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300W: not too much for a garage?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sabertooth, Dec 10, 2003.


  1. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth

    Oct 16, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Hi.

    I have a perspective of participating in equipping a rehearsal space in a garage, so I am supposed to contribute a bass amp for it. This will be just a part of a garage, probably less than 200 square feet, there will be some sound insulation, guitar combos will be about 60W.

    I don't have much funds so I am thinking about that super cost-effective Behringer 300W head plus some 300W 4x10", e.g. Warwick. Maybe it is not the best amp ever, but at least it has that much power and is SO cheap. The funny thing is, decent combo amps of 100 and more watts that are available in my city (Fender Bassman, Ampeg BA, Roland DB), usually cost even more than the configuarion I've mentioned. I can see also the following pros for that choice:

    1) Headroom is always good, and a deep 4x10" cab is supposed to provide more defined tone than any single-speaker combo.
    2) No one knows what situations may occur in the future, and it's always good to have more than is presently required.
    3) The separate setup is more flexible, e.g. in the future I can buy another head, or a good preamp.

    The only thing that makes me doubt is that 300W seem an overkill for 200 square feet. Usually, a 100-something Watt combo would suffice for this. We don't want to go deaf there, we will look for a drummer who can play not too loud. You know, I already have tinitus because of my Walkman and because of drummers :( Of course, it's not necessary to run the amp at full volume, but the question is: will it have decent tone at acceptable levels? What would you say?
     
  2. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    300W is definitely not too much for a garage. I play a 400W amp through a 212 in a very small room and it sounds fine at any volume level I need.

    Matthias
     
  3. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Do you have any gear already available that you could try in there? Rather than spending any money to start with, try what you've got and then figure out what will fit.

    To me, 300W sounds way too much. If you turn up to hear yourself then the overall volume will be climbing higher and higher. While it's nice to have the power, it's often better to get everyone else to turn down. Maybe restrict the guitarists to 25W combos or less....

    Wulf
     
  4. Have you ever tried asking a guitarist to turn down....no chance
    Buy the biggest power amp in the world and the guitarist will still humble you with his 60w combo..sad but true..
    You can always turn the bass down if it turns out to be louder than you need. You will probably find that the Behringer 300w head through a single 8ohm cab wont be ludicrously loud..bass can never be loud enough
    Dave
     
  5. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If they really want to hear the bass, then they should be willing to turn down. If they don't want to hear the bass - or anything - is it worth risking your hearing by competing?

    I've found that my 250W Ashdown head is more than enough even for a largish party played in an outdoor marquee and set against drums, keys, guitar and two vocals. Even there, I wasn't turned up all the way.

    Therefore, I still think 300W is overkill unless you've got definite plans to use the gear outside the practise room as well. If that's the case, then it would probably be okay - but you'll need to use some self-discipline or get some ear plugs...

    Wulf
     
  6. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth

    Oct 16, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Well, the guitarist with whom I'm planning for the garage is not a maniac, so competing would not be a problem. My main concern is whether a 300W amp and a 4x10" will sound good at a low enough volume.

    Maybe I should really get a ~150W combo, like Warwick Sweet 15, for example...
     
  7. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Your profile says that you've got a Behringer BX600 - 60W? I'd try that first and make a judgement on whether you need something bigger or smaller based on the results.

    Wulf
     
  8. if you are in a small area, the 15 will probably not sound as loud as a setup w/ tens...I think it has to do w/ the projection of a 15" speaker...
     
  9. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    Ireland
    i would definately get that set up, infact i think i will get a behringer head and a 4x10
    Good luck!
     
  10. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    It was not my intention to say that he NEEDS 300W (100W will be fine in his situation, in my other band I play a 100W/1x15 combo and it's more than enough). I just wanted to answer the question and say yes, it is possible to play in a small room with a large amp and yes it will sound good.
    And with regard to his future plans and flexibility I still recommend a 300W rig over a 100W combo if he can get it for the same money.

    But you are absolutely right that one needs more (self-)discipline with a bigger amp.

    Matthias
     
  11. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    I feel that it may be enough or it may not??? What type of music do you play and how hard the drummer hit are two questions that have to be answered first. 300 watts is a lot of power that I will agree with, but will it be more that enough with headroom?? I don't think it will in a rock band setting. If you get into the 400 watts or more than you will have all the power you need (kind of a rhetorical statement) but will 300 be enough that I have to question.:eek:
     
  12. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I think 300w is just about the minimum. Go higher, not lower, if you can. Why would you want to limit yourself on power?
     
  13. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Because you're in a small practise room, not playing for 500 screaming fans in a large club. If the overall volume gets too loud you won't be able to hear anything clearly which will cut down the interplay between the musicians in the band and runs the risk of encouraging you in sloppy habits (not to mention hearing damage).

    Wulf
     
  14. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Last time I played in my garage through my SVT (300W) it caught the attention of people down the street. :D :bassist: Dont know if it was good or bad but the cops didnt show up!
     
  15. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth

    Oct 16, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Just because I don't want to go deaf ;)

    But I hope that a bigger amp and a larger, deeper enclosure will have deeper, bassier tone. Am I not right?
     
  16. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth

    Oct 16, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    The music will be in the vein of Muse and early Radiohead in one of the bands, and some emo in the other, so I'd say, pretty much rock. But I and my friends sincerely wish to limit ourselves in volume. I'd like to find a right drummer for that.
     
  17. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Not necessarily. If you get a set up that is way too powerful for the situation, you'll either run it well below what it was designed for and thus probably not hear it at it's best or turn up and blast your ears.

    For example, my Ashdown set up sounds sweet but it's not as good practising in my front room as it is when I get to turn it up a bit more. I can live with that compromise but if I was buying an amp specifically for home practise, it would be something much smaller.

    Just think of the rich bass sounds you can get out of a home stereo. Richness of sound comes at least as much from the right rig for the setup as it does from raw power.

    Wulf
     
  18. I think Schwinn's talking about preparing for the future when you do have to play clubs and gigs. You can always turn down a head with lots of power, but you can't do the opposite with a puny head.

    The more watts within the budget the better. You could always use more headroom.
     
  19. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Yes, that's it exactly...I know I'm biased since I have a QSC PLX 2402, but... My philosophy is to buy as much power as you can afford so you never have to WORRY about power again - no matter what the situation. It's not that you actually need it, but why be forced to upgrade later if you move to a different band?

    And as far as hearing loss, most of you know I'm a big proponent of ear plugs!!
     
  20. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    If you're confident that you won't need to move up in power for a long, long while, then there's no reason to spend money for watts you won't use. However, I'm inclined to agree with the argument that it's better to spend the money and see to it that you've got power to spare should you ever need it.

    The other problem is finding a quiet drummer. Good luck.