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Bass Amp wattage for 2 guitars

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by johnbass1, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. johnbass1


    Jul 24, 2012
    I need help. i play in a band with 2 guitars, one guy uses an all tube Fender twin rated at 85 watts with 2x12 speakers and the other guy uses a Les Paul through a 30 watt all tube AC30 with 2x12 speakers as well. As the Bass player, To counter these i use a Fender 400 Pro HD with 2x10 speakers as a combo and another 2x10 Fender cab plugged in. combined, this rig produces 500watts of power, we usually play medium sized clubs and out door venues. Question is, are the set up and wattage sufficient to cut through the guitars? We rotate drummers so not concerned with that, i use passive Fender Bass guitars.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's possible it will be just fine. Only you can answer that question. But my rule of thumb isn't to cut through the guitars, but to sound balanced with everyone else, so as long as everyone plays along with that idea, it should be fine.
  3. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    You should be fine. I think how you dial it in is a big factor too. If it becomes a situation where you are kind of struggling to have much presence, lower your lowest lows and add some more low mids/mids.
  4. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Jimmy, once again, said it best.

    It's not a competition to be heard. The wrong approach.
  5. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Different approach maybe, how about them turning down instead of you gearing up?

    The mentioned frequency holes for each instrument make a big difference too. But imo, the drummer sets the minimum volume level but going any further than that is asking for volume war if you cannot get your act together as a band.

    I think a good 410 can "cut the mustard" (lol) just fine. I can make my drummer sonically disappear with a single 15 cab. As said, when everyone plays nice there isn't even a need for big rigs.
  6. +1, it's never a good thing to be playing in a competition.

    There's definitely enough bass rig to play with well hit drums, guitars need to fit in.
  7. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Are they totally unable to get a good guitar sound at a lower SPL? If not, you're gonna have a hard time A) keeping up with their volume and B) NOT killing your ears. If you guys don't use the PA to set your band's level, you're all shooting yourselves in the foot- outdoors, getting a good sound will be almost impossible. You all need to work together to reach a balance WRT the level of the instruments, not just pile one on top of the other. If the first guitar is set, the second immediately makes it "not quite loud enough" as soon as its level is set. Add your instrument and neither sounds the same as it did before. Add the drums and none of you will like your sound and the battle begins. You can't get a real impression of the band's sound when you're all on-stage. It's impossible. Someone needs to walk out to the FOH area and find out how well/if the sound is balanced and if all of you start at a lower SPL, you'll have better results. If your drummers pound their drums into submission without a clue about dynamics, it's not going to be a good time.

    FWIW, two 210 cabinets really isn't enough, IMO. If you send a DI signal to the PA, it's OK for the FOH but onstage, it's going to be pretty light-weight. Have you tried using 12" drivers?
  8. Your guitar player with the fender twin will decide this. That amp is LOUD!
    Levels in my band is set by the drummers volume. We have two guitarist also, one with a Vox ac30, single 12 inch driver, the other one is using a orange tiny terror and a 412 cab.
    I'm running a Hartke ha3500 into a hx410, I'm only putting 220 Watts into that cab and every thing is fine, but we don't have volume wars.
  9. +1 to everyone saying it depends.

    When I play with my dad's group they have a very subdued drummer. My dad uses a vintage fender twin and a 50 watt fuchs, the other guitarist plays a Dr. Z amp. Neither of them over power the drummer so I can get buy with a pretty small rig. Swap out the musicians and that becomes a very loud band.
  10. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    London, UK
    General rule of thumb in my experience is a decent amp of at least 300w through enough speakers should be fine. The rest comes down to the mix.
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    400 watts and 4x10s is enough for most situations. If more is needed you should be going through the house anyhow. I know you said you use different drummers, but if your band is working together, the drummers are the ones who will determine how much headroom you'll need. A hard hitting drummer can and will change everything. More wattage and speakers will give you more room to dial in exactly what you want. I've found that when I have just just enough power, I sacrifice tone, as I start working to just make sure I'm cutting through sufficiently. 6x10s and 500 watts has been the solution to that, for me.
  12. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    London, UK
    Also... EQ is important. If you boost mids it tends to help the bass cut through the mix better, I find, as guitar players (the ones I tend to work with anyway) like to chunk up their lows and highs.

    Another thing that is overlooked is the amount of speakers you have. More watts is less important than more speakers, because more speakers = more air being moved... that's how I see it, anyhow.

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