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> Amps Getting Smaller?
Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 26 2013, 05:42 PM
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I was recently thinking about the guitar amps and trying to guess the trends future calls for.
As with everything nowadays - amps are getting smaller as well.

I have especially noticed this with bass amps - there are some monster heads out there that can fit in your gig bag pocket.
Also there are lots of small guitar amp heads like Suhr Corso, Vox Lil Night Train, Orange Dark Terror etc...

This has led me to think, do we really need big rigs nowadays?

Sound is most important of course, but do we need bulky amps with tons of power?

This was my gigs philosophy when it comes to gigs space vs amp power :

1. Small clubs

In this space the amp usually is not mic-ed. Sound is comming of the stage. Amp needs to be reasonably loud to compete with the drums. Usually 50w solid state amp works extremely well in this situation.

2. Medium to large clubs

Here the band is getting mic-ed and everything goes to PA system. Stage volume is rather low and amps are used as monitoring.

3. Large venues/festivals etc

Here the full band is getting mic-ed + there are on stage monitors guaranteed. Again, stage volume is rather low and monitoring is mainly from on stage monitors assigned to each band member. What I have noticed on big stages is that you usually don't hear much of the amp sound on stage, especially if its an outdoor gig.

I suppose old amps always strived for power as they were used as primary sound source on gigs and sometimes only vocals would go on PA, even on larger gigs etc.

This has led me to think, when do we need to utilize huge rigs and high volume from the amp itself in these modern days?
What do you think guys?




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Ben Higgins
post Dec 26 2013, 07:05 PM
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It's a good question. History shows us that technology always seems to decrease in size as improvements are made. I think music performance will be no different.

I can see it now.. we'll have our music gear implanted into our skin one day. You could have a Marshall or Mesa implant ! biggrin.gif


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Mertay
post Dec 26 2013, 07:38 PM
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funny just yesterday I heard this brand of pedals for the first time smile.gif



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klasaine
post Dec 26 2013, 08:33 PM
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Only my kitchen's getting smaller.
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But yeah ... with a decent single 12" combo, a good mic, decent PA, GOOD sound man and MONITOR guy you definitely don't need huge gear.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Dec 26 2013, 08:40 PM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 26 2013, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Dec 26 2013, 08:33 PM) *
Only my kitchen's getting smaller.

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Hehe that is a cool amp! smile.gif
Also it fits the appliances in the kitchen well when it comes to color.


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 27 2013, 07:15 AM
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thankfully, an axe fx and a matrix amplifier has become the "rig of choice" for many live musicians and it's powerful/flexible enough to do the job. The question becomes to bring a 1x12, 2x12 or full 4x12 or just skip it and go direct as many routing players are now doing.

SO, NO, you don't need a big amp these days. You can have pretty much any amp on earth by simpley bringing a kemper and you can get one with a built in power amp as well if you want to cabs. If not, run direct and have a very quick loadout smile.gif

Todd



=w
QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Dec 26 2013, 11:42 AM) *
I was recently thinking about the guitar amps and trying to guess the trends future calls for.
As with everything nowadays - amps are getting smaller as well.

I have especially noticed this with bass amps - there are some monster heads out there that can fit in your gig bag pocket.
Also there are lots of small guitar amp heads like Suhr Corso, Vox Lil Night Train, Orange Dark Terror etc...

This has led me to think, do we really need big rigs nowadays?

Sound is most important of course, but do we need bulky amps with tons of power?

This was my gigs philosophy when it comes to gigs space vs amp power :

1. Small clubs

In this space the amp usually is not mic-ed. Sound is comming of the stage. Amp needs to be reasonably loud to compete with the drums. Usually 50w solid state amp works extremely well in this situation.

2. Medium to large clubs

Here the band is getting mic-ed and everything goes to PA system. Stage volume is rather low and amps are used as monitoring.

3. Large venues/festivals etc

Here the full band is getting mic-ed + there are on stage monitors guaranteed. Again, stage volume is rather low and monitoring is mainly from on stage monitors assigned to each band member. What I have noticed on big stages is that you usually don't hear much of the amp sound on stage, especially if its an outdoor gig.

I suppose old amps always strived for power as they were used as primary sound source on gigs and sometimes only vocals would go on PA, even on larger gigs etc.

This has led me to think, when do we need to utilize huge rigs and high volume from the amp itself in these modern days?
What do you think guys?


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PosterBoy
post Dec 27 2013, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Dec 26 2013, 07:33 PM) *
Only my kitchen's getting smaller.
Attached Image

But yeah ... with a decent single 12" combo, a good mic, decent PA, GOOD sound man and MONITOR guy you definitely don't need huge gear.


Blankenships are fantastic amps, I'm so jealous


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Mertay
post Dec 27 2013, 09:36 PM
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I have 1-2 professional classical guitar players and both are saving to buy amps. They spent months only to find the best mic possible so the amps are a big deal for them. They aren't satisfied by the P.A. sound they got on many concert stages and are trying to lessen the role of the sound engineer or his/her mixer eq...

I also have a few friends on web that are very delicate when it comes to tone, one of his videos are currently used at the seymour site for patb-3. Due to living in an apartment, he uses an amp connected to the computer using IR cab.s. I never asked but seems he's not 100% happy with those cab.s as he mentioned still trying to find an eq or eq setting to sound as he wants.

Cause examples like these, I guess guitar tones that depend more on its dynamics tent to still need big amps or cab.s.


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lothomer
post Jan 1 2014, 08:46 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Dec 26 2013, 07:33 PM) *
Only my kitchen's getting smaller.
Attached Image

But yeah ... with a decent single 12" combo, a good mic, decent PA, GOOD sound man and MONITOR guy you definitely don't need huge gear.


Thats the point - having a good sound man and Monitor!!! Several years i carried one or two of my old trustworthy Hughes & Kettner Triamps 1 Tops, incl. 2x12 cab to every show. Playin in a band with 3 singers you have to keep Ampvolume down. So in many situations my amp rig was placed behind or even under the main stage!!! That is hard - no chance to make a small change in your sound if you want to.... Luckily we're touring mainly with the same roadcrew and soundman, so most of the gigs we're sure to have a good monitor sound. So, being tired of carriying that old heavy gear to every gig and rehearsal room, i made a decent change in my equipment and bought a good 40 W 3-Channel Tubecombo, made by Tube Thomsen. Its small, lightweight (compared to the old stuff) and i can keep that amp on stage. Mastervolume is about 10' clock, so it's loud enough to get mic'ed, but not disturbing other musicans on stage. My own monitor still has the loudness i feel comfortable with.
So i agree with you, thumbs up for good sounding small amps.
If you're not playing Wacken or Rock am Ring, there is just little sense playing those big cabs.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jan 1 2014, 10:52 PM
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QUOTE (lothomer @ Jan 1 2014, 08:46 PM) *
So, being tired of carriying that old heavy gear to every gig and rehearsal room, i made a decent change in my equipment and bought a good 40 W 3-Channel Tubecombo, made by Tube Thomsen. Its small, lightweight (compared to the old stuff) and i can keep that amp on stage. Mastervolume is about 10' clock, so it's loud enough to get mic'ed, but not disturbing other musicans on stage. My own monitor still has the loudness i feel comfortable with.


Yes - this is what I'm also seeing and feeling myself lately. Amps are shrinking yet small amps offer quality tone as well.
Even if you don't get to choose your sound guy (who is good), in most cases you will need to use the setup which the club/house dictates. Imagine whole band going through PA and guitarist deciding to go without a mic, just blast the whole band from the stage smile.gif We bass players tend to often do this even when miced and get the hate from other band members, especially singers smile.gif


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Check out my beginner guitar lessons course! ; Take a bass course now!
My solo and band songs : Keep Going On, Night Vibe, Kad Te Vidim, Susret, Plava Silueta
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Todd Simpson
post Jan 2 2014, 05:40 AM
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I remember doing the "blast from stage" thing smile.gif I played with a blues band for a while and the vocals and harmonica were the only things going through the pa. Small blues clubs didn't have much in the way of monitors either, at least the ones we played.

QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Jan 1 2014, 04:52 PM) *
Yes - this is what I'm also seeing and feeling myself lately. Amps are shrinking yet small amps offer quality tone as well.
Even if you don't get to choose your sound guy (who is good), in most cases you will need to use the setup which the club/house dictates. Imagine whole band going through PA and guitarist deciding to go without a mic, just blast the whole band from the stage smile.gif We bass players tend to often do this even when miced and get the hate from other band members, especially singers smile.gif



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