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20w enough??

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Riff Robin, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Riff Robin

    Riff Robin TDPRI Member

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    Ok..i got my new tele all set up for chicken pickin....now i need the perfect amp. I heard a Tone King Imperial which sounded about as good as a 64 Deluxe....my question is, Is 20w enough power to STAY clean with a drummer or with a band in general? I never could stay clean with other low wattage amps....and i dont play that loud. THoughts??? Otherwise, i am looking at the tone master twin.
     
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  2. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    It depends on the drummer, I'd say.

    We mic our amps even in smaller venues (bar/restaurants), so it doesn't matter live. In fact, it's better to have a smaller mic'd amp so you can control it in the mix. Is that an option for you?

    The bigger question is whether you're happy with the tone and headroom/dynamics with only 20W.
     
  3. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Years ago my son borrowed my Victoria Victorette for his band. It is a ~20 Watt amp with two 10” speakers. The lead guitarist was amazed because it kept up with his 50W (one 12) Marshall combo.

    The last time I tried a Tone King Imperial, I loved it, but I was just playing by myself and it was plenty loud. As to your exact question, depends on how loud your drummer is, and if he listens to be part of the team or just bangs as hard as he can. If he is the latter, you may need a mike to send you Imperial to the house system. OTOH, for any normal band in a small venue with a decent drummer, yeah, you can keep up clean.
     
  4. 421JAM

    421JAM Tele-Meister

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    It depends entirely on the drummer.

    If the goal is to stay clean, the drummer should know not to bash. If the drummer insists on bashing, you might need more than 20. But 20 watts is plenty for clean Tele music when the drummer knows how to play appropriately. Look at the amps on the Marty Stuart Show. A Princeton and a Deluxe Reverb, two clean Teles, a drummer, a bassist, a piano, and a steel player. That’s a lot of sound, and those amps do the job perfectly.
     
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  5. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    The variable is always the efficiency of the speaker in your amp.
    If you go all the way to a JBL, your Deluxe type amp is almost as loud as a Twin.

    There are lots of options--look for efficiency ratings 0f 100+db.
     
  6. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    I wouldn’t want to play in a band where the TK Imperial couldn’t keep up. The amp’s main job is to get you where it works in a stage mix. If the players have “ears”, that should not be a problem.
    Brilliant amp, by the way.
     
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  7. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    That really depends on the amp. I wouldn't think a 20 watt amp would have that kind of clean headroom. The point of a 20 watt tube amp is to hit the slightly distorted sweet spot at lower volume. Are you playing with the amp working on it's own or mic'd by a PA? My Vox AC15 is distorted at rehearsal volume but stays clean when mic'd since it has to be turned down.

    At the price range of a tone king, you could buy anything. Tone Master Twins are quite nice, loud, and sound like the real thing. A Roland JC-120 with a compressor pedal would also work really well for loud clean playing and have a different flavor of sound than the twin.
     
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  8. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    Depends on the speaker and the drummer. A very efficient speaker makes an amp really loud. A very efficient drummer makes the drums really quiet.
     
  9. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    "Is 20w enough power to STAY clean with a drummer or with a band ...?"

    No.
     
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  10. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    My experience with 20 watters is that they're plenty loud -- until they aren't anymore. If you're playing big rooms or outdoor stages, you may run out of amp, and it's no fun playing one of these smaller amps gasping for breath. But for blues & R&B in clubs, an AC15 / Deluxe / Imperial will be fine.
     
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  11. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    If you mic the amp of course.
    But who doesn't mic his amp these days anyhow?
     
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  12. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    My goodsell 18 did with creamback as did my supro supreme and Princeton w alnico cream. FYI

    Been 2 years but we did have young drummer that Over did it. Bar owners tried to keep down.
     
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  13. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    Depends on the drummer, depends on the speaker, depends on the amp’s circuit, depends on the pedals pushing into the amp, depends on the pickups and depends on your playing technique.

    Other than that, yeah, it’s perfect.
     
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  14. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, and your Deluxe type weighs almost as much as a Twin: Been there, doing that! 20190103_223609.jpg 20190103_223839.jpg
     
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  15. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    I used a 65 Fender Deluxe Reverb for indoor gigs for years. Playing blues at pubs, bars, etc... 20 watts was fine with a tasteful drummer. For outdoor gigs such as festivals, you would likely need more power.
     
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  16. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Depends on the amp. (Drummer too!) Some amps just dont cut through the mix well, and 20w is not 20w is not 20w .

    Here's my experience in a 4 pc blues rock band playing smallish clubs:

    -Peavey Delta Blues, basically a "30w" Peavey Classic: This amp would not keep up like my BFDR did. But sounded great.
    -Z Carmen Ghia. Supposedly 18w but has BIG tranny's: This amp was better than the Delta Blues but marginal in some circumstances.
    -Princeton Reverb. 12-15 watts: Often wouldn't keep up. Got nasty fast. Ditto with a DR output tranny.
    -Princeton Reverb+ with a Vibrolux power tranny and DR output tranny: Tons of headroom
    -'54 Tweed Pro. 18-25 watts. Marginally kept up with a BFDR.
    -Blues Junior: Cuts through well.

    One note regarding the Tweed Pro and the Delta Blues: We were a louder band back then with two guitarists instead of a guitarist and Sax.
    The DR seems to shine through whenever it's needed to and is rarely above 3 on the volume. (i have some sort of pedal always on though)
     
  17. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Nearly everyone is saying it depends entirely on the drummer, and those folks are all half right......it depends on your bass player as well. I've played with bands with loud drummers, but I've probably played with as many (or more) bands whose bass players were too loud. It often started an "arms race" with volume. It may have to do with "less experienced" bass players who have to hear themselves over everything else. I prefer NOT to run everything through a PA, but to play in a band where everyone LISTENS to each other.....and pays attention to what's going on and watches whoever is "leader". If you're "off in your own little world", even briefly, you're not a "plays well with others" kind of musician.
    That said, if I can't use a 15-20 watt combo amp at the gig (unless outdoors) it's too loud for me. ;)
     
  18. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Holic

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    I'd say a 20 watt tube amp with a very efficient speaker would do most of what you want, IF you're playing with other musicians who are aware of the total sound and play to fit together well. If not, you'll have issues no matter how many watts you have.

    I'm really glad that the drummer I play with can adjust to the rest of the band. I can use my 15 watt Supro with no problems. If the room is bigger, or we are outside, it can be miced. Or, I can use my ZT lunchbox with a DV Mark 12" cab -- that makes about 120 watts of solid state power, which works almost anywhere.
     
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  19. Riff Robin

    Riff Robin TDPRI Member

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    THanks guys!!! ALL great responses! I keep seeing videos of the 20 watters and they all seem to start getting furry at around 4 on the vol. I wish stores stocked some of these amps so that i can try them out....if i was brave enough to go in a store these days...LOL. thanks ALL!
     
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  20. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Try one if you can. But my experience with the Imperial is that it’s a pretty loud 20 watts. I never had an issue using one live.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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