Electrical or electronic equipment used to make music louder, characteristically used with electric guitars, but also with other instruments

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24
votes
7answers
4k views

Why do tube-based guitar amplifiers sound so good?

Is it just a cultural thing ("they've always sounded that way") or is there some basis in music theory for this?
23
votes
5answers
23k views

How do I know when it's time to change a tube on my amplifier?

I think this would be a wonderfully instructive question to people who are new to tube amplifiers. In short, how do I know that it's time to change a tube, and what's a good strategy for figuring out ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

When should I be concerned about calibrating the bias of vacuum tubes in an amplifier?

I think it would be useful to discuss the concept of bias as it pertains to guitar amplifiers. I have read some articles saying that you should always rebias your amplifier when you change the power ...
16
votes
3answers
10k views

Why is an amplifier's effects loop useful?

When should you plug gear into your amplifier's effects loop and not into the standard input?
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a “death cap” ?

I have often heard/read people mention a "death cap" when talking about older Fender amps. Is this a capacitor ? What does it do ? Why is it called the death cap ?
13
votes
3answers
26k views

Do distortion pedals work well with tube amps? Or should I use a tube screamer?

I have a Blackstar HT5 tube amp and I like to use a Boss DS1 with the clean channel for the heavy stuff (Zeppelin to Nirvana, these are very different I know). Is this considered a good idea, or ...
13
votes
4answers
13k views

Difference between “hi” and “low” on amps?

What is the difference between "hi" and "low" input jacks on guitar / bass amps? Usually bigger amps have both of them (didn't see them on smaller ones really)..
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Valve (tube) amps and clean tone

Is there any difference in clean tone sound between a valve/tube amp and a solid state amp? i.e., does having a valve in an amp affect the clean channel, or only the distorted channel? Apologies for ...
13
votes
7answers
5k views

How do you mic a guitar amp?

How do you go about mic'ing a guitar amp for live performance? Would you do anything different if you were mic'ing the amp for studio recording? Is there anything specific I should look for in a ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Amp picking up radio stations

When I plug my combo practice amp into a normal wall outlet I pick up a local public radio station, just loud enough to be annoying. The only way I've found to reduce it is to plug it into a UPS or ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

What changes in the amp when I adjust its presence?

The tone controls on a guitar amp are pretty obvious, but what does the presence knob affect? It's a subtle effect but can sure make or break a sound. It doesn't seem to be treble or midrange boost, ...
11
votes
5answers
12k views

guitar cabinet: why not just use a PA speaker cabinet?

I've been thinking about building myself a rackmount rig to replace an old 12" combo amp, and was wondering if it really makes any difference to use a something that's marketed as a "guitar" speaker ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

What are the advantages of point to point (PTP) wiring?

What are the advantages of having a pedal or amp that is point to point wired as opposed to one that is built on top of a printed circuit board? Are there any disadvantages of PTP?
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it okay to sit on guitar combo amplifier?

I just bought a 1x10" Marshall combo guitar amp, and I've read in articles that many guitarists sit on their amps. Is it okay to sit on it? Is there any chance of breaking it as a result?
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you make your own Leslie Speakers?

I love the sound when employed with an Organ ( Jimmy Smith) and on Little Wing(SRV) - I vaguely remember seeing Kings X live once and I believe Ty Tabor had a pair of Leslie speakers that sounded ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Will Playing a Guitar Through a Bass Set-Up Damage the Amplifier and/or Speaker?

I'll be moving at the end of the year due to work and have sold my guitar amp, but still have my electric guitar. I've been playing it unplugged and I'd like to plug it into my bass combo amp. Am I ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What do the different tubes in an amplifier do?

Preamp vs Phase Inverter vs Reverb vs Power vs Rectifier. Many people get really, really confused when they try to understand anything about tubes. I spent a very long time myself trying to ...
10
votes
1answer
449 views

Balanced triodes. Gimmick, or worth the money?

When purchasing tubes from some reputable dealers, I have noticed that you are given the option for balanced triodes--sometimes at a much higher price. How does a tube with balanced a triode effect ...
9
votes
2answers
382 views

What do they mean by 'This amp has a lot of headroom'?

Do they mean how loud it will go without getting distortion?
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How does The Talkbox work?

Beck started using this in the early 70's - they called it The Bag for a hot minute (as did Stevie Wonder) - Frampton's career came alive when he started using it - how does it work?
9
votes
5answers
5k views

How to predict the loudness of an amp based on description

Related question: Is there an amp power formula? When I look at amps in a shop or online, I ask myself what the amp is suitable for: Can it be played quietly enough for home use without disturbing ...
9
votes
5answers
564 views

How can I avoid getting loud picking sounds on a distorted electric guitar?

Whenever I hear solos from professional guitar players, in songs, for example, I never hear a loud noise of pick hitting the strings, even when the guitar is heavily distorted. I just learned a solo ...
9
votes
2answers
623 views

Difference between pre and post gain

I've noticed that some amps instead of just having gain have pre and post gain. I know that gain affect the distortion of the amp, but I don't know the difference between pre and post gain. What is ...
9
votes
2answers
625 views

Tradeoff between powering off and leaving tube amplifier on during breaks

Life span of a tubes(both pre-amp and power-amp tubes) depends on amp "usage" And/Or how often you turn on and turn off your amp. But I need some clarification definition on the word "usage" Because ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What should I look for in a ukulele amp

I bought an electric ukulele and now I need an amp for it. What should I be looking for? Is there any uke specific things that are particular to this kind of amp? Would a regular guitar amp work just ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Using an electric bass guitar with a guitar amp / hi-fi system?

I understand that you should use an amp that was meant to be used with your instrument, but sometimes maybe you just don't have the money, or your amp is not around when you need it, or for whatever ...
8
votes
2answers
746 views

Advantages/Disadvantages of a line out compared to a close mic system

I'm a fairly novice techie, and I'm setting up a rig for a big musical production, with the help of some others, and we are thinking about close micing a guitar amp for the pit band, as opposed to ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Guitar Amplifier (Head versus Combo versus None)

I'm in the process of getting my first electric guitar and am trying to figure out amplifiers. I currently have a stereo amplifier and pre amplifier and a pair floor standing speakers. My living space ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do people place amps on top of things?

In a lot of gigs I've played, I have noticed that they have placed the amplifier speaker cab (usually just the bass amp) on top of a chair or a stool or something, so as not to be on the ground. What ...
7
votes
3answers
604 views

What is the difference between an amp and a head?

At the moment I currently only use a basic guitar amp, but a few of my friends have 'heads' on top of their amps. What is the purpose of these? What do they do that the amp doesn't do?
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Do phase inverter tubes effect the sound of my amp?

I was told once that a phase inverter tube should "just work" and that it has no effect whatsoever on the tone of the amplifier. Is this true?
7
votes
3answers
6k views

What to look for in adding a noise gate to electric guitar setup?

I have researched various methods of controlling noise/hiss in high gain tube amps. In this case, a Peavey 5150 series. Considering your amp is working properly, proper cables, proper tubes, and ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it possible to plug one guitar into two amps?

I'm thinking of taking a y cable splitter from my electric guitar to two practice amps. Is that going to work?
7
votes
2answers
276 views

How can I get a less directional sound from a loudspeaker?

Normally I play on stage with my pedalboard DI'ed straight in to the desk and use a stagefront wedge monitor for all my sound but some venues don't work like this. In these cases I use the standard ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How to connect a line signal to a guitar amp?

My Laney Lv300 Tube Fusion Combo amp, doesn't have a Line-In, as such. It merely has one "Input" on the front, for the guitar and a pair of FX sockets, as an FX Loop (FX Send and FX Return). It also ...
7
votes
1answer
148 views

What is the nature of the signal between an electric guitar and an amplifier?

I can't seem to find information on this, but what are the properties of the signal passing through the guitar cable? What I mean is, if I were going to make a pedal of some sort, what sort of input ...
6
votes
3answers
359 views

Reducing amplifier sound bleeding into mics in a theater setting

I'm having a problem in a live staging setup, in which I have 3 guitar amps and 2 bass amps, all miked, feeding back on on-stage rifle mics. Just to specify, there isn't any way to line out from these ...
6
votes
1answer
9k views

How do preamps and power amps compliment/replace guitar amplifier heads and combos?

I see rack mounted power amps and preamps, mainly for large venues. But I don't know exactly what they do. I know a preamp can be used to boost a microphone signal for a soundcard, but I don't know ...
6
votes
3answers
864 views

What is causing this weird distortion coming from my amp?

Here is the sound I'm talking about. I get this sound, unless I strum ridiculously lightly, on different amp volume settings, with no gain, ...
6
votes
2answers
439 views

Reduce a tube amp power or volume

I just bought a Bugera 333XL-212 Titanium (combo, 120 Watts) which is awesome for small venues but is really too loud for practising at home. I can't set the master volume to more than 1 without ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Recording an amp using headphone out?

I got an Peavey Vypyr 30w. There is a headphone/record out. Since I do not have a mic currently, I want to utilize it for recording, what devices do I need? I know there is some electrical ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I plug my amp directly into my audio interface?

Could anyone tell me, can I plug my guitar amp directly into my audio interface (with the "line out")? On some forums people say that you can't , on others people say you can... If it's possible, is ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

What's the best choice to get more gain out of a tube amplifier

The story behind this question: I got myself a nice little combo for my bedroom-workouts (related to playing guitar, of course :D ), a Blackstar HT1-R which is a lovely little 1 watt 2 channel ...
5
votes
5answers
690 views

How do I get pinch harmonics during solos?

Could someone tell me how to get the pinch harmonics sound during solos? Specifically on the "Wanted Dead or Alive" solo by Bon Jovi? Is it an amp setting? Is it something I do with my left or right ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Bad sound from amp

I get this really bad feedback sounding noise when I play stuff like this, from the beginning of the Free Bird solo, shown in tab: 1 ----18---18---18--------- 2 -18---18---18--------- (All notes ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Choosing a guitar cabinet

I have settled on the amplifier head to buy for my guitar, but I am not sure of the cabinet yet. I know that there are open-back vs closed-back options, and I assume that the quality of the speaker ...
5
votes
1answer
398 views

Can turning on an amplifier without a connected load (cab) cause damage?

I don't recall where or from whom, but I heard that switching on an amplifier head without a connected load (a cab, that is) may cause damage—presumably to the tubes, but perhaps something else, I'm ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Switching amp heads with pedal

I was listening to Killswitch Engage and decided to look Adam D's rig up. He's used multiple amps and guitars, but is sparse with pedals. When reading this I started wondering how they achieve cleans ...
5
votes
3answers
941 views

Why does my guitar sound more natural when plugged directly into a tube amp vs through a pedal board?

Why does my guitar sound better when plugged straight in to my amplifier as opposed to running it through a pedalboard without a true bypass strip?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

using multiple stereo effects

I have a couple pedals that have either a dry out, Digitech Whammy or they are stereo effects, i.e delay, chorus. I have multiple amps; Bugera 333xl head, a line 6 Flextone combo, a Hartke 20 W Bass ...