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  1. #1
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    Default high wattage amp in bedroom

    so im kinda new and ive been researching topics and cannot find an answer to my question. i got a really good deal on a marshall jcm 2000 dsl 100. now i know the maon reason tube amps are so sought after is because they distort at high volumes giving you a very tasty sound. now in my bedroom there is no way im going to have this amp loud enough to get this effect. even with my previous amp which was a 40 watt fender hot rod deluxe i could not get it loud enough. i imagine i couldnt even get a 15 watt amp loud enough without my wife getting angry. so i use pedals for distortion and overdrive needs. i prefer my pedals go through the clean channel of my amp. now i know this 100 watt amp is way bigger than i need. but since i use pedals and dont really want my amp to break up as i run them through the clean channel anyway, is there any downfall to using my amp at low volumes (usually around 2 with my gain at 12 oclock). as i said im new and i may be missing something. if im shooting for a clean tone is there any reason to have the amp cranked?

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  2. #2
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    Welcome to FenderTalk, Bitmatt2! No, there is no problem with running your giant amp, or any others at the low end of their output. Actually, your tubes will last longer if they are not asked to go all out all the time. It really doesn't take much with tube amps, I play a lot through a 5 watt amp at home and I'm sure I could annoy my wife with that little character if I wanted to. I only crank it up when she is gone shopping or something.

    On stage, I usually play through a clean amp, and get all my overdrive/distortion with pedals. That technique works for me!
    "Life's too short not to enjoy great tone."

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    thanks, i would have this big of an amp if i wouldnt have got such a bargain on it. i just read a lot of articals and forums that have said "if you dont have tube amps cranked they wont sound good" and i wanted to make sure i am on the right track

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    Look into a good attenuator and you can play your amp at the big volume while still keeping a lady happy!
    You're in my sight, but there's a mist on my lens!

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    Cool Good choice

    Quote Originally Posted by RorysStrat View Post
    Look into a good attenuator and you can play your amp at the big volume while still keeping a lady happy!
    What he said... attenuator is the device that help in your case! If you got nice price for mentioned amp then you could invest price difference into some used attenuator; this device will allow to your amp to work with gain & volume in mode "push the pedal to the metal" and in same time you'll be able to control output loudness with knobs on attenuator, but beware of some weak models if you planned to left amp with controls in "afternoon" position because they heat himself too much!


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    Attenuators are fine if you want distortion without using pedals. I have a 10 watt tube amp for home use with built-in attenuation that I can turn down to 1/8 of a watt. I also run this amp in 10 watt mode with pedals. I can get decent sounds either way.
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    With the JCM, if you crank the gain and keep the master low, your overdrive will come from the pre-amp tubes. While it may sound great that way, some folks feel that the tone that is produced by overdriven power tubes is better. That's where an attenuator comes in, but even the best attenuators will affect the tone to some degree.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Bb View Post
    Attenuators are fine if you want distortion without using pedals. I have a 10 watt tube amp for home use with built-in attenuation that I can turn down to 1/8 of a watt. I also run this amp in 10 watt mode with pedals. I can get decent sounds either way.
    That's what I do with my Roland Cube......
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tele savalas View Post
    With the JCM, if you crank the gain and keep the master low, your overdrive will come from the pre-amp tubes. While it may sound great that way, some folks feel that the tone that is produced by overdriven power tubes is better. That's where an attenuator comes in, but even the best attenuators will affect the tone to some degree.
    Yep, but I presume he planned to play rock & metal where tone affecting by using THD or some other attenuator isn't noticeable so as playing clean tone.

    Another, but not so estethic solution would be by using some electronic parts, if you dare to play with soldering iron:

    a) buy a high powered fixed resistor from an electronics components store, of a resistance (ohms) about 2-4 times the impedance (ohms) of the speaker.
    b) install the resistor in one of the leads from the amp to the speaker (in series.)
    c) depending on the setup I wanted, I might install a bypass wire and switch around the resistor (in order to not have to remove it completely)

    This would cost about 10 USD or so. If the electronics store at your place doesn't have sufficiently powerful resistors, you can make one up by adding resistors in series. Provided you connect in series you cannot damage your amp. But NEVER connect anything in parallel (don't ever connect an additional speaker across the terminals of your amp, you will blow the amp.)
    Of course, this is just an option, not secure advice, everything is up to you. I think that attenuator is the best and clean solution.
    Last edited by Littlefloor; 02-09-2017 at 04:04 PM.


  10. #10
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    Don't forget that an attenuator will drive your tubes hard and pushes them through "imaginary speakers". Therefore, you will lose some of the tube life that SAguitar alluded to. It doesn't sound to me as if you really want to push the thing (especially in your bedroom) and if you think it sounds good at just above an idle, then it probably does. Rock on.
    Bottle Rocket Scientist.....

 

 

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