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Minumum Amount of Watts You Would Use For....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RyanJD, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    ...a small, small gig.
    Like coffeehouse style, no mics.

    I'm doing some acoustic-type gigs in the near future, and I've been trying to figure out the wattage I would need.
    We've got one or two acoustic guitars, a cajon, a keyboard, one or two singers, a bass and no mics.
    The only other thing that will be plugged in is the piano, running through some kind of keyboard combo amp, and sometimes we won't even have a piano. (And it's possible sometimes it will just be me, the keys and the cajon.)

    So I've been looking at combos recently and I don't know how many watts I need.
    Can I pull it off with 30, or do I need more?

    I regularly play out of a giant Carvin stack, but I need something more portable!
    In addition to wattage recommendations, if you could suggest a combo as well it would be much appreciated.

  2. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Coffee house gigs don't need much volume, but they often want for lows - which you typically won't get in a small low wattage combo.

    I'd suggest a nice small lightweight cab and then whatever amp you want (say, a GK MB200 or something tiny).
  3. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    Cab suggestions?

    Whatever I get, it has to be online. Where I live, there's only one music store and they are way overpriced.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I have an Ashdown LB30 and though it wouldn't cut it on a metal gig I would imagine it would be perfect on a coffee house gig. I am pushing a 3x10 cab with mine though, more speakers = more volume.
  5. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    That sounds great.
    My budget is not quite that large though.
  6. Hi.

    SWR WM10 for me.

    Or any other ~80W(ish) 110 combo.

    Of course, if money isn't the restriction, there's quite a few micro cabs and amps out there.

    People are very funny about the bass on "acoustic" gigs just like rpsands there said, they want to feel it.
    Perhaps even more than on an "electric" gig.

    IMLE anyway ;).

  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Wattage is not the best way to determine volume. 200-300 watts is a good baseline to ensure you never need to push an amp too hard. The deciding factor will be the spkr cab. For a coffee house gig, a good 1x12, or 2x10 should be plenty.
    A 300 watt head with a 1x12 would be a nice, low volume bass rig. Take that same 300 watt head, and pair it with a 2x15, and you now have a club gig rig. It's all about the spkrs.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Yeah, I got mine at the musicians friend blow out sale. Great amp, but I don't know if I would recommend it so highly at $900.
  9. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    I'm now regretting selling off my Ampeg PF-350.

    Yeah that makes sense...
  10. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    I would venture to say 50watts would be minimum. There's a 100w Ampeg B100r combo in the TB classifieds right now that would be perfect. Fantastic tone out of that amp, and they don't make them anymore. EDIT: If you had a PF-350, you would love the B series combos.

    If you wanted the head + cab option, I would second the GK MB200 suggestion. There are a couple of those for sale in the TB classifieds, as well. I would go with a 1x12 cab, such as the GK Neo 112-II or even a Hartke Hydrive 112 if you want to keep within a certain budget.
  11. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Ampeg SVT-AV and a SVT 810 AV. :bassist::D

    Ok in all seriousness, for me I would take a look at the gear I already have and down size. That would entail a Ampeg PF-500 and a fEARful 12/6/1. I wouldnt go out trying to find a smaller amp just because the volume demand isnt there, I would just use my volume knob.
  12. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Coffeeshop gig... I'm assuming you're playing with acoustic guitarists?

    If I was in this position, I'd run a normal combo like a 1x15 or 2x10, pretty much any amp head out there, but focus on equalizing the highs out and the low-mid to the perfect sweet spot that it sounds good and full without being boomy. Now I'm usually a full-range treble fuzz blasting kind of guy, but playing small coffee shops w/ acoustic guitarists is a whole diff ballgame. I try to make my electric sound as much like a double bass plugged into a subwoofer as I can.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Anything available used in your area?

    In a deal like that, you're going to have the bottom end of the mix pretty much all to yourself and don't need much to be heard. No "noise" to fight through. Could probably do it with a glorified practice combo, say 20-30 watts and a 8" - 12" speaker. From the older Peavey line, something like a Minx 110 or Basic 112.
  14. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Why do you want another amp?
    Just find a small 210 or 112 cab and use the amp you already own.
  15. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    I'd say as much wattage as you can afford..

    It's the same as Having a car with 450hp, a vault full of money, or a big D!(K ... - you don't have to use the whole thing, but it's there just in case. ;)

  16. TC Electronic BG250 combo. 30lbs ish and rated at 250 watts. You can get them on sale for a little over 300 bucks sometimes. I totally dig this amp because of the weight. I use it for my normal cover gig stuff as well as smaller gigs because it can fill a room with good sounding bass with a very light combo.
  17. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Or this^^.......any small cabs in your stack? From my stuff, I'd bring the 400rb, a single 12, keep the volume down and just focus on a nice tone.
  18. TRyan5289


    Jul 18, 2012
    Davenport, Iowa
    I'd say, plan for needing more. My suggestion is a 700rb with a small cab, possibly a 112, 210, or 115.
  19. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
  20. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    If you like Carvin get one of those Carvin combo's. The 1X10 is $300 brand new and weighs 23 lbs. For 50 bucks more you could get a 2X10 or 1X15. Those combos would probably get you through a lot more than just a coffee shop, but the volume knob will make it usable for one.

    I am about to start playing with some singer songwriters and I am thinking about getting one just because they are so light.