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how many watts do i need?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by crashie, Jan 12, 2004.


  1. i'm a beginner and picking a rehearsing rig for myself. we do practice in garage and drummer plays pretty loud usually.
    So here's my kind of lame question: how many watts do I need for covering that garage, and what my best pick will look and cost like?
    right now i'm playing on old (~1970) 70 Watt/16 Ohm tube amp into "custom cab" i built. its a big MDF box with a huge (almost 15") 25wt(50 max) soviet speaker and horn. of course it sucks, i tend to overload it and the tone is ****ty. ( i like when its punchy, but thats always cost alot).

    needless to say i'm on a tight budget. thanks a lot.
     
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I predict somebody will say you need at least 300 watts to play out and/or, that it should be : how many watts!! ;)
     
  3. ah, thanks.
    i found some old thread with guys saying that 300W is no enough. that does scare me! :/
     
  4. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    I suggest looking for an older GK 400RB. I've heard guys cover outdoor gigs with these amps, it should do a garage. Usually go for about $150.
     
  5. thanks. there are some on ebay <=150. if only ebay wasnt so far away :)
    and what cabs would go with it?
     
  6. zoran

    zoran

    May 10, 2002
    croatia
    Don't worry, it is enough. Also it depends about cab efficiency, too. But generally I never had volume problems with my old 225W Trace elliot head exept on big open door venues, but with a little help of PA system you will survive.
     
  7. thanks. i guess i'll always have PA on venues larger then our garage :)

    also do you know any sites where used gear can be shipped to eastern europe? i'll have trouble finding all that stuff in ukraine for sure.
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'd be careful about that - a lot of PA systems I've come across in venues are really only meant for vocals and don't handle bass that well - distortion that interferes with everything else!! :(
     
  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Crashie...I think that you need at least 300 watts:D Just kidding...really.

    Actually, I'm posting to let you know that our mains voltage in the US (same for Canada too) is 120 Vac, 60 Hz. Make sure that if you buy gear from another country, you'll be able to use it with your mains voltage, which I believe is 220 Vac, 50 Hz in Ukraine.

    I have neighbors from Ukraine. I'll ask them if there is a good shipping service to use. I once sent some equipment to Poland using Polamer and the rates were far cheaper than anyone else.
     
  10. 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
    Yeah, I used to say that. Now I say 600.
     
  11. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    The "300 watts" my ampeg svt put out was a whole lot louder than the "1400 watts" (bridged into a 4 ohm load) my power amp puts out. Power dissipation just doesnt tell the whole story about how loud you are going to be.
     
  12. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    351
     
  13. i'm aware of that problem. making some sort of convertor is much easier task then getting that amp cheap here but people say it wont work good with hi quality sound stuff. will look more into it.
    and please do ask about shippin options, i'd appreciate it alot.
     
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I wouldn't even think of plugging in my bass if I don't have at least 2000 watts at my disposal.

    And that's just for rehearsals :cool:
     
  15. yeah, whatever
    my alarm clock has 5000 watts
     
  16. If you're on a tight budget go look at avatarspeakers.com. The 2x10 cab should be fine for now. If that's over budget there's always ebay or you might be able to find a Peavey cab but it's a great step down from the Avatar. That GK 400rb looks about right. They're also a 300 watt Behringer bass head, bx3000T for $200 (use the keyword search for more info). Heard they're not too good though but sounds right for budget. Look for GK (gallien krueger), Hartke, Ampeg, or SWR on ebay. Any of those brands should be fine for now. If you want to you could buy a new 15" speaker for you self-made cab. Avatarspeakers.com has those too. Musiciansfriend and Music123.com also have replacement speakers. But make sure that the speaker(s) in whatever cab you plan to use/get can handle all the rms watts of your head. So if youre head is 240 rms watts then get a speaker cab that is rated at 250 rms watts.
     
  17. amos

    amos

    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    don't listen to anyone who says 300 watts isn't enough. it's usually plenty, especially if you have tube power
     
  18. thanks for helpfull reply. looks like getting GK head and speaker for my huge cab box is best option for now, and replacing it later with nice cab. avatarspeaker.com is great site with great prices, but well, thats US..
    just went to fedex.com and it says that speaker delivery from us to ukraine (10 kg box) will be 233$.not exactly cheap.

    so well, gonna start long quest for finding something similar here.
     
  19. amos

    amos

    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    blah blah blah
     
  20. 4 times the wattage of all total guitar watts.

    2 guitarists with 120 watts each = 240wattsx4 = 960watts needed....

    Lets just hope that you only have one guitarist.