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#1
Hi people, I was looking to know whats the big deal about such high wattages. So while searching for info here one thing that I came across was the importance of "headroom". Now since I haven't ever owned a tube amp, I am still kinda confused on what it means in practical approach.(any vids/clips examples might help for me)

This brings me to the main question, now since lower wattage amps have lesser headroom(<<this is what everyone seemed right about) how would a small wattage amp(let's say 15W) sound different/cleaner than a 100W if it was being mic'd or used with PA system. (also isn't mic'ing & using PA the same thing? & what is DI?)
These days i often see shows on tv where there's always a mic being used near the speaker cabinet, so I was wondering is it really that much of a drastic difference if harldy a fraction of a amps volume is being used in a live situation. I'll put it this way, if i was using a 15W tube amp at say volume=4 and have it mic'd wouldn't it be same as having a 100W tube amp with volume=2 & being mic'd. Ofcourse, there would be monitors around to hear myself, incase the drummer is loud. Anyways, thats just a hypothetical situation, just my thoughts.

Also some tube amps with similar wattages seem to be louder than others. So comparing lets say the 60W JSX to a 120W JSX, won't the 60W be more than sufficient if its mic'd?

Well from reading all that was above you guys definitely have figured out that I'm a noob at all this, so please try to go easy on me
One thing I found out though, that the wattages refer to headroom in most cases & not loudness/volume. Also I was strictly talking about guitar amps wattages in the whole post, other instrument amps might be a different story altogether
#2
Headroom is used to describe how loud an amp can get while still staying clean and not distorting.

Is 100watts more than enough? yes. Unnecessary? nope. I use two heads in stereo (100 and 120 watts). And volume is never a problem for me. I can play at night without waking my wife...and still have the power to play a small gig unmic'd if necessary.

Most venues mic everything anyway (or DI in the case of bass amps)...so its going to be the same overall volume for the crowd regardless if you use 5 watts or 100 watts. A 5 watt amp maybe maxed out, and a 100 watter may be on 5....but with the PA and all the levels equalized...the crowd will hear the same volume in both situations. Unless you have a retard for a sound engineer.

If you really think about it...nobody really needs an amp if the venue has a PA...just a POD, etc. and a guitar.
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Oct 16, 2009,
#3
What headroom means is the point before you start to get power tube breakup or preamp tube saturation on the clean channel. On lower wattage amps this point is much earlier, meaning the sound begins to get distorted earlier. On a higher wattage amp, you can get alot louder before the cleans will start to distort (or some will never distort at all, such as the Fender Twin, which has a circuit based on a hi-fi sound system).

This later distortion is ideal for metal where sag from power tube breakup is undesired for most applications (aside from stoner, doom and sludge) or for people who want clean cleans.

One more thing: the difference in volume between 60w and 100/120w is minimal.
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Last edited by Raijouta at Oct 16, 2009,
#4
Okie, atleast now i understood what headroom means

But assuming if the lower wattage amp stayed clean enough, lets say in this case 50W, won't it be easier to mic it up without drowning the rest of the band and still be able to hear yourself play? or do 50W seem too small to get good cleans out of it? This kind of sounds doubtful, cause 50W & 100W seem to be hardly distinguishable volume wise...
However if it weren't mic'd then yes the headroom seems very important, but then again without an attenuator or something to hush up the excess volume from a 100W, won't it be a problem to stay in par with the drummer without drowning him/her out?
I can hardly imagine people with 50/100W half/full stacks not over-powering the rest of their band mates by this method.

For example lets take old single channel marshalls, laneys(i heard they make all their amps loud, haven't tried one yet though) or the most common being mesa rectifiers.
Now in these, considering the high gain amps, in old days it was necessary to have so much volume cause the PA system wasnt well developed, but now its like overkill cause unless the venue is stadium sized, how would they make use of all their amps full potential?

Aren't people better off with lower wattage amps nowadays, rather then spending more on attenuators & stuff, doesnt it seem a easier & balanced route to take both financially & in terms of decibels, without having the sound guys screaming at ya?

I won't say that 100W is useless or just for show, but it seems to me that its too much & quite unwanted with modern PA's...
Although 100W seem to have the most bass response, but don't EQ pedals help out here?
#5
Quote by aditya0246

Aren't people better off with lower wattage amps nowadays, rather then spending more on attenuators & stuff, doesnt it seem a easier & balanced route to take both financially & in terms of decibels, without having the sound guys screaming at ya?

I won't say that 100W is useless or just for show, but it seems to me that its too much & quite unwanted with modern PA's...
Although 100W seem to have the most bass response, but don't EQ pedals help out here?


A few problems with this part. Most (not all, see Krank Rev Jr), low wattage amps will not do metal. Period. Some will with a boost, but it will not sound like a 100watt tube amp pushing a 412 cabinet. Just not possible...especially given the different tube components and speaker combinations (most low watt tube heads aren't used to drive a 412 cabinet, which kills bass response, even with an EQ pedal.). There is never the need for an attenuator if the amp has a master volume imo...you could argue...but thats my opinion. My rig sounds just fine at lower bedroom levels.

Another thing I don't like about low wattage amps...the lower sound levels on stage. When I gig with my current project, I use a VOX night train and mic it. I also have to have a couple of monitors to hear myself onstage...this isn't necessary with my other stereo rig because the onstage volume from the amp is enough (I still use a monitor, but its not NECESSARY like it is with the Night Train). Both have their place imo...each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Oct 16, 2009,
#7
Yeah its true that most low wattage amps won't do metal. But this can be fixed with a pedal(mostly a distortion or overdrive). This seems as a much cheaper alternative.
Single channel amps are usually counted as Master volume amps (i've noticed this by going through alot of threads), and these I find are usually high wattage & absurdly loud. You could set the volume to around 1.5/10 for bedroom levels for these but they only shine when they are driven at greater than 4/10 But that does not make them awful at low volumes, only they become overkill for bedroom volumes & unwanted for home musicians, hence people pick attenuators..

As far as cabs go, it doesnt really effect the loudness of the amp but how much air is being passed by the speakers. 4x12 is overkill at mediocre high gain amp volumes..
On the other hand, if you were to mic a cab smaller than a 4x12 then the sound guy can have the bass leveled up for ya instead, only though the player might not be able to hear the change in it cause he/she might be hearing the sound through a smaller cab(eg. 2x12 or 1x12). Also from the rest of the threads i kept reading, a 2x12 seems to sound much bassy for a metal amp, not very sure about it though... Thus if things are being mic'd then the sound guy seems to have more control over the player's sound most of the time.

Come to think of what you said earlier eyebanez, it really does seems pointless to have amps, a POD going to a PA/mixer will even out any sound issues But yeah there is no replicating a true tone of a tube amp, the Axe-fx comes pretty close but its not perfect. Gosh, now i feel that amps are gonna be outdated later in future
#8
It's very possible to get good cleans from a 50w amp, but a 100w amp will have a number of differences which appeal to some people:

- Larger output transformer
- (generally) more pre and power tubes
- (generally) larger circuit
- (sometimes) more/better features

Not every amp is available in a lower wattage version, either (such as the Soldano SLO)
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#9
Quote by aditya0246
Gosh, now i feel that amps are gonna be outdated later in future


Yeah but people used to say that SS amps would make tube amps obsolete too
#10
Quote by Raijouta
It's very possible to get good cleans from a 50w amp, but a 100w amp will have a number of differences which appeal to some people:

- Larger output transformer
- (generally) more pre and power tubes
- (generally) larger circuit
- (sometimes) more/better features

Not every amp is available in a lower wattage version, either (such as the Soldano SLO)


Oh yeah the high wattage ones are one of a kind for certain brands..
(Kinda off-topic but this seems like a conspiracy to earn additional $$$$ by brands cause well with every more feature(more $), more tubes(more $$ for re-tubing), if ya look at it, its kinda a cheap way to take more $$$ from customers lolll )

But yeah most of the people hardly use all the features, yet they buy things cause it feels like since you've got all then ya safe & won't have to spend out more $$$ on it later, but in the end you sacrifice $$$ for what wasn't of any use in particular to a certain individual's need...
But yeah I'm grouped among those that would go for more features anyways
#11
Quote by Raijouta
Not every amp is available in a lower wattage version, either (such as the Soldano SLO)

If I recall correctly, the Hot Rod is a 50watt version of it. It's just a single channel, identical to the overdrive channel on the SLO. Not sure how good they sound though.
#12
Quote by eyebanez333
Yeah but people used to say that SS amps would make tube amps obsolete too


lol so true. But they did help out beginners to get amps for cheap, so for them & others that pick up guitar for playing only in their bedrooms, SS is quite all they will need in that much space
Also SS are better for practicing with, cause you dont have to worry about the tubes getting worn out sooner for being used too much (<< +1 for the use of SS amps according to me) But then so are cheap multifx modelers lol
#13
Quote by eyebanez333
Yeah but people used to say that SS amps would make tube amps obsolete too
This will most likely happen in my opinion.

Technology will improve to such great lengths that a SS amp will perfectly replicate a tube amp, while still being reliable as tubes as we all know die out sometimes in the worst situations.
#14
Quote by DIMEBAGLIVEDON
This will most likely happen in my opinion.

Technology will improve to such great lengths that a SS amp will perfectly replicate a tube amp, while still being reliable as tubes as we all know die out sometimes in the worst situations.


I think that the other option will happen before this.

EDIT: that amps in general will become obsolete....and everyone will use a POD-like device right into the house PA.
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Oct 16, 2009,
#15
on the subject of the sound difference between 60w and 120w...the actual loudness, like said before it not too much louder....but i do notice that some amp's have a lot more bass with more wattage, resulting in my house shaking :p
#16
Quote by eyebanez333
I think that the other option will happen before this.

EDIT: that amps in general will become obsolete....and everyone will use a POD-like device right into the house PA.

We're pretty close to that actually. The Fractal Axe-Fx seems to have come scarily close to replicating tube tone. Now it's just a matter of downsizing form factor and lowering production costs and every guitarist and his dog will have a hundred almost perfectly replicated classic tube amp tones in his pocket.

Sounds good doesn't it?
Altough, even if the tone is perfectly replicated, it won't have the same charm as playing through a halfstack with tubes glowing in the amp head.
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#17
Like everybody else said, people are using lower wattaged amps so they can get better tube saturation at lower volumes so it doesent sound bad through the PA. Another reason is that a smaller amp is alot cheaper and weighs alot less than a 100watt stack.

But stacks are useful, if you really hate your neighbor, just point your full stack in their general direction, and crank to 11, and play the most high pitch squeely song you can think of.
#18
You could say that nobody needs 100 watts of power, but that doesn't mean that huge stacks aren't useful. Every amp is going to sound different, and every player has their own preferences. So, saying you're looking for a new amp, and you want at least __ watts can be pretty foolish, but at the same time depending on what sound you want, that 100 watt JCM head might be the best fit. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, when you're looking for a new amp, try not to get all hung up on wattage ratings. Just play the thing and see if it sounds good to you.
#19
Quote by Kanthras
We're pretty close to that actually. The Fractal Axe-Fx seems to have come scarily close to replicating tube tone. Now it's just a matter of downsizing form factor and lowering production costs and every guitarist and his dog will have a hundred almost perfectly replicated classic tube amp tones in his pocket.

Sounds good doesn't it?
Altough, even if the tone is perfectly replicated, it won't have the same charm as playing through a halfstack with tubes glowing in the amp head.


It sounds good, but I bet it would make a certain group of people quite unhappy to watch their neighbours 12yr old kid own a piece of gear that can dish out tones, which they paid a huge lumpsome of $$$$ to produce & all the amount of gear accumulated for it.
I had checked out the axe-fx a few weeks back & believe it or not, on a record album only a person with extraordinary ears will be able to make out the difference between it & a real amp. However in a live situation this is less effective for replacing the vibe of a tube amp, but with mic's & PA's all over the stage, the crowd hardly notices major tonal differences (atleast the common crowd..) So if you look at the situation right now & with new micro equipments been created, its only a matter of time when carrying heavy weight amps with cabs, pedals, cables & all other stuff is gonna be replaced by a single box that can handle everything Sounds economical & good but kinda sad to watch amps disappear, the same way cassettes did after cd's came out...
#21
Quote by ethan_hanus
Like everybody else said, people are using lower wattaged amps so they can get better tube saturation at lower volumes so it doesent sound bad through the PA. Another reason is that a smaller amp is alot cheaper and weighs alot less than a 100watt stack.


This is why nowadays I see bands using combos more often than stacks. Easier to move around as well as kick around too without getting a cardiac arrest

Quote by Stickymongoose
You could say that nobody needs 100 watts of power, but that doesn't mean that huge stacks aren't useful. Every amp is going to sound different, and every player has their own preferences. So, saying you're looking for a new amp, and you want at least __ watts can be pretty foolish, but at the same time depending on what sound you want, that 100 watt JCM head might be the best fit. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, when you're looking for a new amp, try not to get all hung up on wattage ratings. Just play the thing and see if it sounds good to you.


Yes this is true, but how many times are people able to go past 3 on the master in a store while trying out a 100W amp? Not to forget the unlucky ones that have to run it through a 4x12 cabinets at the store cause smaller ones arent available
This is really a handicap situation for beginners who have no clue about how a tube amp behaves with volume & the ones that are buying to jam in their house. Thus beginners especiallly that are looking to jump on a tube amp go out there and get the most largest wattage ones they can spot their eyes on, and usually they do this cause they have seem old vids where their heroes where using full stacks & also cause there is a fear of getting something smaller and then repenting that ya didnt get something bigger...

For professionals its a different situation, since they already have gone through a lot of gigs, they have a sense of feel as to how much power they need in what sized venues. That's why they usually have more than one amp in their arsenal

Anyways, the question still remains though that while times are changing & so many new compact things are coming out everyday, is it a good idea to spend a huge $$$$ on a handful of gear that wont be of much use in lets say 10yrs or less, only to have it as an antique in your house. Not to forget some companies stop making parts for vintage gear too..
The question is directed more towards newbies cause they need to understand how to handle their budget wisely.. This is what i've noticed :More wattage = more gear to handle the power = more $$$ spent

P.S: there are a hell lot of threads already on this topic, darn but each ones leaves ya wanting more to read lol They really need to find a sticky on it
Last edited by aditya0246 at Oct 17, 2009,
#22
Most people cannot tell the difference between tubes and SS when they're recorded. Tubes don't add anything to the tone that can't be reproduced with SS amps or modelers. Tubes are a very physical thing. You need to be there and hear the tone directly from the amp to hear their effect. As soon as they're recorded, that feeling is lost most of the time because of the way amps are miced. Tubes have a very physical characteristic.

But the low vs high watt amps thing depends entirely on what you want. If you want a cranked, saturated British tone, low-powered amps are great because you can get a power amp saturation at a reasonable volume. But if you want a metal tone, the high wattage is better to avoid power amp breakup. Keep in mind that your amp will not be miced most of the time. During practices, you may not be able to get a clean tone in a smaller amp. The amps with high wattage sound that way because they have higher wattage. Lower wattage amps of the same model sound different.
#23
Quote by JELIFISH19
Most people cannot tell the difference between tubes and SS when they're recorded. Tubes don't add anything to the tone that can't be reproduced with SS amps or modelers. Tubes are a very physical thing. You need to be there and hear the tone directly from the amp to hear their effect. As soon as they're recorded, that feeling is lost most of the time because of the way amps are miced. Tubes have a very physical characteristic.

But the low vs high watt amps thing depends entirely on what you want. If you want a cranked, saturated British tone, low-powered amps are great because you can get a power amp saturation at a reasonable volume. But if you want a metal tone, the high wattage is better to avoid power amp breakup. Keep in mind that your amp will not be miced most of the time. During practices, you may not be able to get a clean tone in a smaller amp. The amps with high wattage sound that way because they have higher wattage. Lower wattage amps of the same model sound different.

Im going to have to disagree a little here. Recording wise you can still hear a difference because of the sound difference between the two. You still get the "richer" harmonics/overtones when you record a tube amp and you hear the "smoother" clipping of the sine waves. A really good recording with a good sampling rate will capture the difference, like night and day. Of course recoding has varying qualities, joe schmo, recording with a dollar general mic and a software he found in his cereal box, recordings between a tube and a ss amp will sound very similar. But with a decent recording setup you still get the tube OD overtones and capture the way the sound clips. Of course its more noticeable live/ in person. But its still very noticeable recording wise

2nd part is what i would have said. higher wattage amps also give better bass response typically. good for metal
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#24
Thats the same as saying V8's are useless because we have hybrid cars.

I still want my 100 watts.
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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#25
Quote by Deep*Kick
Thats the same as saying V8's are useless because we have hybrid cars.

I still want my 100 watts.


I doubt people can be able to use a V8 in a city street like lets say NY city maybe or London as an example, both are packed with taxi's most of the time.
I'd rather use a bike(bicycle not unicycle(cant ride these)) less pollution, no fuel either lol plus faster way to travel in overpopulated cities

^ that was a joke though, don't flame me for it lol

Quote by mexican_shred
m going to have to disagree a little here. Recording wise you can still hear a difference because of the sound difference between the two. You still get the "richer" harmonics/overtones when you record a tube amp and you hear the "smoother" clipping of the sine waves. A really good recording with a good sampling rate will capture the difference, like night and day. Of course recoding has varying qualities, joe schmo, recording with a dollar general mic and a software he found in his cereal box, recordings between a tube and a ss amp will sound very similar. But with a decent recording setup you still get the tube OD overtones and capture the way the sound clips. Of course its more noticeable live/ in person. But its still very noticeable recording wise.

This is very true!

Quote by JELIFISH19
But the low vs high watt amps thing depends entirely on what you want. If you want a cranked, saturated British tone, low-powered amps are great because you can get a power amp saturation at a reasonable volume. But if you want a metal tone, the high wattage is better to avoid power amp breakup. Keep in mind that your amp will not be miced most of the time. During practices, you may not be able to get a clean tone in a smaller amp. The amps with high wattage sound that way because they have higher wattage. Lower wattage amps of the same model sound different.

I guess then a amp with toggle switch for wattages would win over here, but the tone wont be the same as in case of that of a fixed power rated amp.

Oh well, its time to end this thread, as it is I'm kinda fedup after reading so many threads on this topic & then starting a new thread on it with almost same results
Finally it comes down to personal preference & genre in the end.. sigh
#26
Quote by ethan_hanus
Like everybody else said, people are using lower wattaged amps so they can get better tube saturation at lower volumes so it doesent sound bad through the PA. Another reason is that a smaller amp is alot cheaper and weighs alot less than a 100watt stack.

But stacks are useful, if you really hate your neighbor, just point your full stack in their general direction, and crank to 11, and play the most high pitch squeely song you can think of.


...The solo to "Sweet Hitch-Hiker" by CCR...
or the intro riff to "Up Around The Bend" also by CCR... either of the which would be perfect....MAUAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Also there can only be one!...

But yah I notice in my recordings its hard to capture the "tube sound" with my simple dynamic senihiehseerer (sp? :shrug E835. Thats why instead of going in the direction of making solid states more tube sounding they should just make certain mikes more accurate... like a human ear shapped mic moddled exaclty like a human ear... perhaps takes ones ear and attach wires to the ear drum or something... its brilliant...muahaha.... patent pending.

Sorry for my ill humor... its getting rather late here...
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Last edited by Ethanb08 at Oct 17, 2009,
#27
Quote by aditya0246
I doubt people can be able to use a V8 in a city street like lets say NY city maybe or London as an example, both are packed with taxi's most of the time.
I'd rather use a bike(bicycle not unicycle(cant ride these)) less pollution, no fuel either lol plus faster way to travel in overpopulated cities

I assume we are sort of using simile or whatever, a good V8 will sound great at any speed, also they don't make the best cars with hybrid engines.

if you understand what I'm trying to say.
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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Quote by crisisinheaven
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#28
Quote by Stickymongoose
You could say that nobody needs 100 watts of power, but that doesn't mean that huge stacks aren't useful. Every amp is going to sound different, and every player has their own preferences. So, saying you're looking for a new amp, and you want at least __ watts can be pretty foolish, but at the same time depending on what sound you want, that 100 watt JCM head might be the best fit. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, when you're looking for a new amp, try not to get all hung up on wattage ratings. Just play the thing and see if it sounds good to you.


This is probably the best comment so far.

Wattage should be one of the last things you worry about in an amp TBH. Wattage does not equal volume, never has and never will.

Also, whoever said that master volumes render attenuators useless I'd like to go on record and say I despise master volumes in anything but high gain amps. If I'ver got a hiwatt or a marshall superlead or a deluxe reverb I want to hear power tube OD.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#29
Quote by aditya0246
Yeah its true that most low wattage amps won't do metal. But this can be fixed with a pedal(mostly a distortion or overdrive). This seems as a much cheaper alternative.
(


Yea...........................sure......................... Let me know the next time you get any "Distortion" or "Overdrive" pedal plugged into a 30w amp to sound as good as a nice Hi Gain Tube Head with a 4x12 like an Engl Savage, Splawn Nitro, Diezel VH4 etc. I'll be the first one to give you high five.

Quote by aditya0246
This is why nowadays I see bands using combos more often than stacks. Easier to move around as well as kick around too without getting a cardiac arrest




I don't know what bands you have been watching, but I have yet to see anyone use anything less than a tube head and 4x12 (multiples at that) except a few bands use small combos for cleans. And imo a head and cabinet are much easier to move around. Try lifting a 110 pound combo when you could be lifting a 50 pound head and 70 pound cabinet seperately.

Personally all that matters to me is tone. And if a small wattage amp or Modeling system can ever recreate as good a Metal tone as High End Hi Gain Tube Amps, I'll be the first one to consider it.

IMO the reason people get 120w heads and 4x12's are because they produce the best tone for the genres they play, it's the same reasoning behind people who play small vox combos, it's the best tone for what they play.

Even most pros that use modelers like the Axe-Fx combine it with a tube poweramp and a 4x12 cabinet. They choose the modelers because of the large tonal options but not because it is quieter because it isnt when combined with a massive poweramp.

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Last edited by Necrophagist777 at Oct 17, 2009,
#30
Quote by Kevin Saale

Also, whoever said that master volumes render attenuators useless I'd like to go on record and say I despise master volumes in anything but high gain amps.


Yeah...I agree. Both of the amps in my rig that I was referring to are high gain
#31
Quote by aditya0246
Hi people, I was looking to know whats the big deal about such high wattages. So while searching for info here one thing that I came across was the importance of "headroom". Now since I haven't ever owned a tube amp, I am still kinda confused on what it means in practical approach.(any vids/clips examples might help for me)

This brings me to the main question, now since lower wattage amps have lesser headroom(<<this is what everyone seemed right about) how would a small wattage amp(let's say 15W) sound different/cleaner than a 100W if it was being mic'd or used with PA system. (also isn't mic'ing & using PA the same thing? & what is DI?)
These days i often see shows on tv where there's always a mic being used near the speaker cabinet, so I was wondering is it really that much of a drastic difference if harldy a fraction of a amps volume is being used in a live situation. I'll put it this way, if i was using a 15W tube amp at say volume=4 and have it mic'd wouldn't it be same as having a 100W tube amp with volume=2 & being mic'd. Ofcourse, there would be monitors around to hear myself, incase the drummer is loud. Anyways, thats just a hypothetical situation, just my thoughts.

Also some tube amps with similar wattages seem to be louder than others. So comparing lets say the 60W JSX to a 120W JSX, won't the 60W be more than sufficient if its mic'd?

Well from reading all that was above you guys definitely have figured out that I'm a noob at all this, so please try to go easy on me
One thing I found out though, that the wattages refer to headroom in most cases & not loudness/volume. Also I was strictly talking about guitar amps wattages in the whole post, other instrument amps might be a different story altogether
First off, are you gigging where a large PA is utilized?
#32
Sorry dudes...

I've got to respond to this crazy arse thread.

Man what total crap is being talk about!

A 100 watter is only twice as loud as a 10 watter for crying out loud.

If you use a 4x12 instead of a 1x12 on the same 10 or 100 watter it only moves more air and the SPL is EXACTLY the same.

A CRANKED 4x12 (or 2 x 4x12s) with a 100watt head is for wankers and people that are deaf and don't give a rats arse about the FOH sound.

Unless you have the master volume at 3 and over your sounds is going to be all preamp and suck balls.

Cranking that baby on stage unless you're playing a stadium is going to DESTROY your mix and it's going to overpower just about any PA and suck...it's like a ray gun of sound (espec with closed back cabs) destroying the first few rows of the crowd and incinerating their hearing whilst everyone else outside of that beam of noise can't even here the bloody guitar!

Yes POD type devices are the future and will likely in 5 or 10 years nail the sound of tubes and the dynamics but tubes are still cool.

I own a 120 watter and a 15 watter...they are both loud enough but the ‘lil un can be cranked and provide decent power tube compression at reasonable levels.

The big un...it stays clean for sure but it's mostly preamp tone as I can't get any power amp break up until it's putting out 110+db.

110+db is loud and destroys your hearing and obliterates everyone in front of the amp.

SS amps suck. Yeah they are loud and SS is great in a PA...but let’s face it...if you’re not playing jazz or fizz metal your better to use a modeller through a power amp or PA or just normal tube amps.

Good tubes amps won't be antiques...they will become more rare and valuable. Like a classic car or guitar. If it sounds good now, it'll sound good in 20 years...prob better in fact. SS and modellers will improve to the point of sounds liking a tube amp but they won't get necessarily 'better'...and like all tech...computers, DVD players, phones etc they will plummet in value.

Bottom line: if you’re going to play Madison Square Garden, get a monster stack and attempt to cart it around. If you want LOTS of headroom and don't mind playing mostly with your preamp tone get a 100watt combo (more like 60 pounds – at 110 pounds it would have to have steel shot in it - some heads are 55 pounds for reference). If you want to play 'real' normal human type gigs, get a 30 watter or under. If you play country or jazz get a 50 or 100 watter as you need pristine clean and that's it.

I also have a modeller with 2 x 600 watt 15 inch SS PA speaker and they are LOUD. 128db loud. But you can play them quietly and they still sound good. A 100 watt stack sounds like COMPLETE crap at bedroom levels and you've got to be kidding to say it wouldn't wake the baby/wife. It would sound like arse at that level. I know as I've tried it. My Marshall JCM 800 4x12 only 'woke up' from 3 on the dial...and that was loud. REAL loud.

PS. I can tell the diff between SS and tubes in a second. An Axe-FX or other top end modeller...prob not...but a SS amp sounds cold and lifeless and fizzy (with distortion).

PPS. Low wattage 'can' do metal - just use a pedal which many metal players use. Hell some use SS amps just to do that clipped fizzy metal sound they love so much...it's IMHO pretty awful but everyone to their own. A pedal into a good clean tube channel still sounds great.

PPPS. A stack with 4x12 will have a huge bass response...but isn't this the BASS player’s job? You want decent mid range to cut through the mix...scooped mids on a recto just often 'disappear' at stage volume.

PPPPS. A stack on 5 will obliterate everyone else’s volume on stage and make the sound guy hate your guts...it will make your band suck and make the front couple of rows deaf. A 15 or 30 watter on 5 will sounds great, will mic well and only the band and you will hear it making the PA do the work and balancing the sound out to the crowd. You will then rock.
Last edited by Axe-Man at Oct 22, 2009,
#33
Quote by Axe-Man
*a whole load of bullshit*

So to sum that up, you have no idea how to work and balance out amps?
#34
Quote by Rikki DeMartini
So to sum that up, you have no idea how to work and balance out amps?


#35
*Regarding Axe-FX etc*

The pro's will ALWAYS tell the difference. It's the actual physicality of things which makes it.

The pro's will ALWAYS say something different if they are being PAID for it.
#36
In my opinion, there are some instances where people need larger 100+ watt heads and large speaker stacks, but then there is the rest of us who really dont need that. Hell yeah a giant stack looks better on stage then a small combo amp, but buying amps to look cool is kind of stupid, imo.

People playing large venues, even with the assistance of a PA and mics, usually still want one or more large (100+ watts) head to play through. Alot of guys I have seen running two heads usually run in stereo to each side of the house, then some have a third head to run to an isolation cab for micing. I guess when you're playing huge venues its better to have that much power and not need it, then need it and not have it. And I think that mantra holds for alot of people who dont play in those situations but still have large amps. They would rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

Me personally, I now have a 50 watt tube amp and that is more then I will ever need. I dont plan on playing large gigs anytime soon, but should the chance arise to play one, I think my 50 watts would do fine for me. It would be loud enough for me to hear probably without the monitors and yet it could still be mic'd if need be. So for what I needed and wanted 50 watts was fine for me even though there are larger versions of the amp I have, I just didnt need them so I didnt get them.
#37
Quote by Raijouta
What headroom means is the point before you start to get power tube breakup or preamp tube saturation on the clean channel. On lower wattage amps this point is much earlier, meaning the sound begins to get distorted earlier. On a higher wattage amp, you can get alot louder before the cleans will start to distort (or some will never distort at all, such as the Fender Twin, which has a circuit based on a hi-fi sound system).

This later distortion is ideal for metal where sag from power tube breakup is undesired for most applications (aside from stoner, doom and sludge) or for people who want clean cleans.

One more thing: the difference in volume between 60w and 100/120w is minimal.


this.

my Bogner 40 watter compared to my 120 watt 333XL thru the same cab- sure you have to initially turn it up more to get louder, but once it gets to that sweet spot at just above halfway, it's hard to hear the volume difference. between the two.

but... its also probably because it's a Bogner
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#38
Quote by aditya0246
Isn't 100W too much ...
It all depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your amp.

If you're going for a clean tone, or generating the distortion before the power amp, extra headroom doesn't hurt anything.

If you're going for power amp distortion, the amp should be 'right-sized' to achieve the stage volume you desire when used that way. OR it can be even smaller, if you choose to add the guitar sound to stage monitors.

The question of too much or too little all depends on your own set of objectives.
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#40
Quote by davedoom
*Regarding Axe-FX etc*

The pro's will ALWAYS tell the difference. It's the actual physicality of things which makes it.

The pro's will ALWAYS say something different if they are being PAID for it.



Considering a LOT of pro's are switching to Axe-FX's live, I have to disagree. Go see a live show by Zappa Plays Zappa. Dweezil is acutally using 2 Axe-FX units live. Also, considering that Fractal Audio spends very little on advertising, I think you should do some research before shooting your mouth off.

Also, in regards to the thread....

PLEASE.....USE THE SEARCHBAR!!!!


Quote by Necrophagist777
Personally all that matters to me is tone. And if a small wattage amp or Modeling system can ever recreate as good a Metal tone as High End Hi Gain Tube Amps, I'll be the first one to consider it.


Just so you know......most popular mainstream metalcore bands today (TDWP, Attack Attack!, A Day To Remember, Oceano etc etc), go to Joey Sturgis for recording.......and he plugs the guitars directly into his Line6 POD XT Pro, and directly out into his computer. He uses all POD Farm patches....not tube amps here..... and I don't care what you say about their music....these guys have sweet high gain tone....
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
Last edited by Brendan.Clace at Oct 22, 2009,
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