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High power, how do you do it?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by fdeck, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Some of the most recent threads mention fairly powerful amps -- 200 Watts and even 500 Watts. Yet I find that the 100 Watts of my GK combo is more than enough to drive my bass into feedback, even with a magnetic pickup.

    How do you guys make use of the more powerful amps? To put it another way, how far away does your amp have to be when you are playing in "loud" situations? Any other tricks? There are situations where I would not mind being louder, such as when backing up a big-band, but I see no point in getting a more powerful amp if I can't use the power that I've got.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    More power = More headroom. You will find that your bass feeds back less when you have more power. You don't play louder, you just use less power. It is simple.
  3. That's right. Feedback largely comes from having the gain too high to compensate for not having enough power. The other aspect of having lots of power is that power = tone. Generally speaking, an 800watt power amp is going to provide better tone than 100watts. Feedback also dictates proper amp placement and good muting technique, but cranking the volume knob while keeping the gain knob low will solve most of your problems.
  4. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Also, feedback occurs at particular frequencies, so if you use a parametric equalizer, you can find the frequency and cut its volume. That's what notch filters do too.
  5. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Agreed. One of the bands that I double in gets very loud (I use a full rack rig, with 3,000 watts), and I can get incredibly loud through my Kay upright once I have used a parametric EQ to dial out the worst feedback frequency. My Barberra pickup also appears to be fairly resistant to feedback, which I am sure helps.

    Even so, I take care not to face my amp for more than a brief second.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Thanks for the many useful insights.