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amp power, and whats the best deal

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 5string5fingers, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. hey yall, im new here and i went and checked the sticky about stuff to see if my question could be answered but i couldnt find it. I know theres a post on there about what to have for gigging but me and a friend of mine dont really do or goto gigs. playing is just a hobby and a passion for us.

    My question is..what would be a good amp to get..for practice/plaiyng sessions? My friend plays drums and guitar, and he plays very strong on drums. Right now im playing through an old(circa mid 70s) silvertone bass cabinet i recieved from my grandpa. It looks like it has 2 15s and 2 10s maybe 2 12s..im not completely sure. My friends dad said because of how old it is it probably only puts out around 200 250 watts max. It works well but the problem is the amp head only has a volume,bass,and tone knob on it, so i was kind of limited on my sound up until i got a fender 5 string deluxe, and the 3 band EQ helped alot, but this is not the only bass i play with, and my others do not have an EQ. The other problem is because of its age, it buzzes, and the sound gets distorted when turned up.

    So, now im looking at buying a new amp, that is decent, and wont kill my bank, and my ignorance keeps me from knowing how big i should go since modern amps put out so much more power. It's only me and a drummer or me and a guitarist at any givin point right now, we may get a guitarist soon, but as of now its just the two of us.
  2. KevtheRev


    Feb 3, 2008
    My advice - before you get inundated with specs, hype, opinions, etc. Firstly, decide whether a combo or separate head/cab is right for you. Then, go to a music store (Guitar Center?) with lots of different brands and play your bass (not one of the store's) into all of the amps in your price range. Then, only considering the ones that excite you with their sound, go back and compare features like wattage, tuner/direct out, tone shaping controls, reliability. Oh, and don't forget to check the TB reviews at that point. But man, I can't tell you how many times I've bought gear based on specs and the ravings of others just to find that it's just not right for nailing the sound that's in my head! For instance, Ampegs and Edens are great, but very different animals. Have fun shopping.
  3. ill try that..its a good idea to get the sound but the only real problem with that is i dont think guitar center or anybody is goin to let me crank the amp up real high to see how loud it is..my main concern is getting an amp too quiet to be heard over the drums..ive heard people saying 60-80w is good for practice and small gigs..but that doesnt tell me a whole lot..
  4. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Yes, it all depends on the amp itself if 60-80 watts is going to be enough. Maybe for now it will be but later you may wish you had more. I know it's tough to judge how capable an amp will be when you can only try it in a music store. With lots of experience you can get a good idea from testing it in a store, but you don't have that yet.

    What I recommend, and what I've done, even though I do have many years of experience, is to find a place that will rent you what you're interested in buying, or something similar and then taking it out for a couple days to test in a real world situation. Most big cities have a store which rents out good gear. You might spend $50 or $60 for a couple days rental but the experience can be very enlightening and save you money in the end.

    Once, when I bought a GK head and a 4x10 and used it for a while, even though I got a good sound and had enough volume, I got very tired of lugging the very heavy 4x10 cabinet around. I thought that maybe a pair of 1x15 cabinets would give me at least equal sound and I could use one cabinet for smaller and quieter gigs. So I rented two used 1x15 cabinets and tried them out on a weekend of gigs. I was right. The two cabinets together sounded much bigger to me and each was lighter than my 4x10, making for an easier load in and a single 1x15 cabinet could easily handle smaller gigs. So, I went back to the store on Monday, traded in my 4x10 for those same used 1x15 cabinets (they were in good shape), got them at a good price because they were used and from rental stock (the store had already made money from them) and they even applied my rental fee against the purchase. I walked out with the two cabinets having to pay less than $200. I was very happy.

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    Carvin B1500 !! 1,900 (Eden or Thunderfunk quality IMO) SS watts for $450 to $550 used !!

    Read some reviews, THEY'RE TRUE !! I sold my 2 Ampegs (SVT 4 & SVT 3) after getting the Carvin. :)
  6. just want to thank you for the help ive been getting..

    i was thinking all last night about it and im thinkin im really only going to need around 100 watts give or take a few. Because if the cabinet i have is really only about 200 watts or so, i never turn it up past 4 or 5, 5 if i really want to be heard. I never turn it up too much. or maybe i would just be happier getting a new head, but im not sure if a modern head would be compatible with the cab since its so old. the only thing it has is a 1/4 inch cord running from the back of the cab into the head.
  7. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    If you could give us a price range, we may be able to help more. As KevtheRev suggested before, go and try out lots of things so that you know which sounds the best tonewise. We'll be able to help you choose what you need volume-wise, but it will be impossible for us to suggest brands sincewe cannot understand the tone you're after.
  8. unfortunately im only limited to a little over 300 dollars, im looking at used gear, which is also why i brought up the idea of just buying a new head. The im wanting a nice thick punchy tone..with nice lows and mids. Ive had my eye on the kustom deep end 200HD and the ashdown mag 300h.

    the real thing im looking for right now is just more overall definition in my sound. My jazz deluxe was perfect what i needed for shaping and adding more definition, but i have a squire vintage modified p-bass with bassline pickups, and the tone and bass knobs on the head i have just dont cut it.

    Im also looking for something thats going to be able to handle the low B on my deluxe. The amp now makes it a little muddy.
  9. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    If all you need is an amp head, take a look at the Gallien Krueger Backline 600. You should be able to get one for about $300. It's a good amp with the GK sound and you'll have plenty of power.

    I don't know how good your old Silvertone cabinet is. I don't expect it's all that great and won't handle too much power or the low B. But you'll be able to be heard and later on you can replace it with something better, like one of the good for the money Avatar speaker cabinets.
  10. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    The advice you got re not getting caught up in hype, opinions,specs,etc was great advice for someone in your shoes and so in the spirit of that, I will try and dispense an equal mount of generically unbiased wisdom.:D

    It would be difficult to have too much power in your situation. Unless you were never gonna leave your living room and that didn't sound like the deal, so try and get as much power for you amp dollar as possible all other things being equal. I would rather have to keep truring down than have things "balls to the wall' with nowhere to go all the time.

    With a 300 dollar budget I would for sure look at used gear right along with new.

    60 to 80 watts will get used up fast in even the most casual of jamming/rehearsal situations.

    Modern combo amps are light years ahead of where they were just a few short years ago. Simple to use, haul and store.

    Separate head/cab rigs give you the flexibility to mix and match, add or subtract various head and speaker combinations.

    2 10"speakers can in theory, move more air than 1 15" while at the same time offer more mids and highs. Again, in theory.

    Try and look down the road at where your musical trip is headed and have that reflected in your purchase.

    What sounds good to YOU?

  11. well really i dont plan on getting majorly serious into my playing, i practice alot and play alot but its only for self gratification and personal pleasure. I dont ever really see myself going to a club or what not and playing.
    Im guessing i should just stil with what i have..maybe get a new head or the sans amp bass driver, to help get more tone and shape to my sound.
  12. +1

    Awesome amp, couldn't ask for more at that price.
  13. ok well i think ive gotten all the info i need..now its just deciding what i want to do. thanks alot for yalls help
  14. the real thing im looking for right now is just more overall definition in my sound.... QUOTE]

    Hi 5s, hehe!

    I use an Ashdown MAG300H with an Ashdown deep 210 and a massive old Carlsbro Delta 115 400w (not the new plasticky PA cab this thing weighs slightly more than Jupiter).

    But, to be honest I think the amp sounds muddy and when I really needed the power at Christmas it just wasn't there.

    Be sure what you get really is better than what you've got. I used to play lead guitar through a Carlsbro 60w valve head and a Sound City 4X12 cab that I later found out was a bass cab. When I tried a bass though the Bass channel on the amp it was UNBELIEVABLY LOUD!!! and a fantastic tone. More powerful than my 300w Ashdown for sure. Maybe mine's just a duff one.

  15. Yeah. An 80 watt amp would probly be good for what you need (I play with my band, whos drummer is really loud, and the guitarist likes to be loud too) and I can clearly hear myself play when both of them are going, but we don't play shows. If you buy a decently expensive smaller amp now, you're guaranteed to regret it somewhere down the line. You might as well save up 2 more months, and get an amp that will last you a LONG time.
  16. thanks duke thats the kind of info ive been looking for, im looking at a fender rumble 1x15, its 100w rms and its a pretty popular amp that i see alot around here at the local stores i think im going to go look at one and see how it sounds to see if i like it or not, and theres a peavey combo amp on ebay im tempted to buy, another 1x15 iwth 210 watts at 4 ohms and several ampeg ba115hp's for good prices.

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