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  #1  
Old 2008-09-03, 11:02
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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Pros and Cons of small amps vs. big amps

I'd like to make a list of the pros and cons of using lower-powered amps (say below 50W) vs. using higher-powered amps (1OOW and above.)

For example:
Lower-powered amps (all-tube) can be played louder and hence one can get a better sound.
The opposite applies to higher-powered amps. One would need to use an attenuator (unless one can play at full volume but poor ears...) Also, attenuators tend to alter the tone to some degree.

Higher-powered amps usually come with more tonal shaping knobs like "Resonance" and "Presence" and hence, one can get closer to the tone they like.
With lower-powered amps, one would need to use an eq pedal.

These are just a few points. If anyone wants to add more and / or elaborate on those already mentioned, you're of course welcome to do so. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 2008-09-03, 11:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonized
I'd like to make a list of the pros and cons of using lower-powered amps (say below 50W) vs. using higher-powered amps (1OOW and above.)

For example:
Lower-powered amps (all-tube) can be played louder and hence one can get a better sound.
The opposite applies to higher-powered amps. One would need to use an attenuator (unless one can play at full volume but poor ears...) Also, attenuators tend to alter the tone to some degree.

Higher-powered amps usually come with more tonal shaping knobs like "Resonance" and "Presence" and hence, one can get closer to the tone they like.
With lower-powered amps, one would need to use an eq pedal.

These are just a few points. If anyone wants to add more and / or elaborate on those already mentioned, you're of course welcome to do so. Thanks.


Um, higher powered amps have more headroom and more bass. The bass also stays cleaner at higher volumes (due to headroom), which keeps your attack tight.

Lower powered amps are easier to drive the powersection hard. Which is good for vintage style preamps, but for highgain preamps this is pointless.
A overdriven powersection yields distorted and loose bass, and squishier attack. You wont be playing anything technical through one of those. If you want tight attack with crushing and defined low end, you want to keep your poweramp clean. Thus VHT amps are using kt88's in the power section: to keep it clean.

Also, there is virtually no noticeable volume difference between a 50 watt amp and a 100 watt amp. Let me put this into context. Everytime you double the wattage flowing to the speakers, you increase volume by 3db. So lets say we're using a speaker with 100db sensitivity.
1 watt = 100db
2 watt = 103
4 = 106
8 = 109
16 = 112
32 = 115
64 = 118
128 = 121

Now, lets assume we have a 64 watt amp, and a 128 watt amp for simplicity's sake. The difference between 118 db and 121 db is undiscernible because your ears are getting raped anyway. The only real difference you might hear is that one has more bass than the other (assuming theyre identical except for wattage).


Presence knobs exist on almost every amp ever, theyre just a feedback loop dampening thing. Resonance knobs only exist on peavey amps. And eq pedals work wonders in any amp.
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Originally Posted by Dahmers Fridge
In the US "fanny" is a word used to describe the ass or butt. Here in the UK "fanny" is a lady garden (vagina)
I was very bemused as a youngster watching the Golden Girls when Blanche said she was going to "spank her fanny" I had visions of a geriatric vertical bacon sandwich red and bruised from being disciplined!!!

Last edited by the_bleeding : 2008-09-03 at 11:49.
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  #3  
Old 2008-09-04, 11:34
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I agree with bleeding. I will say that I prefer the clean response of a high watt (600-1000) SS power section to a tube power section. The low maintenance of a SS amp is also a plus.
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  #4  
Old 2008-09-04, 14:28
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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This the_bleeding guy sure knows about gear. I don't know shit! haha

Anyway, yeah I had heard that about the decibels. So, basically it's kind of wrong to think that say a 100w amp will be double as loud as a 50w amp. Maybe we can say that the wattage hasn't got that much to do with it. It's kind of 'misleading' for a newbie hehe.

Next time I think I'll get a head and a cab and sell my combo. I've got two Marshall combos. I'll try and make a part exchange for a head and cab.

What about stacks? Is there any effect on the overall sound/tone whatever when playing a half-stack as opposed to playing a full stack? There will obviously be more headroom on a full stack and hence the bass frequencies would be retained even better, right? Anything else?

Thanks a lot man! I'm sure newbies will find this info very useful! I should know this stuff considering how long I've been playing haha!
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  #5  
Old 2008-09-04, 20:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonized
This the_bleeding guy sure knows about gear. I don't know shit! haha

Anyway, yeah I had heard that about the decibels. So, basically it's kind of wrong to think that say a 100w amp will be double as loud as a 50w amp. Maybe we can say that the wattage hasn't got that much to do with it. It's kind of 'misleading' for a newbie hehe.

Next time I think I'll get a head and a cab and sell my combo. I've got two Marshall combos. I'll try and make a part exchange for a head and cab.

What about stacks? Is there any effect on the overall sound/tone whatever when playing a half-stack as opposed to playing a full stack? There will obviously be more headroom on a full stack and hence the bass frequencies would be retained even better, right? Anything else?

Thanks a lot man! I'm sure newbies will find this info very useful! I should know this stuff considering how long I've been playing haha!

A full stack will be louder because you have 8 speakers instead of 4, therefore more moved air and more power behind your sound. The head still has the same amount of watts driving the speakers but a tube head might get some power section drive a little earlier than a half stack because of the increase in ohmage, thats only a guess though. A full stack is highly impractical for most people though, as moving that shit around sucks ass, and the differences are only noticed in a large venue setting. I only ever needed a half stack when I played out, and probably will never need a full stack as my style of playing is not popular enough to neccesitate a full stack.
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  #6  
Old 2008-09-05, 00:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innards-Decay
A full stack will be louder because you have 8 speakers instead of 4, therefore more moved air and more power behind your sound. The head still has the same amount of watts driving the speakers but a tube head might get some power section drive a little earlier than a half stack because of the increase in ohmage, thats only a guess though. A full stack is highly impractical for most people though, as moving that shit around sucks ass, and the differences are only noticed in a large venue setting. I only ever needed a half stack when I played out, and probably will never need a full stack as my style of playing is not popular enough to neccesitate a full stack.


wont exactly be louder. It will just spread the sound better... ALOT better. Yes it moves more air, and might be perceived as louder, but its just more speakers at the same volume. Honestly, nothing gives me a boner like a fullstack. There will also TYPICALLY be a little bit more headroom, because you'll run your output section at a lower impedance. You only ever run stacks in parallel, therefore ohmage/impedance goes DOWN.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahmers Fridge
In the US "fanny" is a word used to describe the ass or butt. Here in the UK "fanny" is a lady garden (vagina)
I was very bemused as a youngster watching the Golden Girls when Blanche said she was going to "spank her fanny" I had visions of a geriatric vertical bacon sandwich red and bruised from being disciplined!!!
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  #7  
Old 2008-09-05, 03:47
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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Smile

Very useful info.

When we mention full stacks, I keep picturing Slayer. I saw them live this Summer. The headliners on the festival (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Slayer) all had full stacks, whereas supporting bands had half-stacks. It's usually always like this, I guess.

Now I'm going to search for some info about cabs. The choice is ample. Celestion speakers are mentioned often, I notice. I also checked out the Vader and Splawn websites. Vader have very recently started selling their cabs here in Europe. As you may know, bands like Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy and many others use Vader cabs. I'm curious about them.
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  #8  
Old 2008-09-05, 10:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonized
Very useful info.

When we mention full stacks, I keep picturing Slayer. I saw them live this Summer. The headliners on the festival (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Slayer) all had full stacks, whereas supporting bands had half-stacks. It's usually always like this, I guess.

Now I'm going to search for some info about cabs. The choice is ample. Celestion speakers are mentioned often, I notice. I also checked out the Vader and Splawn websites. Vader have very recently started selling their cabs here in Europe. As you may know, bands like Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy and many others use Vader cabs. I'm curious about them.

Vader's are very sick cabinets. I will own one when I move back home. Before I joined the airforce I had a Marshall 1960a. G12T75's will always be one of my favorite speakers, they are very tight and complement my sound very well.
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  #9  
Old 2008-09-05, 11:12
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haha i just posted in your other thread about this, Carbonized.

Again, vaders will be expensive with shipping.
Matamps will be cheaper, AND full custom. The matamp guys will build whatever you want, with whatever you want. And they'll sound just as good if not better. Give them a call and see if you can get a quote.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahmers Fridge
In the US "fanny" is a word used to describe the ass or butt. Here in the UK "fanny" is a lady garden (vagina)
I was very bemused as a youngster watching the Golden Girls when Blanche said she was going to "spank her fanny" I had visions of a geriatric vertical bacon sandwich red and bruised from being disciplined!!!
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  #10  
Old 2008-09-06, 10:31
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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I'll try Matamps, thanks a lot. But wouldn't I have to order them by shipping just the same? I mean, there's no local dealer here as far as I know.

Anyway, you said you were interested in getting a Peavey 6505. Did you get a chance to go and try one yet? I should be going next week, hopefully.

I'll try and go check out Engl and Mesa-Boogie amps, too.
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  #11  
Old 2008-09-06, 12:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonized
I'll try Matamps, thanks a lot. But wouldn't I have to order them by shipping just the same? I mean, there's no local dealer here as far as I know.

Anyway, you said you were interested in getting a Peavey 6505. Did you get a chance to go and try one yet? I should be going next week, hopefully.

I'll try and go check out Engl and Mesa-Boogie amps, too.


With matamp vs vader, what im thinking is that shipping from the UK will be alot cheaper than shipping from USA. Less ocean to fly over :P
And yes! DO CHECK OUT ENGL! And while you're at it, check out framus cabs. The amps are incredibly expensive but the cabs are well priced and have fantastic speakers in them.
Also, Orange cabs might be your thing. Theyre super bassy and dark, and now you can get them in black instead of orange
Mesa boogie cabs might be too expensive in europe... seeing how theyre built in the US, weigh 100pounds, and have to be flown over. But thats okay; the framus dragon cab and engl pro have the same speaks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahmers Fridge
In the US "fanny" is a word used to describe the ass or butt. Here in the UK "fanny" is a lady garden (vagina)
I was very bemused as a youngster watching the Golden Girls when Blanche said she was going to "spank her fanny" I had visions of a geriatric vertical bacon sandwich red and bruised from being disciplined!!!
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  #12  
Old 2008-09-13, 08:44
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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Hey, the_bleeding!

Have you heard about the Randall 2 x 12" + 1 x 15" cabs? The model name is: RS125XL (http://www.randallamplifiers.com/pr...ts/xl/index.asp)

320W RMS
Straight front
Black cloth grill
2 x Celestion Vintage 30s
1 x 15 Eminence Legend
void-free birch construction
88lbs
29.5W x 14D x 32H
8 ohm mono input only
No Mic Eliminator

I believe I read this kind of cab would be great for downtuned guitars, 7-string guitars, etc. I don't know what tuning you play in.

There's a local dealer for Randall so I could get this cab instead of ordering a Vader or ISP Vector cab by post. Maybe the Randall isn't as good as the ISP Vector cab but I doesn't seem to be bad either.
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  #13  
Old 2008-09-20, 11:13
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i have heard of them but i have never tried one. V30's and legends are a good combo though. I was checking out some regular randalls yesterday and theyre huge and decently built. Go try one out.

In my opinion though, a 15" speaker isnt really useful. I have a mesa cab with 4 v30's and it has so much bass i acnt imagine wanting mroe.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahmers Fridge
In the US "fanny" is a word used to describe the ass or butt. Here in the UK "fanny" is a lady garden (vagina)
I was very bemused as a youngster watching the Golden Girls when Blanche said she was going to "spank her fanny" I had visions of a geriatric vertical bacon sandwich red and bruised from being disciplined!!!
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  #14  
Old 2008-09-20, 18:05
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The only draw back to big amps is trying to get them outside fast enough if your place catches fire.
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  #15  
Old 2008-09-24, 04:05
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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Are you tuned in E standard, the_bleeding? If so, I don't think you'd need the Randall cab with the 15" speaker. A 4 x 12" cab would be great. The reason I mentioned this particular cab was because it's recommended for downtuned guitars, 7-string guitars, etc.

Here's the info I've got about this cab: "Finally, a cabinet that can handle your raw brand of SEVEN STRING slashing OR deep end DROP TUNING. This is a revolutionary NEW cab with separate 2x12/ 1x15" chambers. Loaded on top w/two Celestion Vintage 30's, and a single 15" Eminence Legend. Deep front ports provide extended but tight low end bass response."
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  #16  
Old 2008-10-25, 11:51
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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Cool

I'm going through a Marshall catalog and there's a part about 50W amp heads where it says: "the series now serves the guitarists who prefer the sound and colour delivered by 50 Watts of power."

Does anyone know what this difference in sound and color between 100W amps and 50W amps is, please? I imagine that that means the power amp section can be driven harder? I'm not 100% sure. I'm curious and can't seem to find any info about this. Thanks.
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  #17  
Old 2008-10-28, 01:37
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hahah i already told you. the 50 watter will have less bass and less headroom. Now, depending on the tubes, less headroom can give you different results.

For example, with el34's, it will compress sooner than its 100 watt counterpart, and the powersection will fuzz out sooner than its counterpart. For people who like poweramp distortion, this is preferable. I cant think of any bands right now that use poweramp distortion other than Sunn O))), and they use 6550's.... basicall any 70s rock band used poweramp disto... like Cream.

However, for technical death stuff, poweramp distortion is not quite preferable because it loosens your attack a bit, kills some bass, and kinda fuzzes it out.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahmers Fridge
In the US "fanny" is a word used to describe the ass or butt. Here in the UK "fanny" is a lady garden (vagina)
I was very bemused as a youngster watching the Golden Girls when Blanche said she was going to "spank her fanny" I had visions of a geriatric vertical bacon sandwich red and bruised from being disciplined!!!
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  #18  
Old 2008-10-30, 05:10
Carbonized Carbonized is offline
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Shit, sorry. I forgot that you had already told me.

So 50W amp heads = less bass, less headroom.

You know, I just remembered Angus Young (AC/DC)'s setup. I believe he uses a 50W cranked for solos and a 100W for rhythm or something like that. I'm assuming it's because of the headroom factor, not sure.

Yeah, for playing tight Death Metal, you'd want to keep your power section clean. That makes sense. Innards-Decay mentioned solid-state power sections. Those amps come in handy in this situation.
And you mentioned KT88 tubes that are used for the same purpose. Cool.

So, basically a high-powered amp is the better choice if one wants to get a tight sound. Thanks again, buddy.
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