#1
Ok so my friend and I sort of had a "see-who's-wrong" moment about amp wattage.He says that "Wattage doesn't mean anything and that his uncle,who is a amazing guitarist plays a tube amp"
He also said "A Tube amp is louder than a regular amp"and that it "depends".He also mentioned that volume doesn't mean anything.It can either be really loud or that it sucks. His friend who owns a 60W Amp(don't know what brand") is really quiet but sounds really good.(I don't quite get that i thought they were all loud)
I said that wattage matters because it has more watt hence delivering more power,and when you crank up the volume you can get a more louder sound.But still,we haven't reached a conclusion on this.So if any one of you guys can explain, that'd be great so I can prove my point.
btw some of what he said won't really make sense because he's not those precise typers...so try your best to figure out what he meant
Last edited by GimmeRock at Jun 4, 2011,
#2
an amp with more wattage is, generally speaking, going to be able to produce higher volume levels that one with a lower power rating.

that being said, there are a number of factors influencing the ability to produce volume. tube amps, for example, are precieved as being louder because they produce more harmonics in the sound (They are rarely significantly louder than solid state amps, but they can sound much louder). other factors include electrical efficiency, speaker arrangement, speaker efficiency, cabinet acoustics, the floor the amp is on.

in short, wattage matters. however, it is certainly not the be all end all.
#3
More wattage = the more you'll have to turn it up (loudness) before the power tubes start saturating properly. A 100w tube amp isn't much louder than a 60w tube amp, though it does have more headroom before you start getting a bunch of nasty feedback and what not.

You'll have to elaborate a bit on your points for them to make sense, "It can be either really loud or that it sucks" makes about as much sense as "Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like".
#4
More watts: more power to the speakers, but not as directly as you'd expect. A 50w amp through the same speaker will be twice as loud as a 5w amp. The efficiency of the speakers matters a lot more, but the wattage will affect headroom and compression--a 50w amp might seem to have much more headroom and dynamic range than a 5w.

Tube amps are not exactly louder--5w is 5w, whether it's tube or solid state. The difference is that a 50w Marshall MG is putting out 50w maximum. A 50w Marshall 1987 might be close to 80w when cranked. Solid state sounds best when run at or below its rated minimum-distortion level, while tube usually sounds better above its rated wattage.

The volume/sound quality thing...well, volume and sound quality have nothing at all to do with each other. You could have a horrible sounding amp that could be heard from a mile away, a sweet little 2w combo that can't keep up with a drummer, a 1w practice amp that can't properly drive a speaker, or a gorgeous sounding hundred-watt monster. I've never heard a quiet 60w amp, though--mostly because a good guitar speaker will provide over 90dB with a 1w amp.

Put it like this: my 65w 112 combo is almost exactly as loud as my 15w 112 combo, both are louder than my 40w 112 and quieter than my 50-year-old 18w 112, and they're only a tiny bit quieter than my 120w half-stack. The best sounding of those is the 65w. So it's all very complicated.
Money beats soul every time.

Money beats soul...every time.

Money...beats soul...every...goddamn...time.
#5
wattage does matter but not so much for volume. volume is logarithmic, so you can say that it takes 10x wattage to be 2x louder, although that isnt entirely accurate and there are other factors involved, such as speakers.

A tube amp is certainly louder than a similarly watted solid state

really though, wattage has more to do with headroom.
#6
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Jun 4, 2011,
#7
The reason that a tube amp is normally louder than a solid state amp is because of how they are measured.

Wattage for amps is measured before the circuit starts breaking up and causing clipping. Because of how the amps are designed, the volume control on solid state amps is separate from the amount of gain, meaning the gain is really just distortion. This means that a ss amp won't overload the circuit till maybe 90% of it's max settings.

Tube amps however are designed to overload the circuit, cause that's what tube distortion is, the tubes being pushed beyond what creates a clean sound. This means that it can only produce clean sound at maybe 30% or 50% or something of the level of sound the amp can create.

So a 15 watt tube amp might actually be able to produce 30 watts of sound, but it can only do 15 watts before it starts breaking up.


Then, there is the whole problem that sound is perceived on a log scale, so it may take 50 watts to be perceived as twice as loud as a 15 watt amp (note, I didn't do any sort of math there, I'm just giving examples to show a point).

In addition, there are problems because of how the dB are measured. dBs are a measure of density of sound, so different speaker configurations will change how loud amps sound in different places.

Then there is the 'thickness' of sound. If something is heavily distorted with certain types of distortion, it sounds thicker, which is perceived as louder a lot of the times. So a marshall being pushed with a tube screamer may sound louder than crappily modeled distortion from a digital amp, even if they are going at the same volume.

TL;DR: Wattage does matter, but there are other things that come into play with sound, cause it's a complicated thing and it is based on perception a lot of the times, not necessarily just on what is louder.
#8
Please have him call the power company and explain to them that watts don't matter, therefore I shouldn't have to pay by kw/h and when i run my welder, i am not actually using more power than my neighbor.
Quote by CodChick


Seriously, I'm not a fan of iphones and guitars mixing.
#10
Quote by AcousticMirror
ya you need 100


Hey, Joe Stalin wants to know if you can reschedule lunch to the 7th. That pansy Castro found out where you were going, and you can hardly talk shop around that loser, can you?

[explainthejoke]I'm saying you're evil.[/explainthejoke
Money beats soul every time.

Money beats soul...every time.

Money...beats soul...every...goddamn...time.
#11
basically, yes in extremes. a 5 watt tube amp is not too loud compared to a 100 watt. also, a 5 watt solid state is practically silent compared to a 5 watt tube. you can technically gig with a 5 watt tube if you want only a dirty sound.

the more wattage, the more clean headroom WITH TUBES. solid state it pretty much doesnt matter.

tubes have the potential to output 2x their listed wattages when overdrive. aka - if you dine a 100 watt marshall for a whole concert and it getsd heated up, it can potentially output 200 watts ish. that is part of the reaso for tube amps being so darn loud.

another thing, 2 guitarists might be playing at the same volume, but a 30 watt amp and a 100 watt amp will sound different. the 30 watter will be breaking up in the power tube section where the 100 watter is perfectly clean and the crunch is only coming from the preamp section. that gives entirely different harmonics and dynamics.

Cabs makes a big difference in how the sound is dispersed as well.

things are way different in extremes obviously. however, a 60 watt tube and a 100 watt tube will be very similar. the 100 watt tube will be slightly louder and be able to play clean sounds at louder volumes.

with modern PA systmes and mics, you can get almost any amp to play at any volume. tonight i was listening to bands using 15 watt blues juniors to 100 watt half stack and all sounded the same through the PA in terms of volume
#12
Quote by AeolianSeventh
Hey, Joe Stalin wants to know if you can reschedule lunch to the 7th. That pansy Castro found out where you were going, and you can hardly talk shop around that loser, can you?

[explainthejoke]I'm saying you're evil.[/explainthejoke



whaaa.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#13
Quote by AcousticMirror
whaaa.


Telling somebody who doesn't know about amps that they need a hundred watts is like telling somebody who doesn't know about cars that they need a Hummer: fun, but cruel.
Money beats soul every time.

Money beats soul...every time.

Money...beats soul...every...goddamn...time.
#14
Volume is more effected by the speaker/s than it is by that wattage. I was reading an article by Bruce Egnater (of Egnater amps) about how wattage is like the horsepower of a car, where it doesn't affect how fast you can go, but it can affect how much power your car can theoretically use, while a speaker is basically the machinery of the car, that affects the practical limit to your speed. Also, which means that the wattage of your amp is only really important if you've got everything at 10 and you're trying to blast away everything in a 100yd radius. It's like how a car with 600hp and a car with 220hp both go 50mph on the road in normal operation, a 100w amplifier and a 30w amplifier will usually be played at a reasonable level, in normal operation.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
#15
correct. but like cars, the 600 hp concept car is not even going to break a sweat, and its going to feel like its not moving at 50.

the 220 car is going to do 50 fine, but work a tad harder at it. imean its a hard example cause there are so many ways to build cars.

lets just say a corvette and a prius. both do 50. corvette does it without sweating. prius is going to take more time and effort to ge there.

just like amps, a 100 watter is going to sound relatively clean at a loud volume where a 30 watt mgh tbegin to break up at the same volume. THIS MIGHT BE BETTER if you want that sound. these days almost nobody cranks a 100 watt marshall...except maybe angus young.

and about speakers? well its about the sensitivity. 2 speakers - one with 95 and one with a 103. at 1 watt, those are the decibe levels. the 103 speakere is going to be FAR louder.

now - for every doubling of power, the decibels goes up by 3. so, 103 at 1 watt. 106 at 2 watts. 109 at 4 watts and so on.

also, this can effect breakup. not only do speakers breakup, but if a speaker can get crazy loud, you may never be able to turn your amp up enough to get it to break up like you want it. you might porposely put a weaker speaker in your amp so you can crank your ap louder. ie- say a master of 7 instead a master of 5 or 6.
#16
Quote by AeolianSeventh
Telling somebody who doesn't know about amps that they need a hundred watts is like telling somebody who doesn't know about cars that they need a Hummer: fun, but cruel.

why is it cruel?

what's wrong with hummers?




wattage is like air, life's no fun if you don't have any.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#18
Quote by gregs1020

Right
My gear-
Schecter C-1 Classic
Mesa Boogie 2 Ch. Dual Rectifier(blackface)
Avatar 2x12- v30s
And some pedals

For sale Minty Ibanez RGA7 seven string with tour grade hsc $330+s/h or best offer!
PM me if interested

R.I.P Ashley S. Jean
#19
Quote by AeolianSeventh
Telling somebody who doesn't know about amps that they need a hundred watts is like telling somebody who doesn't know about cars that they need a Hummer: fun, but cruel.


no a hummer is like telling them they need 4 412s as well.

100 watt amps come in heads..you can hook it up to a 112 or a 110 or a 412 or whatever.

my car does 0-60 in about 5.2s with a top speed of 140.

it drives down to the supermarket fine too.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#21
amp wattage completely depends on understanding and knowing what type of sound you want and the means to achieve it.

kthnxbai.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#22
oh yeah, also depends on the type of amp. i forget that sometimes. for example, class a amps havea tendency to be louder sounding than thier wattage suggests compared to other forms of amp.

a good example is dr. Z amps. they for the most part range from 20ish watts to about 50-60 max. however they are are class A and wired VERY WELL. they sound loud as hell if you turn them up.

most people say that a cranked class A sounds about as loud as a tube amp 2x its size in another format.
#23


"You need a really high wattage amp, because Van Halen has one and you need a High watt amp to play any good music because only Van Halen makes good music".



You don't need 1002324230 Gigawatt ampflier with combo module time capsule machine Tubes and a 400^2x666 inch Cabinent to get a decent output.

I have a 25 watt Peavy Amplifer.
This will last me through my professional years (Probally).
It can fill seveal rooms with the volume turned down below 1.
I dont know what it sounds like at 2 quite frankly, as when I turned it up to 1.1 I went deaf. Don't want to know about 10. It probably will fracture the earth's crust.


EDIT:
I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but on the ACNE teen image I found on his head it say's "ARSE". Poor kid. Remember to use your Clearasil.
Thankyou Google Images.
METAL!
Last edited by Ultraussie at Jun 5, 2011,