getting more volume out of a tube amp

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workshed
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Post by workshed » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:12 am

I might plug in to our other guitarist's 4x12 this week and see if it helps any. Although, I am hoping it will be loud enough through the 2x12, especially if I elevate the cab a little. If not, I can always split the signal like Kayagum suggested, I have a couple ugly solid state amps I could use.

As for getting another band, well, someday. :-) The guys I'm playing with and I have all been in various bands together over the last 12 years or so. This is kind of our last big loud rock band hurrah. I think that once this band is done, I'll probably start playing in mellower bands. My old ears are getting tired!

-Bret

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Post by KennyLusk » Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:36 pm

farview wrote:Putting the cabinet up on a stand will help a lot.
I'll 2nd this one for sure. It's incredible what getting a cab up off the floor will do.
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Post by chovie d » Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:09 pm

I used a forty watt in a heavy sludge trio, but I wasnt up against an SVT.
a 4x12 was definetly an improvement over the 2x12. I found that NEW speakers helped alot too. brand new avatar 4x12 w/ celestion v30's really increased my apparent volume a ton.

How do you get a 4x12 up off the ground? casters? milk crate?

so does that mean cabs with casters appear to be louder?
true for bass cabs too? interesting
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Post by farview » Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:49 pm

chovie d wrote:How do you get a 4x12 up off the ground? casters? milk crate?
so does that mean cabs with casters appear to be louder?
true for bass cabs too? interesting
You just put it up on a chair. It's not magic. When you have a 2x12, all the sound is around your ankles, if you put it up on a chair, it's closer to your ears so you can hear it better. It doesn't make the cabinet louder.

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Post by ??????? » Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:33 am

farview wrote:You just put it up on a chair. It's not magic. When you have a 2x12, all the sound is around your ankles, if you put it up on a chair, it's closer to your ears so you can hear it better. It doesn't make the cabinet louder.
It does more than "get it up by your ears."

If you have a cabinet on the floor and lay down on the floor so it's at ear level, it still sounds TOTALLY different than it does on a chair. Try it!

Things tend to sound a lot muddier when the cab is by the floor. The way the cab interacts with reflections in the room is very important, and getting it off the floor minimizes reflections off the floor.

If the speaker radiates sound in a cone-like pattern from the speaker, then the closer it is to the floor the more that cone is 'chopped off' at the bottom and reflected, or absorbed if the floor is wood with dead air underneath (a stage) or carpet. In any case, reflected sound is totally different than direct sound. This we all know from recording! :D Ever put a room microphone on the floor? Well it's a transducer just like a speaker is a transducer.

Hope this helps.

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:11 am

i would be inclined to think that 45 watts of tube amplification should be pretty damn loud for most venues (assuming you're playing in smaller spaces, bars/clubs, etc.). i do live sound at a smaller club/bar here in albany, and guys come through all the time with amps like hot-rod deluxes, blues deluxes, even amps as small as a blues junior or pro junior, and they are more-than loud enough (including the 15 watt little fellas). granted fender amps seem to be ungodly loud for their size, but it sounds like your amp is pretty sick....

as far as competing w/ the rest of your band's gear, i would say that they probably wouldn't have to turn down all that much to allow you to be heard (if at all).

just my 2 cents. GOOD LUCK!!!
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Post by lg » Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:56 am

i'll third the notion of going to a 4x12 cab. i ran my little bitty AC15 through a marshall 1/2 stack once, and it totally blew me away how much louder that sucker sounded. and always, speakers off the floor will sound clearer (and likely because of that, louder).

as always, be kind to your ears...

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Post by ??????? » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:03 am

To get an increase of 10db over an 8 watt champ circuit, you need an 80-watt amplifier, all else being equal. Halving the power cuts the output by 3dB. All else being equal, a 50-watt marshall will be only 3dB quieter than a 100 watt marshall.

Edit: found a link to back me up:

http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages ... 09138.html
Last edited by ??????? on Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by trask » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:10 am

yeah, one of the greatest realizations of the "moving air" theory was when I plugged my tiny 15w bass practice combo (8" spkr) into my 4x10 cab. 15 watts never sounded so good. I was able to hear it over drums played moderately loud, which, with the built in 8" would never happen.

That reminds me...

The other suggestion, as far as practice techniques go, is the "weakest link" idea, where, you set the volume that achieves your tone (or as loud as it goes, whatever you're into, music depending) with your amp, and then have the drummer and everyone else set theirs accordingly to yours. That way, you wont get washed out, and you can actually accomplish something at practice, rather than being frustrated cause you can't hear what the hell you're playing, thus defeating the point of practicing at all. :D
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Post by ckeene » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:27 am

The comment about getting a drummer to play at a set volume is kind of, uh, idealistic.

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Post by workshed » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:31 am

Wow, you guys are awesome. Lots of great advice here. The thing with this band, is it's a pretty noisy band by nature. Now that I think about it, a lot of the energy comes from the drummer, who hits pretty hard and likes to ride the crash. I am thinking that is really the volume to which we all seem to adjust, and it will also be the hardest volume level to control.

Having been the previous drummer in this band, it's hard to "turn down" with this music. Then again, my drumming skills are nothing to write home about! Hoping the new guy will have more control over his dynamics than I.

Thanks again, everyone.

-Bret

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Post by workshed » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:44 am

brad347 wrote:To get an increase of 10db over an 8 watt champ circuit, you need an 80-watt amplifier, all else being equal. Halving the power cuts the output by 3dB. All else being equal, a 50-watt marshall will be only 3dB quieter than a 100 watt marshall.

Edit: found a link to back me up:

http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages ... 09138.html
Yeah, I read something to that effect over the weekend. I think probably the biggest difference between a 100 watt head and a 50 watt head, in the tube realm at least, is that the 100 watt will get a lot louder before breaking up and compressing the signal, thus the illusion of more volume due to the cleaner signal. I used to play a 100 watt Marshall Super Bass and that thing was way louder than any 50 watt I've ever owned, but it was also really hard to get any tube breakup without cranking that sucker.

I probably should have titled this thread more accurately, "how to increase the perceived volume of a tube amp," as that goal is a little more realistic. Hopefully I'll know how well this amp will work within the next couple weeks. We're waiting on the new drummer to finish up some previous commitments before we can try him out.

Thanks again.

-Bret

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Post by Silverjet89 » Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:39 pm

The speaker cab is some weird custom deal I found on Craigslist that has a couple old late '70s emininence speakers in it.
These speakers are probably a big part of the problem. The sensitivity of most '70s Eminence speakers is around 97db. Get something like Celestion Vintage 30s or Alnico Blues with a rating of over 100 db and you will effectively double your volume.

My 30 watt AC30 with Blues rated at 101 db is easily as loud as my friends 100 watt JCM900 with Celestion 75s rated at 98 db.

Kirk

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Post by philbo » Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:43 am

Easiest: Mic the speaker.

Harder: Get a more efficient cab. I don't recommend running the amp into an impedance it's not optimized for. But if you get a cab with greater "sensitivity" you get more volume from the same amp.

Look for a spec like this:
98 dBSPL at 1 meter with 1 KHz at 1 Watt. If, for example, you get a speaker that has a 101 dBSPL spec to replace the 98 dBSPL one, that is equivalent to doubling your amplifier power. (Every 3 dB rise in dB = doubled power)
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Post by riantide » Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:22 pm

Man, I have a 45 watt amp and my bandmates are constantly screaming at me to turn the damn thing down.

Elevate it for sure, you'll be able to hear it better. But if you want it to actually BE LOUDER, you'll need to look into mods probably. If you have a tube rectifier, a solid state rectifier will increase your headroom. You also might want to look into having your amp biased for 6550's as opposed to 6L6's. Those tubes have different breakup characteristics and will stay cleaner a little louder. And they sound cool, they're a little more chimey than 6L6's. At that point you're looking at changing the sound of the amp considerably though, so you might want to hang onto it and get another - louder - amp for playing with the band.

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