Help make my speakers quieter
Feb 14, 2008 at 11:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

intoflatlines

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I have a 120 watt guitar amp that drives 2 12" speakers. The problem is that I don't play very loud usually and the gain and volume controls on the amp are so sensitive it's really difficult to find a good level. It's basically off or way too loud. How can I fix this? Maybe add some resistors somehow to the speakers?
 
Feb 15, 2008 at 5:06 AM Post #2 of 11
The easiest way to accomplish this would be to use a commercial Guitar Amp Power Attenuator. It would also be pretty easy to build a simple attenuator with some power resistors and I'm sure there's DIY designs for these somewhere.
 
Feb 15, 2008 at 1:29 PM Post #3 of 11
Thanks for the info. Are you familiar with the power attenuators? Would I seriously have to worry about blowing a transformer if I don't push the amp too hard? I'm not using a tube amp so I'm not really trying to use the attenuator to push the amp quietly, I'm just trying to make it so that I can have a range of like 0 - 3 for the volume instead of 0 - 1/4 when playing at a reasonable level.
 
Feb 15, 2008 at 4:15 PM Post #5 of 11
Good thought, but I think putting resistors between the guitar and the amp would make it hard to control the sound of the amp. For example, if I turn the volume on the guitar down, the gain/distortion/drive of the sound gets much less. Turning up the volume of the amp just makes it louder but doesn't make it distort like regular. I think the resistor would have to somehow be between the amp itself and the speakers.
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Feb 15, 2008 at 4:20 PM Post #6 of 11
Linear volume pots for your amp. For some reason guitar amps have crazy volume pots so when your in the store, "2" seems insanely loud. WOW factor I guess.

Do a google for amplifier modding and volume and you should turn up plenty of links.
 
Feb 15, 2008 at 9:23 PM Post #7 of 11
So you're saying that the volume pots on guitar amps don't really increase volume evenly?

Is there anything that I can do that doesn't involve opening up the amp itself? I want to resell this with no mods one day probably. I can't get some big resistors to put in the signal path?
 
Feb 15, 2008 at 9:44 PM Post #8 of 11
120 watts is a lot for living room playing. Lots of amps hiss like crazy (like the Roland JC120 for instance) and really only sound good on a gig, from a distance. For now you can turn the Gain down and use the Master to add volume, reducing the noise level a little. Ultimately you'll want a better amp, more suited to your usage.

The power attenuaters are NOT intended as noise reducers. They inable you to get a distorted sound by using hi Gain and the pad down the signal so that your ears don't bleed. They want reshape the EQ or reduce hiss and noise relative to tone.

I think that in an earlier thread that you were looking for a Santana-ish tone. That's best accomplished with a modeling amp or a low wattage tube amp.

One last thing, does the noise go down when you touch the strings? If so, the bridge isn't properly grounded (amazingly common). A guitar tech can quickly fix that, if that's your issue or part of it.

Dave
 
Feb 15, 2008 at 10:18 PM Post #9 of 11
Quote:

Originally Posted by intoflatlines /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So you're saying that the volume pots on guitar amps don't really increase volume evenly?

Is there anything that I can do that doesn't involve opening up the amp itself? I want to resell this with no mods one day probably. I can't get some big resistors to put in the signal path?



You would be replacing marketing components in your amp with usable components. Resale value should be fine unless you are concerned with a warranty.

If not, I would recommend selling the 150 watt and stepping down to a <50 watt amp. I am with the school that over 50 watts is for bass amps, most 50 watt amp will get plenty loud enough (even enough to drown out drums)
 
Feb 15, 2008 at 10:42 PM Post #10 of 11
Quote:

Originally Posted by dcstep /img/forum/go_quote.gif
120 watts is a lot for living room playing. Lots of amps hiss like crazy (like the Roland JC120 for instance) and really only sound good on a gig, from a distance. For now you can turn the Gain down and use the Master to add volume, reducing the noise level a little. Ultimately you'll want a better amp, more suited to your usage.

The power attenuaters are NOT intended as noise reducers. They inable you to get a distorted sound by using hi Gain and the pad down the signal so that your ears don't bleed. They want reshape the EQ or reduce hiss and noise relative to tone.

I think that in an earlier thread that you were looking for a Santana-ish tone. That's best accomplished with a modeling amp or a low wattage tube amp.

One last thing, does the noise go down when you touch the strings? If so, the bridge isn't properly grounded (amazingly common). A guitar tech can quickly fix that, if that's your issue or part of it.

Dave



Hey Dave. Thanks for the info. I know that 120 watts is a lot of power, but I don't want to use two different amps, one for playing out and one for practice. My practice amp broke a few months ago so I'm pretty much stuck with one amp for now.

My amp has three channels and there are gain controls for two of them. The clean channel has no gain control, just a channel volume, so I'm pretty much stuck on that one. Each of the distortion channels have their own separate gain and a single volume control for both distortion channels. If I turn the gain way down on either of the distortion channels and turn the volume up, it gets louder, but it doesn't distort the way I want it to, with a higher gain.

That Santana sound you're referring to was another member that posted a thread about wanting a Santana-ish sound, not me.
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I'm not referring to buzz/noise (I would get that anyway with my single coil neck or middle pickups). I am talking about the volume that comes out of the amp.
 

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