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Old 09-07-2011, 09:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 150 watt amp head louder than 100 watt combo amp?

I am thinking of getting a larger amp for doing shows. I plan on getting a 150 watt mustang amp head and then a cabinet at a later time. I already have a mustang 1 amp and really love it. What I was wondering was the 150 watt amp head really 150 watts? Does wattage mean the power its supplying to the cabinet? I'm not sure if thats true because the default cabinet with the mustang is 4 50 watt speakers.

Now why would someone buy a 100 watt mustang combo if they have 150 watt amp head at the same price?

Surely there must be something im missing.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wattage is simply the theoretical headroom that it could supply, not necessarily the power delivered to the speaker at any given time. So long as the total impedance matches, you can use any combination of speakers; otherwise you risk blowing a cone. The combined rated wattage of the speakers will usually run a bit higher to arrest distortion from overdriving them.

Why combination? Because it's more versatile. You can use it as a regular amp, or run it in parallel with a PA or separate speaker system, or not even use the internal speakers at all, like a ventriloquist head unit. And buying anything larger than 100 watts is pretty ridiculous. At those volumes, the audience WILL hear you (no acoustic drummer is gonna outrun you), and for bigger shows, well, they'll have a PA system.

Yes, the 150 watt head will have the headroom to be louder than a 100 watt combo, but does it actually matter? Not really. Not unless you decide to...



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Old 09-08-2011, 07:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks! I think I will buy the 150 watt head still. Good information to know. Reason being its only 27 pounds (no idea how that is possible) and I can get one for only 250 dollars (CAD).
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Odyshape View Post
Thanks! I think I will buy the 150 watt head still. Good information to know. Reason being its only 27 pounds (no idea how that is possible) and I can get one for only 250 dollars (CAD).
NO. TERRIBLE IDEA.

1 - Amplifiers are heavy because they contain huge power transformers. These are responsible for feeding the rest of the amp with the juice it needs to do what its being asked to do, like jumping from "silence" immediately to "loud". That takes a LOT of power.

2 - If your amp has more power and doesn't weigh as much, then the laws of physics dictate the amp is running its transformer harder. It will be less reliable, and most importantly, WAY less dynamic.

Simply put, it will have less nuance and be one dimensional, along with being more likely to break and less pleasing overall.

Get the 100 watt amp, its going to be a much better piece of equipment.




Also, be aware, a *LOT* of professional musicians gig with comparitively SMALL amplifiers. The reason for this is because if you want to get that gnarly power tube distortion out of ANY amplifier, you need to run the amp LOUD, so that the power amplifier clips. The higher the wattage of your amplifier, the louder it will have to be to achieve this, because it will have more clean headroom. As was said earlier, with a 100 watt amplifier, you're already going to absolutely stomp all over any drummer on earth, no matter how loud they play. And you probably still won't be loud enough to REALLY juice those power tubes and get that nice breakup. A 150 watt amplifier would only make that more difficult and you'd have to rely on preamp and pedal distortion forever.

On top of that, as was mentioned, a 100 watt 2x12 will be MORE than loud enough for any gig. Hell, Brian May uses an AC30. As in 30 watts. As in, 5 times less than your 150 watt head.

Its mic'd up. It doesn't NEED to be any louder than a 30 watt amplifier is capable of, because there is absolutely no way you're ever going to need more volume than that before you're playing to crowds that are so large the people at the back wouldn't be able to hear ANY amplifier that wasn't mic'd up and going through the PA. Now its true that for a 30 watt amp the AC30 is bloody loud, but its not louder than a 100 watt amplifier and its still more than enough to get any job done you care to mention.


WATTAGE IS A FARCE. MORE WATTAGE IS VERY RARELY BETTER.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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you know you can get those really small amps now that pack a lotta punch -
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i can't remember what they're called...
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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NO. TERRIBLE IDEA.

1 - Amplifiers are heavy because they contain huge power transformers. These are responsible for feeding the rest of the amp with the juice it needs to do what its being asked to do, like jumping from "silence" immediately to "loud". That takes a LOT of power.

2 - If your amp has more power and doesn't weigh as much, then the laws of physics dictate the amp is running its transformer harder. It will be less reliable, and most importantly, WAY less dynamic.

Simply put, it will have less nuance and be one dimensional, along with being more likely to break and less pleasing overall.

Get the 100 watt amp, its going to be a much better piece of equipment.




Also, be aware, a *LOT* of professional musicians gig with comparitively SMALL amplifiers. The reason for this is because if you want to get that gnarly power tube distortion out of ANY amplifier, you need to run the amp LOUD, so that the power amplifier clips. The higher the wattage of your amplifier, the louder it will have to be to achieve this, because it will have more clean headroom. As was said earlier, with a 100 watt amplifier, you're already going to absolutely stomp all over any drummer on earth, no matter how loud they play. And you probably still won't be loud enough to REALLY juice those power tubes and get that nice breakup. A 150 watt amplifier would only make that more difficult and you'd have to rely on preamp and pedal distortion forever.

On top of that, as was mentioned, a 100 watt 2x12 will be MORE than loud enough for any gig. Hell, Brian May uses an AC30. As in 30 watts. As in, 5 times less than your 150 watt head.

Its mic'd up. It doesn't NEED to be any louder than a 30 watt amplifier is capable of, because there is absolutely no way you're ever going to need more volume than that before you're playing to crowds that are so large the people at the back wouldn't be able to hear ANY amplifier that wasn't mic'd up and going through the PA. Now its true that for a 30 watt amp the AC30 is bloody loud, but its not louder than a 100 watt amplifier and its still more than enough to get any job done you care to mention.


WATTAGE IS A FARCE. MORE WATTAGE IS VERY RARELY BETTER.
Portability is really important to me though. I don't need to crank it super loud or anything and where I am potentially playing is probably small venues where I just need to be heard over drums. PA systems aren't really something I need to worry about either. A difference in 11 pounds is quite big for me as im a skinny dude. Do you have any direct experience with one of the heads. The amps are so new its hard to get reputable information on them.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Portability is really important to me though. I don't need to crank it super loud or anything and where I am potentially playing is probably small venues where I just need to be heard over drums. PA systems aren't really something I need to worry about either. A difference in 11 pounds is quite big for me as im a skinny dude. Do you have any direct experience with one of the heads. The amps are so new its hard to get reputable information on them.
Dude, you are just not getting it.

First, a stack isn't going to be more portable. It's just going to come in pieces. The time it takes to haul that extra combo weight is well worth the time it takes to set up a stack onstage.

Second, the more headroom you have, the worse your amp will sound at low volumes. It simply pushes the desirable dynamic range into unacceptable volume levels. Trust me, the Faustian pursuit of loudness is unbecoming to serious musicians.

I have never had troubles competing with a drummer, and all I use is an AC30.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Dude, you are just not getting it.

First, a stack isn't going to be more portable. It's just going to come in pieces. The time it takes to haul that extra combo weight is well worth the time it takes to set up a stack onstage.

Second, the more headroom you have, the worse your amp will sound at low volumes. It simply pushes the desirable dynamic range into unacceptable volume levels. Trust me, the Faustian pursuit of loudness is unbecoming to serious musicians.

I have never had troubles competing with a drummer, and all I use is an AC30.
Oh I mean just the head for now and then later on I could get a Cabinet for it if I ever chose to as far as portability goes. The amp head is pretty small sized and 27 pounds. How low (in volume) would the amp have to be for it to hinder my sound quality? Because I wouldn't be using this amp for recording by any means.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh I mean just the head for now and then later on I could get a Cabinet for it if I ever chose to as far as portability goes. The amp head is pretty small sized and 27 pounds. How low (in volume) would the amp have to be for it to hinder my sound quality? Because I wouldn't be using this amp for recording by any means.
Um, you realise the head will produce no sound without a cabinet anyway? Whatever you do, you have to add the weight of a cabinet to it, whether it be integrated or seperate.

The only advantage of using heads with cabinets rather than buying a combo, is that you could SWITCH cabinets for different sounds. The combination will always be heavier and less portable than buying a combo. It will also be more of a pain to set up and if you forget your speaker cables you're ****ed.
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