20W Lunchbox All-Tube Head for Club Gigs?

bluetahoe

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I am looking at portable "lunchbox" amps for rehearsals and gigging at small to mid sized clubs. Also, I can use it at home practices (it has power soak, 5W, 1W and speaker off for headphone out).

ENGL's 20W all-tube Ironball caught my attention. Mini Recto and Tubemeister are similar alternatives, but I like the look of Ironball, lol.

I am wondering 20W would be loud enough for gigging in clubs. If it's mic'ed or PA'ed, there should no issues, but what if the venue has no mic or PA but cabs for the 20 watter?

Have any of you had experience giging with low wattage tube head without mic'ing or PA?
 

stealthelephant

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I am looking at portable "lunchbox" amps for rehearsals and gigging at small to mid sized clubs. Also, I can use it at home practices (it has power soak, 5W, 1W and speaker off for headphone out).

ENGL's 20W all-tube Ironball caught my attention. Mini Recto and Tubemeister are similar alternatives, but I like the look of Ironball, lol.

I am wondering 20W would be loud enough for gigging in clubs. If it's mic'ed or PA'ed, there should no issues, but what if the venue has no mic or PA but cabs for the 20 watter?

Have any of you had experience giging with low wattage tube head without mic'ing or PA?
U want clean or dirty?

Clean, no chance.
Dirty. How dirty?
What's ur genre?

I'll assume for now its rock?
20 should be loud enuf. 15 is for me in a small club.
 

Stuart_tate41

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I use a 30w with a single 12" speaker and I'm on 3/4 volume in most venues I'd say 20 should be okay if it's a 2x12. If not get a SM57 mic as a back up then it can always go through the PA as well.
 

bluetahoe

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U want clean or dirty?

Clean, no chance.
Dirty. How dirty?
What's ur genre?

I'll assume for now its rock?
20 should be loud enuf. 15 is for me in a small club.


Thank you for sharing your experience. Majority of my play will be on distorted side, but some songs do require cleans, so clean headroom is a key issue here. You say no chance for 20W for clean?

20W all-tube should be significantly loud, so I still wonder if its headroom is not enough in a small gig.
 

whatshisname

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I used a 30 watt Marshall Artist head with a 4x12 cab, for many years, and it was MORE than enough. A 20 watt head should do well, I would imagine.
 

Justin_Case

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Mesa TA-30....

15, 30 and 40 watt settings, and 5 voicings...

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocCAAtZAyh8]Andy Timmons and the Mesa TransAtlantic TA-30 ~ Channels, Modes, Tones & More - YouTube[/ame]
 

PapaSquash

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With an efficient 2x12 I think it's just about right. Any more and you start having to add distortion because you can't let the amp off the leash.

I like 12-15 because I didn't need real clean.
 

TWANG

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If your band is way loud... then your amp will be pushed hard all the time at 20W.
If you play the size of the gig, like a bar for example, then 20W is fine for clean headroom.

It depends more on how loud the drummer is.. how big the room is.. and what your speaker(s) are rated at.

It's a near impossible question because the variables are so big.
I played in rock bands that just ran on ten all night.
sucked, too, all that volume for no good reason.

I played in bands where 20W was more than enough for 250 people.. and we
were doing rock from van halen to john mellon cougarbutt.
But that's stage sound.
all was miced.
 

GitFiddle

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I gig quite often with an old 64 Deluxe Reverb at 22 watts. It has a single 12" speaker. I always carry a Beta 57 and mic it. That gets the sound out front. On stage, I set it up on a stand or a case where I can hear it the best, over the other instruments.

There should be no reason, not to mic it at every gig, if you have a mic and an available channel on the mixer.

There's no difference in having a head and a cab, or a combo. 20 watts is 20 watts. The more speakers you have, the more air it will push. If you are wanting to run it with no speakers, just straight to the board, then you just need to mix it into the monitors.
 

stealthelephant

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If u make an arrangement with the rest of the band then 20w may work for clean sounds. It's risky though as there are a lot of variables - the drummer being the biggest, lack of knowledge on amps from the rest of the band may give rise to some surprise resistance.

a PA May be the safest bet if u absolutely need clean. Or a modeling amp.
 

Stuart_tate41

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I turned up with a 30 watt tube amp and my whole band thought I was crazy then told me to turn it down. It switches from 18 to 30 and there not that much drop in volume to be honest.
 

HopelessRomantics

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ceriatone OTS 20 mini:
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UKzC5dGejU]Ceriatone Overtone Lunchbox 20w mini Dumble - YouTube[/ame]
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYJrY9FzujQ]OTS Lunchbox clip 4 - YouTube[/ame]
 

stealthelephant

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I turned up with a 30 watt tube amp and my whole band thought I was crazy then told me to turn it down. It switches from 18 to 30 and there not that much drop in volume to be honest.

A .1w is only 1/2 as loud as a 1w. Or a 1w is only double the loudness of a .1
A 1w is only 1/2 as loud as a 10w. A 10w is only double the loudness of a 1w
A 10w is only 1/2 as loud as a 100w. A 100w is only double the loudness of a 10w
At 100w is only 1/2 as loud as a 1000w. A 1000w is only double the loudness of a 100w


The only difference is the clean headroom. I forgot where I read all this, I would link it if I remembered, but as I recall it wasn't opinion. It was actual scientific fact. Ofc other variables to count I the equation - like cab material and speak efficiency but u can get the general idea.

The ratio of w to loudness is: u must have 10 times more watts to get double the loudness.
 

Justin_Case

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This is a good read on the subject of Volume / Wattage

From: Relationship Between Watts and dBs | Audioholics

Q: Can someone please explain the relationships between watts and dB's to me? I am new to audio and wish to acquire a better understanding of power/watts, etc. Thanks.

A: Decibel (dB)
(1) a logarithmic scale used to denote a change in the relative strength of an electric signal or acoustic wave. It is a standard unit for expressing the ratio between power and power level. Using the logarithmic relationship for power PdB = 10*log[Pout/Pin] , a doubling of electrical power only yields an increase of +3 dB. Increasing the power tenfold will yield an increase of +10 dB and is a doubling of perceived loudness. The decibel is not an absolute measurement, but indicates the relationship or ratio between two signal levels.

(2) SPL (sound pressure level) can be measured in dB. 0 dB represents the threshold of normal human hearing, 130 dB represents the threshold for pain, 140 dB causes irreparable hearing damage, and 150 dB can cause instant deafness, anything greater than about 192 dB can kill you.

Sound dB-SPL
Jet engine at 3m 140
Threshold of pain 130
Rock concert 120
Accelerating motorcycle at 5m 110
Pneumatic hammer at 2m 100
Noisy factory 90
Vacuum cleaner 80
Busy traffic 70
Quiet restaurant 50
Residential area at night 40
Empty movie house 30
Rustling of leaves 20
Human breathing (at 3m) 10
Threshold of hearing (good ears) 0
The relationship between sound amplitude and actual loudness is complex. Loudness is a perceptual dimension while sound amplitude is physical. Since loudness sensitivity is closer to logarithmic than linear in amplitude (especially at moderate to high loudnesses), we typically use decibels to represent sound amplitude, especially in spectral displays.
 

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