How much louder...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jellybass, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. jellybass

    jellybass Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    How much louder is 350 watts compared to 220 watts? Is it discernable or will they sound almost alike?
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Sound levels aren't measured in watts, they're measured in decibels. There is no direct correlation between the two.

    However, if you were to drive the same speaker system to full power with a 220 watt amp or a 350 watt amp, and if there is no power compression in either case, the difference would be about 2dB, which to the average person is barely perceptable.
  3. There's many threads and posts about this issue. It's a hard question to answer. The published wattage of different amplifier companies is hard to compare... some amps of lower published wattage are much louder than other amps due to voicing, accuracy of the rating, and quality of the components, etc.

    Also, it depends if you are driving the lower wattage amp to its full potential.... if so, another 100 watts or so can mean the difference between a full, clean, open sound and a choked, compressed or distorted sound, especially in the low end.

    Another thing to take into account is the efficiency of the cabinet.. a high SPL cab can make a 300 watt amp sound like a 500 watt amp, and a low SPL cab can take a huge amount of wattage to get up to the needed DB's.

    However, if all things are equal... same cab, same amp company.... you will not notice a lot of difference unless you are running out of headroom with your other amp.

    Many will post the 3db gain in volume from a doubling of power, but that is a gross oversimplification given all of the above IMO.
  4. jellybass

    jellybass Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
  5. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA

    Of course Bill is right, and KJung's reply is right on, but my experience says it's a significant difference. The extra power can do a lot to open up a cab's sound, and the additional headroom can go a long way to helping your playing to be more musical....

    Oh wait - you were only asking if it'll make it "louder" - well then sure, it will to a modest extent. :rolleyes:
  6. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    i'd say there will be more difference in volume because of a different manufacturer (if it is diff) than in the watts