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Tube vs. Solid state (loudness)


azmyth
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Ok, wow.. this got out of hand..

 

Math and numbers aside...

 

If I were out to purchase an amplifier, for use as a practice amp in the practice room with my 4 piece band.. that consists of myself, a 2nd guitarist, bassist, and fairly heavy hitting drummer..

 

and I wanted something small, that could be used for both practice and for playing small venues (unmiced) and larger venues (miced) and I had to choose between..

 

a 100w solid state combo amp with 2 x 12" speakers of some "brand"

 

or

 

a 5 to 20w Class A tube amp with a 2 x 12" cabinet or 4 x 10/12 cabinet..

 

from what most are saying..

 

the 100w should be louder natively, and definitely louder were it connected to a 4 x 12 cabinet.

 

but the 5w amp, would also be "louder" connected to a bigger speaker cabinet.. but not 'louder" than the 100w connected to the same 4 x 12 cab.

 

would both of these choices then be capable of the original use?

 

PS.. obviously having to use a 4 x 12 sort of throws the "small" out of the equation.

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Ok, wow.. this got out of hand..


Math and numbers aside...


If I were out to purchase an amplifier, for use as a practice amp in the practice room with my 4 piece band.. that consists of myself, a 2nd guitarist, bassist, and fairly heavy hitting drummer..


and I wanted something small, that could be used for both practice and for playing small venues (unmiced) and larger venues (miced) and I had to choose between..


a 100w solid state combo amp with 2 x 12" speakers of some "brand"


or


a 5 to 20w Class A tube amp with a 2 x 12" cabinet or 4 x 10/12 cabinet..


from what most are saying..


the 100w should be louder natively, and definitely louder were it connected to a 4 x 12 cabinet.


but the 5w amp, would also be "louder" connected to a bigger speaker cabinet.. but not 'louder" than the 100w connected to the same 4 x 12 cab.


would both of these choices then be capable of the original use?


PS.. obviously having to use a 4 x 12 sort of throws the "small" out of the equation.

 

In my opinion you're confusing yourself asking these specific questions and limiting yourself to two amps. Is this an actual question or just an in theory?

 

Because in practice, all else being equal (which we know it's not, but there we go!) I'd rather have the 100 watt solid state amp for most styles - it will have the headroom to be ran loud or quiet, whereas with a 5 to 20 watt valve amp you will definitely be pushing it into distortion when playing with a loud drummer, at a big gig, etc. That means your playing style and how you get a suitable tone will be changing from venue to venue, which can be annoying. But with that 100 watt amp, the tone will stay pretty much the same at any volume.

 

But it depends on what you want; If you want to be able to push the amp into sweet valve overdrive, then obviously a 5-20 watt valve amp would be great. It may be that cleans aren't that important to you and you're happy to compromise with a pedal in situations where you can't push the amp. And when you can push a 20 watt amp hard, it'll be plenty loud.

 

But again, here's another variable; the kind of tone you want. If you want a middy amp overdrive without much bass, 20 watts will be easily loud enough - loud enough that you'll be shouted at for some gigs. If you want a thick and punchy modern distortion sound, 20 watts won't be enough at gig level, it'll mush out and you'll be frustrated.

 

So it just depends. Not only on speakers, solid state vs tube, transformer saturation, but also what tone you want, where you want to sit in a band mix, how consistent you want your tone to be from gig to gig, how much you need valve amp power overdrive...

 

Basically what I'm saying is there is literally no overall answer. It completely depends on the situation. I run a 30 watt valve amp (ac30) with a 2x12 speaker cab. For natural amp distortion tones it is so loud that I will always be told to turn down. For tight, articulate and modern distorted riffage, it barely cuts the mustard because you need to turn it down to stop it from mushing out when hit with those kind of tones. Luckily my style fits somewhere in between, so it works. But it's a good example of why your question ultimately doesn't make sense.

 

The only way you'll EVER know is by picking an amp and trying it. If it doesn't work, work out why and move on.

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

 

to support the post.

air density, ears, ear position, gain level, room, position in the room ect..... decibels are solid but perceivable volume is a whole different monster.

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Baaaahahahahahahaha this thread is just way out of hand and ridiculous. Everyone showing off how much they know.



The OP should've just asked for tube amps that could handle a live show

 

There's nothing wrong with using what you know to help people who ask questions. If you don't want to learn anything, that's cool too. But you're showing off how much you don't care, and that's worse IMO.

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let me simplify the original question...

 

is there a amp tube or solid state thats compact in size, that can put out enough sound to play small venues unmiced, and large ones miced.. and also be fine for practice?

 

trying to avoid lugging around a huge head, and a huge cabinet.

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let me simplify the original question...


is there a amp tube or solid state thats compact in size, that can put out enough sound to play small venues unmiced, and large ones miced.. and also be fine for practice?


trying to avoid lugging around a huge head, and a huge cabinet.

 

 

Yes. Damn near everything over 20watts and 1x12. Tube.

 

Look at JCA first.

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Yeah I knew that much. But I have experienced a VERY noticable perceived volume change with only an amp swap that has the same rated power.


Imo generally speaking its seems to take a 100w ss amp to match the volume of a 50w tube amp. Either one is loud enough just one seems to be louder when it comes to tube vs. ss. In most cases thats what I run into. Me and a buddy were comparing my 100w tube head to his 350w ss in terms of volume. We didn't think the ss amp was really much louder at all and I mean very little, and others in the room agreed. Variables well he was on a full stack I was on half so we put mine on milk cartons for it to be a little more fair. Yet that ss amp has such great specs man 350w!!


If some of you wish to go into great detail as to why than go ahead.

Really I don't care cause a 100w tube head is plenty and I'm a tube snob so why would I care about a 350w ss amp. OOOOh man it takes that much to keep up? I'll stick to tubes thanks.


If you really want to go into details then explain why time travel might or might not be possible cause the poster still seems to "think" that a 30w tube amp was as loud as a 100w ss amp. And get this I believe him and have heard many of 100w tube amps put ss amp ratings to shame. True story.

 

Tube snob end of story. But remember this. In the end of the day, a 350w ss amp may be lighter and cheaper than a 100 watt amp and that is also an advantage. Maintenanance, ease of use, the fact that you can manage your sounds from lower levels to higher with stable results (good luck with a 100 watt tube amp on regular gigs) are also to be accounted for.

 

 

 

What I am saying is, some times tubes are more of a pain in the ass than a good thing. Depends on the situation. Shitty tone from tube amps is a reality and something I have witnessed so many times from either first hand (...me) or others using them. The same goes for ss hybrid modelling etc amps. They do have their places and people sometimes come with a bloody pod or flextone or peavey bandit and sound fucking excellent while the other player tries to tame his marshall or attenuator or whatever.

 

 

Everything has its place.

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22watt bugera tube amp and a 100 watt solid state fender champion amp  ,  i have them both  ,  both amps have the same size  speakers in them  with big highwattage magnets on them,      WHAT FOR  ?       I mean if tube amps  arnt louder than solid state amps  and both  are suposenally the same     watt for watt     then   why does a little 22 watt bugera tube amp need such a  big high wattage speaker and magnet on it for like its a 100 watt fender amp or something  ,    is  22 watts the same as 100 watts       i mean come on people this 22watt bugera tube amp has a big wattage speaker magnet on the back of its speaker for some reason right  ? im here to tell you the reason    CAUSE ITS LOUD   infact if i were to put a  so called  22watt  little magnet speaker in that 22watt bugera amp it would fry that speaker for sure     that amp is loud that 22watt bugera tube is as loud or maybe even louder than  my 100 watt fender  champion amp which has 2- 100 watt  speakers in it        no one is going to have me  to believe that tube loudness and solidstate  loudness  are  the same watt for watt , UNLESS the  tube amps made a mistake on their wattage labels    cause    once you play and hear for your self the  loudness  of the 22 watt bugera  tube amp  youll know then why bugera 22watt tube amps have a  big magnet high wattage speaker  in them        and also the reason why you will not see a bugera 22watt tube amp with  a little  22 watt oz magnet speaker in it     ha ha    

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I've heard that the huge transformers in the tube amps make them powerful and loud.

 That 22 watt bugera tube is in my opinion about the same as the Fender 212 ss. I agree with 3 or 4 to 1 for tube amps vs ss amps. I have a 15 watt Marshall tube thats loud as hell.

For a loud amp to play with a loud drummer I would recommend at least a 22 watt tube amp or a 100 watt ss amp,

but all ss amps are not equal.............. The Fender Champion 100 is loud enough I feel. DEfinitely if it has 2 12s

 

Ive played both, theyre loud as hell. 

I dont remember the weights of each.

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