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More watts = louder? (Solid State amp)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by badboy1984, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. badboy1984


    Mar 27, 2007
    United Kingdom
    I was wondering is the more watts you get on the amp head, the more volume you get?

    Some amps like warwick and gallien krueger that can get up to 1000watts, where as some amp don't get that much watts but it still rocks.

    When come to upgrade head, i always feel that if i get some less watts then what i got at the moment, i will loose volume.
  2. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    It also has a lot to do with your speakers. I play through a Carvin R1000 head (max of 1000 watts) but I only play it through an 8ohm 4x10 cab. At 8 ohms my head only puts out 225 watts.
    Now if I doubled my speaker capacity, lets say I added another 8 ohm speaker, I'm now running my head at 4ohms, which puts out 350 watts.
    But then things can get complicated. Like if I bridge my head and run it through an 8ohm speaker I now get 700watts, though the constant on my 8ohm 4x10 is 600watts, so that wouldnt be a good idea.
  3. AfroMan Skeeter

    AfroMan Skeeter

    Dec 12, 2007
    That's a little un-clear, but on the right track.
    It depends on your head and cab, like MatticusMania was saying.
    The lower the impedance on the head, the more power it will produce (just don't go under suggested manufacturer minimum ohm load). Most amps can handle 4-8 ohms, and newer amps can even handle 2 ohm loads.
    Next it depends on the cab(s) you are using. If you have a 8 ohm cab running through a GK 1001 RB head, you will get 480 watts, not the full 750 watts. That would be achieved at 4 ohms.
    So going off of what I just said, if you had a GK 1001 RB being run at 8 ohms, you'd only get 480 watts (though it's still capable, and advertised, as having 750 watts). Compare that to say, a Genz Benz GBE 600 amp running at 2 ohms and 625 watts, the Genz Benz would be louder. Adding a second 8 ohm cab to the GK would bring it to 4 ohms and 750 watts, making it louder. Now that's not factoring in speaker efficiency and whatnot, just talking about the power you would get at different impedances.

    A big factor would be the cabinets you are using too, like speaker efficiency, amount of speakers, etc.

    I know that was a little jittery and un-clear too, but It's my 2 cents.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Short version: watts are one source of potential loudness, but (a) they are not the only important factor, and (b) other factors (speaker sensitivity, etc.) can even make higher wattage less loud (comparing between different amps).
  5. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    There are a number of factors that determine how loud a rig will go, and the power rating of the amp is one of them, but it's also the least significant.
  6. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town.

    Oct 1, 2001
    There are alot of factors involved, but one thing I recomend is that folks who are not sure if they need a bigger amp, should try and find a way to add a speaker cabinet similar to what they already have to their rig to try out.

    Example: if you are playing through a gk 410, go to a GC and play through two GK 410's the number of speakers makes a huge difference.

    another example. My 250 watt ampeg portabass 250 sounds plenty loud through it's matching 210 head, however, I plug it into my Carvin 810 and it the volume is enormous. It's a function of number of speakers, though the actual math explanation will have to come from someone else.

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