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Need advice on a small amp for outdoor use

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by srxplayer, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I am pretty new at this bass gig and need some advice on stepping up to a bigger amp for outdoor use.

    I am currently using an Ibanez SW65 that I have used for indor practice or I run a 1/4" out to a board and use it as a stage monitor. It works ok indoors but outside it gets snuffed by everything.

    For practice our band is using a an six channel Yamaha PA system thats rated at 300 watts. We run vocals, 2 guitars and a Roland Keyboard through it. The bass player has to amplify on his own, and of course the drums are on thier own. This set up is used for practice on a back patio that is covered with a solid roof. With 300 watts we are not playing at insane volumes either. Of course 65 watts is not going to be heard at all in this mess.

    I would like to step up to a bigger amp but I don't want to get into a huge stack just yet. I just need something to be heard. But I don't want to go out and buy something and find out it's not enough.

    What do you think????
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Moved to Amps...
  3. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    I don't pretend to have all the expertise required for a real answer, but I have just faced a similar problem, especially on the "don't want to get into a huge stack just yet" front. I have heard one option, a 100+ watt 15" combo like the Ampegs or Peavey TNT, and they are a definite step up from your Ibanez (I use an Ibanez SW35 for practice some--nice little amp with good features like headphone + CD practice) if you are rockin and more interested in loudness than hifi tone. About $400-500.

    I took a different route--a good used 1x12 cab (Genz, Avatar, Aguilar) and a small head (in my case a used Peavey Sessionbass) for around 125 watts into 8 ohms. A GREAT BIG improvement over the small combo and IMO much more musical than the TNT/Ampeg B100R or such for what I am after. Playing outside, though, you do need about 2-3 times the amp you have now and at least a high-quality 12 or 15 inch cab or combo. You are verging on the "big stack" thing, though, and the nice thing about the head+cab option is that upgrades are only a second cab away, depending on the head you choose. Look at a used Peavey Firebass or something similar, about 200-300 watts, for expansion later.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I like 7flat5's idea about the 100w+ 15" combo.

    also consider starting a "stack" by getting a 300w+ (into 4ohm) head and at least a 1x12 "pro" cab. "stack" doesn't have to imply "heavy", but pricey might be a factor. my current "stack":

    tech21 RBI 5LBS $300
    Stewart amp 1.2kw 11LBS $640
    skb rack 14LBS $75
    aguilar gs112 cab 42LBS $380
    aguilar gs112 cab 42LBS $380
    totals 114 LBS $1775

    rig with one cab = (30 + 42) = 72 LBS

    but, I have enough power to handle even bigger cabs and situations in the future.
  5. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    Thanks for the info.

    I was thinking of possibly getting the Behringer BX300T and their BA115 cab.

    The Behringer head is rated at 300 Watts @ 4 ohms. The BA115 Cab has an aluminum 15" W/ A 1" horn. Prices are pretty good. $ 279.00 for the head and $259.00 for the cab.
    I just don't know enough about their amps. I do use their effects units in our rack at church and they seem to be trouble free.

    I have also seen the Ibanez SW100 Combo that you can put an extension cab on. It runs @ 100 watts w/ a 15" paper cone and a Piezo tweater. It will run at 145 watts at 4 ohms with the extention cab wich also has another 15" and a Piezo. The set up looks pretty cool but I don't know if it will be enough outdoors.

    Any thoughts on this??
  6. 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
    You said the "B" word. Go to your room.
  7. If you are playing out of doors, your low bass will just disappear, since there are no walls to 'keep it in'. Try turning the bass down and the mids up, and you should get more sound for less money.

    Taking that to its logical end point, go for ten inch speakers, not a fifteen - you will not hear the bottom end.
  8. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    You could probably keep your Ibanez, and rent a PA for the outdoor gig. The audience will hear you, and you won't sink a ton of money in gear you usually wont use to practice. Get the band to split it. For $200 you can rent a sound man and his equipment for a few hours and let him do all of the work.
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    What about a combo?

    The Eden Metro, Peavey BAM, and SWR Super Redhead are all very powerful, and sound most excellent.