#1
I was thinking of upgrading from 120W 2x12 solid state combo amp to a 100W tube head and 4x12 cab or 2x12 cab. Are these comparable in volume? What would the difference in volume would be?

Thanks
#2
ummmm... why...? most people dont need a monster tube head like that, and even those that do dont really NEED one.

but to answer your question. speaker number has next to nothing to do with volume, its more about fullness of the sound. and a tube amp seems to sound louder to the human ear. so it'll appear to be louder. but do you really want these volume levels? do you realize you need to have these things relatively turned up to have a good sound (at least a 4 on the volume, which is probably closer to 3/4 of the way up on your current amp)
#3
Quote by User_Name336
ummmm... why...? most people dont need a monster tube head like that, and even those that do dont really NEED one.


True, but if the TS likes the tone, there's nothing wrong with owning one.

Quote by User_Name336
do you realize you need to have these things relatively turned up to have a good sound (at least a 4 on the volume, which is probably closer to 3/4 of the way up on your current amp)


Myth. Not ALL tube amps need to hit ear bleeding levels to sound good.

Yes there are some which sound distinctly better at high volume, but not all. I play my Mesa Mk V at whisper volumes when I practice at night, and the difference in tone is negligible.
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#5
Quote by xASMx1
I was thinking of upgrading from 120W 2x12 solid state combo amp to a 100W tube head and 4x12 cab or 2x12 cab. Are these comparable in volume? What would the difference in volume would be?

Thanks


i think most has been answered, but what amp do you own and what amp are you looking to get?
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#6
Quote by ragingkitty
Myth. Not ALL tube amps need to hit ear bleeding levels to sound good.

Yes there are some which sound distinctly better at high volume, but not all. I play my Mesa Mk V at whisper volumes when I practice at night, and the difference in tone is negligible.

okay, you got me there. but think of the majority of amps out there. most are either lacking the bite/presence or have no low end unless you start to turn them up. and this is especially true of most of these 100w monsters. if he had said 25w for example, thats a different story (just judging by the majority of types of amps in each wattage rating)
#7
Quote by User_Name336
okay, you got me there. but think of the majority of amps out there. most are either lacking the bite/presence or have no low end unless you start to turn them up. and this is especially true of most of these 100w monsters. if he had said 25w for example, thats a different story (just judging by the majority of types of amps in each wattage rating)



no?
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#8
Quote by User_Name336
okay, you got me there. but think of the majority of amps out there. most are either lacking the bite/presence or have no low end unless you start to turn them up. and this is especially true of most of these 100w monsters. if he had said 25w for example, thats a different story (just judging by the majority of types of amps in each wattage rating)


Play a Valveking, the thing has too much muddy low and at too much muddy high end at the exact same time.

Playing an amp through the right cab with the right speakers is essential to getting the most out of it, I have yet to hear of anyone with any 100 watt tube amp having a hard time getting enough low end or bite...the bite thing, maybe, but low end, nah, that's practically free.
#9
Quote by AcousticMirror
no?


def no. but it may help him get to sleep at night.

Quote by TS
I was thinking of upgrading from 120W 2x12 solid state combo amp to a 100W tube head, Are these comparable in volume?


watt = rate of energy conversion. in this case, we are talking about converting electrical energy to acoustic energy (or electrical current to mechanical movement).

in the case of amps they put an input signal to the amp and then measure the power output of the amp as they turn up the volume until the amplifier circuit exhibits a percentage of distortion (total harmonic distortion, or THD) from the output signal (as compared to the input signal). so lets say they will measure the output of the amp until the input signal and output signal differ by 10% and then this will be the 'rated power output'.

what does this mean in the case of ss and tube amps? well tube and solid state amps act VERY differently after you crank the volume past that 10% THD mark. solid state tends to get harsh and nasty and exhibits particular harmonic distortions that many agree are unfavorable. tube amps don't get as distorted as quickly past the 10% THD mark and have distortions that many agree can be preferable.

so if you have a 100 watt tube amp compared to a 100 watt ss amp, the ss amp will sound 'bad' at volumes over 100 watts while a tube amp may sound 'good' til 150 watts (even though there is more than 10% THD in the signal)

but the moral of the story is that, all things held equal, a SS amp putting out 100 watts should be just as loud as a tube amp putting out 100 watts. there is a bit more to the story of 'percieved volume' and what your ears hears louder (based on harmonic content and frequency response, you ear doesn't act linearly), but that is the strict rules of the physics involved.

Quote by TS
and 4x12 cab or 2x12 cab. Are these comparable in volume? What would the difference in volume would be?


an amp distributes power equally across speakers, so 100 watts spread across a 4x12 should produce just as much 'volume' as a 100 watts spread across a 2x12 (all thing held equal). all thing NOT held equal, the truth of the story is actually in a speakers reaction to the power input or the difference in sensitivity of the speakers at different power inputs (speakers don't react linearly to power input).

if you have different speakers in each cab, then it's nominal sensitivity becomes the major factor: the 4x12 with speakers that have a sensitivity of 92 dB will sound half as loud as a 2x12 with speakers that have a sensitivity of 98 dB (given the same power input)

once again, there is also a perceived volume difference with positioning of a cab. setting both the 4x12 and the 2x12 directly on the ground, the 4x12 will sound louder than the 2x12 (all other factors being equal) because the 4x12 will be closer to ear level.

as you can see, your question is not clean cut, there is alot of ugly factors involved.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Jun 20, 2011,
#10
speaker has a lot to do with it. the right set of speakers can make quite a bit of difference in percieved volume, however, tube vs solid state makes a ton of difference, especially when overdriven.

in your case, your never goint to overdrive a 100 watt tube head. literally, nobody but angus young or something playing a huge stadium will overdrive a 100 watt head. but still. i heard many people (including pro guitarists and gear techs in guitar magazines) claim their opinion is solid state vs tube is about 3 to 1...or it takes 3x as much solid state watts to equal tube watts.

quite frankly, i agree. a friend plays with 100 WATT 2X12 and my friends 40 watt hot rod 1 x12 is easily 2x as loud. easily. i agree with the 3 to 1 thing.

also, it is also true that tube amps sound thier best when turned up. in fact all amps do, even small solid states. that is just a simple equasion of physicals and speakers. at certain volumes speakers react differently ( and tubes). turns way down evne my solid state sounds way dfferent than it does turned up. its so old the speaker is broken in and breaks up and sunds way more natural.

quite honestly, unless you play death metal of your a huge, famous guitarist playing sold out arenas, there is almost no use for a 100 watt tube amp these days. i almost garantee a boutique small wattage amp can get a better tone very time if the user knows what tey are doing.

long story short...you will never have a volume issue. ever. but if you have not bought it yet, i urge you to get a lower wattage amp unless you play death metal. in fact most people never need anything above 50 watts these days. not with modern PA systems.
#11
I love you Gumbi

Quote by User_Name336
ummmm... why...? most people dont need a monster tube head like that, and even those that do dont really NEED one.


It's not really about volume when getting a 100W, the difference between a 100W and 50W isn't even that large, since it takes 10x the wattage to produce twice the volume [citation needed].

The main point of higher wattage amps is greater headroom.
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#12
Quote by Steve Holt
I love you Gumbi


hey, you're embarrassing me. i have just enough beer buzz to write all that.


Quote by Steve Holt
It's not really about volume when getting a 100W, the difference between a 100W and 50W isn't even that large, since it takes 10x the wattage to produce twice the volume [citation needed].

The main point of higher wattage amps is greater headroom.


great point. you can get a reference on wikipedia (hidden in the math examples):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel

and this is another link showing that speaker sensitivity just straight SWALLOWS the power output of the amp in how it effects how loud it is:

http://www.colomar.com/Shavano/spl.html

and just because this guy is where i learned all this crap from:

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Phil+Starr/contributions/columns/

we're lucky to have Phil Starr

edit: i feel i should mention this stuff too cuz it's being floating in the background of conversation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contours

this is what you guys are talking about when things 'sound better' when they are louder.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jun 20, 2011,
#13
Tubes do something magical to the signal. Play your amp with the mids on 5. now play with them on 10, everything else stays the same. It sounds louder, without actually being louder, right? Now, I'm not saying that tube amps add more mids, but the way they distort is more pleasing to the ears, so it seems louder. Speakers are also very important. Cheapest way to add volume is through a speaker upgrade. Weak speakers can cover up even the sweetest amps.

I like 40-50 watters because they are cheaper on the tube replacements, have plenty of volume, and when you cut them into a small head cabinet, you have lots of options as far as speakers. They're cheaper too.
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#14
Loudness is only loosely correlated to the power an amp puts out. Things such as the whole rig's frequency curve, position of the cab in the room in relation to other instruments and listeners and especially speaker-efficiency are far bigger factors. I guess gumbi has said all of that already, but I can't be arsed reading the whole thread.
#15
All good points, the main reason I was considering a 100W head because this seems to be what most heads are rated. I may consider getting a 2x12 combo and add a 4x12 cab. Would this be suitable (in general comparison)? I want something that can be played at bedroom levels for practice but also something that can reach levels loud enough to be played with band/drummer. Maybe someone could suggest some combos or heads and cabs that are favorable in these conditions. Budget would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500 USD. I'm in the US for the record. Rock/Metal genre.

Thanks
#16
the 2x12 combo with an extention cab is a great idea. with a $1500 budget are you looking to get a combo and a cab? or a hed cab?
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#17
i also maintain there is almost no reason for a 4x12 these days with PA systems. unmiced setups only get you so far. the best sounding bands generally mic thier gear, and you pretty much only mic 1 speaker. the 4x12 really only is there at thiat point for stage volume.

1x12s can be anoying because witout a stand, they may sound dull or improperly positioned because they are small. again, if you mic it, it relly doesnt matter.

i personally like a 2x12. smaller (easier transport and storage), ability to mix speakers (tweak your sound), 2 speakers can be chosen to handle high and low wattage setups (1 is too little for most huge amps, 4 i fnd to be too much distribution), AND i like to position 2x12 vertically, and 1 speaker is about as high as a 4x12. that help project the volume better (and saves space on stage).

that is a more complex question. the amp you need is determined by what music your trying to play, and what features you want.

as far as wattage, almost anything tube is suitable for in house bedroom playing. onyl thing is headroom (a 1 watt amp has no headroom).

- i find about 20-25 watts is suitable to play over drums, however for larger gigs i recommend micing it. again, if its a high quality class A tube amp with high sensitivity speakers, its going to be LOUD!!!!! if its a cheaper design with a junk speaker, it will rpboably sound a significant bit quieter.

- i find anything over 30 watts to be darn near unusable in house. i need to put the paster on like 1 or something, and at that i cant even get good tone. 30-40 watts of decent tube amp is easily loud enough for almost any setting these days if you factor in PA systems.

- i personally am not going to reccomend anything over 50 watts for any reason unless you are playing some heavy music or death metal where you need a ton of headroom, gain, and bottom end. otehr than that, there is just about no player than needs more than 50 tube watts of quality amp, with quality speakers, with quality effects, with quality playing.

- 50 tube watts in a class A amp with high sensitivity speakers will easily be louder than most typical 100 watt tube heads of a lesser configuration.
#18
Quote by ikey_
- i find anything over 30 watts to be darn near unusable in house. i need to put the paster on like 1 or something, and at that i cant even get good tone. 30-40 watts of decent tube amp is easily loud enough for almost any setting these days if you factor in PA systems.

- i personally am not going to reccomend anything over 50 watts for any reason unless you are playing some heavy music or death metal where you need a ton of headroom, gain, and bottom end. otehr than that, there is just about no player than needs more than 50 tube watts of quality amp, with quality speakers, with quality effects, with quality playing.


i disagree with comments like this. amps usually do have master volumes, use them. i will concede it is really hard to use my Sunn 1200S at home, but that is because there is no master volume on it.

i use 150 watt, 130 watt, 100 watt, 65 watt and 50 watt amps next to my 22 watt and 30 watt and 15 watt amps all the time and never have problems.

i can come up with a couple reasons i like a '130 watt' amp without being a metal head: bigger power tubes and bigger transformers. especially the transformers, this has a huge effect on tone. i like wimpy trannies and i like huge trannies and i like to play with both (usually at the same time).

further more, components included in an amp heavily influence rated power output, especially in tube amps. if you are getting a '15 to 20 watt amp' you are pigeonholing yourself to EL84 and 6V6 amp in class A/B or a single ended amp with a single larger pentode amp. if you want an A/B amp with 6L6's then your starting your output in the ~60 watt range. so if your telling people don't play with A/B amps with larger pentodes? what if i like that sound? it has a master volume, and i choose it. maybe i don't like playing my amps balls out all the time, is there no room in the world for people like me?

that viewpoint is too limiting for me, variety is the spice of life.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Jun 20, 2011,
#19
Where the hell do you find a 50w class-A tube amp?

Also, what Gumbi said. 50w is too much for the house? Pfft. There's plenty of MV-equipped amps that can be easily used at a low volume and they sound great at it.

It depends on the amp - most Engls can be used at low volumes no problem, while my Laney (50w) needs a pedal for additional volume-control in the loop.

Volume is not why we buy big amps - tone is. If you want the sound of a big power-section, you will have to buy an amp that sports one.
#20
Quote by TheQuailman
Where the hell do you find a 50w class-A tube amp? :confused


that was one of things i was thinking, i only know of a very small handful of true class A amps that use big pentodes (H&K puretone, THD bivalve are 2) and most of those are only rated at ~30 watts.
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"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
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#21
well true. i guess i was a bit harsh. if you really want a lot fo clean headroom and use effects wiout getting any power tube breakup or something, well ok.

i personally find no reasn ot use anything bigger than 50 watts. in fact, i live in a town where there are live bands playing in about every other bar (charleston, SC). in 4 years and hundreds, maybe thousands of bands later, i cant remember the last time i saw anything bigger than 50 watts on stage.

in fact, ive only seen 3 100 watt half stacks on stage ever for a gigging band (not major concerts).

and about master volumes - yeah. my friends hot rod deluxe is too loud for in home use. the master is on like 1 and we get the cops called. i have to put the master on like 1/2 and i cant get any tone out of that.

at guitar center, i pretty much only demo guitars on a 2 watt night train cause im sitting right in front of it. i plugged into a one of those fender tweed, 4o watt 2x12 and thought i was about to blow byslef out of the chair. i put it on master of 1, and again, can get no tone out of the amp. i immediately stopped and went back to the 2 watt night train.

my friend doesnt even keep his hot rod in our house any more...he keeps it in a practice space outside of town, we have gotten 3 noise violations.
#22
Quote by ikey_
and about master volumes - yeah. my friends hot rod deluxe is too loud for in home use. the master is on like 1 and we get the cops called. i have to put the master on like 1/2 and i cant get any tone out of that.


that is because fender cheaped out with linear taper pots on their volume knobs not the fault of the master volume design of the circuit. master volume works just fine if implemented properly but you happen to have an amp that effectively has no master volume knob. this is a very common problem with that amp, or mexican fenders amps in general.

Quote by ikey_
at guitar center, i pretty much only demo guitars on a 2 watt night train cause im sitting right in front of it. i plugged into a one of those fender tweed, 4o watt 2x12 and thought i was about to blow byslef out of the chair. i put it on master of 1, and again, can get no tone out of the amp. i immediately stopped and went back to the 2 watt night train.

my friend doesnt even keep his hot rod in our house any more...he keeps it in a practice space outside of town, we have gotten 3 noise violations.


please stop comparing properly designed amps with improperly implemented mexi fender amps, besides you can get noise violations with much much less:

Quote by shavano
a 512 watt amplifier coupled with an 86 dB speaker will be just as loud an an 8 watt amplifier with a 104 dB speaker


http://www.colomar.com/Shavano/spl.html

it's not about the power output nearly as much as the speaker sensitivity. if you are fighting the 'loudness' war with power output, then you are already losing. if you want to be quieter or louder than changing your speakers is far more effective than getting a whole new amp with a different power output.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jun 20, 2011,
#23
well, i guess the hot rod versions are cheaper amps. but the guitar center example was one of their vintage tweed reissue and was supposed to be quite a nice fender amp, not a stock hot rod.

and again about wattage - i was at a bar last night that has a max capacity of around 500 people - essentially 3 bars in one (its massive). both the guitarists in the band were plugged into 15 watt blues jrs miced up into the HUGE PA system and it sounded fantastic.

its not because they couldnt do better either, both were rocking 2000+ dollar guitars and full boutique pedal boards. pretty sure they could afford bigger amps if they chose.
#24
So if the amp has a master volume, should you crank the channel volume or master volume to get the best sound?? Or is it better to keep them both at the same readings (like both at 4 of 10)??
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#25
i run 3 100 watt amps and 3 412s in my room.

use your master volume and your gain knob.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#26
Reading comprehension in this place is... lacking. I blame the parents.


Quote by ikey_

and again about wattage - i was at a bar last night that has a max capacity of around 500 people - essentially 3 bars in one (its massive). both the guitarists in the band were plugged into 15 watt blues jrs miced up into the HUGE PA system and it sounded fantastic.

Yeah, but what does that have to do with anything? Small amps can be very loud, correct. With a PA, basically anything can be loud, yes. The latter is common knowledge I guess, the prior is something gumbi has already pointed out (and backed with the site he linked to). We are in absolute agreement.
What we are trying to tell you (fourth time now) and you are apparently not getting, is that we do not buy big amps because they are loud or necessary, it's because they sound different than small ones. And if you like the tone of big amps, then that's that.
#27
Quote by TheQuailman
Reading comprehension in this place is... lacking. I blame the parents.


Yeah, but what does that have to do with anything? Small amps can be very loud, correct. With a PA, basically anything can be loud, yes. The latter is common knowledge I guess, the prior is something gumbi has already pointed out (and backed with the site he linked to). We are in absolute agreement.
What we are trying to tell you (fourth time now) and you are apparently not getting, is that we do not buy big amps because they are loud or necessary, it's because they sound different than small ones. And if you like the tone of big amps, then that's that.


uhhh, this

do we still do that +1 thing?

+1

come over my house sometime ikey, we'll play and i'll show ya what i am talking about. we'll play through my tiny supros, danelectro, ampeg, etc that i love to death. then we'll play through my jtm45 copy, sunn 1200S, music man hd-150, etc that i love just as much in another way.

there is plenty to love, why limit yourself to just to amps 30 watts and under?

Quote by AcousticMirror
i run 3 100 watt amps and 3 412s in my room.

use your master volume and your gain knob.


he gets it, min loves big iron.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jun 21, 2011,
#28
each to his own. with my living situation, music needs, and ease of use, i see no ned for anything over 50 watts wit ha 2x12 cab - which is the setup i would get if i evr get another one. preferably i would get an amp with an attenuator with control over wattage like a egnater or those new carvin V3Ms seem interesting.

i suppose your right about wattage and tonal effect. however, the volume areguement i modern times is almost meaningless.

i would argue that the voicing of the amp matters more than the wattage. ive heard amps from the same maker that all sound relatively the same - like fenders. 15 watt, 25 watt, 40 watt 65 watt....they all sound like a fender. plus, people all have so much different gear that its almost impossible for 2 guitarists to sound exactly the same but they can sound similar. now for example, my ears called me to the stage 3-4 nights ago by an unusual and blissful sound that was creaded by none oter than a Dr. Z. now that was very different than most amps ive ever heard.

i guess there are so many variables its hard tobe absolute about anything. a 15 watt combo playing through the sexiest JBL professional PA system is going to have more bottom end than any 100 watt amp used without anything or whatever.

its all how you use your gear i suppose.
#29
spekaers make a big diffference.

i plays a peavey 6534+ half stack with a 4x12, the other guitarist in my band plays a peavey 6505+ 112 combo and weve been having issues with prjection of sound. so im planning to go ddown to a 2x12 and hes planning to upgrade to a head and 2x12 too
#30
Quote by ikey_
each to his own. with my living situation, music needs, and ease of use, i see no ned for anything over 50 watts wit ha 2x12 cab - which is the setup i would get if i evr get another one. preferably i would get an amp with an attenuator with control over wattage like a egnater or those new carvin V3Ms seem interesting.

i suppose your right about wattage and tonal effect. however, the volume areguement i modern times is almost meaningless.

i would argue that the voicing of the amp matters more than the wattage. ive heard amps from the same maker that all sound relatively the same - like fenders. 15 watt, 25 watt, 40 watt 65 watt....they all sound like a fender. plus, people all have so much different gear that its almost impossible for 2 guitarists to sound exactly the same but they can sound similar. now for example, my ears called me to the stage 3-4 nights ago by an unusual and blissful sound that was creaded by none oter than a Dr. Z. now that was very different than most amps ive ever heard.

i guess there are so many variables its hard tobe absolute about anything. a 15 watt combo playing through the sexiest JBL professional PA system is going to have more bottom end than any 100 watt amp used without anything or whatever.

its all how you use your gear i suppose.


so four different sized non master amps sound the same to you.

someday you'll discover preamp gain and you'll understand how to use your volume knob.

Quote by gumbilicious
uhhh, this

do we still do that +1 thing?

+1

come over my house sometime ikey, we'll play and i'll show ya what i am talking about. we'll play through my tiny supros, danelectro, ampeg, etc that i love to death. then we'll play through my jtm45 copy, sunn 1200S, music man hd-150, etc that i love just as much in another way.

there is plenty to love, why limit yourself to just to amps 30 watts and under?


he gets it, min loves big iron.


hell ya I do. 4 power tubes biased right in their most linear region. Oodles of preamp gain. stiff power supply. nothing better.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#31
Hey guys I just have to make sure this for me but everybody's only talking about MV amps and if you don't have MV your amp won't sound good at low levels. But to get the best sound do I need to crank the channel or master volume or is it better to keep them both at the same readings? I don't have a tube amp but we have one in our band house so please answer.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#32
Quote by ikey_
each to his own. with my living situation, music needs, and ease of use, i see no ned for anything over 50 watts wit ha 2x12 cab.

Suit yourself, I'll be happy as long as you see that not everybody is you and therefore everybody has different preferences.

Quote by ikey_
i suppose your right about wattage and tonal effect. however, the volume areguement i modern times is almost meaningless.

Indeed. And for the fifth time: Nobody is putting forward an argument based on volume.

Quote by ikey_

its all how you use your gear i suppose.

Within limits, that's true.
#33
Quote by ikey_
well true. i guess i was a bit harsh. if you really want a lot fo clean headroom and use effects wiout getting any power tube breakup or something, well ok.

i personally find no reasn ot use anything bigger than 50 watts. in fact, i live in a town where there are live bands playing in about every other bar (charleston, SC). in 4 years and hundreds, maybe thousands of bands later, i cant remember the last time i saw anything bigger than 50 watts on stage.

in fact, ive only seen 3 100 watt half stacks on stage ever for a gigging band (not major concerts).


I live in a city where there are over 100 bands playing each and every night of the week ranging from the lowliest of coffee house gigs to a decent sized arena. Of course not everyone has a 100w head but I see them at pretty much every single show I go to, regardless of venue. And people manage to get some pretty bitchin tones out of them at small gigs.
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Peavey 6505
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