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more than 130 watts

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    It is my contention that one would never really need more than 130 watts in an amp to play any gig.

    Just read in another thread that someone had the "painful" experience of having to play through a 350 watt amp as opposed to his regualar 700 watts and it got me thinking.

    My amp is 130 watts. I never needed more than that (and I play with a REALLY loud drummer). Any club I play it either has enough power, or it gets miked - and when it gets miked I'm always told to turn it down to next to nothing anyhow - even in really big venues. Sometimes they even MAKE ME go through the monitors. I've played outdoors with this amp also - never a problem.

    Wuts the deal - why does anyone really need any more???????
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Of course you do!! This is obviously just flame bait anyway - so I'm not going to get all annoyed. :rolleyes:

    I always use my Eden 300 watt amp - even for small acoustic Jazz gigs. I have seen other pro Jazz bass players using 600 or 700 watt amps in small clubs playing "acoustic Jazz".

    I think it's all about headroom - if you want a very clear and clean bass sound then you need as much of this as possible.

    If you are prepared to put up with or actually like a dirty, distorted sound then go ahead and use what you like - probably the smaller the better! ;)
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    What Bruce said.

    It also depends on your cabs SPL. If you have a 105 dB SPL 1W/1m cab, you'll need 1/10s of the power you'd need for a 95 dB cab to get the same volume.

    As a rule of thumb you trade volume in a cab for frequency range/linear sound and vice versa. So some people will choose the quieter cab for sound and get more power to compensate.
    The price and weight of a (solid state) watt has dropped considerably in the last years, so that's not really a problem.
  4. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member

    Depends a lot on how you eq the signal too. I know many punk players that turn the bass way down and crank the treble. That way they can really cut through with relatively low volume.

    (Definitely not the sound I prefer though.)
  5. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I have 2400 watts available from my amp but it's not for the volume. It's for the low Hz.

    I played a Hartke 350 watt amp out of a 115 and 210. The volume was fine, but the low end really blew on stage.

    Now my bottom is like butter!!!
    I mean the bottom of my bass, not me bumm bumm!!
  6. People need all that power and all those speakers because they're obviously compensating for something.

    Or it's just plain fun to say "Yeah I have a 15 kilowatt power amp and 55 18" subs."
  7. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.....54 18" subs is just fine for me. Who are those weirdos with 55 of them? That's just overkill!!! :D
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    No flame bait here, honestly. I'm serious. I still don't think 700 watts is EVER necessary. I can see how someone might want some headroom, and some bigger speakers perhaps - or the punch and high you can get from 4 tens, but for myself I honestly don't know if I'd ever need that kind of stuff. I'll admit that sometimes my amp is pushing it, and I do like a slight bit of distortion, but this is only when my drummer is really wailing. I've played in groups that were more contemporary than the Nerve and my little Peavey got all the tone, punch and clarity I ever needed. I dunno.... I'm still not convinced.

    Okay - maybe now I'm instigating a little :) !
  9. Nomadic Herder's right. Power can compensate for crappy speakers or a ****ty low gain preamp (the latter being my case)
    By the way, I have a 160 w amp and it's not loud at all (messed up preamp)
  10. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I seriously doubt that your preamp has not enough gain unless it's broken.

    Again, it's simple physics.

    Take a SWR Triad that has 96 dB SPL 1W/1m, to raise the dB level by 10 you need ten times the power.

    96 dB = 1 W
    106 dB = 10 W
    116 dB = 100 W
    126 dB = 1000 W

    a 106 dB cab, let's say Eden 410 XLT

    106 dB = 1 W
    116 dB = 10 W
    126 dB = 100 W

    The Triad sounds more linear (1x15, 1x10, tweeter), but would need 1000 W to crank out 126 dB, but you'd need only 100 W for that with the Eden.
    That doesn't mean that the Triad has crappy speakers btw.

    Keep in mind that dB is logarithmic, hence the exponential power curve.
    To get the first + 10 dB you only need 9 more watts, the next already require 90 and so on.
  11. :D Oh I wasn't talking about a crappy preamp or anything. I was talking about inadequacies...elsewhere. ;) The same kind that make JT have those huge basses and some people drive Porsches. If ya know what I'm getting at.
  12. cronus

    cronus Guest

    Jan 17, 2002
    Romulus, Michigan
    on whatever ive played, its never been enough power for me :D
  13. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Just realized why my 130 watts get me to the same place some people need 700 to get to, uh duHH! I almost forgot...

    My volume goes up to 11!
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  15. Steven Green

    Steven Green

    Jul 25, 2001
    Pacific NW
    My band plays very loud. If I were to play a 130 watt head, I would get buried...deep. I used 2K watts because I can get great clean tone at high volumes...
  16. Simple confusion--you're confusing what works for you with what ought to work for everybody else!;) :D Two very different things, mon frere.

    Seriously, I'm not trying to be a hardass about it, and I'm not mad or offended in the least, but you're just ... wrong. I know for a fact that I can't do what I want to do the way I want to do it with 130 watts. I know this because I've tried it, repeatedly and fruitlessly. Other folks here will tell you the same.
  17. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    One thing that I noticed here (and pretty much any topic similar to this) is that everybody put what will work for them in certain situations by putting down loudness. 'My 150 watts is fine for me and I have a LOUD guitarist' 'I need 1000 watts because my drummer is LOUD'.

    Could all this debate stem from the fact that 'loud' means different things to different people? Maybe loud to one person is a guitarist with a 20 watt amp turned up to 7 and loud to another person is that same guitarist with a 100watt amp turned up to 9. Could this be why we always disagree with how much is enough? We state what should be audible in our perceived loud situation with no base line of what 'loud' actually is that we could all work with? Hell, maybe we all agree but just don't know it. :D
  18. Shoot, i'll be using a DB750 with a GS112 or 2 GS112s for small gigs. So far, i have one part of that equation, the DB750 (at least when it shows up i will :D)
  19. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    All right, all right, I give up! Richard L's response has convinced me most - my 130 watts works fine for me and I get upset when people tell me what THEY think should work for me. Perhaps I'm wr... wro... ww...... not entirely right about 130 watts being more than enough. I think my amp is a bit of a freak anyhow - it's about 25 yrs old and I really haven't heard anything else like it match it's bang for the buck. That's why I keeps holdin on to it.

    Confession: If I had an overflow of cash I'd probably get a head with lots more watts. OK. I'm lying - I'd buy a Streamer Jazzman. Now if I had a REALLY BIG overflow.....
  20. jamminji


    Mar 22, 2002
    Get rid of all the amps and get a Bass Pod... If you go through the PA you don't need any amp at all. The caveat(sp) there is do the PA speakers give you the tone you want?

    other then that 130 watts just does not cut it in anything but very small venues.


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