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sted
post Mar 7 2009, 04:43 PM
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Sorry in advance for posting another amp thread rolleyes.gif

I currently have a 15w Vox which is great but very loud (too loud!) for home use, there was an extensive thread on 5w amps a while back that I have looked at and I was almost convinced into a Blackstar Ht-5, however I have read that even these are too powerful and in real terms 5w is actually half the power of a 50w amp!! as the extract below shows

40 watts is 94% as loud as 50 watts.
25 watts is 81% as loud as 50 watts.
20 watts is 76% as loud as 50 watts.
15 watts is 70% as loud as 50 watts.
10 watts is 62% as loud as 50 watts.
5 watts is 50% as loud as 50 watts.

Do you guys have any experience in this area, should I be looking for something 1 watt?? Do they exist even?? I really want that cranked tube sound!

Any comments are, as always, appreciated guys! smile.gif
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29a
post Mar 7 2009, 05:03 PM
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Blackheart Killer Ant Head: http://www.thomann.de/de/blackheart_killer_ant_head_bh1h.htm
Zvex Nano Tube: http://zvexamps.com/amp_view.html

But does also depend on the circuit design etc. As far as I know the HT-5 is designed to sound like a cranked amp even at lower volumes. wink.gif

An attentuator might also be an option worth considering.

Hope that helps!
Jonas

This post has been edited by 29a: Mar 7 2009, 05:04 PM


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ZakkWylde
post Mar 7 2009, 05:06 PM
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If 15 watt is too loud for you when cranked, then 1 watt will also be too loud for you cranked!

Get the amp of your choice and cut it down with a high quality attentuator (thd hotplate)


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Sircraigery
post Mar 7 2009, 05:11 PM
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I have a bit of experience, you might even want a 0.5W. Zvex makes them, and they really awesome amps. But they are still like $600 us for a head. That's even still too loud for an apartment if you have really anal neighbours. It's still half as loud as the 5W, and still a 1/4x as loud as a 50W head cranked (-20dB).

Basically with sound, I'm sure you've heard of a decibel (dB). Every time you double a speaker's power, you gain 3dB output (or yes doubling it's output). But our ears doesn't recognize it as twice as loud, because our ears are not linear like that.

10dB difference is twice as loud TO OUR EARS, so it's twice as loud (but not to our ears) 3x over and then some. On the decibel scale, the smallest audible sound (near total silence) is 0 dB. A sound 10 times more powerful is 10 dB. A sound 100 times more powerful than near total silence is 20 dB (4x as loud to us). A sound 1,000 times more powerful than near total silence is 30 dB (8x as loud to us). Every time you increase the power ouput by a factor of 10x, you add 10dB.

EDIT: Man, I'm slow LOL

This post has been edited by Sircraigery: Mar 7 2009, 05:13 PM


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sted
post Mar 7 2009, 05:33 PM
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Interesting stuff!!!

so my best options would be:

Get the Zvex with a cab of my choice (4x12's baby yeah!) and if i ever need more power for live stuff (big if!) i can have another head?

or

Just get the amp of my choice and put the hotplate in front of it to attenuate the sound?

I suppose i could get the THD now and run my 15w vox through it too?
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29a
post Mar 7 2009, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE (sted @ Mar 7 2009, 05:33 PM) *
Interesting stuff!!!

so my best options would be:

Get the Zvex with a cab of my choice (4x12's baby yeah!) and if i ever need more power for live stuff (big if!) i can have another head?

or

Just get the amp of my choice and put the hotplate in front of it to attenuate the sound?

I suppose i could get the THD now and run my 15w vox through it too?
You would probably have to mod it and it wouldn't make much sense anyway as the ad15vt is solid state. wink.gif

But if you like the sound of the ad15vt my guitar teacher has a ad50vt212 which does have a master knob on the back. That allows you to crank the valvereactor thingy and seems to compensate for some of the loss of highs and lows caused by the lower volume. So maybe that's an option for you too.

Jonas

This post has been edited by 29a: Mar 7 2009, 06:35 PM


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Zephyr
post Mar 7 2009, 07:08 PM
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If you opt for an attenuator, I would definitely not recommend the THD hotplate. I've also never used one, so don't take my word for it. tongue.gif

Check out Weber attenuators! The biggest difference between the two (you can read more about it on the site), is that most attenuators on the market use a resistive load, which is just a series of resistors. Most of this guy's attenuators actually use a speaker motor for a more natural and reactive tone - maybe this is just hype, but it makes sense to me!

The Weber models also have some extra handy features, a few have tone stacks, others have treble compensation, etc. Also, the Webers can be used with any ohmage, while the THDs are ohm-specific. And the finishing blow is that Weber attenuators are actually cheaper than the THDs, even the most expensive one is $250, while the Hotplates go for over $300 with less features, a resistive load, and only work with one ohmage.

P.S. I do own the Weber MASS III, and it works great, but I've never had the chance to use a different attenuator, so I don't know how it compares.

Also, if you do get a Weber,make sure you get the correct wattage. They recommend twice the wattage of your amp, just to be safe.

One more thing, I just now noticed that your amp is a solid state, so this whole thing is kind of pointless. With a solid state, you shouldn't lose much from not having the amp cranked, other than tone from the speakers, which you would lose anyways with an attenuator turned down. Well, up, I guess. Anyways, try just turning the volume down and see if it's really much worse.

This post has been edited by Zephyr: Mar 7 2009, 07:21 PM
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Fran
post Mar 7 2009, 07:21 PM
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There's also a new VOX all valve amp coming in April, which has a switch to play at either 5W - 1 W - 1/4th W.
I'm definitely going to check it out, comes as head + 12'' cab or combo version.



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29a
post Mar 7 2009, 08:06 PM
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That makes me wonder how difficult it would be to build such an attentuator from a speaker driver. rolleyes.gif


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ZakkWylde
post Mar 7 2009, 08:09 PM
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Ahh C'mon just screw your neighbours, I play a 100 watt tube halfstack at home!!!! ^^


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sted
post Mar 7 2009, 08:14 PM
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QUOTE (Zephyr @ Mar 7 2009, 06:08 PM) *
One more thing, I just now noticed that your amp is a solid state, so this whole thing is kind of pointless. With a solid state, you shouldn't lose much from not having the amp cranked, other than tone from the speakers, which you would lose anyways with an attenuator turned down. Well, up, I guess. Anyways, try just turning the volume down and see if it's really much worse.


It has an effects processor but the actual power amp is tube driven according to the blurb on the site, hence why they come with a power output control knob so you can crank it at lower volumes, sadly not on the 15w version! also I dont like the modelling on the Vox so a true tuber would be preferable.

I might just check out the new vox that Fran has alluded to as well!


QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Mar 7 2009, 07:09 PM) *
Ahh C'mon just screw your neighbours, I play a 100 watt tube halfstack at home!!!! ^^


Yeah but my neighbours a dance music DJ at a club in Liverpool, if i screw him with my music he might start playing that music all night to get me back!! ohmy.gif surely a fate worse than death!!!! biggrin.gif

Edited for language /Micke
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MickeM
post Mar 7 2009, 09:33 PM
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The Blackheart Killer Ant says 1W but it's actually 0,25W. Could be your thing!

There's also a difference wether you aim for preamp distortion or poweramp distorion. If it's poweramp disatorion you're after you have no choise but to turn it up to the sweet spot.
In general, looking past that different powertubes have different character, it's perfectly doable with a 0,25w amp. Ok with a 5w amp if you don't have neighbours. Impossible with with 30w and above unless you accept to be a disturbing element.
Btw I drained my 100w to 50w by pulling a tube to make it more useful at band rehersal even.

That's in regards to poweramp distortion.
Preamp distorion can be reached on most amps on pretty low volume and most modern amps will sound good at low volumes which makes it possible to keep a 100w amp in your bedroom. I know my modern one does. My old JCM800 sounded really really bad at all volumes but 10.

My 5w amp sounds great already at low volumes. It's LOUD when cranked.
My 30w amp sound ok on low volumes and great at high volumes. This one can be pub gigged.
My 100w amp is too loud for rehearsal and too loud for normal size gigs. I pulled a couple of tubes and it's 50w and more useful. A modern amp that sounds good at low volume and great at high.

I've got an attenuator, a Weber 50. That works fine, though also a speaker has a sweet spot which requires a certain signal strength to be reached. An attenuator will work against that.

Hope to have given some guidance from how I see things.


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29a
post Mar 8 2009, 12:10 AM
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QUOTE (sted @ Mar 7 2009, 08:14 PM) *
It has an effects processor but the actual power amp is tube driven according to the blurb on the site, hence why they come with a power output control knob so you can crank it at lower volumes, sadly not on the 15w version! also I dont like the modelling on the Vox so a true tuber would be preferable.
That's only partially true, as far as I know it's just a preamp tube after the modeling/preprocessor. The real amplification of the signal is solid state.

There is another problem when playing at lower volumes which is probably what you are experiencing. Humans perceive less lowend / high end at lower volumes. wink.gif

Jonas


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Zephyr
post Mar 8 2009, 07:39 AM
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QUOTE (29a @ Mar 7 2009, 03:10 PM) *
That's only partially true, as far as I know it's just a preamp tube after the modeling/preprocessor. The real amplification of the signal is solid state.

There is another problem when playing at lower volumes which is probably what you are experiencing. Humans perceive less lowend / high end at lower volumes. wink.gif

Jonas


Right, it's got a preamp tube, not a power tube. Which isn't a bad thing, but when your talking "natural tube overdrive" sort of tones, you're talking about power tubes. Besides, with a preamp tube, you can just crank up the gain and have the master volume down. With power tubes, you get that tone from cranking the amp, which is where attenuators come in handy.
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kaznie_NL
post Mar 8 2009, 12:28 PM
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Ik know what you want tongue.gif I have the Vox AD 50 VT. It's 50 Watt, half tube, and it has.... a dial for power! So I can go from 1 watt to 50 watt, it's great! My amp is always on high volume, but the wattage is low, so I have a good sound, but not to loud!


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Marshmall0wz
post Mar 8 2009, 07:03 PM
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I hate these threads smile.gif they just make me feel like the old school times when rock was ABOUT annoying the neighbors are gone. JUST PLAY! No offense intended btw haha


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Sircraigery
post Mar 8 2009, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE (Marshmall0wz @ Mar 8 2009, 07:03 PM) *
I hate these threads smile.gif they just make me feel like the old school times when rock was ABOUT annoying the neighbors are gone. JUST PLAY! No offense intended btw haha


Like Chong's solo in 'Next Movie'.



biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Sircraigery: Mar 8 2009, 08:26 PM


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sted
post Mar 8 2009, 08:32 PM
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Man that's funny!! I actually sound just like him too, though I use a cat instead of a wrench for a slide tongue.gif
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Fran
post Mar 8 2009, 08:57 PM
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Here's the link to the vox amp coming april:
http://www.voxamps.com/us/modernclassic/ac4tvh-v112tv/


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 9 2009, 12:26 AM
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I think getting a nice quality 30-60W all tube amp with attenuator is the best solution definitely.


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