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Minimum watts needed to cut through a drummer and two guitarists?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jaymeister99, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    Minimum watts needed to cut through a drummer and two guitarists?

    Ive got two guitarists running 60w amps, and a drummer that I need to be heard through. Right now we are just playing as a garage band. I need a decent amp that I can use as a monitor for myself. Thinking about getting a Fender Bassman 100, or something similar like a smaller Peavey, Crate, or the Fender Rumble 100.

    When we do graduate to doing some extremely small gigs (small bars, small parties), we can hook up through a PA, so I dont need to go nuts with a 300+w amp. Just something simple that will serve the purpose for now.
  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    multiple 4x whatever the guitarists are using. so, in your case,

    (60w + 60w) x 4 = 480 watts.

    but also, keep in mind, you'll need plenty of speaker area as well. so, while a 2x10 is iffy, IMHO, a 2x12 or a 4x10 is your safest bet.

    of course, these are worst case senario theorectics, and in case your guitarists feel like pulling out all the stops for an all out onslaught. at least, you'll have the headroom to keep up no matter how far they decide to push their rigs.
  3. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I think 480 watts sounds a bit rediculous. I think he should be fine with something like an Ashdown MAG300.

    But yeah, absolute minimum for me is 60 watts tube. But I like to play distorted. YMMV.
  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Also, wattage doesn't matter as much as the efficiency of a cab.
  5. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    480 watts??? There has to be another way to figure than 4x the guitarists. Ive jammed with the guitarists and drummer using a 15w amp as a monitor. I could barely hear my 15w rumble, but it worked. I dont see how I would need 480w to cut through em the right way. Granted they were not turned up to the full 60w, more like half way on the volume nob set at 5, with me at 10.

    I know efficiency, and related to that the actual decibels the amps are putting out will matter. But even if I assumed 80 decibels out of my amp, upping it to 150w and assuming the same efficiency (even though I would think a good 150w amp would be much better), I would have about another 30db bringing it to about 110 decibels. More than enough to make me deaf in a dew hours!

    I would think that pumping 110+ decibels in my face would be enough? Right?
  6. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    You don't need 480 watts, that's just the TalkBass mindset of wanting tons of headroom. I'd imagine you could get by with a 100 watt amp & a 15" speaker, but more is obviously better.
  7. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    I run an Ashdown MAG300 through an Avatar B212 Neo, up about three-fourths of full volume, and I am heard just fine with two guitarists running 100W Marshall half-stacks and a drummer.
  8. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    Also, any bassist who thinks he/she has to "cut through" anything, rather than being part of the ensemble, is being fueled mostly by ego - not musicianship. If that's the case, you might want to take up quilting and give up the bass. Plenty of "cutting through" in quilting.

    Just my humble opinion, and not directed at any one individual.
  9. I think you should be aiming for 100w tube+, or 250w SS+ with at least a 115, 118, 410 or 212.
  10. +1

    You'll want to give yourself a lot of headroom.
  11. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
  12. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    I looked through thise links, Im still not buying it. Dont see how 400w is needed. If I was playing with a pair of guitarists playing out of some quality 100w amps, I might see a need for something bigger. But with 60w amps running 1/2 power, come on!

    And with a 100-150w monitor amp right in front of my face, its got to be heard without a problem. As for an audience hearing me with the rest of the band, why would relying on a PA for a bass be a gamble?

    Wouldnt it make the most sense to run say a 150w or 200w monitor setup, and play the bass along with the rest of the band through a good mixer/PA setup? Or is this whole 450w thing just a "I need to feel cool and play loud thing"?
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    No, you're wrong. He asked what he needs to cut through two 60-watt guitars and a drummer. That sounds like at least 600 watts to me in a gigging situation. Sixty-watt guitar amps are LOUD. Don't go depending on the PA unless you have the subs to handle the bottom end, either. When I play through the PA, it's only when I've got at least 1,000 watts going to the subs, and that doesn't sound nearly as good as when I've got 4,800 watts hooked up to them. (Of course, they're not seeing all that power, but the headroom definitely is there.)
  14. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    i've tried to use 120w and 160w amps with gigging situations, and they just don't cut it.

    I say 250 watts minimum. preferably through a 12" or 15" or 2x10"
  15. My last band was a similiar situation. One 60w S.S. amp, One 60w Tube amp and a drummer. I used a 550w amp with a 2 x 12 and it worked just fine. 480 watts sounds about right.
  16. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    600 watts, maybe if you're using really inefficient cabs. I know how loud 60 watt guitar amps are, my guitarist uses a Peavey Classic 50/410, and is planning on getting an extension cabinet. I can keep up with him fine with a 60 watt tube amp. I could also probably keep up with him with an Ashdown Electric Blue 180, or a MAG 300. But 600 watts to keep up with a couple of 60 watt amps is rediculous. If you've got it, use it. But it seems like way overkill, unless you're going for an ultra-scooped Fieldy like sound.
  17. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I played in a band with two 60-75 watt 1x12 guitarists and a pretty loud drummer and an awful singer.

    I cut through rehearsals fine with an Ashdown MAG 300 and a 1x15. For gigs where I needed more volume without pushing my equipment much, I added on another 1x15 or 2x10.

    If it looks like your guitarists arent going to upgrade to bigger cabs (that means they will be pushing a lot more low end) any time soon, you will probably fill the sonic space great with a 1x15 setup and around 200 watts.

    If you end up getting a combo, try and pick one that you can add an extension cab to if you need it.
  18. You don't have to see it. It's better to believe people who have been there and experienced it, then to experience it yourself. You could say "oh man these people are retarded I don't need all that" and buy something smaller, but then you might find yourself not cutting the mustard and having to upgrade. Yes 400w is a very luxurious and safe place to be at in your situation. You wont have to worry at all. Something a bit smaller might work, but it's better safe then sorry.

    Remember that 400w is only twice as loud as 40w. Remember that guitars cut through and are more easily heard than bass. Remember that bass frequencies take more power to be produced by a speaker. And many other factors.
  19. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    i actually think Ivanmike's posts properly address these sentiments.

    also, Jay,

    again, these are worse case senario numbers. course, w/ this kind of power comes responsibility for using the appropriate amount for the gig/situation/basement jammin'.

    course, at the same time, like the boy scouts, best to be prepared, and have the most amount of wattage one is afforded to handle whatever gig/session/outdoor gig one might be faced. but if all a person is doing is jammin' around w/ their friends, then sure, truck out that 60 watt Rumble combo. works for me. :) but hey, you wanted to heard, and we're givin' ya the failsafe answer.

    again, its about having plenty of headroom. i.e. pushing a 200 watt amp at full bore is gonna limit and most likely kill the life of an amp waay quicker, than using a 400 watt amp lowered to equal the same amount of volume.

    if you have the money, get the most wattage you can afford, and use your better judgement to use what you need. simple as that. again, 480 watts isnt as ridiculous as it sounds. most upper echelon amps from guys like Aguilar, Thunderfunk, Epifani, EA, recognize that 500 watts is the bare minimum for most gigging situations.
  20. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    This is why you need at least 500 watts...

    A speedster 25 watt Class A guitar amp with a single 12" speaker. My Eden 600 keeps up with it ok in a live situation. (using a 410 with the eden) If you have to deal with 2 guitar players you should be looking at as much power as you can afford.