#1
How much more power/loudness would I get out of a tube amp than a solid state? Just wondering as I'm looking for a used amp that will be loud enough for gigging with a bassist and drummer.
#2
Tube amps are about 2.5 times louder than solid state.

You'll probably need at least 30W.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
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#3
Technically speaking...a watt is a watt. But tube amps are perceived as being louder.
#4
It has to do with the frequencies projected by the amp. Wattage is just a way of projecting the power:volume ratio. Solid state amps project fewer frequencies then a tube amp of the same wattage that the human ear can hear.

But for instance, an AC30 amplifier is actually a very loud amp compared to another 30 watt tube amp because the frequency range is centered more on the hearing range of a human.
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#5
30W if you don't need much headroom.
50W if you do.

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#7
Quote by customisbetter
100 watts really is unnecessary.

But awesome!
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#8
^That is true.

I use my 100 watts as an attention-getter with my volume knob.

i play regularly at 5 or 6 but before a song or at the last song ill flash the volume on my guitar to 10 once or twice and fill some pants in the audience with a warm mushy substance.

hijack:

Matrux, have you come across any Mesa Mark IIIs ever? How much were they?
#9
Quote by customisbetter
^that is a great rule of thumb.

100 watts really is unnecessary.


Isn't a 100W tube amp not too much louder than a 50W anyway?

Besides, so many good tube amps are greater than 50 watts (Peavey JSX, XXX, Marshall JCM, etc.)
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Last edited by soul.power at Jun 28, 2009,
#10
Quote by soul.power
Isn't a 100W tube amp not too much louder than a 50W anyway?


This. But the headroom is much greater, a plus for some a minus for others. Some claim it offers greater dynamics (ie Robben Ford/Larry Carlton/Joe Bonamassa/Andy Timmons) but I haven't played enough 50 and 100 watt heads of the same model side by side to come to my own conclusion.
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#11
Quote by mmolteratx
This. But the headroom is much greater, a plus for some a minus for others. Some claim it offers greater dynamics (ie Robben Ford/Larry Carlton/Joe Bonamassa/Andy Timmons) but I haven't played enough 50 and 100 watt heads of the same model side by side to come to my own conclusion.


Ah so really its because it can be cleaner at a louder volume?
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#13
Quote by customisbetter
Mainly.

But a lot depends on the architecture of the amps and tubes etc.


He speaks the truth. To elaborate a bit more, EL34 amps will typically have less headroom than 6l6 tubes while KT88s will have even more headroom than 6l6s. However, some amps are designed to breakup extremely early, ie Category 5 1900.
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#14
It's been a while since I had this class, but the relationship between watts and sound pressure levels is as follows:

Using the logarithmic relationship for power PdB = 10*log[Pout/Pin] , a doubling of electrical power only yields an increase of +3 dB. Increasing the power tenfold will yield an increase of +10 dB and is a doubling of perceived loudness. The decibel is not an absolute measurement, but indicates the relationship or ratio between two signal levels.

In UG speak that means in theory a 10 watt amp is twice as loud as a 1 watt amp. A 100 watt amp is twice as loud as a 10 watt amp. A 1000 watt amp is twice as loud as a 100 watt amp.

You also need take into account the sensitivity of the speaker. A 1 watt amp into a 112dB/watt typical speaker will yield a sound pressure level of 112dB. A 10 watt amp will give you 122db which is perceived as twice as loud. A 100 watt amp will give you 132dB which is starting to get pretty darn loud.

You also need to take into consideration how an amplifier company rates it's amplifier's wattage. (you've all seen those 800watt car stereo amps) Back in the day tube amp manufacturers we're pretty conservative with how they rated their amps power... until it became a bigger is better advertising campaign.