#1
You hear a lot of talk about how you "don't need a half-stack" and "you'd never need that many watts", and the same with the amount of distortion an amplifier offers, and it got me thinking.

Right from the start I'd just like to point out that I don't disagree with the aforementioned statements (except from the gain, I love me some nasty-ass distortion ), but they still make me raise a single eyebrow in contemplation.

Let me put it this way: an Orange Tiny Terror combo runs for about 4,200:- (don't worry about the currency, it's just for comparison purposes) and a Bugera 120 watt combo is about 5,200:-. Now, the difference in power is huge, but the difference in cost is very small (considering how infrequently most people buy new amps you might as well save up another 1,000:- and do it right if it's worth it in my opinion).

This brings up an important point; if a 100 watter sound plain better than a 15 watter, at low volumes and high, why wouldn't you go for the bigger and better?

This post probably sound pretty arrogant, but it's actually a sincere question (I was looking at low-wattage amps because of a future move where I wouldn't be able to crank a big amp, but it struck me that perhaps I might as well get a big one and play it low, especially since I crave that high gain).
#2
I have a feeling I didn't quite grasp your question there, unless it was this.

Quote by Renka

This brings up an important point; if a 100 watter sound plain better than a 15 watter, at low volumes and high, why wouldn't you go for the bigger and better?


In this case, if you want brutal distortion, the Bugera is better. But the thing is, most high wattage amps sound better loud, and they're not really good for playing at low volumes. But if it sounds better at low AND high volumes, go for it. Usually people are told not to get so high wattage amps because they don't need so much volume, but in such cases there are better alternatives. That works usually with other styles, but low wattage amps just don't offer that heavy distortion (usually).

..don't think I made any sense myself, but meh.
Quote by Lunchbox362
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#3
Quote by Renka
This brings up an important point; if a 100 watter sound plain better than a 15 watter, at low volumes and high, why wouldn't you go for the bigger and better?

Well, if it sounds better, I guess the answer is obvious. In this case, the smaller amp sounds better.
#4
i need every one of my 450 watts

bass ftw
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#5
Quote by mr_hankey
Well, if it sounds better, I guess the answer is obvious. In this case, the smaller amp sounds better.


Indeed, the Tiny Terror is the better amp unless you play very heavy metal or something. That explains the price difference.
Quote by Lunchbox362
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#6
Quote by Fama
I have a feeling I didn't quite grasp your question there, unless it was this.


In this case, if you want brutal distortion, the Bugera is better. But the thing is, most high wattage amps sound better loud, and they're not really good for playing at low volumes. But if it sounds better at low AND high volumes, go for it. Usually people are told not to get so high wattage amps because they don't need so much volume, but in such cases there are better alternatives. That works usually with other styles, but low wattage amps just don't offer that heavy distortion (usually).

..don't think I made any sense myself, but meh.

It made perfect sense, and that was my point.

People are so quick to say "you don't need this and that", but I think it's wrong to completely ignore some options without giving them a fair chance.

I have never played a 100 watt tube amp though, so I can't speak about quality sound at low levels etc.

It wasn't really a question, I just offered anyone the chance to prove me wrong if I was in error.
#7
Mine sounds great even on one, to be honest I prefer an amp that's just running enough to get a decent amount of power-amp overdrive to a cranked one.
#8
tiny terror even sounds better for very heavy metal just add a od and still sounds better but the gain on a tiny terror is a lot
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#9
tbh unless your 100W amp is real special, theres simply no point in paying for the extra power if youre just going to sit in your bedroom
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#11
Quote by Fama
Indeed, the Tiny Terror is the better amp unless you play very heavy metal or something. That explains the price difference.


You're either being sarcastic, or you're not making any sense.


Also, I just wanted to add that you'll never have to choose between a 'bad' 15w amp and a 'good' 100w amp; seeing as there are countless of other amps to choose from.
Last edited by mr_hankey at May 10, 2008,
#12
Quote by 80sShred4TheWin
tiny terror even sounds better for very heavy metal just add a od and still sounds better but the gain on a tiny terror is a lot


I'm not that convinced, granted I've only seen Youtube videos of it doing metal (Rob Chappers had one at least, and I believe there are others too). It can do metal like Megadeth and such I believe, but I'm just not convinced that it has the ball shattering thump and roar to really do metal.
Quote by mr_hankey
You're either being sarcastic, or you're not making any sense.

I'm probably not making any sense. I ment, that overall quality wise, the Tiny Terror is better (for cleans and classic rock and such). Granted I'm not exactly sure how well it handles very high distortion levels, so I could be wrong when I said the Bugera is better for that kind of stuff.
Quote by Lunchbox362
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Last edited by Fama at May 10, 2008,
#13
Bottom line - most of the half stack threads on UG are kids with $500 budgets, hence the answer they get given.

If somebody with a $3000 budget asks for new amp advice I'll recommend anything regardless of form factor.
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#14
Quote by steven seagull
Bottom line - most of the half stack threads on UG are kids with $500 budgets, hence the answer they get given.

If somebody with a $3000 budget asks for new amp advice I'll recommend anything regardless of form factor.


gentlemen, i believe we have /thread
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#15
Quote by steven seagull
Bottom line - most of the half stack threads on UG are kids with $500 budgets, hence the answer they get given.

If somebody with a $3000 budget asks for new amp advice I'll recommend anything regardless of form factor.

Yeah, but the difference in price is about $150, not $2500.

I guess this mainly aplies to metal heads like me though, since we want distortion that tear walls down.
I've had a very hard time finding a small level amp that can do that, so the question is do a 100 watt amp generally sound better with the volume 1-2 than a 15 watt amp set on 4-6 and in the same price class (~ of course).
#17
Quote by Renka

I've had a very hard time finding a small level amp that can do that, so the question is do a 100 watt amp generally sound better with the volume 1-2 than a 15 watt amp set on 4-6 and in the same price class (~ of course).


In the same price class? I'd say the 15 watt amp sounds better for two reasons. First, you're pushing the powertubes more and getting more saturation out of them (even if it's still clean - there's still harmonic distortion or something, your ear just doesn't notice it). Second, you're paying less for the wattage and more for other things. But it really doesn't always work like that (generalisation is bad, kids), and it's down to the individual amps.
Quote by Lunchbox362
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#18
This only does apply to tube amps. Don't know if anyone cleared that up in any post above.

The answer is simple, a tube amp sounds its best when its cranked, simple as, it may sound good at low volumes, but sounds amazing at highs.
People say you don't need a half stack because most people buy them for their looks, and will never get cranked past 2-3, therefore it would be a waste of money, where as a 15 watt tube amp can be cranked at bedroom levels sounding its best.

The only time someone should ever buy a halfstack is when they're playing medium/large venues where it can be cranked over halfway.
#19
Quote by TomR
This only does apply to tube amps. Don't know if anyone cleared that up in any post above.

The answer is simple, a tube amp sounds its best when its cranked, simple as, it may sound good at low volumes, but sounds amazing at highs.
People say you don't need a half stack because most people buy them for their looks, and will never get cranked past 2-3, therefore it would be a waste of money, where as a 15 watt tube amp can be cranked at bedroom levels sounding its best.


Yes, I forgot to mention I've been talking about tube amps all along. Although some users report that some SS amps (Flextone and Vetta come to mind) also sound good when played louder.
Quote by Lunchbox362
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#20
It seems you don't get to the good sounding tube amps until you get really high up in price...the problem is most of the time these amps are also a higher wattage. So what if you wanted a good quality tube amp that's a lower wattage and has great tone?

Can anyone give me examples of the amp that would fit the bill from the description above?
#21
^If you haven't found any of those, you're not looking hard enough. Marshall 18 watt, deluxe reverb, AC30CC, Matchless lightning/chieftan/etc, JTM45, any of the /13 amps, Dr.Z (carmen ghia, Maz38, stangray), bruno, fuchs, browntone, valvetech, bad cat, tophat, valvetrain, victoria, zinky, Cage, Allessandro, Carr, Gabriel, Suhr...yeah. there are a lot.
Last edited by Roc8995 at May 10, 2008,
#23
Quote by Roc8995
^If you haven't found any of those, you're not looking hard enough. Marshall 18 watt, deluxe reverb, AC30CC, Matchless lightning/chieftan/etc, JTM45, any of the /13 amps, Dr.Z (carmen ghia, Maz38, stangray), bruno, fuchs, browntone, valvetech, bad cat, tophat, valvetrain, victoria, zinky, Cage, Allessandro, Carr, Gabriel, Suhr...yeah. there are a lot.

I've been enlightened, and humbled...
#24
Only reason i have a half stack is because i like deep dark palm muted stuff. Hate open back combos and i cant see putting a 100 watt head on top of a 1x12 cab..... lol

Reason for the 100-120 watt head.. For modern metal thats pretty much your only choice in the matter. A 18 watt 6505 would be a pretty mean beast of an amp for bedroom use though lol

And yes i know they just made a 18watt MTS and Ultra module head but im at that price its retarded...
#25
Quote by thriller4life
^I'm talking around the $500 used range.

Then you probably didn't mean to say "high price" and "high quality." You can get a good amp for $500, but that's nowhere near high price.
Check out the Classic 30, AC15, hot rod deville/deluxe stuff.
#26
There are some people that need 100 watt heads, and some people who don't.

If you play festivals, stadiums or anything of that nature (Warped Tour, for example), you would get good usage out of a 100 watt head.

If you play in your church's basement once a month, your garage or a show with 7 people there to see you, you would not get good usage of a 100 watt head.

Metal players are limited; Most high gain heads only come in 100+ watts.

A heavy high gain amp will sound the same with the master at 4 as it will with the master at 8.

If you're playing a Plexi from the 60's, of course you aren't going to get a good sound at low volumes.

It's all relative to your application.
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#27
Also another reason to own a half stack and 100 watts even for bar gigs is some bar techs suck at pa'ing... I have heard like 30 local bands at the bar i go to and all sound horrible because they were all mic'ed. The only band i have heard there that sounded good was using a 6505 half stack and wasnt mic'ed.... So that is another consideration.. You dont have to worry about someone else effecting your tone or eq'ing the board wrong.
#28
Quote by Renka
This brings up an important point; if a 100 watter sound plain better than a 15 watter, at low volumes and high, why wouldn't you go for the bigger and better?


i agree wholeheartedly, and have been saying this around here for ages. it does depend on the type of music you play, though. for metal, you're almost better with the higher wattage; for classic rock and blues, the lower wattage (all things being equal) is probably better, unless you're in a gigging band.
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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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#29
Quote by steven seagull
Bottom line - most of the half stack threads on UG are kids with $500 budgets, hence the answer they get given.

If somebody with a $3000 budget asks for new amp advice I'll recommend anything regardless of form factor.


also +1

i think the biggest problem is that people want black-and-white answers which hold for all possible scenarios (and some bandwagon-jumpers regurgitate specific advice for one situation as if it holds for all situations)... and that's not possible.
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.
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?
#30
if someone made a high gain 15 watt amp for cheap, it would sell like crazy hahaha
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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#31
The Orange Tiny Terror is the result of marketing genious! 500-550 USD for a 15 watt tube head is way too much, unless you have lots of money and plan on being a bedroom rock star for the long run. Don't get me wrong, the TT's sound very nice...but not that nice!

Sure a half-stack is probably overkill...but you will always have your bases covered...ie. venue not properly mic'd ... which happens quite often, unless your playing at an established location. I figure your better off having too much power, then not enough.

Prolly someone starting out would do well (unless they have lot's of cash) going middle of the road or used. Something like a Traynor 50 watt (I realize there are other options) ...is a great bargain and will be less limiting on your ability to perform.

So to answer the OP's question...IMHO...I would rather spend 600 or so dollars for a traynor, etc (something in the 30-50 watt range) then 50 bucks less for a 15 watt amp (oh, that doesn't even include the speaker!)