#1
I've heard many higher gain players prefer the openness and headroom of 100 watt amps, but anyone big out there using 50?
#2
are we talking pros or just regualr guys in bar bands. plenty of guys in bar bands using 50 watt amps. live many pro metal bands used or do use 50 watt heads maybe more than 1 but i think you'll find that to be true. you don't need a pile of hundred watt heads any more as the PA is supposed to do the heavey lifting these days. many bars and small venues where i'm at don't even want to see 100 watt heads and 4x12 bottoms any more (noise laws)
#3
Quote by Chargrill3d
I've heard many higher gain players prefer the openness and headroom of 100 watt amps, but anyone big out there using 50?


Herman Li of Dragonforce runs 50w Mesa rack power amps.

The difference between 50 and 100w is 3db headroom. Not very much.
"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

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#4
My Roadster has a 50/100W switch for each channel but doesn't really have much to do with volume. More about tracking and voicing.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#5
Tom Morello uses a 50W Marshall JCM2200
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Stand up and take your dissonance like a man. I don't write music for sissy ears.

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Ambient Symphonic Depressive Southern Melodic Blackened Death/Doom Metal
#6
I use a 40w tube amp now, had a Marshall mg50, my other guitar still uses his, and I've never had it past 3 or 4 at a gig, and that's in decent sized halls. PA systems man.
#7
Baroness uses mostly BadCat, those mainly are 50 watts or less. 'Least the ones Baroness uses/used to use.
#8
I was thinking more for recording as opposed to live, i.e. is there much to be gained in the recorded sound between 50 and 100 watts when it comes to heavier music styles?
#9
Quote by Chargrill3d
I was thinking more for recording as opposed to live, i.e. is there much to be gained in the recorded sound between 50 and 100 watts when it comes to heavier music styles?

not much difference at all in a recording situation. I have used a 20 watt Krank for some recording just fine while the other guitar tracks were done with a 100watt JSX
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#10
I was always under the impression that headroom was more relevant for clean tones rather than high gain.
#11
Quote by Chargrill3d
I was thinking more for recording as opposed to live, i.e. is there much to be gained in the recorded sound between 50 and 100 watts when it comes to heavier music styles?


No.
#13
Quote by Chargrill3d
I was thinking more for recording as opposed to live, i.e. is there much to be gained in the recorded sound between 50 and 100 watts when it comes to heavier music styles?


i think you'll find that in most cases lower watt heads are used for recording. the need for abundant headroom isn't there and the need for massive volume again not needed. there really isn't anything gained by using a 100 watt head in the studio. honestly the days of the 100 watter are kinda numbered as in many instances they aren't needed and in many clubs not wanted.
#14
Quote by Chargrill3d
I was thinking more for recording as opposed to live, i.e. is there much to be gained in the recorded sound between 50 and 100 watts when it comes to heavier music styles?


5w is plenty in the studio. Mics are only capable of capturing so much loud and the DAW provides all the headroom you could ever commit to a recording. A typical "heavy" rock music track usually ends up with a 20db dynamic range after mastering for "max loud" as is the fashion these days. Simply no use for a guitar amp capable of 125db if you will never use it or hear it. Studios don't want em, rock clubs don't want em, sound techs don't want em, but often "heavy" guitarists can't seem to live without them.

100w is pretty much a 1980s outdoor festival thing these days and no longer necessary with modern 50kw sound systems
"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

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Oct 30, 2015,
#15
Quote by Chargrill3d
I was thinking more for recording as opposed to live, i.e. is there much to be gained in the recorded sound between 50 and 100 watts when it comes to heavier music styles?

There's a lot to be gained. There isn't a 50W Mark V and there are many more examples like that. If the amp you like the most happens to be 100W, there's no reason to use a 50W amp that you like less just because you don't need 100W. A 50W amp is overkill for recording too. But you probably won't get the tone you're looking for in a less powerful amp. It's such a small volume difference in actual volume between a 100W and even 25W amp. But there are tonal differences.
#16
You guys do realise that some people simply pull two tubes on a 100W amp which turns it into 50W. So unless you are looking into the back of the amp and counting tubes, how would you know what they are running?
Gilchrist custom
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
Quote by Cathbard
You guys do realise that some people simply pull two tubes on a 100W amp which turns it into 50W. So unless you are looking into the back of the amp and counting tubes, how would you know what they are running?


I'd assume that in the case of most pros they wouldn't bother. I mean, the only reason that I would think you'd pull two tubes is to save on retubes, as I doubt that the slight difference in headroom will be that noticeable. I'm sure that a "pro" in the sense that TS is thinking wouldn't be that concerned for with saving cash on tubes.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#18
Not at all, That's how I run my JCM900 - it's so I can get some power tube breakup. It's got nothing to do with the cost of tubes at all.
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
#19
But is it really that significant a difference in headroom. I've done it with my amps in the past and the difference in the volume was about halfway between two markings on the knob. Hey, if it makes a difference to you fair enough but I'm saying that I can't imagine that many pros these days doing it.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#20
It does if you run the MV well above noon, yes.
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
#21
Hmm, well I suppose that's more your territory than mine

I have only had a few amps that I really liked playing that far up on the dial. Most of them were low power tubes (EL84, 6V6)
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#22
I'm running two 6CA7's in mine. They breakup quite nicely at higher volumes. These days however I run my RM100 and rely on preamp breakup. So I don't pull two tubes on that one - no point. JCM900's are a totally different beast and to get the most out of them requires you to push the power amp hard, really hard.

A shot of my panel at a gig:

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
Last edited by Cathbard at Oct 30, 2015,
#23
In true rock fashion. I'd like to try some 6CA7s in a Marshall. I normally get E34Ls for all the amps that take a 34, but maybe I'll pickup a cheap Marshall-alike for power distortion experimentation
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#24
I've got E34L's in my RM100, they rock. But like I said - I don't use power tube distortion on that. But it has a MUCH better preamp section.
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
#25
Quote by JELIFISH19
There's a lot to be gained. There isn't a 50W Mark V and there are many more examples like that. If the amp you like the most happens to be 100W, there's no reason to use a 50W amp that you like less just because you don't need 100W. A 50W amp is overkill for recording too. But you probably won't get the tone you're looking for in a less powerful amp. It's such a small volume difference in actual volume between a 100W and even 25W amp. But there are tonal differences.

No, but their is a 25 watt mark V
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#26
Quote by Robbgnarly
No, but their is a 25 watt mark V

The 25W doesn't sound or feel like its big brother. It's not worse but it's different. And both amps have a 10W setting. But the big one at 90W might give them what they need tonally while either on of them at 10W doesn't. The feel and tone of an amp changes with the power section. So if the amp sounds best at 90W for your needs, use that setting. There's no reason not to. High gain amps have master volumes.
#27
Quote by JELIFISH19
There's a lot to be gained. There isn't a 50W Mark V and there are many more examples like that. If the amp you like the most happens to be 100W, there's no reason to use a 50W amp that you like less just because you don't need 100W. A 50W amp is overkill for recording too. But you probably won't get the tone you're looking for in a less powerful amp. It's such a small volume difference in actual volume between a 100W and even 25W amp. But there are tonal differences.


It's so frustrating trying to explain this when so many people still think wattage and volume are the same thing.

It's not about the volume, it's about the feel and response. There's a reason why modern metal amps are 100W and there's a reason none of the smaller versions can match the oomph, regardless of volume.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
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Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#28
Quote by Offworld92
It's so frustrating trying to explain this when so many people still think wattage and volume are the same thing.

It's not about the volume, it's about the feel and response. There's a reason why modern metal amps are 100W and there's a reason none of the smaller versions can match the oomph, regardless of volume.


This is the sort of answer I was expecting when I started this thread - question is, in terms of feel and response is there a huge difference between 50 and 100 watts?
#29
Quote by Chargrill3d
This is the sort of answer I was expecting when I started this thread - question is, in terms of feel and response is there a huge difference between 50 and 100 watts?

it really depends on the amp in question the amount of difference there will be
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#30
Quote by Chargrill3d
This is the sort of answer I was expecting when I started this thread - question is, in terms of feel and response is there a huge difference between 50 and 100 watts?


Hard to say for a lot of things, in the case of the Rectifiers, most people agree that the 50 watt sounds different from the 100, and that from the 150. Marshalls I've tried seem to show less difference, though looking at Caths posts it seems like I just wasn't turning the master up enough.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#31
One of the bands I play in is a hardcore band and both myself and the other guitarist use 30w amps. Cab/speaker choice plays a significant part in how BIG it sounds I feel.

Gibson Les Paul Traditional Satin
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