Power and wattage in amps

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  May 24, 2022

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In physics, power is the rate of doing work. It is equivalent to an amount of energy consumed per unit time. In the SI system, the unit of power is the joule per second (J/s), known as the watt in honor of James Watt, the eighteenth-century developer of the steam engine. The integral of power over time defines the work performed. Because this integral depends on the trajectory of the point of application of the force and torque, this calculation of work is said to be path dependent. The same amount of work is done when carrying a load up a flight of stairs whether the person carrying it walks or runs, but more power is needed for running because the work is done in a shorter amount of time. The output power of an electric motor is the product of the torque that the motor generates and the angular velocity of its output shaft. The power involved in moving a vehicle is the product of the traction force of the wheels and the velocity of the vehicle. The rate at which a light bulb converts electrical energy into light and heat is measured in watts—the higher the wattage, the more power, or equivalently the more electrical energy is used per unit time.

What is wattage in a guitar amp?

Guitar amps come in all shapes and sizes, and with a variety of wattage options. So, what is wattage in a guitar amp, and how does it affect your sound?

Wattage is a measure of the power output of an amplifier. The higher the wattage, the more powerful the amp. And the more powerful the amp, the louder it can get.

So, if you’re looking for an amp that can really crank up the volume, you’ll want to look for one with a high wattage. But be warned – high wattage amps can also be very loud, so make sure you have the right speakers for them.

On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a modest amp that you can practice with at home, a lower wattage option will be just fine. The important thing is to find an amp that sounds good to you and that you can crank up without disturbing your neighbors.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

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