How much wattage would i need.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bass_tool, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. Ive been playing small gigs around town, places like resteraunts, fetes, stuff like that. Any way I've been using my practice combo amp and it isnt cutting it. What do you think about a 200-watt Hughes-and-Kettner combo? Are they any good? Is that a powerful enough amp?

  2. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Most people told me that 350 watts was about right. I dont know, it could be more or less depending on what amp you have. Many people complain about a 450 watt Ampeg SVT-3 PRO not being loud enough for regular band practices! YMMV.
  3. This is always a loaded question because their are so many variables. Like:

    How loud does the band play?
    How much do you boost the low frequencies?
    What size is your existing combo and how short is it coming up?

    You generally get more volume by cutting the bass and increasing the treble. But do you like the resulting sound? Any possibility of connecting to the PA?
  4. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Honestly, this is like asking, "How pretty does she need to be for me to marry her?" The short answer is: nobody but you can answer that.

    I've gotten good results with a GK400RB into a single 15" cab at 8 ohms in a small club but I've also needed an SVT with an 810 cab at 4 ohms for the same size room in another situation. Style of music, instrument, band configuration, so many variables.

    In a small, restaurant situation, I use an Eden D210XLT (8 ohms, rated at 375 watts) driven by an Eden WT400 (puts out about 240 watts into 8 ohms). I usually have enough for low-key jazzy pop and classic rock. Serious party-rockin' dance thumping? Fuggitaboutit.

    The HK combo might be OK. Try it and see.
  5. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I don't know what you're using now, but you should at least get 2 times the power to get a noticable increase in volume.
    200W sounds ok, 400W are better.
    (I used 200W for 13 years in various bands, now I have 400 and I'm happier...)

  6. ItchyBass


    Oct 12, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    A buddy of mine had a HK 200 watt combo... He did not like it. It sounded good at low volumes, but really crapped out when it was turned up. He replaced it with an Ampeg B-100R. At half the power there was a hell of a lot more volume, and far better tone overall.
  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    if your playing small venues like that then 200 watts should be adaquate, your band more than likely wont be playing all that loud on stage in places like that, so this should be plenty, Ive played medium to large gigs, with only 120 watts and it did just fine. i have to admit the pa did most of the work in those situations, thats why i had no problems with my stage volume.
  8. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    You just can't answer this question in isolation. For one thing, you have to factor in the efficiency of the speaker/cab you're going to be using. An inefficient cab can counteract the value of greater power. Roughly, you need to double amp power to get a 3 dB increase in output. But if you go to a speaker that's 3 dB less sensitive, you've probably just about lost any gain from doubling amp power. 200 W into a cab with a 100 dB sensitivity is probably going to be roughly equivalent (all else being equal) to 100 W into a cab with a 103 dB sensitivity.

    The best thing you can do is go try out a bunch of amps and use your ears. Don't just buy by the numbers (i.e., I "need" 350 W, this is 350 W, therefore it must be OK for my purposes).
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If you're going with a combo for live gigs, there are only two worth considering: the SWR Super Redhead and the Eden Metro. Don't pay attention to anything else in this thread. They are just leading you away from the facts of life. Go play both of these combos and buy one. You won't regret it, and you won't find yourself trading your GK in on one six months from now.