ways to make your amp louder
kanakanaka77
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#1
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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ways to make your amp louder

Hi there,
I have a Marshall DSL 40 watt amp. I love the dirty tone but the clean tone is very brittle and thin. I am a purist when it comes to loving the tone of your amp and am curious what I could do to make it louder? Tubes are fine btw.
thank you
#2
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #2
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As a horn player, I can say that any amp that prevents a guitar player from playing louder is a great thing. ;-). just kidding. Sort of.
#3
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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The tubes may be fine, but by changing the preamp tubes (ECC83s) you can shape the tone. The groove tubes web site has a guide that may help you find the "voice" you are looking for. Hope that helps.
#4
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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Try adding an MXR Micro Amp to your pedal chain.
#5
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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one louder...

kanakanaka77
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11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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Awesome Spinal Tap reference...
I suppose one of concerns is why my amp hardly keeps up (volume wise) with my bandmates fender deluxe; both are 40 watts and both are class A/B. What am I not understanding?
#7
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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The only thing you can do to make that amp 'louder' is put in a more efficient speaker.
#8
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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You are a candidate for the coveted Marshall "+2" mod. When you've made 500 Gearslutz posts, we'll enlighten you with knowledge of the secret handshake and direct you to the "+2" loudness path. Have patience.

My DSL40 (check out the gain and volume knobs:
Attached Thumbnails
ways to make your amp louder-marshall-12.jpg  
#9
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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"loudness" may also just be the perception and cutting through the mix of other instruments. What kind of EQ settings are you using? What pedals are in your chain? What are the pickups in your guitars?
#10
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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This: Bad Cat Unleash

The Bad Cat Unleash...it is basically an attenuator (bringing down the output of your amp whilst leaving the tone intact) and a reverse attenuator, if you will...so, it takes your amp and amplifies it with a very high quality class D amplifier...so it allows you to take a 5 watt amp and increase its output to 100watts.

In talking to John (the guy who owns bad cat), they do some magic with their magnetic engineers in the thing to preserve the subtleties that are often lost by breaking the connection between the amp and speaker...blah blah blah.

Very cool product!
#11
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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as said before, a more effecient speaker is the only way. a boost like an mxr micro amp will only further saturate an already cranked tube amp.

it might be eq settings.. try turning the mids up.

maybe a different physical setup in the room? so you hear more of yourself and less of your bandmate (standing directly in front of an amp that is sitting on the groud will often be harder to hear in the context of a band)

but, unless something is wrong with the amp, that 40 watt marshall should be plenty loud. in fact.. it should be VERY loud... loud enough that if you were playing it totally dimmed at a club, and i were mixing.. i might ask you to turn down...
#12
11th January 2013
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As said earlier look into a new speaker. If you are running a Vin30 change it if you want a better clean sound. Look into Weber.
#13
11th January 2013
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Loudness is a relative thing. I would rather make a guitar amp sound "good", and then put a mic in front of it if it really needs to be louder. (Who is requesting that it be louder anyway??).

A speaker stand to get it up off the floor might be all you need ...

But i'm guessing that the reason the cleans don't cut through like the dirty is because it contains less harmonics - that's the nature of clean sounds and why you might want to change the tone a little.

Things worth trying are:
a compressor or limiter pedal - increases percieved loudness
an EQ pedal - tame brittleness and bring in some warmth, or whatever
an overdrive (e.g. Tube Screamer) - set it on the very lowest gain setting, for a fairly clean sound, and use the tone and volume to taste. Works for many professional players. You can use it this way to push the first tube a little more.
A clean boost, or a treble booster, is another option to explore.

I would recommend trying a Line6 M series pedal - because it gives you a huge range of models for all these classic FX. Once you find the combination that is "your sound", you might try to buy the real analog pedals they are emulating. Or, as I have found, you might find it is very difficult and/or expensive to replicate what these cheap digital boxes can do. If you are an analog snob, I would suggest you get over it, because digtal has been shaping the sound of classic rock guitar for many decades now.
#14
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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If it's the <$700 Marshall listed on Sweetwater, you can swap tubes, speakers, etc. to get it to sound different; you may find that buying a better used Marshall or other amp gets you further in improving the sound. This isn't a knock on this specific Marshall by any means -- its just that to hit that price point, Marshall, like Fender and other amp companies, had to make sacrifices/tradeoffs to hit that price point.

Agree with Kiwi - a 40watt amp is pretty loud; with a mic on it through a PA it's really loud. Figure out exactly what you like and don't like about your amp's tone. But it's probably loud enough.

Also helps to provide:
style of music you're playing
Band setup - are there 3 guitar players?
Guitar, pedals - signal chain
Amp settings - if you're scooping the mids, it will sound OK on its own, but will disappear in the mix -- the equivalent of sonic mud.
Live or recording?
If you're micing it, what mic and where are you positioning it
Preamp/EQ settings

Otherwise, you will get a slew of answers that may or may not help you. More details will automatically narrow down responses to be more useful to you.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by nedorama; 11th January 2013 at 10:58 PM.. Reason: more details.
#15
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanakanaka77 View Post
Hi there,
I have a Marshall DSL 40 watt amp. I love the dirty tone but the clean tone is very brittle and thin. I am a purist when it comes to loving the tone of your amp and am curious what I could do to make it louder? Tubes are fine btw.
thank you
Your question is a bit of a non sequitur - do you think that making the amp louder will make the clean tone sound less brittle and harsh? It's kind of like saying, "this quiche taste like sh!t, may I please have another piece?"
#16
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
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I'm not familiar with that amp but, are matching your speaker impedance to your amp? A single 8 ohm speaker running an 8 ohm load from the amp for instance.
#17
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WKWizard View Post
I'm not familiar with that amp but, are matching your speaker impedance to your amp? A single 8 ohm speaker running an 8 ohm load from the amp for instance.
The Marshall DSL40 is a 40 watt tube amp in a 12 inch speaker cabinet (with a properly matched speaker included). It uses an efficient (98 dB/watt/1-meter) Celestion Seventy-80 Series speaker and plays very "loud". The current model, the DSL40C has a "Triode" mode which drops the available power down to 20 watts and changes the character of the sound near saturation.

The OP should be sure that his DSL40 is set to "Pentode" mode for maximum output. If the amp is not putting out full power, the OP should have the pair of EL34 output tubes checked. Old/weak EL34s can limit the plate current and therefore the maximum output power. If it's more than a couple of years old and been used very much, it's probably due for a set of new EL34s.
#18
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
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My Recordings/Credits

1. Sit closer.

2. Play in a smaller room.

3. Install an Eminence Wizard 12" speaker, those do 104 db/1 watt, about twice as loud as those inefficent Chi-com Celestions.

4. Buy a bigger amp, get a Super Lead 100 and call it a very loud day.
#19
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
1. Sit closer.

2. Play in a smaller room.

3. Install an Eminence Wizard 12" speaker, those do 104 db/1 watt, about twice as loud as those inefficent Chi-com Celestions.

4. Buy a bigger amp, get a Super Lead 100 and call it a very loud day.
5. Visit an audiologist an have the wax removed from your ears.
#20
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
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This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
speaker stand to get it up off the floor might be all you need ...
In lieu of an expensive speaker stand, a chair comes in handy for this purpose.

Another option is to politely ask the other guitarist to turn down a little bit and/or watch his dynamics. It's an absolute pleasure to play with musicians who are conscious of dynamics and adjust accordingly on the fly. Many guitarists are unaware that the volume knob on their guitar goes counter-clockwise as well.

Don't know what kind of music you're playing, but 40 watts should be plenty loud unless you're in a Judas Priest cover band. Be careful not to damage your hearing!
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