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  • When a 15 watt tube amp is too much volume...

    In most band situations, I would normally recommend a small tube amp over any solid state. Recently, I've been playing in a band where even my Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special with 5/15/30 watts for each channel is turned down so low, it hardly seems worth warming up the tubes! I'm suddenly wondering that instead of a Fender Blues Jr, I should get a Mustang IV or V! Our drummer uses E-drums, so our stage volume is low. We do covers, mostly from 80's pop.

  • #2
    Mustang, Vox Moddler, Orange Crush 35, Cube. All would work better. Unless you wanna go real tiny, like one of those little Hotone heads. Also a good amp emulation pedal, like a Tech 21, into the board is a valid option.

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    • #3
      Id the actual volume or the gain that's an issue.

      The more gain you dial up the louder the sound appears to be because of the clipped noise levels.
      If you clean the guitar up then turn up it has greater dynamics so you can pick lighter or harder to get your volume levels. With a drive amp you're pretty much stuck with one volume level because you clip the peaks and compress everything.

      Most light music bands I've played with where people complain about volume is nearly all related to the amount of gain.
      There's not allot you can do because they simply find the overdrive as offensive no matter how loud it is.

      If its simply a matter of needing string sustain to play well, simply turn down and use a compressor. You'll have the feel of playing through a gain box but you'll have the clear tones that are less offensive to purists.

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      • #4
        I've used a Blackstar HT-1 (1 Watt tube amp) at gigs without acoustic drums. I put a mic on it and ran it through the PA and monitors.

        You can also run the HT-1 direct via the speaker emulated headphone/line output whch turns off the built in speaker when used.
        Last edited by onelife; 01-31-2017, 11:03 AM.
        As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
        from the deepest hell to the highest states.

        It is up to you which one you choose to explore
        .

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        • #5
          Originally posted by GoldJim View Post
          In most band situations, I would normally recommend a small tube amp over any solid state. Recently, I've been playing in a band where even my Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special with 5/15/30 watts for each channel is turned down so low, it hardly seems worth warming up the tubes! I'm suddenly wondering that instead of a Fender Blues Jr, I should get a Mustang IV or V! Our drummer uses E-drums, so our stage volume is low. We do covers, mostly from 80's pop.
          Can vocal without PA?
          Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...








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          • #6
            I think Pine Apple Slim is on the right track. A tube amp needs to be operating in a certain zone or sweet spot before it sounds right. A good SS amp will sound pretty much the same at any level. You may not need a Mustang IV or even a Mustang III. The IV is 150 Watts 2X12, the III is 100 Watts 1X12. The II is 40 Watts 1X12. Try one out and see if it's loud enough. If not, you can always go up to the III.
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            • #7
              I can already go directly into the board, I have BOSS ME-80 for that. I don't think it's something the rest of the band would like. I was looking at the Mustang III because it's a single 12" vs 2x12". I don't need that extra weight and I can always take the output to the board if necessary.

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              • #8
                Have any of you tried the CODE series from Marshall? I'm thinking the CODE 50 1X12" might be enough amp for my needs in this band. I've still got my Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special if I need it, and it's always been plenty for indoor and outdoor gigs. Having the ability to use my phone or iPad as a stompbox controller for the CODE seems pretty slick to me.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by GoldJim View Post
                  I can already go directly into the board, I have BOSS ME-80 for that. I don't think it's something the rest of the band would like. I was looking at the Mustang III because it's a single 12" vs 2x12". I don't need that extra weight and I can always take the output to the board if necessary.
                  I often use a Boss ME-25 direct into a Yamaha mixer and it works really well. The trick is to use the Headphone Output from the ME into a Stereo Line Input on the board.
                  As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
                  from the deepest hell to the highest states.

                  It is up to you which one you choose to explore
                  .

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                  • onelife
                    onelife commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I also have a Mustang IV and, although it is slightly larger than a Twin Reverb, it is not very heavy so it's easy to move around.

                    The amp has a few features that I really like including a stereo (seperate L & R) effects return that is subject to the Master Volume.

                    Among other things, I can plug the L&R outputs of the ME-25 into the back of the Mustang, use the patches I've created and control the output level with th amp's Master Volume.

                    I'm thinking about a guitar synth and it would be convenient to run the guitar into the regular input on the Mustang and the synth into the Aux input - which is also subject to the Master Volume control.

                • #10
                  Maybe
                  Maybe not
                  IDK I have never played one.

                  7 watts, 25lbs

                  1/4" out, if you want to run it to the mixing board.

                  They came out last year.

                  https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...qVbRoCeffw_wcB




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                  • GoldJim
                    GoldJim commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Tried it side-by-side with the Blues Junior... Nah. Thanks though.

                • #11
                  Originally posted by GoldJim View Post
                  Have any of you tried the CODE series from Marshall? I'm thinking the CODE 50 1X12" might be enough amp for my needs in this band. I've still got my Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special if I need it, and it's always been plenty for indoor and outdoor gigs. Having the ability to use my phone or iPad as a stompbox controller for the CODE seems pretty slick to me.
                  WRGKMC has mentioned them but I don't know if he's tried one. I'm a bit surprised he hasn't commented about them yet. The smartphone thing seems gimmicky to me but I'm an old Luddite anyway. Different strokes and all that.
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                  • #12
                    do you play mostly clean or dirty?
                    clean guitarist being too loud in band situation even if they downsize or turn down a lot, can often mean they clash with vocals eq range, which mean too much mids and too much treble, specially the 1khz range.

                    at 1khz the human ear sensitivity is the highest and if you push this range with your guitar you will sound always too loud, no matter how high you overall volume is.
                    with this you can even with a 5w amp and 10inch speaker being the perceived loudest in a full band

                    adjusting your eq can do wonders and you might be able also turn up a bit more again

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                    • #13
                      Thanks, Tele, that's not the problem, but I do get that. We're talking about setting up before anyone else is playing and as we add folks in. I play a Les Paul and I spend a lot of time on the neck pickup for my cleans with the tone nob rolled off a bit. I'm pretty good about that.

                      For those who care, I went with the Mustang III last night. Yes, I do play a lot of clean, so I have to be conscious, not only of my volume, but tonal space.

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                      • onelife
                        onelife commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I think the Mustang is a good choice and the III is portable and powerful. The Fuse software is a good way of setting up and managing patches.

                    • #14
                      Thanks, onelife. I found it much lighter than I thought it would be. After decades of lugging tubes around, this thing was so light, I thought I had suddenly become stronger. I used Fuse on my Mustang I, and I know what you mean. How easy is that? I'm going to get the 4 button switch and I'll have a full 6 button set of controls. I might not need a darned pedal board for this thing at all outside of built in effects!

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                      • #15
                        Congratulations on the Mustang III. Happy New Amp Day.
                        Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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