#1
i have a peavy vypyr vip 1 20 watt combo amp with 12" speakers. the master volume goes to 0-13, and i have it between 0 and 1, as going slightly past 1 is way too loud for practice.

I know a 20 watt tube amp can be used with a drummer but what about a 20 watt solid state amp?
#3
No it will sound like shite
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#4
I'd say it wouldn't work good.
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#5
Well, your going to need the right solid state amp.

Wattage needs to be a higher. Not sure why, but a 20 watt tube amp is a a lot louder than a 20 watt SS amp.

I'd suggest a Tech 21 Trademark 60, which isn't too expensive on Ebay. You might be able to get one for $400.

Haven't gigged in a while, but when I did, I lugged around an 80 pound (felt like it) Seymour Duncan Convertible. Loved the tube amp, but always had to change something. Tube amps need lots of attention and always expensive to maintain.

Not only are the tones you can pull from a Trademark 60 very nice IMHO -- dynamics
(punch and resonance) are very close to a tube amp -- but the amp only weighs about 35 pounds, is built like a tank, and when you get more money you can start buying Tech 21 Power Engine cabs -- as many as you might want -- and daisy chain them.
#6
Quote by GoneFromTexas
Not sure why, but a 20 watt tube amp is a a lot louder than a 20 watt SS amp.

Haven't gigged in a while, but when I did, I lugged around an 80 pound (felt like it) Seymour Duncan Convertible. Loved the tube amp, but always had to change something. Tube amps need lots of attention and always expensive to maintain.

Not always, and they are not necessarily louder, but our ears perceive them that way. A watt is a watt ss or tube. Tube amps are often rated at their RMS not their peak so they can often put 2x the wattage in short peaks. SS amps are typically rated at the peak not the RMS

And yes some people have issues with tube amps, but I have found them to be perfectly reliable.
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Nov 27, 2014,
#7
Honestly, you can probably get it loud enough to be heard over the drummer, but it will likely be clipping like a bastard at that volume and sound really bad. I once used a line 6 spider 15w and got it to drummer volume, but it was clipping ALOT.
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#8
For jamming with a drummer? I think it might be enough (you need to try it) - but it would be reasonable to get a bigger amp. For gigging? I would definitely get something bigger.

It also depends a lot on your drummer and the music you are playing. And also how many members there are in your band. If your drummer is good, he can also play quietly without a problem.
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#9
the 20 watt peavey vypyr is a practice amp, which is unlikely to have speakers that project with any real clarity at higher volumes, even if the amp itself is powerful enough to be heard alongside your drummer without clipping horrifically.

If it has a line output, it can probably work just fine through a PA system.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#10
I've played a 20 Watt amp with a drummer before. I could hear myself but the drummer barely could, plus it sounded horrible.
#11
Used to use a Line6 Spider III 15w 1x8 in HS. Our drummer was one with a 'lighter touch' (and had a smaller drum set). By putting the amp up a little higher (on an end table) and diming that sucker, it was doable.

My next band (also in HS) had a heavy handed drummer with a rather large professional set. No amount of finagling with where the amp was helped. I eventually had to borrow one of my Dad's 100w 1x15 Yamaha's (SS) to even practice with that guy. IIRC, the Yamaha didn't even get as loud as my 25w 1x12 Fender Champ SE (Tube) does now. You could try and track down one of those. They go for like ~$200 now.

It's possible, but you're at the mercy of your drummer's style and how loud their set it. You're also looking at diming the thing with no extra headroom (dynamics go out the window).

You can try. It may work. In a gig situation, you'll want to mic your amp anyway. But I would definitely look into getting something a little bigger down the road. Used tube and larger SS amps don't cost as much as you'd think, and just because they aren't $1000, doesn't mean they sound bad. You just gotta do the research
#12
Stand alone? Depends on the music you play.

Heavier Rock? Gonna need to mic the amp.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

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#13
I had to manage band rehearsals with a loud drummer for years relying solely on a 15-watt, 8" speaker, solid-state Fender Frontman 15G.

It's doable, but once you get a better alternative, you notice how bad you were doing before.
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#14
Quote by Robbgnarly
Not always, and they are not necessarily louder, but our ears perceive them that way. A watt is a watt ss or tube. Tube amps are often rated at their RMS not their peak so they can often put 2x the wattage in short peaks. SS amps are typically rated at the peak not the RMS


They shouldn't be. I don't buy solid state amps that aren't rated in RMS wattage.
Both tube and solid state amps can put out more than their rated wattage, but most guitarists don't mind the extra distortion layered on when power tubes are pushed well into distortion. Twenty watts RMS tube or SS, doesn't matter. "Volume" has more to do with some internal design parameters and the efficiency of the speaker/cabinet.

FWIW, you'll find solid state amps rated at RMS, program and peak power. The same 100W RMS amp may also be rated at 200W program and 400W peak. It just depends on how badly the marketing department needs to lie. Most buyers don't notice the distinction or know what it means.

And back to the OP's original question: I'd take a 30-50W tube amp to a gig with an aggressive drummer with no issues; I've got a Carvin Belair that's seriously loud (two V30's, open back), for example. 20W solid state, not so much. I actually run a solid state power amp capable of up to 1500W much of the time.
#15
The biggest difference is that tube amps rated at 1% THD tells you nothing because 1% THD is lucky to be at half volume because they aren't meant to be run at such low THD. Solid state amps often just lie abut the power. Judging an amp by the power ratings is a bit of a fool's errand and comparing SS to tube based on the rating is comparing apples to oranges. Tube amps aren't designed to be run at 1% THD so quoting the power at that figure is pointless. It's like quoting the power of a turbo charged car before the turbo kicks in - who cares?

20W SS amps don't keep up with drummers without being pushed into very unpleasant distortion. If it's all you have to use, stick a mike in front of it and have the sound guy feed some of it back through the wedges.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 27, 2014,
#16
So many misunderstandings about tube vs solid state.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

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#17
Quote by Cajundaddy
So many misunderstandings about tube vs solid state.


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#18
I think a lot has to do with the speakers. 20w solid state amps generally have poor speakers so while they may be outputting 20w of power to the speaker, the speaker will be ineffcient and not move as much air as a good quality one. I have a 120w solid state amp that is nowhere near as loud as my 60w valve amp, and I believe its the cheap speaker.
#19
Quote by Cathbard
The biggest difference is that tube amps rated at 1% THD tells you nothing because 1% THD is lucky to be at half volume because they aren't meant to be run at such low THD. Solid state amps often just lie abut the power. Judging an amp by the power ratings is a bit of a fool's errand and comparing SS to tube based on the rating is comparing apples to oranges. Tube amps aren't designed to be run at 1% THD so quoting the power at that figure is pointless. It's like quoting the power of a turbo charged car before the turbo kicks in - who cares?


Most of this I don't agree with. Kinda sorta.

When you get into professional gear (meaning both tube gear and solid state gear), you can compare the two easily enough. And oh, by the way, I usually prefer to have a pretty good idea of what kind of power a turbo'd engine can produce without the turbo. If you've only got one large turbo and a whole lot of turbo lag, that will be important to you. OTOH, I have a nice little 3 liter V6 Ford Duratech from Rousch, however, that has two smaller turbos, and that little poofter puts out 500 bhp and 500 lbs-ft of torque over an extremely wide range. In THAT case non-turboed HP doesn't matter.

Some professional level tube amps are designed to be run at their rated power, and produce that rated power at the rated distortion level. Back in the day, you'd find guitar players running audiophile McIntosh or Marantz or Dynaco tube power amps (sometimes stacks of 'em) from a single guitar preamp. Those suckers put out tiny THD figures and a whole lot of clean power. GUITAR amp manufacturers, who also make tube amps, assume that guitar players don't give a flying fig about distortion, so they'll just give you an average or made-up figure based on an average bias with an average octet tube and they'll make up some distortion figures in case anyone needs them for a spec sheet.

Quote by Cathbard
20W SS amps don't keep up with drummers without being pushed into very unpleasant distortion. If it's all you have to use, stick a mike in front of it and have the sound guy feed some of it back through the wedges.


And this I agree with.
Last edited by dspellman at Nov 28, 2014,
#20
Not even close. 20 watts of solid state power will be overpowered by brushes on a drum kit, or even an aggressive bongo player. If you want to actually be heard over a drummer, with your amp sounding the way it's supposed to, you need to go tube, or get 100-150+ watts for solid state. Especially if you're trying to play harder, heavier music. My first amp was a 150 watt Crate half stack. I used to jam metal with a drummer friend of mine, and that amp was literally inaudible over the drums, with gain and volume maxed out. Seriously. 100% volume, and as soon as my buddy started drumming, it was nonexistent. Granted that was a heavy metal drummer, but it was also 150 watt amp. I ended up blowing the speakers after a few weeks of attempting those jams.
Last edited by the_bi99man at Nov 28, 2014,
#21
Audiophile amps are completely different, dspellman. They aren't designed to be run with distortion so the power figure rated at 1% THD are the actual power that you use. Nobody runs a guitar amp at 1% THD so the 1% THD figure is irrelevant. But yeah, the power figures guitar amp manufacturers quote is a bit of a fantasy figure that they pull out of their arse. They don't even try to quote them at 1%. THAT I agree with. But for the purposes of the argument, I was simply trying to demonstrate what a stoopid business we operate under. All the power figures on tube guitar amps is what you said - nonsense.
SS amps aren't much better. I've seen amps where the transistors used icw the supply rail available could never produce the power quoted, simply not possible.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 28, 2014,