How much of a difference does a higher watt amp make?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by light blue bass, May 26, 2020.

  1. Right now I have a 10w practice amp.
    And I was just wondering how much better your bass sounds depending on how many watts a bass amp has.
    And yes I know most of the great tone etc. come from the fingers.

    Also any amps in a $200 range that you recommend?
    And 1 other thing what is the difference between amps that have heads? (I think that's what they're called.)
    Ellery and mike roman like this.
  2. Right now my amp is very buzzy when I crank it just a little to high. But again its only 10w.
  3. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    What’s the amp and bass your using now?

    what are your goals, musical styles? Gigging, garage band with friends, at-home only?

    would you like a speaker, or are you open to a headphone amp?
  4. im using a using an Ibanez IBZ10B with a Squire CV jazz bass.

    Right now at home only.

    I'm thinking a speaker I don't really like playing through headphones.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  5. Kro


    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    10w is fairly low. The devil is always in the details, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that upgrading your amp to something a little higher powered will likely make quite a noticeable difference - at least in any situation aside from those with very low volume levels.

    As far as your question concerning separate head+cab rigs and combos, the combos are just that - they combine an amp head with a speaker cabinet together in one unit. :)
  6. How close is the amp to your ears? Some cabinets are 98db at 1M at 1W

    I bet you 10w is like 80db or less because of the speaker and of course fibbing by the manufacturer.

    A brand name like Fender Rumble at 40w would be fine for practice.

    You ought to give a second look at IEM as it's the way of the industry these days.
    Online jamming works be with headphones or IEM
    bobyoung53, MCF, spvmhc and 2 others like this.
  7. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Cool, cool. Jazz bass will hum if both pickups aren’t evenly turned up. Do you still get hum if the pickups are both full on?

    back to the question, I’ve owned the Ampeg BA 108 and now a Rumble 25. Both 25 watts, 8” speaker, and 100 bucks. Those amps have been all I’ve ever needed for at home playing. Never turn them above 9:00. Havent tried that Ibanez amp, but it kinda looks like a toy :bag:

    Now you can surely spend $200 or more, and (subjectively) get better tone. If you’re ever interested in playing with peeps, I’d recommend spend 100 on one of the amps I mentioned, and saving the other 100 for something that can hang with a drummer. If you only see yourself playing at home, hey, that’s cool too. Maybe treat yourself to a really nice at home amp.

    there’s lots of headphones amps out there, but I’m the same. I just bought this Rumble cause I was so sick of my headphones! :laugh:
    aiden Fiori likes this.
  8. The ampeg looks nice!
  9. Kro


    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Thirded. Yes, I do a lot of playing/recording while using headphones as monitors, but it's only out of necessity.
    Al Kraft, DrMole and alanloomis1980 like this.
  10. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
  11. bordinco90

    bordinco90 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2011
    SW Louisiana
    These are the best new combo amps IMO for your price range:

    Ampeg BA-110v2 1x10" 40-watt Bass Combo Amp for $179
    Hartke HD50 1x10" 50-watt Bass Combo Amp for $199
    Fender Rumble 40 1x10" 40-watt Bass Combo Amp for $199

    If I had to choose between these 3 I would get the Fender IMO. The ampeg is a close second.
  12. I have an Ampeg BA-108 (25 watts, 8" speaker) and a Fender Rumble 100 (100 watts, 12" speaker). That Ampeg sounds fantastic, it's clear, clean, and can handle the B string (within reason) on a 5 string bass. That's all ya need for a great sound. I even used to gig with it (DI box to the board and the little combo on a chair as my monitor). BUT... switch to the Rumble 100 and it is a more visceral experience. That cone moves a lot more air and the amp is a lot more powerful (as is the equalizer section). You FEEL a lot more here. The 100 is certainly gig-worthy for most small-medium venues. If I lived in a place where I could only practice at low volumes... the Ampeg actually sounds BETTER. If I could turn it up once in a while... then, the larger, more powerful Rumble is the favored amp, and is more versatile.... and weighs LESS I think! Some unicorn-horn magic there! But... the 100 is a bit out of your price range. The Rumble 40 though.... that may be key. Any of what is recommended here will be a huge step up from your 10w amp.

    So, to answer your question, I DO think my bass (USA made Stingray 4) sounds better played through a higher-watt head with somewhat "large" speakers. I particularly liked it through the Aguilar head and 4x12 cabinet. But, I can't carry that and it is hella expensive. So, I will keep using the combos and a DI box.
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
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  13. bordinco90

    bordinco90 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2011
    SW Louisiana
    As an owner of the Rumble 100, I would suggest saving your money and get the Rumble 100. It really is a fantastic bass amp that sounds great and can get loud. It's $299, just $100 more than your budget, plus you get so much more amp.
  14. Jerammono


    May 9, 2020
    I bought an Acoustic B200 (thats the make and model, not an amp for acoustic instruments) for $100 and that thing cranks and has good tone. It’s plenty for playing with a band and it’s great for home practice.
    BassNugget likes this.
  15. When purchasing the Ampeg, I also tried out the Acoustic models and liked them a lot. :thumbsup:
  16. bordinco90

    bordinco90 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2011
    SW Louisiana
    I completely forgot about those. I bought one used and it sounded great. It was heavy though, but more than enough to keep up with a band. I think I paid around $150 for mine.
  17. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
  18. I've got the ampeg 110, and it's a great amp, imo. Since you can set it on an angle like a monitor, it projects the sound up to you very well. I currently use mine as my rehersal amp, and I play metal in a 5 piece metal band. The little 110 keeps up well enough.
  19. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana
    IMHO you can never have too much, but you can always have too little. My bedroom practice rig is the same 550 watt rig for I use for gigging. Get the best quality and highest power amp you can afford. It'll put a smile on your face.:thumbsup:
  20. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    10 watts? so it’s a headphone amp not a bass amp.
    gumtown likes this.