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Guitarist doesn't know how to dial his volume knob back

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JamieIsOnline, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I have a bit of a problem, as much as I like playing LOUD in our band, there is loud and there's taking the p**s. I play out of an old Carlsbro 150w Stingray head and a 1x15 150w bass cab. The guitarist before only had a 100w solidstate Marshall guitar combo which fortunately for me was loud but not so much that the bass wasn't able to be heard.

    Now he's invested in a Line 6 head and a 4x12 cab and he's like "Ahh this is how loud we want it" and he cranks it up to full blast and my bass cant even be felt anymore (last week at practice I rolled off all my volume so my amp wasn't making any noise and his was that loud no one even noticed - his amp was doing all my bass work for me and drowning me out)

    My questions to you the amazing people of TB are:

    1. What would you say to get someone who thinks as loud as possible is the best to turn it down a bit (keeping in mind this guys pretty stubbon, nice guy but fixed in his ways)


    2. Can anyone give me any recommendations on to the next step up in my gear to compete with him (if he doesn't turn it down) not just like 'get a 4x10' but like good brands, I'm looking at £500 to pay for the new rig so within that price range if possible

    thanks again guys
  2. Andyman001

    Andyman001 Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2010
    at the next practice, don't even plug-in or turn on your amp. when he asks why, tell him

    (last week at practice I rolled off all my volume so my amp wasn't making any noise and his was that loud no one even noticed - his amp was doing all my bass work for me and drowning me out)

    as for gear: Ashdown, Markbass, Genz Benz, Gallien Krueger, and a lot more.

    at least 300 watts and your choice of 2-15's, 4-10's, 4-12's

    And earplugs:)
  3. R Baer

    R Baer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 5, 2008
    President, Baer Amplification
    Get your guitarist to put his amp up on one of those tilt back amp stands. A common problem with the guitarist (among other things) is that they all use cabs that are very directional and put their cabs on the ground, so that most of the sound is blowing past their legs. This is why, at a club, you can stand straight in line with the guitar cab on stage and get your head blown off by the volume, but step a few feet to either side and it quiets down considerably. Tilting the cab up towards his ear level will direct the blast at his own head for a change. In almost every case where I have got the guitarist to use a tilt back stand, the band volume has come down by a huge amount.
  4. "Have fun bro, I'm goneburger."

    You can try to reason with him but from the sound of it he's a lost cause.
  5. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    Ah yeah, if the guitarist is going to drown you out, then he doesn't really need or want a bass player.:scowl:

    Simple as that.
  6. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp

    I don't deal with volume wars (or musicians of that calibre) but overgear for volume anyway, "walk quietly but carry a big stick."

    If he turns down a little and you are still struggling, push low mids and mids more and you'll have some presence. Guitarists with insane lows are usually noobs. Most metal guitarists, actually, are noobs.
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Depends how loud loud is:

    1. Is the guitarist also drowning out the drummer and singers?

    2. Are your ears ringing after practice?

    If yes, get the guitarist turn down. If no, it's probably time for a bigger rig.

    To get a decent loud rig for that money in the States, I'd suggest looking for used Carvin, Peavey, or Hartke gear. Probably add Ashdown in your corner of the world.

    I'm not sure where you are or what pricing you're looking at, but a 300-500 watt head should do it for you, into as decent a cab as you can get. (IME, a decent head can sound good with a good cabinet; but through a lousy cab, even the best head will sound lousy.)
  8. Don't get involved in the p!ssing competition. If you can't be heard at practice and the guy doesn't even care then stop playing. It's a waste of time. Find a band that values your musical contribution.

    I've done it a couple of times myself - I start to mime along and if nobody notices, I stop playing.

    * That said - a 150 watt amp isn't really going to cut it in a lot of line-ups. Also - your 150 watt amp is probably putting out about 80watt into that 8Ω speaker.
  9. snowtraveler65


    Feb 8, 2011
    Are you guys playing Wembley Stadium? There is absolutely no need for the guitarist to have an amp/cab of that size unless you're playing some pretty large venues. A Vox AC30 (30 Watts) is plenty big enough for most theatres. If you're only playing clubs, nothing over 20 watts is necessary for the guitarist. Tell him to sell the Line 6 and the 4x10 and buy a Fender Deluxe Reverb and put it on a tilt-back stand as Mr. Baer suggested. Keep your Carlsbro.
  10. Tilting back and elevating guitar cabs works great to pulverise gui****s into submission, but I've never seen a 4x12 used that way.

    Your gui**** might be exceptionally reasonable. Tip it right back almost 45° against the wall and wedge the head on top, or put it up on a hefty chair tipped back to the wall, head under. See why that never happens?
  11. oinkbanana


    Oct 20, 2011
    there's a reason the classic rig is the SVT & 810
    and originally one 810 cab was a half stack (like one 4X12 cab makes for a guitar half stack)
    I say it's time to upgrade
  12. ...for playing dance halls with no PA.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Tell him to turn down or find another bass player.

    You want to enjoy music when you're old?......or be the guy saying "what?" everytime someone talks to you, or have tv's and radios turned up so loud just to hear, nobody can stand to be in the same room with you?

    That said, there'll be plenty of times you'll need more than a single 15, but you should never need more than 2 of them.
  14. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I have the opposite problem, our gui**** player doesnt play loud enough.. he has a line 6 and a fender twin reverb. I'm using a 1x15 100 watt Ampeg at practice and I'm louder than him. want to switch?
  15. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    If you have Radio Shack, buy an SPL meter and turn it on while he's blasting the crap out of everyone's ears. Show him the level and make sure you have a copy of allowable noise exposure chart from your version of OSHA. Show both to him but make sure to insert a new pair of ear plugs as soon as you get there.
  16. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Mr. Baer's advice of positioning the guitarists speakers to blast at his own ears instead of everybody elses is golden.

    Good luck with that....especially when dealing with somebody with a 412 and separate amp head.
  17. vegedge


    Jul 14, 2012
    tell him line 6's sound like garbage.
  18. James Judson

    James Judson

    Jul 16, 2009
    My last guitarist always played kinda quietly. When asked to "turn up" his response: "All guitarists hate to be told to turn down so I play quietly so I'm never told that". Guys like that are hard to find.

    Only issue I have is you said "how do I compete". Your gui**** has sucked you into that mind set. If making music is a competition I'd walk.

    Actually your complaint is really common. Did you know most studio engineers mix at a very low volume.
  19. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    In my opinion this can go one of two ways.

    1. Ask him to turn it down, because you can't be heard at all. He does. Then you have some great options. You can have a whole band discussion about the band's overall sound in the space, and all talk about what you like to hear and what you don't like to hear. Some of my other bands used to spend entire rehearsal sessions fiddling with frequencies, refining the entire band's sound. You end up sounding better and tighter as a unit

    2. Ask him to turn it down, because you can't be heard at all. He says no. You pack up your gear and leave. Take your stuff home to your house and start looking for another band with considerate musicians in it. Life is very short and there is no way you should be wasting a single second of your precious time playing music with somebody too indulgent and inconsiderate to adjust his master volume.

    Under no circumstances should you be buying anything unless you're unsatisfied with the way you personally sound. If you're happy with your sound then you're golden. Don't make it a contest. That will only result in your drummer being placed in the circumstances you're currently in.
  20. Mingo Sanders

    Mingo Sanders

    Mar 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I think the OP is in the UK, where they have the HSE: UK workplace noise standards.

    Arguing with the guitar player can be like wrestling with a pig: you end up muddy and the pig rather enjoys it.