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Amp volume issue

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by elennare, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. elennare


    Apr 7, 2012
    Hi there. I seek advice from the experienced bass players around regarding an amp issue :)

    I started rehearsing with a fairly loud drummer and a guitar player for the first time in my life, so I don't have experience about volumes and so. But what it's sure is that I have a volume issue.

    The drummer can hold back somewhat, but the guitar player is using a smallish 30watt guitar amp and for sure not at full volume. But even that, my Warwick Sweet 15 (old german model), 150watts, with tweeter (not on now)) I can't keep up, and yesterday I ended up cranking the volume and the gain to the max (both, max), and that was the one and only way to be heard.

    I first thought it could be a bass output issue, that's why I tried too with my second hand Aguilar Tonehammer DI, but with the same setting as before, AGS engaged, master at 3/4 and gain in the middle position, I had to hold back the amp gain a bit (maybe quarter past noon instead of max) not to make it clip.

    So my questions are... is it that I'm lacking amp for this kind of band setup or is more a technical issue? And if this is the case... should I go for a new amp, try to repair mine (was fairly cheap to be honest...), contact warwick to see what could be done...?

    If I even gig I will adcquire a better rig, though, but that's still far in the future :)

  2. karl_em_all


    Jul 11, 2013
    Dimension X
    You could try using an 8 Ohm cab with it (line out). A 115 or a 210 will give you more power (full 200 watts) and presence to your sound. That's your cheapest option.
  3. My guess, if your amp is working correctly and gets loud on its own in another space, it could be room acoustics.

    I have been playing for a while, in many different venues, spaces... And I recently just met a room that has me totally confused, it's like a bass frequency black hole... and happens to be a new free rehearsal space for a band I started playing in...
    It's small, odd shaped, high ceiling with cement and brick walls, no two walls are truly parallel, but it's the weirdest acoustic space I've come across. In the room bottom freq just disappear and the upper mids are reinforced/amplified and tops seem neutral. This room is worse than an open air stage or large hall for these reasons.
    I have tried throwing more cabs, watts, compression, diff basses, diff amps... No effect. We tried putting up extra drapes, furnishings, nothing worked. There is obviously some natural bass trap effect occurring in our space, and it seems to be taking huge effect at around 200-100Hz down :( we also loose most of the kick drum, dist guitar freq are just painful, nothing sounds right in this evil space.

    The really curious thing is that we discovered after much turning up, yelling at each other, swapping places, frustration and finger pointing... was that if we all turned down to a pretty low level, (lower than we would like) the problem was workable. The louder we got the worse the effect. Only other thing I did to help was going from a 15" cab to a more mid forward 12" cab, but again I stress it wasn't more volume, but less that helped.

    I've been into acoustics and sound for most my life, and I tend to take notice of the acoustic qualities of a space, and this room is one of the craziest acoustic spaces I've heard or played in... and I've been in an anechoic chamber ;)
  4. A line out is not a speaker out. The OP needs to see if there is one marked external speaker.
  5. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    IMO, you need more than 150 watts. I was in the same situation as you when I first started playing years ago. I had to crank it to be heard, and even then I was barley audible most the time. A lot of it will depend on the drummer and how hard he is playing and the room. But IMO, 150w isnt enough for your situation. I would want at least 2 to 300w. Even a GK combo or TC combo would do you better as they are made at 350w an so forth. Just seems to me that youre fighting to be heard. A guitarist doesnt need nearly as many watts to be heard as us bassist. We need to double/triple/quadruple our wattage to theirs.
  6. tom-g


    Oct 2, 2007
    Used to play one of those and had the same issue. Maybe tilting it towards your head mighy help.
  7. 150 watts may be at the low side, depending on th eeficiency of your speaker.

    I'd look at your eq first. Do you have your mids turned down? That's where most of the cut and punch from your amp appear. The low boost, mid cut, hi boost that many like in their bedrooms just does not cut through a drummer and guitarist's sound without a huge amount of power.

    I'm not familiar with the amp, so I don't know what kind of eq options you have.
  8. elennare


    Apr 7, 2012
    Actually, the room is weird. We need to install some stuff on the walls to mitigate reverberation and vibrations. Also, when we shout, we hear that over the crappy ceiling there is a huge empty space echoing... could that be that a mix of crappy walls, small room and empty echoing overceiling are destroying my precious lows? :( meh...

    anyway, next step is indeed getting moar powah. But i but rather try to see if its me or the world... thanks to everyone anyway :) that was insightful
  9. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I would certainly bet acoustics in the room aren't helping. I used to practice in a garage with a fairly loud drummer. It seemed everyone kept turning up throughout the practices - by the end everyone's ears were ringing and you still couldn't hear what anyone else was doing. We moved to another space with better acoustics and everyone turned down. It was a remarkable improvement in the overall tone and experience. And, this was with a 400W head into a 4x10 mind you. So, you might upgrade and find your fancy new rig still isn't cutting it, which would be frustrating.

    I would agree with RDUB's comments - if you have a smiley face EQ going on with a (relatively) low wattage amp, you're sucking up all the power you have and not producing the frequencies that will be heard. 150W isn't bad, will only get you so far, though. I used to play at reasonably moderate volumes with a 100w 1x15 Fender combo and, while I could be heard I found I had to sacrifice what little low end that amp had to get me there when the band started getting louder. Pointing the cab at your head will allow you to hear yourself better, but (IME at least) seems to take even more low end out of the equation. I've tried that and never been happy - at least with bass amps.

    There are lots of things that go into how loud a rig might be - adding watts is just one part of the equation. I've found that adding the right speakers is a better way to get to more volume. I don't know the mechanics behind it. But I will tell you I had a 750W rig going into 2 112s and had to push it to hang with my rock band. I switched over to a 300W head into a 4x12 and it easily kept up with room to spare.

    Anyway, good luck on your quest.

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