Jump to content

Tube vs. Solid state (loudness)


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 94
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Members

The 100 watt ss would probably be louder. The rule of thumb is that it takes 3 times the wattage on a ss amp to have the percieved volume of a tube amp.

 

Although in reality a watt is a watt is a watt. There are no tube watts vs ss watts. A 100W tube amp will be equally as loud as a 100w ss amp in dB's. The trick is in the fact that a tube amp distorts at high volumes in a way which we don't perceive as distortion but as an increase in volume whereas an ss amp will produce very ugly sounding distortion (breakup) at high volumes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members
Although in reality a watt is a watt is a watt. There are no tube watts vs ss watts. A 100W tube amp will be equally as loud as a 100w ss amp in dB's. The trick is in the fact that a tube amp distorts at high volumes in a way which we don't perceive as distortion but as an increase in volume whereas an ss amp will produce very ugly sounding distortion (breakup) at high volumes.

exactly!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Although in reality a watt is a watt is a watt. There are no tube watts vs ss watts. A 100W tube amp will be equally as loud as a 100w ss amp in dB's. The trick is in the fact that a tube amp distorts at high volumes in a way which we don't perceive as distortion but as an increase in volume whereas an ss amp will produce very ugly sounding distortion (breakup) at high volumes.

 

I couldn't have said it better.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

The answer here might be surprising: Common wisdom dictates that, with 20X the power, the SS amp should be 3 times (20 db) louder than the tube, all other conditions being equal. (Someone else should chime in here, I just got off a 15 hour shift and my brain is made of butter!)

But, butter-brains aside, didn't Moderator Chappell measure a Marshall Class 5 at some astronomical figure like 117 db recently? My Marshall - a 50 watt 5210, barely doubles that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

The answer here might be surprising: Common wisdom dictates that, with 20X the power, the SS amp should be 3 times (20 db) louder than the tube, all other conditions being equal. (Someone else should chime in here, I just got off a 15 hour shift and my brain is made of butter!)

But, butter-brains aside, didn't Moderator Chappell measure a Marshall Class 5 at some astronomical figure like 117 db recently?
My
Marshall - a 50 watt 5210,
barely
doubles that.

 

dBs coming from a speaker have only a passing relation to wattage from an amplifier.

It'd like saying a cars acceleration is down to it's engine capacity. There are many more factors involved.

 

 

A watt is a watt, SS or tube.

Tube power distort and frequently push out more wattage, but this is no longer a clean signal (forget about preamps for this purpose, wattage relates to power amps).

dBs is much more related to speaker efficiency and cabinet construction.

 

 

With the same levels of power amp THD, both will be exactly the wattage output. Using the exact same speaker cabinet and speakers they will be the exact same volume.

That is the only comparison worth discussing as it's the only one that actually compares the two on a level playing field.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I was just curious because I wanted to get something compact, that would still pack a punch for small gigs.. I played through a crappy 100w crate solid state yesterday and it was plenty loud.. just sounded like anus. lol I used to have a crate v33h that was super loud.. at only 30w.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I was just curious because I wanted to get something compact, that would still pack a punch for small gigs.. I played through a crappy 100w crate solid state yesterday and it was plenty loud.. just sounded like anus. lol I used to have a crate v33h that was super loud.. at only 30w.

 

Exactly. Different class amplification.

The tube amp will have alot less THD as well which makes it a cleaner signal at higher volumes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Tube & ss multiply the signal in different ways. The graph in this link explains some of whats going on in a ss amp. Like the coil in your car FAITHFULLY reproduces 20,000 volts from 12 volts every time a ss amp doesn't always do that so well with watts and you end up with another class.

 

http://www.carvinguitars.com/cartech/crg/poweramp_design.php

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

As noted...a watt is a watt.

 

One of the things influencing perception is the taper of the volume.

 

Modern SS amps are limited to their RMS wattage. So a 100-watt SS amp maxes out at 100 watts when the Volume is dimed; it will not exceed 100 watts. The power amp is never pushed to the point of clipping.

 

A 100-watt tube amp is not limited to its RMS wattage, a 100-watts is the maximum it can sustain continuously, but it will peak close to 175 watts. On average, a 100-watt tube non-master-volume amp will start to peak over 100 watts with the Volume control at as low as 3 or 4, when the power amp starts to overdrive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Exactly. Different class amplification.

The tube amp will have alot less THD as well which makes it a cleaner signal at higher volumes.

 

Actually, tube amps have pretty high THD (I think that most tube amps are rated around 5%, whereas SS amps are usually less than 1%).

The difference is in how your ears perceive the sound. When you hear 5-10% THD in a tube amp as "warmth" and "fatness", the same level of THD in a SS amp will sound shrill, farty, and horrible.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Tube & ss multiply the signal in different ways. The graph in this link explains some of whats going on in a ss amp. Like the coil in your car FAITHFULLY reproduces 20,000 volts from 12 volts every time a ss amp doesn't always do that so well with watts and you end up with another class.


http://www.carvinguitars.com/cartech/crg/poweramp_design.php

 

I'm not clear where you're getting you're information from but most SS guitar amps have a Class AB power amp. Some SS bass amps use Class D.

Some also use variants of Class AB, but the signal amplification methods used used in SS and tube amplifiers is exactly the same.

The wattage created is the same in both, is not related to the class of operation, and the wattage has little to do with the actual volume produced by an amplifier system (including the speakers).

THD in tube power amps tends to be quite high, SS tends to be quite low.

 

 

azmyth, the point of my post was that you should be considering the speaker cabinet and speaker type when considering pure volume, the amp itself or it's wattage is not so relevant.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I think he's concerned about over all volume. Most Crate ss amps are 10% THD (pointless though) at rated volumes.

How fast can it recharge so to say?

 

Take any shit dirt cheapie car audio amp rated at 100w and replace it with any class db rated 100w amp (at 3x the cost) and walla more db at the end of the chain. Simply put a good quality ss amp will usually have a finned heatsink to dissipate all the heat from a fast constant recharge.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Some great info here! I'll only add that it is my understanding that wattage & volume do not increase in a linear proportion ... I don't know if I'm wording that correctly, but what I mean is that a 10 watt amp is NOT twice as loud as a 5 watt amp. My understanding is that it takes an order of magnitude to double volume; i.e., a 50 watt amp is about twice as loud as a 5 watter. Is that correct?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

As noted...a watt is a watt.


One of the things influencing perception is the taper of the volume.


Modern SS amps are
limited
to their RMS wattage. So a 100-watt SS amp
maxes out
at 100 watts when the Volume is dimed; it will
not
exceed 100 watts. The power amp is never pushed to the point of clipping.


A 100-watt tube amp is not limited to its RMS wattage, a 100-watts is the maximum it can sustain
continuously
, but it will
peak
close to 175 watts. On average, a 100-watt tube non-master-volume amp will start to peak over 100 watts with the Volume control at as low as 3 or 4, when the power amp starts to overdrive.

 

Yeah, I was going to add, it's also how and where you measure those watts. I don't know how true it is, but I just read that Marshall measures its tube amps with the volume on 4.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I think he's concerned about over all volume. Most Crate ss amps are 10% THD (pointless though) at rated volumes.

How fast can it recharge so to say?


Take any shit dirt cheapie car audio amp rated at 100w and replace it with any class db rated 100w amp (at 3x the cost) and walla more db at the end of the chain. Simply put a good quality ss amp will usually have a finned heatsink to dissipate all the heat from a fast constant recharge.

 

You're completely missing the point.

Speakers and speaker cabinets are the big factor when concerned with overall volume.

 

Are Crate seriously rating their SS gear at 10% THD? Maybe that's why they sound shit.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

That's correct: 100 watts is twice as loud as 10 watts is twice as loud at 1 watt.


...and as long as it's clean, it doesn't matter if it's tube or SS, Class A, AB, D, or H.

 

....and assuming that the same speaker s and cabinets is used for the SPL measurement. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...