Bass rig for average bar gig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by HMZ, May 23, 2004.

  1. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    What would you say is the best rig for your average bar gig for a band doing classic rock to modern stuff. (Led Zep, Aerosmith, STP, AIC) I have seen guys use a combo with 1x15 or 2x10 to guys using 8x10.
    At what point is it over kill
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    An 8x10 is probably overkill for a bar gig. I usually use a BagEnd mini-stack at bars, which is a 15 on the bottom and a 12 on top. And I only pump about half as much power through there as the speakers will handle. I've seen plenty of people using single 15's, but they usually have to drive 'em pretty hard (especially if the band has a loud drummer). For a while I was doing bar gigs with an SWR Basic Black, which is 120 watts with a 15" speaker, and it wasn't quite enough. Then I added an extension cab, which took the amp up to 160 watts, and that was enough for most average size bars (in a classic rock setting with a pretty loud drummer). But that was two 15" speakers in total. I would think that an SWR Black Beauty, for instance, which is 350 watts with a single 15" speaker, would be adequate for bar gigs. That's a pretty big amp, but that's one of the downsides of being a bass player, there's hardly any way around that. I've heard people say good things about the Aguilar GS-112, but I haven't had very much luck with single 12's in a band setting. But I've heard people say they're using the GS-112 at bars with good results. I've never used one myself in that setting. For me, a 15 would be the minimum for any live gig, even a coffee house. IMO most of the 12's won't be able to deliver the fat bottom like a 15 can. At least I haven't heard one yet.
  3. I guess that you mean with bar gigs 'no pa'?
    Well, 300 watt would be more than enough imo. Of course, some extra power is cool, but not necesary.
    I'd say, get a 4*10, but that's just my opinion. If you prefer the sound of a 2*10 or a 15", (or those 2 combined) go for that option.
  4. I think a 15 and a 2x10 will be enough for any bar gig. From there it's just a matter of how much stuff you want to carry and how big the stage is.

    This is a broad generalization though.

    FWIW I want to bring as much as I can right now but I'm sure that'll get old before too long.
  5. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    At this time I’m using a GK 1001 with and Avatar B212 and sometimes I bring an Avatar B210, which I guess is over kill. The guitar players in my band both use a Marshall 4x12 bottom and the drummer is loud. I was rethinking my rig and thing of getting a Mesa 4x10 and a Mesa m-pulse 600.
  6. I've been using a G-K 400RBIII 2-10 combo w/G-K 15" bottom for 3 years now. Works great! I run it through the PA and use it as a stage monitor. Very reliable, and easy to set up.
    Plenty of power. ;)

  7. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I've been using a Nemesis 2-10 combo for five years. It's 225 rms and is enough for a classic rock band. Where I live, parking is always a challenge, so the smaller the car, the better one's chance of finding a spot. Factoring that in, as small as possible is desirable. So, 1-15 or 2-10's and 300 watts is the smallest/biggest (depending on your perspective) rig I could work with.

    The suggestion of the SWR Black Beauty is a good idea I have thought of in the past. You'll get the headroom, and if needed, the ability to power an extension if needed.
  8. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I played a bar recently and I borrowed some guys trace elliot solid state 150w 1x15 and it was just about load enough. This wasn't a comando amnp it was one of the higher end ones.

    I currently use an ashdown see sig for model and its 160 watts into a 10" speaker. I use this to practice with a loud drummer and a guitarist who has a 150w solid state marshall and it manages fine with both input and out volume at about half way.

    I'd say get a decent portable combo some where around 150w and then get and extension cab that will double this power.

    That way small gigs u won't fill a room with just your rig and you have less to carry and larger gigs you have an extra option to really boost your sound.

    If you buy a high end extension cab you can get a bit more volume due to the high efficiency of these cabs.

    When I was shopping around for an amp some guy nearly talked me into a svt and an 8x10 but I now see that with gigs and practices that are upstairs and require traveling would just be impossible. I'd have to buy a new car just for the amp and I would be far to loud to play with anyone in a local band round here.

    Hope this helps
  9. I would personally just use a single 4x10 and then an amp of around 200-300watts. That should be more than enough for all applications...I use a 200 watt all valve trace elliot head and either a peavey or trace elliot 4x10, ive never had any problems...
  10. I use a a yorkville xm200 - ~200w, 15in speaker and a horn. It's plenty of power, and I rarely go over 4 or 5 on the volume. If we play a bigger room, I run a direct out to the pa. basicallys it gives me all the stage volume i need and is easy to transport.

    playing mostly classic rock and blues - 2 guitars and drums. we're all in the >=40 demographic, so everyone plays at (what I'd call) a reasonable volume.

    'Are you sufficiently prepared to rock and roll' - Seymour Skinner
  11. One can make plenty of noise in a typical bar with just a 2x10.

    The key is keeping the total noise level down to where the patrons can talk without cupping the other's ear, then screaming into that ear. Remember, folks go to bars to get laid... communication is integral to this process...


    One way is lifting each cab high enough to where the speaker is directly in-line with the player's ears. This technique is especially useful with guitar players and other food animals that insist on playing too loud. They are the first to have their ears ripped out, so they might be more inclined to turn down. There is a huge difference in beaming intensity from a cab at ear level vs one at calf level.
  12. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I would have to say it depends upon the bar itself. Last month we played at a bar that had a low ceiling and a tile floor. My SWR studio 220 and my SWR Bass Monitor 12 was more than enough because the room was really boomy. Last night I played at a marina bar on the Delta and my Mesa Powerhouse 2X10 and the Studio 220 gave me all of the tone and rumble I needed. Most of the time my Eden 410 is too big for the "stage" areas of most of the bars we play, and I have yet to find a bar gig that warrants my Goliath Senior.
  13. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    At small-medium bars I bring an Eden 800 and an eden 410.
    At any large gig I bring either the 800 or a pre/power setup and run 2-410's and 2-15's. That's overkill in my opinion.

    I've also done bar gigs with a 210 peavey amp which worked just fine.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    My minimum gig rig has been 2x10/2x10 or 2x10/1x15, with at least 300 watts of power (lately it's a lot more watts simply because I've switched to a lightweight high-power amp). Sometimes I use a 6x10 cabinet. I never receive PA assist.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    My WT-800 bridged into one D-410XLT seems just about right.
  16. the fender bassman 400 combo would do the job, it sounds awesome... i miss mine :(
  17. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I use a 2x12 which has served me well in every bar gig I've played in the last couple of years. I've also used it in a few larger venues with no issues as long as there is a bit of PA support.

    I should have mentioned that I use a Carvin 600 watt power amp bridged to 4 ohms with a Sans Amp RBI. It's been a pretty clean and reliable rig.
  18. For many many years I used a Hartke 4.5XL and a 250 watt amp. I used it in just about every bar in WV. Now I use a pr of Bergi Ht/EX112's and 1000 watts. Plenty of volume, great tone with less bulk and weight.
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Depending on the venue............................

    Small/Medium bar/club: Hartke 3000[300w]/1-Fender 1x15 cab

    Large/Indoor/Outdoor: Hartke 5500[500w]/1-Avatar 2x10/1-Avatar 1x15
  20. not necessarily obnoxious, but most likely overkill.

    do you really NEED that for your tone? i mean, you're playing to drunk people.