#1
I often see threads where people are looking for a 20-30 watt amp for home/basement use. Often times fellow UGer's recommend an amp like the Blackstar Ht-5. I guess I just cant seem to wrap my head around the concept of 5 watts. My amp is 40 watts (tube) and it goes up to 12 volume wise. On average, my volume very rarely passes two. Which means (i'm no math major or anything), on average, im using about 6 2/3 watts. This is very, very quiet. Does this mean that an amp at 5 watts will be softer than this? Because people often talk about how loud 5 watt amps are, but I just can't imagine they're that loud. Am I crazy?

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#2
Well.....
Think of it like this-

x10 watts=x2 volume
This is a good rule, not necessarily true though, as there are other factors to loudness.
5 watts tube is really loud.

For me to crank a tube amp in my house, 1 watt would be too loud for me, realistically.

A 50 WATT TUBE AMP IS ONLY TWICE AS LOUD AS A 5 WATT TUBE AMP.

Its trippy, but true

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#3
i may be wrong, but watts may be measured on some kind of scale, so that, 10 watts doesnt have twice the output, technically, of 5 watts. i dont really know though.
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#4
Yeah I understand everything you guys are saying, but 5 watts is 5 watts, regardless of the amp, right? So If I'm not happy with the volume of my 40 watt tube amp around 5-7 watts, I wont be happy with any 5 watt amp, correct?

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#5
5 watts tube is as loud as a trumpet (aka very loud) cranked. You are not using 6 2/3 watts. Most bedroom players rarely go past 1/10-1/2 of a watt. Your volume control doesn't really correspond to how much power is being used in that exact of a fashion. Of course it goes up when the knob goes up but it isn't a perfect ratio like that.
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#6
Quote by MBradley2011
Yeah I understand everything you guys are saying, but 5 watts is 5 watts, regardless of the amp, right? So If I'm not happy with the volume of my 40 watt tube amp around 5-7 watts, I wont be happy with any 5 watt amp, correct?



if you have a 40 watt amp and it goes up to ten, on volume level one you are NOT using 4 watts. it's not a direct relationship like that.

As stated, 5 watts is loud. I doubt you use 5 watts in a bedroom or basement level playing.
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#7
Thank you for clearing up that confusion guys. I always thought volume and watts were a direct relationship. shows how much I know

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#8
Quote by JRKul393
i may be wrong, but watts may be measured on some kind of scale, so that, 10 watts doesnt have twice the output, technically, of 5 watts. i dont really know though.


It's the log scale I believe. The decibal system is built on it
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#9
most amps I've played will stay pretty reasonable in volume and then have a huge jump at around 9-10 o clock.

My plexi head goes from a good home volume to stage volume literally one notch over on the volume dial (at around 9 o clock)
#11
watts --- power.

SPL --- volume.

just crank a 5 watt amp and you'll see what people are talking about. it's about as loud as a drumset.
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#12
Also remember that wattage only refers to an amps volume before clipping. The OD channel on my blackstar is damn loud and must be way louder than 5 watts

EDIT: When cranked of course
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#13
Wattage is more of a measure of headroom than overall volume. Won't be much different than say 15 watts, it will break up easier but not as much volume loss as expected.
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#16
bad math, 5w of tube can get you kicked out of your apartment if you crank it.

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#17
Tube amps in general are loud.

If you want something quiet, I say get an amp with a headphone jack for silent practice.
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#18
to put it as simply as I can, the ht-5 is about on par with some serious shouting... also something that can get you booted out of an apartment.

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#19
Quote by MBradley2011
Yeah I understand everything you guys are saying, but 5 watts is 5 watts, regardless of the amp, right? So If I'm not happy with the volume of my 40 watt tube amp around 5-7 watts, I wont be happy with any 5 watt amp, correct?


No, your amp is very likely not putting out 5-7 watts at 2 is the thing. The potentiometers are designed to let the volume come smoothly, so you're probably not hitting 5 watts until you have about a 4th of the volume up (that's an arbitrary number, point is you're not that far up yet). 2 on a scale of 12 is not one sixth of the overall volume in this case.

Think of the way we perceive volume--it moves on a curve, not a straight line. Sure it may take 50watts to sound twice as loud as 5, but it only takes 10 watts to sound 30-40% louder than 5.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Nov 17, 2009,
#20
Quote by mmolteratx
You are not using 6 2/3 watts. Most bedroom players rarely go past 1/10-1/2 of a watt. Your volume control doesn't really correspond to how much power is being used in that exact of a fashion. Of course it goes up when the knob goes up but it isn't a perfect ratio like that.


agreed. volume controls are generally logarithmic, plus sound is logarithmic too, etc. etc. and it'll depend on the taper on the pot etc. too.
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#21
Quote by MBradley2011
Yeah I understand everything you guys are saying, but 5 watts is 5 watts, regardless of the amp, right?

Wrong. My 100 watt Bassman is a pretty quiet amp for 100 watts. My 5 watt valve junior when cranked was as loud as my 100 watt Bassman at about 3/4... Go figure.

Quote by al112987
My plexi head goes from a good home volume to stage volume literally one notch over on the volume dial (at around 9 o clock)

Ya this too, the '5' on my Bassman's MV might as well be an on off switch...
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#22
5w tube is loud. it also depends on what cab you run it through. more volume is percieved by the human ear the more air is being pushed
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#23
A five watt tube amp is pertty loud, but trying to figure out this wattage=volume is going to take a rocket scientist. Every amp is designed differently, so the same equations and typical conversions wont work. I play my 50 watt valveking at about 3-4 and there its using prolly around 10-20 watts of its power limit.

But the more amps your guitar pushes relative to its wattage should give you a better idea of how loud it will get. Watts is just the measure of work of electricity, amps is the current , so more amps=more total watts per second.

Something like that, IDK.
#24
Could anyone tell me how loud 5W tube is in dB?
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#25
Quote by MBradley2011
I often see threads where people are looking for a 20-30 watt amp for home/basement use. Often times fellow UGer's recommend an amp like the Blackstar Ht-5. I guess I just cant seem to wrap my head around the concept of 5 watts. My amp is 40 watts (tube) and it goes up to 12 volume wise. On average, my volume very rarely passes two. Which means (i'm no math major or anything), on average, im using about 6 2/3 watts. This is very, very quiet. Does this mean that an amp at 5 watts will be softer than this? Because people often talk about how loud 5 watt amps are, but I just can't imagine they're that loud. Am I crazy?


It doesn't work on a linear scale. Most 30 watt amps are only a couple of times louder than 4/5 Watt amps.
#26
Quote by JesusCrisp
Could anyone tell me how loud 5W tube is in dB?

do you understand the concept of the dB? it's really not that straightforward, and the dB SPL decreases the further you are from the source/speaker.

i have an SPL meter, but not a 5watt amp with me, sorry.
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#27
seems like alot of ppl dont know all amps have volume knobs, even a 150w amp can be played at whispering volumes..
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