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! :)

Is 150 Watt Enough?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KeithBMI, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. I have a school "Battle of the Bands" coming up soon and I'm worried that my Fender Bassman 150 isn't going to be heard in the mix.

    For practice, the guitarist has always used a 40 watter and it was hard enough to be heard over him. For the show, he said he's going to get a half stack. I called 2 music stores looking for a good deal on renting a bigger amp and cab setup, and both of the salespeople told me that 150 is enough to get over a 100 watt half-stack. One said he was in a metal band with 8x10s and his bassist only used a 50 watter.

    What should I do? I just can't believe these guys. I always thought you needed atleast 4x what the guitarist is using.
  2. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    I'd rent an SVT and an 8x10 if I were you. Especially if youre gonna play in a large room. If it ends up being too much (which it wont), then you can always turn down. Not being heard has ruined gigs for me personally. Maybe thats selfish, I don't know. Its just better being on the safe side! Good Luck
  3. Nah it all depends..

    Are you only playing over the combo to get yourself heard on the stage and do you have PA support? You'll be fine.. Otherwise; you COULD get into trouble. I've done gigs with a Peavey amp and a monstrous 15" working at 80 watt. So that also works.. Even without PA support.
  4. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i doubt it... guitarists get ridiculously loud without knowing it. also it's nice if you have a lot of extra power. i just feel that when you can actually feel the bass in your stomach it makes the experience so much better.
  5. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    You'd be best off with as much power as you can get with 400 watts being a good starting point, but if they've got a good sound system with sidefills that you can run through you should be okay.

    First stop is finding out about the PA that will be available.
  6. irjason


    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Like the others have said, if a PA is available the amp won't really be an issue since you'll only be using it as a stage monitor. I played a few shows with my 100 watt combo back in the day with no troubles.
    If there's no PA it might be a bit of a problem. I was always OK with the 100w combo at band practice, the guitarist had a 50w Fender combo. That is a lot different than a large room though.
  7. Yup, forgot to mention that there will be no P.A.

    Keep it coming guys and gals, this is great advice.
  8. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    I've always heard that a good rule of thumb is to total up all the guitar watts, and double them for your bass amp requirement (if not more).
  9. jad


    Aug 29, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'm thinking that your guitarist is going to lose any sense of what sounds good with the band and crank his rented half stack as loud as it will go. You will be buried unless you exercise the New-Q-Ler option... SVT & 810. Someone in Detroit must have one for rent.
  10. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I've seen here on TB mention that you should triple or quadruple your guitarists wattage and since you'll have no PA backup I'd strongly suggest going for the upper end of the scale.
  11. It all depends on how your guitarist uses his power! :)
    If he is going to crank up his system then you will not be heard, but if he listens to reason and plays at a normal levels to everyone else, you should be fine. If you have ANY doubt, then rent a nice big rig... but keep in mind that if you have a volume war with the guitarist, the audience will loose and you will all sound like s--t!

    Good luck
  12. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Get another amp. 150watts is usually not enough unless you are playing something with more acoustic instruments. Loud guitars will drown you out and oh yeah... don't forget the loud drummer (I don't know him/her, but he will definitely be louder than you).

    The other thing that is important is the amount of air you are moving. Although you have only 150 watts, if you are moving a 410 or a 2 15 you might be OK
  13. How big a room will you be playing in? You might be OK with your current amp if it's a small room, with maybe 100 people in the audience... anything bigger than that though and I think you'll be needing some more firepower.
  14. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    cranks, youa re buried.

    You might be well served to rent (or borrow)big bass amp and cab or two or power amp and cab or two.

    In volume wars, the pocket book never wins!

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  15. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    Will you have PA support at this battle of the bands? If yes, then you should be able to get by since you will only be using your Fender as a stage monitor.

    However, if you say that your guitar player drowns you out with a 40 watt guitar amp then imagine what he will do with a half stack. I would rent a 4x10 cab and a head that puts out about 400 watts. You will have no problems being heard.

    The salesman was probably smoking heroine - There is no way that 50 watts would be enough to hold up with "8x10s" (Im assuming he means full stack cuz I dont think they make 8x10 cabs for guitar).
  16. R Briere

    R Briere Bass-ically Yours Supporting Member

    I ALWAYS love reading about "the power thing" because it shows us--if we care to look--how gullable all of us are. :^>) Renting gear to play at a battle of the bands or a talent show is, IMHO, akin to renting a BMW or a Mercedes to go to a high school reunion so that your old pals think that you've "made it" and they haven't. Why bother? Be who you are and use the gear that you're used to using. Use common sense, it's MUCH cheaper. :^>)

    As for the bassist needing 4 times or ten times or 25 times the power than the other players in the band, that's a bag-o-bunk that has been generated here in forums and each year the formula changes--most often authored by someone who enjoys reading their own words, but it isn't based in fact at all and the only purpose it seems to serve is to keep novice bassists from getting into the game because they can't afford to shell out HUGE $$$$ to buy the rig that they think they need. It just doesn't apply ANYWHERE in the real world. Don't buy into it. :^>)

    Go perform at your school. Don't go to WIN............go to play.

    Bass-ically Yours,
    Rich Briere
    Tis far better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!
  17. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    Rich, as always great advise.

    I still haven't seen where you are playing (I hope it isn't in the gym), but heres my take on this. Tell your guitarist to use the amp you practice with. Changing any equipment just before a performance means a change in YOUR SOUND. You don't need him fishing around for his tone at the battle. I've seen so many bands who have a tight show in the studio go to a live performance and screw it all up by turning up the volume.

    Just go to the battle of the bands, set up as usual, volume as usual, and have fun. :bag:

    Oh, GOOD LUCK!
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Everyone is missing the point. The bass doesn't need to be louder, the guitar needs to be softer.

    It's like EQ'ing. Before you boost the bass, try cutting the highs.

    We all play louder than necessary.
  19. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Wise response.
  20. R Briere

    R Briere Bass-ically Yours Supporting Member

    Steve.....that falls directly into the statement about using common sense.

    I had three young lads in the other day and they were looking for earplugs. I asked why they needed them. The response was exactly what I knew was coming: "We need them for rehearsal cause it's so loud".

    My response? "Have you tried the knob that's located all the way over on the left? IIt's capable of turning to the LEFT as well as to the right". They each looked at me as if I'd just told them that the world wasn't flat--which of course we all know it is--. Then they looked at one another and you could see the wheels turning. The bass player--as we all know, "the HIGHEST form of life", said: "You mean turn down?"

    YES!!! What a CONCEPT!!! :^>)