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How much amp do I need?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by superfly29, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. superfly29


    Dec 8, 2004
    Elmira, NY
    I'm currently in the market for a new combo amp for practice. I really don't wish to spend more than I have to, but I want something that's good quality as well as powerful enough for my needs. Sure, I can get a 30W practice amp for very little money if I'm just playing alone, but how much power should an amp have when in a practice situation where you want to be heard over drums and other instruments? 50W? 100W? Are there any brands that I should avoid?
  2. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    From what Ive heard and read, typical is 4x as much power as your guitar player. So if the guitar player has 50W, you'll want about 200W. This is because it takes about 4x more power to boost the low end to the same audible level as the treble.

    I myself have an Ampeg B-100R, 100W amp. My Guitarist uses a 30W Marshall Amp. This was sufficient for my needs.
  3. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    The least amount of power I would consider for any purpose is 100 watts. Any less than that, you might as well buy a headphone amp.

    The convenient shorthand answer for your question is 'Buy as much amp as you can afford.' In the end you want something that you don't have to turn around and trade or sell next year, which is what makes music stores rich and musicians poor.

    Edward G.
    Baltimore, MD
  4. I beg to differ, EG. I have a silverface Bassman 50 (tube amp) with a JBL loaded compact cabinet that I use for gigs in small (100 seats) rooms. It is a 50 watt amp and I have no problem being heard in small rooms. I also use it for rehearsals and it works great.
  5. Ok, tube wattage counts double. Take Mesa 400+ and let it eat anything that stands in its way.
    3-4 times the power of guitar amps is a nice rule.
    I also think pre/power setup will get you more power for the buck than buying a head.