#1
I know that a 100w Tube amp is much louder than a 100w SS amp, but how would a 50w tube amp compare to a 100w SS amp?
#2
Rule of thumb I've always heard is to double tube watts and that's similar to SS watts, but wattage and volume tend to be an exponential relationship so the volume difference between 15 and 30w will be larger than 75 and 100w.

So to answer your actual question a 50w tube amp would be roughly equivalent in volume to a 100w SS amp assuming you're going through the same (or close enough) kind/amount of speakers. (note: amount of speakers won't actually affect the literal volume, but will project more, fill up a room better, and sound generally "bigger")
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#3
you cannot compare them. at least not accross the board as far as amps go. 100 watt tube amp is twice as loud as a 10 watt, ceteris paribus.

tube amp to solid state cannot compare. some tube amps are louder than other tube amps with the same wattage ratings, it is very much a case by case basis.
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Last edited by trashedlostfdup at Jan 24, 2012,
#4
Ok thanks for the advice.

My only problem is you tell me not to take you seriously.....
#5
The power rating of a tube amp is calculated before clipping. You can run a tube amp a lot harder than that (power is the area under the graph.) On average a 50W tube amp is actually delivering about ~80W when you crank it. SS amps are pretty much what you see is what you get because running a SS power amp into clipping is horrible.
The difference between 80W an 100W is barely audible. That's a simplification and a generalisation but good enough to describe the mechanics of it and the main factor involved.
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#6
I have a 180-watt Prithcard SS amp... and it is friggin' loud... but I won't compare that to anything. What I will compare is a 5-watt Peavey Mini Colossal tube that is far louder than a 50-watt Marshall SS I once had (same sized speakers). The Marshall half-way was like my Peavey on #2. I'm sure it has a lot to do with how it's wired, among other things.
#7
A watt is a watt. They are both the same volume at the same watt.

Tube amps only SEEM louder than SS to human ears because of the way harmonics color the signal.
#8
Quote by 667
A watt is a watt. They are both the same volume at the same watt.

Tube amps only SEEM louder than SS to human ears because of the way harmonics color the signal.

You didn't read what I wrote did you? The wattage rating of an amp is NOT the wattage it can actually produce. It's just what it produces on paper before clipping. A watt is a watt, sure, but we are talking about rated wattage, not actual wattage. Those two things are very different things.
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
#9
Some of this comes down to perception of loudness as well. Tube amps tend to sound bigger, louder and fatter than solid state amps of the same power rating because tube amps have a higher harmonic content so the presence of these additional harmonic frequencies fills up the sound to make it seem really big. Solid state amps tend to sound a bit thinner than their tube cousins despite whatever 'valve emulation' patent pending etc blurb the manufacturers tout. I have a 60 watt tube combo and it seems louder in rehearsal when compared with a 100w solid state effort but I dont know if it is actually louder - you would need to do a fair double blind a/b test using decibel meters etc at equal distances using the same cabs in the same room and all that. I would agree that solid state amps really suffer when pushed into clipping - horrible sounding. Tube amps tend to do do it in a nice rounded/smooth musical way. As far as I am aware the loudness versus power relatonship is some kind of logarithmic or exponential type scale depending how you plot it so doubling watts does not double volume as already stated and yes for higher power ratings the actual change in volume will be less noticable if you stepped up from 80 - 100w than it would if you stepped up from 20 - 40 w.
#10
Quote by Cathbard
You didn't read what I wrote did you? The wattage rating of an amp is NOT the wattage it can actually produce. It's just what it produces on paper before clipping. A watt is a watt, sure, but we are talking about rated wattage, not actual wattage. Those two things are very different things.


I read what you wrote. My response wast not in reply to your post. It was for the OP.
#11
Also consider how the amplifier rating is measured. Is it peak or r.m.s? What about the ratings of the speaker/s? This debate is about as old as the chicken and the egg....
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