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First Bass Rig - Need Some Help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by koljou, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. koljou


    Jan 10, 2017
    Hey y'all. I hate to be that guy who just rolls through and asks for free help, but I'm setting up my first rig and everything is a bit overwhelming. I was just playing with a small combo amp before.

    I picked up a 4x10 Peavey cab locally. It's beefy and heavy, but the price was right and I was in the market. Picking out a head has been pretty tough though. The speakers in the cab are 8 ohms, and it seems like every head takes a sizable cut in the wattage when you go from 4 to 8 ohms. What heads should I go for to get the most out of this cab? There's a Peavey Firebass 700 that I have my eye on, but would it be ridiculous to run it at 8 ohms and drop it down to 225 watts? I don't really understand how this all works.

    Suggestions would be awesome. I'm cool with buying new or used somewhere in the $200-350 range.

    Thanks in advance. Sorry for cluttering the board.
  2. himluis1


    Sep 28, 2012
    how many watts can the cab handle ?
    whats your budget ?

    depending on all that , my personal experience will tell you to go with any of the fender rumble heads either the 200w or 500w
    the 200 will give u 140 @8ohms the 500 will give you 350@8ohms ...
    also the tc electronic bh250 or the bh550
    all of them between $300 and $500 ... other options that i haven't personally used but have good reviews are ... aguilar tone hammer (350 or 500 version) ampeg pf , peavey mini max ...
    dont worry so much about maximizing the ohms on the amp , as having 1 8ohm cab will give u freedom to add a 2nd later on ... may be a 1x15 or another 4x10 depending on the gig ... hope ot helps !!!
  3. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Many options as stated. No worries using a single 8 ohm cab, I do that often. I use a 200 watt amp and it does pretty well. Gallien Krueger makes a MB500 that would be a good match, weighs a few pounds. Fender Rumble heads are good as well. Hartke, Ampeg, Aguilar, Peavey... just lots to choose from.

    It's hard to go wrong with most modern D class amps.
  4. koljou


    Jan 10, 2017
    Thanks for the reply! The cab can handle 700 watts, but 350 watts RMS. I've actually been looking at the Rumble 500 - aesthetically they look great and it seems like there is a lot you can do with them tonally. The price isn't terrible either. But yeah, starting from scrath without having any working knowledge on the subject is pretty overwhelming.
  5. koljou


    Jan 10, 2017
    Very helpful, thanks so much! I was definitely worried about dropping a few hundred dollars on something and ending up with something less than I was expecting. But if a 200 watt amp does the trick, I feel confident that whatever I pick up will work out. I honestly just don't really understand what's happening electroncially (not that I really need to). I've had a friend recommend the Hartke LH500. I'm bouncing around between getting a new Hartke or Fender amp or going for a cheaper used amp. This cab I got is already a tank though, so if I can cut down weight by getting a light-weight new head I probably should.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to Talk Bass!

    Roughly where are you geographically. Answer would be different for a guy in a corn field in Arkansas than form the answers we would give someone in Romania. :D
  7. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Keep in mind the 200 watt amp I use is an 80's model Peavey Megabass, which seems to produce a lot more sound than a typical 200 watt amp to my ears. 200 watts is at the minimal side for most club rock bands, so I'd be selective there. I'm in no way saying it won't work, but you might be pushing it with a hard hitting drummer in a smaller venue.

    I'd say a 300-500 watt amp would give you some headroom, provided the cab is rated for that.

    I use a GK 410 rated at 400 watts and it does fine. Keep in mind, you need to get the cab off the ground and closer to your ears. 410s can be pretty directional and hard to hear if pointed at you ankles. Roll more mids in and more lows out with a lower rated amp and it will be difinitely more effiecient.
  8. koljou


    Jan 10, 2017
    Oh duh! I should have actually filled out the profile info... just fixed it. I'm in Oregon.

    Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely have to play around with it when everything gets set up. Planning on getting an amp in the 500 watt range. My cab is rated up to 700 watts (350 RMS), so I should be good if a 500 watt amp is outputting at 350 watts at 8 ohms, right?
    Joedog likes this.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    FYI, you don't have to match amp watts and speaker watts. An amp that puts out 200 watts at 8 ohms will do you fine.
    deathness likes this.
  10. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    One of my amps is a Carvin BX500. 500 watts at 2 or 4 ohms and 300 watts at 8 ohms. I've had mine for almost seven years and it still works great. Right now it's going for $319 + shipping. Lots of good amps available. Also it's only about 5-6 lbs.
    1stnamebassist likes this.
  11. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    It really depends on what you'd like to accomplish. 410 is IMO the smallest (conventional, excluding Barefaced, Greenboy and such) cab that can handle anything up to loud rock with a hard hitting drummer on its own. So if loud music with a hard hitting drummer is your goal you should aim for a head that is able to drive the cab to its max.
    If you play at less volume than that, you can easily get away with less power. The difference between 200W and 300W is not that big.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    A decent rule of thumb is that for a gigging amp, 250-300 watts @ 8 ohms is a safe minimum. 200 would be a bit light IMO (assuming you don't have PA support for the bass).
  13. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    Wattage doesn't necessarily equal volume. So I wouldn't worry about dropping wattage due to ohm rating. I would try to get something that puts 200 watts at least through it, but you shouldn't NEED much more than that in most small clubs. That Peavey you mentioned should have plenty of volume.
  14. Jules Meuffels

    Jules Meuffels Commercial User

    Apr 14, 2016
    The Netherlands
    Custom Shop Bass Cabinets
    500W amp would be your best buy! It sends about 300w to an 8Ω cab, which in this case is good. If you ever buy another cab (also 8Ω) to add to your rig, you'd be using the full 500Watts amp-power, which is enough for large/loud gigs. Tech made simple; if your cab is 350W rms, it means it can handle up to 350 watts without problems, more will start to overdrive or even damage (@700W) your speakers. Not a good thing if you want clean sound. If your amp is only 50W output, this amp will send a max of 30W (volume@10) to your 8Ω cab, and your 350W cab wil have an easy job of only producing does 30W. Downside is at louder gigging volumes this small amp has to work to hard, and starts to clip (bad for everything) If you hook up a big amp, say 1000W, you'd have what they call enough headroom/power, but again, the chance of damaging your 350W cab, because it cant handle that amount of power, (even at 8Ω)...this is all talk about transistor amp, tube amps is a different story.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    Josh Kneisel likes this.
  15. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    A 4x10 driven by 200w+ should be fine for the average scenario. I've done fine (surprisingly) with my 1x12 in medium volume bands.

    If you start getting into br00ts then you may want a bigger rig.
  16. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Virtually any bass amp you will find, new or used, will work fine with that cab. Almost all are compatible with loads 4 Ohms or higher. As stated above, about 3 watts through a decent 410 is loud enough for almost any gig for most players. Happy thumpin'.
  17. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    Wow you gig with 3 watts? I guess your speakers are, what, about 130dB? Lol

    I kid, I kid.
  18. koljou


    Jan 10, 2017
    You have all been super helpful - thanks so much for helping me understand how all of this works.

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