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New bass amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rzarector, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Rzarector


    Jan 5, 2014
    I am a former guitarist, and recently I bought a bass. I am now searching for a good amp to use with it, but I am not willing to spend anything more than 350usd...

    I know that I should not expect to get anything great in that price, but I am looking for something descent at least.

    So, I want it to be powerful enough cause I am playing with a drummer and another 2 guitarists on a garage. The music is rock/metal.

    I have found the Warwick BC 80 in the right price, but the 80 watt output are not enough according to the drummer. I have found a lot of reviews, but none provides any exact info about whether the amp is heard when playing rock/metal with other people. Also, the amp has two inputs, a passive and an active (I think my bass is passive), so is the power split to 40W+40W? Anyone who owns this little amp please help me, cause I think I really like it, but I don't want to pay for the wrong thing :)
  2. 80 watts will not give you enough in a rock band situation. Generally speaking, you need 3x the wattage your guitarist is using. IMO, 300 watts is just right (but there is nothing wrong with more head-room). Anything more than that, then you will be probably playing thru the FOH/PA. The 300 will give you plenty for monitoring your sound and allowing the rest of the band to hear you.
  3. Rzarector


    Jan 5, 2014
    Thanks for the reply :)

    The 300 watt minimum you are suggesting sound a little bit like an exaggeration. I am saying this because I tested this bass through an 150 watt before buying, playing with a guitarist and drummer and I was heard very well on 50% volume!

    That is why I am considering an 80 watt on 95% volume for example....Actually the amp I am considering (Warwick bc80) is supposed to filter distortions when played in max volume (0.03% distortion at 100% volume)
  4. Rzarector


    Jan 5, 2014
    And don't forget that as I mentioned in the beginning, I don't have more than 350 usd to spend (the Warwick bc80 costs 336 usd for example).
  5. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Here's the thing- the volume knob isn't a good indicator of how much power you're using. Most bass amps are full on when the knob is halfway. An 85 watt combo cranked full on will only rip your speaker apart, not get louder. The basic rule of thumb is that volume comes from having enough spkrs, and the power to push them. 300 watts is a safe amount, but you still need enough spkr to turn that power into sound. It's not at all like guitar amps, so think this over carefully before wasting your budget on something that won't work long term.
  6. Clouz

    Clouz The Ayatollah of Jack and Cola

    Jan 26, 2013
  7. Rzarector


    Jan 5, 2014
    Thanks for the reply RickenBoogie
    Do you have any suggestions for me in the price range I set?
  8. Rosebud


    Jan 3, 2007
    I hate to say it but I agree with the previous post. 80 watts will not be enough, you'll strain the amp or blow it eventually. 150 would be the bare minimum for a small situation, they won't hear you at band/audience/yourself at 80 watts. For $350 used I try to get a used Harte, Carvin, or peavey rig you may have to talk someone down to $350 Sorry bass stuff costs more IMO (in my opinion) subjective I know.

    Clouz has a pretty good idea there.
  9. I think you do not understand how watts work.........

    A 300w amp is NOT twice as loud as a 150w amp - it is only +3db louder.

    A 300w amp is only twice as loud as a 30w amp (it takes 10X the power to double output).
  10. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Plenty of used Ampeg combo amps such as the 210SP, BA500 that you should be able to pick up for around $350. I've seen a few SWR and Fender combos in that price range as well.
  11. Rzarector


    Jan 5, 2014
    Ok thanks everyone for your answers
    From what I understand, I will either have to pay 500-600 usd minimum, or just sell the bass and get on with my life (the most probable as I have no more than 350usd to spend)...
    Even the ebay 150watt listings go way beyond 350usd including the shipping costs to Greece!
    Thanks anyway! I now know that bass is a sport for the wealthier :p
  12. Dmwphoto

    Dmwphoto what does this light/\ do?

    Nov 27, 2013
    Richmond va
    if 350 is your max for this then keep looking used. You asked a fairly large base(bass) of people that are experienced in this, their opinion. It would be a foolish waste of money to ignore their advice.
  13. Mortom27


    Jul 22, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    with $350 you should be able to find a decent used 200W amp or combo amp on ebay, I'll recommend you look at the GK
    amps, they have an high output level and you'll have not problem cutting tru the mix.
  14. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    I just purchased a 500W amp used for $375 that will put 300W into my 8 ohm cabinet. And I purchased it here in the classifieds.

    There a plenty of 350W amps coming up on a regular basis for less than 350 smackers, and Guitar Center also has a plethora of sub-500W amps in your price point. For a loud metal/rock band in a grage, you can probably get away with a 250W amp into an efficient cab. But you can never have too much power!

    And doubling the power DOES allow you to play twice as loud while retaining headroom. When people say doubling the power only increases headroom, they're referring to the fact that a maxed out 150W amp is clipping all the peaks and effectively running compressed with no headroom while a 300W amp at the same general volume level will run the same perceived volume but without clipping the peaks.
  15. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    No; the alternative is to convince your guitarist to turn it down. Bass players always loose in a volume war, but practice sessions don't have to be that friggin' loud. If they tone it down a bit, you can swing 150W with an efficient used cab. I almost got by with a 60W combo on the mild days with my band.
  16. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I bought a used Ampeg BA-115 for $179 and played with a guitarist that had a Marshall stack. I was able to be heard after I got him to turn it down a little and my amp was only half way open. It's only 100W with 1 - 15" speaker.
  17. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Yes, exactly. The drummer isn't the problem, it's the guitarist.

    I have a hard hitting drummer on a Pearl drumset, and as long as I can keep the two guitarists turned down, things are decent and my 60W amp runs with the knob at halfway. You can see the Rumble 60 behind me.


    Unfortunately, the guitarists like to crank it up as the night goes ("I can't hear myself!" they say because they've deafened themselves over the years playing loud), and my 60 has to be maxed out to keep up. Two guitarists = double trouble.
  18. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Perhaps the way they rate wattage these days is different, but back in the 70's when I did most of my gigging, I was using an 80 watt Sunn tube head with either a 2 x 15 Ampeg or 4 x 12 Traynor cab. The guitarist used a Fender Twin and I don't remember what the key board player used. Never had any issues, and I never had to push the amp.
  19. I would simply suggest that you go to a music store with a decent slection of bass gear (even if you have to drive to a bigger city) and audition every bass amp in your price range. This will give you a better idea of what sounds good to you and what to look for if you are buying used.
  20. I'm not sure what has changed, but 80 watts won't push 2x15's or 4x12's today. That is woefully underpowered. Probably, the difference is in the class of amp (A, B, D, etc...)