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Author Topic: Low Watt Tube Amps Vs. High Watt Ones?  (Read 114 times)
WillettaZavala
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« on: September 16, 2020, 10:37:52 AM »

Hi! 

In this lockdown, many of us tried many new things, but I tried to explore new but reasonable guitar gears. Though lockdown is over but I am just hoping that I would continue my activity. Yes, I am conducting a comparison between low and high watt amps for guitar and want to share it with all details on my vlog, but I need some guitar community ideas in this regard. People with fundamental knowledge usually think that amps with high watt have more volume as compared to small tubes which could be right, but it is not the absolute reality. When we measure the volumes on the decibel meter, both low watt, and high watt amps can give the same maximum volume.

In this regard, I found this article ( https://tonetopics.com/low-watt-vs-high-watt-tube-amps-how-to-decide/ ) very helpful, but it claims that high watt amps are better in sound clarity than the low amp ones but what about the low tube amps like this ( https://www.happynewguitarday.com/best-small-tube-amp/#Best_Small_Tube_Amps_For_Clean_Tones_8211_Vox_AC30C2X ) which come with a claim of clear sound? I know several other factors could be compared likewise, budget, beginner use and much more. But, I would like to ask from expert guitarist on which bases they purchase amp for their guitar. Also, I would like to hear your journey will small tube amps as a beginner.

Similarly, what could be the best low and high watt amps that you would like to suggest beginners. Hopefully, it would be informative discuss for a newbie like me. You can also refer sources to support your point as well.

Waiting for your response.
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 09:20:47 PM »

For the last 20 years I've use low watt amps.I used a 1994 Peavey Classic 30 which is rated at 22 watts and never had the volumn  above 4 clean and clear and load enough to play clubs.Also I have been using a 1976 Fender Princeton Reverb which is a 12 watt amp with no problems playing gigs.

I have a friend that use' Marshall 100 watt amps with master volumn's on each channel so he can get the tone he wants at low volumn.

Hope this helps.
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 09:55:55 PM »

Low wattage and good P.A.'s! I have an 18 watt Mackamp cab and head for outside use and a 4 watt Mackamp Gem 2.0 studio amp that at the push of a button lets you change to 0.4 watts. I miss my 100 watt Fender Twin sometimes but not carrying the darn thing. I had two huge Altec speakers in that baby and it weighed 96 pounds!   


* mack-amps-heatseaker.jpg (126.07 KB, 450x295 - viewed 7 times.)

* Gem 2.0 control panel (1).jpg (58.56 KB, 960x486 - viewed 6 times.)
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WillettaZavala
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 08:38:48 AM »

For the last 20 years I've use low watt amps.I used a 1994 Peavey Classic 30 which is rated at 22 watts and never had the volumn  above 4 clean and clear and load enough to play clubs.Also I have been using a 1976 Fender Princeton Reverb which is a 12 watt amp with no problems playing gigs.

I have a friend that use' Marshall 100 watt amps with master volumn's on each channel so he can get the tone he wants at low volumn.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for your help but I am just trying to understand it little more. Are you saying low volumes are good with sound clarity but little shy for high volumes? & High watt ones are good for both high and low volumes? Right?
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WillettaZavala
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 08:40:44 AM »

Low wattage and good P.A.'s! I have an 18 watt Mackamp cab and head for outside use and a 4 watt Mackamp Gem 2.0 studio amp that at the push of a button lets you change to 0.4 watts. I miss my 100 watt Fender Twin sometimes but not carrying the darn thing. I had two huge Altec speakers in that baby and it weighed 96 pounds!   

I am trying to conclude your response and are you trying to say high watts have edge? I know it is simple but I am just clarifying it 
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2020, 05:42:27 PM »

Thanks for your help but I am just trying to understand it little more. Are you saying low volumes are good with sound clarity but little shy for high volumes? & High watt ones are good for both high and low volumes? Right?

Yes and no.I've used big amps for years they sounded great but after a while hauling around all that weight and not being able to use the wattage small amps was the way to go {I'm old}.Also pedals sounded better thru small amps.
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 07:14:09 PM »

I am trying to conclude your response and are you trying to say high watts have edge? I know it is simple but I am just clarifying it  

It kind of depends on what you're trying to do. Fill a room, a studio, an arena and ... if you have roadies. On stage, you'll need more wattage but often players use smaller amps and have the sound man mic it and put it through a big PA. I can't see needing more than 30-40 watts though. In the studio, you can get away with quite small amps. Small modern amps can produce surprising amounts of volume. Tubes though. Always tubes.  It's not just volume one is looking for in an amp. It's also tone (depends on the guitar too) and natural distortion which is where the tubes come in. When you heat up rectifiers they do funny things. You want to be able to play that amp as loud as possible without your ears bleeding (use hearing protection!). The beauty of the low watt amps is that you can overdrive the power tubes and get that beautiful distortion without breaking windows. That 4 watt Gem in my photo above might blow your mind. It switches from 4 watts to 0.4 watts and can be comfortably be played at full volume in a small room.  
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