MT15 Volume with different speaker sets

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by gilbertpsk, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. gilbertpsk

    gilbertpsk New Member

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    Hi all . I'm a bit new to the world of tube amps. One thing I'm trying to understand is volume. I have been told that watts don't directly translate into loudness .

    My question: with an MT15, if I connect it to a 4x12 cabinet, will it be alot louder than a 2x12 or same thing with a1x12?

    Thanks for helping it a newbie.
     
  2. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Yes, it’s not a huge difference, but there’s an increase, even if only in the volume we perceive.

    The MT15 is a LOUD amp. I place it well above any other 15 (or 30) watt amp I’ve played, when it comes to volume.

    There’s no rule saying you can’t use a 4x12, but in any situation that has a decent PA, I’m finding even a 2x12 to be overkill.
     
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  3. gilbertpsk

    gilbertpsk New Member

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    Thanks! That makes sense to me. Is this a general rule for combo amps as well? I.e. a 1x12 combination amp that outputs to a 2x12".
     
  4. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    As a rule, combo amps sometimes provide a speaker out jack, but not always. Combo amps with a speaker out jack that allows for an extension cab (preferably a cab with the same or higher ohm rating than the speaker output jack) may be 1x12 combos, or 2x12 combos.

    Amp 'heads' (like the MT15) require some type of cab whose speaker(s) can accept the power wattage rating of the amp head (this also applies for combo amps and extension cabs).

    You could essentially connect a 1x12 extension cab to the MT15 if the extension cab speaker rating is adequately greater than the 15W power wattage rating of the MT15. Or a 2x12, or 4x12. You may find that a 1x12 or 2x12 cab will be plenty loud and won't be a bugger to cart around compared to a 4x12 cab.

    The general rule is that speaker cabs with lower power wattage handling capabilities tend to have less "headroom" (they break up into distortion at lower volumes) than speaker cabs with higher power wattage handling capabilities (which stay cleaner with higher volumes until they reach a sweet spot where they just begin to break up).

    A good example of this is to listen to Larry Carlton's gear reviews (Rig Rundown - Premier Guitar YT vid) of his gear, about 15 minutes in. However, if the MT15 is more your style, it may not be that important to be concerned about overdrives, distortion and "sweet spots" immediately.

    You might find that you will sound better with distortion at first, and then as you gain experience, might try to play with less distortion and use just a touch of overdrive for lead tones. (Not a requirement, just something you may gravitate towards as your playing ability grows)

    Over time, your preferences for certain gear will likely change as your knowledge of various music styles grows. What works for rock may not work for jazz. What works for jazz may not work for country. And so on.

    The journey is one of discovering and learning about what your ears prefer. Therefore, let your ears be your guide instead of recommendations, because what appeals to one person may not necessarily appeal to you.

    I hope I didn't give you too much info to digest in one sitting, though I think this reveals some of the basic understandings most guitarists need to know about their gear. Enjoy and have fun!
     
    #4 CandidPicker, Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  5. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    The MT15 can be VERY loud - I measured mine w/a phone app, and 112 db was no problem at all on the clean channel. Yay for master volumes!

    One thing about 2x12 versus 4x12 - there is a difference in how the cabs move air, as well. After I got my 2-channel C, I sat down with a bunch of different cabs at my local store. There was a difference between all of them, but also a difference between the 2 and the 4. I ended up with a 4 (and later I got a 2) because it just sounded better. I said that to the sales guy, and he said, "It's familiarity. It's the sound we grew up with."

    That said, I've never put the MT15 through the 4x12. Always the 2 or a CabClone (or both).
     
  6. BrianC

    BrianC more toys than talent

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    I have had a 1, 2 and 4X12. The same amp at the same settings hooked up to each is louder with more speakers in my experience.

    So much so I had sold my 1X12 as it wasn't loud enough for me.

    I take 2X to small clubs and 4X to all other gigs.
     
  7. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    My dealer plugged it into a Marshall MG412. No idea what speakers. It went from whisper quiet to holy f#ck!


    Mark himself said that he plays it at home though a 412 (probably one of his Boogies with English V30s), and he's worried about his neighbors complaining.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Several things can be discussed relative to amps and volume:

    1. Some speakers put out more volume than others because the speaker in the box is itself more efficient. Speaker efficiency is usually expressed as how many decibels the speaker will put out at 1 Watt. Speaker efficiency involves various audio choices and trade-offs.

    Efficiency is also affected by whether the cabinet is closed back, open back, or ported. Example: closed back cabinets are akin to acoustic suspension cabinets in the hi fi world, and are less efficient. This is neither good nor bad - a less efficient system may require more amp power, but that means the amp can clip and “give up the goods” sooner. Etc.

    2. Tube Watts aren’t louder than solid state watts; a given speaker will put out the same volume at X tube watts as X solid state Watts. The differences relate to other factors, such as tubes generating output power exponentially, and solid state amps generating power in a more linear fashion. So a tube amp can seem louder, because it’s more dynamic.

    3. All amps, tube or solid state, interact with the speaker’s impedance, and control the speaker via a damping factor. Different amp designs vary in how they do this.

    4. In the tube world, the output transformer plays a large role, has a “sound”, and different output transformers affect how the amp behaves in respect to volume. In the studio world, where I live, transformer-equipped designs add weight and color to the sound, and are often more highly sought after than transformerless designs, even though a solid state transformerless design will often be truer to the source.

    5. A multi-speaker design like a 212 or 412 can sound louder simply due to its greater speaker area, spread, etc., and therefore sound fuller even at the same volume as a 112 The larger cabinet required resonates differently. All of this affects the ear’s impression of volume, just as an acoustic guitar with a larger body sounds louder and fuller, with more bass than an acoustic guitar with a smaller body.

    6. Don’t confuse the taper of the volume control with how loud the amp ultimately gets. The MT15 has a fast taper, and reaches a certain volume early on, but its 15W is still only going to be able to make the speaker as loud as another 15W amp at max volume.

    The issue isn’t how loud the amp gets once it’s dimed; it’s how fast it gets there. An analogy is a car that goes from 0-60 in 4 seconds vs a car that goes from 0-60 in 9 seconds. Once the cars are doing 60, they’re still driving at the same speed, but one gets to that speed more quickly than the other.
     
    #8 LSchefman, Mar 19, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  9. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    Somebody give that man a beer!
     
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  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Cheers!
     
  11. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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  12. X-Mann

    X-Mann New Member

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    I just saw this yesterday while looking for something else and really enjoyed it. The history lesson on amp wattage was very cool!

    I love that the MT15 was the amp that was shown as the LOUD amp example too!

    This is a great thread & I’ve learned a lot here.

    Thanks!!! X
     
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  13. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    That's most of what he does is explain how shyt works. I think he holds a degree in engineering or physics or something
     

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