# Tube Watts vs Solid State Watts?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by MetalPedal, Jul 5, 2017.

1. ### jtees4Strat-O-Master

Nov 18, 2011
NYish
Speakers matter too when it comes to db levels, they can matter a lot!

MetalPedal likes this.

2. ### Mr. Lumberghneeds you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.Strat-Talk Supporter

Jan 10, 2014
Initech, Inc.
Use this setup. Teach 'em right!

4. ### Mr. Lumberghneeds you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.Strat-Talk Supporter

Jan 10, 2014
Initech, Inc.

Thrup'ny Bit and circles like this.

5. ### stebenSenior Stratmaster

Aug 9, 2012
Zulte, Belgium
Watts are watts. And 1 watt simply sounds almost as loud as 2 Watts... P = V²/R. So the amplitude in volts of a signal with 8 ohm speaker is:
1Watt -> root (1 * 8) = 2.82 Volts
2Watts -> root (2 * 8) = 4 Volts (only 42% more)
100 Watts -> root (100 * 8) = 28.2 Volts (10 times as much, not 100)
but that is another story.... Power is a strange beast. Our ears are no good power meters. Watts more often come in play when played next to another amp or at a stage where the amp must meet the other sound sources....

Many power ratings are "RMS". This means the power of a SINE wave equalized to a equivalent square wave in power. This again is square root.
Now imagine an ugly distorting solid state amp which start to sound ugly when the signal goes bang against the power supply treshold. This means the amp sounds bad once the RMS power is reached. In a (guitar designed!) tube amp the distortion comes gracefully and without ugliness, which means the signal sounds pleasant even beyond the RMS rating. Once the signal reaches a square wave at power supply treshold, we achieve RMS power * 1.41. 41% more power.
Common slang labels this phenomenom as "louder tube amp watts" and if everyone agrees on this way of talking it's very acceptable. But in pure physics it is not true. It is simply louder "musically acceptable" watts.

Just as grandpa loves Bach's brandenburger concertos with the stereo on loud and he calls the Queens of the stone age at half volume " loud ugly music"......

davidKOS and Electgumbo like this.

6. ### StratoskaterSenior Stratmaster

Age:
42
Feb 8, 2011
Raleigh NC
This has all been stated several times over the past 4 pages. Why dig up a 4 month old thread to restate what others already said?

T Guitar Floyd likes this.

7. ### stebenSenior Stratmaster

Aug 9, 2012
Zulte, Belgium

T Guitar Floyd likes this.

8. ### Elvis vStrat-Talker

Age:
42
Apr 11, 2017
My place.
My Johnson ss state is 50 watts loud as crap.

9. ### EbidisProviding the world with flat bends since 1985Strat-Talk Supporter

Age:
51
Nov 14, 2013
Alabama
Is crap louder than watts?

T Guitar Floyd likes this.

10. ### DadocasterMost Honored Senior MemberStrat-Talk Supporter

Please tell grandpa to leave Queens of the Stone Age alone.

T Guitar Floyd likes this.

11. ### davidKOSRetired PerformerStrat-Talk Supporter

May 28, 2012
California
NO IT IS NOT FOR SURE

good!

But many well designed SS amps can also provide the same distortion.

Again, it's all about running the amps into the distortion range of output.

I always use a CLEAN amp and add dirt with pedals. Otherwise you do not get a full dynamic range out of your playing due to tube compression. I happen to like louds and softs, not more or less overdrive, determined by my pick attack.

I also like SS rectifiers for zero sag. when i play a fast run the amp better be able to handle it.

This debate will never end, and as long as guys want to crank tube amps into the distortion zone, they will believe then to be louder than SS amps.

chrimturn likes this.

12. ### Stormy MondayLost SoulStrat-Talk Supporter

Jan 19, 2011
red barn, USA
thanks!!

davidKOS likes this.

13. ### Stormy MondayLost SoulStrat-Talk Supporter

Jan 19, 2011
red barn, USA
mmmmm sometimes.....

Ebidis likes this.

14. ### StratoskaterSenior Stratmaster

Age:
42
Feb 8, 2011
Raleigh NC
It is when I have tacos for lunch.

Ebidis likes this.

15. ### JustABluesGuyStrat-O-Master

Age:
60
Sep 3, 2016
Houston, TX
I'm glad you have found SS amps that work well for you. I haven't played the same amps you have, so my experience has been a bit different.

I've been able to coax pretty decent sounds out of every amp I have ever owned, including SS amps. I simply find it easier to do so with my tube amps and prefer the way they sound (and "feel").

There is a reason many SS amp manufacturers are working hard to "emulate" tube amps. Some are going to be more successful than others at the attempt.

We all like what we like, and it is almost always different from what others do, so to each their own!

Again, congrats on finding a SS amp that sounds like a tube amp to you!

davidKOS likes this.

16. ### davidKOSRetired PerformerStrat-Talk Supporter

May 28, 2012
California
Actually I am happy to have SS amps that have a warm clean tone, like my vintage Yamaha G-100 III. They don't sound like a tube amp, they just sound like a good amp period.

Like I said, I may be one of the only guys on this forum that uses a CLEAN amp tone.

Plus, I do not like the compressed feel and lack of dynamics of a tube amp overdriven. Like I said, I want real louds and softs, not a change in tone color, with my picking.

But as usual I am in the minority.

Ebidis and JustABluesGuy like this.

17. ### davidKOSRetired PerformerStrat-Talk Supporter

May 28, 2012
California
I was reacting to the blanket statement as if it were a fact that tube amps and SS amps of the same wattage differ in volume. It's all about perceived volume and overdrive.

Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
JustABluesGuy likes this.

18. ### StratoskaterSenior Stratmaster

Age:
42
Feb 8, 2011
Raleigh NC
Don't think it was Stormy that stated SS and Tube amps of same wattage differ in volume, that was Metal Pedal. I think Stormy was genuinely saying thanks.

davidKOS likes this.

19. ### JustABluesGuyStrat-O-Master

Age:
60
Sep 3, 2016
Houston, TX
I find myself in the minority quite often as well!

Again, we all like what we like, and we do what works best for us, and our musical situation. If I was gigging a lot doing varied cover tunes, I would very likely go the same route as you have, and leave my tube amps at home for recording and practice. The versatility, and lack of worry about tubes blowing during a show would be a big plus in my opinion.

I play mostly roots stuff, mostly at home practicing, and jamming with friends, and don't need the same versatility as someone in a cover band would.

davidKOS likes this.

20. ### ElectgumboLost Planet AirmanStrat-Talk Supporter

Dec 26, 2010
Scott La.
@steben
Winner winner chicken dinner! That’s what I was gonna say but you said it better then me anyway!