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Big Decision

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bigmanb, Apr 29, 2001.

  1. My band is starting to get a lot of offers for gigs, and i want to invest wisely in an amp. We are gonna play some small clubs and bars, and i was wondering if a 100 watt amp would be strong enough, or if i should wait and save up for a big 500 watt. I dont want to go out and buy the 100 and realize later that it was a bad investment and have to go and buy something bigger after spending all that money on the first.
  2. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    IMO if you buy the 100 watt amp now you're going to want the 500 watt amp later on. So if I were you I'd save up the money and get the big amp. If the places you play have good PA support you could probably get away with a 100 watt amp, but most small clubs don't have good PA's. You can probably see where I'm going.
  3. ..And you can always turn down if the 500Watter is too powerful (and don't :rolleyes: hehehe)

    And if you want to progress to larger venues then you're well equipped...

  4. tube or solid-state?

    if tube, 100w would be ample; however you'd really need around 400w of solid-state power to match.

    so it also kinda depends on the sound you're after, etc.

    and yes, you can always turn down! :)
  5. RockFiend


    Aug 23, 2000
    100 watts of SS power will not suffice you, i find with a 200 watt@8 ohm, 350@4ohm Ampeg combo that I'm still pushing my amp way too hard, i'm no moving into a monstrous 300 watt tube amp :),,, anyways I would say that a 350@4ohm SS with sufficient speakers, like a 2x10 and 1x15 will push enough air to be loud enough, but you can find 400 watt SS heads for not tooo much, the Fender Bassman series and Yorkvilles should be loud enough for a fair price,,, but if you are talking about tube amps, then 100 watts of tubes packs alot more punch than 100 watts of SS, like was said above, it can be almost 400 watts of SS power. good luck with your decision, I say, you might as well save up noiw and buy something you'll be proud to own when your retiring,, I would rather have an amazing setup from the time I'm 17 until I'm 77, then get 40 different rigs in that time.
  6. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    100W = Not Enough...

    If you're strapped for cash and looking for high power, don't neglect Carvin equipment... An RC210 2X10 combo will deliver 600W bridged, full range into a 4 ohm load, or 250W/250W bi-amped. Plenty of oomph and only $769...

    I've gigged with this amp for 2 1/2 years with no complaints, have used it in every conceivable configuration, and it has performed admirably every time...

  7. jvtwin

    jvtwin What it needs is a little more cowbell

    Jan 26, 2001
    LA Calif.
    I would rather have an amazing setup from the time I'm 17 until I'm 77, then get 40 different rigs in that time. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Whats amazing today is substandard tomorrow.....

    with rare exceptions!
  8. ...but then there's the enjoyment of owning and playing through a number of different rigs. I'm kinda glad, even though i've go through a bit of $$ over the years, that i've upgraded, downgraded and crossgraded my gear to find "my" sound.

    my 2c, i'll shut up now :D
  9. Thanks. Is there much difference between the quality of tube amps and solid-state? Ive never heard of either (im just starting and thought an amp was an amp). Does one have better quality in sound? And how about cost?
  10. 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
    Man, how many times do I have to tell you folks? 300 MINIMUM! 500 even better. Get a hybrid (tube pre-amp, solid-state power amp). Less maintenance, greater reliability. Eden, for example.
  11. jvtwin

    jvtwin What it needs is a little more cowbell

    Jan 26, 2001
    LA Calif.

    I know this question will open the proverbial can of worms but, yes there are differences between tube and SS and even hybrid amps. If your just starting out, you really do need to find someone you trust that has some kinda of knowledge of bass equipment to go out with and check out equipment in your price range and see (and hear) what you like. Yes, you will get bombarded with opinions of whats good and whats crap but keep in mind your just starting out and theres some great beginner to mid-range equipment out there (Carvin comes to mind) that won't break you and serve you well for your formative years as a bass player.

    Experience and time will dictate what will be the best gear for you in the long run. Only then, IMHO would I spend big bucks on a killer rig!

    Hate to see someone drop big dollars on equipment when just starting out to find out later, they wanted to be a drummer instead! :eek:
  12. Well, ive been playing for a year and a half now and i love it, im not going to change to some other instrument. And I've been playing with my band for a year now, but we are having our second gig in a week. I dont know what took us so long to finally get one, i guess we were just perfecting our skill. But we have gotten tons of offers after our first performance and we decided we needed to get moving. We have our little 15 watts and a PA for practice, but dont have any big equipment.
  13. jvtwin

    jvtwin What it needs is a little more cowbell

    Jan 26, 2001
    LA Calif.
    bigmanb- what have you look at that interest you and what kinda budget are we looking at? What kind of music do you play? Have you listen to tube vs SS? How much gear do you want move around? Go ahead and give some details and I think between all the folks here at TB, we would be more then happy to steer you in the (hopefully) right direction. :D
  14. I'm in a hard rock band, but i want a clear sound because i like to bust out the funk if you know what i mean. I play with my fingers, not a pick, and probably would enjoy a deep, clear, loud sound. I have never heard the difference between SS and tube. I dont care about how much gear ill have to move around cause i have a truck. Money wont be a problem until i get some more insight into amps. Thanks
  15. Tube vs. Solid-State is a nasty war, but here's some (basic) differences. Yes, there are exceptions to every case, please don't flame me! :D

    - big & heavy (2 x big transformers doesn't help!)
    - warm sound, with nice natural compression
    - the sound is generally not as defined; slightly "fuzzy" to some
    - a smoother, more pleasant distortion when you push it (nice feedback too)
    - louder than Solid-State (more a perceived loudness due to how tube amps work) for less wattage (eg. a 100w tube amp would keep up with or kill a 400w SS amp)
    - tube maintenance can be costly, depending on how hard and often you play
    - reliable, but more things to go wrong than an SS amp
    - used tube amps are relatively cheap (factor on spending $$ on a service), new tube amps are not (SVT-CL/SVT-2 anyone?)

    - lighter weight
    - less percieved volume for similar wattage to a tube amp
    - a cleaner, more sterile sound
    - feedback is harder to achieve & control (no, not a biggie!)
    - distortion, whether at the preamp or poweramp section, just don't sound that nice
    - super-reliable
    - low/no on-going costs
    - cheaper

    Hybrid (generally Tube preamp, SS poweramp):
    - typically much like most SS amps, although with a tube preamp they have a lot more warmth and tonal possibilities
    - generally a touch pricy (Eden, SWR, Aguilar come to mind)

    I'd go for something solid-state to begin with...try out as many rigs as you can of all different types, brands, sizes to get a feel for each...find *your* sound through time and experience and the amp needed to do the job in the end will become apparent.

    I wouldn't spend big and buy massive until you've got an idea of where you wanna go and how you wanna sound - the stadium-sized Eden rig you might drool over may not give you the sound you're after right now; or you may tire of the sound too soon...

  16. jvtwin

    jvtwin What it needs is a little more cowbell

    Jan 26, 2001
    LA Calif.
    I'm gonna agree with nil - don't spend huge bucks until you know what you really want and need.

    My personal choice for a nice starter SS rig with a lot of bang for the buck would be Carvin. If its a combo your looking for, the 600 watt cyclops will get you through most small and intermediate size gigs. Or you could go with the serparate amp and cab. I'm pretty sure they're a hybrid amp - ss/tube setup (Rickbass1?) I've played the 600 w amp and their 210 - 118 cabs and was impressed! And for about $250.00 more you could upgrade to the 1000 w amp. For just about $1100.00, it would be a hellava rig and would get you through just about anything.

    SWR has some great amps and cabs as well, but you'll pay more for it. (Amost double)

    Eden also has some great stuff as well - about the same bucks as SWR.

    I know some other good ones out there. These ones I've played through and liked. Anybody?

    Good luck :D

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