How loud is 10 watts and 6 watts

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Tazz3, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Tazz3

    Tazz3 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,794
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Location:
    East islip ny
    Sorry for this question I have a 10 watt tube amp on pre order
    Now Iam thinking it might be to loud lol how loud is it??
    It does have the one watt option will that make it not as loud,
    I was also looking at the VHT 6 watt tube amp it also has 3 watt option
    This amp will be for home use, people Complain my 8 watt front man is loud lol
     
  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    24,008
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    They all got at least one knob that makes 'em quieter. :D

    The difference in perceived loudness between 6 and 10 watts is so small that it can easily be made irrelevant by differences in the circuits, speaker efficiency, etc.

    Even 3 watts is going to be too loud in some living situations if it's cranked...
     
  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,247
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    3 watts is really loud for cranked home use. 10 watts is even louder. But that is also misleading. Speaker "efficiency" has more to do with volume than watts. A 6 db increase in speaker efficiency will make the same wattage amp seem twice as loud if I recall correctly.
     
  4. PumpJockey

    PumpJockey Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    2,484
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    New Joisey
    Don't forget the speaker part of the equation. A 6w with an efficient speaker will be as loud as a 10w with an inefficient speaker. The perceived difference is nil anyway. I have a 6w Champ style amp with an old, inefficient Magnatone speaker in it and it is too loud for the house when cranked.

    You will probably end up turning it down and using a pedal for breakup no matter which one you get, so get the one that sounds the best to you. 10w is a nice starting point. You can even do small gigs with it, especially if you get an extension cab.
     
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,582
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Englewood, CO
    No appreciable difference between 10w and 6w if both are running the same or an equivalent speaker. Is it the volume people are complaining about or he fact that you're playing with a lot of distortion? Loud and clean might be more tolerable than loud and distorted.

    Since it has a 1 watt option you can operate off of that. It may not sound as good but it will be quieter. IMHO play the amp at it's full 10w but keep the master volume down. I have 5w, 15w, 40w, and 60w amps that I play all the time and I have neighbors on all sides of me who don't complain.
     
  6. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,178
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    FL
    A wide-open 5 watt amp can peel the paint off your walls. Everyone has their own definition of 'home amp', but you'd have to have a pretty big home to play a 5 watt amp without being heard in every room.
     
  7. FenderBender10

    FenderBender10 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    786
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    It really depends on volume settings. My 3/5 watt amp gets LOUD when cranked and easily shakes the pictures on my walls and next up I can play my ac15 2x12 or 20 watt Princeton at very quiet levels and they sound great. My Vox has a master volume so I can get some OD at low volumes, and my Princeton sounds great on 2(very quiet) but really opens up nice around 6(very loud).
    The amp you have on hold is the Laney Cub correct? That has power scaling down to 1 watt, like you said, so you can really cook those tubes for some nice OD at very low volumes.
     
  8. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    553
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Location:
    Highland, IL
    For the technical answer, as others have said, loudness is mostly a result of speaker efficiency.

    Take a modern Eminence 12" driver:
    They are typically rated about 102db at 1 watt at 1 meter.
    102db is pretty darn loud.
    To increase loudness by 3db, you must double the power.
    A 3db increase is generally accepted as a very small increase in sound level.
    So 2 watts with this driver is 105db
    4 watts, same driver, 108db
    8 watts, 111db
    16 watts 115db
    32 watts 118db
    64 watts 121 db. 120db is generally accepted as the threshold of pain.

    But if you start with an inefficient driver, say 88db at 1 watt at 1 meter, it is a whole new ballgame. You would need 32 watts to get to the same sound pressure level (SPL) the efficient driver was at with only 1 watt.

    Just for another reference, at 85db or above in a workplace, OSHA requires hearing protection.
     
  9. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    25,993
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Location:
    Port Moody, BC
    I have a 30 watt Peavey Delta Blues that I use at home. It's never too loud because I don't turn it up.
     
  10. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    553
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Location:
    Highland, IL
    An option to reduce the loudness is a good power soak.
    They go by different names, but it is basically a high power rated variable resistor that allows the player to crank the amp to its sweet spot, and absorbs most of the power silently, passing only some of the power to the speaker.

    For these low power amps, I have heard of people stringing small outdoor light bulbs (10w variety) in series as a power soak. Light up the bulbs and keep the speakers relatively quiet. But since the resistance of the bulb changes with the amount of power through it, the bulbs are a little unpredictable. Fun though.
     
  11. pluckin'canuck

    pluckin'canuck TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    36
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    canada
    I have the vht special 6. I have neighbour's who live below me. They have never complained but I can keep it decently low on the 3 watt setting. Also the special 6 is a really sweet little amp.
     
  12. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    2,067
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    I always thought 15w was a starter amp:oops:
     
  13. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    14,356
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    Most of the $100 entry-level amps are in the 15 watt range, sure, but power output has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the amp or its intended use.

    Another thing to remember is that the rated output of the amp is not a constant-a 100 watt amp with the volume turned way down may only be putting a couple of watts to the speakers-it isn't 100 watts across the dial.
     
  14. Tazz3

    Tazz3 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,794
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Location:
    East islip ny
    Thanks guys, so I guess I have to keep it on 1 watt or 3 watts lol
    But speaker has more to do with it the. Any thing I think I under stand lol
     
  15. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,567
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Downstate Illinois
    Yes and no...

    Your not going to be running your amp wide open at 4am I would assume. So the real trick is to find an amp that sounds good enough to make you want to play at the lower respectable volumes.

    I no longer have it but even the 50 watt 5153 sounded great at middle of the night whisper quiet volumes. It sounded even better at the wide open middle of the day volumes. :cool:

    So yes even at 1 watt you can piss off the neighbors, if you crank it to 10. On 2 you may annoy the dog who's trying to sleep on the couch next to you but the cops won't be knocking down your front door.
     
  16. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,746
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Location:
    Beirut, Lebanon
    The 1 watt option will sound half as loud as 10 watts

    This might well wake the neighbours if turned up (whether 1 or 10 watts)
     
  17. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,112
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Location:
    kamloops bc
    I have 2 Beltone amps one is 8 watts the other is 15, both use EL84's the 8 watt is enough to drive my 4X12 cab nicely. and I have gigged with it in small venues, without the 4X12 cab, it has an 8" 8 OHM spkr and sounds great.
     
  18. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    1,573
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta
    It's easy to build a simple attenuator for these small wattage amps, that's what I do.
     
  19. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,690
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Location:
    CT
    Somewhere i read that 6 watts tube amp is around as loud as a trumpet. Seems about right to me. A trumpet playing in the house is pretty loud.
     
  20. Marshall_Stack

    Marshall_Stack Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,842
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, Maine
    Ha! - I first read this as "It's never too loud because I don't turn it on."
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.