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Power scaling on Egnater amps......

jimmyohio75

Member
Messages
5,538
On the Rebel 20 as well as the soon to be released Rebel 30 and Renegade 50 there's a wattage knob that allows you to scale up or down from 1 to 20 watts on the Rebel 20 and 1 to 30 or 50 on the Rebel 30 and Renegade 50 respectively. Is this a gimmick or does it truly reduce the amount of power to the tubes like an attenuator?

In other words it would make sense to me that if the wattage knob is set to say, 5 watts it would be relatively easy to get the tubes cooking for full on crunchy, raging distortion.
For example if I'm playing a gig and I'm mic'd through the house PA I would likely set the wattage knob to around 3-5 watts to ensure that I hit the sweet spot. This seems to be a hugely useable feature for gigging situation when you want to fully saturate the tubes.

Can anyone confirm if the wattage knob works in this fashion or does it simply reduce the volume by a slight amount?
The Renegade 50 has a 10 watt or 50 watt setting. Will the 10 watt setting truly give me the feeling of a 10 watt amp?

If so my pants are getting tight.:drool
 
Messages
7,008
On my Rebel 20 It does not effect the volume a lot. It does effect point of break up,attack,sag,punch,envelope. It does effect the volume but not like some think.....:huh
 

StratsRule07

Member
Messages
53
Seemed to effect everything other than the volume on mine. Still a cool feature that DOES serve a purpose. Just returned it and the cab today, though.
 

StratsRule07

Member
Messages
53
You really won't notice A LOT of volume increase/decrease when you fool with the wattage knob. Turning it up or down seemed to simply effect the amount of clean headroom available. That may not be what is actually does or what it is supposed to do, but that is the most notable effect it had during the short time I owned the Rebel.
 

JOHNNOUSA

Member
Messages
30
Bruce Egnater explains this very clearly - see the link below:
http://www.egnateramps.com/TechTalk/TechTalk101.html

TECH NOTE #101
WATTS vs VOLUME and other stuff…..There is some confusion about the relationship between watts and volume (loudness). There is much discussion about how this many dB is twice as loud as that many and that many dB is double the power and blah blah .... lot’s of techie rambling but no real world explanations. Let’s say you have a guitar amp with a knob to adjust the power (watts). Now say this amp is 20 watts at its maximum power setting and 1 watt at the lowest knob position.

It would be reasonable to assume that 20 watts should be loud enough to play with the band and 1 watt would be whisper volume. Anyone who has had the opportunity to test this theory has found quite the contrary. 20 watts through a reasonably efficient speaker is quite loud. 1 watt through the same speaker is also quite loud. What’s up with that? Have you ever seen the specs for a 12” speaker? A typical guitar speaker will produce about 95 to 100dB at 1 meter (about 3.3ft) with 1 watt of input power.

Now put 2 or 4 of that same speaker in a cabinet and the output is even higher. What this is saying is that even with a mere 1 watt of power, that speaker will put out the volume about equal to a person yelling. Obviously not “TV watching” volume. To obtain that whisper volume, you might need as little as 1/10 of a watt but…….at that low a volume, most guitar speakers start to sound terrible. In addition, there is a phenomenon that occurs with human hearing that is documented by Fletcher and Munson (two really smart guys) that graphs the way we hear things at different volumes. Look it up on the internet.

The Fletcher/Munson curves show how our ears, at lower volumes, are less responsive to low and high frequencies. That means the quieter you play, the more we tend to want to boost the bass and treble to compensate for our own hearing. Ever seen the “loudness” contour switch on a home stereo? That is what the switch does. It boosts the treble and bass to make it sound better quiet. On a guitar amp you often find knobs for boosting the low and high end in the power amp section. Typically these controls are called Presence for the high end boost and Resonance or Depth or Density (Egnater) for the low end. At low volumes you typically turn those controls up but the louder you play, the more you find you need to turn them down. Fletcher/Munson again.
Because we make guitar amps with variable power (Rebel) and switchable power (Tourmaster and Modular), we get inquires about this all the time. Often players will use one of our amps and it appears that the power cut feature doesn’t do much. Please allow me to explain.

Let’s say you are playing an amp at home or in a music store at relatively low volume. Recall what was said earlier about how little power it really takes to get a fairly loud volume. If you’re playing quiet, you might be using even less than 1 watt to obtain the loudness you’re at. If you have a chance, try this on a Rebel. Play fairly quiet and turn the WATTS knob from 20 watts to 1 watt. What do you hear?

Very little change! Why? Because at that volume you probably are not even using up 1 watt let alone 20 watts. Sort of like driving a car at 5MPH. It doesn’t matter if the engine is a 100HP or 500HP, you are still only going 5MPH and using very little HP to maintain that speed. Same with your amp. To cruise along at low volume requires very little power (watts). Having the extra horsepower (watts) doesn’t make the amp louder when you play at low to medium volume.
Now try this with your Rebel. Set the power to 20 watts, turn the master full up and turn up the gain knob until you start to hear some distortion. It will be loud.

While you’re playing turn the WATTS knob down. You will clearly hear and feel the way less power creates a spongier, lower volume tone. Some players are saying the knob isn’t really cutting the power but is reducing the headroom. Call it what you will, the result of reducing power is more of a “feel thing” than a volume thing. Ultimately the idea is to set it to where you like the sound and be happy…..play your guitar.
While we’re on the subject of the Rebel, there has been some talk about how when panning from the 6V6 tubes to the EL84 tubes, the tone difference is not what some expected. It is believed that by simply changing power tubes you can make a Fender (6L6 power tubes) sound like a Marshall (EL34 power tubes) or a Vox (EL84 power tubes). What you are hearing in the Rebel when you go from 6V6 to EL84 is the real difference in the sound of those two types of tubes. It may not be quite as dramatic as many believe but that is the reality of it. The tonal difference between various types of tubes is more subtle than many believe. A few people have even been disappointed when using the TUBE MIX features because their expectations of what should happen were really not based in fact. What you are hearing in the Rebel is “the truth” about power tubes.
Enough rambling for now. I hope this is interesting and informative stuff. If you are already a member of the Egnater family….WELCOME!! If you haven’t joined us yet, we look forward to having you.
Bruce Egnater
 

swimrunner

Member
Messages
575
Both the Tube Mix / Watts knobs have a larger impact the higher the volume is. Most of the reports you read online about "those knobs don't do much" is because said players are running it at bedroom volume when they try it out at GC or wherever.
 

voojo

Member
Messages
3,415
From what I understand, it's not true "power scaling." According to Kevin O'Connor: "The Rebel "Watts" control is not Power Scaling. Rather it is a variable current resistor for the splitter."

That's a quote from his post about it.
 

Jack Gilvey

Member
Messages
4,059
Both the Tube Mix / Watts knobs have a larger impact the higher the volume is. Most of the reports you read online about "those knobs don't do much" is because said players are running it at bedroom volume when they try it out at GC or wherever.
In which case you're using less than a watt, anyway...so it doesn't matter if there are 19 more to be had.

I think a truly useful "low-volume/bedroom" setting would be more like 1/4-watt. 1 watt is still really loud into a guitar speaker, especially 1 dirty watt. My little Vox DA5 never leaves the 0.5 watt setting, and even then I max out at 1/2 on the master at night. Granted not everyone has a baby sleeping across the hall, but still...
 

jimmyohio75

Member
Messages
5,538
Bruce Egnater explains this very clearly - see the link below:
http://www.egnateramps.com/TechTalk/TechTalk101.html

TECH NOTE #101
WATTS vs VOLUME and other stuff…..There is some confusion about the relationship between watts and volume (loudness). There is much discussion about how this many dB is twice as loud as that many and that many dB is double the power and blah blah .... lot’s of techie rambling but no real world explanations. Let’s say you have a guitar amp with a knob to adjust the power (watts). Now say this amp is 20 watts at its maximum power setting and 1 watt at the lowest knob position.

It would be reasonable to assume that 20 watts should be loud enough to play with the band and 1 watt would be whisper volume. Anyone who has had the opportunity to test this theory has found quite the contrary. 20 watts through a reasonably efficient speaker is quite loud. 1 watt through the same speaker is also quite loud. What’s up with that? Have you ever seen the specs for a 12” speaker? A typical guitar speaker will produce about 95 to 100dB at 1 meter (about 3.3ft) with 1 watt of input power.

Now put 2 or 4 of that same speaker in a cabinet and the output is even higher. What this is saying is that even with a mere 1 watt of power, that speaker will put out the volume about equal to a person yelling. Obviously not “TV watching” volume. To obtain that whisper volume, you might need as little as 1/10 of a watt but…….at that low a volume, most guitar speakers start to sound terrible. In addition, there is a phenomenon that occurs with human hearing that is documented by Fletcher and Munson (two really smart guys) that graphs the way we hear things at different volumes. Look it up on the internet.

The Fletcher/Munson curves show how our ears, at lower volumes, are less responsive to low and high frequencies. That means the quieter you play, the more we tend to want to boost the bass and treble to compensate for our own hearing. Ever seen the “loudness” contour switch on a home stereo? That is what the switch does. It boosts the treble and bass to make it sound better quiet. On a guitar amp you often find knobs for boosting the low and high end in the power amp section. Typically these controls are called Presence for the high end boost and Resonance or Depth or Density (Egnater) for the low end. At low volumes you typically turn those controls up but the louder you play, the more you find you need to turn them down. Fletcher/Munson again.
Because we make guitar amps with variable power (Rebel) and switchable power (Tourmaster and Modular), we get inquires about this all the time. Often players will use one of our amps and it appears that the power cut feature doesn’t do much. Please allow me to explain.

Let’s say you are playing an amp at home or in a music store at relatively low volume. Recall what was said earlier about how little power it really takes to get a fairly loud volume. If you’re playing quiet, you might be using even less than 1 watt to obtain the loudness you’re at. If you have a chance, try this on a Rebel. Play fairly quiet and turn the WATTS knob from 20 watts to 1 watt. What do you hear?

Very little change! Why? Because at that volume you probably are not even using up 1 watt let alone 20 watts. Sort of like driving a car at 5MPH. It doesn’t matter if the engine is a 100HP or 500HP, you are still only going 5MPH and using very little HP to maintain that speed. Same with your amp. To cruise along at low volume requires very little power (watts). Having the extra horsepower (watts) doesn’t make the amp louder when you play at low to medium volume.
Now try this with your Rebel. Set the power to 20 watts, turn the master full up and turn up the gain knob until you start to hear some distortion. It will be loud.

While you’re playing turn the WATTS knob down. You will clearly hear and feel the way less power creates a spongier, lower volume tone. Some players are saying the knob isn’t really cutting the power but is reducing the headroom. Call it what you will, the result of reducing power is more of a “feel thing” than a volume thing. Ultimately the idea is to set it to where you like the sound and be happy…..play your guitar.
While we’re on the subject of the Rebel, there has been some talk about how when panning from the 6V6 tubes to the EL84 tubes, the tone difference is not what some expected. It is believed that by simply changing power tubes you can make a Fender (6L6 power tubes) sound like a Marshall (EL34 power tubes) or a Vox (EL84 power tubes). What you are hearing in the Rebel when you go from 6V6 to EL84 is the real difference in the sound of those two types of tubes. It may not be quite as dramatic as many believe but that is the reality of it. The tonal difference between various types of tubes is more subtle than many believe. A few people have even been disappointed when using the TUBE MIX features because their expectations of what should happen were really not based in fact. What you are hearing in the Rebel is “the truth” about power tubes.
Enough rambling for now. I hope this is interesting and informative stuff. If you are already a member of the Egnater family….WELCOME!! If you haven’t joined us yet, we look forward to having you.
Bruce Egnater
Based on this explanation then why would any amp have more than 1 watt?
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,282
Bruce Egnater explains this very clearly - see the link below:
http://www.egnateramps.com/TechTalk/TechTalk101.html

TECH NOTE #101
Some players are saying the knob isn’t really cutting the power but is reducing the headroom. Call it what you will, .
Bruce Egnater
No explanation of how it works in that blurb.

I suspect the current limiter at the PI stage is correct, creating a power governor, rather than an attenuator, in the usual sense i.e. no power tube distortion at low levels.
 

dandythomas

Member
Messages
525
In other words it would make sense to me that if the wattage knob is set to say, 5 watts it would be relatively easy to get the tubes cooking for full on crunchy, raging distortion.
For example if I'm playing a gig and I'm mic'd through the house PA I would likely set the wattage knob to around 3-5 watts to ensure that I hit the sweet spot. This seems to be a hugely useable feature for gigging situation when you want to fully saturate the tubes.
The wattage knob (when set to low power settings) essentially limits/reduces the amount of signal sent from the phase inverter to the power tubes. Setting it to low power settings will not allow you to get the power tubes cooking, but you can get some compression/distortion in the phase inverter. It is not true power scaling, but does have some effect on the tone/feel of the amp.

Andy
 

dandythomas

Member
Messages
525
Based on this explanation then why would any amp have more than 1 watt?
More wattage is required for clean headroom. A one watt amp would start breaking up earlier (volume wise) than a higher wattage amp. A higher wattage amp will also be punchier.

Andy
 

wired

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
346
The power scaling works exactly like it's supposed to, it's not a volume knob. Having said that, you can push the output tubes at lower volumes when set at 1w vs 20w. The Rebel can get pretty loud at 1w & you will definitely hear the output tubes compress differently at the diff wattage settings.
 

dandythomas

Member
Messages
525
The power scaling works exactly like it's supposed to, it's not a volume knob. Having said that, you can push the output tubes at lower volumes when set at 1w vs 20w. The Rebel can get pretty loud at 1w & you will definitely hear the output tubes compress differently at the diff wattage settings.

That is not actually the case with this amp. In a true power scaling amp that would be true. With the Rebel, when the wattage knob is set low, you are hearing the PI compress, not the power tubes. The power tubes would be running clean.
 

wizard333

Member
Messages
2,208
It is believed that by simply changing power tubes you can make a Fender (6L6 power tubes) sound like a Marshall (EL34 power tubes) or a Vox (EL84 power tubes).
YES. I do tech work and I run into this ALL THE TIME.

AT the volumes most folks play at, power tubes make VERY little difference. If you push them to the point where you are really driving them, the differences become a little more pronounced, but how many people take a 30-100W amp and crank it anymore? Where can you do that? Unless you are playing arenas, you probably cant.

For demonstration purposes, I have 2 Marshall 800 amps, exactly the same except one runs EL-34s, the other runs a high plate voltage NOS JAN 6L6 variant. I have people plug in but don't tell them which tube is in which, and dare them to tell me which is which. No one can. The tonal differences are minimal, no more than you'd expect to hear in any 2 Marshalls of the same model due to normal component drift.

There are a great many things that make an amp sound the way it sounds, and the type of output tube is only one component. Its dwarfed by all the other variables.
 
Messages
7,008
Based on this explanation then why would any amp have more than 1 watt?
You need power for the low end more than anything in my ears. You need a lot of power to keep the bass frequency together and headroom. I have about a dozen amps 5-150 watts all have a use ....

When I hear someone say they "need "100 or 50 or 30 watts ~ etc. Most of the time I think they are "goofy".
The numbers mean very little ....Personly I could use a Champ or Herbert and be happy.
 




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