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Help! I don't want to make the same mistake again!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Thunderbird91, Apr 28, 2006.


  1. OK I started playing bass in like october last year when I got my first bass. I rushed to get an amp and ended up with a weak GK backline halfstack. ITs only 125 watts but to me that was more than enough since I didn't plan to be in a band anytime soon. But.. I'm in a band now and my amp has to be replaced. It is embarrassing. I want to get enough watts but I really don't want it to be too exspensive because I will have to save up for a while. I'm going to buy an Avater 410 Neo soon and then I'm going to replace my head. Would 300 watts be enough for small to moderatly sized clubs? I would end up with whatever head (right now looking at an Ashdown MAG 300H) and a 410/115 half stack (both Avatar Neo's) would this be a giggable rig? would this be a good rig at all?
     
  2. 300 watts is going to give you just over 3db more than the 125 watt head (into the same speaker cab)

    - Will
     
  3. Really??? :confused:

    Explain. :help:
     
  4. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Memphis
    Power ie: wattage is NON linear ... websters definition #3 of linear

    "3 : having or being a response or output that is directly proportional to the input"

    Therefore given the SAME cabinet configuration to double the wattage only yields slightly more db ... around 3.

    The real factor is changing the cabinet to get the most from the wattage signal that you put in ... decibel wise

    If you read some of the post on the forum about what bassest use from "back in the day" ... you will find that 300 watts was the norm for what was considered a BIG rig with pleny of power ... but then again we used a lot of 2x15 cabs back then.
     
  5. Thunder Lizard

    Thunder Lizard

    Dec 7, 2005
    Lethbridge, AB
    Canadian Distributor, Basson Sound Equipment
    Assuming, of course, that the input stages and initial gains are nearly identical, the amplifiers exhibit similar characteristics, and that you were exceeding 100 decibels at volume, I believe this post refers that it takes an average of 2X the power to achieve an extra 3 decibels after you pass the 100 decibel mark. This is a rule often applied when calculating the output requirements of a sound system.... usually, in regards to power amplifiers.
    In this application, the simplified version of this rule might not be quite as applicable, since you aren't just changing the power amp stage, you're essentially changing everything about the rig. If the input stage is 3 db hotter, the preamp section is 1 db hotter, and the overall new amplifier is 20% more efficient, the output could be significantly different. Plus, 3db of gain, once you pass that 100db mark, CAN be percieved as a significant increase.
    It's not that you're going to have to go to 1000W to get the mathematically presupposed 9 db of gain (mathematicially... it works like this: 125w to 250 w is +3db, then to 500 is another +3, then to 1000w to go another +3)....... it depends on the circuits involved in a big way. A VERY efficient 125 watts versus a terribly INefficient 1000 W amp might not net you the expected increases, and moving from 125 w of inefficient circuit to 1000W of very efficient circuit might net you more than you expected.
    Because you're changing the entire head, not just the output power amplifier section, the only real world way to know what will happen for sure is to try it. However, moving to more than twice as much power is a reasonable first step, I think, especially in the ranges you are discussing.
    Can you TRY the new head? I know some of our local stores will let you 'test drive' a new head with a small deposit and your personal information.......that's really the only way to know if the change will be "enough".
     
  6. I know that wattage isn't linear, but I thought that from 125w to 300w there would be more than a 3dB bump!
     
  7. Well mr pernickity, even so, he isnt going to get much noticable difference out of the head, being that it will more than likely be a SS amp he's getting its doubious he'll run it anywhere near the rated output, as unless his bass playing is perfectly constant the transients and peaks are going to clip the amp

    Either way i stand by saying i doubt he'll get much more volume
     
  8. The 3dB rules of thumb i was using was that doubling the 125 watts to 250 watts would give about 3dB more, i said a little over 3dB to take into account the extra 50 watts and the different values used by different manufacturers
     
  9. This turned into a big arguement. Can anyone answer my questions? Would this be a good rig? Would the 300 watt head / 1x15/4x10 avatar neo be giggable for small-medium sized clubs?
     
  10. I think the 1x15 / 4x10 rig would be over kill for your needs, especially if you only have a 300 watt head. The 4x10 alone can handle 1200 watts IIRC. Don't buy the 1x15 and put that money towards a more powerful head.
     
  11. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Yes, most likely.
     
  12. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Memphis
    Were is the argument? ... buy your rig. Nobody has enuff information to KNOW if it will work for you. What kind of music, how loud, and clubs at 14? I for one made a simple statement and gave you a place to look so you might do some research for yourself. You seem to know what you want ...
     
  13. Lol, I just saw that he is 14. Maybe he is playing at parties and outdoor stuff and refers to them as "clubs".
     
  14. 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
    Look, you want an Eden WT-550. That way, you won't be buying another amp for a long time. Forget about a Korean Ashdown, forget GK. That Eden head will drive your cabs just fine, and you'll have a rig that will suit your needs for many years.

    BTW, those who say it takes double the power to increase volume 3 dB are correct. The other factors that they talk about are pretty much inconsequential in that relationship.
     
  15. :hyper:

    *requests high five* ?
     
  16. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I agree that a 410/115 half stack is way more than you will need anytime soon. And the Avatar 410 Neo is reputed to be an excellent standalone cabinet - voiced deep, able to handle up to 1200 watts of power. You won't need anything else. Be sure to get one rated at 4 ohms...

    I also agree that you should get a quality head with as much power as you can afford - the headroom will alwayscome in handy. Eden heads are excellent - but there are many other choices that may be more within budget for you...

    A lot of cats here love the Kustom Groove Bass 1200:

    http://www.kustom.com/amps/bass/groovebass/grooveheadcase.asp
    http://www.bassplayer.com/story.asp?sectioncode=13&storycode=8991

    At a 4-ohm load, it delivers 750 watts RMS - as opposed to 500 watts for the Eden. And at about $600, it's almost half the price of the Eden too...

    MM
     
  17. 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
    You got it.
     
  18. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Not knowing where you're playing or other stuff, my best guess is to just use a 410 and the highest powered head that you can afford.

    Marshall
     
  19. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Since I'm old enough to be your dad, I get to be paternalistic. Tinnitus is cumulative, permanent, and really sucks. If your band mates are playing loud enough in rehearsal to overwhelm your existing amp, then they are robbing you of your hearing.

    One possibility is that the 410 neo, if it is capable of handling real power, will be plenty loud when driven by the GK head. Then you can wait and decide if you really need more amp power. I know it seems like a long way into the future, but the less gear you buy before you hit the Great College Downsize, the more money remains in your pocket.
     
  20. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    Columbus,Ohio
    This assumes that everything is equal and constant.
    They are not. Just too many variables involved.
    For example 300watts S.S. compaired to 300watts tube is not equal.
    Last Wendsday I sat in a music store and with the same bass and cabinet played through a 450 watt S.S. head and a old fashion 300 watt tube head.
    Logic would dictate that 450 watts would kick butt.

    The 300 watt head made the 450 watt head sound like a cheap tinny transistor radio.Pure garbage!
    Don't go by the numbers.

    Try before you buy and by all means compair.
     

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