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Is a huge powerful bass amp needed?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by StrudelBass, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    I was wondering if a huge powerful bass amp would be needed if not in a band. Yes, no? Reasons?
  2. I would say not. I would take the extra cash and spend it on other things.

    Even if you were in a band, you'd probably be running the amp through a PA system live or miking the amp in a recording situation so you wouldn't need massive volume.

    No not really, I had a 2200 watt bass rig and it sucked, I couldn't turn it up so it was useless. I switched to a 300 watt tube rig and an 810 and it is just perfect for me.
  4. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    No need for an amp if you're not in a band, isn't that obvious? But if you want to get into a band, 4x10" and ~300W is all you should need.
  5. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

  6. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Only if you're not huge and powerful elsewhere.
  7. I disagree - so what else is new?

    Just my opinion, but -

    IMO it depends on what you're doing with the amp. I'm a bit of a tone Nazi and wouldn't go up against a pair of Marshall half-stacks with less than 800 watts or so.

    For me it's all about headroom. Bass playing is a fair bit more dynamic than g*itar playing and I don't care much for clipped waveforms.

    You could be cruising along just fine using 100w or so of amplifier power. When you decide to pop that G string your power requirements go from the 100w you were using to several hundred watts or more.

    Don't take my word for it, go out and try it yourself. A/B a 300 watt amp and a 1000 watt amp at the same volume levels - and see if you don't hear the other half of your bass - the half the smaller amp clips out.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well I tend to agree, that if you are not in a band, then you don't need an amp at all - but since when did anybody around here buy gear because they needed it!! ?? ;)
  9. I just read the "not in a band" part.

    I'm gonna go sit down and shut up. I don't think one needs 1000w if they're not in a band.
  10. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Do you play even though you're not in a band?
    Do you ever expect to be in a band?
    I have the rig, I can handle the gig.
    I'm freelancing myself right now.
    Not much action going on, but I'm armed and extreemly dangerous with the amp I've got.

    I really wanted the excess watts to ensure I keep a clean signal from top to bottom, no matter the volume.

    Is it needed if I'm not in a band? Nope.
    Neither are the basses I have for that matter.
  11. I agree, anything more and it's just a battle with the guitar players. If you have no intentions of getting into a band then I would get a good practice amp. If you want small size but great sound look at the E A combo. However, Behringer makes a couple of really decent amps for under $300 bucks.
    Good luck
  12. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    The problem with small cheap amps is they usually sound crap. The problem with big expensive amps is that even at apparently low volumes the deep bass is going to drive your neighbours mad. The solution:
    1. Decent preamp and headphones
    2. Decent preamp and hifi system/monitor speakers
    (3. Or just play your bass acoustically!)

    However these won't be much use if you play with other musicians. On the other hand, by playing through such high resolution gear compared to a little practice amp, your technique and tone will get much better.

    If you want a little combo that's great for practices and low-volume gigs, the old SWR Baby Blue would be a great choice.

  13. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    The key is HEADROOM!!!
    You need to be able to play per the situation-small club, large hall, jazz, death-metal, whatever.
    The bass needs to cut thru the mix and sound solid-either low & sweet for that type of music, or if need be, solid enuff to knock the wind out of the solar plexus'es (plexii?) of the first three rows-
    After detrmined, then size matters!
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yeah but he said - if you're not playing in a band!! Do people read anything in threads apart from the titles?
  15. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Shut Up , Bruce!!
    :)D )
  16. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Need a huge amp?

    Not necessarily, I'd say quality of tone is more important than volume. If you want some sound for practicing, and the emphasis is on your scales and what have you, there is no need for a huge amp. You may still want to have a *good* small amp or combo though, one that gives you a full and detailed sound of your bass, so you can also practice at getting a good tone while you're doing those scales. So I'd say no you don't need a huge amp, but you may still want to consider an expensive one.
  17. I mean, personally i would say that if you're not in a band, you do need, IMO, an amp, but it doesn't have to be a large amp. I would say that something small would do the trick. the reason I would say an amp is in order is because you hear your bass differently through an amp than you do without anything but a bass or with a headphone amp.

    If I were to make a recommendation for a small amp if you were looking for something that sounded really good and could eventually be used to gig out...Aguilar DB359 with one or two(if you want to gig) GS112 cabs.
  18. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Well, if not in a band, then a huge, powerful amp is certainly not needed.

    But, if there is any possibility that you may be in a band in the future, it's more cost-effective to get a rig that will serve more than one specific purpose; a powerful amp isn't neccessary for practicing, but that's why there's a volume control instead of having the thing hard-wired to full volume at all times. Use the wattage you need when you need it.
  19. Rebuild an old radio, that will do the trick at home and it wont disturb your neighbours either! :D

    I did that to an old little radio, now I tend to take it over to mu gu****st when we play acoustically (sp?) works fine for that, but thats it really.
  20. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    If you're not in a band, you may as well give up the bass, and save even more money. :D

    Do you want to be in a band? If you do, you will eventually need a good sized amp.

    IME, small and medium sized combo amps generally have crappy tone - no bottom, or no highs, or both! They may be great for practicing in your bedroom, or even supporting an acoustic jazz or folk group in a small cafe, but a combo ain't gonna get the job done in a rock band. And if they're loud, they probably won't be portable...

    I would say from my experience that you need at least 300 W and a bare minimum of a 4x10 cab (or a 15 and a 2x10, or a pair of 2x10s) if you intend to play in a rock band with a real (not electronic) drum kit.

    I like the pair of 2x10s myself - you can use only one cab when the situation requires portability or modest volumes, or add the 2nd cab when you need more. And you don't have to buy the whole stack at once.

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