crank in bedrooms. I used a 6505+ head for both live music and at home for practice, then a 100watt Hiwatt. Both sounded great.
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#6
Quote by cliff_em_all
Amps have volume knobs for a reason, playing a 100 watt amp at bedroom volume is fine and will sound fine


this is completely subjective. A tone snob might not agree. In my experience, which is limited, tube amps sound very different at low volumes compared to high volume.

But "fine" is a good description for low volume play of a high watt amp.
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#7
It really depends on a whole bunch of factors, unfortunately:

(this list is not exhaustive, I've probably forgotten a bunch of things)

- exactly how quietly you have to play

- personal preference regarding tone (some people still prefer tubes at lower volumes, some don't)

- type(s) of music you play (for example, older styles of music often benefit from power tube distortion which you need high volume for, newer/heavier styles often don't need it as much and use preamp tube distortion which can be achieved at low volumes if the amp has a master volume control)

for the specific questions about cleans and pedals, even that depends, unfortunately. Some people like a really pristine clean tone- for that, then volume doesn't really matter. But some people might prefer the clean tone of the amp just below the clipping threshold, and that will require almost as much volume as power tube distortion.

Same thing for pedals... some people might prefer the sound of the pedal with no dirt from the amp colouring things- in that case, again volume won't matter (much). Some may prefer the tone of the pedal if the amp is cranked. And some types of pedals (boosts, some fuzzes, some overdrives and distortions too) will sound better if you're getting some amp dirt as well (though, again depending on preference, preamp distortion from the amp may well work just fine for you for that... or it may not).
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#8
Do you like the tones you get at the volume you have/need to play? If so then it's all good.

I play a 100W Mesa and a 15W/1W Laney (still in the honeymoon phase) at home. They both sound great. The 1W setting on the Laney allows me to get some power tube saturation.

It's all about what works for you and what else you want/need the gear to do.
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#9
+1 What Dave-Mc said.

I've never had a problem turning the amp turned down very low and using pedals, but the kinds of sounds I'm looking for don't have to involve power tube distortion. I've had less success with attenuation, but I've only tried a simple L-pad power soak.
#10
^ Yeah I've never really used an attenuator. VVR (and I assume power scaling, but I haven't tried it) works well, but that involves modding the amp. plus from what I hear it works better with some amps than others... and also I don't mind low volume tones and preamp distortion, so it still may well not please those who really like loud tones and power tube distortion.
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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?
#11
one of the things that guys forget when playing tube amps at low volumes is that your eq has to be set for it. the settings that work in a band setting aren't going to be the same as sitting at home. with an overdrive in front and some patience you can get something that sounds reasonably like power tube distortion but it will never sound exactly the same. same with edge of breakup sounds. to me it's all about realistic expectations. your amp will sound "better" louder that's just part of the way sound works. you also likely won't be able to nail many of your fav tones at real low volumes but you just have to live with that. if you are home practicing then a "good" tone can be had just don't get upset if it's not that great tone you always wanted. I use a 50 watt tube amp for practice and it works fine for me but I just go for usable tones rather than sweating about getting that "perfect" tone.