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is it just me... (amp wattage content)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Christian Waiau, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass
    my question... is what kind of bands are you people playing in that you need so many cabs and watts!?

    Im not against it..

    Ive had an svt-ii and carvin b1500.. runnings 810s... but they were all over kill...

    Ok... so I play in a pretty damn loud band.

    loud drummer...
    two guitarist with mesa 412s
    one krank 120 watt all tube
    one peavey 6505 120 watt all tube..

    both guitar amps cranked up..

    I've been able to stay very audible in the mix and on stage with using a

    800rb w/1x10 on a 1x15
    800rb w/1x15
    mb2-500(never past noon) w/ 210212

    and now a 100 watt ampeg v4 w/210212 with the ampeg never past 1 o'clock...

    I've played stages from huge amphitheater to dive bar with the same guys...

    my settings are usually

    slight bump on the the mids and highs with a slight cut on the bass..

    not looking to start fights... but i would love to have some reason to go crazy with a couple huge rigs for gigs that actually require them :bassist:

    im simply in awe of guys that say they absolutely need more then 500 watts and a couple 810s...
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Well, you're using tube watts, and 100 tube watts = 1,000 solid state watts. So you've got that working for you.

    I usually use a 750 to 1,200-watt hybrid or SS amp with a single 410 cab (not cranked all the way up, obviously).
  3. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I've never understood this either. I'm not saying you can bring a comboamp to a gig that actually requires an 810 but for me, a couple three four hundred watts and some decent speakers and everybody seems to have a good time be it a dive bar or big outdoor show with outhouses and beergirls. The latter of course being the PA.
  4. Destructobot


    Jul 22, 2008

    Yaaaaaa sure
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I hope you're aware of the tongue-in-cheek nature of Munji's posts. If not... It won't take you long... :p
  6. Lots of info on this on TB, but still an interesting and mostly misunderstood issue.

    So much has to do with the tone goals you have (a deep, clean bass response requires much more power than a grindy, tube distorted midrange tone), the cab SPL (how loud per watt your cab is), and your technique (aggressive slap or pick technique with those transient peaks can require a lot of cone area and wattage to stay clean).

    That's why a distorted trebly guitar tone can blast your ears off with 20 watts, and why some super hi fi, wide, slap like tones can easily take multiple big boxes and massive wattage to keep up with it.

    There literally is no answer to 'how many watts do you need', or even 'is 100 watts louder than 1000 watts'. It is a meaningless question without taking frequency response and SPL into account.

    To add insult to injury, the published wattage specs of many amps are not really comparable across brands, since they are all listed with different THD and frequency ranges (hi pass filtering) and also different preamp baked in EQ curves.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    No, really. I read it here on TalkBass.
  8. Depends on your knowledge of gear, soundmen, front of house equipment, etc ....

    I find most people are needing "MORE POWER" in practice spaces, when of course the guitar players are too loud, or the room is too small so everything is just too loud.

    There are some clubs I could play straight through a DI box .. the FOH and monitor mix is just that good. Some clubs I need the volume cause the PA sucks or is non-existent. Most places are in the middle :)

    I don't have a huge rig ... two 1x12 Bergs, a Sansamp, and a Poweramp. I've often been told to turn down my stage volume. Go figure.

    Some people just like showing up with those 'fridges, cause it looks cool.

    Anyhow, onstage, in a decent club with good staff, if you can't "cut through" the guitars its probably: 1) ******** Guitar Players Who Think They Need Blaring Stage Volume; 2) A soundguy who doesn't know/doesn't care/is too drunk to tell them its too loud; 3) a combo of 1 + 2 -- but then I guess that means the staff isn't decent ... but you get my point. Some musicians just won't listen to the people working the boards no matter what. Or someone in your band was acting like a pretentious jerk beforehand and the soundguy is out to jack you. Gigs are fun :p

    Anyhow this will be a long thread I'm sure :p
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Perfectly put.
  10. Usually, up to a certain limit, the louder a band plays, the more the crowd is going to like them. Imagine the extreme case. Group of pro players gets up there, they all have 5watt 3 inch combos, drummer maybe a tamborine or something. Play for a crowd. Now the same group gets up there with the gui**** on a 412 and the bass a 410, drummer with his usual kit. In which case is the crowd going to dance and cheer more? With 810s and such it's easy to get people to FEEL the bass all the way from their chest to their feet, and it gets them to dance more. It's instinctive. Take a baby, play him or her a song and the baby will flop around/dance to the percussion. Bass is percussive and we all have the instinct to BOOGY!

    That is not the whole story though. Some people, like me, just like having the power for having it. Just being able to say, "oh, it gets louder" when someone is already in disbelief is great. Some bassists might actually prefer to use smaller rigs but the way their guitars are set up...they might actually need a big cab to keep up! I guess the reasons vary from case to case.
  11. zarigunn


    Sep 14, 2009
    I blow you away with my 120 watt carlsbro tc-100 x).
    my bias is icecold so that makes the head pretty clean, almost no edge but verryu verry much punch and brightness / bass.
    kustom 2x15 ('80) for the biggieness xD.
    It looks a pretty slow rig but believe me, its goes pretty fast.
    the guitar player of my band uses an orange rockerverb with a mathamp ('70) 412.
    And at gigs in clubs like 20x20 meters we really dont need any PA.
    Even bigger events don 't need it.
  12. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    I don't use a lot of power (180 watts), but I do have a pretty decent amount of speaker, which I'm actually increasing soon.

    My band plays very loud. The drummer is pretty heavy hitting, and the guitarist has a 160 watt tube amp. If I wanted to project a lot of clean low end, I'd be in a spot of trouble, as it takes a lot of power to get clean lows loud.

    Luckily, I don't care that much about deep lows or that "headroom" thing. In fact, screw headroom, I like not having any.
  13. At the moment i am only using a 150w combo, but my guitarists are only using 100w 2x12 Marshall and 30w 1x10 Peavey. We gig those amps with no PA support, only for vocals and an unmiked acoustic drum kit, but so far the gigs we played havent been to big, except last nights where everything was miked through the biggest PA system i have seen in a club round here.

  14. I'm thinking off getting rid of my 810, both my amps are majorly powerful and are just idling with an 810, also I like the sound of 'pushed' speakers so I am waiting patiently for a decent 410 or 215 to come up in the local classifieds.
  15. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Inactive

    Mar 19, 2008
    I gig with a 20 Watt tube amp. Sounds like this:


    I'm not lacking any depth, I can feel the sound in my chest over my computer monitors. My ears start to ring after 15 minutes of playing my setup by myself. I do gigs with this amp in the same rooms, with the same other instruments, and through the same cab that I really had to push 275 SS watts through to do, and I get a deeper sound.

    Interestingly enough the most anemic amps I've played have been high wattage SS stacks. It's the voicing. There are no easy generalizations that can be made about what more watts etc. will do for you.
  16. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass
    ok.. sorry didnt want this to turn the way it did... im not trying to show off efficiency on stage with a small rig...

    I know that

    companies dont really have a standard as far as watts

    that typically you dont need much because of FOH

    that there is no right answer for how much watts someone needs...

    my question was to people that have "RIGS OF DOOM" and the question was

    "what kind of bands are you people playing in that you need so many cabs and watts!?"
  17. M E T A L

  18. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass
    thank you sir :bassist:
  19. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Doom bands. Typically gigs with no PA and a high expectation of low end SPL.
  20. There is no why in Rigs of Doom, only I can and I will.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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