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#1
Why is that all tube amp heads, or the ones that I totally GAS for, are all like 100W or more? For example, I have major GAS for a JSX, but 120W is ****ing loud and way too much headroom. I'd never be able to crank it.

Why then do people buy these heads that have such high power? I thought the point was to crank your tube amp, not have the master sitting at 1 all the time. The only thing I can think of is that they're only good for preamp distortion (drive knob) and you would never be able to get warm power tube distortion from it.
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#2
Because its suitable for live gigging.

Tubes gets their "BEST" tone when cranked, and loud volumes is a must for gigging musicians
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#3
It's from the days when amps weren't mic'd up through the PA, so Pete Townsend, Jimi Hendrix etc got massive 50 watt or 100 watt stacks to deafen their audiences.

Nowadays, even though you could play a stadium with a Zvex Nano, the volume and bass you get from 4x12 cabs makes at least a half-stack pretty essential for any major rock band.
#4
for certain types of music you want high headroom and preamp distortion...
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#5
You've got a 50W tube amp already. The difference between that and 100/120 (in volume) isn't much.
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#6
Because, halfstacks, especially of the tube variety, are designed to be played loudly. They're not practice amps by any means.
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#7
Still there are people who jam in their room's with a huge ass 5150 half stack. I think unless you gig in huge areas they seem kind of pointless.
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#10
Quote by soul.power
Still there are people who jam in their room's with a huge ass 5150 half stack. I think unless you gig in huge areas they seem kind of pointless.


As far as a 5150, you need to get it to at least '3' on the master before it sounds great, I'll give you that.

I'd like to point out that power tube saturation is not ideal for every situation (i.e. for br00t4lz, or if you want clean cleans) so 100w+ amps do have uses.

Also, not all tube amps sound bad at low volumes (the Soldano SLO comes to mind) and running one's amp balls-to-the-wall 24/7 isn't always possible, nor is it good for the amp in the long run.
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#12
Quote by Raijouta
As far as a 5150, you need to get it to at least '3' on the master before it sounds great, I'll give you that.

I'd like to point out that power tube saturation is not ideal for every situation (i.e. for br00t4lz, or if you want clean cleans) so 100w+ amps do have uses.

Also, not all tube amps sound bad at low volumes (the Soldano SLO comes to mind) and running one's amp balls-to-the-wall 24/7 isn't always possible, nor is it good for the amp in the long run.


I found the SLO to be an amp that I thought was okay (much too bright) at lower volumes but incredible at stage volumes.
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#13
Quote by blue_strat
It's from the days when amps weren't mic'd up through the PA, so Pete Townsend, Jimi Hendrix etc got massive 50 watt or 100 watt stacks to deafen their audiences.

Nowadays, even though you could play a stadium with a Zvex Nano, the volume and bass you get from 4x12 cabs makes at least a half-stack pretty essential for any major rock band.



Typically only 1 speaker gets mic'd and micing more of them wont add the same feeling you get from standing in front of your halfstack into the PA system. This still makes it unnecessary in terms of what the audience should/will hear.

It does make for better stage monitoring I suppose and some people just really like the feeling of being on stage and facing their amp for a few seconds while they play. Cant blame them, it is a pretty badass feeling.

And also, in a full band mix a very bassy guitar will sound muddy because it would be competing with the bass player who's job it is to cover the bass part of the mix.

I have no negative feelings towards halfstacks or people that use them. They are pretty sweet. My 1x12 combo leaves little for me to desire, though.


EDIT: by the way, TS - attenuators can work miracles for high wattage amps that need some volume control. Note that I am talking about QUALITY attenuators. Something with a speaker motor, not resistor based units. I hear so little tone loss with my Weber Mini Mass 50 that I find it pretty easy to fix with some compensated EQing.

On the other hand, I've heard from some people here that the re-amping method works even better than an attenuator, though it might cost you more.
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Last edited by Bright Light at Sep 24, 2009,
#14
I play a 120w Halfstack because how else am I gonna give every female in the room a simultaneous orgasm? Soundwaves, my friend. Soundwaves.
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#15
100 watts of tube is not too much for jamming with my mates. I can however drown them if I give it all she has but I use 3/4 to 7/8 of 100% when we do an un-miced mix. I practice with the same rig unless people are home. Then its Epi Valve JR. time.
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#16
Headroom.
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#17
Quote by soul.power
Why is that all tube amp heads, or the ones that I totally GAS for, are all like 100W or more? For example, I have major GAS for a JSX, but 120W is ****ing loud and way too much headroom. I'd never be able to crank it..


So if it's too loud why are you gassing for it? Buy the smaller combo version.

Quote by soul.power
Why then do people buy these heads that have such high power? I thought the point was to crank your tube amp, not have the master sitting at 1 all the time. The only thing I can think of is that they're only good for preamp distortion (drive knob) and you would never be able to get warm power tube distortion from it.


Because some of us play in places besides our bedrooms. Not saying it's not OK to play in the bedroom, I sure do a lot of it but when you're playing out, rock and roll is supposed to be loud Bro.
#18
if ya have the cash, the JSX sounds pretty good at low volumes

in my case a 4/12 halfstack is a little excessive, but the 2/12 would be pretty decent.

otherwise, go for the 2 channel 50w JSX
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#20
why do all the kick ass cars have lots of horse power? why can't you get all the options on something with only 120 hp? why doesn't a car with 500 hp go 4 times faster than a car with 125 hp. you answer these questions and apply the answers to amps and you'll have a better clue.

Why then do people buy these heads that have such high power? I thought the point was to crank your tube amp, not have the master sitting at 1 all the time. The only thing I can think of is that they're only good for preamp distortion (drive knob) and you would never be able to get warm power tube distortion from it.


the point is for people who like the sound of a cranked tube amp get lower powered amps, and the people who don't like power tube saturation to run amps with like 100 watts. louder<>better with guitar amps unless that is the way YOU like it. **** us and our opinions, it only matters what you want. but that last sentence is kinda right, you can run it loud enough for power amp distortion, but it would be awfully loud. master is usually run around 2 or 3 to get the tubes sounding good, power amp distortion starts taking it's toll around 6 or so(at least that is way it works on my sunn and thd), playing with your amp at 1 kinda sounds dull(but some people may like it).
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#21
to tell the truth, halfstack look Waaaaaaaaaaaay cooler then a combo
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#22
halstacks are cool as ****.
and i agree with everyone who has said that.
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#23
the JSX combo has a half power switch so you can switch it from 120 watt's to 60 watt's.
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#24
1 watt killer ant head ftw
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#25
Dynamic response.

Volume.

Some amps are only made as said 50/100w heads. Like a Plexi.

Metal especially uses a poweramp with a lot of headroom.

That said, I like the 5-20w amps, and there is so much quality in that power band that it's becoming less necessary to own an enormous head for the sake of the tone you want.
#26
Lmao
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#27
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#28
Peavey Mace Head 320W FTW
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#29
the orange tiny terror is an awesome 15 watt tube amp head. and they have a version of it thats also 30 watts
#31
Quote by soul.power
Why is that all tube amp heads, or the ones that I totally GAS for, are all like 100W or more? For example, I have major GAS for a JSX, but 120W is ****ing loud and way too much headroom. I'd never be able to crank it.
uh...

Why then do people buy these heads that have such high power?
more headroom, tighter bass, more dynamic response
I thought the point was to crank your tube amp, not have the master sitting at 1 all the time.
that is a huge generalization.
The only thing I can think of is that they're only good for preamp distortion (drive knob) and you would never be able to get warm power tube distortion from it.
most modern high gain heads are built with a lot of power to avoid early break up.
#32
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#33
Quote by soul.power
Why is that all tube amp heads, or the ones that I totally GAS for, are all like 100W or more? For example, I have major GAS for a JSX, but 120W is ****ing loud and way too much headroom. I'd never be able to crank it.

Why then do people buy these heads that have such high power? I thought the point was to crank your tube amp, not have the master sitting at 1 all the time. The only thing I can think of is that they're only good for preamp distortion (drive knob) and you would never be able to get warm power tube distortion from it.



you've got a 50 watt tube amp. if you're happy with it's volume you'll be happy with a 100 watt head. double the wattage =/= double the volume. itll be maybe 25% louder
#34
Quote by soul.power
Why is that all tube amp heads, or the ones that I totally GAS for, are all like 100W or more? For example, I have major GAS for a JSX, but 120W is ****ing loud and way too much headroom. I'd never be able to crank it.

Why then do people buy these heads that have such high power? I thought the point was to crank your tube amp, not have the master sitting at 1 all the time. The only thing I can think of is that they're only good for preamp distortion (drive knob) and you would never be able to get warm power tube distortion from it.


Not all types of music need a "cranked" amp to get suitable tone. More extreme styles require much more preamp distortion, and a lot of clean headroom to keep things tight.

Seems like you GAS for amps designed with this in mind
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#36
Because if you put that much watts in a combo it would kills itself to the death... Or would it?
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#37
Quote by Ethanb08
Because if you put that much watts in a combo it would kills itself to the death... Or would it?



there are many 100 watt combos.
#38
Quote by soul.power
Why is that all tube amp heads, or the ones that I totally GAS for, are all like 100W or more? For example, I have major GAS for a JSX, but 120W is ****ing loud and way too much headroom. I'd never be able to crank it.

Why then do people buy these heads that have such high power? I thought the point was to crank your tube amp, not have the master sitting at 1 all the time. The only thing I can think of is that they're only good for preamp distortion (drive knob) and you would never be able to get warm power tube distortion from it.
The JSX actually sounds great at low volumes as well as high volumes. It's a master volume amp so you can set the master to 10 and the channel volume to 1-2 and get seriously thick high gain tones at low volume. Naturally it sounds better the more you turn it up, but it sounds good at low volumes too. (Unlike many high wattage high gain tube amps)
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#39
headroom

remember that 100w is really only twice as loud as 10w
#40
one name comes to mind

THD hotplate.

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