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Old 19th December 2006, 04:00 AM   #1
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Default 15 watts loud enough?

I currently play my 51 tele through a 5 watt tube amp I built, selectable into triode mode it will put out 2 watts or so. Its plenty dang loud for my room, but definatly cant keep up w/ a drummer without being miked.

I want a good amp I can crank up and be able to play with a good drummer. I don't nessicarily need to keep it too clean, think hard blues/ all the way to 70's rock.

What I need to know is what wattage. Ive heard mixed feelings about 15 watts. Some say its plently loud enough to play with a drummer, some say its both too loud for in home practice but not loud enough for a drummer.

I'm wondering if these people haven't used efficient speakers?


so heres the question: 15-18 watts + 98-100db speaker

or 20-30 watts. I have a friend who plays live with an unmiked classic 30, that would obviously be too loud for me. I just want to be able to practice with a drummer without having to mic anything.

Thanks much !

TSD88
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Old 19th December 2006, 04:04 AM   #2
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i'd say that 15 watts are plenty loud. remember, they'll go a lot louder than 15 watts in a guitar amp because you want to overdrive etc.
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Old 19th December 2006, 04:08 AM   #3
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Yeah. I had a Peavey rage 158 , it was 15 watts but it was SS and had a cheap speaker in it.. It would barley keep up with a drummer maxed out, and it sounded BAD. But thats to be expected with ss. I know tubes are louder, I just dont know how much louder @ distortion point tubes are compared to SS. I know 5 watts tube is almost like 10 watts SS @ distortion.
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Old 19th December 2006, 07:50 AM   #4
JLWitt is offline JLWitt  United States
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Have you looked at the www.18watt.com site? The amps are based on the Marshall 18w (2xEL84), models 1958 & 1974. They have various configurations from the original with tremelo, to TMB versions, to single channel versions, to versions with 6V6s, plus various combinations. There is even a 36w version with 4xEL84. Depending on how heavy-handed the drummer is, there have been comments that the 18w is plenty loud for smaller venues. There are multiple people supplying parts, kits, completed amps, etc. There are plenty of people who will help you get started and find the tone you are looking for. You will have to register to access the forum and the information.
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Old 19th December 2006, 07:58 AM   #5
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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Geee yes, my dad was a drummer for 25 years, so I'm totaly familiar with the volume level.

And I had a demostration of an 18W tube amp with akido pre a month or so ago.... it was incredibly loud.
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Old 19th December 2006, 02:14 PM   #6
PRNDL is offline PRNDL  United States
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The 18-Watt EL84 is quite loud, although a drummer can be louder if he or she wants to. The fun part of the 18-Watt EL84s is being able to turn it up to 10 and get hard rock distortion.

It's 5W in triode mode ... I've been considering adding that. Is there a big tone difference with your 5W/1W amp?

If you're interested, I am selling a Matchless Spitfire clone (18W EL84 push pull with orange drop caps). Emminence Ramrod 10 inch speaker. Controls are: Volume, Bright, Tone, Power and Standby. (It's not exactly a Spitfire, which has a master volume instead of bright).
I built two of these and only need one. If you're interested, I can send schematics, etc.

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Old 19th December 2006, 11:12 PM   #7
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I'd say it can work, but you're running on the edge. A good sensitive speaker (or two) will make a lot of difference. A good friend played in a working blues/ classic rock band (back when it wasn't classic, just plain rock.) I was used to hearing him through a Super Reverb (~35W.) One night the Super was down and he was using a Princeton Reverb (~15W.) The tone was great, and it sorta worked, but you could tell he was struggling without the power he was used to. The speaker in the Princeton was a 10" Fender branded Utah; not very sensitive. A better speaker might have made the difference.

-- Dave
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Old 20th December 2006, 02:23 AM   #8
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Is there a difference in tone? By FAR! It sounds absolutly the best, and you get compression without any blocking distortion. Only complaint is its not loud enough at that power level to really jam hard. I almost always have it on triode though. In pentode, it is a little brighter and is good for other great sounds. All it is really is the 1k resistor that attaches the screen grid to the power supply is attached to the plate in triode mode. I would assume 5 watts of all triode power would be heaven

I built it based on the ax84 High octane. It really is a wonderful sounding amp.


I have heard of the 18 watts, just never heard them. I don't really like fender amps too much, their 15 watters dont really have as wide a range as my 5 watt does. I'd compare my 5 watt to an orange or lower gain marshall cranked up. I really like the sound of it, I just want it louder.

I did look on ax84.com again and they have some new core projects: One was a 20 watt power amp section that interested me. Looks very similar to the deluxe reverb power amp, runs on the same voltage , same phase splitter etc. I'd assume I could use 6v6gt's or el84s. ( would like to try either)

Had another question, how does paralelling the output tubes sound? IE, EL84 or 6v6gt x2 in paralell instead of push pull?
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Old 20th December 2006, 11:45 PM   #9
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you could go extreemly out on a limb and go for Push-pull Class A El34s in triode mode, that would probably give you around 15watts., close to 25 watts in AB1.

Push-pull class A is really no different than a paralell single ended(I hope no one kilss me for saying this) , both the tubes are on all of the time, and the output Iron is worlds cheaper.

once push-pull moves into class AB1, and eventually (but hopefully not) class B then it starts to loose its "single ended" sound, however it then gains efficentcy.


another option is 1 KT88 in triode mode, which should give you close to 10 watts, or even 1 El34 in triode mode, which puts you right around 4-6 watts.

-Moose
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Old 21st December 2006, 01:52 AM   #10
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I've thought of doing larger power tubes triode strapped in SE class A, but the voltages required are a bit scary, as well as needing expensive power trannys.

Heres where I need some education : I don't fully understand the difference between paralell class A and class A push-pull. I really do not understand the differences in biasing that push it into class AB mode. I'm sure someone here could explain this a bit clearer to me, or point me to the right place?

Would just slapping two 6v6's in paralell give me 15-20 watts (depending on plate voltage) ? Or would it only yeild twice max plate dissipation ? ( ~12 watts)
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