Am I insane for using this?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by swassguy, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. I play in a touring rock band with three guitarists. One has a Fender Hot Rod DeVille, one has a Hot Rod Deluxe and the last has a '72 Fender Twin Reverb. They all like to play them really loud.

    For the past five years I've been playing my J-Bass through a '68 Fender Bassman head (rated 50 watts)with an early 70's Sunn 2x15 cabinet.

    I've been away from here for a while but just looking through the rest of the threads it seems like people can't get much sound out of less than 300 watts.

    Am I insane thinking that the sound coming out of my amp is as huge as I think it is?

    If I am insane, does anyone have a Mesa Boogie 400+ and a 2x15 RR cabinet to give me?[​IMG]
  2. Oh, the amp's a bit bigger than it looks in the picture - just in case...
  3. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    swass: That seems like incredibly low wattage, but isn't that a tube head? If so, it's putting out a HELL of a lot more sound that the 50 watters we're used to today.

    Still, I'm surprised you can be heard at all in that mix.
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Those are tube watts, which will sound much louder than the same amount of watts of solid state power.

    Perhaps your guitarists are reasonable, and not too overly loud onstage. Consider yourself lucky. If you think your sound is huge and you dig it, don't be concerned about what others have posted. Enjoy!
  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Yes, you are quite obviously completely insane. Immediately check into a sanitarium as you shouldn't be out on the loose! ;)

    Seriously, if it sounds good to you, it's probably happening in the room unless you've been getting complaints that you can't be heard. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, amigo. :cool:
  6. thumbtrap


    Jun 26, 2003
    It works because he's manly enough to haul a 70's 215 around. If he were a girly man like the rest of us,he'd need 1.5kw and some ten's to make it work.
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Consider yourself very fortunate.

    I play with one guitar player, and a drummer. I pump 350 watts into my 215, and they always look at me and wonder why they can't hear me.

    By the way, our drummer is the "mad-at-the-world" type. The guitar player is 20, very talented, and LOVES to play loud.

  8. thumbtrap


    Jun 26, 2003
    People give too much credit to "tube watts" I think. Even if running it into full meltdown, you probably won't get more than 2x rated power, plus a couple db extra perceived volume because of harmonics. So let's give him a 100w (3db more)of power, and another 3-6db (being generous) due to psychoacoustics, and we're talking about 200-400 watts perceived power - which is in line with the majority of most of the heads out there.

    I suspect the drummer is the orange in this lineup of apples. That or your sound man has been running the entire band off CD's and not telling you guys.
  9. Here's what I just thought: How many of you are playing without a PA?

    I know that helps, most shows the sound guy will mic and/or DI my stuff and mic everybody elses.

    I'm sure that frees me up to concentrate on the tone I'm getting rather than the volume.

    And no, the drummer isn't the light one in the group. Everyone is fairly loud - even then I only have to turn up to about halfway up to compete.
  10. Could it be that your Bassman was re-tubed or "hot-rodded" in some fashion so as to have more out-put? I also know there is a difference between perceived "loudness" and actual volume due to the pyscho-acoustic phenominon. I'm guessing your set-up is most likely heavy in the mid range, adding to it's "loudness". I had an old Fender Bassman cab with four 12's that had this effect. I only ran it with 175 watts and it sounded devastating. I would bet your old Sunn drops off like a stone in the mid 40's hz range at best, probably a little higher. What it comes down to though is that if it works for you, what's the problem?
  11. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    I rented a 2x15 Sunn Cab during an out of town gig a few years ago and it was very loud. It also had a Hump in the Low Mids which helped to cut through. I think that the cabinet you are using might have alot to do with the volume you are getting.

    Another thing might be the tone you are using. If you are boosting mostly low mids then you can get more volume than if you are pushsing deep lows.
    The lows in a 68 bassman are more in the low mid range (80hz-120hz) than what we typically think of deep lows today (30hz-50hz).
  12. If I'm correct, a 3db increase is considered doubling the volume...and to double your volume, you have to double the speaker area or 10X the he'd get double the power from the distortion and harmonics, so 100W and then you said a "couple of decibles extra" would be ALMOST 2ice the volume, so it'd be almost 10X the power?I just thought of it...could be wrong?
  13. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    Yes. Yes you are.

    If it works for you then it's a great amp...
  14. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Whoa, slow down there..........

    A 3db increase is a perceptible increase in volume. You have to double your wattage or double your speakers to achieve a 3db boost.

    A 10db increase is considered doubling your volume. This requires 10 time the wattage.

    What it boils down to is this - it's pretty easy to get up to, oh, 118db or so. Every 3db increase after that gets very difficult, as you generally go from needing 300 watts, to 600 watts, to 1200, to 2400, to 4800, and so on...........
  15. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    Hell, I'd get a 400+ and another 2X15 just for the hell of it!:D Nevermind the guitarists! :D

    But seriously, if your amp is heard by yourself and the crowd (and hopefully the bandmembers), then what's the problem?:)
  16. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Doubling volume = 10db increase = 10x wattage
  17. Yeah, no - totally.

    I love my tone and I've played enough other setups to know that my amp sounds the way I want it to.

    Recordings of it are amazing and when I think of getting something else I have a hard time figuring out what it would possibly be.

    It's fun when people come up to you at a show and ask you what you're using. You tell them a 50 watt head and they can't believe it.
  18. thumbtrap


    Jun 26, 2003
    Sniff Sniff. Makes me want to put my bassman back together. It was a hacked up guitar amp once. Then I tore it down and was going to make it into a single channel, Tremelo & reverb, 210 combo with 6V6's - but I graduated, got a job. And it's sat in a box tore down to bare metal the last 7 years.
  19. I also have an old Sunn 2x15 cab. It's a loud box, I reloaded it with JBL's and it rocks.
  20. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    A 67 / 68 50 watt bassman is a way cool head! I used one of theose Sunn's loaded with JBL D-140's for a while. Very efficient cabinet / speaker combo. I was always suprised at how light that cab was for all the volume it put out. It didn't take much to get it happening. That cab doesn't go very deep as I recall, neither does the amp which is one reason it seems so loud. It does take a lot of power to get that next octave.

    I still use a Bassman from that era as a recording amp. Classic, roots tone. Through a 1x15 makes a great coffee house amp. I love that sound! As for the volume, if it works for you thats fab.

    I'd be paying attention to that head though. If you're pushing it hard all the time, you'll need service eventually. I'd recommend getting familiar with the Amp Central Station section at While it is primarily a site devoted to the Telecaster guitar, it has morphed over the years into anything Fender. A couple of the guys in the Amp Central Station forum are techs who know that amp inside 'n out. I'd recommend that you pop any service related questions to Big Cookie over there in particular. He's the man when it comes to old Fender amp's IMO.

    Be cool, that's a good lookin rig to me!