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Amp Head Wattage

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bass_Bear, Mar 16, 2009.


  1. So I've decided to go the way of a new amp head, and I've been doing a lot of research as to which would be best for me. The biggest debate has been whether or not I should go tube versus solid. While I like the idea of tube due to the fact that it can be pushed harder, the price difference seems to me quite steep and the availability relatively limited in comparison to solid state. At first I feared solid state because of the sound breakup which might be achieved at high volume.

    Basically this pretext is to ask, in your experience (I'm aware this question is very general and circumstantial), how much wattage would one need in a mid-sized bar/room, pushing through either 2x12 or 2x10, over 2 guitar amps at around 40watts tube and a drummer. I have a very light attack, and play in a blues, rock, classic rock, etc style jam so I'm basically looking for something with a good round low end not necessarily super high on the mids. Now I'm not necessarily asking you guys which amp I should be looking at, but rather in terms of wattage, is there an approximate minimum I should stay over, as to avoid clipping/breakup or am I approaching this the wrong way?

    Thanks again TB,
    J
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    A very general answer, around 300 watts, or more, and more speakers, A 212 is alright, but a 210 on it's own is asking alot of the cab.
     
  3. So approx 300 watts solid state would be enough, okay fair enough. And a 210 would not be enough then?

    J
     
  4. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Well, not for me it wouldn't. Others swear it's enough for them. I don't know about what you'd need. But, for arguments sake, and keeping this all to generalizations, yes, 300 watts and a 2x12, or 4x10 would be enough for an average rock band. Or, if you like 15's, (I do), a 215, or 15 and 210 would also suffice. Best of luck.
     
  5. Thanks for the info.

    Cheers,
    J
     
  6. LemmyBarrier

    LemmyBarrier

    Aug 4, 2008
    I bought a solid state 400 watts, with only a 2*10 cab. With this config i only got 240 watts, wich is not even enoungh for practice at home. So i can't figure how you can play small venu with 2 guitars and a drum with 300 watts. I probably bought the wrong brand. After a will, i bought anothe cab, a 15 ", and then got 400 watts available. Witch is quite enough i think. You play blues? Well, be patient one more year to be able to by that tube amp. I sold my solide and got a 300 watts all tube, wich is at least as powerful as would have 4 of my 400 watts solid! Sorry for my poor english. Tube was so warm...
     
  7. I was and am still considering tube. I don't want to start a tube versus solid war, but I was tending away from tube simply due to price/weight/availability. Looks like it would be the smart way to go I guess?

    J
     
  8. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    It really depends on the tone you're pushing. My scenario is similar to yours. I'm the drummer. The bassist get by with an Ampeg B3 158, which is a biamped 1x8 (50 watts), 1x15 (100 watt) combo. He's pushing a lot of low mids but the amp isn't stuggling to keep up and I like the tone.

    My own rigs are a Shuttle 6.0 into a NeoX 212T and a Traynor Mark II (100 watt tube head from 1971) into a sealed 4x10. I think either will do. I've gigged next to Paul Bagley's Fender Bassman Ten (50 watt tube 4x10 combo) and it's been planty loud, too.

    I like the tubes for tone, but the convenience of the Genz Benz rig is pretty compelling. I like the tone of it just fine.

    KO

    Added: Since the OP is asking: The Genz rig is the one I would choose if I had to pick one to go gigging with for the rest of my life. The tube rig is really cool and way more fun, but I don't want to drag that thing around every time. One night I had to make a very quick exit - the Genz made it very easy. One easy load vs. two bulky loads. Which is not to say that I'm not glad I have the choice. There are times when having the tube rig and enjoying it are worth it. It's not like it's an expensive luxury. It's a cheap luxury.
     
  9. I'm reading a lot of talk of 410 or 412, this is making me wonder if the convenience of the 210 or 212 would be enough.

    J
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A 212 would definitely be enough. A 210 would probably be enough for you, too, but I'd try it first before committing to it. Many of them can be a little light in the loafers.
     
  11. im in a band with 2 guitarists, both with 2x12s and 30 and 65 tube watts, respectively. I use 900 solid state watts :) but i also like having the floor rumble beneath.

    you will probably be able to get away with around 200 watts, 100 watts tube, as long as you have at least a 410 or a 212.
     
  12. Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm relieved to hear that 212 will be enough. As far as 800watts is concerned, this is what I was expecting to be told in the first place, looks like I was shooting pretty high.

    J
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A faction of people on here have wattage inadequacy issues so they say silly things like "You have to have at least 800w or you'll run out of volume" ;) RIIIIIIIGHT! Meanwhile I used to play metal/hard rock in the 80's with a 100w amp and an 810, sometimes using only stage volume. In your situation, 300w into a 212 or 410 would easily cover you and give you some leeway in case you need to crank a little.
     

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