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volume problem on tube amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by terraplane, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. terraplane


    Oct 14, 2002
    Italy, Palermo
    Hi, my problem is this!.
    I've got a 100W all tube amp. To get the maximum sound power to my amp, and have a clear sound at high volume (with no overdrive), i must put , master at max level, and set the volume with gain. In ss ampeg head, like svt3-pro, that have a tube preamp and a SS final stage, is recomanded to do this work to get the highier output level without clipping...
    the question:
    If I do the same thing on an ALL tube head, this can damage the finale tube? Can overload the master stage?
    Thak you
  2. That's OK.

    Most people use the Gain control to set the amount of distortion, then use the Master control to set the volume level.

    Turn the Gain control up as high as you can without getting distortion, then use the Master control to set volume level. Running the Gain control near the point of clipping helps maximize signal-to-noise ratio, in other words, it can help decrease background noise.

  3. Just to make sure I answer your question:

    If you are not hearing any distortion, then you are not clipping the amp and you are not overloading the power stage.

  4. terraplane


    Oct 14, 2002
    Italy, Palermo
    My problem is another. The way you tell me, is the way I was playng, before I discover that with master on the max level, and gain on off position, I can get the maximum output level by turning up the gain until it give overdrive. The problem is, if i put the master level at the highest level, and i set output level with gain, it can damage ora super usure the final power tube?
  5. terraplane


    Oct 14, 2002
    Italy, Palermo
    That's ok chris, thank U
  6. :confused: ..Your amp sounds a bit like my tube amp (Eden VT-300A) For the cleanest sound, I put the master on MAX and control the volume with the pre-amp gain. At this setting, all tubes are being driven the easiest and will give you the cleanest sound. I don't see why you should worry about damaging anything....:)
  7. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    Tube Power amps distorts differently than Solid state power amps. Tube amp distortion may not sound "distorted" as the tube amp goes above its rated output (and it may actually sound more musical). This is one reason that Tube amps sound "louder" and "warmer" than solid state amps.
    Just be sure to have a cabinet that can handle more than the output of the Tube Power amp.
    Some companies suggest using a cabinet that handles twice the power of a tube amp because you may not realize that you are creating distortion in the signal. So if you have a 100 Watt Tube poweramp, you probably want a 200 Watt Cabinet. This is just the opposite of what is suggested when using Solid State amps - Solid state amps need headroom in order not to distort/damage drivers. If you have a 200 Watt cabinet then you would want to use a 400 Watt Solid State amp.
  8. I've often wondered about this. When a tube amp goes into clipping, does it really put out any more power or do the distortion components of a tube amp add more midrange growl? Does the speaker obsorb anymore power or is it just a change in tonal properties?
  9. Yes. :D

    It actually puts out more power. So do clipping solid state amps. The power is in the form of harmonics, so it is an increase in power, and an increase in signal content.

    If you take a tube amp or solid state amp that will do 100 Watts at the point of clipping, and you drive them all the way into clipping as much as they can be, the output of both amps will theoretically be a 200 Watt square wave. Due to the loading of the power supply it may not actually get up to 200 Watts, but the potential is there.


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