#1
Hi UG

I searched a lot and didn't found a precise answer to that question. So I hope you guys can give me a good advice. That's my situation:

I play in a Metalband (mixup of Core- / Trash- and Speedmetal). We play pretty loud and have a loud drummer. We have some smaller gigs planned for the end of this year. For now I'm playing the others guitarists old Hughes & Kettner Coreblade with two 4x12 cabs. One is loaded with Celestion Classic Lead 80s and the other with Celestion Rockdrive Juniors (they seem to sounds a bit like V30s). I don't like the amp but the cabs are pretty good and he will make me a very good price for them - so I'll buy them for sure. He plays a Dual Rectifier full stack.

Now I'm looking to buy a new Head. Favourites at the moment are EVH 5150 III, Engl Fireball, Laney Ironheart and Driftwood Nightmare (might be a little over the top, but maybe.... . They all come in 100 or +/-50 watt versions.

Do you generally recomend the lower or higher wattage variants for a full stack? Whats the tonal benefit? Any oher amps you recommend to consider?

Thanks for any help!

p.s. This thread is not about loudness, I know a 100 watt head is just about 3 db louder than a 50 watt head. It's more about what you think will sound better / makes more sense with the mentioned speakers.
#2
50W is ample but if you want pristine cleans at high volume go 100.
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#4
Quote by PSimonR
The real big advantage of a 50W is that it only cost half as much to replace the power amp valves.


I can pull 2 and run a 100w head at 50w if the cost is a concern.

You can't add 2 to the 50w head if you need more headroom...
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#5
Traynor YCS50 or 100:
http://traynoramps.com/guitar/ycs/product/ycs50h/

You should also put Mesa on your list, while new they might be a bit too much used you could possibly score a Single or Dual Rectifier around $1000

Fryette Sig X or Pitpull might be an option

Randall Daivlo and other of their high gain monsters

Marshall JVM, DSL2000 lines, even JCM900 with a boost worked for me for thrash.

Orange should be worth a look.

Diezel Herbert, while insanely expensive could be found sometimes even under $1000.

Bogner Ubershall


About wattage - I generally prefer 50 watts as you can get more crunch from the power tubes but go ahead and play it safe (you never know with a loud drummer) and get 100 watts.
#6
Quote by Arby911
I can pull 2 and run a 100w head at 50w if the cost is a concern.

You can't add 2 to the 50w head if you need more headroom...


yeah

i'd probably go 100 for the headroom reason. either should be fine, but you have slightly more leeway with the 100- the 50 will probably be fine, but the 100 pretty much definitely will.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#7
For a full stack go for the 100w better yet try find one that is switchable 50w/100w I have a Mesa Roadster 2x12 that is switchable it will power 8x12 in either mode, each of the four channnels is independently swithchabe from 50w or 100w. 50 is a looser brighter sound where 100 is tighter with the low end and has more mid range punch I can clone channels 3 and 4 and switch one to 50 and the other to 100 and with the volume set equal there is a noticeable difference in sound.
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Last edited by Evilnine at Mar 25, 2016,
#8
Quote by 232orion
Hi UG

I searched a lot and didn't found a precise answer to that question. .


That's because there is no "precise answer to that question."

WAY too many variables, and loudness really isn't even one of them. I have some 50W heads that are louder through the same cabinet than heads that are rated at 100W. There are a lot of circuit design reasons for that, I'm sure. Tonally, a lot depends on the tone stack circuit of the amp and on the speakers in the cabinet and even on the humidity and the air temperature where you're playing.
#9
Quote by Arby911
I can pull 2 and run a 100w head at 50w if the cost is a concern.

You can't add 2 to the 50w head if you need more headroom...


Meh. This is part of the reason why I went with a 1500W power amp and wider range speakers.
#10
Thanks for your inputs! Seems to be even more difficult than I thought... about one half says go for 50 is fine, the other says 100 for more headroom...

My favourite at the moment is the Driftwood Purple Nightmare / Mini Nightmare. Great amp, it even has a tubescreamer built in!
http://driftwoodamps.com/en/products/

It comes as a 45 watt and 100 watt variant, both with almost identical features. Still not sure what makes more sense for me... probably the 45 will be fine because I don't really need clean sounds (for now). Or what do you think?

@diabolical: Thanks for the suggestions. I'll definately try some of those mentioned, especially the Bogner sounds great on paper and youtube!
#11
Quote by 232orion
Thanks for your inputs! Seems to be even more difficult than I thought... about one half says go for 50 is fine, the other says 100 for more headroom...


I have about 15 tube amps encompassing most of the usual suspects. I have both 50 and 100W amps. Watts as expressed in a spec sheet aren't an indicator of loudness or headroom availability, and they're a very loose manufacturer estimation in any case and rarely actually measured. I have amps with, for example, two EL84s that are listed as 16W or 18W amps, and others with four EL84s that are listed as 50W amps.

It's going to come down to an individual decision on the specific amp you're considering, and sorry, but spec sheets aren't really much help.
#12
Quote by dspellman
Meh. This is part of the reason why I went with a 1500W power amp and wider range speakers.



I'm aware. That wasn't the question.
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#13
It all depends.

I think in many cases it is just a matter of price - the 50w model tends to be a bit cheaper than the 100w. In other cases there is a clear tonal difference. While there are Marshall TSL 100 fans out there, there are even fewer TSL 60 fans. Sometimes the lower watt sibling doesn't sound as good.

For the amp models you have listed, I have not heard of there being any drastic tonal differences between the bigger and lower watt models. Someone can correct me if it is the case that there are big differences. Price point is probably a better consideration for you than anything else if it is the case that they sound very similar.
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#14
The wattage of the amp matters more for tone than volume, assuming you use the same speakers - the 100 watt amp will do cleans at higher volumes, but the 50 watt version will hit the "sweet spot" for power tube overdrive earlier which is desirable for a metal band.

There are a few cases where a lower-spec amp will sound worse overall, though - try before buying, as always.
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Last edited by PsiGuy60 at Mar 24, 2016,
#15
Quote by PsiGuy60
The wattage of the amp matters more for tone than volume, assuming you use the same speakers - the 100 watt amp will do cleans at higher volumes, but the 50 watt version will hit the "sweet spot" for power tube overdrive earlier which is desirable for a metal band.

There are a few cases where a lower-spec amp will sound worse overall, though - try before buying, as always.


Sorry, none of the amps discussed up to this point will hit "power tube overdrive" at anything much less than full-on, no bullshit, cranked-to-11, ear splitting LOUD.

And most current metal is using preamp distortion anyway.
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#16
yeah i'm not sure power tube overdrive is desirable for a metal band. unless you mean really classic metal like black sabbath which most people (citation needed ) would probably call rock or hard rock these days.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#17
Power tube overdrive is mushy. That isn't something I associate with metal.

TS, I've had lots (read: a fuck ton) of amps. Some 50W, some 100W, 120W, 30W, etc.

Really you have to try it out on an amp by amp basis to figure out how much headroom you have, and also how loud you'll be. A Mesa Mark @ 85 watts blew my 100 watt Marshall away (1x12 combo vs. 4x12, no less).

Buy whichever you like best and can get for the best deal.
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