View Poll Results: Amp or DI?

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  • I want my own amp

    64 83.12%
  • A preamp into the PA is fine for me

    9 11.69%
  • I just plug into the mixing desk

    2 2.60%
  • I couldn't care less

    2 2.60%
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  1. #1

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    I wonder why the topic of just plugging through some kind of preamp into a PA-system isn't discussed more here. Most of us prefer a very clean tone anyway so why isn't that easy solution more common? Or maybe some do it and just don't bother to talk about it?

    I just received my "big" fender amp, a Vibrolux from a repair and de-hissing measures and schlepped it onto my music room to hear the success (it worked). So I was able to compare to my DI / in-ear solution. Honestly, apart from the punch of the 2x 10" speakers I didn't think the difference would be worth the hussle (schlepping and maintaining the amp, discussions with mixing engineers and club staff – yes, some waitress told me not to play too loud before I even plugged the amp in) so I think I'll go ampless whenever there is a PA and monitoring available or I can use in-ears.
    In both of my bands we switched to headphone / in ear rehearsals recently also so the only situation an amp would be needed are jams and very small clubs without PA systems.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I think you're on trend. However, many players still like the dynamics, tweaking and amp-in-the-room feel of an air-pushing speaker within their reach. If there's just one band with a solid act, in-ear monitors apparently grow on you. But if you're playing in various ensembles and locations, jam sessions etc., the amp is still a must. It doesn't have to be huge and heavy anymore. And when gigs resume, I think small venues are the first to open up.

    Edit: It seems that not every jazz club even in Mecca, i.e. N.Y., has a PA system. Many are so small they don't need it. Even if it exists, mic'ing a small amp is always an option. The amp can then be positioned as your personal monitor.
    Last edited by Gitterbug; 04-03-2021 at 11:44 AM.

  4. #3

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    for me it’s horses for courses

    ive got a band backing up singers doing
    old school standards to modern pop and
    soul tunes , for this i have gone DI
    through a harley benton american
    pre-amp and it has worked quite well

    in fact might get one of these ....
    fx , delays and amp/cab modeling
    all in one box for £100 !
    bargain
    https://m.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_dnafx_git.htm?o=3&search=1617454154
    they seem to review quite well ....
    —————-
    for a straight ahead instrumental jazz gig
    i would deffo prefer an amp next to me

  5. #4

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    My number one reason for bringing an amp to a gig is sound (cause I prefer them), number two is convenience. No matter what the backline, sound mix, sound guy, room etc are, I'm going to be able to hear myself the way I want. So win win!

    I play (used to play.. before covid ) lots of conventions, events, marriages, etc, mostly jazz music, gigs where you want to carry light, just enjoy yourself, and don't really need the ultimate guitar sound to do the job So many times I'd even just take a venue di or sansamp blonde and play through that with a monitor (or even without a monitor).

    But ever since Zt Lunchbox came about, it has been my go to solution for such gigs. No worries about anything, just throw it in a backpack and you can handle any inconvenience. Walk 200 meters to the gig and the difference between that and say an Aer becomes noticeable..

  6. #5

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    My guess, if we tightened the poll even more, is that jazz guitarists playing a jazz gig will want amps, and when the same players do other "styles" of gigs, they are more flexible with the gear they use.

  7. #6

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    I prefer an amp. That being said, these days I run my Brute preamp pedal into the PA. It's just simple.

  8. #7

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    You guys play places with a PA? COOL.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    You guys play places with a PA? COOL.
    LOL! I've been wracking my lil' pea brain for an occasion when there was a house PA. Once, very early on, there was this outdoor gig. On a flat bed truck on which our 7-piece band was spread out the full length of.* One small hitch - no @%#%$& monitors. It was one of the Worst Gigs Of All Time.

    I voted amp but gigged for several years amp-less, as detailed in the Impressionism thread. TL;DR: I found all that pre-processing was feeding into my habitual laziness and eroding my technique. It was great while it lasted. I think the fundamental question is, Do I need a near-field monitor? And my answer is Only if I want to play in tune. Which I really, really do.

    * I had a joke for this, but I forgot to put it in, and now I've forgotten it. I won't sleep tonight.**

    ** Something, something, up with which I will not put, or something....
    Last edited by citizenk74; 04-03-2021 at 06:59 PM. Reason: addition

  10. #9

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    Assuming we're talking about playing live with other people, I have played thorough PAs many times but it never sounds good. I bought a small light amp for bringing to jams where there's no guitar amp.

    For recording, it's the opposite. I almost never mic an amp. Given my "studio" and "engineering" limitations, DAW plugins sound better and are much less hassle. On the rare occasions when I do sessions for others, I haven't used an amp in probably 10 years.

    John

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    And my answer is Only if I want to play in tune. Which I really, really do.
    oh you’re into that whole playing in tune thing .... ok !

  12. #11

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    Looking at the products made by manufacturers like Brunetti, Fender, Supro and Rivera... I definitely want to call myself an owner of one of these beauties (Brunetti Singleman 35) one day. Or better one of each brand.

  13. #12

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    I’ve never heard anyone who went ampless sound worth a good goddam. The playing may be great but the tone always sounds bad.

    Many, many, many years ago I did a gig on bass using a sans amp direct into the PA. I couldn’t hear myself at all and was at the total mercy of the inattentive sound man. I swore after that I’d never play another gig without my own amp.

  14. #13

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    I'm in the amp crowd. I have ran my electric hollowbody guitars through a pa a few times through the 25 years or so via LR Baggs Para DI or the K&K Pure XLR DI which sounded great on those stages with a competent sound person. Most of the gigs I've played are small cafes so its the Mini Brutes, Yamaha G50-II or Ultasound AG-30 for electric hollowbody. For acoustic guitar gigs its the Ultrasound AG-30 or AG-50.

  15. #14

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    Listening to myself play through PA speakers always sucks—at home with a modeler or on stage via the wedge monitors (back in my rock and roll days). I much prefer the sound of my guitars through a cab loaded with guitar speakers. But then again, I can’t recall a live performance I’ve attended and thought “that guitar sounds like crap through a PA.” For me as the performer it’s the specific aural “feedback” that an open-backed guitar cab / speaker provides that I need for things to sound right.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    You guys play places with a PA? COOL.
    Or a JC120, same thing

    For band playing and convenience, I'd definitely look into a Lunchbox + reverb pedal. Solo, not so sure.

  17. #16

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    Bra-less now amp-less, where will it end?

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Bra-less now amp-less, where will it end?
    Gig-less.*

    * Sorry! It was just laying there.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Bra-less now amp-less, where will it end?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    You guys play places with a PA? COOL.
    That's always my thought too. It's happened a few times but not enough to make a conversation about.

  21. #20

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    An amp is your monitor and also has a connection that going direct doesn't have.
    Feel and interaction. Although it's tremoundously improved, for live performance I still like having that connection.
    Studio is a bit more forgiving since your amp is in another room already. So plugins generally work fine for me.

    If I was on a high profile gig where the soundman was great at his job, I would probably be okay with a Kemper or the like!

  22. #21

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    I remember years ago, I think it was Tommy Tedesco, the legendary session player, said "when you get a gig, always bring your own amp, it's part of your sound. And you never know who will be listening". Or something like that.

    I have never done a gig where I didn't have my own amp, except just once. In NYC back in the '80's I did a recording session for MTV at a converted church that was a world famous recording studio. They had a great old Marshall there, perfect for the gig. Only problem- I was completely unfamiliar with Marshall amps then, so my sound was awful! The session was a failure. I felt terrible, like bye-bye career awful.

    Luckily I got a do-over a few months later, and recorded with my amp (Deluxe Reverb) in the studio I was most familiar with. Completely different results. That session completely jump started my subsequent career.

    So I learned my lesson, the hard way! If your amp is not a crucial part of your sound, maybe this doesn't apply. But I have yet to see a top player for whom that's true. Sure, Robben Ford can get a good sound out of anything- but he records with his Dumble.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    You guys play places with a PA? COOL.
    It's going even further. I do my own in-ear monitoring mix with an app in the smartphone. It's easier than I'd thought. That's in an 8-piece band and I think I never heard such clean and precise monitoring. I hear everything that anybody plays.

  24. #23

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    I can think of something else that may be an advantage for the DI-solution. I had a beautiful solid carved wood eastman archtop like 15 years ago. Great tone, but going through an amp I always had trouble with feedbacks in the lower registers which is very limiting artistically as I never could play sustained bass notes. And that was in a trio with double bass and drums, not excessively loud.
    My solution was playing the tele, then I found the GB10. If I'd played ampless and in-ears there would have never been a problem I guess.

  25. #24

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    I played gigs where there was no PA. Small bands without drums. It was ok, I only used the amp.
    The PA and the amp are necessary when there is a drummer in the band.
    You can then control the sound of the band.
    I like to play guitar with nylon strings via PA.This is my experience.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    I played gigs where there was no PA. Small bands without drums. It was ok, I only used the amp.
    The PA and the amp are necessary when there is a drummer in the band.
    You can then control the sound of the band.
    I like to play guitar with nylon strings via PA.This is my experience.
    You no doubt know what you are talking about, Kris. I once took an electric nylon-string to a jam session, because the idea was to play Latin stuff with a swing band. No matter what I did, the guitar played through my amp (which does not have horn for the trebles) just got lost. Playing through the PA would probably have worked out better. Cutting through the drummer and horns apparently requires sharper, more articulate trebles than what a nylon-string offers. When opportunity knocks, I'll repeat the experiment with a 6.5" Metro FR cab, which seems to offer enough top-end punch. Some modeling/IR guys actually use it as a stage monitor when hooked to PA or mixing console.