Can a bass amp be too loud?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by JoeBbass, Dec 26, 2013.


  1. JoeBbass

    JoeBbass

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Location:
    Midlands of England
    So here's the deal. I'm looking at an amp on ebay and the owns says the reason he's selling it is cos it's too loud for home use. I own an active bass, this amp has gain, master volume, an active input and is 150W. Because of this I think it wouldn't be too loud but then again I'm a relative newbie.

    Would it be too loud with EVERYTHING turned way down?

    I like to play at minimum volume for the comfort of myself and others.
  2. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    All gain and master volume knobs on all amplifiers have zeros as well as tens. You can turn down so soft even you can't hear it.

    Here's the problem with bass: resonance. You might think it is really, really soft. But if it is just the right frequency or room geometry, it can resonate and be heard where you least expect it. The best thing to do is to "de-couple" the amplifier cabinet from the floor by casters, or setting it on a chair or amp stand, and angle it diagonally in the room to avoid resonances and standing waves as much as possible.
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS * Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    The frozen north
    No, you can turn the volume down low.
  4. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    IF the seller likes distortion from overdriving the preamp then it could be "too loud" for their needs.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    With the seller's logic he must think there are only two positions for the throttle pedal in his car:

    -Foot off the pedal
    -Pedal mashed to the floorboard!

    :meh:
  7. HeavyRockBasser

    HeavyRockBasser

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Location:
    Long Beach, Ca.
    Maybe the guy in the music store just didn't tell him what the knobs do?
  8. TN WOODMAN

    TN WOODMAN

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    Smyrna, Tennessee.
    More accurately the seller should say the amp is more than he needs for his purpose but of course he could simply turn it down. Maybe he feels someone needs this amp to get the full benefit of it and desires a smaller comp act practice type amp . Personally my only bass amp is 500 watts and 2 15s and I can play it softly as needed.
  9. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood
    To be fair, I have a little 20w guitar amp with a 10" speaker, and it was too loud (a Mesa Subway Rocket). The taper on the volume knob was either whisper or roar, before you even got to 1. I had the Mesa guys put a Master pot with a more gentle taper and developed a much more useable range of "quiet" settings. Prior to the swap, the volume knob had a hair trigger that made it very difficult to set for apartment level volume.
  10. NWB

    NWB

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    So says his wife.;)
  11. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2000
    There was a venue I used to play where I would use the Active pad on one of my heads. I didn't do it because my bass was clipping the front end or anything. I did it, because with the efficiency of my cab, my amp was still blowing out the FOH even with my volume on 1. Kicking the pad in gave me room to turn down the volume knob.
  12. hsech

    hsech Don't try to argue with an old fart. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    +1
  13. Clouz

    Clouz The Ayatollah of Jack and Cola Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
  14. Sartori

    Sartori

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Too loud in a literal sense? No, pretty much all amps out there have volume knobs, and lots have both input gain and master volume controls.

    Too loud to get the sound he's after (such as power amp distortion) in the house might be a possibility, though.
  15. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    Its rare, but yes. For example, some high power guitar amps don't have a smooth volume control knob, so the volume jumps from to low to, to loud with no happy between volume. With that said - probably not.

    EDIT: For example ~
    +1. Yep
  16. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS * Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    The frozen north
    The cynic in me says it could be a marketing trick; "too loud for home use" might make people think it's great for live use. It's 150 Watts though, so that may not be the case.
  17. AciDBatH666

    AciDBatH666

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    He probably means that in order to get the sound/tone he wants, he has to push the amp to it's limits. Which is too high of a volume for his tastes. You'll find that when you're playing with a lot of metal guitarists you'll need more power to compensate for the ones that "NEED" to crank their amp to the max to get "their tone".

    I have a Gallien Krueger 1001rb. In order to get the Gallien Krueger "growl", I have to push the amp pretty hard (which means that the volume is MEGA HIGH with 700 watts). Instead of doing that, I have a Sansamp Tech 21 RBI generating most of my tone even at low levels.
    The other way around this is to get the GK 700rb. Less watts means that I can crank it higher to get the amp to push harder (to get the growl), and it won't be as loud as the 1001.
  18. Dmwphoto

    Dmwphoto what does this light/\ do? Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Location:
    Richmond va
    gotta be this
  19. jdb72

    jdb72 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    It is only too loud if you are a guitar player or diva lead singer!
  20. Pimmsley

    Pimmsley

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia

    +1
  21. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    Disclosures:
    Union card-carrying liberal academic musician
    Fake reason for selling. He doesn't like the amp because either it is NOT loud enough, is too heavy, too ugly, too big, is not as cool as the new one he wants or likely some combination of several of the above.

Share This Page