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Tube watts vs SS/Mosfet watts???Wha...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by XPshychoticXPyr, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. Ok so i know the general accepted fact that tube amos are much louder than SS/MF amps of equal wattage like a 300 watt tube amp vs a 300 wat SS/MF...and ive heard that a tube amp rivals STV4's/5's/SWR SM900's etc...they are all in his high wattage so how does one go by deducing how each tube watt compares to a SS/MF watt and why???


    P.S. thanks in advance guys this is for a friend who up till now didnt know the difference. I Can't give him a good answer cause i dont have and good prof or factual #'s so i look for the best of the best thanks again
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I'd say general rule of thumb seems to be about 2:1 among good quality amps. Tubes give some even order harmonic distortion that seems louder, yet does not sound like distortion to our ears. Solid State does not do that.
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Actually, an advantage of FET transistors is that they produce even order harmonics like a tube. I am trying to remember electronics that I have not used in 20 years :eek: , but I think that a 300W tube and 300W SS/FET amp will both produce up to 300W the same. The difference is that the transistor will break down (clip) quicker when you overdrive it. The tube will distort, but sound better (actually guitarists *want* this).

    I believe the tube vs SS watts comes more from the older SS amps which where not FET based. I therefore believe (and I may be wrong) that a FET based SS and a tube amp will have the same *clean* power.
  4. From freedictionary.com-

    Noun 1. watt - a unit of power equal to 1 joule per second; the power dissipated by a current of 1 ampere flowing across a resistance of 1 ohm

    IOW a watt is a watt, regardles of the device producing it. seanm was on the right track about clipping. When a tube amp is sent into clipping (pushed beyond it's means of producing a clean signal) it tends to sound almost musical to the human ear. It's often described as "warm" or "fat" sounding. OTOH, when a SS amp clips it sounds a lot like a buzz saw ripping holes in your speaker. So, just to be clear:

    Watts are watts! :bassist:

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