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Qenzoz
post Sep 26 2011, 07:59 PM
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Hello, I have a quick question about amps, there are these tophead amps, and I was wondering if I have this tophead amp with 50 watt and a 100 watt, and they're exactly the same except the watt is different, without a cabinet the 100 watt can play louder, right? And with a cabinet, they can play just as loud, right'ieo?tongue.gif

Just wondering if it is worth paying for the extra watt, if you're going to get a cabinet too.


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MickeM
post Sep 27 2011, 08:48 AM
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About tube amps.
I'd put it like, the 100 watt has more headroom. Or call it louder clean tone. Which means if it's loud clean tone you're after, the 100w has a plus there.
On the other hand, if you're looking for early break up, i.e. more tube distortion at lower volumes. The 50w will manage that at lower volume than the 100w.

What do you mean "without a cabinet"? Without a cabinet a head won't make a sound. Except for a loud *POP* when the output transformer blows.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 27 2011, 10:06 AM
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What amp are you talking about? You seem to be confusing some terms, you need a cabinet to be able to use the head. Also, 100W is louder then 50W, but not that louder, 100W amp will have more headroom, which means you will be able to play clean sound more louder, while 50W amp will go faster into breakup and start sounding crunchy when cranked.

Again, let us know what brand and model of amplifier you are talking about, and we'll try to explain everything in detail.


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Qenzoz
post Sep 27 2011, 12:54 PM
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Oh I get it now, I was basicly overlooking some important things, I was pretty tired too, but I just thought an headamp could play too since it had some watt, but I get it now, and I wasn't really looking at any specific amp, I was just wondering if the only difference would be that the one could play louder than the other if they were exactly the same except the watt was different.

Altho, atm I am looking at an amp a Blackstar Series One 104EL34 and a Black Series One 200, the difference here is 100 & 200 watt, and the 104EL34 has 4 x EL34 valves and the 200 has 4 x KT88 valves, no idea what that exactly is, but they sound amazing, which is what I am going for tongue.gif

QUOTE
100W(104EL34)/200W(200) Watt head with built-in DPR power reduction
4 x ECC83, 1 x ECC82, 4 x EL34 valves(104EL34)/4 x KT88 valves (200)
4 switchable channels
Clean channel with Warm (Plexi) and Bright (Class A) type modes
Crunch channel with Crunch and Super Crunch modes
Two overdrive channels with high and low output damping

Two ISF equipped tone control sections
Presence and resonance controls
Master Volume
Series effects loop
MIDI switching
Speaker emulated output


So lets say I have both of these amps, and a cabinet, lets say that it is a Blackstar Series One 412 Cabinet

QUOTE
240W extension cabinet
Switchable mono 4Ω or 16Ω / stereo 2x8Ω
Fingerjointed birch plywood construction

Heavy gauge wire
Celestion Vintage 30 loudspeake


Now that says 240W extension, will that mean it I can play up to 240w, or 240w + the watt from my headamp? So if I have the 200 I can play up to 440w, and with the 104el34 340w?

Or am I completly wrong (which I probably am) ? tongue.gif, new to all of this gear basics knowledge.


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MickeM
post Sep 27 2011, 01:30 PM
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See at it like the watt notice on the amp is what it can deliver. And the watt notice on the cab is what it can handle.


From a maintenance point of view KT88 are way more expensive than EL34


Either way, 200 or 100 watts is a lot... I've set my personal favorite of usable watts to 50. Good for anything and everything. Well, for bedroom playing you need less but speaking of rehearsals and gigs.


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Adrian Figallo
post Sep 28 2011, 02:21 AM
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be careful, don't try to run a head without a cabinet, it's dangerous for your head.


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Azzaboi
post Sep 28 2011, 03:38 AM
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A lot of people get confused about amp's watts. Just to clairify a 100w amp isn't going to be twice as loud or as good as a 50w same brand amp. The watts is a measure of power rather than loudness. 5 watts can be as loud as a trumpet, however it doesn't go up in a straight line, it requires more and more the louder you want to max out to. The issue with really high watts on amps is that it causes lower volumes to become really muddy and low quality. Your no longer driving the amp if your just going to practice rather than when your cranking it out on stage. I quite like the push/pull volume control on a few amps which lets you half the watts, keeping it clean at lower volumes. If you don't have that option keep in mind what your'll be using it for.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 28 2011, 03:45 AM
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yes, it is supposed that both would be the same amp but with different wattage. I have a 100 watts amp and I never use it in more than 5 (volume level) so if you get the 50 watts amp is enough unless you play in very big places.


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maharzan
post Sep 28 2011, 10:22 AM
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30W is ideal I guess. Many guitarists including my current favorite Guthrie Govan uses that range. Even 5W is pretty loud for a tube amp. smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 28 2011, 11:56 AM
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QUOTE (Qenzoz @ Sep 27 2011, 01:54 PM) *
I was just wondering if the only difference would be that the one could play louder than the other if they were exactly the same except the watt was different.

The difference in power between 100W and 200W amp is audible in a way that 200W can be louder and more cleaner, which is called "headroom". More power-more headroom, as it will distort on higher SPL values. 200W amp will have more grunt, and 100W will tend to sound "thinner" if you crank them both (which you will never be able to do, unless on a really big stage and even then that's very very loud, to make you def). So, for increased air pressure grunt and headroom, stronger is better in terms of wattage, but that won't make it that much louder, only 2-4dB depending on the amps in question and the perceived sound response.

QUOTE (Qenzoz @ Sep 27 2011, 01:54 PM) *
Altho, atm I am looking at an amp a Blackstar Series One 104EL34 and a Black Series One 200, the difference here is 100 & 200 watt, and the 104EL34 has 4 x EL34 valves and the 200 has 4 x KT88 valves, no idea what that exactly is, but they sound amazing, which is what I am going for tongue.gif

Both of these amps are so loud that you will never turn them pass 6 ever, and that's the fact. In that way, there is really no real reason for getting them, unless you need to play in spaces where you don't have PA system for the guitars, so you need power to blast from the stage. I've played on several such occasions, and on one medium sized 400 ppl venue, had to crank my Hiwatt DR103 head to "only" 7. cool.gif

There are 3 main groups of tubes, often referred as "British" or "American" depending on the usage with amp manufacturers of those countries that stayed from previous rock eras:
EL34 are "British" power tubes used in most Marshalls so everybody are familiar with that type of sound, and they provide tight bass, rich smooth midrange, and rich but not so smooth top end.
KT88 is a larger variant of KT66 (also "British")power tubes with increased power handling, they have fat low end, rich and smooth lower midrange, solid mids, and very warm top end. They will sound much more warmer then EL34, and so will their lower powered cousins KT66. You could find this tube in Marshall SuperLead 100 heads.
Another 3rd major group of tubes are being referred to "American". Those are 6L6 tubes used in american made amps, most notably Fender and Mesa Boogie.
All these brands are now having models that have all three kinds of tubes, but in the early days things were more "black & white"

QUOTE (Qenzoz @ Sep 27 2011, 01:54 PM) *
So lets say I have both of these amps, and a cabinet, lets say that it is a Blackstar Series One 412 Cabinet

Now that says 240W extension, will that mean it I can play up to 240w, or 240w + the watt from my headamp? So if I have the 200 I can play up to 440w, and with the 104el34 340w?

What it means that this cabinet has a set of 4 speakers that can handle 240W powered head. It will not sum up the values from the head, it just means that it is capable of receiving that much power from the amp head and turn it into air pressure.

There are couple of more important things to know about speakers:

1. If this cab has 4 speakers, and rating of the whole cab is 240W, then each speaker on it's own can handle 60W. They are interconnected so the are acting as one giant speaker capable of handling 240W.

2. Head and cab ratings with guitar audio is pretty loose term. Although your head can handle 100W, when you crank it, it can easily form spikes up to 150-200W. These spikes are very short, and won't damage the head in any way, but eventually if you play your amp cranked all the time, it will blow at some point. Same goes for the speakers. Guitar speaker cones are capable of jumping out of their positions when driver hard, thus forming speaker compression and distortion, which is an important part of the tone as well, and this physical behavior is very hard to emulate. Spikes can make the sound distorted and this distortion becae highly appreciated by tone purists today because it's hard to achieve in all conditions. However, if you drive your speakers close to their power rating all the time, they will blow out faster.

3. Speaker sensitivity is important for loudness. It is being measured in dB, when you feed one frequency, at the power of 1W on the distance of 1m from the speaker. Speaker with 97dB will sound considerably less loud then speaker of 105dB rating, when placed on the same head. So speaker quality and construction defines loudness too. For example if you have 50W head on 105dB speaker, and you have 100W head on 95dB speaker, 100W head will sound less loud. That's how important sensitivity is.

4. Perceived loudness is subjective opinion on what is loud. For example in a band, if you have a speaker that is has more midrange and top end, it will be often perceived louder even if it is less loud then a speaker that has scooped mids and less top end. So same power, but less of some frequencies that are sensitive to human ear.

EDIT: typos

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Sep 28 2011, 06:38 PM


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