Combo amp ... how much power do i need ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by NJXT, Jan 9, 2001.

  1. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    (First of all, I already apologize for my english ;)
    I am going to buy a combo amp to use in rehearsal and little gigs (club, cafés ...).
    Of course, i haven't got much money, and I'm wondering what's the minimum power I need. I play rock in a trio (drums, guitar, bass), which plays not loud as metal but sometimes ... hum ... powerfully (?). So 150W ? 200W ? 250W ? 300W ?
    What do i need ?
    I tried Warwick Sweet 15, Warwick CCL, SWR Workingman's 15 and plan to try some Hugues & Kettner (XL 200 and XXL 300) and some Ampegs'.
    Other question : what's best : 1x15" ou 2x10" ?
    PS : i play with fingers and slap (25%), on a 5 strings (BEADG) Bass Collection (SB465) with Bartolini pickups.
  2. basspla915


    Mar 28, 2000
    Bangor, Maine
    Hey NJ,

    I have tried several combo amps over the years and the best one that I have used is the Gallien Kreuger 700RB 2x10. 270 watts at 8 ohms and 350 watts at 4 ohms (with extension cab) This will more than take care of your needs. In a power trio, guitar, bass, drums, you will want to be able to cut through the mix. A smaller amp, 100 - 150 watts, may work if you are going through the PA and using your amp for stage monitor, but that will also depend upon the size of the club and your guitarist. Another rule of thumb is to have 3 times the power of your guitarist's rig. So, if he is running an amp with 75 to 100 watts, you need 200-300 watts.
    Hope this helps.

  3. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    Thx for the advice.
    Never listened to a Gallien Krueger but i'll try.
    Is 10 speakers enough for a good B string sound ?
    Anyway, many thx for the "guitarist's watts rule" ;)
  4. I´ve played through a SWR and an Ampeg 4x10 and they both give the B a good sound.. and probably most other 10's do... :) at least they should if they´re marked for bass... :)
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    My combo is a 240W 2x10", and I haven't had any problems with either volume or the low B. 2 10"'s are tighter than 1 15", but the 15" inch speaker will give somewhat fuller and bassier sound. I prefer 10"'s, but the best is of course to combine both 10"'s and 15"'s.
  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    And BTW, you write better English than many native Brits and Americans do. :)
  7. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    The_Bass : thx for the advice
    Oysterman : thx for the advice too and the compliments on my English (you should here me speak it, though ... ;) )

    In fact, I liked the SWR, and REALLY loved the Warwick CCL, which has 1x15" and a mutable tweeter (Horn) but I was worried about the power : is 250W enough for rehearse and small gigs ?

    Currently, I'am rehearsing in a rented rehearsal studio, on a 300W "I-forgot-the-brand" preamp with a 4x10" cabinet, played 10 hours by a bunch of rather different bassists . One of the 10" speakers is dead, the preamp is ... hum ... tired. So I'm fed up with rehearsing on a crapy gear, fed up with playing gigs on rented combos or in DI. I want MY amp (and consequently MY never changing sound).
    The choice is tricky ... when you're not rich ;)

    PS : I've just discovered the site and the forums ... man, they RULE !
  8. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
  9. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    In my opinion (and several others, too), the Gorm combos are among the best combos ever made. The Drome is absolutely stunning as well - you can't believe that so much sound comes out of that little box... and the sound it gives is great! I am an EBS-man, but their stuff is a bit pricey, leaving me with my old EBS Taurus (Gorm's predecessor, and almost as good I must say).
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Once I get off of here, I'm going downstairs to warm up for tonight's job using a combo I bought for practice. It's a Carvin Cyclops, 1-15", 2-8"s, 1 horn, w/250W per @ 4 ohms, biamped, 600W bridged @ 4 ohms. Afterwards, I will come back upstairs and pick up whatever has fallen off shelves, tables, etc., as I always do.

    It was intended as a practice amp but it turned out to be more of a beast than I expected. Hence, it now goes to small club gigs. The Carvin RC210, (2X10" + horn in a tiltback cab), has the same head, is more portable, and received very good ratings in the Jan. Bass Player.

    You mention money is a consideration, and neither of these are over $900.

    I've tried the SWR, Ampeg and EBS mentioned before and you can't go wrong with those either.
  11. LeMonJello420

    LeMonJello420 Guest

    Jan 9, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    Well, after playing on the road, I found the Yorkville BM400 combo to be excellent in both sound and reliability. I've used it for 6 years an average of 4 nights a week and I NEVER had a problem with it. It has a 15" and a tweeter and is 300 watts in 8 ohms and 400 watts into 4. It is very loud for such a compact combo. It may not be as Hi Fi as say an SWR but it is nowhere near the price either. It also comes with a killer 2 year, even if you break it warranty.