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just how loud is a 5-6 watt amp?

samhambone

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
654
i was thinking of picking up either a swart atomic space tone 5w or valvetrain concord 6w amp primarily for home and recording use - however, before i pull the trigger, are they loud enough to use in a live trio (drum, bass, gtr) replacements-type band for rehearsal/small club gigs?
 

tjauernig

Member
Messages
140
These may be loud enough for a small gig in a small room if you have a speaker that is fairly efficient. I got a $50 fine at the Arlington Guitar Show last fall for cranking a 1-watt amp for a few minutes.
 

fazendeiro

Member
Messages
1,103
Not loud enough for a live gig.
I agree. Lots of people say just mic it. Try it, you may like it, but I don't. The sound feels too removed from my guitar.

I'd never play with a drummer with less than 20 watts or so (just a guideline, don't hold me to it).
 

AstroStrat89

Member
Messages
306
A lot depends on speaker efficiency (or Sensitivity) too. a 10 watt amp with a 100db speaker will seem louder than a 20 watt with a 94db speaker.
 

thedroid

Member
Messages
3,072
I agree, you need more wattage for a gig. At least 15.

I also wouldn't spend that much for a home/recording amp. I've gotten two vintage 5 watters -- a Valco/Oahu and a Silvertone 1481 -- off ebay for under $200 apiece and love both.

Plus, boutique amps are not necessary for Replacements-style rock. Volume and a general lack of inhibition are a must.
 

RCCola

(|@ / \ @ |.)
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,429
If you want to play distorted only, you can maybe get by in a small room (~30 people) w/o micing. Also, a booster pedal will increase the volume a lot. Micing, yeah you can get by.

The drummer can't be too loud though.

I had temporary attenuated hearing (1 day) with a cranked Champ - it was on a shelf at ear level about 7 ft away from me. No pedals. Jensen RI C8R speaker.

Joe Campilongo gigs every week in a 50 person room with a Princeton Reverb, amplified stand up bass, and a medium-loud drummer. The PR is mic'd.
 

speedtaco

Member
Messages
850
I agree. Lots of people say just mic it. Try it, you may like it, but I don't. The sound feels too removed from my guitar.

I'd never play with a drummer with less than 20 watts or so (just a guideline, don't hold me to it).
Right... and 20 watts is cutting it close IMO.
 

Scumback Speakers

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,873
I'm not sure about those 5-6 watt amps, but a 9 watt amp through two G12M (6402 cone) Greenbacks with a TS-808 is loud enough to have you arrested for "loud, unreasonable noise" 8 hours after the fact while you're asleep.

So be careful. :D
 

shredtrash

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,939
Right... and 20 watts is cutting it close IMO.
I have no problems keeping up with my 20 watters and the drummer in my rock band hits fairly hard. 20 watts with an efficient speaker is not that much quieter than a 50 watter.
 

dk123123dk

Member
Messages
3,892
A 5 watt amp is about as loud as a person shouting. So if you can play a gig without a mic to sing into, then you can keep up with a 5 watt guitar amp.

dk
 

Peeb

Member
Messages
4,832
I had an old Fender vibro champ that I upgraded the speaker with a nice weber anico, and it was pretty LOUD.

I now have a fender champion 600 with a 6in fender speaker and it is not NEARLY as loud as the old vibro champ.
 

Bottle_Rocket

Member
Messages
176
You get a 3db increase in volume by doubling the watts.
So a 12 watt amp is 3 db louder than a 6 watt and a 24 watt is another 3db louder.
A 50 watt amp is only 3 db louder than a DRRI. Not much at all.

It's the clean headroom that you are after.
 

somedude

Member
Messages
7,603
It's not a question of volume, since 5w will likely be loud enough to keep up with a moderate drummer.... it's a question of headroom. As in, if you expect to do nothing but play distorted leads all night 5w should be enough to keep up with a drummer. If you want clean, semi-clean, or pretty much anything less gainy than full on distortion you might find 5w a little lacking.
 

Bottle_Rocket

Member
Messages
176
It's not a question of volume, since 5w will likely be loud enough to keep up with a moderate drummer.... it's a question of headroom. As in, if you expect to do nothing but play distorted leads all night 5w should be enough to keep up with a drummer. If you want clean, semi-clean, or pretty much anything less gainy than full on distortion you might find 5w a little lacking.

What he said.
 

bilbal

Member
Messages
8,485
I have a 5 watt Valve Junior rig in my living room. In the room alone it is screaming loud. In a room with a band it would be eaten up quickly by the other instruments. So, as a home hobby amp, 5 watts is plenty. As a giggable amp, definitely not enough IMO.

B
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,101
I have a Valve Junior that is too loud for home but not loud enough to play with a drummer, so I rarely use it, except when I'm recording cleans at home.
 

mobis8

Member
Messages
611
A 5 watt amp is about as loud as a person shouting. So if you can play a gig without a mic to sing into, then you can keep up with a 5 watt guitar amp.

dk
This doesn't make any sense (unless you specifically mean clean)... what does the power of an amp have to do with the volume? a decibel (unit of volume) is not the same as a watt (unit of power)...

As others have said, it depends on your style of music. If you are needing clean, than 5 watts will probably not do it for you. If you are playing all overdriven, then you may just love this type of setup, and it can be very loud (but overdriven)...
 




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