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Guitar players - How many watts are you using?
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How much power do you use?
< 25 watts (ss)
4%
 4%  [ 3 ]
25 - 50 watts (ss)
4%
 4%  [ 3 ]
50 - 75 watts (ss)
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
100 - 150 watts (ss)
15%
 15%  [ 10 ]
150 - 200 watts (ss)
3%
 3%  [ 2 ]
> 200 watts (ss)
10%
 10%  [ 7 ]
< 25 watts (tube)
3%
 3%  [ 2 ]
25 - 50 watts (tube)
9%
 9%  [ 6 ]
50 - 75 watts (tube)
6%
 6%  [ 4 ]
75 - 100 watts (tube)
9%
 9%  [ 6 ]
100 - 120 watts (tube)
26%
 26%  [ 17 ]
120 - 150 watts (tube)
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
150 - 200 watts (tube)
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
> 200 watts (tube)
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 64

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bassist_25
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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Joe "Metalchurch" wanted me to put up this poll because he's confuzzled by the technology of Rockpage. Wink If you checked out his threads in the tech sector, you'll see that he's trying to get a feel for how many watts will be good for the types of venues around here.

The poll's pretty self-explanatory. I thought that I would put options for both solid-state and tube amps, because they are apples and oranges in the world of guitar rigs and how the amp reacts.

Also, if you don't mind, could you also post the cabinets that you are using, and if possible, speaker efficiency, since cone area has a big effect on volume? If you use a stereo amp but only use one side, just base your answer on that. If you run it in stereo or in bridge mode, then answer based on that. Base amp's output on the impedance load that you normally run rather than an amp's output at its lowest rated impedance level. If you use more than one amp on a regular basis, then feel free to vote more than once.

If any of my data points don't seem good, let me know. I tried to keep two things in mind coming up with them: 1. Typical wattage ratings for most major amps 2. The law of diminishing returns on how many watts you're running.

p.s. After making this poll, I really envy how you guitar players don't need a dumptruck full of watts for headroom. 50 screaming guitar watts would barely move a bass speaker. LOL
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metalchurch
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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I'm using a Marshall 9200 Dual Monobloc Power head. 100 Watts
Running it in Mono.
Marshall 1960 lead cabinet.
Celestion G12T-75 speakers (4-12's)
16 Ohm
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VENTGtr
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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Paul,

This weekend, I'll be using a 50W Tube Pre/SS Power Friday and Saturday 30W, SS.

It doesn't much matter where you are, you can get by with less than most people use
(I'll be in that majority upon the H&K's arrival). I've played huge outside things with the
30W. It's mic'ed, I can hear it through mons, etc. and it's much easier for the sound
guy to mix.

Why I'm switching...I dunno. Seems that time of year or something.

It's funny, a few years ago it seemed that scads of bass players were strolling in with
their bass, a SansAmp and 2 cables and they were set. Guess you guys are all back
to hauling the monsters.

I have a Hartke with 2 18s in my basement that's TOTALLY unecessary. Btw, it's for
sale.
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bassist_25
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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Jimi Hatt wrote:
Due to the absurd feature set of Mesa/Boogies, I can't even answer this. My amp is running two channels on 50W and two on 100W. Confused


I'm suprised that it hasn't become a requirement to hold a degree in engineering to purchase a Mesa/Boogie. LOL
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bassist_25
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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VENTGtr wrote:
It's funny, a few years ago it seemed that scads of bass players were strolling in with
their bass, a SansAmp and 2 cables and they were set. Guess you guys are all back
to hauling the monsters.


If I were working with sound engineers who could do full bass reinforcement through their monitors, I'd rack up an Avalon U5 and a Korg tuner and leave the cabinets at home until the small vocal PA gigs. Even now, City Limits is the only gig where I bring both 4x10s out. I'm glad that this isn't the late 80s, where I'd be expected to have a wall of speakers behind me. Very Happy
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VENTGtr
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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Paul,

Ya, you could do the Geddy thing and run direct and have a washer and
drier as a backline. AW! Then you could dress like the Maytag repairman
on stage! THAT'D be....well...something.
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MeYatch
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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wouldn't it depend entirely on the amount of clean headroom you want what size amp would be appropriate for area stages?

You could blow the doors off most places with a 10 watt tube amp and a 12" speaker if you are diming the knobs.
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VENTGtr
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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MeYatch wrote:
wouldn't it depend entirely on the amount of clean headroom you want what size amp would be appropriate for area stages?

You could blow the doors off most places with a 10 watt tube amp and a 12" speaker if
you are diming the knobs.


Ya, depends on what you want out of your backline. You can just feed through the PA
with a line out and nothing in the back if you're happy with it.

I think SJ did a show recently where there was NO sound onstage other than vocals.
Calv's kit is electronic, everyone else went direct, and they use earbuds. 'At'd be interesting.

Less there is to haul in and out, the happier I am nowadays.
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bassist_25
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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MeYatch wrote:
wouldn't it depend entirely on the amount of clean headroom you want what size amp would be appropriate for area stages?



With a solid-state amp, yes. But I think that people using tube amps are more interested in the opposite: How much power do I have to push to get the tubes to saturate and the amp to break up? It's more of a two-sided equation - You want clean headroom and sweet tube sound in the same package. If you're using a 120 watt Rectifier, then you're going to be running insane* amounts of stage volume to push the gain high enough to get that "sweet" tube saturation.

Edit: *Maybe not "insane" amounts of gain, but enough to peeve off the FOH engineer in the room the size of Aldo's or Pelly's. I learned a while back that less stage volume = better overall mix.
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MeYatch
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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bassist_25 wrote:
MeYatch wrote:
wouldn't it depend entirely on the amount of clean headroom you want what size amp would be appropriate for area stages?



With a solid-state amp, yes. But I think that people using tube amps are more interested in the opposite: How much power do I have to push to get the tubes to saturate and the amp to break up? It's more of a two-sided equation - You want clean headroom and sweet tube sound in the same package. If you're using a 120 watt Rectifier, then you're going to be running insane* amounts of stage volume to push the gain high enough to get that "sweet" tube saturation.

Edit: *Maybe not "insane" amounts of gain, but enough to peeve off the FOH engineer in the room the size of Aldo's or Pelly's. I learned a while back that less stage volume = better overall mix.



Not nessesarily, a lot of guitarists, especially in cover bands, need the ability to play clean in some songs, and rely on effects or boosts to get to distortionland.

If you are playing to several hundred people and need to be able to play cleanly a 10 watt tube amp will probably not be able to get you the clean volume you need, but if you are playing with only tube distortion, its gonna be pretty loud.
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VENTGtr
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 Post Posted: Friday Oct 19, 2007 
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I think Paul was speaking under the assumption that it'd be an amp with
more than one channel. Then again...he likes Kid Rock.
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BloodyFingers
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 Post Posted: Sunday Jan 13, 2008 
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Now your gonna laugh at this but the sound I make is great. Watts I have no idea except for 1. First I have a LTD - Esp guitar, then it goes into a 20 year old RockmanX100, then into a digitech studio s100, then into a Behringer Tube Composer, then into a small stereo mixer, then a yamaha natural sound amp 50 watts. then into crate 80 watt pa speakers. I hear you laughing.



Gary
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songsmith
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 Post Posted: Tuesday Jan 15, 2008 
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That rig wouldn't be so bad if you rolled off the highs some to take the "plastic" sound out of it. I still stick to my theory that the lowly Rockman will again become widespread. I'm seeing a slow but sure shift to the 80's guitar sounds, what with the popularity of the hair-band stuff. Obviously, I don't see ALL of it coming back, but a few years ago it was all about that late 70's sound (Jet, The Darkness), and things go in chronological phases, usually.
I predict we'll all be trussed up in zebra-print spandex, punching our own personal holes in the ozone layer with Aqua-Net Ultra any day now. The other day a 16-ish looking kid came into the Emporium looking EXACTLY like he played in Kix in 1982, same pegged jeans, same high-tops, same dyed-black, I-just-woke-up hairstyle. Cool, I know how to dress like that. I may someday be cool again. Laughing
As for my amp wattage, after years of trying to get my rig worked up to keeping up with 100W Marshall stacks, I gave up, and prefer the lowest wattage, lightest gear I can get away with. In a rock or country situation, I use my H&K, 80 watts SS. For steel guitar, I use my Laney Swiss Army Amp (two amps in one, electric gtr amp on one side, acoustic amp on the other) which boasts 60 very loud watts SS. For blues harp, I used to favor my Silvertone 1482, 15 tube watts. For bluegrass, it's simple: I mic it directly with a Behringer B-1, Nady CM-900 (large diaphragm condensers) or my new mic, an Audio Technica MB-2 (neodymium dynamic instrument mic similar to a Beta 57)... no instrument amp at all.---->JMS
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HurricaneBob
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 Post Posted: Tuesday Jan 15, 2008 
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LOL Johnny..


I have a 1000 watt PSU in my computer if that counts.
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orangekick
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 Post Posted: Tuesday Jan 15, 2008 
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I have tried a ton of amps and I always come back to something with around 100 tube watts in the power section. I always have channel switching amps and I find that the clean channels always sound best to me when there's a decent amount of headroom. I just like my amps big. Cool I had a 30 watt Budda head for some time and it sounded fantastic, but I was running it fully cranked all the time. That made me nervous. I always like to have a little room to go up if I have to.

At home I jam on a 15 watt, 1x12 class A combo. It's pretty loud for home use, but it sounds great.
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Bloodsong
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 Post Posted: Friday Feb 29, 2008 
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i always laugh when i see a Triple Rectifier at a place like Aldo's. how are you're tubes gonna break up when you're volume is at 2??? my Engl Fireball is 60 watts and that thing is ear-splitting loud and breaks up alot faster than my Mesa Dual (1oo watts). the volume difference between the two is minimal; it's all about headroom and the 60 watts seems to have plenty...
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VENTGtr
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 Post Posted: Friday Feb 29, 2008 
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Darth,

YEP! I'm thinking on getting a coupl'a Epi Valve Jr.s, modding them,
then A/B-ing from clean to driven (Single channel, Class A). They're...
5W, I believe, but will power a 4x12 and easily be loud enough for
most places (I'd use 2 10s, though).

Granted...is going against the less-to-haul thing though....
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Bloodsong
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 Post Posted: Friday Feb 29, 2008 
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a buddy of mine has one, and it doesn't sounded bad at all we threw a TungSol 12ax7 in it and it breaks up instantly. it has some snarl to it; like a Billy Gibbons vibe... they're kinda fun to dick with...
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VENTGtr
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 Post Posted: Friday Feb 29, 2008 
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YES! Tungsols are the tube Panacea. Actually, you can get so many mods
for the Jr., it can sound about like anything. Some friends have them, used
different mods and theirs sound totally different.

Seems everyone I've seen on EBay is modded. Think that's the way to go
with them. Guess in the end, I'd just want it to sound like my TubeWorks...
so I don't know WHY I'm thinking about it...but you know how it is. Gear.
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stratobastard27
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 Post Posted: Thursday Mar 06, 2008 
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Guitar to Line 6 PodXT live pedal. Stereo outs to a Peavey m2600 120w/4ohms into a 4ohm Fender 2x12 on the A side and a 12" 8 ohm custom made wedge on the B side. So I have a stereo split with 120w behind me and 90w in front of me.
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evh5150
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 Post Posted: Wednesday Mar 12, 2008 
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I used a 5150 and single 5150 cab (120 tube watts) for awhile and didn't feel the need for much else , but only played small places , I now use a 550w(ss) fender metal head and 4x12 with celestions and it is louder then the 5150 was , I switched to a digitech 2101 tube processor to get that tube sound it also has a line out, I think alot of the power deals with the size of the place and the quality of the pa , the mh has a line out which the 5150 lacked to I always just used a mic on it . At one point I went with 2 2600w peavey power amps 4 4x12s a ton of rack gear and a ev 15 , hell of a sound way to much to carry. My bassists is currently in the ton of equipment phase and is using the billy set up , attitude bass both outputs 2 ampeg rigs , again great sound overkill in my opinion around here . Also I am a believer in the sonic maximizers!!!
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chuckmehh
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 Post Posted: Wednesday Jun 25, 2008 
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I use a Marshall AVT150. It's actually a hybrid amp, but that's not a choice haha The overdrive is tube, so I selected that. Love it by the way..
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funkmeister
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 Post Posted: Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 
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I feel best on stage with about 40 watts behind me. That's enoughto "feel" it but not so much as to overpower thestage. A 40 watt class A/B tube amp will hold up nicely for clean tones you can hear and then break up nicely for solo work. Add a good distortion pedal and you'll get all the Marshall -type overdrive you want and still have your hearing at the end of the day.
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orangekick
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 Post Posted: Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 
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I'm currently running both ends of the spectrum. I have a Mesa Triple Rectifier for live stuff and I have been using a Matamp Little Rock for jamming at home. That would be 150 watts for live and 5 for home. Laughing
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felix'apprentice
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 Post Posted: Wednesday Dec 30, 2009 
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im runnin a 40w Fender HotRod Deluxe Tube Very Happy has a beautiful lil sound to it! love it!

- kayla.
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