Volume Test: Marshall 4010 vs. Carvin x100b

Messages
3,065
So, I was curious how loud my amps really are. Marshalls are notoriously loud, and the Carvin x100b reissue famously wasn't as loud as many expected a 100w amp to be.

I started by plugging in the x100b into a 2x12 cab loaded with ET-65's from WGS. The lead channel volume got rolled all the way up, gain all the way up, and the extra gain boost switch OFF. I used a nifty app on my phone, called Decibal 10th, placed very scientifically on the corner of my couch :D

The Carvin peaked at 111.9db, and averaged around 110-111 while playing chunky open and power chords.

Next, I plugged my 1980 Marshall 4010 combo into the same WGS loaded cab. Master rolled all the way up, preamp rolled up to 9.8, because the input isn't sheilded on this amp and if I roll it to 10, it sometimes oscillates. I played the same chunky power chords and open chords.

The Marshall peaked at 113.8db, but averaged around the same 110-111. The peak was when I was getting feedback (which, because of the unshielded input on this amp, is MUCH easier than the x100b).

I found this interesting, the Marshall is only 50w, ostensibly, but averaged the same volume and even peaked louder. Overall the Marshall feels louder too, if that makes any sense. The frequencies just sit in a range that really seems to cut through.

The Carvin, while obviously still loud, doesn't have that "about to explode" kind of feel at the same volume as the Marshall, and it's actually surprising how similar the Carvin sounds at full volume to when it's turned down. The Marshall of course, sounds almost completely different with the master cranked vs. playing down at "reasonable band levels".

But I was surprised that the Carvin wasn't louder, having an extra two power tubes and all. But Carvins seem to be biased pretty cold, while I know my Marshall I biased at around 62% disapation, considerably warmer than Carvin biases their amps from the factory. I did warm up the bias on the x100b slightly, but it's definitely not that warm. I don't know how much of that will translate into extra volume.

Anyways, I thought this was interesting so I thought I'd share.
 

Hefalump

Member
Messages
8,879
I would love to see the dbs that my old 2203 put out...lol

Same goes for my old Hiwatt dr504....holy crap that was loud.

So was my Electradyne....


Geez, wonder if anyone has a DB shootout up on Youtube?????????
 
Last edited:

Gnarlly

Member
Messages
2,862
Doesn't surprise me. A lot of older Marshalls were actually underrated in power, while modern Marshalls are often overrated in power (some of the "60 watt" amps only put out about 30 watts, and some of the "100 watt" amps only put about 60 watts RMS).
 
Messages
3,065
I would love to see the dbs that my old 2203 put out...lol

Same goes for my old Hiwatt dr504....holy crap that was loud.

So was my Electradyne....


Geez, wonder if anyone has a DB shootout up on Youtube?????????
Yeah, I don't know of anyone really going through and testing amps like this. I mean, this still isn't very scientific, using a phone as a decibel meter, but it's something. Considering how often everyone talks about how loud, or not loud certain amps are you'd think there'd be more of this.

Doesn't surprise me. A lot of older Marshalls were actually underrated in power, while modern Marshalls are often overrated in power (some of the "60 watt" amps only put out about 30 watts, and some of the "100 watt" amps only put about 60 watts RMS).
Yeah, the 50w Marshalls are easily around 60w, clean, before they're even breaking up. I wouldn't be surprised if in overdrive they're putting out even more than that, while a lot of newer design rely on a clean power amp, which I think helps explain the results.

I want to try my little modded Valve Junior next, because even at only 5w, that thing is still loud! I've used it in a band situation, when I don't need any clean sound.
 

Hefalump

Member
Messages
8,879
Yeah, I don't know of anyone really going through and testing amps like this. I mean, this still isn't very scientific, using a phone as a decibel meter, but it's something. Considering how often everyone talks about how loud, or not loud certain amps are you'd think there'd be more of this.



Yeah, the 50w Marshalls are easily around 60w, clean, before they're even breaking up. I wouldn't be surprised if in overdrive they're putting out even more than that, while a lot of newer design rely on a clean power amp, which I think helps explain the results.

I want to try my little modded Valve Junior next, because even at only 5w, that thing is still loud! I've used it in a band situation, when I don't need any clean sound.
My understanding is the old Marshalls rated at 100 watts were actually putting out around 180watts. Same for Hiwatt.
 
Messages
3,065
My understanding is the old Marshalls rated at 100 watts were actually putting out around 180watts. Same for Hiwatt.
180w sounds high to me, but I'm not really an expert. 150w seems plausible, though.

Another thing I thought interesting was the feedback issue; on the Carvin, it's very difficult to get any feedback, I basically needed to stand right in front of the amp, even at that volume. And it wasn't as easy to control. The Marshall I could get it just about anywhere in the room, and could interact with it a lot more, just by shifting where I was standing a little bit.

I think most people think of running up to the speaker cab to get feedback, and that obviously works, but the Marshall seems to be feeding back at the input to the amp, not the guitar, which makes it more fun to play (but MUCH noisier!).
 

Hefalump

Member
Messages
8,879
180w sounds high to me, but I'm not really an expert. 150w seems plausible, though.

Another thing I thought interesting was the feedback issue; on the Carvin, it's very difficult to get any feedback, I basically needed to stand right in front of the amp, even at that volume. And it wasn't as easy to control. The Marshall I could get it just about anywhere in the room, and could interact with it a lot more, just by shifting where I was standing a little bit.

I think most people think of running up to the speaker cab to get feedback, and that obviously works, but the Marshall seems to be feeding back at the input to the amp, not the guitar, which makes it more fun to play (but MUCH noisier!).
If I recall correctly: It has to do with 2 things: the nature of the tube power section's output not being square waves and also the RMS ratings. Also legend has it that they purposely sandbagged the output ratings as well.
 
Messages
3,065
I just tried my modded Valve Junior: New OT, tweed tone control, bright switch, and completely revised preamp and filtering.

It peaked at 109.1db, but was averaging 103.9. Also, this circuit the bottom end totally loses definition with the volume dimed, so it wasn't a sound I find useful, but with the knob at about 3 o'clock it sounds great, but that was right around 100db. So the big boys really are that much louder.
 

Fulldrive-1

Member
Messages
5,824
I used to have a 1978 JMP master head. I had converted it away from 6550 and was running Phillips 6CA7 output valves. On the tech's bench I saw it put out 136 watts at 8 ohms, at clipping.
 

Fretsalot

Member
Messages
1,654
Not the point, but I just got done playing my '82 4010 (EL34's & G12-65) for 3 hours (watching the Seahawks... come in 2nd place). I recently paired it with my CS '59 Jr (with Wolfetone Meaner p/u). Went back to the suggested settings of 'everything on 6', except for the MV which was at 2 or 2+, and was just totally blown away by the tone, turning it up more & more as the game progressed. Mine likes to be rode hard... The MV is really touchy at those settings, just roars more by turning it up no more than the width of the indicator line on the knob.

Fretsalot/Scott
 




Trending Topics

Top