Do Some Amps Sound Better At Low Volumes?
I have decided to play the bass. I borrowed a friends (also a beginner) and loved it so I bought my own. I have the habit of over-studying things. After reading tons of thngs I decided I was going to get the Ibanez SR300 as a good entry level bass. I also took your guys advice on playing as many as you could to find out what feels right. Well I went from almost buying SR300, then liking the SR500 and then really liking the Schecter Custom 4 and was going to buy it. I also played some Fenders, ESP's and Peaveys. You have to remember as a beginner I really had no idea just went by what sounded right, the sales guy was helpful in expalining things and answering my questions and also left me alone to play.
I then bought a Schecter Blackjack ATK C-4, it talk to me. Way outside my budget but it felt right.
Now I am amp shopping and have over-studied again.
95% of my playing will be at home with CD's, Rocksmith and if I buy it (who am I kidding WHEN I buy it, "Teach Me Bass Guitar). There are some people at work who also dabble in music and we have said we will get together and play (couldn't get myself to use the word jam). There will be no drummer but maybe a bongo. I keep reading about making sure you have enough power but I am wondering about the other end of the spectrum. Does a high powered amp need to be driven so hard to get a good sound (to me high power is 300w, there is a good chance I will never be playing with a drummer). For example a 30W amp playing with 2 acoustic (no amp) vs a 300W in the same situation. Since the 30W will be driven harder than the 300W will the 30W sound better, Is there a "sweet spot".
I am just trying to help limit my options before I go and try them out. I believe I was playing on a portaflex 350 or 500 and not sure what Ampeg cabinet. This will be overkill for me but I like the sound. I am hoping to spend less and this would help me to justify it
Thanks for letting me ramble.
Reference Fletcher Munson
Hearing changes drastically at different volume levels. You'll have to adjust EQ when playing at different levels. Forever people post about getting "lost in the mix", it's usually because they don't take into account hearing changes with different loudness levels.
It's not so much that some amps will sound better at low levels, as that if you are planning to play quietly all the time, an amp with less power will be more controllable than a higher powered one (because the knob of the lower powered amp will cover a smaller volume range and be more precise). Also, amps in general, no matter what they're for, tend to go from "off" to a certain "minimum" volume at some early point on the volume knob. The less power of the amp, the lower this volume is likely to be.
So a good bet for you would probably be somewhere in the range of a 50-150w combo with anything from an 8 to a 15", with the speaker size more or less being proportional with how much power you get. Something like the old SWR Workingman combos would probably be a good choice and you can get them used for pretty cheap typically.
I have a Mesa M3 Carbine it can get very loud but it is the best amp I've ever heard at low volumes the volume and gain tapers are perfect and I think the two above posts are spot on.
Berg IPs sound the same loud or quiet.
Something else to keep in mind: while with guitar amps, especially the all-tube variety, the tone of the amp can change drastically depending on your volume level, solid state bass amplifiers are much less prone to these kinds of drastic tonal changes. I know some small guitar combos that sound merely "ok" at low volume but roar with beautiful authority at higher volumes.
My bass gear, on the other hand, sounds about the same in terms tonality at all but tinnitus-inducing volume levels. The equal-loudness principle discussed above applies, but I find those kinds of differences to be pretty subtle at reasonable volume levels.
Some amps come with boost functions for lower volumes. I had an eden dc112xlt that had boost functions that were perfect for low volume situations.
I would do your homework and try as many combos as possible. If you can't try before you buy, order from an online dealer with a good rerun policy. This way you research what you want, buy it , and if you dislike it, return it.
My personal preference is to support my local shops and buy my gear locally. I'm not everyone though.
Get out there and try out some amps! New,used, whatever!
|All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:08 AM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.