Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How Doubling Guitar Amp Power Output Affects Speaker Performance?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How Doubling Guitar Amp Power Output Affects Speaker Performance?

    I need to decide between two little guitar amps. They are almost identical, except for the output circuit. One has a single 6V6, with about 4.5 watts output. The other, is also a single ended configuration with, two 6V6's wired in parallel and approximately 9.0 watts output.
    Now, if I understood correctly, doubling the output power, only produces +3dB increase, which is barely perceived by the human hearing.
    So, my question is:
    With everything equal, and excluding the lack of perceived loudness, is there any advantage in using the
    9.0 watts amp over the one with 4.5 watts output? Maybe better speaker cone motion control at low (82Hz) frequency?

    For reference, I was planning to use the amps with either LEGEND-1028K or GA10-SC64

  • #2
    What kind of usage do you plan for the amp? In certain scenarios, the lower power unit may even be preferable.
    "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

    Comment


    • #3
      Now, if I understood correctly, doubling the output power, only produces +3dB increase, which is barely perceived by the human hearing.
      A sound level difference of 3dB does make a difference (even 1dB is perceivable) especially when playing with other musicians. Doubling output power also increases dynamic headroom.

      Regarding speaker resonance damping, amp output power doesn't matter. Rather it's the amp's output impedance that damps the resonance. Most probably both amps have similarly high output impedance in the 100 Ohm range, so little damping. Better speaker damping would require global NFB - at the cost of lower gain.
      - Own Opinions Only -

      Comment


      • #4
        You say you want to exclude loudness from the calculus. Will you regret that at some point in the future? There are two types of "loud." Clean (dynamic) loud, and overdriven (highly compressed) loud. It would be a shame not to have the former available when you need it.

        Cone control is typically not a concern in guitar work. The driver suspensions are too stiff. And at these power levels you're talking about, the cone suspension will hardly be moving. The driver is basically going to be sitting there wondering if it's ever going to be asked to do any real work. Also, only a tiny portion of each guitar string's output consists of the fundamental tone. The vast majority is harmonics. This will especially be the case in an amp that's using a single-ended output stage.

        Finally, I've been in bands almost constantly since the blackface Fender days. I have never, ever, EVER run across anyone who wished his amp had less power.

        Comment


        • #5
          No one ever wishes they had less power, on the other hand MANY people confuse output power with loudness and even gain.

          It is just ONE factor among many. Really the thing to do is play through both and decide which you prefer. A couple decibels is detectable, just detectable. It isn't like turning the knob from 4 to 8.
          Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not sure if you are planning on building or buying the amp(s.) If you are building it would be easy to try both circuits in the same chassis; if the pre-amps are the same it would just be a tube socket and a few resistors to go from one to the other. If you are buying of course it would be easier to modify the 9 W down to 4.5 W if you decided you wanted less power.

            Comment


            • #7
              Lots of guys want to crank their amps for power tube distortion without being too loud. In a small room or for re-amping.
              Those are the guys who wish their amps had less power. I've sure run into them. Not everyone is playing in clubs or situations that require big power.
              How many guys even with a Twin that wish they had a Deluxe, to hit that 'sweet spot' at a lower loudness.
              "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bloomfield View Post
                ......if the pre-amps are the same it would just be a tube socket and a few resistors to go from one to the other......
                ...... and a beefier output transformer with lower input impedance. And, possibly a larger PT to handle the extra current.
                "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you all for the answers… but I am still a little confused…

                  These are from Google:

                  - Can you hear 1dB difference?
                  “You should be able to hear 1 dB increase or decrease of a steady single tone. With music, such a difference may or may not be that noticeable, it really depends on the kind of music and the volume level one is starting from. - Jun 19, 2014”

                  - Can you hear 3dB difference?
                  “A change of 3 dB is accepted as the smallest difference in level that is easily heard by most listeners listening to speech or music. It is a slight increase or decrease in volume. - Aug 4, 2019”

                  This was the explanation that was given to me regarding an audio amplifier frequency response – is when the output drops 3dB in relation to a reference point at 1KHz (or for some old texts at 400Hz), because beyond 3dB the listener can perceive a volume decrease in output.

                  So, it must be some advantage in doubling output power other than loudness…
                  Headroom increase perhaps?


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Maybe that is the reason why amps with parallel wired 6V6's fell out of fashion… even Dave Hunter's TWO-STROKE revised version dropped the 2x6V6 parallel for a single 6L6…

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      An important consideration is the speaker. A speaker that is 3db less efficient would require twice the power to be as loud as the more efficient speaker. Someone might want more power to effectively drive an inefficient speaker they like.
                      Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        First, I'd like to hear from the OP why this topology appeals in the first place. What particular amp did the OP hear and like, or did I miss that? What driver was it using? How hard was it being driven? What mic and processing were being applied? These are all important details. But is any of that even knowable?

                        Second, much of an amp's charm can come from its circuit design alone. Overdrive is another matter entirely. So I think it's important to know what goal we're after. Are we after the charm of a topology, or are we after what happens when overdrive occurs? And, a topology's inherent nonlinearities are sometimes mistaken for overdrive-induced distortion. So it's important to be able to discern one from the other. You have to know what you're hearing, and to be able to identify the exact cause(s).

                        Third, whether in a studio or live, what sounded so awesome in one's bedroom (running a design at or beyond its clean limit) may not work at all in a mix. It'll often turn to sludge and essentially disappear, i.e. wash out, so it sounds like someone’s running a table saw in the background. Or the Ramones. A related point is that if you give a producer a (relatively) clean signal, that gives the producer something to work with. It gives the producer some flexibility to re-amp, add effects, and so on. But you give the producer something that’s already overdriven, and that will be a constraint during mixdown. You’ve essentially chained the producer’s wrists.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you all for your answers

                          @Enzo,
                          Good point... didn't think of that... thanks

                          @nhbassguitar,
                          I do not have the amps... I am deciding on a new build, GA-5 vs GA-8 with either Eminence LEGEND-1028K or GA10-SC64.

                          What would be the advantage to build the GA-8 if the perceived loudness is about the same?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nhbassguitar View Post
                            Y...I've been in bands almost constantly since the blackface Fender days. I have never, ever, EVER run across anyone who wished his amp had less power.
                            A JMP Super Lead was too much for me. I certainly wished that the other guitarist didn't also have one, or at least didn't insist on 'natural' valve overdrive, ie ear bleeding volume, for his solos
                            My band:- http://www.youtube.com/user/RedwingBand

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Curiosity Satisfied…

                              First, I want to thank you all for your insights…

                              I guess I ended-up answering my own question, after thinking for a couple of days on what Enzo posted about power & speaker efficiency.

                              I think I approached the 2x 6V6's - parallel, single-ended design inquiry from the wrong point of view…
                              it is not about the amp… is all about the speaker.


                              The speaker field coil requires some minimum power to produce enough magnetic flux, for the speaker to be able to work. The Gibson amps BR-9 & early GA-9 models, use the Jensen F10-U field-coil speaker, which is what was available at the time these amps were manufactured.

                              Based on various articles from the web, I estimate that the F10-U speaker field-coil requires about 5.5W to work, or approx. 68V @ 81mA (= 850 ohms not 1000 ohms indicated in the schematic).

                              An amp with (1-6SJ7 and 1-6V6) OR (1-6SN7 and 1-6V6) will idle at approx. 46~48 mA, not enough for the speaker to work properly. If we used a 6L6 power tube instead, then the B+ would be way too high for the available 450V electrolytic filter caps… 2x 6V6's fit the bill perfectly… lower operational voltage, 80 mA idle current.

                              I would appreciate if anybody has any specs or info on the F10-U to confirm (or not) my estimates. Thanks.


                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X