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Does low wat head really do their job better at low volumes?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by aviel, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. aviel

    aviel Member

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    I am about to spend some cash on another head.
    i mostly record at home, but i have now a powerball and i though of getting a used 6505.
    now i was wondering, maybe the little egnater heads or blackstar stuff will do their job better? or even an mini recto (which is MUCH more expensive btw).

    i remember having a black heart 15 watt head, and i also remember playing the mini recto, their are still f** loud, so anyway i can crank it to death at home while recording. and anyway to push the cab speakers you need certain level.

    so, tell me your thoughts please!:worship:
     
  2. StefTD

    StefTD Member

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    it really, really depends on the amp, if you would like to get something with less watts,
    different sound, maybe in a similar route to the 6505, get the EVH 50 watt, killer amp.

    If you want to play in Drop F and get the lowest note to be crystal clear, you are going
    to run into problems with a 15 watt head like the small blackhearts.
     
  3. LBTM

    LBTM Proud Behringer User

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    a power attenuator really worth the money.
     
  4. drew_drummer

    drew_drummer Dancefap

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    In my experience, a low wattage head never sounds as big as a proper 100-watt jobby; even when the lower wattage is cranked versus the 100-watter at a lower volume. I'm generalizing really, but I find those smaller wattage heads fall apart at a loud volume.
     
  5. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I personally feel that there is no advantage to the low wattage amps, you are sacrificing headroom. The volume difference is not going to be huge or even noticeable. But trying to play clean at band volumes? - not gonna happen.

    Basically, you have to double wattage to produce 3db more sound. 3db is enough change for volume to 'noticably' change if your really paying attention (ie mixing) but at loud volumes you probably won't hear it. Pull two tubes from a 100w amp and run it at 50w, it will still be loud, but it will not be able to clean up like the 100w.

    So, with an amp outputting about 3w, you will only be around 15db quieter than a 100w amp.


    While this doesn't sound that great, here's an example of a 100w amp turned down super duper low. JCA100 with master below '1'.

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/17514020/SloanZone/Audio/jca100test.mp3
     
  6. LBTM

    LBTM Proud Behringer User

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    @Sloan that sounds fcking amazing.
     
  7. aviel

    aviel Member

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    yes its kind of what i was expirencing too- even small amps are too loud anyway so whats the point?

    actually i can pull 2 power tubes from my amp? for example pulling 2 out of the Powerball? it wont have to be rebiased and stuff?

    sloan, not at home now but i am really eager to listen to it.
     
  8. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    Removing tubes from a multi-tube fixed-bias output stage is never a problem. You can remove any number of tubes, and yes, that means you can take one tube out of a two-tube amp; one, two, or three out of a four tube stage, et cetera. This sounds heretical to techs stuck in the mire of convention, but it is something that has been known since tubes were invented.

    The even-number tube extractions reduce power symmetrically. Neither the tubes nor the transformer will be damaged. Power will be reduced and so will frequency bandwidth - you will lose some bass and some treble. This is the point that switching the impedance selector to a less-than-load setting is supposed to correct, but it is completely subjective whether you should. The only 'should' of the matter, is do I like it this way, or do I like it that way?

    In the uneven tube extractions, asymmetric power reduction occurs. Conventional thought says "the one tube on one side of the circuit will be trying to match the output of the two tubes on the other circuit half". This is wrong. The single tube can only produce so much power, and that's all it does. It doesn't melt down. The transformer does not blow up.

    So, what's missing from conventional thought? The realization that tubes are "self-limiting power governors", which was stated in The Ultimate Tone (TUT), and explored in more detail in TUT2 and TUT3. TUT4 explores all of this in great detail. Our "expert" should get a copy.

    In the end, you can pull tubes to reduce power, unless the amp is cathode biased - then you have to split the bias resistor. In any case, you do not have to worry about the impedance selector either.

    - London Power
     
  9. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    Thanks for posting this, Ive heard of folks doing this but was always sketched out to try it myself but alas nothing to fear. very cool stuff.
     
  10. TaylorG

    TaylorG Teh Groove Metuhl

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    A low wattage head has its advantages, it just depends on what you want.

    The advantage you get is the ability to drive the power tubes harder, earlier into the power. So for guys that want a really nice power tube saturated sound, it's a winner.
    For guys who play metal where the tone comes from the preamp and tube saturation doesn't matter, then no, there is no advantage.

    But seriously. DAT POWER TUBE SATURATION.
    It's like audible sex.
     
  11. aviel

    aviel Member

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    How can i know then if my amp is cathode biasesd or not? never heard or saw something like that on manufacturer website
     
  12. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    If there is a bias adjustment then it is fixed bias. If not, it is cathode bias.
     
  13. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    I have said it before but the information in that post is borderline dangerous and wrong.

    Not all fixed bias have bias adjustments. The only real way to know is by looking at a schematic or inside the amp. If you are an electronic newbie, don't pry inside the amp.
     
  14. 53Crëw

    53Crëw Member

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    +1. Mesa's come to mind. ;)
     
  15. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I thought most mesa were cathode bias?
     
  16. PaoloJM

    PaoloJM Member

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    Some models of Mesa are.
    The Rectifiers are fixed bias, and set pretty cold too.
    Some Mark series are a combination - simulclass, I'm pretty sure that the Lonestar is Cathode biased.
     

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