#1
Hey folks, I recently got my hands on a Mesa Nomad 55 head. I got an unbelievable deal on it from a local amp repair shop. Basically, my Randall RX120rh went out, and this guy had it in excess of two months attempting to fix it. He was unsuccesful and traded me the Nomad head for the broken Randall for my troubles and his inability to fix it. It is my first tube amp, and I absolutely love it, but my only complaint is that it is not 100 watts. After speaking to a few friends that are also musicians, they told me it really doesn't matter about the watts, but I'm still skeptical. Anyone want to shed some light if there is a huge difference between 55 watts and 100 watts in terms of tube amps?
Axes
Peavey V-Type NTB ST
Peavey PXD 23 II
Jackson JS32T
Ibanez RG 1570
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Blue Royale
ESP LTD EX-50

Amps & Effects
Mesa Boogie Nomad 55
Boss Katana KTN-Head
Roland JC-120
Boss GT-100
Boss ME-80
Zoom G5
#2
Headroom.
EBMM Axis Black Cherry Burst
El Capistan
'74 Phase 90 re-issue
Boss BF-2
Hall of Fame Reverb
50 W 5150 III
Last edited by scott john at Jan 20, 2012,
#3
A little headroom. There is not a major difference. My renegade can be switched down to 18w and it's still quite loud, but you start getting breakup a bit sooner on the volume. Trust me, if you have a 50w tube amp, you really don't need 100w.
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#4
you won't notice a difference. they will both be loud as hell.
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#5
to put tube wattage in perspective, I am looking at a 1watt all tube amp for bedroom practice, and even THAT might be too loud.
Gear:
Peavey Millennium 4 BXP
Peavey TNT 115
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Blackstar Ht-1R
Last edited by DeadlyKombat at Jan 20, 2012,
#6
Awesome, thanks guys
Axes
Peavey V-Type NTB ST
Peavey PXD 23 II
Jackson JS32T
Ibanez RG 1570
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Blue Royale
ESP LTD EX-50

Amps & Effects
Mesa Boogie Nomad 55
Boss Katana KTN-Head
Roland JC-120
Boss GT-100
Boss ME-80
Zoom G5
#7
Quote by DeadlyKombat
to put tube wattage in perspective, I am looking at a 1watt all tube amp for bedroom practice, and even THAT might be too loud.


That's all I have to say.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#8
Headroom and a little bit of volume. General dynamic behaviour of the amp, too, if I'm correct... Anyway, I greatly doubt that you'd want a 100-watt amp, since even a 50-watt one is way too loud for any real world applications when cranked up. It's guys like Agnus Young, who play sold out arenas and stadiums, that get to enjoy 100-watt amps to their max potential, and even they wouldn't actually need them to be loud enough.
Gear:

Guitars: Ibanez SV5470F, Ibanez Xpt700, Fender MIM Standard Stratocaster ('04-'05), Jackson Ps-2
Ashton AG200,
Amps: ENGL E530, Bugera 6262-212,
FX: TC Electronics G-major 2, Behringer EQ700, Morley Volume / Wah
#9
Quote by Cathbard

That's all I have to say.
What? Because my Guitar Amp has to be at a reasonable level or the superiors in my dorm building get a little bit pissy? Of course I wouldn't gig with it. my point was that it doesn't take much wattage for a tube amp to be loud as hell.
Gear:
Peavey Millennium 4 BXP
Peavey TNT 115
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Blackstar Ht-1R
#11
Quote by The^Unforgiven
Headroom and a little bit of volume. General dynamic behaviour of the amp, too, if I'm correct... Anyway, I greatly doubt that you'd want a 100-watt amp, since even a 50-watt one is way too loud for any real world applications when cranked up. It's guys like Agnus Young, who play sold out arenas and stadiums, that get to enjoy 100-watt amps to their max potential, and even they wouldn't actually need them to be loud enough.

Not true.
#12
Quote by DeadlyKombat
What? Because my Guitar Amp has to be at a reasonable level or the superiors in my dorm building get a little bit pissy? Of course I wouldn't gig with it. my point was that it doesn't take much wattage for a tube amp to be loud as hell.

Because he's talking about a gigging amp being loud enough. Wtf has a baby bedroom amp got to do with anything?
"Is a Mack truck powerful enough to haul a house?"
"My Honda is big enough to haul a handbag."

TS: it will be fine. I gigged with a 60W tube amp for 20 years. It just has to keep up with the drummer - regardless of where you are playing. A 50W tube amp will do that with ease.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#13
Quote by Cathbard
Because he's talking about a gigging amp being loud enough. Wtf has a baby bedroom amp got to do with anything?
"Is a Mack truck powerful enough to haul a house?"
"My Honda is big enough to haul a handbag."

TS: it will be fine. I gigged with a 60W tube amp for 20 years. It just has to keep up with the drummer - regardless of where you are playing. A 50W tube amp will do that with ease.
my point was to put how loud tubes can get into perspective. if 1 measly watt can be even too loud for a bedroom, then 55 of them should be plenty for anything you need them for.

on a more douchey note, this is why I don't post often.
Gear:
Peavey Millennium 4 BXP
Peavey TNT 115
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Blackstar Ht-1R
#14
Quote by phoenix_crush
Not true.

Perhaps, but what I meant was that most people will not be playing that loud, not even when gigging, and you knew exactly what I meant.
Gear:

Guitars: Ibanez SV5470F, Ibanez Xpt700, Fender MIM Standard Stratocaster ('04-'05), Jackson Ps-2
Ashton AG200,
Amps: ENGL E530, Bugera 6262-212,
FX: TC Electronics G-major 2, Behringer EQ700, Morley Volume / Wah
#15
55 tube watts is loud as hell

you have a killer amp there, i think.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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#16
Quote by Pyrax87
Hey folks, I recently got my hands on a Mesa Nomad 55 head. I got an unbelievable deal on it from a local amp repair shop. Basically, my Randall RX120rh went out, and this guy had it in excess of two months attempting to fix it. He was unsuccesful and traded me the Nomad head for the broken Randall for my troubles and his inability to fix it. It is my first tube amp, and I absolutely love it, but my only complaint is that it is not 100 watts. After speaking to a few friends that are also musicians, they told me it really doesn't matter about the watts, but I'm still skeptical. Anyone want to shed some light if there is a huge difference between 55 watts and 100 watts in terms of tube amps?
Just out of curiosity. Have you gigged the amp? Or played in a full band situation? What did you turn the volume up to in those situations?

Back when I was playing with other musicians, I had to knock my JTM45 that was putting out ~55 watts at full bore back down to about 20-30 watts with an atteunator.
Last edited by al112987 at Jan 20, 2012,
#17
Why is it that whenever a topic like this comes up people always talk as if that black dial on most amps labeled "VOLUME" doesn't exist. Guess what. It does exist and it's entire purpose is to make the amp as loud as you want it... Imagine that.

By the way, that awesome sound most of you guys think is powertube breakup... That's actually the sound of your speakers being pushed hard and has absolutely NOTHING to do with your tubes.

Furthermore, higher wattage amps are designed to avoid powertube breakup for as long as possible. Instead they rely mostly on the preamp section to produce their tone. The whole point is that they stay clean clear aggressive and tight at louder volumes. Because of this, most high wattage amps will sound good regardless of the volume.

Low wattage amps are designed with the opposite in mind. They're all about the powertube breakup. The funny thing is, because of their reliance on powertube breakup to achieve the tones they were designed for they generally have to be incredibly loud before they sound half decent.
#18
Quote by icronic
Why is it that whenever a topic like this comes up people always talk as if that black dial on most amps labeled "VOLUME" doesn't exist. Guess what. It does exist and it's entire purpose is to make the amp as loud as you want it... Imagine that.
How is this relevant in anyway? The guy is talking about replacing a great amp that he basically got for a broken Randall for no reason other than wattage, which may not even play a giant factor in what he needs.

By the way, that awesome sound most of you guys think is powertube breakup... That's actually the sound of your speakers being pushed hard and has absolutely NOTHING to do with your tubes.
Uh... no? Most of that sound is power tube break up. Assuming that you are not putting a reasonably powered amp through speakers with a reasonable power handling (i.e. not 100 watts into a 25 watt greenback in which you WILL probably get speaker breakup before power tube breakup, followed very quickly by a dead speaker), your amp's power section will start distorting WAY before the speakers start distorting.

Furthermore, higher wattage amps are designed to avoid powertube breakup for as long as possible. Instead they rely mostly on the preamp section to produce their tone. The whole point is that they stay clean clear aggressive and tight at louder volumes. Because of this, most high wattage amps will sound good regardless of the volume.

Low wattage amps are designed with the opposite in mind. They're all about the powertube breakup. The funny thing is, because of their reliance on powertube breakup to achieve the tones they were designed for they generally have to be incredibly loud before they sound half decent.
I'm not really sure where you get the idea that a 55 watt Mesa Boogie is a low powered amp, because you seem to be alluding to that (whether intentional or not).
#20
H.O.L.Y. C.R.A.P.

Be cool my babies!

Watts is mostly about headroom. A couple people said it before, and they're right. The higher the headroom the higher you can turn the volume up before you get to natural tube distortion. This is not your overdrive control. Volume related to watts gets tricky. The relationship is logarithmic. A 25 watt amp is NOT 1/2 as loud as a 50 watt amp. Its more like a 10 watt amp is 1/2 as loud as a 50 watt amp. In total, we're only talking a difference of between -3 and -6 db. So, not that much.

A 10 watt amp can put out enough sound to gig with and get that nice saturated power section feel. That being said, there is something to the feel of a low watt amp being pushed to gig levels. If they're well built, they usually become more touch sensitive and organic feeling which is great. Not so great if you're needing good clean cleans. Your 55 watt Nomad should do clean cleans very well at gig levels.

No worries man, you've got a great amp, for a great price and have a great story to go with it! Not many of us have a story beyond going to the shop and giving someone a card.
Last edited by bpdeem at Jan 20, 2012,
#22
for sure. It would probably completely overpower the amp you replaced for loudness and cut in the mix anyway...
#23
Quote by DeadlyKombat
to put tube wattage in perspective, I am looking at a 1watt all tube amp for bedroom practice, and even THAT might be too loud.


No, it won't be too loud. I've cranked my DT in my room before, and trust me, THAT was too loud. It's not that it hurt or anything, but there was just too much feedback to be playable.
#25
The whole name of the game is balancing out your sound with the drummer on stage. That's the only thing that matters. If a 50W tube amp can't keep up with a drummer then you'd have to be playing with King Kong using trains as drumsticks.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#26
you have a nice amp on your hands. HNAD.

as said wattage is not as big of a deal as most people think of. headroom and thats it.

as mentioned that it would be -3db, that could potentially be remedied by using speakers with a higher sensitivity. if it was really that important. but don't choose speakers based on that.

you will have wayyy more volume than you will likely ever need.

also mesa's are high quality amps.

personally i prefer not to gig with less than 30 watts, although the 1974x i built would do it in a blues trio in a smaller gig, think larger coffee shop, etc. however there would be a bit of power tube distortion in the amp and you certainly wouldn't have clean cleans they have some dirt to them, but that is what the amp was designed for, and the sensitive breakup is what is really ideal as far as blues goes.

you are more than fine with 50 watts.
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#27
Hey, do you have any pic of the board of the Randall RX120RH, I got one and it's broken, if you have a pic of the board RG75-B where I can See the resistors (R29, R30), would be great.