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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #113383  by Smolder
 Wed May 02, 2012 1:21 pm
Been reading here for a while, and I'm trying to match what I read, with what I hear and do. I'm struggling with the 'just too damn loud' factor with fender twins. I'm basically running at half power with just two power tubes... And in practice this is set to a volume of 3-4, and live maybe getting to 6. And that's all without mic'ing the amps. Obviously I'm not playing stadiums, but 100-200 person rooms (normally concrete with a high ceiling).

What I'm wondering is how you guys are managing with these huge Mac amps? I was thinking about grabbing a mc-50, but read where many see them as too small. Is there a disconnect between the watt rating of macs and twins? What am I missing here?
 #113384  by Jon S.
 Wed May 02, 2012 1:32 pm
I hope I'm not derailing your thread by answering with respect to a SS power amp other than a Mac but I can tell you this is the main reason I bought my Rocktron Velocity 300. Whether or not you feel this particular amp is sufficiently close or not to true Jerry tone, one thing it does well for me is sound pretty much in the same ballpark anywhere from practicing at home to gigging outdoors volumes. For my Dead music at least, never say never but I can't imagine going back to a tube power amp.
 #113386  by strumminsix
 Wed May 02, 2012 1:42 pm
(putting on flame suit...)

There is too much emphasis on the size of the amp or Jerry's gear and needing it and more than that playing and technique and how hard you are pushing the gear.

Most bars are more volume conscious than ever before. And most venues have soundguys who demand a lower stage volume.

I think Jerry got a ton of magic from: single coil in the 24 fret reposition + pushed amp + pushed speaker with EXCELLENT technique.

I don't see folks pushing their amps or speakers in the bars.
 #113394  by mijknahs
 Wed May 02, 2012 3:38 pm
Smolder wrote:What I'm wondering is how you guys are managing with these huge Mac amps? I was thinking about grabbing a mc-50, but read where many see them as too small. Is there a disconnect between the watt rating of macs and twins? What am I missing here?
I've used an MC50 at gigs and now I use an MC100 because sometimes it seemed the MC50 wouldn't go any louder when I needed it (it just distorted if I cranked it more).

I'd say the MC50 is probably good for most band situations. It worked fine most of the time but sometimes our keyboardist would play way too loud and he was drowning me out. The MC50 didn't have that extra umph at those times I needed it.

These days our sound is more under control (the keyboard that is) but I don't have the MC50 anymore or I'd be using it. I love the MC100 though. I only have it set on 3 though (with Fender preamp at about 6). Also the volume on my guitar is only up about half way (sometimes slightly more when I need a boost). I'm loving the tone I'm getting with the whole setup.

The bass player thinks I'm always too loud but everyone out front (the audience) says my volume is perfect or even can be a little louder at times.

Jim
 #113398  by eric
 Wed May 02, 2012 5:03 pm
That's funny Mij , on one of your videos you hear someone say something like "OK everyone needs to just TURN DOWN! " .. I replayed it like 10 times trying to figure out who was too loud ..Ha.. Either way , I think you guys have a great sound man ...Really some of the better stuff out there ...

And to the join in on the other posters ... Of course ka-ranked sounds better and really pushing the speakers is always fun , but (maybe besides a Mac, which I have never played through) with SS, I don't know if it matters ALL that much. Cranking a tube power section is optimum , yet with SS , you are just cleanly amplifying the preamp signal . Not a lot of mojo in cranking regular SS stuff... So SS , in fact will help you play with extemely consistent tone at nearly any volume level needed... But Im not a giging musician , so Im not all that concerned about volume ..But I def like being able to have too much power than too little ...As hippieguy always says " if your amp is too loud , just turn it down! I love that one ! Just my thoughts ..

I'm on the --using an earth drive type pedal right before the pre, nearly always on-- train , for lower volume.. But I won't be able to confirm that for a few more days..
 #113401  by Charlie
 Wed May 02, 2012 5:28 pm
The guitarist in one of my bands has an outboard device that acts as a filter. He can turn his guitar amp up to the volume neccessary to get the required tone but then adjust the volume according to the room. He also often turns his guitar amp back to face the band like a kind of fold back wedge and mics it through the front of house.This band does a lot of functions with a jazz/soul based repertoire so the volume levels are rarely very high.
 #113402  by tcsned
 Wed May 02, 2012 6:05 pm
I'm as guilty as anyone of playing too damn loud and I'm using n 80w solid state amp. I couldn't imagine cranking up a 300w Mac in even a 200+ person club. 20,000 I can understand but not n a bar. My 100w boogie is overkill, as is the 85w twin.
 #113418  by mijknahs
 Thu May 03, 2012 1:22 am
tcsned wrote:I'm as guilty as anyone of playing too damn loud and I'm using n 80w solid state amp. I couldn't imagine cranking up a 300w Mac in even a 200+ person club. 20,000 I can understand but not n a bar. My 100w boogie is overkill, as is the 85w twin.
I used a 300W McIntosh MC2300 this evening at practice and it sounded great. Only about a quarter up (9 o'clock?) but still sounded great. I just leave it at my friend's studio and use it there for practice since I never want to move it. I played through a Les Paul and had the SMS Classic way up about 3 o'clock. It got a good 70's vibe.
 #113419  by Jon S.
 Thu May 03, 2012 2:15 am
strumminsix wrote:(putting on flame suit...)

There is too much emphasis on the size of the amp or Jerry's gear and needing it and more than that playing and technique and how hard you are pushing the gear.

Most bars are more volume conscious than ever before. And most venues have soundguys who demand a lower stage volume.

I think Jerry got a ton of magic from: single coil in the 24 fret reposition + pushed amp + pushed speaker with EXCELLENT technique.

I don't see folks pushing their amps or speakers in the bars.
It's the local policy not to flame folks for stating truth. :)
 #113420  by hippieguy1954
 Thu May 03, 2012 5:28 am
Jon S. wrote:
strumminsix wrote:(putting on flame suit...)

There is too much emphasis on the size of the amp or Jerry's gear and needing it and more than that playing and technique and how hard you are pushing the gear.

Most bars are more volume conscious than ever before. And most venues have soundguys who demand a lower stage volume.

I think Jerry got a ton of magic from: single coil in the 24 fret reposition + pushed amp + pushed speaker with EXCELLENT technique.

I don't see folks pushing their amps or speakers in the bars.
It's the local policy not to flame folks for stating truth. :)
Yea, no need for flame suit, however I disagree. I don't think there is too much emphasis on anything! It's all discussion and personal preference. It has been discussed many times how Jerry could do just fine with most any guitar and amp. I agree with that, but he still persued more. My opinion has always been that it is better to have more power than you need as apposed to not enough!
Strumminsix just isn't in the mood for gear this morning! :lol:
:smile: :smile: :smile:
 #113423  by strumminsix
 Thu May 03, 2012 6:20 am
hippieguy1954 wrote: Yea, no need for flame suit, however I disagree. I don't think there is too much emphasis on anything! It's all discussion and personal preference. It has been discussed many times how Jerry could do just fine with most any guitar and amp. I agree with that, but he still persued more. My opinion has always been that it is better to have more power than you need as apposed to not enough!
Strumminsix just isn't in the mood for gear this morning! :lol:
:smile: :smile: :smile:
So I took off the flame suit that you dared say I wasn't in the mood for gear?! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Always in the mood for gear!!

I just think that Jerry sounded AMAZING when he pushed his gear to the "power band" (engine terminology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_band). I don't see folks with oversized Macs and K120s pushing their gear to that point. Then again I am of the school for bringing the right sized amp to the gig so what do I know :) Except maybe the best "non-stadium Jerry Tone" I've heard was from a Tele (neck pickup) into a BF Twin with D120s.
 #113426  by hippieguy1954
 Thu May 03, 2012 7:14 am
strumminsix wrote:
hippieguy1954 wrote: Yea, no need for flame suit, however I disagree. I don't think there is too much emphasis on anything! It's all discussion and personal preference. It has been discussed many times how Jerry could do just fine with most any guitar and amp. I agree with that, but he still persued more. My opinion has always been that it is better to have more power than you need as apposed to not enough!
Strumminsix just isn't in the mood for gear this morning! :lol:
:smile: :smile: :smile:
So I took off the flame suit that you dared say I wasn't in the mood for gear?! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Always in the mood for gear!!

I just think that Jerry sounded AMAZING when he pushed his gear to the "power band" (engine terminology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_band). I don't see folks with oversized Macs and K120s pushing their gear to that point. Then again I am of the school for bringing the right sized amp to the gig so what do I know :) Except maybe the best "non-stadium Jerry Tone" I've heard was from a Tele (neck pickup) into a BF Twin with D120s.
Yea, I know you love your gear too. Just messin with ya. Friggin gear head mofo! :lol: :lol: :lol: :-)
Also, "power band" is cool!

+1 on the Tele neck pick up and Twin! Same goes for a Strat and a Twin. What? A Stratoblaster? What the heck is that? Let's try it and see! The rest is history! :hail:

On a side note, I love being very, very loud! I love a very, very loud band as long as they are good. I know there are many places where very, very loud is not tolorated and that is when you have to turn down. Other than that, I can't see any reason not to be very, very loud.
When I play with my fellow "Dead" musicians (or should I say when I can get them to play. Another story! :roll: ) we want the bass very predominate and loud so you feel it in your chest and feet, so the rest of us have to be very, very loud as well. If we are doing it right, (which as you know takes a lot of work) we get great seperation and clarity of instruments. It has a lot to do with the spaces in between the notes and phrases. From very, very loud to 0 volume (in an instant) between notes and spaces between notes has a much more dramatic result.
The only other thing is that the louder you are the easier it is for anyone to hear any mistakes. Louder is much less forgiving! :smile: :smile: :smile:
 #113428  by Smolder
 Thu May 03, 2012 7:31 am
hippieguy1954 wrote: On a side note, I love being very, very loud! I love a very, very loud band as long as they are good. I know there are many places where very, very loud is not tolorated and that is when you have to turn down. Other than that, I can't see any reason not to be very, very loud.
I think when the band is good, and the music is to your liking... volume becomes much less of an issue until you can't hear to order a beer or get that cute hippie girl's number.
 #113430  by hippieguy1954
 Thu May 03, 2012 7:39 am
Smolder wrote:
hippieguy1954 wrote: On a side note, I love being very, very loud! I love a very, very loud band as long as they are good. I know there are many places where very, very loud is not tolorated and that is when you have to turn down. Other than that, I can't see any reason not to be very, very loud.
I think when the band is good, and the music is to your liking... volume becomes much less of an issue until you can't hear to order a beer or get that cute hippie girl's number.
Wave the bottle at the bar tender...he will get the idea. Show hippie girl a joint and motion to outside.
Or tell the friggin band to turn it the hell down!!!!!! :lol: :smile: :smile: :smile: