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#1
A thing Ive been wondering is weather high gain amplifiers are worth buying over a classic gain type amp and a clean boost. I know the difference circut-wise, but is there a big sound difference? I use a classic gain (by that I mean things with maybe 2 gain stages like mine) and use an overdrive as a boost (transparent with no EQ), and was wondering if that would have a difference in sound over buying the high gain verson (with 4 gain stages and a different natural EQ with more bass). I got the one I currently use for the more balanced, brighter sound, and because they had a never opened "used" one that I got $50 off.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#2
To be honest I never really gave it a lot of thought,  More of a Yea that sounds right type of deal,  
#4
^ Yeah. It does sound a bit different.

Also you should probably split the amps into 3, not two-

- vintage style (low gain, no master volume)
- mid-gain (e.g. marshall jcm 800, master volume)
- high gain (peavey 6505 and similar)

I'm not sure you'll get the vintage-style ones to do what you want. You really need JCM800, at least, for what you're saying to work- i.e. a reasonable amount of preamp distortion.

EDIT: and it's also worth pointing out that a lot of people use boosts with high gain amps, too.
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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
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Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
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#5
Quote by AcousticMirror
tube stages overdriven will sound different.


Well, I guessed that. What sounds different, though? Does it have more mids? Less? Just undescribably different?
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#6
It's really hard to compare the two approaches.  Amount of gain really isn't the whole picture either -- "feel," response, and overall voicing play a big part in selecting an amp too.  And finally, your playing style while really affect how a certain amp responds.

I currently have two amps (well, three, but one is broken down at the moment); a Peavey Classic 30 and a 6505 head (120 watts).  The Classic 30 is more of a vintage style amp but can get up to what I consider "mid gain" territories.  With a boost pedal I can get rather a lot of gain out of it, but when I try to play tight, percussive, or complicated metal style riffs with it, it is too slow in response and the chords just kind of blend together.  When I play slower material and/or more of a "rock" style where chords are allowed to ring out for a bit/no palm muting, it sounds fine.

The 6505, on the other hand, has quite a bit more gain on tap, yet I don't use nearly as much as I have.  At a similar gain level, or just a bit more than what I described above, it performs much, much better for fast, metal-style riffs.  It isn't the extra gain so much, it's the response, feel, and voicing.  I also find that leads are much, much easier to play.  I can turn the gain way up on my Classic 30 but leads still require a lot more picking force to sound smooth and soaring the way I like them.  And again, I'm not really sure that's just about gain.
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#7
^ Yeah. And it's also worth noting that one of the main reasons why people use boost pedals even with high gain amps is to tighten them up even further.

While you need to be careful not to overgeneralise, probably mid gain amps with a boost will sound brighter, edgier and crunchier, whereas more modern high gain amps tend to sound smoother and more compressed. But again, another reason to use a boost even with a high gain amp is to get a tone and response a little more like a more mid-gain amp (a bit more bite and edge). And of course, one of the reasons to use a boost with the more mid-gain amps is to add more compression and smoothness.

Also the speakers you use will have a massive effect on the overall tone. For example, with my Laney GH50L (which is more or less a hot-rodded JCM800, so it sort of straddles both camps in that it has, more or less, a more vintage voicing, but a ton of preamp gain on tap) if you use Celestion VIntage 30s with it, it sounds more or less "generic modern high gain amp" whereas if you use greenbacks, G12H30s or similar, it sounds more classic to hard rock, more classic marshall.

(Ish.)
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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?
#8
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ Yeah. And it's also worth noting that one of the main reasons why people use boost pedals even with high gain amps is to tighten them up even further.

While you need to be careful not to overgeneralise, probably mid gain amps with a boost will sound brighter, edgier and crunchier, whereas more modern high gain amps tend to sound smoother and more compressed. But again, another reason to use a boost even with a high gain amp is to get a tone and response a little more like a more mid-gain amp (a bit more bite and edge). And of course, one of the reasons to use a boost with the more mid-gain amps is to add more compression and smoothness.

Also the speakers you use will have a massive effect on the overall tone. For example, with my Laney GH50L (which is more or less a hot-rodded JCM800, so it sort of straddles both camps in that it has, more or less, a more vintage voicing, but a ton of preamp gain on tap) if you use Celestion VIntage 30s with it, it sounds more or less "generic modern high gain amp" whereas if you use greenbacks, G12H30s or similar, it sounds more classic to hard rock, more classic marshall.

(Ish.)


That makes me feel better about my decision. I like to have more crunch to my distortion. That also explains why older metal (Black Sabbath especially), there is WAY more crunch, as opposed to modern metal that tends to just be, well, it's harder to describe. I know that it's still a big generalization, but still gets the point across.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#9
Quote by gogiregion
That makes me feel better about my decision. I like to have more crunch to my distortion. That also explains why older metal (Black Sabbath especially), there is WAY more crunch, as opposed to modern metal that tends to just be, well, it's harder to describe. I know that it's still a big generalization, but still gets the point across.

ok keep in mind that the crunch that you hear on old Sabbath albums (and many other heavier bands from the late 60s-mid 70s)  was achieved by pushing the power tubes not the preamp. there is a certain crunch sound that really only comes from really cooking the power amp tubes. of course the down side of this is that you have to pretty much dime a 100 watt non master volume head to get this ( cops will be coming and your hearing will suffer    now you can get something that will work on master volume amps for this and it involves using less gain.  i wouldn't get to caught up in gain stages for pedals as that is more important in amps. more gain stages in an amp usually means more distortion on tap and better control of it. an overdrive helps with this (by adding a gain stage) by not making the amp work as hard thus giving you better control. 
#10
Quote by monwobobbo
ok keep in mind that the crunch that you hear on old Sabbath albums (and many other heavier bands from the late 60s-mid 70s)  was achieved by pushing the power tubes not the preamp. there is a certain crunch sound that really only comes from really cooking the power amp tubes. of course the down side of this is that you have to pretty much dime a 100 watt non master volume head to get this ( cops will be coming and your hearing will suffer    now you can get something that will work on master volume amps for this and it involves using less gain.  i wouldn't get to caught up in gain stages for pedals as that is more important in amps. more gain stages in an amp usually means more distortion on tap and better control of it. an overdrive helps with this (by adding a gain stage) by not making the amp work as hard thus giving you better control. 


Okay. I knew about Sabbath using power amp saturation (at some point I'll get an all tube amp, and luckily Orange tube amps tend to have wattage switches, so that the cops don't come ). More gain control good to know, although as you know I've been looking into getting an overdrive for this purpose.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#11
Quote by gogiregion
Okay. I knew about Sabbath using power amp saturation (at some point I'll get an all tube amp, and luckily Orange tube amps tend to have wattage switches, so that the cops don't come ). More gain control good to know, although as you know I've been looking into getting an overdrive for this purpose.

even at 5 watts an amp cranked up enough to give you really good power tube distortion will piss of the neighbors several door down. not practical for home playing (unless you live on a farm in the sticks or something).  
#12
Quote by monwobobbo
even at 5 watts an amp cranked up enough to give you really good power tube distortion will piss of the neighbors several door down. not practical for home playing (unless you live on a farm in the sticks or something).  


I guess that's true. I read something that said something along the lines of, "If you don't believe me that 20 watts is definitely enough for gigs, go to your local music store, and plug into the lowest watt all tube amp they have. I bet that the manager will come in and tell you to turn it down in less than a minute." I knew that cranking it to its extremes would do that, but I didn't know how much clean headroom the power tubes have. It gets great sounds, though. I can't even crank up my hybrid 20 watt very loud before I worry about my neibors even with an 8" speaker; I can't immagine how bad it was with vintage Marshall Plexis!
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#13
Quote by monwobobbo
ok keep in mind that the crunch that you hear on old Sabbath albums (and many other heavier bands from the late 60s-mid 70s)  was achieved by pushing the power tubes not the preamp. there is a certain crunch sound that really only comes from really cooking the power amp tubes. of course the down side of this is that you have to pretty much dime a 100 watt non master volume head to get this ( cops will be coming and your hearing will suffer    now you can get something that will work on master volume amps for this and it involves using less gain.  i wouldn't get to caught up in gain stages for pedals as that is more important in amps. more gain stages in an amp usually means more distortion on tap and better control of it. an overdrive helps with this (by adding a gain stage) by not making the amp work as hard thus giving you better control. 


Yeah. I think Iommi used a treble booster as well, so was pushing the preamp tubes harder as well. But a vintage-style amp, so it didn't have a tone of preamp gain to start with.
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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?
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc
Yeah. I think Iommi used a treble booster as well, so was pushing the preamp tubes harder as well. But a vintage-style amp, so it didn't have a tone of preamp gain to start with.


Yeah. The non-master volume amps (like Plexis) sound great when truly cranked, but it's hard to get there without annoying people across town. I've actually seen things like vintage plexi clones, but slightly lower wattage (the last one I saw was 33 watts), bit has one of those power suck boxes built in. If I ever get an opportunity to see one in store, I might try it and see if it really sounds like a vintage Plexi, and if it does, I'm buying it.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#15
Quote by AcousticMirror
tube stages overdriven will sound different.


Absolutely. I have a Carvin Quad-X rackmount tube preamp, left over from the mid '90's. In its day it was the dirty little secret for a lot of players. It has a built-in boost (ostensibly to bring single coils up to humbucker-level output), four channels, each with different levels of gain stages. There are nine 12AX7s in this thing, and you can get up to 11 gain stages.  I'm not going to attempt to airy-fairy the sound differences except to say that there's a significant difference, and enough to allow you to make a serious distinction between boosted output and gain stages. Worth noting that there are also six (!) effects loops on that sucker, along with active controls and an assignable five-band EQ in addition to the parametrics. The catalog sheet calls it an amp, but it's a preamp (you need a Carvin TS-100 or similar to make it loud and noisy)


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#16
Quote by gogiregion
I guess that's true. I read something that said something along the lines of, "If you don't believe me that 20 watts is definitely enough for gigs, go to your local music store, and plug into the lowest watt all tube amp they have. I bet that the manager will come in and tell you to turn it down in less than a minute." I knew that cranking it to its extremes would do that, but I didn't know how much clean headroom the power tubes have. It gets great sounds, though. I can't even crank up my hybrid 20 watt very loud before I worry about my neibors even with an 8" speaker; I can't immagine how bad it was with vintage Marshall Plexis!


I've always considered 30W about the bottom end for gigs without support from the PA, and I usually went with a 50-100W combo at a minimum. It's about more than the "loud" or the "gain."  I realize that if you crank a 5W, you'll get some loud and a lot of distortion, but, a " local music store"  or your bedroom is not the litmus test you need for gigging. Get to a packed club, put your 20W on the floor next to an aggressive drummer and then walk back about 10 bodies deep in the crowd. You'll hear bass, you'll hear drums and you'll hear a wall of indistinct mush.  That's your guitar. 
#17
Quote by dspellman
I've always considered 30W about the bottom end for gigs without support from the PA, and I usually went with a 50-100W combo at a minimum. It's about more than the "loud" or the "gain."  I realize that if you crank a 5W, you'll get some loud and a lot of distortion, but, a " local music store"  or your bedroom is not the litmus test you need for gigging. Get to a packed club, put your 20W on the floor next to an aggressive drummer and then walk back about 10 bodies deep in the crowd. You'll hear bass, you'll hear drums and you'll hear a wall of indistinct mush.  That's your guitar. 


Yeah. I know that the music store is not a band, but woupd a 20 watt really be that bad? I know that it would struggle clean, but it should do fine doing crunch or full on distorted lead, I think. I've seen people use the Micro Terror against an aggressive drummer using a 2x12, and even on half volume, it still was loud enough. And they only had it set to a classic rock crunch (think Beatles), IIRC. There's absolutely no way that thing would fail with a 4x12. It might with my 4 ohm 8" speaker, but not with a half stack. I can't imagine how extreme it would get with a full stack!
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#18
Quote by gogiregion
Yeah. I know that the music store is not a band, but woupd a 20 watt really be that bad? I know that it would struggle clean, but it should do fine doing crunch or full on distorted lead, I think. I've seen people use the Micro Terror against an aggressive drummer using a 2x12, and even on half volume, it still was loud enough. And they only had it set to a classic rock crunch (think Beatles), IIRC. There's absolutely no way that thing would fail with a 4x12. It might with my 4 ohm 8" speaker, but not with a half stack. I can't imagine how extreme it would get with a full stack!

Simply adding more speakers doesn't make it significantly louder, sorry. I thought that was settled back in the '70's. 

I think you'd be seriously disappointed in a 20W amp with a half stack vs. serious drummer. 
#19
Quote by dspellman
Simply adding more speakers doesn't make it significantly louder, sorry. I thought that was settled back in the '70's. 

I think you'd be seriously disappointed in a 20W amp with a half stack vs. serious drummer. 


I know that extra speakers don't increase volume, but it spreads out the sound better.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#20
I have a 30w tube amp [mesa f30]. I can't play completely clean over a loud drummer, a bit of grit has to be added to get that volume. Whether or not that is an issue or a positive depends on your situation/preference. My mesa easily handles the same drummer with crunch and distorted tones though - but I do get some poweramp gain in there, so it's not ideal for tight modern metal.
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#21
Quote by mulefish
I have a 30w tube amp [mesa f30]. I can't play completely clean over a loud drummer, a bit of grit has to be added to get that volume. Whether or not that is an issue or a positive depends on your situation/preference. My mesa easily handles the same drummer with crunch and distorted tones though - but I do get some poweramp gain in there, so it's not ideal for tight modern metal.


That's what I was saying about adding dirt in. 20 watts should be enough with overdrive.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#22
Really depends on what tone you want and what amp you use. Some will get muddy/fizzy or just be overly saturated with too much gain [both preamp and poweramp] at the volumes required to get over a loud drummer. Others will sound great.
You'll get some power amp grit in there no matter what, and whether that is good or bad is really a matter of preference.

Just make sure the amp you choose gets the tone you want at the volume required
RIP Gooze

cats
#23
Quote by mulefish
Really depends on what tone you want and what amp you use. Some will get muddy/fizzy or just be overly saturated with too much gain [both preamp and poweramp] at the volumes required to get over a loud drummer. Others will sound great.
You'll get some power amp grit in there no matter what, and whether that is good or bad is really a matter of preference.

Just make sure the amp you choose gets the tone you want at the volume required


Yeah. The Orange Micro Terror is hybrid, so no power amp grit (sadly). It gets great tone, though. It definitely plays over a drummer, I've seen videos.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#24
A series of gain stages which each distort the signal is interesting because when you distort a signal, some portion of that distortion is reversed or "corrected" by the subsequent stages, and vice versa (later stage distortions are somewhat corrected by earlier stages of distortion).

This is why the interactions among gain stages are so complex - why certain combinations of pedals and amps sound better than others, etc.

So what's going on here is that for example three stages of 5%, 10%, and 15% distortion does not result in 30% total distortion. Gain stage distortions don't sum arithmetically, they sum geometrically by what is called quadrature, which is the square root of the sum of the squares of the individual gain stage distortions. If you are familiar with the term root mean square (RMS), this is the same structure of calculation.

It works like this...

Gain stage 1 @ 5% or 0.05 distortion
Gain stage 2 @ 10% or 0.1 distortion
Gain stage 3 @ 15% or 0.15 distortion

First square the distortions

Gain stage 1 @ 5% or 0.05 distortion   0.05 x 0.05 = 0.0025
Gain stage 2 @ 10% or 0.1 distortion   0.1 x 0.1 = 0.01
Gain stage 3 @ 15% or 0.15 distortion   0.15 x 0.15 = 0.0225

Sum these squares

Gain stage 1 squared distortion 0.0025
Gain stage 2 squared distortion 0.01
Gain stage 3 squared distortion 0.0225

0.0025 + 0.01 + 0.0225 = 0.035

Then take the square root of the sum of the squares

SQR(0.035) = 0.187 which is 18.7% total distortion, just over half of the 30% figure.

As you can imagine, each of the gain stage distortions is "correcting" some little part of each other gain stage's distortion, so the number of corrections is the number of combinations of the number of stages, and all this distorting and complex correcting of the signal is significant. In the example the correction acted on almost half the distortion applied by the individual stages....
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#25
Quote by PlusPaul
A series of gain stages which each distort the signal is interesting because when you distort a signal, some portion of that distortion is reversed or "corrected" by the subsequent stages, and vice versa (later stage distortions are somewhat corrected by earlier stages of distortion).

This is why the interactions among gain stages are so complex - why certain combinations of pedals and amps sound better than others, etc.

So what's going on here is that for example three stages of 5%, 10%, and 15% distortion does not result in 30% total distortion. Gain stage distortions don't sum arithmetically, they sum geometrically by what is called quadrature, which is the square root of the sum of the squares of the individual gain stage distortions. If you are familiar with the term root mean square (RMS), this is the same structure of calculation.

It works like this...

Gain stage 1 @ 5% or 0.05 distortion
Gain stage 2 @ 10% or 0.1 distortion
Gain stage 3 @ 15% or 0.15 distortion

First square the distortions

Gain stage 1 @ 5% or 0.05 distortion   0.05 x 0.05 = 0.0025
Gain stage 2 @ 10% or 0.1 distortion   0.1 x 0.1 = 0.01
Gain stage 3 @ 15% or 0.15 distortion   0.15 x 0.15 = 0.0225

Sum these squares

Gain stage 1 squared distortion 0.0025
Gain stage 2 squared distortion 0.01
Gain stage 3 squared distortion 0.0225

0.0025 + 0.01 + 0.0225 = 0.035

Then take the square root of the sum of the squares

SQR(0.035) = 0.187 which is 18.7% total distortion, just over half of the 30% figure.

As you can imagine, each of the gain stage distortions is "correcting" some little part of each other gain stage's distortion, so the number of corrections is the number of combinations of the number of stages, and all this distorting and complex correcting of the signal is significant. In the example the correction acted on almost half the distortion applied by the individual stages....


That is really good to know.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#26
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ Yeah. It does sound a bit different.

Also you should probably split the amps into 3, not two-

- vintage style (low gain, no master volume)
- mid-gain (e.g. marshall jcm 800, master volume)
- high gain (peavey 6505 and similar)

I'm not sure you'll get the vintage-style ones to do what you want. You really need JCM800, at least, for what you're saying to work- i.e. a reasonable amount of preamp distortion.



This is very important. If you're the type who prefers to run single channel amps or use drives to achieve your highest gain tones, your amp will define how well that approach works.You will also discover the drives you love and swear by will sound great through some amps but not work so well with others.

I was reminded of these facts firsthand just a month or so ago, and there's also a second lesson in this story, too.

My usual rig is a two-amp setup, using an Orange TH-30 running with a Jet City 20H into a stereo 2x12 with V30's (Why yes, I do like EL-84's). As I was having a couple beers at the bar as load-in had been pushed back last minute, I had the great fortune of meeting the owner of Category 5 Amps who was in town due to a blues festival happening at another venue that weekend. My co-guitarist and he knew each other, and to my great surprise he kindly offered to let us use some of the amps he had with him that weren't being used by the folks over at the festival. In case you're not familiar, Category 5 is a boutique line and a quick look at their artists page shows how loved they are by blues and blues/rock artists.

The amp I used is an artist model that's not even listed on it's website yet, so out of respect for the company I won't post anything that's a potential "leak" by mentioning the amp's namesake artist, though I will tell you it's someone who is respected by the guitar community, in and outside of his genre, as a modern virtuoso. The amp was a 40 watter, two channels with independent volumes (Non-Master), a nice reverb, and built-in attenuation to allow you to crank out a little extra grind. The first channel had either 4 or 5 pre-set tone selections across the knob, and channel 2 featured a normal single-tone sweep. I forget what was in the preamp, but the power section was four EL-84's (told you I love them). I forget what speaker was being used in the 1X12 combo, but I know it was not a V30, it was something with a broader tonal range.

This particular amp, even with the built in attenuation, very much fell in the first class of amps Dave mentioned, and had no pre-amp gain. Though the feel of the amp was still pretty familiar to my fingers, likely because of the EL-84's I assume, it was a completely different ballgame when it came to my drives and how they reacted with the amp. My main source of OD is an MI Audio Blues Pro, which with my normal setup would take me from bluesy-low gain to ballsy, cranked-sounding gain which is one of my main tones throughout a gig. However, with this particular amp being more vintage-suited, I found myself tweaking my Blues Pro quite a bit during the early portion of the gig, and wound up settling for the fact that I was going to have to stack the BP with my Bad Monkey to achieve the level of drive I needed. (For note, the Bad Monkey is mainly used when the Orange is on it's dirty channel to add a little high-end clarity to rhythms when I back off the guitar volume, or to go to "stupid-high-gain-shred" territory)

Even though the amp is one of the most wonderful amps I've ever played through (it sat superbly in the mix, and it produces the tones it aims to absolutely impeccably), and it should be noted I only had maybe a half-hour or so prior to the gig to get dialed in, it isn't the kind of amp I would personally reach for as it just doesn't fit with my personal preferences. I prefer a mid-gain amp that can be boosted into a "cranked" sounding heavy rock gain (not so much "modern-metal" smooth, I prefer some bite).

So Lesson 1 here is that if you're the type of player who likes to rely on your pedals to achieve dirty sounds, a mid-gain amp (with pre-amp gain and probably master volume) is going to be more friendly if you're using overdrives or clean boosts. If you're using a more vintage style amp and want higher-gain tones, you might be best off looking at a distortion pedal, especially if you want more modern sounding tones and levels of gain. (The guys I know personally who take the latter route usually tend to use the "high-gain-amp-in-a-box" pedals offered by Mesa and Bogner).

Lesson 1.5 is that despite the amount of hype and worship around vintage amps like Plexi's and vintage Fender pieces, these amps are somewhat "one-trick-ponies". Every year, many-a-young player will plug into one of these expecting to hear the sky being torn asunder by an epic wall of gain, only to be left wondering "hey, umm, where's the gain"? The folks using something like a Plexi are using that because that IS the tone they're chasing for. They're not looking for world-class versatility, they're looking for Plexi.

Lesson 2 is don't go onstage "cold" with an amp you're not accustomed to using. A younger me would have been thrown wayyyyy off course on a night like I mentioned.  
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#27
Quote by gogiregion
I know that extra speakers don't increase volume, but it spreads out the sound better.

No, it doesn't do that, either. 

In fact, it's just the opposite. 

A 4x12, for example beams ice-pick treble. 
Here's what happens with beaming -- it's directly related to the size of the speaker cone. The equation for determining where that beaming starts is 13,500 (the speed of sound in inches in air) divided by the cone diameter. On a single 12" speaker that's about 10.3", so beaming starts around 1350Hz. A=440 is at the fifth fret of your high E string, but you have harmonics well above that (up to around 4500Hz) reproduced by that 12" speaker. The larger the speaker, the lower the frequency where beaming starts. Multiple speakers act like one big speaker, so that a 4x12 actually begins beaming treble by around 450 Hz and anyone walking directly in front of it wonders why that idiot guitar player doesn't realize how crappy he sounds. The crappy-sounding guitar player is way off-axis and thinks he sounds mellow. 
Quote by gogiregion
Yeah. The Orange Micro Terror is hybrid, so no power amp grit (sadly). It gets great tone, though. It definitely plays over a drummer, I've seen videos.

And how were those videos miked? 

I've given up on using YouTube for evaluation of sound quality or levels -- it's not designed for that. 
Last edited by dspellman at Apr 10, 2017,
#28
Btw, I record cranked 50 watt tube amps all the time for the poweramp distortion, it is perfectly fine in a house. You can use gobos, or moving blanket forts if you're worried about neighbors.
Nowadays I prefer all my overdrive to come from the amp. No hassle with cables or boxes in front, more natural gain. I still do some things that are considered travesty by vintage purists, like rape an AC30 with a Pysdyawot distortion or a Digitech death metal thru a Bluesbreaker just for the sounds. Sometimes you need more sonic options that the one high gain amp, and would even have to put that on clean with distortion pedal up front to get that 2nd channel of rhythm voiced differently.
#29
Quote by dspellman
No, it doesn't do that, either. 

In fact, it's just the opposite. 

A 4x12, for example beams ice-pick treble. 
Here's what happens with beaming -- it's directly related to the size of the speaker cone. The equation for determining where that beaming starts is 13,500 (the speed of sound in inches in air) divided by the cone diameter. On a single 12" speaker that's about 10.3", so beaming starts around 1350Hz. A=440 is at the fifth fret of your high E string, but you have harmonics well above that (up to around 4500Hz) reproduced by that 12" speaker. The larger the speaker, the lower the frequency where beaming starts. Multiple speakers act like one big speaker, so that a 4x12 actually begins beaming treble by around 450 Hz and anyone walking directly in front of it wonders why that idiot guitar player doesn't realize how crappy he sounds. The crappy-sounding guitar player is way off-axis and thinks he sounds mellow. 

And how were those videos miked? 

I've given up on using YouTube for evaluation of sound quality or levels -- it's not designed for that. 


Wait, then what's the point of a 4x12 then? Higher wattage? Why do people use small amps with 2x12s? Is there a reason?

I guess mics could make it different, but I know that that amp is LOUD.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#30
Quote by gogiregion
Wait, then what's the point of a 4x12 then? Higher wattage? Why do people use small amps with 2x12s? Is there a reason?

I guess mics could make it different, but I know that that amp is LOUD.



The point of a 4x12 in the late '60's (over half a century ago) was to hold enough 25-watt speakers to accommodate Jim Marshall's new 100W tube amp head. 
HALF A CENTURY AGO. Four speakers were laid face down on a factory floor and a square was drawn around it. That's the only design that was ever done on it. After a few of them were built, they discovered that the big rear panel vibrated at an annoying frequency corresponding to a wavelength multiple of the diagonal of the panel. In order to make it disappear, they grabbed a hunk of 2x4 and wedged it between the front baffle and the middle of the back panel. Ever since then, every single 4x12 has one (open one up and look!). 

The point of a 4x12 now is, I dunno, tradition? Stage decoration? Slavish herd mentality? It's manufacturer advertising in the vein of "He can't be a man cause he doesn't smoke...the same cigarettes as me."  With apologies to the Stones. 

There's no reason for a 2x12 for a 20W amp, either. 

Sorry. this ONLY happens with guitar players. 

Not bass players, not keyboard players, not Pro Audio. A bass/keyboard player can walk into most gigs these days with a full-range cabinet with a single 12" long-throw neo-based LF driver, a 6.5" mids driver and maybe a 1" tweeter in a package that measures 24" x 16.5" x 15.25" and that weighs under 40 pounds. It'll handle 500W of power (the slightly larger 15"-based version will handle 800W), and the amp required to power it will be under 9 lbs. In fact, the amp required to power 1500W worth of TWO of those 15" cabinets will still weigh under 9 lbs and the pair of cabinets will weigh less than a single 4x12. 
#31
Quote by gogiregion
Wait, then what's the point of a 4x12 then? Higher wattage? Why do people use small amps with 2x12s? Is there a reason?

I guess mics could make it different, but I know that that amp is LOUD.

the point in using them is to be more Rock and Roll or metal . keep in mind that back in the day there weren't PA systems like we have now. often vocals were pumped thru the Public Address system which was hardly made with music in mind. in order to fill the hall with the guitar sound the amps did most or all of the work. there was also no foldback system so the guitar player only heard his amps if he was standing next to them.  there are of course things that can be done to improve the sound of a 4x12 cab but those were largely absent back in the day. 
#33
Quote by monwobobbo
the point in using them is to be more Rock and Roll or metal . keep in mind that back in the day there weren't PA systems like we have now. often vocals were pumped thru the Public Address system which was hardly made with music in mind. in order to fill the hall with the guitar sound the amps did most or all of the work. there was also no foldback system so the guitar player only heard his amps if he was standing next to them.  there are of course things that can be done to improve the sound of a 4x12 cab but those were largely absent back in the day. 


Okay, so they do have a point. It sounds like him talking about them sounding worse was bs? PA systems are pretty good nowadays.

Quote by diabolical
Honestly, playing in a full on metal band, anything but 4x12 or really loud 2x12 is a problem.


So they are louder (4x12 and 2x12 is a lot of times just an illusion, same volume, more/less air of that volume). By louder I mean louder than a 1x8 or whatever. I would assume that a 2x12 would be louder than a 2x10, but not much, if at all, a 1x12. Maybe I'm wrong.

How did we get this off topic? Amp cabs should be discussed in my cab thread.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#34
Quote by gogiregion
Okay, so they do have a point. It sounds like him talking about them sounding worse was bs? PA systems are pretty good nowadays.


So they are louder (4x12 and 2x12 is a lot of times just an illusion, same volume, more/less air of that volume). By louder I mean louder than a 1x8 or whatever. I would assume that a 2x12 would be louder than a 2x10, but not much, if at all, a 1x12. Maybe I'm wrong.

How did we get this off topic? Amp cabs should be discussed in my cab thread.

numbero f speakers is about sound dispersion not louder. keep in mind that the power from your amp is being divided between the speakers so the output is pretty much the same. things like speaker efficieny come into play as well. 

dspellman isn't dishing up bullshit he just perhaps didn't explain in terms you understood.  for the record the first Mashall cab was actually an 8x12 but was to heavy and the Who's roadies bitched about them so Marshall cut them in half. as was mentioned far less thought was put into them than one might think. 

PAs have improved greatly which means that the guitar amp isn't needed to fill the venue. with greatly improved monitoring all you need to do is mic the amp and both you and the audience can hear the amp just fine. 
#35
Quote by monwobobbo
numbero f speakers is about sound dispersion not louder. keep in mind that the power from your amp is being divided between the speakers so the output is pretty much the same. things like speaker efficieny come into play as well. 

dspellman isn't dishing up bullshit he just perhaps didn't explain in terms you understood.  for the record the first Mashall cab was actually an 8x12 but was to heavy and the Who's roadies bitched about them so Marshall cut them in half. as was mentioned far less thought was put into them than one might think. 

PAs have improved greatly which means that the guitar amp isn't needed to fill the venue. with greatly improved monitoring all you need to do is mic the amp and both you and the audience can hear the amp just fine. 


Actually I originally said that it was about dispertion, and then he said that it was actually the opposite. I said that 4x12s weren't much louder than 2x12s, if at all, and it was about spreading the sound out better, then he said 2x12s spread the sound out better (Isn't it what I said? Maybe not?).

Wow. An 8x12 sounds brutal! Although full stacks are practically 8x12s, so eh. Probably still easier to carry around.

Okay. Is it really that common to have a good PAs now? I mostly would be playing at school talent shows (and ones for summer camps), so they might have a good PA. My only worry is that the singing mic might be the only one, and then the amp can't be mic'd, but IDK.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#36
Quote by gogiregion
Actually I originally said that it was about dispertion, and then he said that it was actually the opposite. I said that 4x12s weren't much louder than 2x12s, if at all, and it was about spreading the sound out better, then he said 2x12s spread the sound out better (Isn't it what I said? Maybe not?).

Wow. An 8x12 sounds brutal! Although full stacks are practically 8x12s, so eh. Probably still easier to carry around.

Okay. Is it really that common to have a good PAs now? I mostly would be playing at school talent shows (and ones for summer camps), so they might have a good PA. My only worry is that the singing mic might be the only one, and then the amp can't be mic'd, but IDK.

you'd have to check out what your school is capable of. PAs vary a great deal depending on what you have.  as has been mentioned your amp really isn't ideal for gigging. while a 20 watt tube amp may work a 20 watt solid state will likely struggle to be heard  over drums or an audience. 
#37
Quote by monwobobbo
you'd have to check out what your school is capable of. PAs vary a great deal depending on what you have.  as has been mentioned your amp really isn't ideal for gigging. while a 20 watt tube amp may work a 20 watt solid state will likely struggle to be heard  over drums or an audience. 


Yeah, I need to get a better amp at some point. Maybe the tiny terror. That thing DEFINATELY is loud enough to gig. 15 watt full tube amp. The Micro Terror isn't ideal, but I got it for $100 bucks new, but never opened, when my cheap amp that came in my starter pack broke (my fault, I tried to turn it into a head and cab; I blew the transformer in the precess, or something like that). The power light didn't even glow.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#38
Quote by gogiregion
Yeah, I need to get a better amp at some point. Maybe the tiny terror. That thing DEFINATELY is loud enough to gig. 15 watt full tube amp. The Micro Terror isn't ideal, but I got it for $100 bucks new, but never opened, when my cheap amp that came in my starter pack broke (my fault, I tried to turn it into a head and cab; I blew the transformer in the precess, or something like that). The power light didn't even glow.

have you ever played with a drummer? they can be way louder than you think. i highly recommend that you consider getting a way better amp to build a rig around rather than trying to build it around the one you have. i mean your amp is fine for home practice but it just isn't a gigging amp. 
#39
Quote by gogiregion
Yeah, I need to get a better amp at some point. Maybe the tiny terror. That thing DEFINATELY is loud enough to gig. 15 watt full tube amp. The Micro Terror isn't ideal, but I got it for $100 bucks new, but never opened, when my cheap amp that came in my starter pack broke (my fault, I tried to turn it into a head and cab; I blew the transformer in the precess, or something like that). The power light didn't even glow.

I can confirm the Micro Terror is loud enough for gigging. Before mine had an accident and broke (I really have been meaning to get it fixed) I'd used it at a small club gig just to experiment and some practices here and there.

The gig I pulled it out for was at a pretty small bar, and I was playing with my usual Southern/Blues Rock band (4pc-2g,b,dr) with a Hammond Keys player sitting in with us for the evening as well. The Micro was going into a 1x12 Celestion Classic Lead 80. My MI Audio Blues Pro was probably on for most of the night to boost a slightly dirty tone from the Micro, then I control gain and volume with the tone knob. In terms of volume and tone the amp performed well enough to make it through the gig. I had to tweak a little bit early on to get dialed in, but not enough to the point where I thought about switching amps (yes, I was prepared in advance in case the whole experiment went south lol). While the tone was far from mind blowing, it was good enough to merit carrying it around in a pedalboard case as a "worst case scenario" backup.

For nuance, I'd like to point out a couple important things. First, the band I'm referencing here is very good at controlling stage volume, especially in small venues. Also, the drummer in this band plays with an average, or maybe slightly below average, touch. Someone with a band who plays at excessive stage volumes might have an issue. Lastly, having a Hammond player is a godsend for a guitarist. They sit in such a spot in the mix that they cover up all but your most egregious rhythm mistakes and overall just blend well with guitars and help to fill up that space in the mix. Were it not for having the Hammond at the gig, there would have been times where I felt the Micro a little lacking for some of the chunkier rhythm tones I wanted. That said, being as I didn't have to worry as much about rhythm concerns, I felt I was able to dial in a pretty solid lead tone out of the boosted Micro that I was happy with across my Strat's pickup selector.

I wouldn't recommend making plans to use a Micro as a regular gigging option, or at least in your case a long term option.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#40
Quote by sjones
I can confirm the Micro Terror is loud enough for gigging. Before mine had an accident and broke (I really have been meaning to get it fixed) I'd used it at a small club gig just to experiment and some practices here and there.

The gig I pulled it out for was at a pretty small bar, and I was playing with my usual Southern/Blues Rock band (4pc-2g,b,dr) with a Hammond Keys player sitting in with us for the evening as well. The Micro was going into a 1x12 Celestion Classic Lead 80. My MI Audio Blues Pro was probably on for most of the night to boost a slightly dirty tone from the Micro, then I control gain and volume with the tone knob. In terms of volume and tone the amp performed well enough to make it through the gig. I had to tweak a little bit early on to get dialed in, but not enough to the point where I thought about switching amps (yes, I was prepared in advance in case the whole experiment went south lol). While the tone was far from mind blowing, it was good enough to merit carrying it around in a pedalboard case as a "worst case scenario" backup.

For nuance, I'd like to point out a couple important things. First, the band I'm referencing here is very good at controlling stage volume, especially in small venues. Also, the drummer in this band plays with an average, or maybe slightly below average, touch. Someone with a band who plays at excessive stage volumes might have an issue. Lastly, having a Hammond player is a godsend for a guitarist. They sit in such a spot in the mix that they cover up all but your most egregious rhythm mistakes and overall just blend well with guitars and help to fill up that space in the mix. Were it not for having the Hammond at the gig, there would have been times where I felt the Micro a little lacking for some of the chunkier rhythm tones I wanted. That said, being as I didn't have to worry as much about rhythm concerns, I felt I was able to dial in a pretty solid lead tone out of the boosted Micro that I was happy with across my Strat's pickup selector.

I wouldn't recommend making plans to use a Micro as a regular gigging option, or at least in your case a long term option.


Yeah, I don't plan to use it as a super long term solution, but I am a teenager, and have a hard time affording good gear. It can take me months to years to save up for expensive stuff (I saved up 2 years for my computer).
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
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