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Thread wattage for tube vs solid state amps?

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1 wattage for tube vs solid state amps?
Hey guys,

I've always been curious but never got a clear answer on this. How is the wattage rating different for tube vs solid state amps? For example, I used to have a line 6 spider iv a long time ago that I think was 50 or 100w. Now I have an 18w tube amp that sounds a million times louder (and better). Why is that?

On another note, what would you recommend is the minimum tube amp wattage necessary to play small gigs with a drummer at bars and other small venues? I've been impressed with the 18w that I have, but I'm wondering if I should upgrade to around 36?