Jump to content
PaulWarning

Trace Elliot watts

Recommended Posts

I have 2 Trace amps, a series 6 GP12 AH200 and a GP12SMX AH250, I recently bought a Ashdown EVO III 500, just to compare it and have a newer amp (and it was cheap).

Turned them all up to full, the AH200 is slightly louder than the Ashdown and the AH250 very noticeably louder.

So I guess it is true, there's watts and then there's Trace watts :lol:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s true as well. In a previous band we had 2 bassists, and the other one, John had one of those Trace combos with the slot at the front. I think it was meant to be 150 watts but it was more like a million, I mean it was seriously loud. I had a Markbass 500 watt head and 410 and the Trace had no problems keeping up, in fact I often felt it was me trying to keep up with  it!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m most intrigued by this. The idea of “Trace watts” is quite prolific/legendary. I feel a video demo may be in order. Anyone??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like a spoilsport but the AH 200 is 200W into 8 ohms and the MB is 300W into 8ohms. That sounds like a lot but is actually only 1,76dB noticeable but only a marginal increase. Loudness is mainly about the mids, any mid suckout and an amp will be noticeably quieter and a mid boost will make it sound louder. We also know nothing about the gain structure, the Trace may just have more gain. 

What is interesting is that we probably all get pretty pleased when an amp delivers more than we expect and pee'ed off when they under-deliver. I'd rather have Trace's reputation for loud watts than make outlandish claims of high power that can only be delivered under very limited circumstances, which is now the new normal.

I use an MB Tube, it's loud enough. I can go louder than the drummer, previously I had a HA3500 and before that a Peavey MkIV, they all went more than loud enough, I'll bet the Trace is more than enough too. I borrowed one of the Trace 15" combo's and it was loud enough but more importantly it sounded great. Sounding great seems more important than who has the biggest watt.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trace Elliot is magic. That's the scientific answer. It can be proven with a magic detector, or Magector™. 

Here my Magector™ measuring bar is bent to 82° by the sheer force of an AH500X GP11 running at only half volume. And I was never closer than 30 feet from the amp at all times. The bass wasn't even turned up that much. Screen-Shot-2018-05-24-at-11_39.34-1-n.jpg.04d9c33e10220377a76421051cb1c93a.jpg

The magic field was so strong during this test that you can clearly see where my white sleeved shirt turned entirely into a two tone blue denim overall. It had to be buried in a lead lined box until the magic levels (magevels) reach a safe and above all wearable state. 

To put this into context here is a Magector™ measuring bar following 2 hours exposure to a Penn & Teller live show. The Magector™ was never more than 8 feet from the stage and yet only a 15° bend was detected. 

IMG_20190814_004727.jpg.9bf610e9102dcff19f2ffafbf2644826.jpg

Now I respect Phil and his decibels, of course I do, but I think the pictures speak for themselves here. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

I feel like a spoilsport but the AH 200 is 200W into 8 ohms and the MB is 300W into 8ohms. That sounds like a lot but is actually only 1,76dB noticeable but only a marginal increase. Loudness is mainly about the mids, any mid suckout and an amp will be noticeably quieter and a mid boost will make it sound louder. We also know nothing about the gain structure, the Trace may just have more gain. 

What is interesting is that we probably all get pretty pleased when an amp delivers more than we expect and pee'ed off when they under-deliver. I'd rather have Trace's reputation for loud watts than make outlandish claims of high power that can only be delivered under very limited circumstances, which is now the new normal.

I use an MB Tube, it's loud enough. I can go louder than the drummer, previously I had a HA3500 and before that a Peavey MkIV, they all went more than loud enough, I'll bet the Trace is more than enough too. I borrowed one of the Trace 15" combo's and it was loud enough but more importantly it sounded great. Sounding great seems more important than who has the biggest watt.

I was under the impression that the AH200 was actually 150 watts at 8 ohm, but I could be wrong.

When I did my totally unscientific test I used my 2 Fender Rumble V2 cabs so all amps were under a 4 ohm load with the gains and volume controls on full and EQ's flat apart from the very bottom end end taken off

I could record them all using a mic in the room but tbh I fear for the health of my Rumble cabs with the Trace SMX AH250 at full volume.

Edit, the Ashdown amp is a AMB EVO III 500, not an MB

Edited by PaulWarning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, CameronJ said:

I’m most intrigued by this. The idea of “Trace watts” is quite prolific/legendary. I feel a video demo may be in order. Anyone??

you've probably seen this before, but I'll post it anyway, always makes me smile

 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PaulWarning said:

you've probably seen this before, but I'll post it anyway, always makes me smile

 

Never seen that before. Brilliant! Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PaulWarning said:

you've probably seen this before, but I'll post it anyway, always makes me smile

 

That is excellent - never seen it before either!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IME Trace Elliot watts is only a thing with Trace Elliot owners.

To the rest of the world a watt is just a watt.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, chris_b said:

IME Trace Elliot watts is only a thing with Trace Elliot owners.

To the rest of the world a watt is just a watt.

Well yes. Until I went out and gigged a TE 130 watt combo I had no idea how unbelievably loud TE watts were. 

Nobody in fact could believe the wattage I regularly had to 'prove' it by showing the sticker on the back. Most musicians I worked with assumed it was a mistake by whoever wrote it out. 

But before I owned it I had no opinion on the subject so you are correct. I certainly didn't read about the phenomenon on the Internet because there was no such thing back then. 

Just to reassure everyone we do know a watt is just a watt. Saying Trace Elliot Watts was a way to express the incredible difference in output their gear appeared to have. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, stewblack said:

Well yes. Until I went out and gigged a TE 130 watt combo I had no idea how unbelievably loud TE watts were. 

Nobody in fact could believe the wattage I regularly had to 'prove' it by showing the sticker on the back. Most musicians I worked with assumed it was a mistake by whoever wrote it out. 

But before I owned it I had no opinion on the subject so you are correct. I certainly didn't read about the phenomenon on the Internet because there was no such thing back then. 

Just to reassure everyone we do know a watt is just a watt. Saying Trace Elliot Watts was a way to express the incredible difference in output their gear appeared to have. 

yes they appear to be very conservatively rated, I believe you can tell an amps output from how much current it draws, maybe someone with more knowledge than me can work out whether they really are a higher wattage than advertised 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I had 1 Trace V4 ,220 watts,and was unable to find a second as a back up I bought an Ashdown Drophead 200,I took it back ,it just never came close to the volume of the V4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Clearly the notion of 'Trace Elliot watts' being louder is tongue in cheek and nothing to get grumpy about.  Yes, a watt is a watt is a watt.  But for absolute certainty they are loud.  I know sod all about acoustics and even less about physics but my rears tell me that my Trace Elliot AH-300 is considerably louder than the class D heads I have owned that were 600W plus.  Genz-benz Streamliner 600, Markbass Tube800, TC RH750 were all MUCH quieter through the same cab.  The only small head I have (and still have) that is as loud (or louder) is the Quilter Bass Block 800.  All I can assume from this is the number of watts something is rated at has nothing to do with how loud it goes and there must be other factors at play.  But that has something to do with 'science' I guess :) 

Edited by Paul S
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some observations, just because I can't help taking a fun topic seriously:

  • All these comparisons are done with people's ears, which are easily fooled, and take little or no account of the frequency response of the amp and/or speaker, or how loud an amp could go before distortion reaches a certain level.
  • We also 'measure' these things with our eyes, and with out prejudices and preconceptions fully engaged.
  • There is a tendency to equate the weight of an object with quality. Ex.1 - the spec of my Hyundai is very close to that of the Mercedes I had before it, but the Merc 'felt' more like a luxury car but it was so weighty. Ex.2 - dialog from Jurassic park when boy picks up night vision goggles - 'Are they heavy?' 'Yes.' 'Then they're expensive.' Ex.3 - for a given power rating, a valve head will weigh more than a Class AB, which will weigh more than a class D.

The closest thing we've had to a scientific experiment was the amp shootout at one of the Bass Bashes a couple of years ago - no-one could distinguish between valve watts, conventional (Class AB) transistor watts, and Class D watts. Despite this, people still make these same assertions.

Of course Trace Elliot is the exception, for the reasons given in their educational video...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, in my case the comparison was made by how far round the volume knob needed to be turned to give the same loudness in the context of the band at a gig.  So I guess my volume knobs have been fooled, too :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Paul S said:

Well, in my case the comparison was made by how far round the volume knob needed to be turned to give the same loudness in the context of the band at a gig.  So I guess my volume knobs have been fooled, too :) 

👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Paul S said:

Well, in my case the comparison was made by how far round the volume knob needed to be turned to give the same loudness in the context of the band at a gig.  So I guess my volume knobs have been fooled, too :) 

That thought has accord to me as well, that's why in my unscientific test I had everything turned up to full

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree with all the stuff about preconceptions. However I didn't know about TE Watts when I first thought 'my God this is loud' nor did all the musicians I'd play with who also were amazed at the volume levels achieved by such a tiny amp. 

It was decades later I discovered the existence of this concept. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, chris_b said:

IME Trace Elliot watts is only a thing with Trace Elliot owners.

To the rest of the world a watt is just a watt.

I don’t own one anymore and it’s definitely true AS STATED which isn’t the same as saying it’s actually true. What is probably accurate is Trace Elliot’s way of calculating watts isn't the same as others that have followed. Presumably this is for marketing reasons to sell to a fickle market. We don’t need a comparison of which is louder, we need a comparison of output decibels for a given power consumption and that would then show if the rated ‘watts’ matched reality and an insight into relative efficiency (sorry for the minor butchery of elastictrickery rules and terms but it made it easier to explain).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's more likely that TE's measurement of watts is actually more accurate than other manufacturers, some of whom have been caught being creative. So a 250W TE head is as loud as one by someone else that claims to be 300W or even more.

My AH250 was so heavy I used it to hold the shower tray down when I resealed it. It was so loud it only went past 1 in the house once, I got to about 4 before my Wife understood what 'window-rattling' meant.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Trace Watts  are BOGOf watts, buy one get one free.

  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...