Power Ratings:

Amplifiers come in X different power ratings.  Many players dream of a 100 watt vintage marshall full stack.  However this may not be the best choice if you drive an AMC Pacer and gig at small bars.

5 to 9 Watts: A common 9 watt amp is the Fender Champ. These amps are referred to a practice amps.  Mosts amps at this rating are portable tube amps.  They are mostly used for practice at home but are also useful for recording.   A cranked up small tube amp can sound very full and punchy through a studio microphone.  I love the sound ad portability of my 9 Watt Kendrick tube amp.  Unfortunately, I have blown it up three times trying to compete with the sound of a live drummer.

15 to 25 Watts: The Fender tweed Deluxe is a good example of this power rating.  These amps are the perfect size for small bars and restaurants.  They are small enough to easily carry, they don’t take up much room on a small stage, and they are affordable, achieve a good tone and are usually load enough to complete with a controlled drummer.  Many players use these exclusively and mic them for larger gigs.

30 to 45 watts: A Marshall JTM 45 or a Fender Bassman fit this category. These amps are best suited for clubs and mid sized rooms.  These amps can maintain a clean and clear sound at higher volumes than the 15 to 25 watt amps.  These amps typically have more than one speaker and can move more air and create a sonic presence that the listener can feel as well as hear.

50 Watts: Most Marshall JCM series amps are available in this wattage.  This size amp works well for large clubs and outdoor gigs.  They typically are paired with one or two 4 x 12” speaker cabinets and move more air and create more physical presence than the 30 to 45 watt amps.

100 Watts: The most common big stage amplifier is the 100 watt Marshall stack. These amps produce great tone at a volume that can be easily heard 1000’s of feet away. These amps move so much air to create a sonic and physical experience like no other amplifier category. These amps are perfectly suited for very large clubs, arenas, and big outdoor festivals. These amps are common with big rock bands but also can be seen on stage with country, pop and world music artists.

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