1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How much power do I need for this band?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by aroc, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. aroc


    Jun 21, 2004
    Woodbury, MN
    Hey everyone! I'm new here. I just read the thread on buying a bass rig for under $1000 ("Please tell me I can afford a decent rig"). I found it very helpful and I think I have an idea of what to buy and where to buy it. I am still concerned about how much wattage I'm going to need. Hopefully this info will give you an idea of what I have to contend with:

    1. Guitarist w/ Peavey Classic 50w Tube running into 4x12 Marshall cabinet

    2. Guitarist using Orange 50w head & 4x12 cab

    3. Loud drums (of course :p)

    Our style is brit-rock. Blaring guitars and what not. (Think of Oasis or Black Rebal Motorcycle Club) Right now the Peavey 100w or so 15" isn't cutting it and my Behringer BX1200 120w isn't nearly loud enough (and distorts at high volume).

    The BBE BMAX appealed to me (anyone used to BMAX-T?) and the Avatar cabs look nice and cheap. I've always liked the look of 8x10's and wonder if I should use one of those. I am also a fan of tech 21 as I have a Trademark 60 guitar amp. I'm not sure though if the tech 21 sansamp di head or behringer BX3000T heads would be loud enough. Can anyone give me some advice?
  2. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    To be on the safe side you'd be best with at least 500 watts. 8x10s are nice, but they are horribly difficult to transport. 2 4x10s would be better and probably sound the same (more modular too).
  3. PICK


    Jan 27, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    I play in a Metal band with 2 guitarists both running 100W's into 412's and a loud drummer and i find that im happy running about 320w into a 410.
  4. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Do you mean the tech21 RBI??? or the Landmark 300/600 "heads"??? I tried the landmark 300 with two 112 cabs and thought that in my situation, fairly loud church rock band, that it was almost not loud enough. I found my self running 3/4 volume on head and guitar wondering if I would need more juice for louder band situations outside the church band.

    I see the behringer is also 300w into 4ohms. I am heavily biased towards tech21 in general so if I had to choose just between the two heads I'd pick tech21 despite what I said above :p

    I'd recommend a tech 21 preamp like the RBI or the new RPM along with a separate poweramp of at least 400w into 4ohms. I'm currently running an RBI with a stewart 1.2 (1200w into 4ohms, overkill, but sounds great). if you plan on running two 410s or two big cabs 115+410 for example you might want at least 600w or as much as you can afford to get you up around 1000w into 4ohms.

    a (my) rule of thumb is, for optimum performance, have as many (or twice as many) watts in your amp (4or8 ohms, depending on load) as your cabs (added up) can handle RMS. for example I have two 8ohm,300w 112 cabs, together they make a 600w capacity 4ohm load, so 600w into 4ohms should yield a VERY CAPABLE bass rig (psssst...landmark 600.... ;) ). I ran my two 112s with a 350w into 4ohms, but could hear and feel that the sound was a bit squeezed and not much headroom left for louder band situations, my 1200w feels very dynamic and punchy. it scares me to have that much power (I let other players use it too :eek: )

    hope this helps
  5. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    agree...hauling the 8x10 would get old quick---unless you have roadies! :D
  6. I play metal with my 160 watt fender combo. It's just loud enough, but I'm GASing for a new rig, probably ampeg or mesa boogie (if I get very lucky with a good job this holiday)
  7. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Agreed. 160 watts is "barely enough" for club gigs. On the other hand, if you're outdoors, think in terms of at least a thousand watts. Seriously. 300 watts ain't gonna cut it in a park or any kind of open-air situation. I'm talking about solid state watts now. My minimum solid state rig is a kilowatt. If you have a tube amp (with a tube output stage), 300 watts should be more than enough.