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  #1  
Old 04-26-2017, 08:26 AM
adaw2821 adaw2821 is offline
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Default Is a 15w amp too loud for home practice?

So I've been dabbling in electric guitar after being mostly an acoustic player. I have an El cheapo guitar and practice amp. I finally decided I want to invest in some good quality gear. I'm planning on getting a American special tele. The problem I've been running into is with the amp. I really like the fender bassbreaker breaker and played it a little bit at guitar center. However the 7w version has no effects loof or reverb.

Would the 15w be too loud for home use? I might use an overdrive pedal, but I would still like to be getting some of my crunch from the amp.

My alternative would be to go with a line 6 HD 500x, unless someone has other recommendations on a good low power tube amp with an effects loop.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:45 AM
sandspike15 sandspike15 is offline
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You'll peel paint off the walls of you play a 15w tube amp loud enough to get it to break up a little bit.

Best options would be to find a nice mid- wattage tube amp with an attenuator built in- something to govern the wattage used. Some of the amps out there now have the ability to attenuate back to 5W, 1W or even .1W.

Of course, if your house is in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors you care about disturbing, grab a 100W'er and hang on for dear life!
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:52 AM
adaw2821 adaw2821 is offline
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Haha yea I actually do live pretty much in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors, so I might be able to go a little louder. But I also value my hearing..
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2017, 09:08 AM
TheChicagoTodd TheChicagoTodd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adaw2821 View Post
So I've been dabbling in electric guitar after being mostly an acoustic player. I have an El cheapo guitar and practice amp. I finally decided I want to invest in some good quality gear. I'm planning on getting a American special tele. The problem I've been running into is with the amp. I really like the fender bassbreaker breaker and played it a little bit at guitar center. However the 7w version has no effects loof or reverb.

Would the 15w be too loud for home use? I might use an overdrive pedal, but I would still like to be getting some of my crunch from the amp.

My alternative would be to go with a line 6 HD 500x, unless someone has other recommendations on a good low power tube amp with an effects loop.

Thanks for any help!
I'm selling my Fender Bassbreaker 007 if you are in the Chicago area.. it's a great little amp!

Todd in Chicago

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  #5  
Old 04-26-2017, 09:20 AM
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Steely Glen Steely Glen is offline
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Yes....if you want to push the tubes to breakup. Of course, you can run it clean at low volumes and use pedals to add dirt.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:23 AM
wrathfuldeity wrathfuldeity is offline
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Contrary to most folks ways of thinking...but works great. The secret is the speaker size and efficiency...and using a Weber Z-matcher. I have several old 4-12 watt ptp tube amps. Deafenitely can be too loud...shake, rattle and roll the old house down. But having an array of both alnico and ceramic spkrs in sizes from 4" to 12" does the job very nicely. Plug in to 4" (screaming) or 8" (clean) at bedroom whisper levels and avoid upsetting the Mrs' netflix, wine and knitting routine. In fact, often run a two amp wet/dry stereo set-up to get a nice field and depth without the volume.

So a 15 watt amp is not too loud depending....

edit: so if you want a fx loop, just use your pedal board and a tube power amp. My board runs in to a old 1949 hi-fi mono-block
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:29 AM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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I'm running two 15 watt amps in a stereo configuration. The Marshall and the Fender are both 15 watt. I wanted that for tone, not volume. It sounds great. It's plenty loud enough for anything I want, but with higher wattage you get a better tone. here's a pic...




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  #8  
Old 04-26-2017, 09:35 AM
Paleolith54 Paleolith54 is offline
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IMO, yes 15W is far too loud for home use in terms of cranking it to any degree at all. Obviously the answer is different if you buy an attenuator, or build an isolation box, or put special speakers in it, or...

I have a Mesa that goes down to 5 watts, and even that's too loud for any rational home-use volume. I have a Bugera G5 Infinium coming today, actually, that can do 5, 1 then a fraction of a watt. It hits the marks you've laid out, at least on paper. Do a search, I think Steve DeRosa did a report on one recently. I don't yet know if I like it or not. Honestly, at low volumes, IMO practically everything sounds good.

Or Steely Glen's response, IMO, is true too.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:10 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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It would likely be too loud for your comfort (and for your hearing). At comfortable listening levels, even a 15W amp will basically be idling along. You'll only get distortion and other effects if the are built in digitally, because the pre-amp isn't being driven very hard.

The key is speaker efficiency. Picking a common number, most speakers are rated for something like 93 dB at 1 Watt input, measured at 1 meter. The SPL goes up at 3 dB per doubling of input power, as follows:
1 Watt 93 dB
2 Watts 96 dB
4 Watts 99 dB
8 Watts 102 dB
16 Watts 105 dB

Anything much above 95 dB is a potential threat to your hearing long term, although it can be fun to get loud at times. OSHA workplace limits start at 90 dBA for eight hours exposure. Every time you go up by 5 dB, the allowable time is cut in half.

I have a 30W Fender Princeton and it has never been turned up beyond about "2" on the volume knob in the house. And only to about 4 on stage. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:05 AM
mechanic1908 mechanic1908 is offline
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I sometimes run my 5 watt valve Jr wide open at home. I have to be the only one home though and my neighborhood doesn't like it. It's hella loud. I'd say 15 is way too loud for home use. Just my 2 cents. Good luck whatever you decide to get!

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Old 04-26-2017, 11:18 AM
perttime perttime is offline
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Those Bassbreakers do have master volume knobs, so you can turn them down. Of course you then miss distortion from the power amp side - which some seem to prefer. If you have 25 minutes, see a couple of goofy Englishmen try them out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KazSA5w1QOM

"What if Leo Fender talked to Pete Townshend instead of some country dudes who only want crystal clear cleans..."

-------
Or you could try some proper SS amps like Roland's Blues Cube series.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:25 AM
YeOldRocker YeOldRocker is offline
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I've never understood the need to blast an amp at home at performance volume; home is generally for practice and doesn't require every inch of tone your amp can/might supply when overdriven. Fortunately, there are all sorts of amp modeling effects/boxes/amps now that make playing at home playing/practicing both quieter and just as sonically pleasurable, without shaking the windows. Actual tube overdrive usually isn't necessary to get a decent sound any more, even though shaking the windows can be fun.

I didn't have these choices when I first started playing ('round about '71). Getting to know your amp was a two or three stage learning curve; quiet voice for indoors/home, outdoor voice for rehearsal space (or garage), and, then, of course, it might go to 11 for stage. Didn't even have a gain control on my first amp (Ampeg Reverb-o-rocket II), although I did have vibrato. Man, I miss that amp...

Maybe I'm just feeling cranky today...
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  #13  
Old 04-26-2017, 11:33 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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I have two Vox Pathfinder R's, 15 watts.
These are solid state amps which are no longer made. A lot of folks think the Pathfinder R is among the finest tube-sounding small amps ever built.
Why you ask? Because they have a master volume and a gain control that gives you the ability to play at very low (bedroom) volume with everything from a good crunch to distortion. This amp also features reverb and tremolo and you can footswitch them on and off. I have gigged with it. It has a a line out so you can use it as a stage monitor and run it through a mixer as well. I have done this and it works very very well.
The eight inch "bulldog" speaker in this amp was specially designed for the power this thing can crack out when wanted.
Now the drawback for your situation...no other onboard effects.
Still, it is more of a "purist's" amp and that's what it does best. Sounds especially good with a Tele which I own.
If you interested , I may be pursuaded to let go of one. I bought two because they are so rare and very affordable. They are both in excellent condition.
Here's a generic pic I got off of Reverb.

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Last edited by rokdog49; 04-26-2017 at 11:40 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-26-2017, 11:39 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Deleted. Duplicate Post.
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Last edited by rokdog49; 04-26-2017 at 01:07 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-26-2017, 11:59 AM
Semitone Semitone is offline
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A real 15W tube amp is definitely too loud for normal home use. Some 15w solid state amps will probably be fine.

I had a Line6 HD500 for many years and really enjoyed it through an FRFR speaker. It is a great way to go if you are a fan of modeling or want to go direct. On the other hand, once you accept modeling as a route there are a lot of options out there for all budgets. Not sure I would go with an HD500 today for the same money.

Fender Mustangs, Boss Katana...are just two of probably fifty options in the $200-300 range.
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