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Help Choosing Gigging Equipment!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by franky694, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. franky694


    Dec 19, 2005
    Hey there,

    Im not a bass player but im still interested in what kind of equipment my bass player would need. I looked at the stickies about amps and searched the forums and saw a couple good answers to my questions but it wasnt specific enough.

    I was wondering what kind of equipment would i need for small to large gigs and that is within a reasonable price.

    I guess you can stick us under the alt/indie rock category. We dont really get heavy but we do go all over the rock spectrum.

    Our band has 2 guitarist(1 being me) and sorta loud drummer.

    I use my Fender HotRod Deville(410) 60 watts tube
    and we also use a Fender FM 212 SS 100watts but plan on upgrading to a fender deville as well.

    I was thinking of a bass amp pushing somewere around 350 watts and config of 115 or 410..

    Our band relies on the bassist to carry the songs so i imagine it has to be kinda loud.

    Well thanks in advance guys...
  2. 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
    Under the circumstances you describe, and assuming that you play fairly loud, he's going to need AT LEAST 800 watts with a 410 cab that can handle it. A 610 cab would be better. I'm definitely not kidding, and I can spell "definitely," so I know what I'm talking about.
  3. playmybass


    Mar 28, 2004
    Tucson, Az
    Dang, I use 800 watts through a 6x10 competeing against two 100 watt all tube half stacks in a really loud metal band, and none of my levels go past half and Im heard quite alright.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    800 watts? Jeez, how loud do you need to be? I guess Munji is trying to go deaf or sterile ;)

    350 watts should be plenty as long as you all aren't insanely loud. Tons of rock bands use single Ampeg SVT amps and speaker cabs and don't seem to have a problem competing with guitarists and drums.

    As for speakers, probably a 4 x 10" would be best for rock, though it's mostly a personal decision for the bassist.
  5. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    In one of my bands, one of the guitarists also has a HRD, and I find them really loud. I have an Aguilar 750 through an Accugroove Whappo, Jr., and it is loud enough to keep up.
  6. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    IME, people who respond like this are most likely guitarists turned bassists, cause its NOT ABOUT VOLUME. its about HEADROOM TO MOVE LOW FREQ'S PROPERLY, especially in a loud context. do a search, cause we've gone this over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over ...

    still, 10" speakers are a must, for the most cut and slam. i see guitar players all thinking 15" speakers are where its at, but that's why they're guitar players... :rollno:

    and jimmy,

    IME, 300 watts SVT = 600 watts SS. tube watts are NOT SS watts, which is what MJ is referring.
  7. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    It is really up to your bassists taste.

    My recommendation (on a budget, boom for the buck, not neccessarily the most refined bass equipment) would be:

    Kustom GrooveBass head
    2 Avatar 2x12 cabs.

    I dont think a 1x15 or 4x10 will cut it in a live situation.
  8. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    A price range would be most helpful for giving appropriate recommendations.
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
  10. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    Franky, what does your bassist want to use? Hopefully you asked him / her for their opinion, especially if they are paying for it. ::cough, cough::

    It's cool that you're interested in the bassist's gear. From your post you seem to realize that the more power bigger cab thing is for sound, not competition. For bass it's all about pushing air.

    If your bassist is using a Peavey 50 watt 112, I'm sure he won't mind if the band kicks in and gets him a Ampeg SVT classic head with a nice 810 cab. :D :D
  11. Will you be playing with adequate PA support? If so then the amplifier is primarily an on stage monitor to hear the bass. The PA will be doing the work for the audience. Of course others would argue that you can only rock if there is a wall of speakers behind you...

    As far as speaker type, the guy playing will have to decide. You can find someone here that will say you should use either 10s (or 12s, or 15s) and that all the others suck. There is no hard and fast rule. Some prefer one or the other, others prefer a mixture. And that is without even considering the manufacturer of the cabs/speakers!

    The main thing, which you already seem to recognize, is that bass generally needs A LOT more power than guitar.

    I think I read somewhere around here, buy as much power as you can afford.
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Watts is watts. The only difference is that once you get past the clean power, tube watts break up in a much smoother way than solid state watts, thus giving you the illusion of tube watts being more than SS watts.
  13. Bassstud1

    Bassstud1 Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    LaPorte Indiana USA
    Jimmy ... Put down the crack pipe and walk away... Really I don't understand Solid State Vs. Tube Wattage. But if you crank up a 300 watt tube amp it will take at least 800 Solid State watts to compare.
  14. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    Are we arguing symantics?

    Can we agree on these following statements?

    SS Watts Equal Tube Watts

    SS Volume Does Not Equal Tube Volume

    I've never played an all-tube amp...so I can't back this up....but this is what I've heard time and time again here on these forums...I could always be very wrong.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Gee, I don't know whether to tell you off myself or report you to a mod. Maybe I'll do both.

    For your info, I have been playing professionally for 30 years, for the last 8 doing very high profile gigs at arenas. I have owned two SVT's, plus an SVT 3 Pro and a SWR SM-500. I have played just about every amp on the market at one point and time. By now, I think I would know a little something about equipment. So you can take that crack pipe you think I'm smoking and shove it up your butt.
  16. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    Alright, come on guys, lets be civil here.

    The guy is just asking for simple advice...no need to go fisticuffs.

    Lets just wait and see how he responds to what everyone has said so far before we start shedding blood.

    But kudos....you guys are really giving it your all to look out for this guys best interests.
  17. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Note to self
    Must stay out of SS verses Tube discussions
    Must stay out.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Like I've said all along...people are nice to me, I'm nice to them. People are rude to me, I'll shoot back with both barrels. Simple as that.
  19. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    nice try, but people don't even agree that SS watts = SS watts, good luck trying to convince them that tube watts = SS watts,

    JimmyM try reading all the power amp comparisons in this forum... and thats not even touching tube watts yet.


    personally i use the rig in my sig (1200watts) to comfortably compete with my guitarist's peavey classic 50. (50 tube watt combo)
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No offense, but the day I need average people on Talkbass to inform me about musical equipment is the day you can put a bullet through my head. Put an amp manufacturer on here to inform me and I'll listen. Otherwise it's all opinion, including mine.