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complicated wattage question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by scorpionldr, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. ok, i have an amp that is rated at 65 watts at 8 ohms, and i'm looking at a new amp, but it's rated at 200 watts at 4 ohms. I am really concerned about what the wattage will be at 8 ohms, so i'll really know whether it's louder than what i already have. I tried the amp at a store once, it was great, and I THOUGHT it sounded louder (like massive, but my head was practically inches from being in front of it), but I'm not sure if that's my lust for new equipment talking.
    now I've figured out that if i go to 4 ohms, my wattage is doubled to 130 watts at 4 ohms. so, In my own history of amps, i went from 15 watts (8 ohms, 30 at 4) to 65 (or now we'll call it 130), and now I'm questioning, will 70 watts (or 35@8ohms) more be more massive? i mean, i've went up 50 (or a hundred) watts, now i'm making a step up 70 watts, and I'm not sure if i should go with this. Is this going to be a lot louder than what i have already? I'm going out of my way to save alot of money for it, so i'll really need to get this straight. :meh:
  2. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Assuming everything else is equal, I think if your reason for buying this amp is to become louder, you are looking at an amp that is not powerful enough...in other words, this is not much of an upgrade in loudness terms.

    Personally, going from 130W @4 Ohms, I'd be looking for at least 400W @4Ohms as the next upgrade level, but then, as far as I am cocerned, no amp is too powerful (you can always turn down the volume knob).
  3. Well you don't really have 130w @ 4 ohms. If your amp were stable at 4 ohms you would have more like 100w, but that's not really the issue here. Your 200w @ 4 ohm amp which you are looking at is going to be around 120-130w at 8 ohm so if you were to run the same 8 ohm speaker from your previous amp you would be approximately doubling the power which on paper would be an increase of 3db. That's a volume increase of about 1/2 of 1% of nothing. (noticeable, but not much) :cool:
  4. all right, so i have approximately the power of a b100r. and since this new amp would be 130@8ohms, and my amp is 65@8ohms, it'd be double. but wouldn't that be twice as massive as my own amp? are there any recommendations for me? I'm a really big fan of combo amps, that's why i'm looking into it
  5. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Every time you double your wattage, you get about a 3db increase in volume. 3db is a noticeable increase. In order to sound twice as loud, it takes a 10db increase in volume, which works out to about 10 times the wattage.

    So you see why some folks have 2000+ watt bass rigs. It seems like it would be a HUGE difference from 200 watts, but in reality it's not.

    But you also have to consider the overall sound of the amp. If it's got stronger response in the midrange frequencies, it's going to sound louder. This is part of what helps make SVT's seem so loud. Wattage is only part of the "percieved volume" equation.
  6. yea, that's why i was wondering, cuz i'm looking at that yorkville xm200, and i mean although i was close to it, i only had to turn it up to three and pop the strings before i practically fell off the seat of the place i was trying it at. i donno, i'm gonna buy it once i get the money and then consider trading it in if it doesn't seem like much
  7. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    well put, good sir. a midrangey amp that "spanks" will sound louder than a warm, bassy sounding amp at the same rating.

    here's a suggestion, leave the wattage aside...the differences you're debating here are too small to make a difference on their own. play through the new amp at the volume you expect you'll need. see if there's a room at the music store where you can go loud, perhaps even bring a bandmate along to play drums or power chords, or whatever. listen closely and watch the amp for signs or distortion or "clipping".

    if you find you're maxing the amp out trying to get where you want it to go, consider either a more powerful combo. many players quickly find that combos are good for practice and studio but can't bring enough to the table for live use. sure there are combos that are the exception to that rule, but for the money they cost, you could get a head/cabinet set with more oomph.

    all i'm saying is, don't rule out head/cab setups because heads and cabs these days come in ALL shapes, sizes, and weights. you may find it makes more sense for your needs to go that route...if not now, then later.

    And i think i speak for others here that you are welcome to name brands or describe your styles and ask for comments--folks will step up and help you along.