Buying my first bass amp for gigging.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JayBoog, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. JayBoog


    Jan 19, 2012
    Yeah I am.

    So I will probably be going for the firebass (but not ruling out the nitrobass) and just wanted to be sure on one thing:

    >If the head is powerful than the cab, just keep it turned down. And will I know immediately if it's too loud?
  2. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    Waste of money alert. I wouldn't get a 4 ohm 210. My experience with 210s is the fart out long before the amp does, so getting a 4 ohm version only guarantees you more power to it. Try to get a 8 ohm 210, 410, 115, etc. If you get a 4 ohm cab it needs to be one that won't ever need reinforcement from another cab - a 215 or an 810, maybe.

    The whole point of going away from a combo and to amp/cab(s) is flexibility - cab1 or cab2 or BOTH. A 4 ohm cab with a 4 ohm stable amp means if that cab is plugged in, nothing else can be.
  3. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    This is a good idea. Get a couple of matching 2 x 10 cabs then you can take one or both as needed and cover your 4 x 10 territory well.
    A bass player buddy of mine uses two Acme 2x10 "B" cabs with a Carvin BX1200 head. That rig sounds incredible and covers anything he's ever needed... more than well.
  4. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    I forgot to add, the main reason people are saying "get matching cabs" that your amp will split it's output evenly among the cabs. So if you have two 210 cabs, each cab is getting the same amount of signal, and each speaker is getting the same amount of signal. If you have a 210 and a 410 tho, each cab still gets the same but now the 410 speakers - because there are twice as many - each get half of what the 210 is getting, so you will possibly damage your 210 trying to get deliverable volume out of the 410.

    There's other reasons too, search "match cabs" to see, but generally it is advisable.
  5. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    farting noises and distortion you didn't have at lower volumes would be strong warning signs.
  6. JayBoog


    Jan 19, 2012
    It's something I did not know. I'll look into it.Thanks very much. Before i go looking (on my phone now, and it's awkward to surf) can you just tell me one thing (yes or no answer will do me): do some ''odd'' cabs match better with each other than others? And I'm not seeing many 210s, a few 115 though. Thanks again everbody.
  7. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Getting older has it's downsides, but one of the great upsides is that I rarely have to deal with bad musicians anymore. By their mid-30's most guitarists have this pretty well figured out.

    On topic: 300 watts and a 2x12 or a 4x10 should do you quite well. My bassist (I'm often a drummer) plays a 90's era Ampeg B3-158 combo. It's biamped, 100 watts to a 15", 50 watts to an 8" and has a DI. It's pretty awesome. Effectively used, 200 watts and a 2x10 can be enough, but if you can get more, why not?

    You should have enough sound pressure level to keep up with the drummer when he's unmic'd. In a good band, the drummer and guitarist have enough control of their equipment and egos that 300 watts and a 2x12 or 4x10 will always be enough. If there's more volume needed there will be a big PA with mic'd drums and guitar, bass DI'd. When the band can maintain a good stage balance the volume scales up pretty effortlessly.


  8. Zoa


    Dec 28, 2009
    Yes, but it's kinda a crapshoot. You won't really know until you try.
  9. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    This is true. But most Peavey amps are 2 ohm stable. Including the Nitrobass and Firebass
  10. Baron Von Vik

    Baron Von Vik

    Jun 11, 2010
    Somewhere in Arizona
    Mojo FunkBasses
    I say go with a head/cab combo; and personally I would try to get the most bang for my buck- meaning most power output into the biggest, thickest cab that you can afford. If you're going to play loud music, you need a system that can PROJECT your insidious wavelengths throughout the venue. And, as has been pointed out, you can always turn down.

    On another note, you were wondering if you could play your guitar through the bass amp?

    The answer is yes, the sound produced by your guitar will be amplified by your bass amp. And the sound will be compared to poo by many. Run the guitar through a system tailored to guitar freqs and you'll be happy.

    Good luck, tell us how the gig went!
  11. That 4x10 2x10 and amp deal seemed pretty decent. I'm not a fan of 4x10 6x10 etc cabs due to their shabby distribution of highs. And the old ones weigh too much. You can't deny the bang for buck though.

    Regarding loudness, imho if you can't get loud enough with 4x10 the band is too loud. Adding the 4 ohm 2x10 won't make it very much louder.
  12. Stacks are nice because it gives you the oportunity to change just the cab or head if you want to make changes. My only thing I'd say if you go with a combo, one with the option of running an extension cab is a big plus. For years I used an SWR Silverado Special, sometimes with an additional 210 cab, a 212 cab, or a 118 cab.
  13. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    Another reason I like Talkbass. I learn stuff. Thanks dog1, I thought most SS heads were 4 ohm stable, I didn't know Peavey went down to 2 ohms.
  14. JayBoog


    Jan 19, 2012
    I just asked asked if the amp (peavey firebass) came with a speaker cable and he said no, and that he's used a standard lead and that works fine. I presume he means a regular instrument cable that connects the bass to the amp. If i get speaker cable will i be fine , or is there some unseen/unheard damage in the amp?
  15. Baron Von Vik

    Baron Von Vik

    Jun 11, 2010
    Somewhere in Arizona
    Mojo FunkBasses
    If you're delivering power to your speakers, it would behoove you to use a suitable cable to deliver it. I use these:

    Monster Performer 500 Speaker Cable, 6 Foot
  16. Speakon cables are best, but not all amps/cabs have such connectors.
  17. 4StringShooter

    4StringShooter Inactive

    Jun 26, 2011
    London, Ontario, Canada
    GBX Member #1
    I've heard an EIGHTEEN watt "boutique " amp (like a Z) that'll blow your head OFF. I kept up quite well using an SVT CL and a Yorkeville 4-10.
  18. Don't use instrument cable for speakers.
  19. Dunno, the most important unanswered question is what sort of music are you playing? some of the newish combo's are pretty sweet with a stack of grunt unless you need to be shoving a heap of air..Maybe go and see a band that is kinda like yours and see what gear the BP is using......emulation of others sucess is sometimes a good way to go...
  20. The Harte 3500 and 410xl was my first rig and it will do the trick most of the time. I have no experience with the vx series cabs, but Hartke can get you into a rig for a budget in my opinion. I have tried several different setups over e years, but my go to now is a Carvin BX1200 head and a Genz-Benz 610t XB series cab. The cab is huge and heavy, but it rocks. The amp was cheap and it is hands down the best sounding amp, for myself, that I have ever played. It can be bi-amped, bridged, 3 fx loops, KILLER DI OUT, buttloads of EQ possibilities, footswitxhable this and that, etc. of which I use almost none of, this thing just sounds great because it doesn't color the tone of my bass. It can, if you are big into tweaking EQ, but I like the tone of my bass and this amp ( discontinued) lets it shine. I am planning on getting the newer little brother to this amp, the BX500 very soon to lighten the load somewhat. I wouldn't be to quick to overlook Carvin for new or used if its accessible to you.
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