30

Gain is the input level control, it decides how hard the input signal hits the preamp. Guitar amps often exploit the effect of hitting it HARD, overdriving it into distortion. Volume controls how much the output from the preamp is amplified. Again, specifically on a guitar amp, there may be the possibility of driving the speakers into interesting overload ...


13

It's an oversimplification to claim that "the tone change is done in the preamp". It's the complete signal chain that results in the final sound, including the power amp and the speaker cabinet. Note that it's not only the tubes that make the difference between a solid state and a tube power amp, but also the output transformer, which is necessary ...


10

I went down a similar path to eventually starting a full band to accompany me on stage in paying gigs vs playing just for fun. My band has bass, two guitars, drums and vocal mics for all four musicians. What you would need for amplification of your instruments and vocals is highly dependent on the venue your band will be performing in. For a small pub, ...


9

Yes it is normal. The gain is the volume control of the input of the amplifier. The signal flow of the tube amplifier goes: Gain (preamp input) to tone stack (eq) to phase inverter stage (input to power amp) to power tubes (amplifier). Amplifiers that simulate a tube amp follow a similar signal flow.


8

You've correctly analysed why the cable impedance does not matter in the way it does for HF transmission lines. (Though, the assumption of vacuum light speed is actually not completely valid – the dielectric factors into this, but it doesn't change the fact that the wavelengths are many times longer than any guitar cable.) That notwithstanding though, the ...


7

The way tubes work is that electrons are "boiled" out of the cathode by heating it, and then pulled across to the anode by the different voltages inside the tube. The only way you can damage a "cold" tube is by applying so much voltage that you pull the electrons out of the cathode "by force" and physically damage the cathode material permanently. Note, ...


6

This sounds normal to me - just an example of a prominent beat effect, exaggerated by the distortion: when the two tones are close in pitch but not identical, the difference in frequency generates the beating. The volume varies like in a tremolo as the sounds alternately interfere constructively and destructively. If you don't want the gap in ...


6

Tube power stages only have a notable effect when driven at high signal levels, so they don't just linearly amplify the signal but soft-clip it somewhat. This is in effect also what high preamp-gain accomplishes, but it is controlled with the master volume pot – which really works the same way as the gain pot, except it's placed after the preamp(s) and right ...


5

To elaborate and visualize the previous answers a bit further, here's a legend: Amp/head: the device that amplifies the electrical signal. This is an electrical processor that does not produce audible sound. Cabinet: the actual speaker that speaks out the processed signal and makes it audible. The above two come in two main flavors: Stack: The amp and ...


5

Edit: there seems to be some confusion here. Based on the description in the question, I'm assuming you have two devices that output a line-level signal, and you want to connect those to a device that only has one input available. If this is the case: don't wire the cables together directly. This may damage your devices: the output voltage from one ...


5

It's for modulation effects. From the Spark User Manual, page 3: (H) Effects Control Adjusts the amount of Modulation, Delay, and Reverb in the current preset. Use the SPARK app to change the effects type and detailed effects settings. This is consistent with other amps. On Fender's Mustang V.2, the MOD knob is for setting modulation effects levels. There ...


5

Effectively, there are three controls to your equipment. Volume on the guitar, volume on the pre-amp stage of your amp., and volume on the post, or amplifying stage of your amp. With any one of those turned all the way down, the signal will not get through its entire path. Guitar volume down - there's no signal from the guitar. Gain down - the guitar signal ...


4

The chain is guitar > pre-amp > power amp> speaker. Putting any effects here - Guitar> fx > pre-amp > power amp > speaker means that the pre-amp (tones mainly) will affect the fx. Putting any effects here - Guitar > pre-amp > fx > power amp > speaker means that the fx are subjected to whatever settings the pre-amp has. Modulation, delay, tremolo are ...


4

The recommendation would depend on several factors. do you ever plan on playing with other musicians outside of your bedroom? Then the PC/ amp sim solution is a big hassle. You don't want to drag your PC to every rehearsal. does the amp that you own have a halfway-decent speaker? If not, all the pedals and amp sims in the world won't help you, your tone ...


4

Yes, at least some gain is needed. When it's turned off, no signal is being sent from your guitar to the amp. Gain defines the signal input level to your amp. Thus, if set to 0, there will be no sound produced. Volume defines the output level of sound. For example: Both gain and levels refer to the loudness of the audio. However, gain is the input level of ...


4

Any “electric guitar sound” is a combination of three things: frequency response in the guitar itself, PUs etc. shaping through the amp circuitry speaker/cabinet response The third point is often underestimated, but it actually has a very significant contribution: the cabinet has a highly uneven response that drastically influences the sound. In particular,...


3

It absolutely depends on the type of output. What you want to do is called "distributing" the output to a number of inputs. Some types of output are actually designed to be distributed, some are not. Some can, but only with a bit of care and technical consideration. (To know how and how many you need to know a bit of electronics, there is something ...


3

While better is of course subjective and there are exceptions (yes you are right about the MT-2 Metal Zone that is the ONE 'dirt' pedal aside from a few 'few amp in a box pedals' that tend to work better if you plug input direct into them and then take output into the fx return bypassing the preamp completely. I wouldn't say its horrible in front, but it ...


3

Better is subjective, the pedals will sound different when sent through an FX loop than direct. The difference is where the distortion is created in the amplification chain. There are two types of effects loop, parallel and serial which will have different sound and application also. An effects input in an amplifier is usually after the pre-amp stage of ...


3

There's no problem using a 20 Watt amp: just turn it down. You can set the volume of an amp as quiet as you want. It would probably be better to use headphones.


3

Rockin Cowboy has comprehensively covered a lot of points! A couple more thoughts for you. Consider what sort and size venues the band may be gigging at. There's a fair difference between a bar that can hold 50 people from an outdoor gig where there might be 300 or so. And the equipment will vary accordingly. As already stated, guitarist and bassist ought ...


3

One option is to hook a "power soak" up to the output of your amp. Marshall used to make one, but I haven't heard of anyone using them in years. A friend of mine used one on stage for years and was very pleased with the way it worked. I suppose you might be able to find out about them by googling. I hope this helps.


3

I think what you are looking for is an amp attenuator or what I think the other answer referred to as a "power soak" It will allow you to crank up the volume on the amp to drive those tubes while 'soaking' up most of the loudness and not getting you evicted while still getting those sweet tube tonez. I know UA came out with a rather pricy 'the ox'. Was ...


3

A few answers: I'd definitely suggest that yes, go ahead and learn a few solos you like. It'll give you many satisfactions and you'll learn a lot of useful things. If your strings break that often, it may be that you play a little too hard, or there may be some sharp edges on the bridge saddle, the nut, or even on some frets. This is common on cheap ...


3

My thoughts on whether or not to buy another amp or effects pedal: if it were me, I'd go down to the music shop and try out a few effect pedals and while I was there I'd play through a few different amps to see the differences in sound. At that point I might decide to buy a pedal or I might choose an amp. A third possibility might be that I'd choose to wait ...


3

The U2 ICE2A165 chip should be replaced by an ICE2A265 (just as cheap). It's a standard 8-pin IC; if I was working on that board, I'd pull the broken chip, insert an 8-pin IC socket and then use the upgraded chip (it has better thermal properties). Talk to another repair man - this doesn't seem like a challenging or expensive fix.


3

This is generally expected behaviour, but that does depend on your amp. Some amps are designed to give you more clean headroom, but you don't have much headroom in a small amp. The answer is to not crank the volume up as high. If you need more volume, get a higher wattage amp.


3

Doing so, you will not be able to enjoy the "full power" of your amp: because of the impedance mismatch, part of these 5W will no be transferred to the cabs. In the end you will get lower sound level that with using matched cabs (8 ohms) but this should not damage anything. In the end, the amp will deliver less current than what it is made for…


3

A solid-state amp has some decent features that are worth considering when buying an amp. For high-gain sounds I have found that solid-state makes the controlling of the gain more precise, a solid-state amp just responds to gain in a more predictable manner. For a long time it was rather hard to get truly hard to get high-gain sounds out of tubes. I don't ...


3

Although there is nothing "magical" about vacuum tubes that couldn't be emulated with a transistor-based circuit in a power amp, most transistor-based amps are designed to behave as thought they have a source impedance that is very near zero ohms. Thus will cause them to put half as much power into an 8 ohm load as they would put into a four ohm ...


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