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Plugging straight into the amp is simple but too loud

I am a hard-core straight-into-the-amp bigot. AC/DC has the Correct
approach to guitar rigs: guitar, cord, amp, loud. You are free to simply
PLAY LOUD. Some people look to 5 watt tube amps as a solution to this
problem. It's handy to have a little 5 watt tube amp, because that gives
cranked tube amp tone while playing NO LOUDER THAN A TRUMPET.

I owned a 5 watt Fender Champ tube amp for a while. I enjoyed cranking
it, but it was far too loud. This was much quieter than my "small" Fender
Pro Jr. 15 watt tube amp, which was far, far too loud. That in turn was
quieter than my 50 watt Peavey 2x12 tube amp, which was way, way,
way too loud even on a fairly large property. The 100 watt amp
threatened to shake the walls apart.

What barbarians play rock music. Civilized man, the tool maker and
harnesser of power, can put the blaring speaker into a proper engine
compartment to fully harness its power, extracting its essential tone and
surrounding that with MIDI control-handles to sculpt the pre and post eq,
level, and effects. The traditional amp was shocking, in retrospect: a
raw tube amp, blasting your ears directly! That's insane! Tinitus, noise
pollution! Industrial hazard! The ability to hear electric guitar is too
valuable to risk deafness.

Classical guitar is about the only instrument, other than unplugged
electric guitar, or electronic keyboards, that is quiet enough to be private. Many musicians would like it if other people couldn't even tell that an instrument were being played at all. 5 watts is often far too loud. Even 1 watt is often too loud. Ideally, you could get great tone at a volume just loud enough to mask the direct sound of hitting the strings.

A larger percentage of people will be living in apartments in the future.
Will they all be condemned to raw preamp tone in the future, when at
home? Will they have to rent time in a studio or jam room, to play through
good amp tone? No, they can use power tube saturation. You can
selectively use power attenuators, inductive loads, low-wattage power
tubes, and speaker isolation cabinets, once you are informed about
these options and their tradeoffs.

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