100 watts Class D = 10 watts in a tube amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Metallicdream91, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    But this has nothing to do with the power produced by the amp.
    There is no doubt that they sound different.
    What you like, you like.
    The thing is that players have NO idea of how much power their amp is delivering to the speaker at any moment.
    Judging by perceived loudness is a poor indicator and, furthermore, preamp headroom, clipping characteristics and voicing all distort one's judgment and some amps run out of power at some frequencies, too.
    More watts=louder...ALL other things equal, which is rare when comparing separate rigs.
  2. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

    Aug 4, 2003
    Half Moon Bay, CA
    Well, part of the point is, where it really matters, in a band context, in a live context, one amp WILL be louder and will do so with a quality tone.

    The Tophat was louder
    It sounded far superior to me, with regard to tone and dynamics
    It had far better headroom than the TM60

    To a real world situation, not a scope, because I do not play gigs for hordes of scopes, the Tophat had far better and more volume. Perceived or otherwise. The bottom line, to me, is what the audience gets, not what a scope reads.

    To my questionable ear, SS amps cannot deliver the peaks and lows as produced by a human through a stringed instrument of the guitar persuasion. I have played many forms of both, those are the facts formulated by my experience.
  3. Kruegmeister

    Kruegmeister Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    Back in the 80s my 400watt Solid State Full Stack didn't even exist in a volume battle vs a 50 watt Tube Marshall 2x12 combo.
    Watts are power and heat, not Decibels.
    So from my experience Tube Watts are always louder.
    My 100 watt Diezel is louder than my 1000 watt FRFR monitor too.
  4. ekp

    ekp Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Berkeley Springs, WV
    There are two reasons why tube amps sound louder than the typical solid state amp (but not louder than a Pritchard):

    First there is the type of power rating, clean RMS or Music Power. RMS is based upon sine waves while Music Power is based on square waves. Aside from power supply droop, Music Power is twice clean RMS.

    The other reason is the choice of main power supply capacitors. Since tube amps are much more susceptible to power supply ripple, they need to be larger proportionally than those caps in a solid state amp. Consequently, the attack in a tube amp lasts longer and can be heard, whereas the attack in a solid state amp is quite short and slips right by.

    The power ratings on a Pritchard reflect this issue. The clean power, which is a bit less than the industry standard ratings, is 60 watts, which is about that of a 75 watt tube amp. However the dirty attack is an estimated 180 watts - quite loud.

    There are too, other effects that make amps sound loud. The phase splitters in tube amps with their capacitive coupling to the power tubes, produce a lot of wasteful distortion power - not fundamental power. An old Boogie patent shows how to reduce that characteristic by putting resistors in series with the coupling capacitors to reduce the amount that bias on the output tubes is shifted.

    Have a great day, Eric
    Ben Furman likes this.
  5. NoBrakes

    NoBrakes Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    Maybe the better question is: Why does the percieved volume of a 10 watt tube circuit seem louder than a 100 watt solid state circuit? Maybe that was answered here by somebody else? Electrical values are just that, hard to dispute as they can be measured. The frequencies given off by the different components I would guess(can't prove) may be different in the way they affect the human physiology of sound perception.
  6. teemuk

    teemuk Member

    Apr 21, 2009
    Why care?

    A 100W solid-state amp can cut through a band mix with a loud drummer. Cleanly.

    A 10W tube amp can't.

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013

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