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how loud are acoustic drums by the watts?

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  • how loud are acoustic drums by the watts?

    Has it ever been measured, its wattage? I'm curious because I play an electronic drum kit and have a 50 watt amp (Simmons DA50) and was curious if this 50 watt amp is actually not loud compared to an acoustic drums and if I should get the Simmons DA200 (200 watts) or the DA350 (350 watts).

    Most people have told me that a loud drummer usually doesn't need mic'ing their kit when playing at clubs...
    Last edited by samal50; 06-29-2018, 03:40 PM.
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  • #2
    Loudness is measured in Sound Pressure Level (SPL), not watts. The wattage of an amplifier is only part of the amp's loudness equation - the efficiency of the speaker is at least as relevant to "how loud" it will sound.

    For more on that, you might want to check out this article:


    Wattage, speaker efficiency and amplifier "loudness."


    SPL meters are inexpensive - you used to be able to get a hardware model at Radio Shack for well under $50... now you can get an Android or iPad app that does the same SPL measurements for a couple of bucks, or even for free...


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    • samal50
      samal50 commented
      Editing a comment
      I'll look into those, but hopefully someone here can chime in. I've been curious if an acoustic drum set is louder than 300 watts...

    • daddymack
      daddymack commented
      Editing a comment
      good luck finding a Radio Shack anymore...

      Acoustic drum volume is not about wattage...there are no watts.
      Your DA50 is a practice amp. If you played next to a hard rocking rummer on a good quality acoustic set, you would be drowned out immediately. Given the choices above, go with the most power[DA350], and the reason is CLEAN volume with no clipping at reasonable levels. However, I would be far more inclined to get something like a 3 way powered speaker with about 1kw and a 15'.
      Last edited by daddymack; 07-02-2018, 12:18 PM.

    • samal50
      samal50 commented
      Editing a comment
      Daddymack, I'm curious if what you speak of is something like a powered PA speaker (ex: Alto TS315)? Although this one is only a 2-way. If the other members in the band also plugs into the speaker, would there be issues with each inputs fighting for "space"?

  • #3
    It seems some experts differentiate between db and acoustic power

    http://clas.mq.edu.au/speech/acousti...acoustics.html

    although, if you examine the subject the net effect might be the same. Seems Samal is talking about a third thing? The ampage required ? IOW the watts to produce commensurate speaker output. This depends on room size and in this case estimates based on a given system will do. For most "pro" powered cabinets, 500 to 1000 watt units should be ample for anything less than a small theater. The operative factors IMO are speaker/cab efficiency and amp headroom.
    Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...








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    • #4
      i have two acoustic drum sets right now, neither will produce one watt. however, one rimshot off an acoustic premier pd42 colliseum double snare would be easily heard above a fifty watt amp at maximum volume levels. ive used both for performances and for my ears you will need a dedicated pa for the kit or a big enough main pa to absorb the demands an electronic kit needs to sound decent without detracting from everything else that miced... just another thought or three on what a lot of folks tell you about micing up drums in clubs? every club is different, the same club ten nights in a row is a different club every performance. “loud drummer” and “adequately miced” mean many different things to many different people, not necessarily any of them pertain to you, ever...
      fir what its worth, i play very heavy handed and love being miced up hot... it allows me to lay back and play more musically, gives more dynamic range for nuance... of course, this... and a five dollar bill will get you a coffee at starbucks...
      Originally posted by isaac42;n32240445

      Voltan is correct.

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      • #5
        This actually got me curious about how many DB's a drum set is. A quick Google search came up with what appears to be between 120 and 140 Decibels. That's not amped up.

        Wonder if anyone ever put a DB meter in front of Kelth Moon?

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        • #6
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          Seems to be 1 or 20.

          http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-soundlevel.htm
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          • #7
            As stated above, loudness isn't measured in watts. However, since you seem hung up on a 300 watt setup for electronic drums, I can tell you that such a setup is no higher than the ground floor. I used electronic drums (the original DDrum stuff) from around 1988 to 2003 and I can assure you if you're playing out in a band, a 300 watt monitor to hear yourself and for the band to hear your drums is a very bare minimum (unless you're playing to 20 people in a coffee shop).

            Look at a decent quality guitar amp. It'll be 20 - 30 watts. You might find some beefier ones at 50 watts. Marshall stacks might be 100 watts. Now look at a decent quality bass guitar rig. It'll be 300 watts, 500 watts, or perhaps more...much more. That's because bass guitars have a much lower frequency than electric guitars, and it takes much more power to make a bass guitar sound as loud as an electric guitar.

            Active PA cabinets are incredibly popular these days. If you look at a good quality rig, you'll find a full-range internally bi-amped cabinet might be anywhere from 400 - 800 watts RMS. It'll have a 12" or a 15" woofer. That won't be adequate for your drums. Those full-range cabinets will be matched with an active subwoofer with a 15", 18", or perhaps a 21" subwoofer which will have a rating of 1500 watts RMS or more. When you go to a concert and you see the huge pro quality subwoofers with twin 18" or twin 21" drivers, those are pushing in the area of 5,000 watts per cabinet. All of those subs are predominantly drums and bass guitar because the low-end frequencies need lots of power to push them.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by jgthatsme View Post
              As stated above, loudness isn't measured in watts. However, since you seem hung up on a 300 watt setup for electronic drums, I can tell you that such a setup is no higher than the ground floor. I used electronic drums (the original DDrum stuff) from around 1988 to 2003 and I can assure you if you're playing out in a band, a 300 watt monitor to hear yourself and for the band to hear your drums is a very bare minimum (unless you're playing to 20 people in a coffee shop).

              Look at a decent quality guitar amp. It'll be 20 - 30 watts. You might find some beefier ones at 50 watts. Marshall stacks might be 100 watts. Now look at a decent quality bass guitar rig. It'll be 300 watts, 500 watts, or perhaps more...much more. That's because bass guitars have a much lower frequency than electric guitars, and it takes much more power to make a bass guitar sound as loud as an electric guitar.

              Active PA cabinets are incredibly popular these days. If you look at a good quality rig, you'll find a full-range internally bi-amped cabinet might be anywhere from 400 - 800 watts RMS. It'll have a 12" or a 15" woofer. That won't be adequate for your drums. Those full-range cabinets will be matched with an active subwoofer with a 15", 18", or perhaps a 21" subwoofer which will have a rating of 1500 watts RMS or more. When you go to a concert and you see the huge pro quality subwoofers with twin 18" or twin 21" drivers, those are pushing in the area of 5,000 watts per cabinet. All of those subs are predominantly drums and bass guitar because the low-end frequencies need lots of power to push them.
              Great answer
              D
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