Is 300 Watts too much for me ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by doublestop, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. I'm looking for a portable combo, preferably 2x12 (I love lows), and found several.

    Most are in the 300 Watts range.

    Is this good or is it overkill for my use (pratice with 'the boys') and occasional small gigs. Band is keys, sax, guitar, drums.


  2. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Hi Peter,

    Although it may sound like a cliche', IME it's completely true: you can never have too many watts. Headroom=a good thing.

    Good luck.
  3. +1

    and don't forget you do have a volume knob :D
  4. Thats what the volume knob is there for!!!
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I use my amp for solo practice, and playing with my band in my basement, occasional small gig. 300 watts works well for me.
  6. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    As they used to say in Detroit, "There is NO substitute for cubic inches".
  7. The only reason to not get as many watts as you can is if it makes the combo or equipment heavier then necessary. No need to cart around a 75lb head for small gigs even if you like 5-600 watts headroom. You probably won't find a 300 watt head that is significantly more heavy than a small wattage head. I don't think a 300 watt head could be considered overkill in just about any situation ( unless your talking all tube).
  8. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    At least in theory, but using my large stuff for around the house, I'm rocking on that tiny spot between off and too loud. On some of my amps, it'd vibrate to "off" sometimes. :)

    Finally got a little Ampeg BA-112 for home. I love it!
  9. this is where the volume knob on the bass itself comes in handy
  10. Thanks all. I'll go for it !
  11. It takes more power to reproduce bass then mids/highs. If your guitarist has a 50watt head, you'll need a considerable more amount of power then him just to keep up (all other things equal). I have a 400W head that can put him in his place, but just barely :) For gigs, he borrows his friend's 100W head and he zooms right on by me in max volume. D'OH!

    Also, 300W is just about right for hearing yourself above the drums.

    12" is good for lows, 15" is better, but you'll get better definition with the 12s.

    - Andrew
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    too many variable to consider making that call. I know plenty speakers and cabinets that the reverse is true.
  13. tanuki

    tanuki Bass Minotaur

    Dec 13, 2004
    bristol, england
    you can go to the other extreme and go power mad, i got an ampeg svt pro 4, not knowing too much about amps i figured the more headroom the better, but at that extreme i think you pay in tone.

    A 300w amp is a good choice, should give enough headroom for anything and if its a combo then its big enough to add an extension cab for bigger gigs and actually get some benefit..

    I was told at a rule of thumb that we need an amp 3 times more powerfull than our guitar players, their treble frequencies are allways going to cut through easily, it takes more power to move the bass frequencies and also it is better to have a 300w amp running on volume 2 than a 100W straining and clipping on 10
  14. Gord


    Jan 10, 2004
    BC, Canada
    haha everything I was going to say was already said

    I've never heard the phrase "too much power" when dealing with bass. I guess you haven't met the average guitarist yet :p
  15. True, there are many variables, but when it comes right down to it, the laws of physics cause the higher mass of a larger cone to have a lower resonant frequency, meaning that it will reproduce lower frequencies more easily (IMHO). Also, the larger cone allows a longer excursion which is necessary for lower tones.

    I would like to see an 8" hit 35hz without physical clipping :)

    Now keep in mind I'm no expert on this, I'm just writing what I've picked up over the years. Not that it matters for this subject, but can someone confirm this?

    - Andrew
  16. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
  17. I would love to try out that Phil Jones Bass cab with the folded horn scoop things on the bottom.
  18. Djeetn


    Jan 6, 2005
    300 Watts is fairly enough if you do small size gigs but it also depents what kind of music you play. I own a Hughes and kettner Bassforce XXL combo and it rates 300 watt but sadly enough, my drummer and guitarplayer buries my sound. To have spare headrome is a must. But then again, if you do gigs with P.A. it also depends if the person operating the P.A. has enough skills. For example: I saw metalbands at festivals in which bassplayers used Ampeg SVT 4 Pro (1600 watts) and Mesa Boogie 400+ heads but their sound always got buried by the drums and guitars due to lack of skills by the P.A. guy. Cabs were 810 Ampeg and Mesa Boogie Powerhouse 1000.