How can 250w cut the mustard in a gig situation?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by MontanaBassDude, Jan 30, 2013.


  1. MontanaBassDude

    MontanaBassDude

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Moderator - I'm seriously not trolling here. I honestly don't get this; in fact, I'm hoping people may see the light and start to agree with me.

    I sit here at night and read post after post of rock bassists proclaiming their love and awe for a 250W head over a 2x10 cab. I don't doubt their sincerity and awe, but I don't get it.
    (I'm talking about gigs where no bass signal is fed into the PA)

    My 1500w head at 4 ohms into two 15" cabs goes with me to EVERY gig, indoors and out. Those two 3015LFs are pumping LOTS of air. Outdoor gigs, it's not nearly enough!
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    My bass signal is kept OUT of our PA; it's for keys, guitars, vocals, drums.

    I often go listen to other rock bands with 200-500w bass rigs, and in my pathetic opinion, that nice, pulsing bass just isn't there, out in the room! I'm always stunned how anemic so many bands sound. Those low frequencies get absorbed by carpeting and curtains and bodies. It sounds wimpy, unimpressive, and really ho-hum.

    Someday, recruit another bassist to stand in for you for one song, go out into the crowd, to the back and listen as your bass frequencies get sucked into oblivion.

    I guess the general theme of my post is "If you're gonna play bass, go bigger, or go home". Because IMHO, the bass is supposed to be the most powerful element of R&R.

    It's Acoustics 101 - Hey, I'm not looking for a fight, just tell me if you agree with me so I don't think I'm the lone nut job out there!

    peace, brothers.
  2. millsbass5

    millsbass5

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Location:
    Logan,W.V.(not up some holler)
    Why don't you run thru the board? Let the P.A. do the work. Especially if your band has a good P.A.
  3. Session1969

    Session1969 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Yeah, but 1500 digital watts is just like 250 solid state watts. What's the difference ?
  4. blendermassacre

    blendermassacre

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    kansas city, mo
    Please tell me this is in sarcasm....
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  6. Session1969

    Session1969 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Just kidding.
  7. Rooster009

    Rooster009

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Truthfully, I see no reason that you should be left out of the PA. That's just my opinion. If its a situation where your other band members are concerned about bass frequencies blowing the PA speakers then they are full of it. Especially if your PA has subs. IMO
  8. blendermassacre

    blendermassacre

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    kansas city, mo
    Thank God
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Anyone who fills a room with a 2-10 is playing a (comparatively) quiet gig. I'm not saying it can't be done. It just can't be done with any volume. I'm just saying that a 2-10 won't get it done in a loud band with no PA. That being said, the watts have little to nothing to do with it. I run an Ampeg V4 (100W) head with an 8-10 and I can cover most small to medium sized clubs with no PA. Speaker surface area, cabinet tuning, speaker efficiency, and the overall physics of the room and the speaker cab have a lot more to do with any ability to fill a room from the stage than watts. Watts are way down on the list.

    I can fill most stages (not the room) with the V4 and a 4-10. I can fill small rooms and pretty much any stage with my Mesa Walkabout Scout 15" combo and matching extension cab. That head runs at 375W I think. But, again, I'm running 4 10s, or 2 (really well-tuned) 15" cabs with those rigs.

    Either way. You have to understand basic physics (which I don't) to explain it, but it's sound bouncing around (either inside the cab, or out in the room, or off of the face of speakers) that gets a room, or even the air outside filled with bass.
  10. Duckwater

    Duckwater

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    USA, Washington
    I have to use a 100w combo with a 10 inch speaker to fill out every gig I play and I'm usually louder than everyone else in my band (singer, drums, 2(sometimes 3) fuzzed out guitars, and keys when we have room. I've gotten used to having a less bassy sound.
  11. Vince Klortho

    Vince Klortho

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Location:
    Squierville, California
    I can't say I fully agree. I have played tons of gigs with a single 4x10 cabinet and a 200W amp and the room was pretty well filled. Many of them were not exlusively rock though - there was some jazz, swing, blues, and funk in there too and we often had six or seven guys on stage. We were also not a really loud band either.

    I guess I would say it depends on what kind of music you play, how loud your band is, what the room is like, and how many people there are. Too many variables to make a blanket statement.
  12. Session1969

    Session1969 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    +1, For me, it's also because stage volume can be affected and make my singers strain. Not to say I wouldn't want a rig like the O.P's, but from past experiences , I'd have it at a lower volume and use the F.O.H. anyways. Badass Rig, btw !
  13. MontanaBassDude

    MontanaBassDude

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    On outdoor gigs, yes, my bass signal is leaked into the PA as needed.

    We've got a pretty decent PA - Mackie HD1531 over HD1501 subs.

    But my rig into a PA isn't the point of my thread; how a 250W 2x10 rig can be enough for so many people, that's what puzzles me.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Your band is too loud. :) Especially if you have to carry 1500 watts and 2x15 stack to keep up.
    Seriously.


    I'm just sayin'...
  15. 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
    To the OP: One bassist's loud is another's soft. I am with you—the bass needs clean heft and headroom. The PA (ours or the house) is not enough to do the job in most cases—unless outdoors. 800 watts @ 4 ohms into 410 or 610 or a 15/6/1 covers most of it. There's a smaller rig for upright or rehearsals.
  16. zachoff

    zachoff

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Boulder Suburbia, Colorado
    I saw Tom Hamilton play an arena w/ a fliptop, so yeah... It can be done if the PA support is right or the room is small.
  17. MontanaBassDude

    MontanaBassDude

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    You're probably right.

    On the other hand, in our 9 years as a band, winning 14 various band of the year awards in the city... continually being rehired for great gigs...
    ...I'm thinking we've got the perfect levels!
  18. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Blimp City USA
    I have used 250 thru 2x10 and 4x10 in many gigs indoors and out some with PA some without. Nobody want the bass in your face in bands I have been in I want to sit with the drums.

    Today it's a 300 LMIII and Markbass 2x10 no problems again.
  19. MontanaBassDude

    MontanaBassDude

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Whew!! Thank you! I'm not alone.
    However, your band is obviously too loud, too!
  20. majortoby

    majortoby

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tampa, Fl USA
    Well, I plan on getting a 200watter (GK MB200) and running it into either one 3015, or two Deltalite II 2512's. Although I won't be pumping out massive amounts of reggae dub bass, I assure you it will be all the bright, aggressive, cutting Jbass growl I need for now :) That rig is F-ing sweet, btw!
  21. modulusman

    modulusman

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    montana
    Your guitar player Art is the man. Use to watch him play in Soma back in the day. That being said I could play all my gigs with my Shuttle6.0/12t combo. I almost always DI into the PA except for really small gigs. A PA helps distribute the sound not just make it louder.

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