#1
I was curious as to how much power is really needed when you go play a gig. I know that you can mic up your amp and such to make it louder, but how many watts do you really need?

Another thing is, would adding more cabs make it louder? I saw nickelback live, and they literally had a wall of marshall 4x12 cabs. Are those just for show? Or do you really have a purpose?
#2
Tube
Un-miced, you can easily do a club or bar or church with 30 watts. 15 watts could prrobably get by but with little headroom
Solid State
You probably need over 100 watts to be able to be even close to matching a 30 watt tube amp.
Cabs
I'm pretty sure its just for show. It might make it a bit louder, but if you look closely, they only mic one cab anyways.

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#3
Yep, walls are just for show. Probably dummy cabs.

And if you are doing unmiced gigs, usually 30 watts will suffice unless you are playing a large venue. 50 to 100 watts are either just for advertising or for large headroom.
#4
You do not need over 100 watts to match a 30 watt tube amp. My 50 watt ss amp can get just as loud as my 35-40 watt tube amp.
#5
Quote by al112987
You do not need over 100 watts to match a 30 watt tube amp. My 50 watt ss amp can get just as loud as my 35-40 watt tube amp.

And both amps were cranked????? I don't think so....

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#6
Isn't it true that SS amps need higher wattages because when you turn them up (near-dime them), it sounds terrible? As opposed to tube amps, where they begin to overdrive nicely.
#7
Quote by jc349
And both amps were cranked????? I don't think so....


um. yes, they were.

The amp is a 30 watt non-master volume amp. It is not really THAT loud, I honestly have zero problem cranking it up. I mean, it's loud enough to drown out a drummer and too loud to really crank up at a gig without pissing the sound guys off, but its definitely not too loud to crank in the house if you have the right environment to turn it up. It currently resides at my parents house where it sits in a soundproofed home theater room that we have. Trust me, I crank my amps.
Last edited by al112987 at Jul 8, 2009,
#8
Quote by jc349
And both amps were cranked????? I don't think so....

i can attest to that. The problem is the flat line clipping at those volumes for a SS. the only reason the 100 watt prob sounds like it keeps up with a 30-45 watter tube is because it has more head room to avoid such clipping.
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#9
Quote by jc349

Cabs
I'm pretty sure its just for show. It might make it a bit louder, but if you look closely, they only mic one cab anyways.


?

I'm sure cabs make it more than a little louder... Angus Young said he and malcolm would use a bunch of cabs so they wouldn't need to mic... so if its just for show, i'm sure they wouldn't have wasted their money on like 8 cabs.

Also, I'll use Jimmy Page for another example... He had like, 2 head amps and then 6 cabs. So what you're saying is that he only really needed 2 cabs? I think jimmy's smarter than to buy extra cabs for no reason.
Last edited by ItsOnlyGNR at Jul 8, 2009,
#10
Alright. Now you said that only one cab is mic'd up. Does that mean half stacks are all that's necessary, and full stacks are just for show?
#11
To play a gig you don't need more than 30 watts.

And if the gig is big enough that you do need more than 30 watts, then they will have a mic.

Full stacks imo are completely for show. And are completely unnecessary, though a 100 watt Marshall super lead pushing two 4x12s is really quite the experience.
#12
Well i am planing on getting a Marshall DSL and a 100w is being advertised for cheaper than a 50w, but if 50w is all i need than ill pay the extra 50 bucks and call it a day.
#13
If you can get the 100 watter cheaper, I would go ahead and get that. It's not as if you'll be able to crank either one at a gig really without an attenuator. Try them both first.

The 50 watter is not really going to be quieter in anyway, it'll break up a little earlier and get a dirtier, browner sound, but a 100 watt amp has its own merits, mainly being cleaner, bigger sounding, more low end.
#14
So i should go for the 100 then? Because until my band finds a studio to play in or we soundproof my friends basement, it will be used for "bedroom playing". Unless i just hold off until we do find a better place to practice
#15
generally tube amps are twice as loud as solid state amps, so go with what you need to play over the drums and match the bass and other guitarist or whatever.
100 solid state and 40-50 w tube imho.
another thing i dont get is my carvin mts is wayyy louder then my friends jcm800 is canked...dunno why that is lol
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#16
Quote by Knightmare444
I saw nickelback live, and they literally had a wall of marshall 4x12 cabs. Are those just for show? Or do you really have a purpose?


OK. Just so you are aware, a lot of those are for show. Some artist have actual working amps and cabs there, but not all will be working. ONE 100watt full stack is USUALLY more than sufficient, and if it isn't, its usually mic'ed, but at that level you're talking about selling out to a MASSIVE audience.

Its like having more speakers, it doesn't make it loud, it merely adds presence and weight to your sound.

As mentioned some bands do have a working wall of amps and cabs, but usually only a 1 or a few are working, the rest are there as backup. If one amp blows, its a simple matter of plugging into another amp and the show goes on.

For others, the "wall of death" are really just cabs for display or in some cases, the cabs are just empty cabs which aren't even loaded with speakers. IIRC, KISS is one of the bands which has a wall of empty cab for display, where Malmsteen has actual amps and speakers on stage as a backup, and the backups aren't usually switched on until one amp dies.

Remember, its all part of the show.
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#17
Yeah thats what i though. I mean, being a guitar player, when i looked at that "wall" all i thought was "no way those are real or at the least turned on or plugged in". I mean, the concert was loud, but not THAT loud.
#18
Quote by Knightmare444
Yeah thats what i though. I mean, being a guitar player, when i looked at that "wall" all i thought was "no way those are real or at the least turned on or plugged in". I mean, the concert was loud, but not THAT loud.


Also remember that wattage is a measure of headroom (how loud can you go before the amp clips) and a poor measure of volume. Yes a 100 watt is louder than a 10 watt, but its probably twice as loud and not 10 times as loud.

Volume, to the human ear, is logarithmic, not linear.
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#19
Some people underestimate wattages quite a bit. I mean 30 watts tube will probably be fine, but I play in a somewhat basement with a loud ass drummer and sometimes I have to get it up there to 8 or 9 to be clearly audible with a 50 watt combo.

I would say 50 watts is good, thats what comfortable to me, 100 would probably too much, yet 30 is probably too little for me.
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#20
Quote by mexican_shred
i can attest to that. The problem is the flat line clipping at those volumes for a SS. the only reason the 100 watt prob sounds like it keeps up with a 30-45 watter tube is because it has more head room to avoid such clipping.

Yeah.

30-50 watts tube is really all you need for gigging. 100 is best for arena ****.
Quote by acdclandon
Some people underestimate wattages quite a bit. I mean 30 watts tube will probably be fine, but I play in a somewhat basement with a loud ass drummer and sometimes I have to get it up there to 8 or 9 to be clearly audible with a 50 watt combo.

I would say 50 watts is good, thats what comfortable to me, 100 would probably too much, yet 30 is probably too little for me.

No noticeable difference in volume between 30 and 50 watts, and barely any between 50 and 100 It's headroom. Tell your drummer to learn to tip tap
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#21
It also depends on the amp. Some amps are just louder. Personally I'd say my 15 watt Blues jr, is probably as loud as if not louder than a 22 watt DRRI. I haven't played them side by side, but I can tell you for sure the BJr actually has more headroom. I think Solid state vs tube rectified is what makes the difference in headroom there.
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#22
Quote by ragingkitty
Also remember that wattage is a measure of headroom (how loud can you go before the amp clips) and a poor measure of volume. Yes a 100 watt is louder than a 10 watt, but its probably twice as loud and not 10 times as loud.

Volume, to the human ear, is logarithmic, not linear.

this.
This why some SS amps have ridiculous wattage readings such as 200+.

also
Rule of thumb said here is every x 10 wattage rise is +2-3dB louder which translate in two twice the loudness(since a dBW is a measure of intensity on a a logarithmic scale)
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#23
1. The application always determines the tools applied. If I were to play a stoner metal show, I'd need at least 2 50 watt amps and 2 cabs, minimum, or a 100+ watt amp. If I'm going to play a blues gig, all I need is a 15 watt amp (tube in both cases).

2. For every doubling in power, there is a 3 decibel bump in volume.

3. For every doubling of speaker area, there is a 3 decibel bump in volume.

4. The efficiency of a speaker also determines the volume.

3 decibels is not double the volume unless the initial volume is 3 decibels in magnitude.


Aside from that, amps of different wattage have different frequency responses due to components used.
#24
50W is as big as I'd go unless I absolutely needed the headroom.

Go with 30W unless you have a particular amp in mind. It's a nice all-around number that will let you play with power tube distortion at tolerable levels and still be able to crank it over a drummer for gigs.
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#25
fifty watts of all tube awesomeness can eat say 150 watts of SS easily. Mines fifty and i never turn it past nine O'clock in small gigs. Tube amps are loud as hell. Buy, like 100 watts of all tube power, then you break windows.....seriously...
#28
Tube amps are 2.5x as loud as SS amps as a rule of thumb. Headroom is the max volume before which the tube amp starts breaking up.

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#29
Quote by Zoso1994
Headroom is the max volume before which the tube amp starts breaking up.

In other words, how loud can you go clean before your amp starts to distort.

The higher the wattage, the more headroom available. The lower the wattage, the less. You use higher wattages when you need the amp go get loud as 'F's, and you use lower wattages went you want to get that purring overdriven sound at lower levels (i.e. your bedroom).
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#30
Quote by ragingkitty
In other words, how loud can you go clean before your amp starts to distort.

The higher the wattage, the more headroom available. The lower the wattage, the less. You use higher wattages when you need the amp go get loud as 'F's, and you use lower wattages went you want to get that purring overdriven sound at lower levels (i.e. your bedroom).


So if you have say a 100W tube amp, you should get an attenuator to get the distorted sounds at lower volumes (ie, bedroom volumes)
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#31
Quote by soul.power
So if you have say a 100W tube amp, you should get an attenuator to get the distorted sounds at lower volumes (ie, bedroom volumes)


Actually, you could do better to have bought a 20 or 30 or 50 watts (even 50 is too loud).

An attenuator can only bring the volume down by SO much, it can't make a 100 watt sound like a 3 watt.
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