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How powerful can single ended amps be?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Jakedog, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The more I play my Supro, the more I love it. It’s even knocked my Marshall out of the #1 spot. This is the first time in 36 years of playing guitar that I own an amp I like more than a Marshall. This little amp just makes me so happy.

    But... at 15 watts class A and single ended, it’s underpowered for sure. I can get away with using it with the band, but just barely. And that’s only indoors in small rooms. A little more if I mic it, but that doesn’t usually happen. And even at that, it still doesn’t really have enough clean headroom if I’m being totally honest.

    I’ve never had a single ended amp before and I really like what it does. I also really like how this amp sounds. It’s just not enough of itself.

    One option I’m entertaining pretty seriously is buying a second one and running the pair when I need more power. I’m just wondering if there’s a way to get this style of amp at around 30 watts? Does anybody make anything like that? Is that even possible?
     
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  2. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm subscribed!
    I've wondered if you built a Champ with huge trannys and a KT88 or something like that if you could get it up to bigger wattage.
    Z builds the Carmen Ghia with two EL84's (Not SE) but they get a big sound mostly from those two huge trannys I guess....
     
  3. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The amp I have is the Supro Blues King 12. It’s claiming to put out 15 watts from a single 6L6. It’s got pretty chunky trannies. I really love the amp. I just wish there was more of it.
     
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  4. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I mean, it's really up to the power tube/power supply. Should be possible to build a nice 50Wish beast from a single KT120 or something crazy like that.
     
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  5. Darr van Valken

    Darr van Valken NEW MEMBER!

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    Doubtful you'll get much more out of it than 15. Dr Z do the Z-PLus, with two 6v6 running single ended, and there's also the Victoria, Vicky Verb Jr, and Regal.

    I think your best bet would be to use a very efficient speaker, or extension/bigger cab.
     
  6. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  7. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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  8. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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  9. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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    To get more single-ended power you have a few options:

    1) More powerful tube. Seems easy, but with Class A you only get half of the rated dissipation of the tube. You also need a larger transformer and single-ended transformers need a lot of Iron and can get prohibitively expensive.

    2) Parallel output stages. Two singled-ended tubes in parallel. Of course, this also would require a larger transformer, but you can also parallel the transformers. I'm not sure this is much different than just running two amps- which would be more practical.

    There is a reason that most large amps are Class AB. You get most of the efficiency (both electrical and economic) of a class B amp and much of the sonic characteristics of a Class A amp.
     
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  10. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    To be clear I don’t want to mod the amp I have. I’m curious if somebody makes an amp that sounds and acts like mine, but has maybe twice the power. Sounds like it’s possible.
     
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  11. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If buying a second Supro is the most practical and cost effective way to get what I need, I’m ok with that.
     
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  12. Esquire Jones

    Esquire Jones Tele-Meister

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    I've got a BK12 and I love mine, too. I was so close to buying a second one when they were on sale a while ago.

    Really, I don't consider it to be a pro-level amp. It's more of a practice/recording deal for me.

    I've never once gigged out with a combo amp (always used closed Marshall cabs and big tube heads). But I was playing heavy rock style.

    I haven't tried the line out of the Supro yet. Maybe that would work? But man, it does sound sweet in a little package!

    Also, I just changed tubes and that made it sound even sweeter. Maybe less gain
    /sizzle but rounder and sweeter.
     
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  13. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Have you tried it with a bigger cab? Like 2x12, or a 4x12. I power a 2x10 with a 5w single ended amp sometimes, and it does not sound like a raunchy broken up champ sound.
    How do they even get 15w? Is it parallel single ended?
    I know there's some boutique 4x parallel single ended, or something like that, so 30w is definitely possible. And expensive, probably.
     
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  14. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Reminds me of Keif using a Champ and *One Love*. Maybe try the Supro with a different SE amp for a similar louder result.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
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  15. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

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    The simplest and most obvious way to get twice the amp is to literally get twice the amps.
     
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  16. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I hear ya! And I love class A, too, but the Z-Plus is outside my budget. Maybe one day.
     
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  17. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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    The question is: what do you really need? An increase in output power doesn't directly correlate to an increase in SPL (Sound Pressure Level) which is the real measurement of loudness. A second amp may still leave you wanting as it won't double your SPL.

    This page has a good explanation of how that works:

    https://jlaudio.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/217201737-Doubling-Power-vs-Doubling-Output?force_isolation=true#:~:text=It is a slight increase,need 200 watts of power.

    There also small gains in SPL to be had in doubling the amount of speakers.

    If headroom is an issue, then you need more voltage on the output tube to keep from clipping - this is not easily remedied.

    Sometimes there are no perfect solutions. The almost perfect solution would be a transparent mic and a PA, but that's not half as fun!
     
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  18. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    The main limiting factor for a high power SE would be finding an output transformer for the task. I see Edcor has a 25W.
     
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  19. J. Bonkosky

    J. Bonkosky Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    You could always mic it up and run that into a PA or a big power/ headroom amp.
     
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  20. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    There are some crazy powerful single ended, single valve amps in the hi-fi world. Start with a 300b, work up through the 845 and 2a3, then keep going. They're often triodes, and they cost a kidney. Paralleling is a good way to go, as Laney do with the aforementioned LH50 ( and 20 ) amps. Have a look at how some transmitting/transmission valves have been forced into service and wonder why.

    JJ make a guitar amp based on a 300b single output valve. There was a sound demo of it floating about. Nice enough, but what makes for a good hi-fi stage doesn't always translate to guitar sounds. Each to their own. For a powerful single ended, single valve, a KT88 or KT120 will get loud. Not Laney loud, but loud.

    They're a niche application. The size, weight and cost of the output transformer rises exponentially with the power. The valves cost a fortune, running them hot enough to be interesting gives them a short life. They require a complex power supply, and take some driving. When you have to use a valve that we would consider an output valve just to drive the output stage, you know things have got silly.
     
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