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Forgot How Loud Tube Amps Are

I played a pair of Blues Juniors for years in a stereo setup and I loved it. Definitively loud enough if crancked. The AC30ties were definitively too loud to cranck in a bandroom.
 
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Dude- protect your ears.
You need them more than just about anyone.
Severe tinnitus will bring you to a very dark place for the first two years.
If can you make it thru that psychologically intact then you might have a shot at being able to function and concentrate enough on a daily basis to still work-
but you will never have your life back.
Once that switch in your brain gets flicked and the ringing starts- there is no way to turn it off.
I really dont enjoy saying all this because it’s too easy to come across as a fearmonger-
but as a guitarist with permanent, severely intrusive tinnitus I think it’s the one thing I should do for people.
Whomever thinks it’s a good idea to play electric guitar through headphones is not being sensible.
Anyone who manufacturers a tube amp with a headphone jack should be physically hurt.
You WILL eventually turn it up louder than your ears can safely handle and you will eventually step on a boost that is not adjusted properly.
And it only takes one last straw to break the camels back.
I‘m not on this forum at 5am on a Sunday morning after working 54 hours this week - just because I adore the FM3.
Once I wake-up to piss and am greeted with 70+ decibels of screeching at 13kHZ in both ears- there’s no climbing back into bed.
Not for nothing - I still own a full-stack with an extremely well done master volume mod and friendly speakers and it’s not an issue if I sit off to the side a bit.
I believe it was the Peavy Combos in the bedroom and Thrash Metal club shows of the mid 80’s that mostly contributed to me getting the gift that keeps on giving- and then motorcycles, nail guns and broken-baffled air compressors, Ect - that sealed the deal.
King Diamond does not get any Christmas presents from me though.
 
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Purplestrats

Inspired
The blues junior with the MV up high is actually one of my favorite amps in the III lately. I could never get my real blues junior to sound like this, no doubt because I never had an opportunity to crank it.
 

Fjelltronen

New Member
what's the loudest amp ever?
I would like to nominate my Crate BV300H half stack. I would also put it forward as a candidate for heaviest tube head ever.
The crazy thing about it though is that it sounds good at a comfortable living room level to the point where the noise of its fan is distracting!
 

WW Audio

Inspired
my 100w 5150 is just way to loud for my neighbors 4 houses down :rolleyes:
Had the original 120W version full stack years ago. Was so much to lug around to gigs I just used a half stack config most of the time. Insanely loud and kind of a one trick pony - great for blowing out ear drums and windows. Eventually sold it and went to a Carvin MTS 100W "mini stack". Even that was stoopid loud. Got the 2XL in 2014 and sold all the tube amps except for a THD Univalve. At 15 watts, even the THD can peal paint. After getting the III, the Univalve sits unused in a closet.
 

curious

Experienced
sure, but they’re just so damn tasty!

switching it on at night and trying to find the spot between 0 and 1 where you can actually hear something but don’t wake the whole house is Russian Roulette though...

View attachment 79321
Yes they are. IMO, the Mk IV has one of the best clean tones I ever heard. I loved the mid channel slightly dirty and could do a whole gig living on that channel. But, I could never use that amp at home. Just too friggin loud
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
Fractal guy since 2013 here.... Every time I go over a non-fractal guitarist's house and they turn an amp loud, I gotta cover my ears. It's so non-guitarist of me. That's why they're all deaf in their 40's
Maybe 2 years ago I was on Helix, and we put together an ad hoc local user group meetup. One guy showed up with a seriously huge rig, played so loud I couldn't stand it, and wouldn't take the hint that it was really unfair. He was so proud of how Awesome it sounded. I put plugs in and backed as far away as I could, almost left.

You don't need a Marshall to be dangerous.
 

ertan

Inspired
I sold my 'Mini' Rectifier after having to isolate the quietest isocab ever, the AxeTrak, even further. Then I switched to Axe2.

Nowadays, with Axe3 and Cygnus, I don't even consider switching to amps anymore. GAS is dead, FAS is the future 😅
 

sprint

Fractal Fanatic
Dude- protect your ears.
You need them more than just about anyone.
Severe tinnitus will bring you to a very dark place for the first two years.
If can you make it thru that psychologically intact then you might have a shot at being able to function and concentrate enough on a daily basis to still work-
but you will never have your life back.
Once that switch in your brain gets flicked and the ringing starts- there is no way to turn it off.
I really dont enjoy saying all this because it’s too easy to come across as a fearmonger-
but as a guitarist with permanent, severely intrusive tinnitus I think it’s the one thing I should do for people.
Whomever thinks it’s a good idea to play electric guitar through headphones is not being sensible.
Anyone who manufacturers a tube amp with a headphone jack should be physically hurt.
You WILL eventually turn it up louder than your ears can safely handle and you will eventually step on a boost that is not adjusted properly.
And it only takes one last straw to break the camels back.
I‘m not on this forum at 5am on a Sunday morning after working 54 hours this week - just because I adore the FM3.
Once I wake-up to piss and am greeted with 70+ decibels of screeching at 13kHZ in both ears- there’s no climbing back into bed.
Not for nothing - I still own a full-stack with an extremely well done master volume mod and friendly speakers and it’s not an issue if I sit off to the side a bit.
I believe it was the Peavy Combos in the bedroom and Thrash Metal club shows of the mid 80’s that mostly contributed to me getting the gift that keeps on giving- and then motorcycles, nail guns and broken-baffled air compressors, Ect - that sealed the deal.
King Diamond does not get any Christmas presents from me though.
+1 - protect your ears

I can trace my T back to some loud concerts - Van Halen in particular - 79/80 and 84 - Rediculously loud, to the point the sound was just shit - after the 84 show, lost my hearing for days - could not hear people speaking (buzzing). My hearing came back after that but I lost something and the tinnitus started in my 40s and has gotten gradually worse over the past 10/15.

I think of Axefx Amp block level control as a perfect attenuator.
 

sprint

Fractal Fanatic
$750 for the amp, and $500 to re-tube it.
Love the last pic on there (warning plate) says "This is a 435 Watt RMS tube amp. Do not block any ventillation screens" - lol!

I guess those are from back in the days without PA - needed full stacks with big heads to get yur sound back to the cheap seats (God help the front rows).

When I was a teenager, "The Who" were famous for playing loud - for the longest time they were in Guinees Book of records for loudest concert - pics of PT proudly standing beside multiple full stacks w Hiwatt heads.
 
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mattgreenrocks

New Member
Whomever thinks it’s a good idea to play electric guitar through headphones is not being sensible.
Anyone who manufacturers a tube amp with a headphone jack should be physically hurt.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have been spooked by tinnitus in the past; seems to be more induced by inner ear pressure due to allergies. But etymotic ear plugs are a must for live shows; and some bands are simply too damn loud, esp post rock style bands. I have zero qualms walking out of a show if it is too loud. Excessive volume usually means the mix sounds like garbage, too, which really defeats the point of seeing a live show.

Regarding the quote above, I presume that is in reference to tube amps only vs modelers? I keep the volume on the axe quite low (it can push a lot of volume).
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
Love the last pic on there (warning plate) says "This is a 435 Watt RMS tube amp. Do not block any ventillation screens" - lol!

I guess those are from back in the days without PA - needed full stacks with big heads to get yur sound back to the cheap seats (God help the front rows).

When I was a teenager, "The Who" were famous for playing loud - for the longest time they were in Guinees Book of records for loudest concert - pics of PT proudly standing beside multiple full stacks w Hiwatt heads.
Yes I saw The Who in 1968, the show that basically changed my life, at Majestic Hills Ski resort in Lake Geneva , Wi , and they were indeed way too loud, and at the very end of their stage smashing era. I will never forget Moon and Townshend swinging from the ceiling-suspended psychedelic styrofoam stage props and attempting to topple their HIWatts....
but they ultimately learned the hard way their lesson, and when I saw them few years ago doing the Symphonic Tommy tour, I was shocked at the reasonable volume levels .
 

sprint

Fractal Fanatic
Yes I saw The Who in 1968, the show that basically changed my life, at Majestic Hills Ski resort in Lake Geneva , Wi , and they were indeed way too loud, and at the very end of their stage smashing era. I will never forget Moon and Townshend swinging from the ceiling-suspended psychedelic styrofoam stage props and attempting to topple their HIWatts....
but they ultimately learned the hard way their lesson, and when I saw them few years ago doing the Symphonic Tommy tour, I was shocked at the reasonable volume levels .
I've read Pete Townshend has some pretty bad Tinnitus. A lot of these older headliner rockers have learned a hard lesson as many have major hearing damage. Saw Van Halen a half dozen times mostly in the early years with disappointing sound being too loud, but, interestingly, the last show I saw about 10 years ago (Different Kind of Truth Tour), the volume was balanced - good quality PA - great show. Rush figured this out early on as the Rush shows I saw even in the late 70s always had great sound / reasonable volume.
 

ModelGuitarist

Inspired
Someone made an adjustable magnet strength speaker but it didn't take off. Power scaling is cheaper, but most everyone went the attenuator route.
That was Eminence. The Patriot Maverick, and there was a RedCoat version too I think.

I went that route. Not a bad speaker, good sound.
The adjustment was only -10dB. Didn't quite do the trick. Plus, it sucked some of the top end off.

It had it's uses as a EQ/tone shaping device. But it isn't the kind of thing that lets you crank the amp and cut 80dB for independent practice.

Which is kinda what they insinuated in their marketing.
 
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