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How many watts?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fetfet, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    I know the rules and I've done searches, but i'd like to know how may watts i should have in this situation.

    I'm getting an amp soo, and want to do some small gigs around town. My friend and guitarist's amp is a 15w solid state, though soon he is moving up and getting a 30watt amp. I'm wondering how many watts I would need to compete with that, as the 15 watt practice amp i have now is getting hopelessy lost in the mix. I know the rule about (guitarist's watts x 4), so here are some amps that I've tried that sound nice, and could be a potential purchase.


    I have about $600 to spend.

    Thanks to anyone who helps.
  2. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Sep 9, 2006
    Look used.
  3. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    Get as many watts as possible and DROWN everybody else in the band completely out!:p

    But seriously, I don't have too much experience with combos, but I really like Trace Elliot, Ashdown, and Ampeg combos.

    With $600 to spend, you could do a lot. As Ampeg^ said, look to buy used first and foremost, and I'd try to find something by Ashdown. I'm also not sure how much the Markbass combos run, but they deliver some powerful noise in a small package.

    Good luck!
  4. Markbass combos are fairly expensive. The number of watts you need is not an easy thing to determine - there are too many variables (eq, room acoustics, other players, etc).

    You may want to try the Acoustic 200W head with 1 or 2 cabinets underneath - would give you a little more flexibility and room for future growth.
  5. JonathanD


    Dec 13, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    To answer this question I have to ask.
    What style?
    Do you ever want to go to bigger gigs?
    Can you wait 2-3 months and save up another few hundred dollars?

    If money is the issue right now, your second link should look like this
    That will handle gigs with a 30 watt guitar amp. If you get a drummer in there you are going to need a lot more power/different cab.

  6. JoshC


    Nov 19, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
  7. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    We're trying to find a drummer.

    We play our wacky fusion of heavy rock and punk.
    At some point i'd like to play bigger gigs.
    I really can't wait that long. A year at the most!
  8. JoshC


    Nov 19, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    Hey, you`re in TO. I didn`t notice that first time. Check out Yorkville stuff. you might be able to find something like the xm200 that would suit your need perfectly.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Hard rock, punk, metal with a drummer and able to gig with little money I'd be looking at the acoustic full stack or the usual AshdownMag300 and an avatar 410 or 212. I'd go ahead and get a medium power gigable rig (which is what those are) even if you have to save for a couple more weeks or a month than get some 150-200 watt 115 or 210 combo and realize you need more after your first gig or two.
  10. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    What about a 300watt combo?

    It's just my personal preference that i like combos better that heads and cabs.More portable IMO. I'd also not try to outclass our guitar player. On our first gig I borrowed a 200w amp and nobody could hear him. Albeit it was accidentally cranked by the last band. So a small combo is preferred.
  11. Personally I'd forget about combos and 'watts' - get a loud head, and a loud beefy cab. There is a volume control and you can use it.

    Getting drowned out by your overexcited drummer and guitarist once you hit the clubs will suck.

    With 600 bucks I'd get something like an old Peavey 215 cab with blackwidows (100-150 on craiglist). Leaves you 400 for the head.... plenty of used options (GK, carvin b15000 --- I got mine for 400!!, peavy firebass etc).
  12. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts

    You might consider a GK backline 600 210 combo. 200W you can add another 8Ω cab if you need or want to move more air. The other option is find a used Peavey TKO 115 combo. A little less power and probably a bit heavier but they're around used cheap and they'll take a good amount of abuse. But I'd go for the GK, they sound great.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Look, 300 watts is the legal minimum for bass amps. Play it safe and get at least 500 watts, but 750 and up is optimal. The rule of thumb is 10 times the total wattage of guitar amps on stage.
  14. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    I don't know.

    I've played up against a 50w and a 30w amp with a 200w, and could be heard just fine. If this is unacceptable, i'll try and find a loud combo, like one of the GK or bigger Marshalls.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Well, you broke the rule of thumb then, didn't you. :rollno:

    [SUB](Smilie face at insistence of daughter.)[/SUB]
  16. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    Am I going to jail?

    [SUB]This is a real fear. I didn't know there were laws for these kinds of things.[/SUB]
  17. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    That T-max head would be great. A sightly newer Nitrobass/max 450 would be a good choice too. You should be able to get Peaveys that will do 300 watts @ 4 ohms and around 450 @ 2 ohms for around $250. You'll have enough left for a 4 ohm Avatar 212 and still be under $600. Then, later on, when you're makeing better money and you're tired of lugging around a 45 lb. head, you could still use a LM II with the Avatar cab.

    The flexibility of a used heads/cabs always better sense, but if you're determined to eat the re-sell value buying a brand new combo, the Carvin BR600 would give you a lot more bang for your buck than any of the new Musician's friend stuff you listed.
  18. IMO, it's vital to outclass your guitar player. You have the good sense not to crank it too far, but what do you do when the guitar player keeps creeping the volume up and you get left in the dust?
  19. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    I like him, and he never has done that ever. Anythime his volume has gone above an acceptable level is when the drummer turned him up while he wasn't looking.

    Also, and this is a biggie, the entire thing has to be able to go on a subway car, which is my normal mode of transport. It also might have to fit into the trunk of a Honda Civic or a 5-door Kia. So this is the only downside. Most of these will fit those reqs, but i might have a little trouble getting a full stack on the subway.

    Sorry that i didn't put this earlier.

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