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Can somebody tell me why my 100w amp is louder than my 300w amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 250GBsOfAwesome, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. 250GBsOfAwesome


    Jul 11, 2008
    I have an Ashdown MAG 300 (300w) and a Yorkville Bassmaster XM100 (100w) when I turn my Ashdown up half way it's loud, but not too loud. It's just perfect for bedroom playing. When I turn my Bassmaster up 3/4 of the way it's way too loud for anything. Why is this? I know that watts don't equal volume, but I'd really like to know why this is.
  2. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Not all volume knobs are created equal, I've had amps that have to be turned up quite aways to get volume out of and some that were loud down low and clipping long before they hit the top. I'm also assuming you're playing them with the same bass through the same speaker. Does one of them have the active input engaged?
  3. 250GBsOfAwesome


    Jul 11, 2008
    I'm playing them both through my passive Jazz bass. And the Yorkville is a combo amp.
  4. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    some companies rate their amps more conservatively than others. one speaker could be more efficient than the other.

    yorkville is well known for loud, good sounding, affordable bass gear...
  5. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Right, if you're playing them through different speakers, that also throws off your whole comparison.
  6. 250GBsOfAwesome


    Jul 11, 2008
    I understand that the wattage could mean something different from company to company but seriously, should my 300w amp sound much louder than my 100w amp? That just doesn't make sense to me.
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    +1. All that's being compared here is gain structure and speaker response/sensitivity.
    Al Kraft likes this.
  8. Some cabinets/speakers are more sensitive to the same power, therefore will be louder.

    Also, some manufacturers may state "peak" power AKA instantaneous power; this is the power that the amp can put out for a very small fraction of time before blowing up. Their numbers will be artificially high. Other manufacturers may use average power or some sort of standard, not sure what that is. Their numbers will look lower than other, less honest manufacturers. But you can be sure that those amps can put out that kind of power all day long.

    Also, it takes less power to put out higher frequencies at a given volume than lower frequencies. So if the Yorkie is voiced higher it will sound louder given the same wattage. I haven't played either so I'm just throwing stuff out there :)

    Lastly, power ratings are usually stated with a given load, ie: 8Ohms, 4Ohms, etc. If your Ashdown cab is 8 Ohms and the Yorkie is 4Ohms, then the Ashdown is likely not producing a full 300W, which narrows the gap even between the two. Again, I don't know anything about those cabs.

    - Andrew
  9. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Yeah, spec's don't mean squat.

    Could be the voicing of the amps. Low lows will eat up all kinds of watts and still not hit you over the head the way a little midrange will.
  10. julo


    Jan 18, 2005
    Boulder, CO

    The MAG is 300W at 4 ohms (it's 307W IIRC).
    So used with a 8ohm cab you get around 150W, not that much difference compared to 100W.

    And the cab also changes the perceived volume quite a bit.

  11. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    1. Like julo said about the 8-Ohm rating.
    2. The position of the volume knob doesn't tell you how much of the amp's available power you are using.
    3. Differences in speaker sensitivity.
    4. Different tone voicing -- one amp / speaker could be emphasizing the more audible frequencies.
  12. Mentor Bass

    Mentor Bass

    Jan 22, 2016
    and perhaps whether talking RMS or not
  13. All good replies so far.
  14. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Two examples:
    TC Electronics RH450.
    It is stated that this amp has 450W, but it only pumps out ~236W.
    Orange Terrorbass 500
    The name says 500, but someone (i think it was a mag from UK) measured peaks with something above 940W.

    So what it says on the amp is not always accurate.

    And SPL is all important.
  15. 2008 must have been a slow year. It only just called asking for its itty bitty thread back.
    B-string, S-Bigbottom and Gluvhand like this.
  16. AdamR


    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    My last 3 rigs
    Hartke kilo 1000 watts bridged
    Ampeg svt 7 1000 watts
    GK 700rb 480 watts

    The 700rb kills both those 1000 watt heads in volume.
  17. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Not sure if it's relevant here, but if you're referring to the combo, isn't it possible that the full 300 watts are not utilized unless there is an external cab being used as well? I am not familiar with the Ashdown MAG 300, so I'm probably way off...
  18. I think the reason why your Yorkville is louder than the Ashdown is because it's a Bassmaster! Seriously though wattage ratings of different bass amps are always suspect to me nowadays. My SVT's are rated at 300 watts WRMS @ IIRC 1.5% distortion but I haven't heard many amps that were appreciably louder than them no matter what they were rated. Another thing is that most modern amps do not have the parameters that the ratings were done under nowadays either. There are many different ways to rate them but RMS with percentage distortion is the best measurement for comparison and I haven't seen many rated that way for a long time. They just say for ex 1000 watts which is pretty much useless without distortion specs. You could rate an SVT head at 700 watts too if you rated it at peak power with no distortion percentage listed. You would need the RMS rating with the percentage of distortion of both amps to make them capable of being compared to each other. It's actually more complicated than this but this should give you some idea.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  19. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    That Yorkville/Traynor stuff is so much bang for the buck. If anyone in Vancouver, BC is looking there's a mint condition '90's Yorkville Monoblock single 15 combo with matching extension cab on the floor at the Terminal St L&M for $250. The thing sounds great....I wish I had the need or even the room for it. Looks like it never left the store.
  20. Rick James

    Rick James

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    Really, why reply to an eight year old post? How does one even find an eight year old post to reply to?

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