Last edited by wilerty; 03-29-2013 at 03:50 PM.
PRS Private Stock #3568
PRS Swamp Ash Special
Mesa Mark V combo
Fishman Loudbox Artist
I finally ditched my half stack last year after hauling the damn thing around for twenty years. I can't believe it took me so long, and I'm amazed at how well I can hear myself now.(not to mention the rest of the band!)
As everyone else is saying, it's not about moving air on most stages. Most places just won't let you crank loud enough to move air. Go back to Zeppelin--Fender Champ cranked, and it's not tinny and small. It just has to be mic'd. I like the feel of my pants flapping and my chest thumping, but I also like my ears and being asked back to gigs.
John, LOVE your wife's rig! That's one of the all time greats!
100 watt stacks are a relic of the past.
There was a reason loud amps and stacks existed but there's no need for them these days either on a tiny pub stage or stadium gig. I've seen plenty of bands in pubs with the 100 watt Marshall head and 4 x12 and either 1 of 2 things happen. It's either turned right down or deafening the audience! I'm not against a 4x12 per se but I just don't see the need for loud amps these days. There's not many pubs left in the UK that would allow you to crank up the volume anyhow.
I understand the need for plenty clean headroom if you need it but 50 watts should be more than enough for most.
I mainly play outdoors and/or in big indoor places. I don't do the bar band thing. I do party band gigs now and mainly play in the spring/summer. Before that I was in an Eagles tribute band that did big festivals and whatnot. That said the volume is never above 3, especially on the Twin. But still, I like that sound. That round clean tone that I can shape with pedals. It's that classic Eagles guitar tone. And the combo of 10s and 12s covers SO much range.
Walsh and Felder had a couple big guys whose job was to move those amps. I can't afford to buy a round of drinks, much less pay Jimmy to haul gear. So, I sold my Twin...to our other guitarist, who is now mainly using a cranked Jr mic'd.
We tend to think of 100 watts as a giant-killing beast of an amp, but they can give you more clean headroom. I have relatively small powered monitors in my studio, and each tweeter and each woofer is powered with a separate 90 watt amplifier. I don't push them very loud (usually I monitor at around 80 db), but I want the clarity that the extra headroom provides.
I tend to go for 50 watts with a 212 cab, but I've had some 100 watt amps that were very useful in the studio, even at moderate volumes, because they have a particular sound that comes from the extra tubes and big trannies.
And in something like a 3 piece band (drums, bass, guitar) I think I'd want to have a half stack instead of a 212 just to fill out the sound a little more.
I don't disagree, however, that a full stack is way overkill for many venues.
The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.
-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
In a club doing any other rock genre, you're absolutely right, Mike.
Yeah.... I've never understood the truisms put out there that a 100W half stack is too much. Regarding ease of transport, a Marshall 4x12 is as easy as it gets. Just wheel it where you want it. It usually takes the same floor space as a 2x12 combo and is much easier to get into the club typically. And regarding volume, unless you're dealing with an old 100W non MV plexi and insist on getting all of your dirt from the amp, you can get great tone at any reasonable club volume.
Take the Marshall Vintage Modern. The 100w version sounds better (to me) than the 50 W version all the way down to whisper volume. Same for the 50 watt MDT. From my experience, volume control has much more to do with self control than amp rated power or the nber of speakers in the cab. Having said that, nothing wrong with a small combo either,
Is 50W into 4-12's "reallY" louder than 50W into 2-12's? When playing my Marshall 2553 I can switch from 25 to 50W. Practicing alone, I like the 25W setting but when you add a drummer, it's just not enough (for me) so I prefer the 50W setting when playing with the band. With 2, 2-12 cabinets, I can unplug one and the level doesn't really change much, but I lose bottom end. The 4-12 produce a "fuller" sound with more bottom end....and I think I have plenty of headroom at 50W. My 2 Ch H sounds awesome through the 4-12's, so much so that I'm not even looking for different cabs for it.
The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana
After using a MESA half stack and 60+ lb combo for years, switching to an Axe-FX and going direct is one of the better choices I've made- now that's the only thing I will use live. The MESA amps are staying at home now.
I had a 100watt EVH 5150iii half stack... want to scare the crap out of a small bar owner? Roll in with that kind of firepower. LOL!!!
I gave it up - 30 watt 2x12 is plenty for anyplace I get to play. I usually put a mic on it so we can run a little guitar into the monitors and PA - just to get some additional sound dispersion
I've got a 50watt 4x10 Bassman if I really need more volume - I love the Bassman but that is one FREEKEN loud amp!