Could you help me find the better amp power for me?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by J.Nuno, Feb 12, 2013.


  1. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Portugal (Braga)
    I got a 15W combo when I started practicing.
    Now I'm ready to join a band and I think I'm going to need an upgrade. It should be to rehearse at a garage or small practicing studio and maybe playing in bars later on.

    Would 30W be enough? 50W? .... 100W?

    I'm really lost here :smug:
  2. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    White Plains
    I'd be looking at 300w minimum and a good cab.

    What's your budget?
  3. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

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    Thanks bassgod! If you're right, I was clearly aiming wrong for lower. To be honest I haven't really thought about budget yet. Until now, I was considering getting the other bass I want, that is about 350€. Will I get anything good amp/cab around that price range?
  4. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Shop used, it will stretch your budget.
  5. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

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    300 Watts is a standard for bass.
  6. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

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    I thought about looking for used material too...

    When you say 300W is standard you mean it goes from garage playing to small stage concerts?
  7. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Meaning it will cover just about anything you will have to do until you need PA support for bass. There are exceptions to everything of course, but its a good "starting point" for power (My first "real amp" was a 350 watt amp into a 410).
  8. HitByABlimp

    HitByABlimp

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    Netherlands
    Definitly go used. It will get you the most bang-per-buck. A nice combo should be obtainable for your budget. 300W is a good amount for rehearsal and small stages. It does depend on the rest of the band though. If competing againt a basdrum with sub and three metal guitarist, you might get swamped with total loss of headroom as a result. 500W is the next step up. But probably out of your price range.
  9. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

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    How about my budget? :)
  10. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

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    Ok, I was just reading a bit about amp/head/cab/pre and power amps and I have a doubt. When we just talk about the power of the amp (for example, the 300W you suggested) are we referring to the max power the cab can receive or the max power the head can deliver?
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

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    Agreed, 300 watt is a good beginning point for you. The only 100 watt that'll work in the long run is all tube with at least a 410 cab, a 115 cab can cut it for small gigs, two 15s is better: all this isnot easy to find for $350! Go used, stick to respected brands like GK, Ampeg, Carvin. Check the classifieds here in TB. $350 may be a bit shy for a head cab setup, but a combo might fall in that range. You're going to have to cruise Craigslist, kijiji, TB classifieds till you find the deal for you.
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

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    Head power. You can get away with 300 watts into a 200 watt cab but you have to listen for distortion (clipping) that will destroy the speaker. Better to get a 400 watt rated cab with a 300 head.

    A head -cab stack is usually better than a Combo because you can add cabs. More speakers means more volume for the same watts. Now you have to consider the OHMS rating of the cab. Begin with 8 ohms. If you get another 8 down the line, you will have 4 ohms total and that's the limit of most amps. Max power out of a head is usually stated at 4 ohms. With an 8 ohm cab you will probably get 200 watts from a 300 rated head.
  13. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

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    Now Ohms is something know nothing about yet, so you lost me there :S

    But regarding the power, I got a bit confused... when you mention "more speakers means more volume with the same power", you mean that with a 300W head, a 2x10 300W cab will have half the volume of a 4x10 300W cab? So, 300W is the standar power for the head BUT my max volume can differ a lot depending on the different 300W class cab I use?
  14. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

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    Close. Having a decent amount of power, (amp), is good, but to make sound, or get volume, you need speakers. More spkrs = more loud. Think of it this way- 300 watts through a single 15" cab will never be as loud as 200 watts through a 2x15 cab. So, buy as much power as you can, but make sure you have enough speakers to get the volume out of the amp.
  15. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

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    Right, thank you. But just to make sure that is clear, and adding to my first question, if 300W is standard/minimum for the head, what's the minimum cab I should get for it? (in terms of "speaker nº/size" assuming it would have to be at least 300W to support the power from the head).
  16. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    That depends a lot on personal needs. We're basically just recommending a good starting point that will suffice for a lot of different bassists needs.

    I would shoot for a 300w head and a 4X10 cab that is rated at 8ohms.

    I would not worry much about the wattage rating of the cabinet as long as it's a cab meant for bass. If you get an 8 ohm cab, you'll be able to add a second 8ohm cab in the future should you need more volume. There are exceptions to that of course.

    If you want an actual make/model recommendation:
    Gallien Krueger 800RB, 400RB, 700 RB-II. They can be found for very reasonable prices on the used market, and are all killer heads that should do exactly what you want. There are many more choices available too, but I have no idea what is available to you, especially used
  17. ronlitz

    ronlitz Supporting Member

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    When I was in your situation, my first amp was a GK 200RB (circa 1989). IIRC, that little amp is only 100w at 8 ohm, and 150w at 4 ohm. I had a Crate 1x15 cabinet that was 4 ohm, and I was able to play in a three-piece blues-rock band in small bars (no PA support for the bass - just speakers on a stick for vocals). Of course I would have preferred 300w, but I simply couldn't afford it. So you can get by with 150 watts until you can afford more. Definitely buy used.
    When looking at combos, read the specs carefully. Most combos state the power at 4 ohms - but have an 8 ohm internal speaker! Which means you'll need an extension cab to get the full power.
  18. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
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    Thanks again you two. I guess i really have to read a bit more about ohms limits of the rigs.

    Do we have many European TBers selling here? (retail prices of the models you suggested are way more than I expected! Plus, I'll need the cab)
  19. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    There are many more options available too.Just keep in mind that the retail prices are going to be much higher than the used prices typically.

    There is a European Classifieds section, but I'm not sure how busy it is since I'm in the US. Many US TBer's will ship internationally too, but not all.
  20. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Portugal (Braga)
    I'll check it out ;)

    Meanwhile, just for curiosity, I took a quick look at some used items that are available near me:

    Hartke 4.5 XL - 250€
    Ampeg Micro SVT (Head+Cab) - 500€

    Gallien Krueger RB-400 III - 200€
    Trace eliot gp7sm head - 120€
    Eden D112XLT Neo - 375€ (2x)

    Are any of these good choices? (just to begin to learn what is good and what is bad).

    The last 3 just have too little power right?

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