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I'll never understand this...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dbase, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    My 3 piece was to play Xmas tunes for a Santa and kids meeting at our local community center. The reception area is very large with 50ft ceilings and all glass window/walls with tile floors. Since no drums were involved I usually bring only one Hartke 2x10 cab but I was lazy since we were to play for only an hour, what the hell, I bought my Ibanez M35 1x10 practice amp.. 35 watts mind you, not the Hartke LH500. As we were tuning up, I plugged in my new non-active Rickenbacker 4003 which I never used with this amp and I could hardly hear my bass. I usually set the volume at 5 for the active Fender, now I had to turn it up to about 8 out of 10 thinking it would totally fart out. Boy was I surprised. It sounded full and non distorted even from different areas of the room. I was quite pleased with this amp in a large setting as we have only two guitars and they rely on the bass to fill in the gaps and it did. Now my question is why did this little amp with only one 10in speaker sound so good in such a large area? Is bigger not necessarily better? Sorry for such a long winded story.
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Glass, tile, 50' ceiling. Bouncey bouncey.
  3. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    One reason might be that it didn't put out too many sub lows. In a room like that I usually have to roll off some lows. Also, we found out one time in a boomy ballroom that the secret was to play at lower volume.
  4. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Play guitar.
    No drummer to compete with.
  5. esa372

    esa372 Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have used a 25W 1x10 amp in a crowded restaurant - no high ceilings or tiles - and it filled the room quite well.

    Sometimes, you just don't need a lot of amp...
  6. JHAz


    Jun 29, 2011
    35 W is half as loud as 350 watts (10 dB difference) and you're not likely pushing ths speaker to compress so you're getting full mileage out of every watt. And plus 1 to everything above.

    While more transducers is often a good idea, we probably all use less power than we think most of the time.
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have a 175 watt 1x10 combo. With the extension 1x10 it's 300. I have never needed more and when I do there's a PA and I use my IEM's instead.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think bass players grossly overestimate how loud they need to be as a whole. All you need to do is make your bass sound balanced with everyone else. And if you're hearing your bass way louder than everyone else where you stand, you're likely way too loud for the room, too. I got a rude awakening a long time ago when I first got a wireless and went out front to compare my tone onstage to what was in the house, and I was just insanely loud compared to the rest of the band and I was ruining the sound. After that, I worked harder at trying to sound balanced, and it's so much better that way.
  9. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    There's something to be said for getting you pant legs flapped by a good set of 15's... but you're right about being balanced.
  10. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    yeah....guilty at times
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I think it was Christmas magic great thing you did for the community center congrats on that.
  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005


    - georgestrings
  13. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Agreed - IME, in a band setting, if you can hear yourself really well, you're probably too loud...

    I try not to play any louder than I need to be able to hear the notes I'm playing - in my main band, that still means using considerable volume, since I'm also "competing" with a pair of Triple Rec halfstacks and a loud rock drummer...

    - georgestrings
  14. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I cannot understand why you would use a practice amp to play a gig with. Sure it worked this time but what if it had not??? Were the kids not entitled to your best??
  15. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    No secret here.
    But very often the truth is unaccepted.
  16. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    The very best way to balance the bass sound with everyone is to balance the bass sound with snare and hihatt and bd.
  17. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    What if the drummer is playing too loud? ;)
  18. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Put a chart in front of him. :bag:
  19. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    Leave the band.
    But If you can't leave the band the drummer should be fired.

    It's a very great feeling to let the bass sound rolling with the drummers snare and hihatt and bassdrum.
    If it does not work like that I have to keep a wary eye and my mind for something else out there.
  20. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Okay that was all in jest. ;)