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18 watts - enough???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 70s Rocker, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. 70s Rocker

    70s Rocker Overdriven Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm weary of carrying a Twin Reverb - it's a back killer, but it sounds so good!
    And - you have to use pedals to get any breakup.

    Can an 18 watter really carry a club without micing?
    Or do you need to step up to at least 35-50?

    I'm looking at Dr Z Mat Jr, Bruno Tweedy, and a few others.
    (any other suggestions?)
     
  2. AtomEve

    AtomEve Member

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    In a cave with a lot of guitars.....
    Depends what you play....... how's that for non commital?
     
  3. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    18 watts can be pretty loud but it will not be loud and clean like a twin.
     
  4. 70s Rocker

    70s Rocker Overdriven Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Yep - clean is important to me!
    I play almost all classic rock - no shredding!
    Some blues and jazz now and then.
    I use pedals to emulate other amp sounds when I need them.
    Mostly Analogman KWS Ts9, but a few others as well.
     
  5. George H

    George H Member

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  6. JackD

    JackD Gold Supporting Member

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    To provide more clean headroom on my GDS 18 watter, I chose a certain speaker combination. I have a 2x12 cabinet with a G12h30 and a Eminence Red Fang. It works great. If I want more crunch at lower volumes, I just use my AC booster.

    BTW, my GDS is ups for sale! Let me know if you have any interest!
     
  7. THROBAK

    THROBAK Vendor

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    If you need clean at high volume an 18 watt will not be enough. If you don't need clean it is pretty loud.
     
  8. Matt H

    Matt H Guest

    in my experience, the most important factor when talking about "something less than 100W" is actually the speakers.

    a pair of emi red fang's have a sensitivity rating of 103 db @ 1w @1m... compare that to 97db for the greenback.

    a 6db difference? that's huge! that's the equivalent of doubling your power.

    an 18w output section with a pair of very efficient speakers will give you a LOT of volume.
     
  9. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    +1 to what everyone's said so far.

    Also, when you say you want "clean" because you play "classic rock", then "clean" doesn't necessarily in my mind mean perfectly clean. There is a HUGE spectrum of break-up and distortion sounds between the clean you want, and the shred you don't want. When I think of classic rock, I think of something that's got a little bit of bite and break-up to it. An 18W amp should do nicely with that if you're doing small to medium size club sort of gigs. Even jazz isn't necessarily "pristine clean". Wes Montgomery used an amp that put just a little hair on the notes.

    You may, alternatively, want to consider a Deluxe Reverb Reissue. It's 22W, solid state rectifier, and can be very loud and clean. A popular choice for what you're looking for. Or how 'bout a Carr Rambler (28W switchable to 14W)?
     
  10. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    I use an 18W amp to practice (unmiked) and gig with my band. I've played unmiked gigs with this amp (65 London). I just crank it to 10 and go, using my guitar volume to get cleaner sounds.

    As somebody mentioned, part of 'the trick' is to use a cab with efficient speakers. I use a closed-back 4x10 cab that does the job nicely.

    --chiba
     
  11. lannyhall

    lannyhall Member

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    My Matchless DC30 is L O U D with half power (18 watts) selected. It is really loud with all 4 el84s going. I had a Maz Jr 2x12, and it too was a great amp that was plenty loud. Both of those amps are also HEAVY, especially the Matchless.

    Regarding wattage as it relates to how loud your amp is: You probably already know this, but everything else being equal, to double the volume of any amp, you have to increase the wattage 10 times. In other words, to get a Deluxe Reverb (22 watts) to be twice as loud, you have to get a 220 watt amp.

    Looking at all you have said, if you want to stay with the 6L6 clean, I would get a Vibrolux Reverb. If you miss the low-end thump that the two twelves give, get a Boss GE-7 with a Sniper mod and slightly boost the low end.

    If you are not stuck on the 6L6, get the Deluxe Reverb (that has a pair of 6v6 output tubes), or a similar amp. You can always get an extension speaker to increase the volume and spread out the sound.

    Twin Reverbs are great amps, but I'm sure you can find what you are looking for in a lighter package.
     
  12. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    If clean is important to you, then 18watts won't be enough to cover you for all the club situations that you'll run into. There will be times where 18watts won't even be enough to be in the mix without mic'ing it, and you can pretty much forget about clean sounds at that point. A good speaker setup will help if you don't have enough watts, but you still won't have enough watts.

    I'd want a 40 to 50watt amp for playing the clubs.

    If clean wasn't as important to you, then 18watts might work just fine.

    Pete
     
  13. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    18 watts is enough to be heard over a drummer and bass, and is enough to cause your ears to ring! 18 watts can definately be loud enough for a club gig, too loud sometimes. I often use a 4 x EL84 amp with two of the tubes removed for practice and for gigs. I have no problems with having enough volume. If it didn't have a good Master Volume it would often be too loud. Whether you can get enough clean volume out of an 18 watt amp depends on the circuit. IME the 18 watt Marshall circuit breaks up pretty quickly, and sounds glorious when it does! But I don't know that the clean or semi clean tones are so great. I like a little more body to the tone for those clean to mildly clean sounds. But the over driven tones are about as good as it gets IMO.
     
  14. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    as others have said, this totally depends on your situation.

    in particular, it depends on how loud your band is and how much you need a perfectly clean tone. i just got an 18 w London amp and i can say that since the people i play with have pretty reasonable volumes, it would be more than fine for me. actually, i'd have to use an attenuator to get some amp distortion. but if you have a loud band, i think you'd have trouble getting a clean tone on top of the mix.
     
  15. MarkWorth

    MarkWorth Member

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    i'd say that in general, 18 watts tube is fine...


    In fact, I've used a 6watt Tube amp at gigs before and NOT mic'd it:angel


    so i suppose 18 would be enough:D

    -j
     
  16. guitarded_1

    guitarded_1 Member

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    I too want enough volume...but still want good tone at low volume. I have decided to get 36 watt EL84 based amp from Ceriatone. It's designed around the traditional 18 watt layout and it has a half power switch too.
     
  17. 70s Rocker

    70s Rocker Overdriven Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Good points! I have a Deluxe and love it.
    And, even the clean does need a little hair.
    The Deluxe sounds absolutely wonderful, but there's no channel gain
    (with a master volume).
    I guess I was thinking what difference the channel switching 18 watters
    would make on non-clean sounds?
    If set for more overdrive, would they it cut through the mix or get too muddy?
     
  18. 70s Rocker

    70s Rocker Overdriven Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks! A little physics lesson now and then never hurt anyone!
    (Can you explain the Richter scale now?)
    Does it have two flats and would a Diesel Einstein cause a shockwave? HA?
    All kidding aside - great post!
     
  19. SecretAsianMan

    SecretAsianMan Member

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    I've had my Top Hat Club Deluxe dimed for, what, a few seconds? The neighbors came over and complained. The neighbors in the house across the street.
     
  20. michaelg

    michaelg Member

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    you need cooler naighbors:D
     

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