50 watt vs 100 watt amp tightness

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Hollowway, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Metal used to be about the big chugging tones, but for some reason that thin, no-bass, mid-heavy Djent tone came along, and now no one wants chugging bass anymore. :lol: It is about removing everything from your tone but the metalic upper mids. Also, I think as tube amps are kind of going out of fashion, and digital is in, people are willing to compromise tone for smaller packages, and less tubes to replace. Most people want the smaller amps because they are small, cheaper, cheaper to retube, and sound pretty good... not as good as their big brothers, but good enough for the compromises.

    I had a VHT D120 several years ago. It was the only amp that stood up to my Triple Recto for depth. That amp had so much weight behind the notes it was crazy. It was SO loud with a bright presence also. I think it was the only amp I have ever sold because it was just too loud for home, and because of the way the frequencies were set. It physically made my ears hurt to play it at home. Like I said before though, depth and tightness comes from the big caps and transformers, so this amp was probably the tightest I ever heard. Each palm mute was like a ninja kick out of the speaker right into your eardrum.
     
  2. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    I have no experience with the amp in question, but not being able to get a 50 watt amp loud enough for gigs makes me think something is wrong with the amp, unless you're trying to play stadiums without a PA or something. The difference between 50 watts and 100 watts is only 3db.

    I was under the impression that the Victory Kraken was supposed to be a "classic Marshall-y" thing, and it only became associated with djent because the djent guys tend to be Youtube gear-hawkers, and so naturally Victory sent tons of amps to them? At any rate, I'm a death metal guy not a djenter (and since the term "death metal" has become so abused, to clarify, my favorite release of last year was this), so I can't speak as to what's going on in those circles, but a 50 watt amp aimed at a djenter seems backwards as hell to me. I thought the Invective, most of Revv's stuff, most of KSR's stuff, etc. was all over 100 watts (yeah yeah, I know, a true djent guy would just use an Axe FX...)?
     
  3. ihunda

    ihunda SS.org Regular

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    As long as the amp as real man tubes like EL34 or 6L6 and not the smaller el84, it will have all the bottom end and chug you need. For example a 50W amp with 4 EL84 tubes will sound looser and spongier than a 50W amp with 2 EL34s. My experience of modding amps taught me that the resonance knob (bass frequencies feedback from speaker output to power amp input) is critical and amps that don't allow to tune the resonance are hit and miss depending on the cab, room, etc... For example I'll take the 5150 50W which does have a resonance knob other a 100W without. By the way the 5150 100W stealth fixes that issue with 3 independent resonance knobs.
     
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  4. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, it’s not that the amp isn’t loud enough - it’s PLENTY loud. And I had it retubed and biased by Stevie Fryette himself, so I know it’s doing what it’s supposed to. But, like every other piece of gear I have, I start to wonder if there’s something better. So I was considering a 100 watt alternative, if I could expect more tightness or punch.

    And the VK does seem to be aimed specifically at djent. The other victory amps are more about Marshall and rock. (On the VK, it has a JCM800-esque and a 5150-ish channel.)

    But, the 50 watt metal amps also seemed counter-intuitive to me. Yet, we have the 5150III, the maxwatt/hiwatt, and the fortin meshuggh that are just that. Hence my wanting to make sure I understand how watts affect tone.
     
  5. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Ah, interesting. I’ve been looking at picking up a D120 for the extra wattage (based on the stuff I’ve been talking about). But I’m not playing live, so I need to consider the volume issue you’re talking about.
     
  6. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    Here lies the path to madness. No one in your audience can tell the difference, no one will be able to hear it on album after you've mixed and mastered the hell out of it. If you like what you have, there's no sense in worrying about "what might be better".

    Also, even though I've never played a Freyette myself, based on what people say about them, I can't imagine anyone wanting something tighter than even a slightly "less tight than possible" Freyette.

    The only one of those I'm familiar with is the 5153 50 watt, and my understanding is that it was introduced specifically to be smaller and cheaper than the big 100 watter.
     
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  7. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, I showed a couple non musician friends some of the 50 & 100 watt comparison clips on YouTube (that I could tell the difference in tone on) and they had no idea they were different sounds at all.

    I’m pretty laid back about other gear - like pickups. And I’ll buy guitars on a whim. But I don’t like having a lot of amps around if I’m not going to use them. But you’re right - I know I’m chasing something that isn’t better, and only a tiny bit different.

    But, I still think it wills be cool to have frequency spectrum comparisons of different amps (maybe with everything set at noon, dial wise) in the same way high end steri systems have provided us with frequency spectrums of the different tube types, so we can actually see the differences.

    EDIT: Like this. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could see one of these for loads of different amps? http://www.gmarts.org/index.php?go=212
     
  8. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    Those images only show what the pre-amp tone-stack does to overall frequency response and don't consider tubes, power-amp controls, or speakers, so they'd be of limited utility. Futhermore, they'd have no way of showing gain texture, which is at least as important, if not moreso, than overall frequency response.

    The most useful thing you can learn from pre-amp tone-stack simulation is that your treble knob moves the mids notch around on a traditional FMV tonestack, so you should use your pre-amp controls to get the midrange voiced how you like and then use your power-amp controls to voice bass/treble.
     
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  9. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Infidel

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    My H&K has a variable wattage power amp and I know when I dial it to 50w and crank up the channel volume the mids get more pronounced/focused, the low end tightens up, and the high end gets less "sizzly".

    But turn the power amp to 100w from there and the opposite happens. Then I have to up the mids, lower the bass highs and presence.
    I liked playing it at 50w when I was tuning lower and going for a tighter sound for death metal tones whereas now I'm back to 100w as I'm doing more of a post-metal type thing.
     
  10. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Yup, every other style of metal died the day that Misha decided to chase the Meshuggah picking style. No one played thrash anymore, the gothenburg sound was ass over teakettle. Hardcore bands finally got to take a break and go back to work. It has been a tough 10 years.

    ;)

    Holloway, have you been playing long enough to identify "your" tone as yet? After a certain point of proficiency, you're going to sound like you whether it's a princeton or a Mesa Coliseum. If your 50CL sounds great to you (and it should), then I suggest joining a band and getting on a stage.
     
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  11. protest

    protest SS.org Regular

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    I've owned both the 100w and 50w CLs separately and at the same time, along with a Sig X. The 100w is way bigger sounding. It's not really tighter, maybe a little, but the biggest standout to me was how much more low end there was. The 100w CL is one of the meanest ams on the planet, and when you get that and the 50 next to each other you can really see the difference. I love the 50w but if you want more low end the 100w crushes it.

    Out of the 3 I wound up keeping the Sig X because it was less metal and more versatile. It's incredibly dynamic. I never really played anything that dynamic. But after almost a year I've realized that as much as I love blues, prog, and fusion that I'm a metal player and would rather have a metal amp with pretty good versatility than a versatile amp with pretty good metal tones.

    The 100w CL was also more saturated and bigger sounding than the Sig X, and just meaner in general..
     
  12. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    It still is for some of us.
    :eddie::rocker::mf666::rocker::eddie:

    Boosted mids =/= Metal.
     
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  13. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    062C5AEB-DBD2-4ED2-8A25-86EAEF5D8640.jpeg

    I don’t want any damn mids
     
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  14. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Overall 100W amps will be tighter, more focused, more articulate bass compared to their 50W counterparts. The 100W+ have bigger transformers, more/higher rated filtering in the power amp, and have more clean headroom. This is good if you like a fair amount of gain and like having some bass chords hit you in the chest. The 50W- will distort sooner, faster, and have more power tube coloration from the power tubes distorting... some people like to say the 50W sound "sweeter" ? Not to me they don't.

    I prefer 100W+ and above amps. I've got several that are over 150W right now... because I play metal (not djent) and like a tight focused low end... I like hearing all the notes I play and not having them run together... strong, tight low end... and who likes soft mushy inarticulate bass?

    :nuts: :shrug:

    Maybe the guys wanting/using the 50W have their reasons? But I don't play that sort of music.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  15. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Yup, all metal tones in all genres have gotten more mid-heavy over the last 20 years or so. It is a sad, honky world.... :noplease:
     
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  16. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    For me also. Too many mids just don't sound right to me.....
     
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  17. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Yeah fuck mids.
     
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  18. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    I’m not currently playing live, but I a did for most of my 20’s. At that time I had like zero dollars, so I used a variety of crappy amps. Fast forward to now, and I’m not playing live, but I have money. Back then, I liked the thick, saturated Marshall tone. These days, I am tuning super low (on ERGs) and just want to have fun. If I were gigging, I’d get a UL, or some other high end amp with a lot of options. But I’m not, and yet I want that punch in the chest feeling, and still some tightness.
     
  19. shadscbr

    shadscbr SS.org Regular

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    edit, oops
     
  20. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon The Impossible Kid

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    Low end has a lot to do with transformers, tone in general has a lot to do with filter caps and THD threshold that the circuit is designed around...this subject has beaten to death by Marshall owners arguing about “volume” of certain amps and how early non-master volume 50 watter Marshalls beatout 100 watt JCM’s in volume...it depends on the amp...and the cabinet/choice is a factor. Honestly, I never feel a 100 watter is “too much” and usually if you play clean, it’s nice to have a little extra headroom -and I’ve never found the tone differences or “50 watt mids” myth to be enough to steer me toward a 50 watt amp specifically. It all comes down to the individual amp...if it’s got what you need at any watt...cool!
     

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