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Thread: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic View Post
    I saw Megadeth back in 2005, Gigantour, as I recall. There were four Marshall stacks on each side of the drums. Now, I know bands are known for setting up a wall of fake amps. That night, it was not the case. They were all running, just fine. It was almost enough to cause incontinence.

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  2. #62
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    You could feel in your guts that they were moving some serious air.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Detroitblues's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    I only see the use for them use on very large, open venues. They make sense there.

    I either watched or read and email with Joe Bonamassa who mentioned a tiny little 70's champ can make your ears bleed in a small room, but a huge amp is needed on a stage to hear it.

    Its all about the amp fitting the space it occupies.

  4. #64
    Mojo's Minions Lake Placid Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitblues View Post
    I only see the use for them use on very large, open venues. They make sense there.

    I either watched or read and email with Joe Bonamassa who mentioned a tiny little 70's champ can make your ears bleed in a small room, but a huge amp is needed on a stage to hear it.

    Its all about the amp fitting the space it occupies.
    Well said.

  5. #65
    He Did the Monster Mash DrNewcenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    A 3-foot-wide amp head with a Marshall logo sitting on top of a Marshall 4x12 cabinet is one of the most iconic images in music. That's "the point".

    If someone made full-sized cases for the little 5w toaster heads, they probably sell like a Popeil product. Especially if you could put several in one shell and access them all with the front panel knobs. Princeton cleans and Mesa crunch from a "JCM800"? Dude.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Brown Note View Post
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  6. #66
    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    I once headlined a gig in an almost large-sized theater, packed. 1200 people inside, maybe.

    Our opening band brought two full stacks, a Peavey 5150 II and a Marshall TSL100. I brought my Cube 60.
    In my not-so-humble opinion, my tone was way better and more suited for the gig.

    I didn't deafen the first row like they did, I had no issues with feedback like they did, our singer had zero issues hearing himself, and the soundguy couldn't have an easier time setting us up.
    I blame them for diming the bass on their ridiculously loud amps. And using way too much gain for what wasn't Death Metal.
    And most of all, for playing Bon Jovi covers.
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  7. #67
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Well, you can never go right by playing Bon Jovi covers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brown Note View Post
    I'm soooooo jealous about the WR-1. It's the perfect guitar; fantastic to play, balances well even when seated and *great* reach for the upper frets. The sound is bright tight and very articulate. In summary it could only be more awesome if it had b00bs and was on fire!
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  8. #68
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    i do most gigs with my 20w deluxe reverb from small club dates to festivals with thousands of people. in a bar its probably not micd, on a big stage i can crank it up to 8 and the sound guy is still happy with my stage volume. granted it doesnt sound the same as a four big bottle amp but it works well for the gigs i play. and if i need to rattle the rafters, i have one of those too. not to mention the 1000w ampeg bass amp with 4x10 and 1x15 to keep up with it. its nice to have toys even if ya dont need em

  9. #69
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Random thoughts and memories...

    It's one of the reasons I've collected a stableful of Mesa amps, ranging in power from 10 to 200 watts. And I don't think that was a normal thing back in the '60s and '70s. Guys seemed to have one amp and used it for everything and every venue.

    Remember now that I am, not only old-school, but older than dirt as well. So I'm used to hearing and playing big amps. My first good amp was a BF Fender Bandmaster 212 rig, and there were stages where I was out-gunned and small rooms where it couldn't be turned up at all.

    In the '60s, one festival I did provided Vox Super Beatles. Compared to the Bandmaster, they sounded like crap!

    I played at a festival one time in the early '70s, and the provided backline for the guitarists were two SF Dual Showman 215 rigs, daisy-chained together. Talk about blowing your pant-legs in the wind! Routinely in clubs you'd see Ampeg V-4s or VT-22s, Acoustic 150s or 270s, or the big boy Fenders: Twins, Showmans, Super Six and Quad Reverbs. And sometimes guys would use a PAIR of Super Reverbs, Concerts, or even Bassman heads. SUNNs were also very popular. Their bass amps could go so loud, they'd turn your guts to jelly. And then came the Marshalls, Music Man and Mesa stacks.

    And we laughed at guys who showed up with only a Deluxe Reverb. Student amp!

    Even then there were guys who favored small cranked amps over the big 100-watters. But I saw a lot of guys happy with their big amps barely cracked open too...including a couple of jazz cats playing their big boxes thru 100-watt half-stacks.

    And then I saw Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis in Seattle, both diming cheap-ass Univox 25-watt SS amps, and sounding fabulous. ("You're famous and you're playing through THAT?")

    One thing I've learned over the years is that there are a lot of ways to get the job done, and my way might not work for you. I like my Mesa amps; they are one of the very few amps on the market with the versatility to play the many genres I cover. I like the build quality and the professional features; great cleans and distorted tones. I'd have to go for a modelling amp to get anything close. I have several now, and enjoy them all, but if I could only have ONE amp, it would still be a Mesa.

    Some guys don't need or want that versatility and choose one amp; or, some will get an amp with great clean tones and modify their pedal boards to fit each gig.

    For many years I played mostly clean rhythm parts, and concentrated on my singing. Pop music has changed so much, a lot of players never play clean...don't know what CLEAN is. Even playing clean, an amp can have too much headroom. A compressor can help even things out a bit. I like the "muscularity" of a big amp...those big solid lows, the KRANG!

    A few years ago I had the chance to play a new Marshall Plexi Stack Reissue that my local GC got in. The amp was hella loud, of course. With permission, I cranked it to about 7 and started in on a few of my favorite rifts from AC/DC, The Who, and Free. Call it an epiphany...for a few moments I was standing with some of my heroes. It put a lot into perspective. And I've not heard many modern Master Volume, high-gain amps grab that tone. Certainly not from a pedal.

    It all comes down to using the right tool for the job. That specially curved distributor wrench makes tuning your 289 Mustang a lot easier. The modern guitarist needs a great amp and a competent backup. He may need several amps to cover different venues and different genres. That may or may not include a 100-watt behemoth.

    But man, they are fun to play!

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  10. #70
    Tone Member RealtyViking's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Honestly. Because I can. There is something visceral about standing in front of a 100 watt Marshall and a 4x12 at high volume. I understand why so many great players have used them and are inspired.
    Last edited by RealtyViking; 08-16-2017 at 10:44 PM.

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    Mojo's Minions Ascension's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    I don't know. I sold all of mine. I like the stage volume really low, anyway.
    Your probably like me bro trying to keep wha hearing ya got LEFT! 40+ standing in front of loud drummers takes a toll!
    Dead serious though that the absolute LOUDEST places I have ever played in were Pentecostal CHURCHES. For real in one pulled out a DB meter and got 130 on stage no joke at one small Black church I was playing at.

  12. #72
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    I remember seeing Al Di Meola last year, and he had is FUCHS halfstack cranked behind him, but turned towards the back of the stage and miked up. That was a great sound.
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  13. #73
    Ultimate Tone Slacker zionstrat's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Your probably like me bro trying to keep wha hearing ya got LEFT! 40+ standing in front of loud drummers takes a toll!
    Dead serious though that the absolute LOUDEST places I have ever played in were Pentecostal CHURCHES. For real in one pulled out a DB meter and got 130 on stage no joke at one small Black church I was playing at.
    Yep, churches were probably the worst 70-90s

    But Iso cabinets, drum shielding and in ear have changed that market considerably-

    Actually got to see a really nice stereo install in Charlottesville Va a few years back and was amazed- live stereo is extremely difficult, but the engineers had worked the room to a degree that still blows my mind.

    And part of the sound was small stage amps- they really had worked out the perfect mix of phase cancellation, leakage and delay.

    Literally the best overall live mix I have ever heard and I've seen everything from small to stadium, Jazz to Metal.

    But on the now rare, opposite side of the equation, we recently evaluated a church that had chosen to mount 1000w mains on the entrance wall behind the congregation, facing the stage!!!

    The musicians were fighting back from the stage with Orange and Ampeg stacks By far, the worst sound and monitoring I have ever seen and can't imagine how they every got into this configuration and continued to turn up the vol over the years.

    I'm assuming that no one there can hear anything above 5k
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  14. #74
    Super Toneologist Coma's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Because when I joined the band some 5 years ago, I was told to get one because that's what was needed to overpower the drums. It wasn't until this year I finally learned enough about audio to figure out that:
    A) No, you really don't
    B) My bandmates have ****ing ruined their hearing
    C) I, fortunately, have not

    But I like my tone and it would probably cost me more to sell my full stack and hunt for new gear than to just keep it. Plus, it looks cool as f**k when you gig with it.
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  15. #75
    Raging BB Gunologist some_dude's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coma View Post
    Because when I joined the band some 5 years ago, I was told to get one because that's what was needed to overpower the drums. It wasn't until this year I finally learned enough about audio to figure out that:
    A) No, you really don't
    B) My bandmates have ****ing ruined their hearing
    C) I, fortunately, have not

    But I like my tone and it would probably cost me more to sell my full stack and hunt for new gear than to just keep it. Plus, it looks cool as f**k when you gig with it.
    One of the advantages of a full stack is that because the speakers are up higher you can typically turn your amp down and still hear it just fine.

    As a band I'd love to go 30w (or less) full stacks.
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  16. #76
    Super Toneologist Coma's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Yeah, but the same effect can be achieved by just putting your half-stack on top of a bunch of milk crates, which is what I used to do before I got my second cab. Saves you quite a bit of cash too
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  17. #77
    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6stringerguy View Post
    I've seen plenty of people using 100 watt heads at home for metal but you can barely get it cooking
    There's a few tricks to tame these amps without attenuator mush, a master volume or only turning it up to "1"...

    ...problem is most people with these amps who want to tame them don't bother to learn how.
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  18. #78
    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6stringerguy View Post
    I've seen plenty of people using 100 watt heads at home for metal but you can barely get it cooking,
    So what is the point of 100 watt head?
    The point of a 100 watt head, and moreover 4x12 cabinets, is distance. The original Marshall 100 watt heads with 8x12 and 4x12 cabinets is they were line arrays. Instruments were not sent through P.A. systems back when these things were invented. Only vocals and acoustic instruments were. Line arrays of 4x12 cabinets and 100watt amps wasn't for volume, it was for distance. High frequencies, being smaller wavelengths, get absorbed in the first few rows of bodies and chairs/upholstery in a venue. So the sound at the back would be darker and unclear. By using a line array of multiple speakers moving a larger column of cubic feet of air, the quality of the sound would survive a greater distance so that people at the back heard the same sound as people at the front. They didn't hear it louder so much as they heard the same sound. (Yes, because concentrated of air pressure, it's louder right in front of it, but...)

    You absolutely can get that same sound with less wattage and less speakers in a smaller space, because reproducing frequencies is not directly correlated to wattage and number of speakers. Granted, distorting EL-34 tubes makes a particular sound, but you can distort only 1 EL-34 and get that sound.
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  19. #79
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    Every amp has a place. Depending on where you play, you may need the extra power or not.
    For Bars , clubs and local venues I think a 100 watt head or amp is overkill. I have a 100 watt amp and I never get it past 3 and extreme 4. At home I'm at 1 maybe 1.5 then it starts to get to loud. I use a volume pedal in the effects loop so I retain my tone and can turn it down with my foot.

    I'm looking to drop power to 50 watts. I had a EVH III 50 watt and if it worked out for me I would have kept it. It had a nasty issue with the Clean and crunch being shared and I hated that so I got rid of it.
    I'm now looking to buy a Mesa Boogie TC-50 which is 50 watts and It has a very nice smooth volume control. It goes from mild to wild over a bigger sweep and it's just another thing I love about that amp.

  20. #80
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    Default Re: What's the point in big 100 watt heads?

    The trick has been being ready for anything and never having to rely on the venue for sound production or monitoring.
    Last edited by online10; 01-25-2018 at 06:25 AM.

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