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samal50

can a single 8" high quality guitar speaker "move air" or not?

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Generally no. Not with "any" 12" speaker. It might compete with a crappy 12" but not a good one. Let's allow 1" all around for the surround and frame and for the 8" speaker you get a circle with an area of about 28.3 square inches. For the 12" speaker you get a circle with an area of about 78.5 square inches. Which one do you think can more more air? The 8" speaker will need to move almost three times as far (2.78 times if you're interested) to move the same volume of air. Eventually it will come to the end of its excursion and won't be able to move any further without damage or severe distortion. At low volumes the smaller speaker might sound okay but crank it up and the difference becomes more pronounced. Generally you need a 10" speaker or larger and most amps favor 12's.

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I'm curious about the opposite too; if bigger speakers sound good at low volumes?

It depends on the speaker. Some speakers get part of their sound from what's called "breakup," which happens at a certain volume, kinda like drive on an amp. Less volume, less "breakup." OTOH, if you play clean or get your sound primarily from your amp you'll be fine. And since the 12" will probably be able to get get louder it's generally a good idea to have extra capacity.

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I don't know what it is but I've not heard an 8" that I like. I've heard 6" and 5" that sound great, but for some reason 8s sound like do to my ears.

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Go look at one of these amps. Pat Quilter is change everything you know about amps.

 

 

I saw his Avaitaor amp in a shop, but not the Micro Pro 2

 

[video=youtube;GB30KQd-iQY]

 

 

Looks like they have 1 in open box, plus they always give you 10% off, ask em fro another 10% of

who want's an amp hat is in an open box :D

 

There's a travel bag you can get for it and you will want one of the 2 foot switches they make for it.

 

You'not gonna move a lot of air with a Fender Tweedy Champs or something like that.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/quilter-labs-mach2-combo-8-micro-pro-200-mach-2-200w-1x8-guitar-combo-amp

 

Quilter is going to or has disconnected there Aviator series. However I found this one.

https://www.zzounds.com/item--QUIAVIATOR8GOLD

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You can find all kinds of 10's, 12's even 15" speakers for guitar but 8" are slim pickin's.

Just google and look for guitar 8's and you have maybe a dozen or so being made as replacements. The specs aren't all that impressive either. Check the specs and there isn't a clear superior speaker in the bunch.

 

I wish there was a decent one being made. My little Marshall combo I use for practice has one of those Park speakers in it (likely a branded import) and its lost its edge.

 

EV used to make a good powerful 8" replacement. Ampeg made them too long ago. Not sure about JBL.

 

Today you have a motley collection of basic replacements like Jenson Mod, Jensen Ceramic 8, Jensen Alnico, Celestion 8/15, Eminence Patriot 820H, Mojo Heritage 8, Guitar Warehouse 8" Weber 8" & Weber 8A125

 

I'm sure other manufacturers make at least one. All are between 15~25W and all have SPL levels in the low to mid 90's so they aren't overly efficient.

 

 

I have seen some amp manufacturers making some 2 X 8" and 4 X 8" speaker cabs. If the speakers had higher wattages it might be fun having something that light weight. With single speaker combo's I have two amps with 8's and they don't quite cut it for me for tone. I use them for practice but they are pretty thin sounding compared to a 12" or even an 10". A 10" can sound nearly as bold as a 12" and a 4 X 10" cab can sound amazing for driven tones. Gives you all the mid drive without Mole Bass tones muddying things up.

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I wonder how these Quilter amps compare to the ZT Amp lunchbox (about $300 cheaper)? I like what I see and hear, not sure if it's because they were mic'ed or what but I wonder if these are usually only good for "quiet" rock bands? Red Hot Chili Peppers rehearsed using a ZT amp lunchbox and it held its own (from the video I've seen online).

 

The Quilter Mach2 is a 200 watt, 2 channel amp (100 w per channel). I wonder if both channels can be utilized simultaneously to get the 200 watt power?

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Posted (edited)

Does a boost pedal actually help with driving a tube amp beyond its peak? One such boost pedal that caught my eye was the whirlwind "the bomb", which is 26db, not sure what that means though.

 

the amp I'm trying to "drive" is the isp technologies vector fs8, which is full spectrum, 175 watts. I've read that some people don't think it's loud enough so they got a pair. I only have 1, perhaps a boost pedal can drive it to another level?

Edited by samal50

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A boost pedal will slam the input of an amp harder, and create earlier breakup / distortion - if the amp is already running at its limits in terms of volume, the boost pedal is not going to make the amp significantly louder - just dirtier sounding.

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Posted (edited)
Does a boost pedal actually help with driving a tube amp beyond its peak? One such boost pedal that caught my eye was the whirlwind "the bomb", which is 26db, not sure what that means though.

 

the amp I'm trying to "drive" is the isp technologies vector fs8, which is full spectrum, 175 watts. I've read that some people don't think it's loud enough so they got a pair. I only have 1, perhaps a boost pedal can drive it to another level?

First, AFAIK the FS8 isn't a tube amp. Second, 10 dB usually sounds "twice as loud," so 26 dB is about "4 1/2 times as loud." In other words, a lot louder. As Phil pointed out, at that point you run the risk of overdriving your amp into mud. Keep it sane, a few dB boost as needed for playing leads but not to make your amp louder. 175 Watts is plenty of power, the main limiting issue is going to be the 8" speaker. Have you actually tried it to see if it's "loud enough" for your purposes?

Edited by DeepEnd

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So when are boost pedals ever needed, when using a tube amp? Which I don't have by the way, but in the near future, maybe a Bassbreaker 007 (7 watt tube combo amp) could benefit from a boost pedal?

 

A boost pedal will slam the input of an amp harder' date=' and create earlier breakup / distortion - if the amp is already running at its limits in terms of volume, the boost pedal is not going to make the amp significantly louder - just dirtier sounding. [/quote']

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Samal...I'm curious as to what you are trying to accomplish with all the odd gear choices and selective questioning?

 

You pick amps that are not good live performance amps and then come in here asking how to get around it...why not ask the right question the first time?

 

Using a boost with a 7 watt amp? Pointless...you are not getting more volume than the amp itself can generate, all you are doing is oversaturating the signal, and as Phil said, it isn't louder, just dirtier [more distortion], and by the way, that 26dB you were wondering about is input signal gain, not volume.

 

Typically, a good guitarist runs their amp well below maximum volume, and the advantage of a boost pedal is an instantaneous increase in perceived volume, plus a fatter sound, without the change in tone that rolling up the volume knob on the guitar can cause.

 

You are playing in a band with a live drummer on an acoustic kit, and therefor need an amp capable of being heard over the drums...so a 7 watt amp is not, EVER, going to get you there unless you mic it into the PA. You need, at minimum a 15-20 watt tube amp with a 1X12 cab [a 1x10 would work, but not as common]. So stop buying solid state stuff with tiny speakers thinking that wattage is all you need. If you have the money, there are some solid state amps which will do this for you, like Quilter, but they are in the pricey range over $1000, whereas a 15W 1x12 can be found new for under $600....used for even less.

 

Your ISP Technologies Vector FS8 is designed to use with digital amp-modeling pedals, so if you don't have anything like that, then you have the wrong 'amp'. The FS8 is a full range/flat response system, meaning it adds NOTHING to the input signal...you get out what you put in, so boosting it without a modeling parameter gets you basically nothing. Plus that 8" speaker is problematic, no matter how much volume you think 175 watts is going to get you, that unit won't project off the stage...it is little more than a pricey floor monitor, IMHO... which is not bad if you use a modeling system that goes direct to the board and use the FS8 as a stage monitor.

Edited by daddymack
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I see. I could use the Vector FS8 as you described. As far as digital amp modeling pedals, I'm not sure if you meant any multi effects pedal that has modeling amps. In my case, I have a BOSS SY-300 guitar synth pedal. I also have a pair of powered PA speakers (Electro-Voice ZLX-12P), which could function as FOH speakers and the Vector FS8 as the stage monitor. I think that was my intent in getting these gear to begin with.

 

I guess a booster isn't really needed then so I was just curious for future reference. I looked into the Electro Harmonix Analogizer, which also functions as a 26dB booster. Can this pedal actually make a guitar synth sound less "digital"?

 

Samal...I'm curious as to what you are trying to accomplish with all the odd gear choices and selective questioning?

 

You pick amps that are not good live performance amps and then come in here asking how to get around it...why not ask the right question the first time?

 

Using a boost with a 7 watt amp? Pointless...you are not getting more volume than the amp itself can generate, all you are doing is oversaturating the signal, and as Phil said, it isn't louder, just dirtier [more distortion], and by the way, that 26dB you were wondering about is input signal gain, not volume.

 

Typically, a good guitarist runs their amp well below maximum volume, and the advantage of a boost pedal is an instantaneous increase in perceived volume, plus a fatter sound, without the change in tone that rolling up the volume knob on the guitar can cause.

 

You are playing in a band with a live drummer on an acoustic kit, and therefor need an amp capable of being heard over the drums...so a 7 watt amp is not, EVER, going to get you there unless you mic it into the PA. You need, at minimum a 15-20 watt tube amp with a 1X12 cab [a 1x10 would work, but not as common]. So stop buying solid state stuff with tiny speakers thinking that wattage is all you need. If you have the money, there are some solid state amps which will do this for you, like Quilter, but they are in the pricey range over $1000, whereas a 15W 1x12 can be found new for under $600....used for even less.

 

Your ISP Technologies Vector FS8 is designed to use with digital amp-modeling pedals, so if you don't have anything like that, then you have the wrong 'amp'. The FS8 is a full range/flat response system, meaning it adds NOTHING to the input signal...you get out what you put in, so boosting it without a modeling parameter gets you basically nothing. Plus that 8" speaker is problematic, no matter how much volume you think 175 watts is going to get you, that unit won't project off the stage...it is little more than a pricey floor monitor, IMHO... which is not bad if you use a modeling system that goes direct to the board and use the FS8 as a stage monitor.

 

 

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Boosters make wonderful EQ units. They are pre-zoned for electric guitar and many allow active contouring of treble AND bass. The bass controls alone go miles toward credible and intelligible guitar tone however loud or driven.

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So when are boost pedals ever needed, when using a tube amp? Which I don't have by the way, but in the near future, maybe a Bassbreaker 007 (7 watt tube combo amp) could benefit from a boost pedal?

 

 

Boost pedals are generally used in one of two ways - as a volume boost, or as a dirt boost.

 

When running into a clean amp with lots of available headroom, a modest boost of 6dB or so can be used as a level boost - the signal will still stay fairly clean, but the volume level will increase.

 

When running into a tube amp that is set to the edge of breakup - IOW, to where it's just starting to break up and distort - the boost pedal will send it over the edge and into full overdrive. That's the way that players like Bluesbreakers and Cream-era Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher and Brian May tended to use their boosts - for more grind and grit, as opposed to a level increase.

 

 

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When you have a bunch of pedals in series whether they are true bypass or not, all that extra wiring adds resistance which reduces your signal level, and it typically has added capacitance as well which reduces the frequency response. Using a booster pedal can help compensate for those losses and give you a signal that's strong enough to feed the amp properly.

 

They way I set it up is to A/B compare the amp with the guitar running through all the pedals with the pedals bypassed (dry) and compare that to my guitar plugged straight into the amp. (I can even use a meter to determine how string the guitar signal is) Typically the pedals drop the voltage even when they are bypassed. Adding enough boost to compensate for the losses lets you run the amp at a lower gain level.

 

Of course if your amp does have more power this is less of a problem because you have plenty of power in reserve.

It depends on the number and types of pedals you have too. Boss pedals for example are buffered even when bypassed so the signal will remain strong so long as the pedal is powered.

 

Some people do use booster pedals to boost an amps volume up too. I'd be cautious here. If its a Tube amp you cant do much damage besides fatigue your tubes early or maybe wear the speaker out if its close to the power amps maximum ratings. Most of the loudness effects are Psycho Acoustic however. The preamp with be more gained up which make the amp sound louder but the power amp is only going to allow the signal to be pushed to use up the clean headroom and after that it clips off any additional volume increases.

 

Transistor amps are far more venerable to being pushed beyond their specs. If you had a solid state amp built in the 50, 60, 70's and added a booster it wouldn't take long to overheat the preamp transistors and either weaken them or blow them outright. Same thing with the power amp transistors. Older transistors didn't have a whole lot of extra headroom and typically began to overheat quickly.

 

Over the years manufacturers have developed SS devices that can handle much higher temps without breaking down so its usually safer to drive them harder but to be honest, I don't advise using booster pedals to try and get more out of the amp. If your amp sucks for volume its simply because your amp sucks for volume. you could try a higher SPL speaker if you need more volume, but its unlikely to make a 7W amp with an 8" speaker compete with a live acoustic drummer very well. You'd either need to mic the amp or you need a bigger amp.

 

Personally I wouldn't want to try and compete with any drummers I know using less than a 35W tube or a 100W SS amp.

I like having the amp tones clean so I can use pedals for drive. If I was using an amp with channel switching without the pedals I could probably get by with a 35W tube amp so long as the drummer didn't pound the drums with baseball bats. 35W tube can be OK for small gigs. Haven't found many low wattage SS amps that sound good enough to compete with a drummers and survive his cymbal wash running less then 100W however.

 

A Tube amp is rated for clean watts which is usually run at half way or maybe 70% before they start to overdrive. A 35W tube amp may get 35W clean watts and maybe an additional 10~15W additional driven watts with the volume maxed out.

 

Most SS amps on the other hand, get full clean RMS with the volume maxed out at 10. Like the Tube amp it gets its best sounding tune with the volume run at 50% so a 100W SS amp actually has closer to half that in power levels you'd actually use. I don't know anyone who maxes out their SS amps. They'd much more likely run them between 30~70% of max. .

 

That means a 100W SS amp sounds pretty darn good running at 30 to 50W and you have a little extra and never have to risk overheating the transistors making the power levels out. I have a 65W SS amp which is barely able to match a drummer pushing a 10" speaker. A 12" would be better.

 

I've used 15W SS amps with 8" speakers and cant keep above a solid snare drum, no less the kick. There's a reason for that too. Most snare drums are 12" and most standard kick drums 22" which when hit are going to produce bass frequencies that undercut a small practice amps 8" bass tones. If you don't mic it the drummer doesn't have to work very hard to make you disappear. No amount of added modeling or boosted gain seems to rectify the issue either. If the power transistors don't have the push and your speaker lack the size you simply aren't going to compete with the tones drums produce. Luckily SS components are extremely inexpensive so there isn't a big problem buying an amp with the extra wattage reserve needed then run it at lower volumes.

 

Its like my car. I drive a Mustang 5.0. I like having a big engine and extra power there but most of the time I drive it like a luxury vehicle.

Its there when needed but it barely gets used most of the time.

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Posted (edited)

I see. So a boost pedal could be used in place of an overdrive or distortion pedal instead, when one has a tube amp? I've seen people on youtube demo combo amps/cabs without any distortion pedal but the amp has distortion when cranked up (they say that it's the natural distortion from the amp itself without the use of any overdrive pedal whatsoever). I'm not sure if it was tube amp that was demoed but probably a solid state.

 

 

Boost pedals are generally used in one of two ways - as a volume boost, or as a dirt boost.

 

When running into a clean amp with lots of available headroom, a modest boost of 6dB or so can be used as a level boost - the signal will still stay fairly clean, but the volume level will increase.

 

When running into a tube amp that is set to the edge of breakup - IOW, to where it's just starting to break up and distort - the boost pedal will send it over the edge and into full overdrive. That's the way that players like Bluesbreakers and Cream-era Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher and Brian May tended to use their boosts - for more grind and grit, as opposed to a level increase.

 

 

Edited by samal50

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Some boosts are just a gain stage with an amount knob. Since these are essentially preamps, it's a natural progression to tone and drive knobs. You can end up with everything on the face of your amp, on the floor as well. All that happens is at any given stage, the signal or some specific spectrum of it can be increased or decreased. Exceeding the capacity of any subsequent stage results in clipping/overdrive/distortion/enter own term. This can be tubes or solid states. The natural distortion being claimed is usually a hot preamp driving the big tubes into clipping. I'm not sure if a SS power stage can be clipped in this manner or needs a pre-clipped signal to fake it. Regardless, with modern tech advances the sonic distinctions are fading.

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. . . The natural distortion being claimed is usually a hot preamp driving the big tubes into clipping. I'm not sure if a SS power stage can be clipped in this manner or needs a pre-clipped signal to fake it. Regardless' date=' with modern tech advances the sonic distinctions are fading.[/quote']

"Clipping" in a SS amp sounds pretty bad. The resulting distortion is odd numbered harmonics (3KHz, 5KHz, 7KHz, etc. for a 1KHz signal) vs. even harmonics from a tube amp.

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"Clipping" in a SS amp sounds pretty bad. The resulting distortion is odd numbered harmonics (3KHz, 5KHz, 7KHz, etc. for a 1KHz signal) vs. even harmonics from a tube amp.

 

Granted I lack insight on the specific differences beyond the simple facts but I would like to see innovations that allow tubeless and musical SS clipping.

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I see. So a boost pedal could be used in place of an overdrive or distortion pedal instead' date=' when one has a tube amp? [/quote']

 

Yes.

 

I've seen people on youtube demo combo amps/cabs without any distortion pedal but the amp has distortion when cranked up (they say that it's the natural distortion from the amp itself without the use of any overdrive pedal whatsoever). I'm not sure if it was tube amp that was demoed but probably a solid state.

 

Some amps do have the ability to produce distorted or overdriven tones without any assistance from pedals - that includes both tube and solid state amps. You can generally get even "more" dirt from them with a boost pedal slamming the input of the amp harder, but that generally works best with tube amps and not solid state amps.

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Granted I lack insight on the specific differences beyond the simple facts but I would like to see innovations that allow tubeless and musical SS clipping.

So would I. The Vox Valvetronix amps use a 12AX7 as a power tube and then boost the signal with a SS circuit. That's about the best present option I know of. Clipping happens differently in tube and SS amps though. When a SS amp clips you get something like the red trace with the tops and bottoms of the waves chopped off. A tube behaves more like the yellow trace, rounding off the wave, more like compression. You'd need a circuit that creates both even harmonics and compression to get a tube-like sound.

 

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So would I. The Vox Valvetronix amps use a 12AX7 as a power tube and then boost the signal with a SS circuit. That's about the best present option I know of. Clipping happens differently in tube and SS amps though. When a SS amp clips you get something like the red trace with the tops and bottoms of the waves chopped off. A tube behaves more like the yellow trace, rounding off the wave, more like compression. You'd need a circuit that creates both even harmonics and compression to get a tube-like sound.

 

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Marshall did this in the 90s with their ValveState amps...they sounded great but were unreliable for extensive gigging [don't ask how I know ;) ].

 

I have to say that Quilter has somehow figured out how to get their amps to simulate tube clipping pretty darned well... I was a skeptic for years until I spent time with one...then I bought it!

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