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x solid state watts vs x power tube watts

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by xed, Oct 14, 2010.

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  1. xed

    xed Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Coastal NC, USA
    This isn't intended to be about what sounds better but only perceived volume.

    You have 2 amp heads, one solid state and the other with tube power section and both are rated at the same wattage RMS. You take turns plugging them in to the same cabinet and ABing them back and forth.

    Which one will be perceived as being "louder" or will they be perceived as being the same volume? If one will be perceived as being "louder" then why? (one may sound like complete ass and the other may sound great but that's beside the point)
  2. [​IMG]
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    You really don't wanna go there.
  4. xed

    xed Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Coastal NC, USA
    Maybe I'm just naive but if discussion of what sounds "better" is kept out then can't this be a constructive thread?

    Maybe it's destined to go down in flames but I thought I would give it an honest try.
  5. i usually think a simple tube amp with the same wattage as a simple solid state amp is never equal volume

    theres alot to take into consideration but honistly i think tubes can get 2-3x louder
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Trolling is not tolerated here.
  7. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive


    The tube amp will probably be perceived as louder, given the same rated wattage, and depending on EQ.

    That's probably. Not necessarily. Also, you could have done a search. There are about three hundred threads on this. Some might even be linked in the sticky.
  8. chicago_mike


    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome - Dallas
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    Its due to how tubes and SS clip when overdriven. THats all. One is not more magical than another.

    SS tends to square off when being clipped, now tubes will do that too, but at the first stages of clipping tubes still have a curve in the signal. Any oscilliscope will show you this. And as far as even order / odd order harmonics, tubes and ss can distort in both ways. Its down to design. No biggie. One reason why Fets and MOSFets are used alot for emulation circuits is how they clip, again, look at oscilliscope readings.

    Then, theres the hype, and voodoo. ugh..
  9. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Pretty much. The fact that tubes just compress a bit when they clip (at least at first) also makes it harder to tell that they are clipping, getting more usable volume out of them.

    Of course, I push mine into obvious overdrive.
  10. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    sorry, this has been done, done, and overdone here.


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