Low Watt or Higher Watt with Attenuator?

Which amp would have better break-up at lower volume?


  • Total voters
    14

guitarplayer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
576
I'm looking to get a tweed amp for my small studio.
I'd like to be able to get edge of breakup tones without breaking my (or my wife's) ears.
Originally, I thought 5-watt but I keep hearing 5-watt amps are a "one-trick pony" and not versatile.
It would also be nice to have something that would also be versatile enough for studio and small band setting as well.

My question is -
Am I better off getting a lower watt (say 5-10 watt) amp or a 20+ watt amp and add a good attenuator, such as the Swart nightlight.
Which would sound better in a studio for getting edge of break-up tone?
I figure I could potentially mic the lower watt amp if used live.

I realize there are amps, such as Tone King that offer built-in attenuators or Power Scaling,
but the amps I'm considering don't have power scaling options but can be built with lower/higher watt output transformers.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
37,098
or add a reamp device like the Fryette Power Station to expand you little amp's sound i.e. slave it.
If money is not a problem try them all. Keep your fave.
 

Will V.

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
511
I think many tweed amps are quite different from one another, so you might put some time into thinking about which tweed tone you're after. However, if you want edge of breakup at band volumes with a tweed amp, you need more wattage than a Champ for sure. Others with more experience can correct me, but I would think a 5E3 Deluxe would not be enough. You'd have to crank it at 10 to think about hanging with a drummer, and there would be some luck involved in that. A 5F6 Bassman, however, would be capable.
 

Will V.

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
511
or add a reamp device like the Fryette Power Station to expand you little amp's sound i.e. slave it.
If money is not a problem try them all. Keep your fave.
Very true, with a PS2 you could almost certainly run a 5E3 or even a 5F1 at edge of breakup and still keep up with a drummer, assuming the speaker can handle it.
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
44,838
The answer is subjective to one's taste, but for me it's the bigger amp.

Small amps still sound small no matter what. That's not an issue of course if that's your jam.

Check out this thread where I took my JTM45/100 and then turned my Power Station's volume all the way off and recorded the results:




With the quality of reactive load tech we have now you can use any size amp you want.
 

socalscott

Member
Messages
2,005
I re-amp my 1W Fryette gp/di with internal RL and mic/cab sim section. All tube, all analog. Amp in the room via an Acoustasonic sfx2. Does closed and open back and the headroom is adjustable.
So my vote is ultra low watt.
 

Waxhead

Member
Messages
6,617
I'm looking to get a tweed amp for my small studio.
I'd like to be able to get edge of breakup tones without breaking my (or my wife's) ears.
Originally, I thought 5-watt but I keep hearing 5-watt amps are a "one-trick pony" and not versatile.
It would also be nice to have something that would also be versatile enough for studio and small band setting as well.

My question is -
Am I better off getting a lower watt (say 5-10 watt) amp or a 20+ watt amp and add a good attenuator, such as the Swart nightlight.
Which would sound better in a studio for getting edge of break-up tone?
I figure I could potentially mic the lower watt amp if used live.

I realize there are amps, such as Tone King that offer built-in attenuators or Power Scaling,
but the amps I'm considering don't have power scaling options but can be built with lower/higher watt output transformers.

Mesa Boogie has you covered with more than 20 different amps made the past 20 years :)
 

PowerJRod

Member
Messages
361
I'm looking to get a tweed amp for my small studio.
I'd like to be able to get edge of breakup tones without breaking my (or my wife's) ears.
Originally, I thought 5-watt but I keep hearing 5-watt amps are a "one-trick pony" and not versatile.
It would also be nice to have something that would also be versatile enough for studio and small band setting as well.

My question is -
Am I better off getting a lower watt (say 5-10 watt) amp or a 20+ watt amp and add a good attenuator, such as the Swart nightlight.
Which would sound better in a studio for getting edge of break-up tone?
I figure I could potentially mic the lower watt amp if used live.

I realize there are amps, such as Tone King that offer built-in attenuators or Power Scaling,
but the amps I'm considering don't have power scaling options but can be built with lower/higher watt output transformers.
Even a 5 watt can be really loud depending on the model. As funny as this might sound...I checked out one of the newer Bugera Infinium amps, I think it was the T5 model. Sounds really nice and can be pushed to that edge of breakup classic gain sound. Does Marshall make a 5 watt? I know they make a 1 watt and a 20 watt...
 

Frosted Glass

Member
Messages
2,692
I get more volume control over a 20w amp hooked up to an toneking Ironman II 100w than a 2w amp hooked up to the same cab sans attenuator.

An overdriving 2 watt amp is actually pretty loud.
 




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