Tube vs SS

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by punisher911, Oct 5, 2012.


  1. punisher911

    punisher911

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    Jan 20, 2005
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    Warren, MI
    I have a Acoustic B300H head, but I'm kinda gassing for an Ashdown Dual Tube 330. Is there a volume difference between 300watts ss vs 300 tube? I know there will be the tube breakup and overdrive/distortion difference/tone difference.
  2. CnB77

    CnB77

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    Assume the amps are set to exactly 300 watts output through identical speakers. Yes, same loudness, though EQ will have some effect on apparent loudness.

    Note that the volume pot tapers may be different. 2 on one might be louder than 4 on the other, but it's just getting louder faster. It isn't necessarily louder.

    Watts are watts. The idea of "tube watts" being different is ridiculous. The difference is that a tube amp will put out more than its rated wattage (distortion happens here)
  3. Calaverasgrande

    Calaverasgrande

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    East Oakland, California
    that amp is not a "tube amp" it is a solid state amp with a tube preamp.
    The easy way to spot this is most amp that have power tubes are much taller than solidstate counterparts. This is due to the physical height of 6550/6L6/EL34 etc power tubes, and also the size of the power and output transformers.
    I'm intrigued by their new all tube heads. Especially the outlandish flip top models.
  4. CnB77

    CnB77

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    BTW, that ashdown only has tubes in the preamp, not the power amp. So it's "300 ss watts" either way.

    Also, Ashdown might have more honest wattage ratings than Acoustic.
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  6. punisher911

    punisher911

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    Ah, so the "Dual Tube" Ashdown in actually just a tube preamp? I might like that too. I had a LH500 Hartke before and I loved the Digitech Tube Overdrive pushing the tube preamp...
  7. Calaverasgrande

    Calaverasgrande

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    I wonder if the are BHP watts?
  8. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    I wonder if anyone will read the stickies/faqs before asking the same question asked SOOOO many times before?
  9. Jim Nazium

    Jim Nazium

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    There are a few points worth making, IMHO:
    1. Watts are watts
    2. Manufacturers' claimed power output may not be terribly accurate. Notice you never see a 273 watt amp or a 317 watt amp, it's always a round number, despite all the different circuit designs
    3. The claimed power output is usually for a single frequency into a non-reactive load, like 1000hz into 8 ohms, which bears little resemblance to real music played through a real speaker
    4. Overdriven tube amps behave differently from overdriven SS amps, so you may be able to crank up a tube amp louder than an identically rated SS amp without it sounding nasty (but there are some SS designs that break up very nicely)
    5. Doubling the power of an amplifier only increases perceived volume by about 10%

    With all that in mind, there's no way to tell which of two "300 watt" amps will sound louder except by trying them out. Have fun and good luck.
  10. teemuk

    teemuk

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    Mar 1, 2011
    Both tube and solid-state amps can "put out more than their rated wattage".

    See, output power is stated at some percantage of total harmonic distortion in a sinusoidal signal. Past that point the wave will simply distort more and more, yet output power will also increase, theoretically up to a point where the amp outputs a square wave with peak amplitude limited by the power supply's capabilities. Technically this power output would be twice (or slightly more) than the amp's rated "clean" output power. It will never happen in practice.

    Both tube amps and solid-state amps behave similarly in this regard.

    So the question is really whether you like distortion in signal. It's not that every tube amp sounds great with it and that every solid-state one sounds bad. You have to evaluate each amp individually because each amplifier is usually way different than another. ...And the application also matters a whole lot: If you want clean tone then you want clean tone. Period.

    After all this we also arrive into issue of output power differences mattering only slightly (because the scale is logarithmic) - an issue already pointed out - and output power being a very poor measure of loudness to begin with because soundwaves are generated by a transducer not the amp. The speaker system has far more effect and you always have to evaluate that as well if you are going to compare loudnesses of amp rigs.

    No one ever reads them. I have really liked the style of select few forums where registering in actually involved passing a quiz about issues discussed in the stickies and FAQ.
  11. Duke21

    Duke21

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    Which question? SS vs tubes? Never heard about this question. :)
  12. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    Good thing I am drinking water.......my monitor was a little dirty anyway ;) :D
  13. Duke21

    Duke21

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    Well, you some it up nicely.
  14. the Arsonaut

    the Arsonaut

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    DEATH TO NONBELIEVERS!

    too soon? did the thread peak yet?
  15. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    At post 0.5 :p
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    The LH500 also has a tube in it ;)

    Some of you all really need to lighten up over this "do a search/read the FAQ" stuff. Don't want to answer questions that get asked a lot? Then don't. But the constant "do a search" nonsense gets annoying. What the hell good is a forum if not to post threads?
  17. teemuk

    teemuk

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    What the hell is a forum for if it only discusses the same topics with same words all the time?

    Do you really need a forum to ask what is 2 + 2 ?

    These threads usually exist for mere reason of lazyness and unwillingness to spend a few minutes in studying things individually. It's the attitude that's the pet peeve of mine, not the threads. This topic would be far more interesting to discuss if it actually covered something other than the usual stuff it always covers; provided us with something NEW we didn't know already and aroused our inspiration and overall interest.

    That is discussion.

    If you only need questions answered - especially very basic questions - the answers are usually found from books, websites, et cetera. or like in this case, from stickies. That's why stickies and FAQs exist in the first place. There's a difference between discussion and asking / answering basic questions. The discussion is why I surf forums.
  18. dincz

    dincz

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    Paraphrasing the FAQs is an art form
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Funny...if I find a topic that I'm not interested in, I just ignore it. Not everyone has the ability to do that, I guess, but it comes pretty easily for me.

    BTW, 2 + 2 = 4.
  20. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

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    Of course tube watts are louder, you have the additional scaling factors introduced by the flux capacitance.
  21. Calaverasgrande

    Calaverasgrande

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    Location:
    East Oakland, California
    Tube amps and solidstate amps of identical wattage behave differently with the same speaker.
    I am not sure if this is compression, distortion or damping. But tube amps seem to get louder. Even playing clean.
    Another factor rarely mentioned is that vintage tube heads generally tend to be more band limited than modern solid state heads.
    Plug in a Fender Bassman or Traynor YBA1a and tell me that sounds like you are getting a full range signal. It's all mid!

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