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Pirellithecat

Amp or Cabs - Good but could it be better when REALLY LOUD!and! .....

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It could be a case of more speakers needed for your set up rather than more volume. You’ve two 12” speakers up against each guitarist using approx twice/sometimes four times that amount. Multiply that by double and irrespective of volume you’re being swamped out. Ideally each guitarist would only use one cab each, but even then you’re up against it imo.

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Posted (edited)

I am too embarrassed to go through a list of all the amps I've loved before, that travelled in and out my door.......

The Quilter amp seems to be getting a lot of love. People are using them to drive Greenboy cabs which can take GOBS of power. Small and powerful. Either take your whole rig to somewhere that stocks them, find a second hand one or buy one on distance selling and mess with it at home/rehearsal and then decide. 

Other amps are available. 

Perhaps borrowing a PA power amp and rehearsing with it would let you experience increased headroom before shelling out any £. Making decisions without shelling out £ is my favourite thing. Apart from cake, obviously.

Edited by owen

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I suspect part of the issue is the guitarist(s) have set themselves up to occupy a nice wide range of the frequency spectrum, with loads of bassy/ballsy tones. Think, Les Paul being palm-muted on the neck pickup. If they realised that the "great bedroom sound" isn't compatible with a band situation, and in fact they need to occupy a much tighter area (which will probably sound nasally or clangy in isolation) which will in fact mix much better in a band situation. Its a not-too-complicated scientific fact but one that seems not to be thought about properly a lot of the time, and if it is addressed will really lift the overall sound of the ensemble.

The easy test is to try it with/without bass. There should be a distinct "gap" without it.

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A high pass filter and better EQ may be all that's needed. A lot of your amps power is being used to amplify frequencies that you can't hear, but will cause unwanted resonances in the room. Get rid of those frequencies and your amp has more power to use amplifying the frequencies you can hear and your general sound will be cleaner. The whole band can sound cleaner as the whole room is no longer being swamped with unwanted noise. 

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Posted (edited)

I think the Terra Nova 501 is the successor to the WTX-500. I owned one (WTX) briefly, but although it was a lovely sounding head with a few nice features, it boasted the weakest 500 watts I’ve ever experienced...

I now run an older Eden Traveler through my 112EXT with a 112MNT (which I believe should give me roughly the same power-handling - but please do correct me if I’m wrong) and it goes irresponsibly loud. 

 

Edited by Danuman

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I am amazed that so many posts suggest more power = loudness that is actually bad for ears. The new layout of the rehearsal place may lead to serious difference soundwise. It might lead to better overall sound, too.

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1 hour ago, itu said:

I am amazed that so many posts suggest more power = loudness that is actually bad for ears. The new layout of the rehearsal place may lead to serious difference soundwise. It might lead to better overall sound, too.

If that’s what my post seems to suggest, I want to stress that’s not what I meant.

The cabs IME are very capable, but the WTX just couldn’t deliver. My current amp does have the required power (same wattage), but it doesn’t need to work as hard...

To put it very explicitly: I think it’s the amp that’s coming up short, not the cabs. :P

 

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Posted (edited)

My Barefaced Compact sounds excellent at medium levels but ever better when my band are really going for it. I was playing a gig, a year or so ago, where I could get a fair distance away from the rest of the band and the sound was awesome. A really tight, articulate, rocky sound. The amp I was using, on that gig was a 500 watt Ashdown MiBass head. I confess I almost drowned out our rather loud drummer that night. No woolliness, or farting out through that rig.

My GK MB800 is even louder through that cab and clear as a bell.

Edited by gjones

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I 2nd the recommendation that you try and convince the guitar players to lose some of their bottom end.

In my last band the guitar was that big crunchy rock tone coming out of 2 Marshall 4x12s. It was all very nice, but he was covering all the frequencies that a bass would be heard at; this would have been fine if all I played was straight ahead root/fifth. However, as our music was very funk bass driven with wah and synth blended into slappy Wal tone, you just couldn't hear me. So I made the point that if there was no point in having a bass player playing complex stuff who who couldn't be heard - after much argument he cut the bass out of his tone (I pointed him in the direction of Larry Lalonde from Primus and the Chilli's guitar sound).

And all of a sudden we were much better! But still not better enough; the drummer thought that if you weren't hitting it harder than John Bonham you were doing it wrong. I tried to get him to check those groovy jazzyfunky blokes you see on TinyDeskConcerts, but he couldn't understand their lack of violence. The answer was much more headroom. So I bought a Crown xls1502, put into into bridged mode (1500W into 4ohms - get the 2502 if you want more!) and shoved that into a Precision Devices 15" and Markbass 2x10. Now it goes loud enough to completely drown out drums and guitar without distorting at all - it just about flickers onto the 2nd LED at this volume - which means all my sound is produced by a combination of FX, compression and pre-amp - sending post DI to the desk gives me control of much of the FOH bass sound. And I can hear octave down fx on stage! Funnily enough, the best sound I got on stage was by borrowing a Mesa Diesel 2x15 plus the Markbass 2x10 - immense,and scared the guitarist enough to have nightmares.

BTW, I've been using hearing protection since the early 90s - first Etymotics and recently custom ACS. Guitarist foolishly doesn't, and complains about ringing. To paraphrase, there's no so deaf as those who will not hear!

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Ohhh, I'm loving "...but he couldn't understand their lack of violence..."   I've played with those type of drummers, too...and they're never the best. 😕

In the OPs position, I'd be making moves to point the guitard's cabs directly at their heads...it's amazing how they get the point when they're looking down the barrel of their own output.

It seems utterly pointless to me to be cranking stage volumes up when everyone's already wearing hearing protection, and from some close observation of crowds I've spotted that most punters don't like ringing ears, either...

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Failed!

Rehearsal yesterday.   Just one guitar, 2x12 cab 40W Valve, smallish Hall plus drums.

Too bloody loud. Although a couple of "spectators thought it OK (and not too loud for them at 10meters!)  but they felt that the bass needed more volume.  Gain set to max (before clipping) and 12.30 on master, bass rolled off slightly.  No warning lights on master or tone controls but no ear defenders YET!

Changed the layout so guitar speaker not pointing at me etc.  and whinged continually.   However, the bass rig is just not able to cope with this sound level, to the extent that I got a few signs of distress from the system and, as stated before, I really don't like the tone at higher volumes.    I have tried to get the guitar speakers lifted off the floor rather than behind the guitarists knees, but so far unsuccessfully.   The guitar tone is "cutting" rather than bassy so I don't think this is the issue.   I will see what I can do to get the drummer to do something to reduce the low bass though.   Aarghhh!!!

Debriefed afterwards but no recognition of the noise issues and VERY reluctant to reduce SPL's.

Due to the "distressed" sound, I wonder whether I have an amp or cab problem and will try first a different amp (better not necessarily louder) and if this doesn't improve things I'll look at trying other speakers, reserving the lovely Vanderkleys for folky/jazzy duty.

Christ - I must be getting old!

Thanks everyone - I'll report back.

 

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Did the guitarist turn down, and the drummer play a bit quieter or did that suggestion (excuse the pun) fall on deaf ears?

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No, No, and Yes!  Indeed, I was the  taken the fosters out of all evening for suggesting that 40W might be too loud! 

However, I've a friend who is an erstwhile sound engineer and I'll invite him to come along next time and see what he can do - trouble is, he's too nice!! 

I'm guessing this primitive need to be as loud as possible has been the end of many bands before they actually get going!   

However, I will persevere as follows - 

Ear Protectors

Optimal Layout of Speakers

Lift Speakers to as near ear height as possible

Nag

Try to reduce bass output from drums

Get decent PA set up

Nag

Get support from ex-sound engineer

PRAY.

And get a better amp

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Hmmmmm, the earth won't stop spinning on its axis; and guitardists won't appreciate they're part of an ensemble.......

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Listening to an audiobook today by David Hepworth talking about something Led Zeppelin managed in 1971:

"It's easy to BE louder, what's more tricky is to SOUND louder..."

Dynamics can be a powerful thing...

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It sounds like a real mess and you're just competing to be heard, which will add more mess.

I'd genuinely do the following:

The loudest acoustic thing which cant be turned up (monitors aside) is the drums.

1. Have the drummer on his own play until hes happy.

2. Now just play drums and bass until you're all happy that it's a good sound as a rhythm section. Once agreed it's good then you know your amp is fine and levels are fine.

3.then add guitars in. If the balance goes to pot again, and you cant be heard, then it's obviously them. They should now adjust their eq and volume to fit in.

4. Then add vocals.

If they cant see the problem, then I'd give up.

40w is absolutely nothing to do with volume. Our guitarist AC30 can blow holes in walls, never mind your ear drums.

Get the sound right as a band. 

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This is the most sense I've heard all week...we do it occasionally, when the guitarist/singer gets into the 'volume creep' thing with his presets* - it's like a Sanity Reset... 🙂

 

* You know, when one preset is louder than the next one, so instead of turning the first one down, he turns the second one up...and so on...repeat until deafened...

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14 hours ago, Pirellithecat said:

I was the  taken the fosters out of all evening for suggesting that 40W might be too loud! 

My tinnitus was (finally) triggered by a guitarist dep's 40w 1x12 combo. Albeit positioned badly (for me), but that's all it took...

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14 hours ago, Pirellithecat said:

No, No, and Yes!  Indeed, I was the  taken the fosters out of all evening for suggesting that 40W might be too loud! 

 

They sound like total idiots. I'd be off on a heartbeat to find some grown ups to work with.

I really really don't get this "we need more volume" mentality. THAT'S WHAT THE PA SYSTEM IS FOR!!!!!!! As long as a guitar amp sounds like a guitar amp, the bass amp sounds like a bass amp, the drums sound like drums and you can either mic or DI the relevant parts then the PA can make it all sound huge and the control is in the hands of the person mixing the FOH sound. If you don't do it this way you'll almost always just sound like a mess and people won't want to hear you play. 

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1 hour ago, Muzz said:

My tinnitus was (finally) triggered by a guitarist dep's 40w 1x12 combo. Albeit positioned badly (for me), but that's all it took...

I am sure you are well aware of this, but it bears repeating. Tinnitus is cumulative. Every time any of us gets the whistling it is one notch further towards our friend for life, tinnitus. 

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Hence the 'finally'...this time the noise was so bad it never went away...the point being it wasn't standing in front of a stage full of 4x12 Marshalls:  40w and 1x12 was plenty... 😕

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On reflection I should have written "I know you are aware of this".

All I was doing was trying to make it clear to da kidz who might be reading this that every time they are in a high volume situation they are one step closer to permanent ringing. That it is not all or nothing. Each high volume situation is laying the ground for misery later on. And it is avoidable.

Again, I know you know this. I just wish I knew it when I was in a position to be protecting myself. Ironically, mine started after a quiet rehearsal with an EUB, a harp and keys. 

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Thanks Everyone,

Some very sane and re-assuring comments here which I will "share" with my fellow (rowdy) musicians!

Fingers crossed once again, and it is absolutely the case that I need to find a band who are interested in delivering the songs well, rather than the songs just being a reason to demonstrate what fantastic guitarists/vocalists/drummers/ or dare I say it, bass players they (we) are.   Except we're not!

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts

Cheers!

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2 minutes ago, owen said:

On reflection I should have written "I know you are aware of this".

All I was doing was trying to make it clear to da kidz who might be reading this that every time they are in a high volume situation they are one step closer to permanent ringing. That it is not all or nothing. Each high volume situation is laying the ground for misery later on. And it is avoidable.

Again, I know you know this. I just wish I knew it when I was in a position to be protecting myself. Ironically, mine started after a quiet rehearsal with an EUB, a harp and keys. 

Yup, it's a very insidious thing, although as you describe (albeit in a much odder (but classier 🙂) context), it really did do that thing when it went from not being an issue one day to always being an issue. I have to say a lot of Da Kidz I play around are already using some sort of attenuation, so the message must be getting around from somewhere...

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