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> Any Chance Of Playing A 100watt Halfstack In A Bedroom
ZakkWylde
post Sep 30 2008, 12:09 AM
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The more I play that Marshall JVM Halfstack at my local store the more I hate my (brand new) Randall Combo -.-
Don't missunderstand me it's still a great amp but this marshall can do all the randall does even more but only a million times better.

I want that sound and I know I am going to buy one sooner or later but I don't want that sound only in the rehearsals, I want it always available in my bedroom for practicing. So my question is: How can I play a 100 watt halfstack in my bedroom without blowing the house into smitherines and without loosing all the tone when it's turned down too much.

Is a small cab (1x12 or 2x12) as loud as a 4x12 cab on the same settings? If not I could buy a small cab for my room and a 4x12 for rehearsals and gigs and just take the head to the rehearsals every time... Or is there any effect or tool that turns down the overall sound without loosing tone? Fix me up with your ideas (removing tubes to lower wattage is not the best option and buying the combo version of the JVM isn't an option at all, it sounds way worse than the head with a decent cab)


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Toni Suominen
post Sep 30 2008, 12:24 AM
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You should buy a power attenuator which allows you to drive the tubes but with low volume levels. A good example of such product would be the THD Hot Plate

This post has been edited by Toni Suominen: Sep 30 2008, 12:24 AM


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ZakkWylde
post Sep 30 2008, 12:55 AM
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http://www.thomann.de/de/thd_hot_plate_8.htm

Like that one? Hmm turns extreme volume into hot air and let's the pure tone through...That might work!


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Ajmurrell
post Sep 30 2008, 12:57 AM
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Just how much db reduction do you get from a Hot plate? I mean, surely it's still going to be deafeningly loud with the amp on full volume and the db reduction on at full also.

Can you realistically get enough db reduction to get the amp to compress and saturate your tone, like it does at high volumes with no external reduction, but be able to sit in front of it without your eye balls pressing into your head?

Very interested in just how far a THD hot plate or similar, woudl go smile.gif


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JVM
post Sep 30 2008, 01:33 AM
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I have a 50 watt head and cab that I can easily use in my house, even late at night without disturbing anyone. Of course, it sounds better louder, but it still sounds pretty good on low volume. I run it through a 1x12 cab. I would go ahead and buy the JVM if that is what you really want. Test it out on low volumes in the store and see how it responds. If its not good enough, buy an attenuator like everyone else said smile.gif


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audiopaal
post Sep 30 2008, 07:09 AM
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QUOTE (Toni Suominen @ Sep 30 2008, 01:24 AM) *
You should buy a power attenuator which allows you to drive the tubes but with low volume levels. A good example of such product would be the THD Hot Plate


Very good tip, I got the THD Hotplate and it is very useful smile.gif
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MickeM
post Sep 30 2008, 08:43 AM
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QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Sep 30 2008, 01:09 AM) *
Fix me up with your ideas (removing tubes to lower wattage is not the best option

Well maybe it is wink.gif

I got my 100W head and a 4x12 with it and it used to sit at home before I brought it to the band rehearsal room.
Got to say it's a fantastic amp, I can play at almost no volume and have the same coloration of the sound as when I turn the volume up, it's amazing. (compared to my old JCM which sucked at every volume except full)
So from that aspect I'm surprised a 100W head can work so well with bedroom playing.

In the rehearsal room I had problems with 100W since it was so sensitive on the volume knob, going from 2-3 was like going from too scilent into drowning the band so it was troublesome finding the correct volume.
I pulled two tubes and the volume became a lot more easy to handle. It's still crazy loud but moving from 2-3 on the volume knob is more controllable. Still I've got the same amazing sound.

I think one could expect this from new amps, great sound already at low volumes. That wasn't the case 10-15 years ago.

So further I tried to connect an attenuator (Weber lite 50) between the head and the cab to make it possible to make the head work even harder. Pulling two tubes was a good way to force tubes to run hotter and I expected the attenuator to make me able to double what the amp spits out and get my volume down. Which worked but the sound it gave didn't really change. I mean, if you try to get poweramp distortion from a Fender amp you'd have to go loud, an attenuator would help you there to manage the volume. But in my case I had the sound I wanted already at low volume and it's the same full sound also at higher volumes, only louder.
Again, amazing amp wink.gif and I guess the JVM will give you the same result.

So pulling two tubes was the best thing I did so I could control the volume a bit better.
Attenuator didn't add anything (nor did it remove anything) to the sound from this amp. I can see it's useful with other amps, like if I ever get a vintage Orange, Matchless or anything I'd want to push to the limit. Son't get me wrong, an attenuator is there to put your amp into saturation but as I experienced it my amp is already good at bedroom volumes and the attenuator would add too little at a too high cost - shorter lifespan of tubes and cost for the attenuator itself.

Oh, and the JVM comes in a 50W model too, right? In my book 50W is a lot more useful than 100W. Try it to see how it sounds at low volumes, in a quiet room preferably so you can hear it right.


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Noangels
post Sep 30 2008, 09:21 AM
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You shouldnt realy have a problem,but your tone will suffer slightly at lower volumes

The trouble with the Blade amp as mentioned above is the master volume on that is like a light switch-on or off!

I drown out the band on 3 too!And have run it on about 9 to see just how loud it was-and it didnt sound a hell of a lot louder than the normal stage volume.

I too pulled out two tubes from the poweramp section when I noticed one tube had just died on me,and used it like that for a few days untill I retubed all of them.Still sounded realy good,I might pull them out again and keep two tubes as backups

My mesa dual rec has a lot better master volume,I expect the marshal has too-you should be able to find a happy medium for tone and wattage when using at home


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Marcus Siepen
post Sep 30 2008, 10:32 AM
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This power attenuator might help you, but you have to face the fact that a 100W halfstack is NO bedroom amp! This amp will give you a good sound at a certain volume, and just by switching from a 4x12 to a 1x12 won't change a thing, it will only change your sound (only a 4x12 sounds like a 4x12) forget about other cabinets. I have never used such a power attenuator, but they are supposed to be ok as far as I know, but did you ever think about using something different at home? Today there is no real need to put up a half stack in your bedroom, there are things like Guitar Rig, pandora, Pods and so on, you can get a really nice tone out of those things and they are much easier to handle at home. I abolutely love my Rectifiers, they deliver exactly the sound that I want, but I would never even think about setting one up here at home, I am perfectly fine with Guitar Rig here.


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kjutte
post Sep 30 2008, 12:59 PM
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QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Sep 30 2008, 01:55 AM) *
http://www.thomann.de/de/thd_hot_plate_8.htm

Like that one? Hmm turns extreme volume into hot air and let's the pure tone through...That might work!


This is indeed a great way to do it. By far the best way. Also, you can put from attuenator to PC, and use it with headphones and backings at the same time, jam all night!

However you'd need a highpass to emulate the speakers.

QUOTE (Noangels @ Sep 30 2008, 10:21 AM) *
You shouldnt realy have a problem,but your tone will suffer slightly at lower volumes

The trouble with the Blade amp as mentioned above is the master volume on that is like a light switch-on or off!

I drown out the band on 3 too!And have run it on about 9 to see just how loud it was-and it didnt sound a hell of a lot louder than the normal stage volume.

I too pulled out two tubes from the poweramp section when I noticed one tube had just died on me,and used it like that for a few days untill I retubed all of them.Still sounded realy good,I might pull them out again and keep two tubes as backups

My mesa dual rec has a lot better master volume,I expect the marshal has too-you should be able to find a happy medium for tone and wattage when using at home


Clue is to have preamp turned high, so you atleast get a decent gain. Will definitely lack punch from the powervavles though, without an attuenator.

Edit:

@MickeM - Won't pulling tubes cause overcurrency in the remaining tubes?

This post has been edited by kjutte: Sep 30 2008, 01:01 PM
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 30 2008, 05:29 PM
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It would be like driving a Porsche 911 turbo in a parking lot, sure you can do it, but the machine is made for the track.

Also, playing halfstack at half of volume in confined space can make you deaf in a long run, not to mention neighbours complaints and police that will bang on your door for disturbing the area with high volumes. That is no joke.. smile.gif

You can get a power attenuator, but the idea behind it is to get a good tone from TUBES not SPEAKERS. Since your aim is to have a halfstack, speakers also produce big part of the sound, so you wont get any characteristic 4x12 "thump", transients, dynamics, speaker distortion when playing on low volumes.

So unfortunately you won't get the sound like in rehearsals at home from a halfstack unless you crank it. No way.

Now as you probably know I bought a Marshall 60W combo with one 12 speaker. That thing is too loud for my bedroom as well, and it has roughly 40 percent of the sound compared to studio, so one speaker will help to tame the volume a bit, but one speaker is loud as hell as well, so playing even half the volume on it is out of the question for home use, unless you wanna problems with police, or live in remote area. On top of that, you already wrote that JVM combo has worse sound that a proper cab, so your suggestion to use 1x12 at home is contradictory to that.
Removing tubes is NOT recommended, it can damage you tranny in a long run, because it is made to put power for exact number of tubes, not less.

Marcus gave a pretty practical and true advice here - at home guitar pro or similar modelling software can give you all the sound you need. I know, you would think now:" but that is digital modelling, how can that create a good sound, that can't compare to a real thing". And you're right ti cannot compare to a real thing, but if you know how to use teh software well, you can make some great sounds. I recently did some experimenting with Guitar Rig 3, and I found out that it CAN create great presets and emulate a halfstack very very good if you know how to tweak the presets. GR3 emulates that 4x12 dynamics best of any software I had the chance to use. The trouble with it is that you need a good soundcard and some decent speakers, and you will get a good sound at low volumes, also you can make it great for recordings as well.

So consider your options, halfstack is a real thing, but IMO for studio work, and gigs 2x12 is often a great solution. It is lighter and much better than 1x12. It is not as good as 4x12, but very solid option. Another good option is to buy 2 1x12 cabs, and you will even be able to carry them around yourself, instead of needed a helping hand with 2x12 and 4x12.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Sep 30 2008, 05:32 PM


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Xuestor
post Sep 30 2008, 07:58 PM
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QUOTE (Ajmurrell @ Sep 30 2008, 01:57 AM) *
Just how much db reduction do you get from a Hot plate? I mean, surely it's still going to be deafeningly loud with the amp on full volume and the db reduction on at full also.

Can you realistically get enough db reduction to get the amp to compress and saturate your tone, like it does at high volumes with no external reduction, but be able to sit in front of it without your eye balls pressing into your head?

Very interested in just how far a THD hot plate or similar, woudl go smile.gif



The Hotplate Will get your volume down to 0db if you like. You can set it at -16db and then go all the way down from there. There is a separate volume-controller when you set the main db controller at -16db.
It's a awesome unit that I wouldn't be able to live without!

This post has been edited by Xuestor: Sep 30 2008, 07:58 PM


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Canis
post Sep 30 2008, 08:05 PM
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My answer is headphones tongue.gif

Allthough.. I haven't played any of my guitars on mega high volume on a real amp yet, so I don't know what I'm missing. Hence; No disappointments tongue.gif


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MickeM
post Sep 30 2008, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Sep 30 2008, 01:59 PM) *
@MickeM - Won't pulling tubes cause overcurrency in the remaining tubes?

No but you have to be careful to set the amp impedance to half of that the cab is at. So for a 8 Ohm cab one has to set the amp to 4 Ohms.


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FrankW
post Sep 30 2008, 10:23 PM
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A power attenuator is the only way to go. I agree with the other guys. If you want to get the true tone of the head, (minus the sound of driven 4X12 Vintage 30s of course), an attenuator will do it for you.

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Bogdan Radovic
post Oct 1 2008, 11:22 AM
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Well since you love the sound of that amp and you will be using it at rehearsals (gigs) too , I would suggest buying it and later on worrying about the volume. smile.gif In this situation a power attenuator seems like a best bet... smile.gif


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