Ole Question about 50 vs 100 watts with speaker efficiency

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Geardog, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Geardog

    Geardog Silver Supporting Member

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    i have read the threads about how 100 watts gives you more headroom vs the 50 watts - and that the 50 will give you earlier breakup. I haven't had a lot of experience at these wattages, but I'm looking to put a rig together. The main thing I'd like to get feedback on is if I use a 50 watt with efficient speakers - will that offset some of the earlier breakup and give me more head? And how about higher wattage speakers - will that also add to the equation of getting more headroom?

    I'm not looking to make a 50 into a 100 - just getting a 50 to lean in that direction more with the selection of speaker efficiency and watt rating.
     
    eigentone likes this.
  2. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    I believe a 100 watt amp is 3db louder than a 50 watt amp with the same speakers.

    If you use a 100 Watt amp with a 100db speaker

    and a 50 watt amp with a 103db speaker, SPL should be the same SPL as the 100 watt
     
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  3. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    Absolutely. Efficient speaker(s) with the 50W head can be louder than the 100W head.

    What you're at here is speakers' compression. As speakers approach their limits, they become less efficient and effectively compress. So yes, greater power handling can result in greater volume because of less of this compression.
     
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  4. Geardog

    Geardog Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks 71strat.

    Thank you as well eigentone. I was looking for a 100 watt head, but a 50 watt became available. I have a 2x12 that I would use with celestion Creamback 65's - which have a 97db sensitivity rating. With 130 watts of speakers, I would think I would have the headroom with the 50 watt amp.

    With all the reading on the subject about how the Transformers are different on the 50 vs 100, and loss of headroom vs breakup - in the end I'm thinking I just have to try it with what i have. Then see is I have come close to the goal of getting similar headroom to the 100 amp with the same cab/speakers. Or I can wait to get the 100 lol.
     
  5. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Most 50w amps have a good amount of headroom before they breakup. The point may be moot, although the 100w may have more, or more percussive, bass (different transformer, more power tubes). Whether or not that bass is something you dig. That said, a 100db speaker with a 50oz magnet will give you that extra volume, more/punchier bass (and a bit more treble).

    Unless you really need a LOUD amp, the 50w is probably plenty. I rarely need more than 50w accept when I play certain outdoor gigs like breweries that don't have any, or at least a decent, PA setup.
     
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