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1200 WATTS - WHY ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 57pbass, May 26, 2019.

  1. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia living la vida loca Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Has anybody pointed out yet that every doubling of power gives roughly the same amount of acoustic power increase? That is, if a 200 watt amp is 3db louder than a 100 watt amp, a 400 watts amp is another 3db louder than the 200 watt amp. A theoretical 1600 watt amp, would be 12db louder than the 100 watt amp, not 16 times louder. Basically like adding an 11 to the volume nob.

    Anyway, if you need to ask, you obviously haven't heard Nigel explain it.
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I don't need a 1200w amp.

    ...because I use a 2500w (RMS) amp. ;)

    800w sounds like a practice amp.
  3. SteveBass5

    SteveBass5 It all sounds the same, It's all one song! Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    I have a 500 watt amp and a 1200 watt amp.
    I use them with an 8 ohm cab. So, 250 & 600 watts. My cab I think is the deciding factor. My Barefaced cab makes the difference.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  4. nbsipics

    nbsipics It's the Bass that makes them Dance Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    Has anyone here blown a house circuit breaker mid-show due to a monster amps power requirement?

    That equates to zero dB, me thinks...

    I know, irrelevant.
    Sid 31Hz, Scootbass1 and Pbassmanca like this.
  5. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I am me
    For the same reason we have 500hp cars, from the factory
  6. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    I played for years with a Sunn 200S (maybe 80 watts) head into 2x15's and it was all I needed. I've used a 1200 watt power amp with a separate pre and it was fine too. Now I use a 500 watt class D and it is fine and only weighs a few pounds. They all sound different from each other and they all get the job done. At my age, I'm all about the weight.
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    My tech rider requests a 20A circuit for the bass rig.

    Yes, we've had the power go on stage...we've blacked out venues, etc. Usually they get it up and running pretty quickly. Although I don't take any blame...see the part about me having a tech rider requesting a 20A circuit.
    Pbassmanca, kevk, DJ Bebop and 2 others like this.
  8. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    Had a crappy PA that didn't carry bass for ****. Plus two loud guitarists and "lead" player who swore I was loud and present in the mix. Meanwhile, if I walked out the length of my cable I couldn't hear myself anymore, let alone way out front.

    Switched to two Ampeg 410HE cabinets and an SVT 6PRO (1100 watts at 4 ohms). Cranked the gain until the input clipped constantly, dipped the driver voltage down low and master volume on maybe 20 or 30% of the dial. Perfect.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2019
  9. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    I agree, why use a 1200 watt amp when you can get double that in the same form factor these days? It makes no sense. Headroom is awesome.
    Zbysek, BurningSkies and BassikBrad like this.
  10. Gizmot

    Gizmot Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    I have a Powersoft K3DSP with 5,200 watts (yes - I run it in mono to double the slew rate). When I’m playing loud, the -20 dB LED power indicator only flashes a couple of times during a set. I use it because it’s clean, solid and effortless. If you don’t run your gear as hard as it will go, it is inherently more reliable. In a word, overkill is good. My sound is as clean as the board of health- just the way I like it.
  11. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Out of curiosity, what kind of gigs are you taking that on?
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  12. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    What do you use for a pre amp?
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  13. Er, that's exactly how that works. All else equal, 10x the electrical power gives you a 10dB volume increase - that's twice the perceived volume. Sorry.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    isaac42 and Bass_Pounder like this.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Hi AL. I'll let you say it. HPF!
    Zbysek, Novarocker, nbsipics and 3 others like this.
  15. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I personally believe in lots of wattage and lots of speaker area. That way I'm not ever putting a ton of stress on my gear. I always wear earplugs.

    On my body to haul all that gear? A bit, but I learned how to properly lift ages ago, I use a hand-truck/cart, and I'm not afraid to ask for help when needed.

    For outdoor gigs and large halls: 900 watts per side into 4-12"s and 6-10"s

    For big rooms: 600 watts per side into 4-12"s
    Pbassmanca and BassikBrad like this.
  16. Gizmot

    Gizmot Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    I use a custom made preamp that was made by Altec engineer Bob Rogers. It has a 5 band EQ and not much else
  17. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    IMO/IME Bass guitar can be a bit tricky to be audible, especially on small stages where bandmates get into volume wars. Bass is always going to lose.

    When I started playing in bands in my teens, I was the poor kid. The other guys parents bought them decent for that time equipment. I has to make do with an Acoustic 136, which was I think a 125 watt combo with a single 15" speaker. :(

    For awhile I used a GK2000RB into an SWR Goliath SR 6-10" for big rooms and an SWR Goliath 4-10" for everything else. That setup never left me needing more amp. Besides big wattage, I think GK's eq system makes getting a tone that cuts through a snap. :bassist:

    About 15 years ago I played in a trio where the guitarist used a Mesa 60 watt 2-12" combo, and the hard hitting drummer played a 5 piece DW kit. I was routinely getting covered up by them, and I was using a Demeter HBP-1 a Crest CA9 and a Bergantino HT210/HT115 cabinet setup. 600 watts per side, and on small stages I could barely hear myself. Looking back, I think it was more about how the Berg's are voiced, and I was running a super clean tone. I'm pretty sure my eq settings were to blame. :thumbsdown:

    I learned my lesson. I bought a pair of Mesa Powerhouse 212s and changed up my EQ settings to put more emphasis on my low mids and midrange, and dialed down my top end. I also had a bass built with the same sound in mind. I chose specific pickups and onboard eq, plus a body and neck woods combo that was the same as my favorite P-Bass. My new bass had/has a bit of overdrive in it's sound when I dig in a little over it's back pickup: Instant audible tone, using the same power amp and preamp, with different eq settings, and I could use lower overall volume levels to be heard onstage. That little bit of grunge in my sound is a miracle worker! :thumbsup:

    And now, I'm doing Classic Hard Rock and Metal, so my newest amp setup is my equivalent to the Hair Club for Men-middle-age crisis-Corvette guys. :DI'm using the same power amp, different preamp, separate cabinets for Clean and Dirty, and more speakers. :woot:

    Basically it's the amp I dreamed of having when all I had was that Acoustic 136. :thumbsup: :bassist:
  18. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I can't say I have, and my CA9 can be power hungry. When I was playing a lot of road gigs I brought along my Tripp-Lite voltage regulator, but IIRC I only saw a handful of individual outlets that read a smidge low. And this took place over hundreds of live gigs.

    If anyone should be tripping breakers, it should've been me! :D
    nbsipics likes this.

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