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Old Yesterday, 06:53 AM   #1
musicandthewave
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is a 20 watt solid state amp loud enough to be heard over a drummer?

i have a peavy vypyr vip 1 20 watt combo amp with 12" speakers. the master volume goes to 0-13, and i have it between 0 and 1, as going slightly past 1 is way too loud for practice.

I know a 20 watt tube amp can be used with a drummer but what about a 20 watt solid state amp?
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Old Yesterday, 08:38 AM   #2
7thString
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I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old Yesterday, 08:39 AM   #3
Robbgnarly
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No it will sound like shite
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Old Yesterday, 08:41 AM   #4
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I'd say it wouldn't work good.
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Old Yesterday, 09:07 AM   #5
GoneFromTexas
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Well, your going to need the right solid state amp.

Wattage needs to be a higher. Not sure why, but a 20 watt tube amp is a a lot louder than a 20 watt SS amp.

I'd suggest a Tech 21 Trademark 60, which isn't too expensive on Ebay. You might be able to get one for $400.

Haven't gigged in a while, but when I did, I lugged around an 80 pound (felt like it) Seymour Duncan Convertible. Loved the tube amp, but always had to change something. Tube amps need lots of attention and always expensive to maintain.

Not only are the tones you can pull from a Trademark 60 very nice IMHO -- dynamics
(punch and resonance) are very close to a tube amp -- but the amp only weighs about 35 pounds, is built like a tank, and when you get more money you can start buying Tech 21 Power Engine cabs -- as many as you might want -- and daisy chain them.
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Old Yesterday, 09:19 AM   #6
Robbgnarly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneFromTexas
Not sure why, but a 20 watt tube amp is a a lot louder than a 20 watt SS amp.

Haven't gigged in a while, but when I did, I lugged around an 80 pound (felt like it) Seymour Duncan Convertible. Loved the tube amp, but always had to change something. Tube amps need lots of attention and always expensive to maintain.

Not always, and they are not necessarily louder, but our ears perceive them that way. A watt is a watt ss or tube. Tube amps are often rated at their RMS not their peak so they can often put 2x the wattage in short peaks. SS amps are typically rated at the peak not the RMS

And yes some people have issues with tube amps, but I have found them to be perfectly reliable.
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Old Yesterday, 09:52 AM   #7
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Honestly, you can probably get it loud enough to be heard over the drummer, but it will likely be clipping like a bastard at that volume and sound really bad. I once used a line 6 spider 15w and got it to drummer volume, but it was clipping ALOT.
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Old Yesterday, 10:13 AM   #8
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For jamming with a drummer? I think it might be enough (you need to try it) - but it would be reasonable to get a bigger amp. For gigging? I would definitely get something bigger.

It also depends a lot on your drummer and the music you are playing. And also how many members there are in your band. If your drummer is good, he can also play quietly without a problem.
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Old Yesterday, 10:15 AM   #9
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the 20 watt peavey vypyr is a practice amp, which is unlikely to have speakers that project with any real clarity at higher volumes, even if the amp itself is powerful enough to be heard alongside your drummer without clipping horrifically.

If it has a line output, it can probably work just fine through a PA system.
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Old Yesterday, 10:41 AM   #10
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I've played a 20 Watt amp with a drummer before. I could hear myself but the drummer barely could, plus it sounded horrible.
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Old Yesterday, 11:00 AM   #11
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Used to use a Line6 Spider III 15w 1x8 in HS. Our drummer was one with a 'lighter touch' (and had a smaller drum set). By putting the amp up a little higher (on an end table) and diming that sucker, it was doable.

My next band (also in HS) had a heavy handed drummer with a rather large professional set. No amount of finagling with where the amp was helped. I eventually had to borrow one of my Dad's 100w 1x15 Yamaha's (SS) to even practice with that guy. IIRC, the Yamaha didn't even get as loud as my 25w 1x12 Fender Champ SE (Tube) does now. You could try and track down one of those. They go for like ~$200 now.

It's possible, but you're at the mercy of your drummer's style and how loud their set it. You're also looking at diming the thing with no extra headroom (dynamics go out the window).

You can try. It may work. In a gig situation, you'll want to mic your amp anyway. But I would definitely look into getting something a little bigger down the road. Used tube and larger SS amps don't cost as much as you'd think, and just because they aren't $1000, doesn't mean they sound bad. You just gotta do the research
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Old Yesterday, 12:12 PM   #12
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Stand alone? Depends on the music you play.

Heavier Rock? Gonna need to mic the amp.
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Old Yesterday, 12:13 PM   #13
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I had to manage band rehearsals with a loud drummer for years relying solely on a 15-watt, 8" speaker, solid-state Fender Frontman 15G.

It's doable, but once you get a better alternative, you notice how bad you were doing before.
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Old Yesterday, 12:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
Not always, and they are not necessarily louder, but our ears perceive them that way. A watt is a watt ss or tube. Tube amps are often rated at their RMS not their peak so they can often put 2x the wattage in short peaks. SS amps are typically rated at the peak not the RMS


They shouldn't be. I don't buy solid state amps that aren't rated in RMS wattage.
Both tube and solid state amps can put out more than their rated wattage, but most guitarists don't mind the extra distortion layered on when power tubes are pushed well into distortion. Twenty watts RMS tube or SS, doesn't matter. "Volume" has more to do with some internal design parameters and the efficiency of the speaker/cabinet.

FWIW, you'll find solid state amps rated at RMS, program and peak power. The same 100W RMS amp may also be rated at 200W program and 400W peak. It just depends on how badly the marketing department needs to lie. Most buyers don't notice the distinction or know what it means.

And back to the OP's original question: I'd take a 30-50W tube amp to a gig with an aggressive drummer with no issues; I've got a Carvin Belair that's seriously loud (two V30's, open back), for example. 20W solid state, not so much. I actually run a solid state power amp capable of up to 1500W much of the time.
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Old Yesterday, 10:07 PM   #15
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The biggest difference is that tube amps rated at 1% THD tells you nothing because 1% THD is lucky to be at half volume because they aren't meant to be run at such low THD. Solid state amps often just lie abut the power. Judging an amp by the power ratings is a bit of a fool's errand and comparing SS to tube based on the rating is comparing apples to oranges. Tube amps aren't designed to be run at 1% THD so quoting the power at that figure is pointless. It's like quoting the power of a turbo charged car before the turbo kicks in - who cares?

20W SS amps don't keep up with drummers without being pushed into very unpleasant distortion. If it's all you have to use, stick a mike in front of it and have the sound guy feed some of it back through the wedges.
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