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How can an amp say 50 watts and be 20?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by yahtzee!, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. yahtzee!


    May 30, 2007
    So, I won a bass amp on ebay and it was stated that it was a 50 watt amplifier. After I won it I did some research with the help of a TBer (which I should have done before I bid:scowl: ) and found that it is definitely a 20 watt amp. I asked the seller and he said that it says 50 watts on the back of the amp and I believe him. How it this possible? Does the combo unit use 50 watts, but the amp within it only uses 20? I'm confused :confused:
  2. Some combos have bigger speakers than amps. My kickback 12 has a 120W amp, but has a 150W speaker. Usually it's just the manufacuter safeguarding themselves from blown speakers.
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I wouldn't worry about it if it's the amp you want- the difference between 20w and 50w is extremely small.
  4. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    the power input might be 50w and the speaker output might be 20w... In which case he needs to quote the speaker power... I have a peavey microbass that says both...

    on one side it says:

    120 Hz
    60 VAC
    50 watts

    and on the other side it says:

    20 Watts
    9 VRMS
    4 ohms

    ask him what else it says right above and below it and that will tell you where he is getting it from. He should be going by the 2nd set of numbers (or else he is just trying to be tricky.)

  5. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    +1. The former is power consumption, the latter is output.
  6. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
  7. yahtzee!


    May 30, 2007
  8. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    well his shipping is kinda low so you did ok. Of course itf it's really 20 watts then you probably could have gotten it for $25. So ask the seller what other numbers it says by 50W. If it says 60Hz then it is not the amp power rating, it's the input power, and that is not the number by which amps are sold.
  9. I respond to eBay sellers about this quite often. This is actually a common gaffe that shows up in auction descriptions frequently. Sometimes unwittingly.. yet other times a deliberate deception to inflate the value of the auction. Amp sellers can be quite careless and the uninformed buyers pay the price for that lack of attention to detail.
  10. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    Many people selling stuff on ebay don't know much about it, and don't have the time for extensive research for everything they list. Items are often misrepresented, both intentionally and unintentionally. It's the potential buyer's responsibility to ask questions and do his homework before he bids - get a model number, Google, check out Harmony-Central, etc. For less than $50 total you shouldn't even waste your time wondering if you got ripped off.
  11. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    well if he is a kid under 16 and he doesn't have alot of money $50 is a big deal... That's like saying if I was a millionaire on here and I said to you Oh it doesn't matter if you get ripped off on the wal, it's only $2000 more than what you should have paid. That's not even enough to justify worrying. LOL Money can be relative to our circumstances...
  12. Relax man! I paid close to $1300AUD for a 4x10 cab/combo.

    It's a 320W amp @ 4ohms, but with just the single cab @ 8 Ohm, it pushes 200W.

    And on the back, it references a 600W maximum.

    It's loud, sounds great and has done the job in every situation it's been in, including against 5, yes FIVE guitarists running amps from 20 - 60 Watts each, plus 2 vocals through a PA and the drums too.

    I care if I can be heard :)
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Er, DC, what does that have to do with this thread? :confused:
  14. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    I realize that money is realtive to our circumstances, and thought about that while posting. Even if he did get ripped off, there's value in the lesson. I don't see any practicality in the buy first, asked if I'm screwed second approach. It doesn't matter how much money you have, you should make an effort to find out what you're buying before you do.
  15. should have done your research and questioned the seller as to what model the amp is...

    anyway, you got it for a steal and now you've got to follow through with the purchase...

    for heck's sake, the MRSP of the Rocktron 20 is $169.00, street price is $119.00 and you only paid $34.00 excluding P&P


    Chalk it up to experience... if it seems too good to be true, it usually IS too good to be true...
  16. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    It's about specmanship; depending on what point you decide the distortion is too much is where you set the power limit.
  17. yahtzee!


    May 30, 2007
    Thanks for the replies guys. Yeah, I made this purchase in the exact opposite order of how it should be done, taking for granted what the seller said and not knowing that much about amps. But, I learned a good lesson at a small or nil cost.

    Also, I am a college kid, but $50 for a decent practice amp was all that I was looking for, so it was worth it to me, I was just wondering if the price would be considered high. Like WarriorJoe said, a 20 watt amp should be around $25, but then there's shipping and stuff which was low for this auction.

    Thanks for the help and advice :)
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    If it's a Peavey Microbass, it's 20 watts. I used to own one.
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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