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SMALL AMP/BIG AMP

Over the course of my career, I've always played amps that had 'headroom to spare'; whether it was a Mark 1 Boogie, or a Fender Bassman, Super, or DeVille. What's changed for me, is that over time, the need for a high wattage guitar amp is really not necessary.

Clubs are smaller for working musicians, PA systems are much more efficient, and most clubs are either listening rooms that don't require a lot of volume, or they're rooms that insist that live music be quieter.

Over the past 4-5 months, I've had the opportunity to play a lower watt amp; the example being the Fender Blues Junior. It's a 15 watt single channel amp with reverb and a 12" speaker. I'm astounded at how well this amp sits in a mix. Of equal importance is the fact that I can get this amp to break up at a reasonable volume level. Which leads me to another point. It's more difficult at first to play at a lower volume level. Once your ear gets accustomed to it, there is a world of dynamics that are more apparent, and the ability to play within a group setting is a lot easier. I recently bought a Blues Junior from a friend that has a George Allesandro speaker and T A D tubes in it. It's light-weight, very efficient and has the classic Fender sound.

I still use a bigger amp in louder rooms, but to be honest, I really like the dynamic freedom that a lower wattage amp provides.

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