Originally Posted by: bbzswa777So not to open another bag of worms, but if you're going to mic up an amp anyway, why is it necessary to have higher wattage amps (like 40, 60, or 80)?
It's not necessary to have more wattage in order to mic an amp. Those are two different things, sometimes at cross purposes.
The purpose of a larger amp is to be heard in a large space & over the drums & other instruments. The purpose of micing & using a PA is also to be heard in a large space, but more importantly to have precise control over the relative volumes of all the instruments & vocals, to balance the sound; hence, the term "mixing".
Often a smaller amp is much better in recording & even on stage because you can get the full range of it's power. A 20-30 watt amp can be great for all purposes because you can crank it to 10 & use it optimally.
Most people will gig in a small room (bar, club, church) & this size amp is more than enough to be heard & to mic for the PA to achieve a great tone that blends well.
Once you get to 50 watt & 100 watt amps you are really talking larger halls & arenas. And even then it's sometimes difficult to mic, mix & blend!
There are lots of tricks that were developed to control & capture the sound of a large amp to make it useful: power brake, baffles, & eventually the pre-amp gain stages.
It's interesting that so many well known albums were recorded with & classic rock guitarists used smaller wattage amps in the beginning of their careers. Then the push for BIG AMPS came with the Wall of Marshalls! Now, over the last decade or so the market is moving back to smaller scale amps for the wider applications they provide. Especially in the boutique market!
Guitar Tricks InstructorChristopher Schlegel Lesson Directory