Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #89449  by TI4-1009
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:10 pm
Understanding that the VOLUME is part of the tone magic, what setup would come close at bedroom/practice volume levels? Meaning... what would be your suggestions for getting close to the tone with a small, low-volume rig?
 #89468  by jeffm725
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:07 pm
For Bedroom a Deluxe is probably too much. I can fill a medium sized bar over a drum kit with my deluxe un-mic'd.

The princeton and champ are great recommendations though. I have a 78 Vibrochamp that kicks ass for little bedroom tone (just have to use a reverb pedal with it as the old champs dont have verb). The Vibrochamp has been my test bed for all the preamp taps and resistor and cap swaps that we come across, the thing sounds great. (I should say still sounds great despite every hack and harebrained tinkering I have done to it!)
 #89470  by JonnyBoy
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:18 pm
Some of the purists around may spit for me saying this, but my Gdec is the most awesome practice music machine ever. I have a big ole Jerry rig and all too. It sounds even better IMO than the real deal, at low volumes. it even has a life of its own plugged into a pa with its DI stereo outs or into an amp with a cab. Pretty versatile. But a Champ would do you well too, plus all those cool lunch box amps out there? hard not to find good tone these days :lol: . Good luck and have fun testing out amps...
 #89487  by mijknahs
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:56 pm
Brad's SMS Classic with a McIntosh MC50 or MC250 with 1x12" JBL. Very small footprint and sounds good at home (bedroom or garage) and will work for rehearsals or small bar gigs (or big festival gigs if they mic you). Great all around rig.

My current small room rig is just my Fender Twin head (with power tubes) in a head cabinet on it's side with a 1x12" JBL E120 sitting on top of it. That's my rehearsal rig. Yes, you're putting 4 ohms into an 8 ohm load (downloading). Not quite as loud but still loud.

 #89509  by tigerstrat
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:55 pm
Some of these suggestions seem like overkill given the request!

I would recommend an 8" or 10" speaker for bedroom, or some kind of fully headphone rig. That's iIf "bedroom" level means something like "trying not to disturb others in the same non-sound insulated building".

If it's something you want to be able play with a band, then by all means start with a 12" speaker.
 #89513  by JonnyBoy
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:11 pm
tigerstrat wrote:Some of these suggestions seem like overkill given the request!

I would recommend an 8" or 10" speaker for bedroom, or some kind of fully headphone rig. That's iIf "bedroom" level means something like "trying not to disturb others in the same non-sound insulated building".

If it's something you want to be able play with a band, then by all means start with a 12" speaker.
I hooked my gdec via USB to my computer and was able to tweak the tone parameters to exactly like my Twin reverb coming out of my JBL. a 10" speaker and 30 watts it gets plenty loud too. Through headphones or digital transfer (recording) is a little different tone than the speaker but it still can be tweaked that way too while running audacity. Fender did well modeling itself...the Vox , marshall, and the Jazz amp is great bedroom tone too. The only thing I have issue with is the tube OD is not just like tube OD but its like a pedal. The delay and modulation is great and 12 studio reverbs plus stereo effects. You can add a limiter/compressor too. you can do effects before or after and plenty of jam tracks to keep your chops up. Its a practice amp, a bedroom thing. I would go check one out or holler at brutusbuck, he has worked up some cool blackface patches. plus the price $300-400.
If you are gonna gig or be in a serious band, I would look into something like the above with tubes, at loud volumes tube amps are just the best IMO. but I can still get that Gdec to sound good loud, I just like the tube sound better..You can jam with friends and practice with this little thing if you have a pa and a cab.
 #89527  by KWRummie
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:59 pm
I use a Fender Super Champ XD through a Weber Mini-Mass attenuator into a K120. I can drive the tubes, and dial it back to bedroom levels on the Mini-Mass.
 #89533  by HeadSpace
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:56 pm
For a compact, simple-as-can be, low-volume Jer-tone rig, I'm partial to my Fender Pro Jr. with JBL K110 (and a strat).
 #89535  by Stevo123
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:46 pm
When you say bedroom rig, I assume you mean this needs to be a rig that will sound great at very low (like conversational speaking volume or lower).

IMO, a key part of ANY great guitar tone, jerry included, is some controlled amount of power section distortion, with some controlled level of preamp distortion. To get any power section involvement at conversational volume levels is very hard to do. I have a 15w blues jr and there's no way in hell I could even get CLOSE to any power section overdrive at "bedroom levels". The only option to get any overdrive tone is to overdrive the preamp and run the master volume very low (zero power section overdrive), which is not really the area where "great tone" resides. You would need an all-tube amp with very low wattage, like 1w or less. I don't even think they make all-tube amps this small, although I haven't really looked into it.

The other option is to go the modeling route with something like the Gdec, which I have not personally tried, but sounds like a great way to go. You won't have "real tube distortion" but from what it sounds like they have actually done a decent job simulating what a cranked tube amp sounds like. Combine that with all the other functions it has and it seems like a pretty sweet deal. Yeah it's not real tubes but most tube amps out there simply have too high of wattages to give you the "real deal" tone at the levels you're talking about.
 #89543  by playingdead
 Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:01 pm
A Deluxe will definitely be too loud. A Champ might be perfect. Not sure you can really rehearse with a Champ, though. Sounds like you want to do both.

Or, dare I say ... AxeFX Ultra into a pair of small powered studio monitors (I worked on my stage presets on a pair of Behringer Truth B2031As) ... sounds good at any volume. But the Ultra is modeling the preamp, power amp and JBLs, that takes the volume-overdrive-saturation issues out of the equation.
 #89545  by bpg21
 Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:41 am
I just picked up the super champ XD and am loving it. I run it through my E120 and it sounds great. It has two 6V6 power tubes and a 12AX7 preamp and about 16 amp modeling choices and various effect. 15 watts but loud. The stock speaker is so so.
I was looking at the blues junior but you are stuck with one sound. The clean channel is pretty much 90% Princeton tone but the modeling channel has a great overdriven blackface tone that nails the Jerry sound. You can pick these up used for about $200. I have used it at practice and it holds it's own ( when we are not blasting away). I am going to bring it to our next gig and use the line out into the PA mix to see how that sounds. I will have my 67 Dual Showman as a back up!!
 #89552  by modz
 Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:33 am
I don't have one yet but from what I have played through and heard from other members on the board, I love the eleven. Dial in an amp simulator! If that is too much $ then there are other things that sound great. I use digital performer with some killer plug ins on my macbook. This is crazy but my bass player gave me a little ZOOM H4 (kind of obsolete now) and the built in effects and amps sound awesome. I was using it for a headphone amp and decided to record some ideas on the built in 4 track and I was blown away listening back. I want a new toy bad:) My mc250 rig doesn't even start to sound good until it hit 50% power.
 #89562  by jmfranc
 Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:56 am
Here's your answer ;-)

Line your walls with 12" of sound insulation including the ceiling. Put down 8 layers of carpet.

Use your small venue setup as needed.

OK, what I wonder is this. If you use your Fender head, a Macintosh amp, and your Jerrified guitar - can't you set all your levels to get the sound/tone you want and run your mac into a line level controller? ( ... rcll1.html)

You can still get that pushed volume sound without the ear-splitting pain of 1000 watts coming through the JBL - I understand that a pushed JBL has it's sound qualities as well but you can get close with the pushed amp through a line level reducer before hitting the 120's

Or is that the stupidest thing you've ever heard?
 #89565  by Pete B.
 Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:17 am
I would just check Craigslist and get the least expensive practice amp that doesn't smell like cigs or cat pee.
fwiw, I've been using a Danelectro Nifty-Fifty for the last 10 years (with a reverb pedal).
Some practice amps are less than $100 brand new.
In our computer room ( a small bedroom) I play along with YT vids, Archive.coms, Dead CD's/DVD's, etc... imho, All you need is some treble and reverb to sound alot like Jerry at what is basically conversational volume.
One thing I noticed is that running my guitar volume in the 2-4 range, and rolling off the tone knob to kill the super high practice-amp high end, helps to get the Jerry sound.
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