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Whats the ratio of tube watts to solid state watts.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by eddcunningham, Dec 7, 2007.

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  1. Just before I trade in my 500 watt solid state for a 200 watt tube rig.

    E.G. 200 tube watts equals .... solid state watts.

    It's been digging at me for a whole and no one else seems to know =/.
  2. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
    ^^^ You're more likely to get replies if you used that as your subject line instead of "Can someone tell me quickly..."
  3. treromantic


    Nov 1, 2005
    ottawa, on
    a watt is a watt is a watt.
    It is a unit of power named after James Watt (helped develop the steam engine). It is always the same, no matter what. Check it:
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    There is no "measurable" difference that I know of. Check the FAQ
  5. Jonyak


    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    Most of the time for solid state I think they eithr post fabrications, or the peak wattage.

    I know for most tube amps they post an RMS value. which is an average power rating. Its a better way of representing power, because some equipment can handle peak power that is 10+x what its RMS power is. but only for micro seconds.
  6. I didn't necessarily mean actually wattage.
    What I meant was, as we all know that tube amps are generally louder at lower wattages, if anybody know what they were equal too in solid state terms.

    Hope this clarifies a bit..
  7. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    oh no, :help: another one of 'those' threads.

    don't let the new peavey ads fool you, sometimes what we all know isn't correct. the truth is out there.

    no one seems to have an answer for you because there is no answer.
  8. Daywalker


    Apr 13, 2005
    If it's all the same, then how can you get the same (if not more) volume/tone out of less tube watts?
  9. Implosion


    Oct 19, 2007
    I'm not sure if this works for bass-gear but for guitar-gear there is a rule of thumb:
  10. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    +1. What differs with tubes is they have a natural compression. You can take a tube and an SS amp and, using a compressor on the SS amp, get pretty much the same results. Pretty much, but not exactly, because the tube amp's compression takes place in the both the preamp and output stages, and that's something an SS amp plus compressor can't quite emulate.
  11. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Modeling does all this, and let's you instantly switch it off when you don't want it.
  12. whodom


    Mar 3, 2006
    Summerville, SC
    Implosion's post above touches on this, but I don't see it specifically addressed. Amps aren't rated in just watts, they're rated in watts @ XX% distortion (usually Total Harmonic Distortion- THD). Say you've got an SS amp and a tube amp both rated at 200 watts @ 10% distortion (which IIRC isn't out of line for a musical instrument amp). Both amps are capable of producing more than 200 watts at a higher level of distortion. The difference is that the SS amp is going to sound like crap at higher distortion levels, while the tube amp will sound good to a much higher level of distortion due to the even order harmonics. So a 200 watt rated tube amp can be pushed to put out 300 or 400 "pleasing" (i.e.- nicely distorted) watts and sound as loud as a 300 or 400 watt SS amp.

    Anyway, that's my theory and I'm sticking to it....
  13. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Going from 500 to 200 is gonna be felt and heard MUCH less.
    On paper, a watt is a watt no matter from your amp or your lightbulb.

    The previous posts concerning tube amps(and modeling gear) to "smash" your signal up to raise the average level and SEEM louder is correct.

    The post about RMS being average is almost correct as RMS = root mean square but the actual average of a sinusodial wave or amplifier output of your bass would be very close to zero.

    Not all manufacturers post meaningfull RMS numbers.
  14. didier


    Aug 4, 2005
    tube watts have more of a reddish-brown hue
  15. Okay guys thank you, some useful stuff there.
    I knew there had to an actually explanation for why tubes are generally louder.
  16. need4mospd


    Dec 22, 2005
    I prefer my tube watts to be unlined.
  17. Jonyak


    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    I know what RMS means but I decided to put it in terms that a non technician would understand.
  18. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe

    Jan 19, 2007
    Did you read this thread? It's in the FAQ right at the top of the page.
  19. mvw356


    Mar 2, 2006
    some manufacturers exaggerate the watt rating of their amps. tube amps seem louder with all things being equal because when pushed the light distortion is either not audible or wanted. maxed out solid state amps will sound very bad and damage your speaker, sou you turn it down and hence they seem quieter.

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