A question for the hive mind...

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A question for the hive mind...

Post by corsair on Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:00 pm

Why do we use honking great amplifiers and cabs for guitar when a small PA amp with decent speakers - I'm using a custom built set of PA bins with a loaded horn and a 15" main driver currently - is much more powerful and easier to control?? scratch

I've been using big amps and little amps and find - for my recording purposes, I hasten to add! - that the small PA miked into a big PA through a mixing console so much easier to wrangle!!

Thoughts? That don't mention player conservatism?! Laughing

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Re: A question for the hive mind...

Post by Barry on Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:51 pm

For recording, yes, a small good sounding amp miked is the duck's nuts (I heard a Kiwi say that once). Coffee Drinker

I only have small PA but I certainly plug the acoustics into it, and when I have an attack of "lazy ass" even a Danelectro or even a Westie.

Back in the day, on those occasions when we were lucky enough to be on a proper stage with a sound man, it was pretty much, mike the amps into the board and rock on.

Just pure decadence to let someone else worry about the mix!

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Re: A question for the hive mind...

Post by corsair on Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:17 am

I know people - including me!! - bang on about how certain circuits/valves/yada yada yada break up into smooth disortion etc. etc. but, really, using a PA amp with good speaker(s) is primo. Super super cleans and dirt is added outboard so you're not missing out on anything!!
Though I have to say, a 50W Boss Katana looks the business....

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Re: A question for the hive mind...

Post by Meadows on Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:02 am

Never tried or considered the PA amp and speaker approach John, that's a new one on me, are you talking a basic head with eq?...any particular brand/model?

I agree about not wanting to lug around the old 4 x 12's anymore for the obvious practical reasons and it does seem a lot of players are taking out smaller rigs now, especially bass players with the Markbass and Aguilar style options available.

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Re: A question for the hive mind...

Post by monkey on Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:34 am

if you ask me, it's all about display ... it's a very primal instinct!
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Re: A question for the hive mind...

Post by Adey on Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:45 pm

I'm with Monkey here - having a stack of 4x12's behind you is a macho thing really I guess.

I suppose it's "my rigs bigger than yours"!
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Re: A question for the hive mind...

Post by gittarasaurus on Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:16 pm

i think you have to take a bit of history into the equation.
when big rock and roll concerts began, there were no big, powerful house sound systems. (the Beatles at Shea Stadium comes to mind)
the only way to make it loud was the set-up used by the player.

but it is more than simply loudness. a guitar becomes more alive when playing through a rig with lots of power and big sound.
i think the electric guitar becomes a whole different monster when you get some serious power and volume behind it. a highly amplified signal brings out the harmonics and undertones also present in the sound, for better or worse. it is like wrestling with a dragon to keep it from going wild.



modern electronic/audio technology has done well to replicate that big sound into smaller packages, which helps reduce the number of people afflicted with hearing damage caused by high volume. i'm happy to play a small rig now because of the great quality of the newer low power tube amps, but i still like it good and loud occasionally.
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Re: A question for the hive mind...

Post by corsair on Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:27 pm

There's nothing quite like standing in front of a couple of 4 x 12s turned up and feeling your pants flap in the breeze created by the speakers working flat out, I agree! However, MY feeling is that player conservatism is at the root of this one - the old "It's what you do!" I believe that's changing a little these days, though, with the likes of the Boss Katana available.
When it comes to power output, though, most PA amps are much more powerful than most guitar amps; my small one is 500w....

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Re: A question for the hive mind...

Post by Barry on Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:16 pm

corsair wrote:...my small one is 500w....
Strewth! "Small" you say?
I think my little system is 90w a side. Neutral

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Re: A question for the hive mind...

Post by corsair on Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:19 am

Barry wrote:
corsair wrote:...my small one is 500w....
Strewth! "Small" you say?
I think my little system is 90w a side. Neutral

Mate... everything's bigger in Australia!

It's a lovely wee unit, too - a British made Wharfedale and is quite compact!

The big PA head is a 600W Peavey of mid 80s vintage and is a bloody monster; heavy as the Moon but crikey; it is LOUD! The bins are home made with loaded horns and 15" Celestions and seem very capable indeed - I've never wound that unit right out to see just how loud it is...
It's not really suitable as a PA amp these days as it doesn't have XLR sockets, or any other type of balanced input.... just 1/4" phone jacks. Brilliant guitar amp, though!!Laughing

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