1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Neccesity of a large bass amplifier

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wyattharris, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. wyattharris


    Mar 23, 2011
    My "rigs" are an Ampeg PF350 and an Eden WTDI pedal. The Ampeg is plenty enough power for small gigs and if i play anywhere bigger, there is a PA which they will want me to DI into anyway.
    If i put the Ampeg up on a combo stand pointed up towards my head, it functions as a great monitor for myself and i can send the DI signal to FOH. However, all the "pros" seem to have large bass stacks. Can someone explain to me why it's necessary to have a massively high wattage head and a huge bass cab? I'm not trying to troll or anything, i seriously would like to know what they are for.
  2. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    You'll encounter a lot of venues that do not have ample PA support. I'm no pro but I always make sure that I have enough rig behind me to fill the room with sound without a PA. I'm only lucky enough to see PA support half the time.

    As far as the pros, half of it is image I'd guess but I'll let you know if I ever get there. ;)
  3. thebean


    Jan 23, 2007
    Most pros have in-ears for there mix on stage. The bass rig is mainly for show and so the bassist can feel the bass. But I've worked for several bands whos cabs were purely for show.
  4. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    Builder: Bottom Line Bass Cabinets

    If you go to a concert and the band has a huge backline of amps, it is just as monitors, and for show.

    If you have PA support, your amp will do fine.
  5. fenderphil


    Sep 1, 2006
    Houston, TX
    theres no replacement for displacement
  6. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly

    Mar 3, 2010
    Use what you like and what works. Forget what everyone else is using.
  7. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Huge bass cab for low wattage head. Mid sized cab for huge wattage heads. For when you don't go round expecting someone else to bring your music from your fingers to the ears of your audience.
  8. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Its about girls, girls have wobbly bits and bass gear wobbles them, the more bass gear you have personally, obviously the more of these parts you directly wobble.
    Its a very simple equation.
    PS Have you ever thought of wearing corpse paint and a utterly huge cod piece as part of your stage show?.
    If the answer is never, you probably don't really need a bigger amp.:bassist:
  9. pan1k


    Sep 16, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    You made my day
  10. wyattharris


    Mar 23, 2011
    Oh, I'm totally satisfied with my gear. I was just curious as to why they are still used in the era of everything going through PA
  11. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I think it goes back to the days of when there was no PA support, or very little, back when you had to carry the sound yourself with your rig. Of course, the by product of that is that you get to enjoy the visceral feel of the low frequencies vibrating through you. I believe that once the sound of music became really big, say, in the '60s, that feeling became addictive to all generations who followed, to this day. I know I like to play my rig full and loud enough to feel it. The only thing that's different nowadays is that that condition can be reached by the use of smaller (and more efficient) equipment. But the image remains, and it sits comfortably in our thinking. It could be said that just the sight of big equipment enhances the listening experience. Even before the show begins the sight of it stimulates the mind, and is the harbinger of big things to come when the music starts.
  12. Adam Bomb

    Adam Bomb

    Mar 26, 2008
    Bezerkely, CA
    After five years of being in bands, I am about to do my first gig where there will be P.A. support for the bass.

    Didn't say they were good bands.

    --Bomb :bassist:
  13. +1

    I could have easily used a 100watt amp with my old 8x10, it wasn't hard to be loud with that cab. Likewise with my current 700watt amp through smaller cabs.
  14. In my last two bands generally there was only a P.A system for half the gigs we played and even if there was one, sometimes it wasn't enough or it wasn't working. For one of those bands we had our own P.A but it took some time to set up which wasn't always ideal.
  15. When I play bigger venues I like having my bigger rig (500 watt amp and 1-410 cab and 1 115 cab) because even though you can get sound to your monitor, the sound guy sends you what sounds good to him. I am very picky about the sound that is coming to me. That is the reason I am playing to begin with, to hear what I want to hear. So, I like to mix it my self through my amp and when you have a big wide open space to play in, more power helps a lot! My smaller combo works if it is close to my head, but I would tend to try to turn it up to much and the quality of the sound would suffer. Your combo might be better than mine though.
  16. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Well PA support has been around for decades, so it's really nothing new. I am no pro touring bassist, but when I have gigged there's a few things that have persuaded me to bring ample wattage to a show:

    - Just because they have monitors available, doesn't mean they can handle your bass signal as well as your cabs. I've had plenty of those "No need for a backline, we have monitors for you at the front of the stage" only to hear a disgusting fart noise from the monitor the entire night. With a whole mix going through there, it can be difficult to hear yourself.

    - You need a strong sonic defense in case of hostile gui**** takeover. I've had plenty of times where the crazy volume was "necessary" for the guitarist, but not for me apparently. I don't think so, you can do what you want with my FOH but I'm bringing big enough guns to hear myself on stage.

    - Locking in with the drummer is another reason I do the big rigs. Many times my drummer has complained about monitor mixes, but he says that having my bass cab nearer to him helps him keep in the same rhythm territory as me if he gets sorta lost.

    I'd rather have too much and have to turn it down, than have too little and worry about pushing something too hard. Keep in mind, you can always turn a high-wattage head down lower. "Headroom" is all the reason in the world I need to justify a big rig.
  17. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada

  18. mattq


    May 23, 2006
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I care about tone.
  19. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    This may be the winner of most useless, silly thread EVER
  20. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    Exactly, and I was gonna respond to the OP, they make a nice backdrop when they stand taller than you are. That's priceless.