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Getting the amp off the floor....

Discussion in 'Recording' started by sshack, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Is this done to avoid reflections (from/off the floor) or to minimize vibrations, say up through the mic stand and into the mic? Or both?

    Additionally, is there really a preference as to how high? If for the reflection issue, couldn't you just tilt it back?

    Lastly, should a stand that permits the least amount of resonance be chosen...if for vibration?

    I ask because I want to know.

  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    yes there are reflections and yes a tilt back can help

    yes there are vibrations and a mechanical DE-coupling from the floor may help

    getting a speaker higher might just be about getting it closer to you

    but generally when a speaker is lifted from the floor ... OR moved further away from a wall (boundary)
    it is to acousticaly De-couple the speaker from the boundry

    when a speaker is coupled to one or more boudaries there will be an enhancment of the lower frequencies

    the distance required is relative to wavelenght
    the lowered the frequency the longer the distance

    this could get complicated
    it might be better to have a google surf and chase a few of the key words seen above

    these principles are seen in
    Soffit Mounted Speakers
    Horn Loaded Speakers
    PZM microphones
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    To add to Kev's insightful post -

    It's not uncommon to place a large, inert, dense trapping material below said amp to help minimize the LF reinforcement.

    For example, getting the amp off the floor by 2' then placing a 4" sheet of Owens Corning 705 below it.

    This done in an already acoustically-enhanced environment will really let the amp shine through.

    That being said, you may just prefer the sound of the amp with that boundry boost. Otherwise, it may sound too thin.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I've had my amp-a McIntosh MC2100- on the floor for many years. I tried placing it on a stand about 2 feet off the ground, but I could never hear a difference. Maybe I'll try it again...
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    McIntoshes are computers silly. You're thinking of Mackie Amplifiers. mNow THOSE are nice amps... :-O
  6. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    I'd be really worried if your $12,000 amp sounded different when on the floor. :mrgreen:
  7. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    It was a mere $500 when I bought it, and I just looked at a used McIntosh site and they have one at $875.00 (as of 1/30/08). Maybe it's got a bad hard drive...
  8. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Good medicine guys, thank you.

    I'll certainly expand my research as well as record some clips using a variation of the techniques thrown out here to get some first hand ideas of what will happen. It was on the agenda anyway, I just thought it would be better to have an educated approach first before just lifting these heavy buggers up.

  9. 7string

    7string Guest

    Are casters considered to be adequate for decoupling from the floor?

    Also, I was raised to always put the tube amp heads on the floor instead of on the cabinets to help prevent microphonic tubes.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Amp off of head .....yes

    Casters decouple.....maybe. Depends on the floor material and the casters and their mechanical nature. Fenders.....no. Bottom tray of a high-end road case....yes.
  11. 7string

    7string Guest

    Thank you Davedog
  12. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    i'm assuming the original question was about guitar or bass amps?

    Anyone who's ever played in a band or mixed bands live knows that guitar amps tend to easily get too loud too soon. Sometimes it's ego, sometimes it's simply accidental. (Think about it: If the guitarist is standing up, he/she is then about four or five feet ABOVE the actual sound coming out - at floor level. Feel's good on the back of the thighs, but quite far away from their ears.) This, IMHO, is one of the biggest reasons why amateur bands sound so bad....no one is really listening to each other, but moreover trying to get loud enough to be heard.

    A friend of mine fixed this kind of problem with a really loud, rude band by simply putting all of the guitar amps up on road cases, behind their shoulders/heads. Suddenly, everyone started playing better (hearing themselves better too), and the resultant stage level dropped a good bit, too, making the FOH mix all the better.

    Go look at any picture of Springsteen's band live in concert. All the amps (usually Fender) are titled way back, almost too far. They are pointing UP at the musicians. (Bruce's amp has ALWAYS been very very loud onstage, but again, it's pointing UP, at him, not under his feet and out into the crowd.)

    It makes for better ensemble playing overall. (You don't hear the sound of a violin or viola coming out four or five feet away from the player, right? It's right next to their HEAD, actually.)

    It's an old trick, and it works quite well, live onstage, or in the studio.
  13. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Head off cab....cool, good to know. I can try that too. Though, I do have some combo amp, but it'll be nice to experiment and hear the differences.

    Joe - yes, guitar amp, sorry. I'm with you on the playing live issue, but we often have people (from the crowd) join us on stage so putting my amp UP on anything always scares me. I use in-ears anyway...life is much better that way.

    Thanks everyone.

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