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minimum watagge for jamming/gigging?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chato, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Chato

    Chato Commercial User

    May 2, 2016
    what is the minimum wattage you guys would use? looking to get a amp with my tax return.
    Stumbo likes this.
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    300-500 is the general consensus for SS or hybrid amps. 700-900 seems to be closing in though.

    It depends how much clean headroom you want.

    What are you going to use for a cab? Speakers play a bigger role in volume than wattage.
    Doner Designs and kap'n kro like this.
  3. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    depends on the cab/cabs, the type of music and so on. an 8x10 is going to get a lot more volume for you than a 1x12. i was in one band for years that played loud punk with a metal edge. the drummer was so hard-hitting that i had to trade my 600 watt head in on a 1000 watt head (i was using a 1x18 and a 2x10), but these days if i can't play along with 500 watts, i'll move to another band.
  4. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    $$$? Do you: a) need head only. b) need amp and speakers. c) Want combo. d) NO want combo.
    Gearhead17 likes this.
  5. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I'd feel happy with 500 watts.
  6. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    500 watts and a GOOD cabinet should do well for you in MANY situations. There is not really a "minimum" to hit, and it really depends on the cabinet you are using. Some people bust out the GK MB200 and blast it through an Ampeg 810e. That should get plenty loud, but the amount of low end and ability to play dynamically will be severely limited. Still, it may be plenty loud for a stage monitor and that's all some of us really need.
    Al Kraft and Mike A like this.
  7. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    Speakers are going to play a larger role in overall volume than the amount of watts in your amp.

    Type of band, style of music and the aggressiveness of the drummer will in a large part determine how much volume you need.

    I sometimes use my SS 100 watt combo.............
    Other times I use my 600 watt Mesa.
    It all depends
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    200 watts with couple of 2x12 or 2x15 cabs. More cabs, more volume.

    Btw, I still have a Sunn 2000 (120 watagge) and the big Sunn 2x15 JBL cab that I giiged with for many years in all types of venues w/o a problem sitting in the mix.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  9. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    For myself in a 2 guitar rock band at moderate to loud levels. 200 watts into a 115 or 210 is the bare minimum, maxed out volume just to scrape the surface.

    300 watts into a 410, 2x210s, or 2x115s is more comfortable, but there's little headroom if the cab/s are inefficient.

    450+ into 2x210s, 2x215s, 212,610,810s is the most comfortable.

    Your cab needs can be dictated by the sound reinforcement you may or may not have at a gig. I always build my rig to give me adequate volume with NO PA support.

    I've been at several gigs where the less than adequate sound guy blows a monitor, has too much bass in the monitors, or just plain has no clue what he/she is doing. In those instances, I can fill the room myself and drop out of the monitors to give the rest of the band a better opportunity to hear.
    kap'n kro likes this.
  10. Aren't the Watagge a nomadic tribe of lemming herders?
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I would say the minimum is 200w. Depends on your needs though. I regularly gig a GK MB200 into a 4ohm Eden 212 playing smooth jazz, funk and r&b. I'm plenty loud in genres that are bass heavy in the mix.
  12. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    100 watt head (tube preferred) should be plenty, through 2x15s (or a 4x10) for most rock.

    An open mic I used to frequent had a Hartke B90 (or B900, I forget) SS 90 watt 1x15 bass amp combo that worked quite well for that room, with loud drummers! But more speakers improves volume.
  13. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Cab(s) with more/larger cones will require fewer watts. A pair of 112s and 500 watts is a pretty sweet spot, but a 115 and 200 watts might work well, and 100 watts with an 810 will as well.
    Al Kraft and kap'n kro like this.
  14. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Completely agree. IMO, in the grand scheme of things, I'd say that 400-500w into two 12s is a great middle ground between watts and speakers.

    From there, less watts will need more cone (as noted), or less cone will need (lots) more watts. You could likely make do with 250w into a fridge, or use 1000w into a modern single-woofer supercab. Just a matter of what balance works best for your sound, back, and budget.
    Joedog likes this.
  15. Amen to that.
    ThuzzleFump, pcake and kap'n kro like this.
  16. wayshot


    Sep 25, 2006
    Skage, Norway
    I once tried running an old Ashdown MAG200 combo into a Marshall VBC412 cab instead of the builtin 2x10 speakers. It was FAR louder, it reached unpleasant sound pressure levels without being maxed. I agree that speaker surface matters more than watts.
    Joedog likes this.
  17. rufus.K

    rufus.K Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2015
    The Wattage were a nomadic tribe of Minutemen, from the Boon-docks of San Pedro. They would hurley themselves around while jamming econo.
  18. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    I use a GK MB800 into a 8ohm 410. So 500 watts most of the time. For large gigs I have another 410.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Every amp is different, but looking at heads 300 watts @ 8 ohm/500 @ 4ohm is the area I look. For just casual some of the micro heads are good, but I would not want to depend on them without FOH support.
  20. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    I run about 300watts minimum for my 8ohm cab amp runs at 500 or so watts for my 4ohm 6X10. plenty loud never goes much past noon.
  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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