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

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17
votes
5answers
2k 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?
15
votes
3answers
7k 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?
15
votes
3answers
717 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
4k 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
2answers
12k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k 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
4k 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
3answers
19k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
9k 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)..
11
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
3k 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, ...
10
votes
1answer
354 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
304 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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?
8
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 ...
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
2answers
136 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
642 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?
6
votes
3answers
628 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
6k 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?
6
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k 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
199 views

How can I get a less directional sound from an amp

Normally I play on stage with my PODX3 DI'ed straight in and use the monitor for all my sound but some venues don't work like this and have, for example, a Marshall stack behind me. Now, I like the ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

What's the best choice to get more juice 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
551 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
922 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
3k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
657 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
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
192 views

Setting up Distortion on an Amp

I'm new. I've been trying to play the song 'I Stand Alone'. I can read tabs and I can get my guitar in drop C, I am just not getting the heavy distortion noise. I'm wondering how I should adjust my ...
5
votes
2answers
353 views

What makes an amp sound heavy?

What I want to know is what makes some amps sound the way they sound like the Sunn Model T/Sunn Scepter or the Ampeg VT22. What are the components inside the amps which give it a round, fat , heavy, ...
4
votes
5answers
304 views

Is it necessary to play a keyboard amp before buying

I have always stood by "try before you buy." However, my little brother believes he doesn't need to try out a keyboard amp before he buys it, because the EQ is much flatter. His claim is that the ...
4
votes
2answers
87 views

What notes relate to the EQ on a guitar amp?

On a standard guitar amp, there are three EQs lows, mids, and highs. I know the lows affect the low frequencies, the mids affect the middle frequencies and the highs effect the high frequency. What I ...
4
votes
2answers
891 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
400 views

Is it safe to place a (potentially heavy) combo amp on top of a cab?

I've read this interesting question, and it made me wonder. The fact of tilting/raising the speakers is rather obvious to me, however there's one possibility I thought of. Typical big-stage setup ...
4
votes
2answers
74 views

acoustic guitar and full range speakers

I am playing a nylon string guitar along with a harmonic octave generator and effects unit. I switch from clean to effect-based melodies. The Marshall amp I am currently using is unable to handle the ...
4
votes
1answer
314 views

How should I connect my compressor effect to my amplifier?

Just bought an ENGL screamer 50W amplifier and the only thing I miss right now is a decent compressor for the clean channel. I also have a Zoom g9.2tt effects device and I was thinking of connecting ...
4
votes
4answers
277 views

Save money when buying a guitar / amp?

I want to buy an electric guitar and amp. I found that there is a good buying guide in this question. But in terms of budget, seems that there is not much discount / deal for musical instruments ...
4
votes
2answers
81 views

Tracking down hum in several amplifiers in a home studio

In my home studio I have several amplifiers: Fender Blues Junior III (guitar combo, all tube) Gallien Krueger MB150E (bass combo, solid state) SWR Studio 220 (bass head, tube preamp) Alesis RA 300 ...
3
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Can you use any footswitch on any amplifier?

For example, if I have an amplifier that comes with a 4-button footswitch (2 cables for this footswitch), can I use just any footswitch in the store with 2 buttons (1 cable) and just plug 2 2-button ...
3
votes
3answers
120 views

Buying a guitar amplifier from another country

A while back (before stackexchange) I read that it's not recommended to buy an amplifier from a country with different electricity (110v 50hz vs 220 60hz) because the circuits will create a different ...
3
votes
4answers
674 views

Valve and solid state guitar amp power comparisons?

is there a chart or general rule of thumb of how the different power levels for a valve amp compare to an equivalent volume solid state amp? for example, 5 watt valve amp similar volume to 20 watt ...
3
votes
1answer
407 views

Tube screamer 808 with an ENGL Screamer 50W amp

As an Andy Timmon's huge fan I try to get my guitar tone to sound similar to his. In one of his videos I saw that he uses the Ibanez ts808 tube screamer pedal. I own an ENGL 50W screamer amp which ...
3
votes
1answer
342 views

Which amplifiers for a blues harp?

I'm interested in playing the (diatonic) harmonica with the distorted sound they use in many rock and blues bands (Jason Ricci is one example among many others). From what I understand, how you hold ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Is there an amp power formula?

I'm looking to buy a new amp for my keyboards, and I was wondering if there's a formula I can use to help me calculate some of the objective specs I should look for. Something along the lines of: I ...