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Perceived Volume: Ampeg PF-800 vs LM II/III vs Aguilar TH350

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by scottiwkt, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. It is well known that some amps have perceived volumes quite a bit lower or higher than their rated wattage. For instance, I've heard that many players perceive the Markbass Little Mark II/III to be louder than the Ampeg PF-500 despite the same wattage rating.

    To those who have experience with both the LM II/III and the Ampeg PF-800, how would you describe the perceived volume between these two amps? Is there much of a practical difference in volume, assuming the same cab?

    I've also heard it said that the Aguilar TH350 seems to be quite a bit louder than similar 350 watt heads. How much of a difference in volume do you find between the TH350 and the LMII/III?

    I don't have the ability to compare these amp heads side by side and am trying to get a feel for perceived volume in planning rigs for some future playing situations.

    Thanks for the help and opinions!
  2. Perceived volume is about many things other than the peak wattage itself. You can take the same amp and get huge increase in perceived volume by processing the signal differently. Whether you still like the tone is another matter.

    Some amps apply highpassing and compression baked in. You can boost low mids instead of lows, cut lows a little, boom!

    Ears don't hear very low sounds as well as the low mids and lows use lots more power.

    Sorry, I can't help with the tone and volume of those amps. You'll get a lot of discussion on everyones favourite amps. Best you go down to GC and play a bunch.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Between such small differences in wattage (yes, I said small ;) ), the potential output will usually be a tiny bit louder with higher wattage heads, but will mostly manifest itself as headroom. If you think you're going to need levels that insanely puke-inducingly loud, go with the most wattage you can afford.
  4. Yeah, specially with the same cab. Most cabs start to run out of headroom real quick after about half their rated power. Extra amp power only serves to blow it up easier. Amps don't make volume, speakers do.
  5. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    the little mark III gets major useable loud through a gk backline 410 at the practice space, so loud in fact that i started to get ill when my tone was accompanied with the other bassits ss marshall half stack, it was as loud as my 200 watt mesa tube head at full clean volume through a 215
  6. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    My perceptions are different.

    It take real sound pressure level to be louder.

    Nobody has ever actually tested this so called "perceived" loudness to matter in real life.

    You should really check the amps out in real situations with your cab. Cabs are really going to make the most difference over the amps mentioned.

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