#1
I see people, including myself comparing different tube amps all the time when it comes to how loud they are. What I thought would be helpful would be if we could get a list put together of the decibel levels of the various wattages of tube amps

We know that a 100 watt tube amp isnt 2x as loud as a 50 watt amp. What I have seen though is that 100 watters are 3 decibels louder than a 50 watter. So- how many decibels are each of these, as well as other tube amp watteges- 5,15,25, etc?

I searched and didnt find anything, so if there IS a thread like this, don't be a douche about it
#2
dude, I'm just curious.
what music do you play?

and about the thread.
I think it would be reaaally useful to put a list like this together.
I have no clue about it tho
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#3
how noticable is a 3 decibel difference? im pretty sure its not much at all, but that doesnt seem right
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#4
Quote by AE25RR
how noticable is a 3 decibel difference? im pretty sure its not much at all, but that doesnt seem right



Im just going by what people in various threads (UG and Marshall Forum) have told me when I was amp shopping
#5
Well, I'm no expert in dB, but I just looked it up, and 3 dB louder is twice the soundpressure (it sounds 2 times louder), so I guess that can't be right...

for people who don't know much about it, dB works through an logaritmical scale, wich means that 1 up, is *1.something, so it's not through an even amount of increase, it goes up faster and faster
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Last edited by poipoi at Mar 25, 2009,
#6
Quote by Kozlic
dude, I'm just curious.
what music do you play?


I play some Bluesy stuff and pretty much any kind of rock thats not metal.
#8
yeah - a decible is a logarytic scale meaning that the differnece between 4dB and 5dB is 10 times the amount of energy. It should be noted that volume is partly preception by the brain. So a 1 decible boost in the low end does not seem like the same boost in the high end
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#9
I've taken my Randall RM100 from 100 to 50 watts. I noticed a slight EQ difference (crunchier sound, maybe slightly sweeter lows and highs), but almost no difference was noticed in volume output. It may literally be a cutting in half of the volume, but the human ear doesn't perceive it as such.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

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#10
so if this is true that you cant tell the difference than why buy a mesa dual or triple rectifier over a single?
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#11
Quote by AE25RR
so if this is true that you cant tell the difference than why buy a mesa dual or triple rectifier over a single?


maybe cause of a different sound and features?
1. You're surfing the internet.
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3. You're reading now.
5. You didn't notice that there was no #4.
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7. Now you're having a lil smile.

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#12
The best way I have heard it explaned is a 1dB Boost would be like if you were blind folded while listen to music, and someone else was turning up the volume, the point in which you siad, ahah! I hear a change is in the volume is 1 dB change. 3db volume change would be like if we where watching a movie and you asked me to trun up the volume, because you cannot hear it, the amount I would typically turn up the volume would be 3dB. The thing is a 3dB change take twice the power, so if your 50 watt amp is operating at half rated power, (not half way on your volume pot) 25 watts, and you wanted your amp a little louder you woud turn it up 3dB, pushing your amp to its full rated power 50 watts. This is also the reason why single channel vintage style tube amps don't really sound much louder in between clean and full OD, between the point from very slight break up and turned all the way up is only going to be a 2-3dB difference in SPL.
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#13
Quote by Kozlic
maybe cause of a different sound and features?


i was told they sound the same, and if you can't tell the difference in volume than i guess you're just spending double the cost for more head room, that's what im gathering from this
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#14
Quote by AE25RR
so if this is true that you cant tell the difference than why buy a mesa dual or triple rectifier over a single?

the different wattages have different tonal qualities that make them unique.

The Single Rec was built around a solid-state rectifier, and has a tighter and clearer sound than what the higher wattage models can achieve. It also has a bit more crunch capability due to it's lower wattage.

Dual and Triple Recs were both built around tube rectifiers (even though they have an option to use silicone diode), and have a looser bottom end. On top of that, they have more clean headroom, so the clean channels can stay cleaner at higher levels on the master volume knob.

And you don't pay twice as much, at least not for the Dual Rec. Maybe half-again as much for the Dual, almost twice for the triple.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

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Last edited by Shinozoku at Mar 25, 2009,
#15
thanks Shinozoku. im pretty sure that i saw tubes in the back of a single rec though. and when you say more crunch capabilty are you saying it has more distortion or that you can simply turn it up louder to get natural distortion?
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20th Anniversary Bogner Shiva
#16
afaik a 100 watt amp is twice as loud as a 10 watt amp and a 50 watt amp is twice as loud as a 5 watt amp.
a 100 watt amp will be 3x louder than a 1 watt amp.

how many times louder a 100 watt amp is compared to a 50 watter i can't tell but it's not that much louder
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Last edited by angl2k at Mar 25, 2009,
#17
Going from 3 to 6 db's of volume, yes you will notice the change.

Going from 87 to 90 db's of volume, not a chance you'll hear the difference.

I would say both a 50 and 100 watt tube amp can reach upwards of 90 db's.
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#18
Quote by AE25RR
thanks Shinozoku. im pretty sure that i saw tubes in the back of a single rec though. and when you say more crunch capabilty are you saying it has more distortion or that you can simply turn it up louder to get natural distortion?

you can achieve better mid-gain sounds due to the fact that there are fewer tubes to drive, therefore they break up at a lower level on the volume knob.

Yes, you will see tubes in the back of it as it is a tube amp, it's just that a specific section of the amp (*the actual part called the rectifier) uses a silicone diode (afaik, solid state) component instead of a tube component.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
Last edited by Shinozoku at Mar 25, 2009,
#19
Quote by Van Noord
Going from 3 to 6 db's of volume, yes you will notice the change.

Going from 87 to 90 db's of volume, not a chance you'll hear the difference.

I would say both a 50 and 100 watt tube amp can reach upwards of 90 db's.

LOL 90dB, try closer to 120db@1meter for a 100 watt amp clean if the speaker are around 100dB, which most are fairly closer to that. And yes anyone without hearing damage could hear the difference in 87 to 90db volume jump. 3 or 6 dB is barley auidable BTW.
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#20
Quote by Johnbryant
LOL 90dB, try closer to 120db@1meter for a 100 watt amp clean if the speaker are around 100dB, which most are fairly closer to that. And yes anyone without hearing damage could hear the difference in 87 to 90db volume jump. 3 or 6 dB is barley auidable BTW.
Sure amp's can reach 120 db's, but I recall hearing that the loudest recorded live band was Manowar at 135 db's. A 100 watt tube amp will reach 90-120 db's at it's peak, but when the volume is that high, the human ear can't identify 3 db's less or more in either direction. That was my original point.
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Last edited by Van Noord at Mar 25, 2009,
#21
3 - 12 db's arent even audible, i believe a whisper is about 40 db, probably more
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#22
The wattage of the amp doesn't have a damn thing to do with volume....

The SPEAKER makes the air vibrate, not valves. It's all about effeciency and speaker sensitivity. A 20W speaker receiving 20 watts of power will produce the maximum dB's it's designed for. A 100W speaker receiving 20 watts will not produce the maximum volume it's designed for. A 4X12 cab loaded with 25 watt speakers hooked to a 100W head at max volume will give each speaker 25 watts, LOUD!!! Take the same head and push the same 100 watts into 4 100W speakers and each speaker will only be getting 25% of the power they are rated for, not so loud.
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#23
Here's a good referece to db levels. As just mentioned, it looks like low db's are very hard to hear.

Decibel level What we hear
10 dB Normal breathing
20 dB Rustling leaves, mosquito
30 dB Whisper
40 dB Stream, refrigerator humming
50-60 dB Quiet office
50-65 dB Normal conversation
60-65 dB Laughter
70 dB Vacuum cleaner, hair dryer
75 dB Dishwasher
78 dB Washing machine
80 dB Garbage disposal, city traffic noise
84 dB Diesel truck
Prolonged exposure to any noise above 85 dB can cause gradual hearing loss.
70-90 dB Recreational vehicle
88 dB Subway, motorcycle
85-90 dB Lawnmower
100 dB Train, garbage truck
97 dB Newspaper press
98 dB Farm tractor
Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss.
103 dB Jet flyover at 100 feet
105 dB Snowmobile
110 dB Jackhammer, power saw, symphony orchestra
120 dB Thunderclap, discotheque/boom box
110-125 dB Stereo
110-140 dB Rock concerts
130 dB Jet takeoff, shotgun firing
145 dB Boom cars
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#24
Quote by Van Noord
Sure amp's can reach 120 db's, but I recall hearing that the loudest recorded live band was Manowar at 135 db's. A 100 watt tube amp will reach 90-120 db's at it's peak, but when the volume is that high, the human ear can't identify 3 db's less or more in either direction. That was my original point.


I believe this is untrue, as db are not a linear. The change in energy at 100-103db is not the same as 20-23 for example. That is why the ear can pick up the change at almost any level the equally.

According to the sources I have read, 3db is "barely noticable".
#25
Look into "just noticeable difference" its a highly researched term in psychology. The name pretty much explains it. But there is tons of research on how much louder something has to get in order to be noticed... much more fine data than db too.
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#26
Quote by Chetbango
I believe this is untrue, as db are not a linear. The change in energy at 100-103db is not the same as 20-23 for example. That is why the ear can pick up the change at almost any level the equally.

According to the sources I have read, 3db is "barely noticable".

Actually 1dB is barley noticable, 3dB is quite obvouis.

Vannoord, a 90-120db difference is huge, where taking about the difference of a raised voice coversation vs. the sound of a loud rock concert. At 125+ db, you can no longer even hear yourself speak. Really I don't know that my guitar amp will play 90db, probably at the absolute lowest it might. The dB examples you got where pretty right on though.
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Last edited by Johnbryant at Mar 25, 2009,
#27
Quote by Johnbryant
Actually 1dB is barley noticable, 3dB is quite obvouis.

Vannoord, a 90-120db difference is huge, where taking about the difference of a raised voice coversation vs. the sound of a loud rock concert. At 125+ db, you can no longer even hear yourself speak. Really I don't know that my guitar amp will play 90db, probably at the absolute lowest it might. The dB examples you got where pretty right on though.


I guess the 3db being "barely noticeable" and "clearly obvious" depend on your source. http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html

Either way, 3db is not a great difference if you are talking about an amp being 'loud' enough to play clubs. I think it has more to do with headroom and tonal quality.

In my experience with amps, the 3db difference between a 50w and 100w marshall is not really noticable in overall "loudness", and the loudness is likely more effected by dynamic response and possibly watt rating of the speakers. There are certainly differences in sound quality and tone, but not in overall loudness.

For example, in my band, my 50w non-MV Marshall 1987 head with a Vintage 30 4x12 cab is much louder than the other guitarist's 100w JCM 900 with a 75w 4x12 cab, even with his master dimed. I am not sure if the speakers play a huge difference because of wattage, I read that is more the dynamic response that governs "loudness", but my amp is much louder.

Not to threadjack, but does anyone have any knowledge on how the speakers compare? Does watt rating of the speakers effect volume of an given amp through different speakers?
#28
Not sure about you speaker question, but I have heard that a speaker's sensitivity rating plays a big role in it's "loudness".

Anyone ???
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Last edited by Van Noord at Mar 25, 2009,
#29
Quote by Van Noord
Not sure about you speaker question, but I have heard that a speaker's sensitivity rating plays a big role in it's "loudness".

Anyone ???


from what I understand, 3dB is the point where the human ear can still perceive a difference in volume. 10dB is approx what the human ear perceives as twice the volume. In order to get 3dB difference, you have to double the wattage of an amp, or double the speaker surface area that the same wattage is pushing.


the speaker sensitivity makes a big difference in the perceived loudness. The typical Celestion V30 is rated at 100dB @ 1Watt, at 1 meter away on axis measuring SPL in dB.


100dB @ 1W
110dB @ 10W
120dB @ 100W
130dB @ 1000W

consider a G12T-75 rated at 97dB. Obviously these are ideal values, but you get the point.

97dB @ 1W
107dB @ 10W
117dB @ 100W
127dB @ 1000W

I've tried the V30 x G12T75 combo in a 4x12, and the V30 were noticeably louder the closer you got to the cab.
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Last edited by Erock503 at Mar 25, 2009,
#30
well you can calculate dB from wattage, however it does not account for loss in speakers and cables and such also 50 db is twice as loud as 60 db and so on and soforth
the formula is 10log(power 1/power constant) wich i dont remember.
#31
Quote by Van Noord
Not sure about you speaker question, but I have heard that a speaker's sensitivity rating plays a big role in it's "loudness".

Anyone ???

It can make a huge difference, if a speaker was 6dB less sensitive it would be like going from a 100 watt amp down to a 25!

Celestion G12-75
97db w/1watt@1 meter
97dB@1watt
100db@2watts
103db@4 watts
106db@8 watts
109db@16 watts
112db@32 watts
115db@64 watts
118db@128watts
Also keep in mind the more speakers you have the louder you setup becomes. A half stack with G12-75 will be a least 3-6 db louder than just having one speaker.
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#32
Quote by Johnbryant

Also keep in mind the more speakers you have the louder you setup becomes. A half stack with G12-75 will be a least 3-6 db louder than just having one speaker.

^Thats wrong. Example:

64 watt amp thru 1 G12-75 = 115dB

64 watt amp thru 4 G12-75s = 16 watts per speaker = 109 dB per speaker

10Log (10^(109/10)+10^(109/10)+10^(109/10)+10^(109/10))=115.02 dB

The total loudness is the same.
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#33
^ When you wire in a series you gain 3db, in parelle you gain nothing. Trust me a half stack is louder than a 112.
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#34
Quote by Johnbryant
^ When you wire in a series you gain 3db, in parelle you gain nothing

That's wrong too. You could potentially get a 3db increase by connecting an extra speaker in parallel, IF you forget to change the impedance on the amp. This has the unfortunate side effect of overloading the amp, so don't do it.

Cant argue with physics
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#35
Quote by FischmungaXTR
That's wrong too. You could potentially get a 3db increase by connecting an extra speaker in parallel, IF you forget to change the impedance on the amp. This has the unfortunate side effect of overloading the amp, so don't do it.

Cant argue with physics

it isnt wrong. a 412 adds tons of perceived loudness compared to a 112. and perceived loudness argues with physics
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#36
Quote by Holy-Diver
it isnt wrong. a 412 adds tons of perceived loudness compared to a 112. and perceived loudness argues with physics


"It looks louder, therefore it is louder"

I'm not arguing with you because it's true. Weird.
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#37
i cant explain it, but i believe it haha
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