The 50 watt compromise

grimm

Member
Messages
38
Too often, it seems, a 50 watt head is a compromise. A company will have its 100 watt head as its "flagship" model and then make a 50 watt version that is decidedly less awesome: one less channel, shared tone controls, minus presence control, etc etc.

I'd like a 50 watt head that is not a red-headed step child. Is that too much to ask?
 

sleewell

Senior Member
Messages
10,593
just focus on a better master volume.

a 100w amp can sound just as good or better as long as it has a good MV.
 

grimm

Member
Messages
38
I do currently have a 100 watt amp with a good master volume, but I'd also like the benefit of a smaller, lighter amp :). Plus a cheaper re-tube. I suppose I could alsways run a 100 watter in 50 watt mode, but I'd still have the weight and size.
 

Rex Anderson

Member
Messages
5,110
How loud and how clean do you need to be?

My 50 watt Two Rock Type 3 works better for me in 25 watt mode. It stays cleaner and gets louder clean in 50 watt mode, but I prefer the sound and what it does in 25 watt mode. Plenty loud enough with a 2x12.

My Deluxe Reverb was a bit too loud and harsh by the time I got the drive I wanted and they are only 22 watts.

I guess it depends on where you play, how you get your sound, if you are miced etc.

You might look at Colby Amps Dual Tone Booster 50 watt head. No compromise there.
 

freaksho

Member
Messages
3,998
man, i don't agree with your assertions at all. and i doubt most amp makers who offer both 50W & 100W versions think that way either. in all cases that i've seen it, the watt rating is simply an option and all other features of the amp are exactly the same. from my personal buying history, i'm talking Marshall, Orange, Bogner, Laney and Carol-Ann. i always choose the 50W model and it's never been a compromise. so what amp(s) are you referring to?
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,245
man, i don't agree with your assertions at all. and i doubt most amp makers who offer both 50W & 100W versions think that way either. in all cases that i've seen it, the watt rating is simply an option and all other features of the amp are exactly the same. from my personal buying history, i'm talking Marshall, Orange, Bogner, Laney and Carol-Ann. i always choose the 50W model and it's never been a compromise. so what amp(s) are you referring to?
I agree. Off the top of my head I can't think of any amps where the 50 watt version gives up features unless it's a completely different model.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,418
I agree. Off the top of my head I can't think of any amps where the 50 watt version gives up features unless it's a completely different model.
EVH 5150 III amps.

The 50's are smaller chassis, less bells and whistles and much more affordable
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,418
and they also have a terrible volume issue with clean and dirty channel that the 100 watters don't have.
Interesting.
Never played one, just noticed they had quite a few less bells.
 

grimm

Member
Messages
38
The 5150 III is a great example of a 50 watt version of a 100 watt flagship that does not measure up. Another example is the Fryette CL's, but those might be a wash since each has features that the other doesn't.

But even if the 50 watter isn't in the same "series" as a 100 watter, it just seems like you never see a 50 watter with as full a feature set as is put into 100 watters. Like the Marshall JVM210H has a 50 watt version JVM205H, but the JVM410H does not have a 50 watt version.
 

grimm

Member
Messages
38
How loud and how clean do you need to be?

My 50 watt Two Rock Type 3 works better for me in 25 watt mode. It stays cleaner and gets louder clean in 50 watt mode, but I prefer the sound and what it does in 25 watt mode. Plenty loud enough with a 2x12.

My Deluxe Reverb was a bit too loud and harsh by the time I got the drive I wanted and they are only 22 watts.

I guess it depends on where you play, how you get your sound, if you are miced etc.

You might look at Colby Amps Dual Tone Booster 50 watt head. No compromise there.
Well, I'm not a "vintage" guy and I don't pay $5000 for an amp so the Two Rock is out. I don't know anything about the Colby.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,418
Colby makes a fabulous amp
What features are you actually looking for?
 

Cirrus

Member
Messages
2,429
it just seems like you never see a 50 watter with as full a feature set as is put into 100 watters.
Sorry son, you're just wrong. :dunno If YOU'VE never seen one, you're not looking very hard. All the amp models I'm aware of where they have a 50 and 100 watter in the lineup have the same features.

If you're comparing totally different 50 and 100 watt amp models then sure, they'll have different features. :console
 

Echoplexi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,831
Pwe event horizon seems like a top 50 watter with all the controls you'd want and gets rave reviews. I haven't tried one in person but I'd like to
 

MHG

Member
Messages
6,105
I find that 100w amps have extended lows and highs, and more depth, than their 50w counterparts. In comparison, this can make the 50w version seem more mid oriented. One not better than the other....just different. I love all my amps, from 1w to 100w.
 

Rex Anderson

Member
Messages
5,110
I don't pay $5000 for an amp so the Two Rock is out
Used Type 3's go for a bit over $3K. They are no longer produced, so you would have to find one. You didn't mention budget, so it's hard to make suggestions.
 

timc

Member
Messages
386
Too often, it seems, a 50 watt head is a compromise. A company will have its 100 watt head as its "flagship" model and then make a 50 watt version that is decidedly less awesome: one less channel, shared tone controls, minus presence control, etc etc.

I'd like a 50 watt head that is not a red-headed step child. Is that too much to ask?
No it is not, you say "to often", can you please be specific? To answer your question here are a few that I have owned that have 50 and 100 watt models with no loss in functionality...

Carol Ann (OD2, OD3, Triptik)
Glaswerks SOD
Germino
Marshall 60's/70's/80's

Is there a specific amp you are looking for?
 

RAR

Member
Messages
519
No it is not, you say "to often", can you please be specific? To answer your question here are a few that I have owned that have 50 and 100 watt models with no loss in functionality...

Carol Ann (OD2, OD3, Triptik)
Glaswerks SOD
Germino
Marshall 60's/70's/80's

Is there a specific amp you are looking for?
I was going to say Carol Ann, too. There is no compromise in features, channels, or options in several of their amp models... doesn't matter if you go, 100, 50, or even the R versions. The ones I played certainly were not lacking in lows, depth, or highs either.

PWE also comes to mind... 100 or 50 watt, same features.
 

grimm

Member
Messages
38
I'm looking for a high gain amp with 2 or 3 channels, footswitchable effects loop, under $2K. No EL84's or 6V6's. I've also never met a Marshall that I liked, so there's that.
 






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