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Now I understand what more power sounds like

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kawai-chang, May 10, 2010.


  1. It's not ncessarily louder, just more....thickness/oomph/solidity.

    I'm glad I spent the dough.
     
  2. pd1134

    pd1134

    Aug 27, 2008
    Chantilly, VA
    can u elaborate just a little?
     
  3. WingKL

    WingKL

    May 12, 2007
    I think what he means is the notes now have weight behind them. That has to do with the amount of continuous current an amp can provide and the impedance of the circuit all the way from the power transformer to the output devices. Bass amp manufacturers can throw out any power numbers they want but when the amp can put out the current is when you can feel the difference. Once you've experienced it, you will know. Its like the hammer of the gods and it doesn't even have to be very loud. I experienced it with a WT800 (or was it a WT1000) through an Accugroove Tri110L. Now a 110 can't put out that much sound but I felt like I was the god of rock and roll bass when I played that combination as compared to the other amps (SWR 350X, WT500) I tried the 110 with.
     
  4. Mesa boogie amps all have the hammer of god effect...
     
  5. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    What you're saying is that the amp isn't clipping.

    I think the OP is saying that his new amp is turned up louder than the old one.
     
  6. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    I know exactly what the OP is referring to. It's not volume -the effect is similar at quiet volumes as well as loud volumes. For want of a better word, each note has girth, a fullness and depth that is more pronounced from using lower wattage. If you want it, you have to carry more weight.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    That's not related to power, though. Volume, though (as in SPL), does affect the tonal quality greatly.
     
  8. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    When I separate those two pieces of equipment, I get 375 watts at 8 ohms. With both I get 725 watts minimum, and many more in bridged mode.

    It's not scientific, but I hear a definite improved tone with more watts than less. I spent a lot of time A-B'ing with a 12/6, a 15/6, and both cabs together at multiple volumes. There was no question of improvement with more watts at a low volume level as well as high. Just my experience.
     
  9. "Q"

    "Q"

    Feb 9, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    If we're going to mention clipping then perhaps we should say something about dynamic power vs. RMS power and it's relation to whats going on here. Also, losing of all that nasty harmonic distortion in the high end can only give you a deeper sound even at the same volume. I've always noticed it's like the difference between a properly stuffed cab and one with no damping at all.
     
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I'm not denying that there might've been an improvement; it's just not related to power available unless the lower-power amp was running out of power--i.e., clipping.

    Changing SPL, though, greatly affects the ear's frequency response; for example, 3 dB of increase would seem a barely perceptible gain in loudness but would produce 4 to 5 dB better response in deep bass frequencies as heard by a human ear.
     
  11. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner here, at least in my experience.
     
  12. I agree with Ukiah and WingKL. Its not really a scientific thing. I just made the same discovery recently as well. The guy at my jam session has a 212 rig with a power amp/preamp setup (his gear is German, so I dont really know what it is. I do know the preamp is a Black Cat something). Going through his setup at a medium to medium loud volume sounded alot thicker and had more girth than my LMII/GB 212 setup up at near the same volume. Even with other amps Ive had with similar wattage/power to the LMII (GBE600, Shuttle, SWR) it didnt sound that "Thick". Now I too understand what guys mean by having more headroom.
     
  13. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I agree that it is not a scientific thing. ;)

    The bottom line (scientifically) is that if you get the SPL you need without the amp clipping, you actually have all the power you need for that situation. Using a more powerful amp in that case will not improve your tone in that regard.
     
  14. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden
    EBS%20%2B%20PLX.

    Well, there is an audible difference between amplifiers of the same output power. I would say that there are sometimes detetctable "unlinear behaviour" long before you hit clip level.
    A little while ago I have did a comparison (just for fun) between my Labgruppen amps. I compared their performance in a dual 4 Ohm home sub woofer application crossed over at 80Hz. (Effectively running just low bass through the amps.)

    Interestingly these amps all have 29 dB of gain, very similar output power into 4 Ohms and the 1000 and 1300 share the exact same input, drive and output stage. (Please note that the measured distorsion numbers etc. confirm the identical amplifier design of 1300 and 1000, where the 1200 is slightly different.)
    http://labgruppen.com/downloads/product/Lab1000_keyfeatures+specs.pdf
    http://labgruppen.com/downloads/product/LAB1300C_keyfeatures+spec.pdf
    http://labgruppen.com/downloads/product/Lab1200C_keyfeatures+specs.pdf
    The only exception is that 1000 has 5 pairs of output transistors per channel, where the 1300 has 6 pairs. (The circuit board of the 1000 even has vacant places to add the extra transistor pair per channel...)

    I will not say that you would necessarily >hear< the difference between these amps, but even running music with peaks as low as 10dB from maximium output there was a very obvious difference in how much the sound would "interact" with and excite other objects in the room...

    Using the same sequence of the same song, at the same level or ANY reasonable level, the 1000 with ferrite transformer (and the "weakest" of the three, on paper) would make things rattle, move and vibrate. The physical impact of the music extended down to visibly making things walk around on the shelves, even at lower volume. The SMPS 1200 could not manage to do this at any volume.

    In this case the difference in "physical impact" of the very similar amps could be measured with a tape measure...
    The bink shoot out confirms the power constrains of Labgruppens much larger SMPS amp in that test. Why would these smallest (and simpler) amps in their line be any better?

    I can also blindfolded tell the difference between my two NAD home stereo amps 306 and 2700 THX. I do not even need to A/B/X them. Just start a CD I am familiar with and let me listen, and I will pick out the right one.

    I also own both the PLX 3602 and the RMX 5050 but I have not done any comparison including them.

    /Alexander
     
  15. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    True, there are some power amps that inexplicably have been produced for market even while having linearity issues.
     
  16. Queg

    Queg

    Nov 20, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    I know nothing, but I noticed the same as well when I upgraded to a Aggie DB750. Preamp tone aside, I had the feeling a truly powerful amp is better able to reproduce a flat frequency response at any volume.. in particular, it didn't "thin out" on low notes or transients, thus a greater sense of "girth".

    Is it possible that some forms of clipping may actually crap out on the low frequencies first, and thus be heard as a thin, undynamic, weak sound (rather then say, distortion or noise)?

    Edit: Looks like AlexanderB answered this question above.
     
  17. babebambi

    babebambi

    Jan 7, 2008
    YTZ
    (assumption #1)
    I guess everyone has a different threshold of detecting distortion.

    (assumption #2)
    Even when the clip light is not on, amp still produce distortion; distortion increase as the amp is running harder.

    (assumption #3)
    To produce a note of same SPL, the amp that has lots of power in reserve, do so with less distortion.

    (conclusion)
    And since everyone has a different threshold of detecting distortion; some hear a different between powerful and less powerful amp, and some don't.
     
  18. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Most likely.

    Not necessarily.

    Not necessarily; power in reserve (that is, unused power) is essential, but more power in reserve does not provide a benefit. It's better to have more power than you need than not enough, but having a lot more power than you need still doesn't make it sound even better.

    True, but many people also hear differences when there are none.
     
  19. Queg

    Queg

    Nov 20, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    Funny to me that placebo effect is often cited when science can't explain a phenomenon.
     
  20. "Q"

    "Q"

    Feb 9, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    Not necessarily to #2? Yay! Distortionless amplifiers! I knew the day would come! Must be class Z.
     

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