How Many Watts are the New Studio Amps Really Putting Out?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by scozz, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    So this has been on my mind for some time now, these amps, especially the SC20 and SV20, are sooo loud some are saying they sound louder than 20 watts. I know that my SC20 IS very loud, the loudest 20 watts I've ever heard. Others have said the same thing. Even the 5 watt setting is very loud, I have other 5 watt amps and they are no where near as loud as my SC20.

    So with 2 EL34 power tubes in these Studios, could they be putting out 30 or 40 watts, or even more? We all know that an amplifier that has twice the wattage of another amplifier is only about 3db louder in real volume. We also know that Marshall uses 2 EL34 power tubes in their 50 watt amps. Also imo, the Origen 20 and the Dsl20 are not as loud as the Studio Series amps.

    So I'm wondering if these amps are putting out more than 20 watts when really pushed?
     
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  2. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Measure it.
    VAC squared divided by ohms.
    Put a steady signal in at 1KHz and measure AC volts at the speaker output.
     
  3. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    Hahaha, you're on to me Mickey! I don't have the measuring devices nor the know how to do so, thats why I posted this thread,.....

    I'm hoping someone who knows will do it for me! :) :agreed:
     
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  4. nix_gibby

    nix_gibby Active Member

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    I believe these 20 watts are a marketing trick because we all wanted lower powered versions of plexi and jcm800. In real, these amps are as loud as 50 watt versions and are intended for live situations, not the studio environment as their name suggests.
     
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  5. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    My 2525H has a little more punch than my Origin 20H or DSL20HR. Not a big difference. It just seems more efficient if that makes sense.
     
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  6. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Well-Known Member

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    20 watts is loud. LOUD.

    My 100w Mesa is loud as hell at 3 watts.
     
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  7. clutch71

    clutch71 Well-Known Member

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    The SC20 has a great master volume. It sounded good throughout the volume range.
     
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  8. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I get that, but that amp has been out for years, I'm really referring more to the SC20 and the SV20. They're the ones that are LOUD!!!

    I might be mistaken but I don't believe the mini Jubilee is in the same league as the other two,...as far as how loud they are.

    Actually @Michael Roe would know,...he owns all three!
     
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  9. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say the SC20 is any louder than a Dual Terror which is 30w I believe. I definitely isn't as loud as the Hi Tone Custom 30 or Orange OR50 heads I have right here.

    I'd say 20w sounds about right. Tube amps aren't for low volume playing--there are many other, much better solutions out there for home use but IMO the SC20 is as good as any tube solution. If you must choke a tube amp down, run it through a good IR and studio monitors for best results.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  10. Michael Roe

    Michael Roe Well-Known Member

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    I could probably do some kind of test in the future. I actually have a db meter. It's in my work van and not here at the moment.
    Here are some initial thoughts with the experience I have had with these amps.
    I have used the following as a power amp only (running a JMP-1 Preamp into the FX return of each amp), JCM 2K DSL 100 & 50, Mini jubilee and DSL 20 HR.
    There is absolutely a difference in volume. It would go like this:
    From loudest to quieter.
    JCM 2K DSL 100...go figure!
    JCM 2K DSL 50.... close behind, not a huge difference but noticeable, not twice as quieter by any means-maybe a few db
    All the 20 watters were about the same compared to each other, maybe a noticeable difference by about a few db lower than the DSL 50

    So, the 20 watters are loud but not as loud as a 50 watter.

    A good example of when I was jamming in a room (about 21' x12') with a drummer and bass player, gave some interesting results.
    The DSL 100 had plenty of power, really too much, I could slay the other guys no problem. The DSL 50 was plenty loud enough. The Mini jubilee was loud enough but when I switched to a clean CH running through a greenback cab my cleans were pushing the power tubes a bit too much. So, in that situation I opted for the DSL 50 as a power amp. I had plenty of clean headroom and plenty of power. That was the best choice and if I were in a live situation and using my JMP-1 the DSL 50 amp is the one I would take.
    The volume knob on my JMP-1 had to go up for each level lower in power. For example: like 9 o'clock with the DSL 100, 10 o'clock with the DSL 50 and about noon on the 20 watters. I would use any of the 20 watt heads as well if needed. I would just have to adjust my clean gain setting a little.

    Comparing the 20 watters to each other as straight in amp only is a bit difficult. They all work differently with the volume knob.
    In a room with an amp that has no MV is quite a bit different than an amp that has a MV.

    Ok, I quit typing here for a few and did a test and took some pics.
    I set the SV how I like it- just enough gain and not getting mushy and about as loud as it gets. I compared it with all 3 of my other 20 watt heads and adjusted their volumes to match the SV.
    I did this running into the Weber Mass 200 so my wife wouldn't murder me today :) The mass was set on about 50%.
    My conclusion would be, that if you set each amp at about it's sweet spot they are all equally the same volume.
    These pics will each show the Mini 800 on the bottom compared to one of the other amps on top. These are equally loud in the room at these settings.

    20190921_180325.jpg

    20190921_180941.jpg

    20190921_181941.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  11. Nik Henville

    Nik Henville Well-Known Member

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    Get
    a trumpet player
    to stand a few feet away from you
    and play some brutal Miles Davis riffs at you as loud as he can.
    That's 5 watts, and that's loud - neighbours WILL complain, your ears WILL ring.
    You are hearing 110dB to 120dB - I have heard that four trumpets can approach 140dB, and that's LOUD.
    Speaker efficiency, combo position on the stage, reflective/absorbent surfaces, man... so many variables...
     
  12. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Start the reactor... Free Mars!
    The answer is: 20 watts.
    Watts does not = loudness although many people imagine it does.
    Loudness has more to do w/ speaker efficiency.
    Certainly a 5 to 20 watt amp can be pretty loud.
     
  13. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Awesome post Michael, super informative !
    So, I take it that, strictly used as a power amp, the SV20H and DSL20H are equally loud ? I'm very interested in your insight on this... ;)
     
  14. Michael Roe

    Michael Roe Well-Known Member

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    From my experience, yes. Although, my DSL 20HR does have the emulated out "problem". The FX loop is also before the channel volumes. I still have never been able to determine if that is an issue or a factory design?? Every other DSL I have owned ( JCM 2k, 40c) had the loop after the channel volumes. You get the fullest and cleanest power out of it with it on the classic gain ch.
     
  15. guzzis3

    guzzis3 Member

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    And of course it's worse than that. The little vox was labelled an AC2, AC4 and AC6 between 58 and the early 60's. Peak power, rms and rated power at some level of distortion. It's simple with SS because the distortion such as it is comes in late, but picking a rated power output for a valve amp where output valve distortion is acceptable is really a coin toss. This fundamentally is why people always say valve amps are louder than SS.

    This last week I have been reaquainting myself with a 10w SS practice amp I sold then bought back from a friend. Running it flat out it is still hopelessly drowned out be my ac4tv - running on 2.5 watts on the attenuator! The full 5w is really too loud for home practice. I am sure the 6" speaker is probably less sensitive than the 10" in the vox but the volume difference is truly monumental. I am quite happy to practice with the SS on full, but I put the vox at about half volume on 2.5w.

    The good news is with a "20w" amp building an attenuator isn't that hard if it's too loud for you. Changing speakers is a matter of personal taste but for me less sensitive speakers don't appeal as much.

    2c
     
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  16. Kid_Awesome1

    Kid_Awesome1 Active Member

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    Right you are. I find wattage is a much better indicator of clean headroom than anything else. Certainly not volume.
     
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  17. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    I understand that wattage is only one factor in determining volume. The reason I'm asking, as I mentioned, is that these Studios "seem" louder to me than other 20 watt, and 5 watt amps. I have other 20 watt and 5 watt amps,...but my 800 Studio is much louder than them. Also the speaker I'm using, (G12M-65), with the Studio is not the most efficient speaker made. Maybe its just my old ears! :D
     
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  18. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    20 watts is loud, 10 watts is loud, 5 watts is loud and in the right situation 1 watt is loud.
    But a 20 watter will not out watt a 50 watter.
    I am sure a 20 watt studio type is capable of over 30 watts maxed.
     
  19. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    I fired up my 50 watt Jubilee and set the lead master and output masters to 7. 77 was talked about in another thread as being the sweet spot on the MJ, and where it was about as loud as the SC and the SV at their sweet spots.

    The 50 watt was way louder. It was physical. Of course we are comparing Marshalls. I was also running them through two V30s.
     
  20. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't the better question be...

    "How many decibels are the new studio series really putting out?"

    Think this might be a better measure?
     

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