Valve/tube Bass amp power

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bass Beast, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Bass Beast

    Bass Beast

    Feb 5, 2005
    Hi, i've just bought a vintage Orange OR120 which puts out 120 watts at 4 ohms. In comparison with solid state amps how much wattage is this really because it seems far, far louder than a 120 watt solid state. I'm in the process of buying cabs suited for it and want to make sure that they can handle the amp maxed out and distorting.

    I will be using two 1x15s from ashdown I think, does anybody know how much they must be rated in rms to comfortably handle the amp because I don't want to experiment and blow stuff up.


  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Tube amps do not have a magical reserve of power above their rated limit.
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    yet I get the same volume from my 400 watt all tube head as I do from my 1100 SS power amp
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    if you do a search for tube louder power all that kinda junk you'll find hours and hours of entertaining reading
  5. Pneuma


    Feb 14, 2004
    different harmonics and "brown" gain :)

    or so I've read...

  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The OP's question was not about perceived volume, but about speaker ratings. Whether tube or SS, the amp's rated power can be used to figure out the needed speaker power rating.

    On the other hand... if you are pushing any power amp hard enough to find out how loud it can get, then you are in danger of damaging your speakers. Both tube and SS power amps have roughly the same clipping waveforms, because the mechanism that converts soft to hard clipping is the same in both cases -- linear feedback.

    Because perception is so strongly influenced by expectations, I will wait for real proof to settle the tube vs solid state controversy. There has to be a way of measuring this.