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simple answer. Kinda

I'm definitly not an expert on the subject but here is where the thinking comes from.

First you are correct a watt is a watt, be it tube, SS or digital. So on paper at least a 40wpc SS amp will put out the same amount of power as a 40wpc tube amp.

Where the difference is suppose to be, is when the amps are driven to higher levels. When clipping occurs music will tend to sound harsh, brittle and edgy. Increasing all the more as we get deeper into clipping. When you look at a picture of a soundwave clipping the top is flat or clipped.

When you look at the picture of a tube amp driven to clipping levels the osciliscope picture of the soundwave looks different. It dosen't have the same clipped shape. Clipping also tends to be more gradual. So when clipping occurs with a tube amp it tends to not be as audible and have a more gradual onset. Also the clipping pattern unlike a SS amp with the flattened top does not tend to damage speakers as easily.

All things being equal; the 40wpc SS amp with its clipping patteren will tend to sound harsher and damage speakers earlier then a tube amp.

Whats really happening is the 40wpc tube amp can be driven to higher level before audible distortion and speaker damage sets in. This in effect allows more of the 40wpc to be used before distortion and speaker damage sets in.

This of course is just a general rule. But this is where the thinking one tube watt equals two SS watts.

BW Maxx

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