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Is a 100 Watt tube amp over kill?

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  • #16
    unless you plan to play Central Park or some huge arena soon, then yes, 100 tube watts is overkill... on the other hand, if you dig the amp,want the amp, and can afford the amp, i say why the hell not
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    • #17
      I think it depends on your gain tone.

      If you ever go past AC DCish levels, then 100 watts is like mandatory for me. It's not the volume, but the attack, the tightness. I have a 100 watt Mesa Stiletto and when I flick it to 50 watts, I think "hey, this is pretty good, maybe I only need 50" then a few songs later I try 100 again it's just this wave of extra awesome.

      Oh, and the JCA100H is a lovely amp. Our old rhythm guitarist used one and it was great, sounded about like a Soldano, which is like modded Marshall amazingness. Extremely versatile, great cleans, great mid gain, great high gain. If you goose it with an OD, sheesh. Incredible.

      I say do it.
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      • #18

        If you ever play an outdoor gig, than 100-watts and a closed-back cab become very handy.


        +1.

        I usually play through an 18W tube amp and it suits all my needs. For general club/pub gig use I'd say go for 30W or higher only if you need to play clean.

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        • #19
          Don't most amps have volume knobs these days?

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          • #20
            Well, i have a 90 watt tube amp (Electra Dyne) that never leaves the living room.
            Ok, that's not entirely true. It has been drug out to the back yard a couple of times

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            • #21
              Ultimately no. Nobody needs a 100 watt tube amp these days.

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              • #22
                I think it depends on your gain tone.

                If you ever go past AC DCish levels, then 100 watts is like mandatory for me. It's not the volume, but the attack, the tightness. I have a 100 watt Mesa Stiletto and when I flick it to 50 watts, I think "hey, this is pretty good, maybe I only need 50" then a few songs later I try 100 again it's just this wave of extra awesome.

                Oh, and the JCA100H is a lovely amp. Our old rhythm guitarist used one and it was great, sounded about like a Soldano, which is like modded Marshall amazingness. Extremely versatile, great cleans, great mid gain, great high gain. If you goose it with an OD, sheesh. Incredible.

                I say do it.


                Okay so it's likely no one needs the kind of volume these things produce but...this is the key...if there's next level of crunch and drive to be had without using all that volume, that's what I'm after.
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                • #23
                  100 Watts is overkill for just about everything. I suppose there is some advantage to the massive clean headroom on a 100 watt amp, but I've not encountered a situation yet where 35 watts isn't enough.

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                  • #24
                    no


                    your face is overkill though

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                    • #25
                      I think it depends on your gain tone.

                      If you ever go past AC DCish levels, then 100 watts is like mandatory for me. It's not the volume, but the attack, the tightness. I have a 100 watt Mesa Stiletto and when I flick it to 50 watts, I think "hey, this is pretty good, maybe I only need 50" then a few songs later I try 100 again it's just this wave of extra awesome.


                      I'm not arguing that your amp sounds better on the 100 watts setting, however that doesn't necessarily mean it sounds better because it's 100 watts. Especially with what you said about the gain. Gain and power output are independant things.
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                      • #26
                        I have a 100 watt tube head and for the last 3 years all it has done is sit in a far corner of my closet collecting dust and making a nice home for spiders. I haven't gigged with anything more than 30 watts since I can remember and most of my gigs right now are with either a 22 watt or a 15 watt amp, and that's completely unmic'd and running just off stage volume. And some venues still complain that we're too loud.

                        But that is for indoor gigs. As a couple other people have said, for an outdoor gig 100 watts might come in pretty handy depending on the venue. If it's a small patio or outdoor bar gig, 30 watts would still be more than enough.
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                        • #27
                          100Watts can hurt you if you are not careful but in some cases it's nice to have the headroom for high volume situations.

                          A 6L6 is only capable of putting out 30W so a 100W amp will require four of them in a 'push pull parallel' circuit. If you remove two tubes, one from each side of the circuit, you can run the amp at 50W which is still plenty.
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                          • #28
                            Yes.

                            100w should be regarded as "sufficient'.


                            (seriously, yes, yes- it's all about clean headroom)
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                            • #29
                              A 100W tube amp might be useful if you're playing Shea Stadium and the PA system goes out. But their PA system is pretty reliable, so I'd bet against this happening.

                              As for any indoor club I can imagine (including large indoor football arenas, etc.) I certainly wouldn't wish to be inside one anytime anyone was actually USING 100W. I treasure my ears.

                              My experience is that a 20W tube amp is all you should ever need. Any club that's too small for, will have a PA system anyway. You're trying to entertain your audience, not injure them. If you have another guitarist actually pushing his 150W Line6, don't try to compete with him. Instead, aim the 412 cab right at him, send his and everyone else's output to the DI, where your sound man can blend and balance the sound for your audience. Once his eardrums burst, turn his amp way back down, and let the sound guy rebalance.

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                              • #30
                                A 100W tube amp might be useful if you're playing Shea Stadium and the PA system goes out. But their PA system is pretty reliable, so I'd bet against this happening.

                                As for any indoor club I can imagine (including large indoor football arenas, etc.) I certainly wouldn't wish to be inside one anytime anyone was actually USING 100W. I treasure my ears.

                                My experience is that a 20W tube amp is all you should ever need. Any club that's too small for, will have a PA system anyway. You're trying to entertain your audience, not injure them. If you have another guitarist actually pushing his 150W Line6, don't try to compete with him. Instead, aim the 412 cab right at him, send his and everyone else's output to the DI, where your sound man can blend and balance the sound for your audience. Once his eardrums burst, turn his amp way back down, and let the sound guy rebalance.


                                I disagree with this in one aspect.

                                It really does depend on how you achieve your sound...yes I DO agree if you're using the amp with its own OD and maybe something like a TS9 in front...however, if you're using a much more pedal-generated tone and distortion, then headroom is everything to control the rig, and therefore 100w is fine, just turn the vol down a bit. As a bare min a Fender Twin is a great amp for this and that's 65w!

                                Besides, the difference between 50w and 100w thru a 4 x 12 is 3dB.
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