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Pro players, which would you prefer?... take the poll

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 8mmOD, Mar 20, 2005.


  1. Yes, I can always crank the volume or slave the amp for more power.

    24 vote(s)
    32.4%
  2. No, I'll keep that volume knob down & stick with my heavy, high powered head.

    51 vote(s)
    68.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    HEY THERE!

    This is my first post, so a big hello to everyone here! :)

    Please read my preface & then I will pose the questions. I suppose anyone can join in on this, but I'd especially like to hear from people that play out regularly, be it big or small venues.

    First off forget about Solid State or Tube for a minute and just focus on -"it sounds good". If an amp sounded crappy, the decision would be easy, you probably wouldn't use it.

    My bass amp is mic'd up or running through a D/I for most every show I play. For most of the clubs my '74 SVT rig is just too loud, the soundman always complains, so I have recently switched to a lower powered Ampeg head- an old ss150 guitar head that I am guessing is "maybe" 300 watts at 4 ohms.

    With the higher powered heads I have used- The 4 Pro, SVT Classic (or Vintage), I can play a club and never really need to push the amp... its on 3 or 4 at the most. With my 3 Pro I'd have to turn it up a bit louder, still no problem.

    With the ss150 I am using now I turn it up generally less than 1/2 way if its mic'd & I still have enough power to play a smaller club if its not mic'd... but for that I need to turn the volume up to almost 3/4's! It doesn't overheat or clip & it still sounds really great, I just have to CRANK the volume levels. I especially like that the ss150 is sooo lightweight & now find myself more often using the ss150 rather than my heavy vintage head... it gets real old moving a 100 lb amp at 3 AM. I personally don't mind the few times I might need to CRANK the volume to play un-mic'd & have found that for most of the clubs its a perfect match.

    You have read my story, now here are my questions, please keep in mind I am not asking for suggestions on which amp to buy or even making any recomendatons, the questions are about amps "in general".

    Do you prefer a much heavier, but very high powered, (and often expensive) bass amp? Are you more comfortable knowing you only need to turn your volume level to 3 or 4 as opposed to 1/2 way up? IOW, do you like having much more power than you may ever really need? If there was a reasonably priced, lightweight bass amp that sounded REALLY good would you personally care if you had to turn up the volume knob more than with the real high powered amps? What if if there was also available a matching, reasonably priced, lightweight power amp if you ever needed to slave the lower watt amp, would that make any difference in your decision?

    Most of these questions can be answered by simply taking the poll, or please feel free to elaborate. I'd love to hear people thoughts on this matter. Thanks.
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'd like what everyone wants...high power, loud, great sound, light and small...but until the laws of physics change, its not gonna happen.

    Seriously, I'd rather have too much power for a gig than too little. Nothing worse than being at a show and not being able to hear or be heard and not being able to fix the situation. I also play enough alternate settings where having the ablility to push volume is handy. That said, I'm not looking at 1000 watts, just 300-500. I've decided I can haul a heavy head as long as the cabs are small and light. Sorta the best of both worlds.
     
  3. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Years ago, I was in a classic rock band doing pretty large rooms...with 240 watts ;) ... and It sounded fine onstage. But as soon as the rooms got to be big enough for a largish PA with several bins onstage, my sound literally disappeared. Small will get you through in most situations, but I got swallowed up by bigger rooms with larger P.A.s. Mind you I was using a 410 cab.

    IMO you can get by with as little as 200 watts as long as you have speaker area (8 x 10 Ampeg I'm assuming) on your side, which it sounds like you do.
     
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    A few years ago I downsized my rig to fit my current gigs. About a month later, I was fortunate to get a last-minute hire with a great band, larger venues. Result: blown speakers at the FIRST GIG trying to keep up.

    I've since resolved myself to have one modular rack rig capable of ANY venue, large, medium or small.
     
  5. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    Thanks for joining in everyone, this is good info.

    To elaborate, When I say "low wattage" I am talking about maybe 300-500 watts, not 150 watts!

    I play in a loud thrash band and even though my ss150 is not even close to being as loud as my '74 SVT, its still ear bleeding loud IF I turn the volume WAYYYYY up. I usually use a 410 + 15 setup, BTW. I play big & small stages & never have a problem hearing myself (I move around the stage a lot too). If I need bass in the monitors, it's usually not much unless its a huge stage. AND (drum roll) I can actually lift the ss150 onto my cabs by myself! :D In my case bigger is not better for 99% of my gigs.

    With that said....

    Would anyone like to elaborate even more on this subject and answer these questions below?

    1. How long have you been playing?


    2. What style of music do you play?


    3. What amps you have owned?


    4. How often do you play locally or tour?


    5. When you tour, do you even need to travel by plane?


    6. Would you use cab modeling to record direct (or run out to a PA) if it was built into your amp (assuming of course that it sounded good)?

    Now this one is way out there-

    7. Would you use firewire for direct recoding if it was built into your amp (and had good sounding cab modeling built in as well)?

    Thanks again for participating. :cool:
     
  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I've played on stage with a couple of different rigs, which are in all honesty at opposite ends of the spectrum. The littlest would be my simple little Peavey TKO-115 paired with a Sansamp BDDI. It works on the smallest of stages, but for a show I played last weekend (approximately 250 people) it just wouldn't cut it. I didn't feel like hauling the 8x10 down to the venue but in retrospect I should have. I could barely hear myself, but fortunately the tone out of the PA (courtesy of the Sansamp) was still good, so I spent as much time literally standing on the monitors at the front of the stage as I could so I could use the PA's volume as a monitor.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that to me, there's no substitute for ADEQUATE power and volume. What you deem as adequate is solely dependant on personal taste and need.
     
  7. I'll hang on to my big rig thank you. It's my insurance against unreasonable soundmen.
     
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    1. How long have you been playing?
    I've been playing bass in bands since 1987, played guitar before that for about 4 years.

    2. What style of music do you play?
    For the Past 10 years I've been playing Jamaican music. Ska, Rock Steady, Roots, Dub, Dancehall, a little Soca and Soul. Yet I've also been in Punk, Hardcore, Industrial, Goth, and good ol' R&R

    3. What amps you have owned?
    For years and years I subsisted on bottom-dweller rigs...Hartke 2000 & 3500's crappy Carvin cabs reloaded with different speakers etc. Currently I've just gotten a Mesa 400+ and added an Avatar SB112. Soon, a Schroeder 1210. I've decided I'm good enough to get decent gear.

    4. How often do you play locally or tour?
    I used to be in a band that gigged regularly throughout the N.E. and a bit of the M.W. as well. Probably on the average of 4-8 shows a month. Now I only play locally/regionally and average 3-6 gigs a month. Clubs, festivals, parties...I'm shameless...If you're gonna pay me the $$$ I play yer Aunt Eunice's funeral.

    5. When you tour, do you even need to travel by plane?
    Nope. Never. I have the suspicion that about 3% of working musicians do this.

    6. Would you use cab modeling to record direct (or run out to a PA) if it was built into your amp (assuming of course that it sounded good)?
    Nope. I like the real deal. Most modeling amps sound flat and have no depth of tone once you take it outta the bedroom/livingroom.

    Now this one is way out there-

    7. Would you use firewire for direct recoding if it was built into your amp (and had good sounding cab modeling built in as well)?

    Nah. Not if I can avoid it. If I'm gonna spend the time or $$$ to record, then I want to do it right...At home for personal recording I have a pile of other options.
     
  9. Thats just a cool reply man! Almost feel like I know ya now.....couse then you'd have to kill me right! :) Good stuff sept I'm sorry I use the "Bottom Feeder" 3500.........but, hey your forgiven
     
  10. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    8mm, you sound like a manufacturer doing research, LOL! :D

    1. How long have you been playing?
    Since 1990.

    2. What style of music do you play?
    Rock, metal, and punk.

    3. What amps you have owned?
    Not enough! Mainly Hartke and Trace Elliot.

    4. How often do you play locally or tour?
    I was playing 4-5 gigs a month years ago but hardly at all now.

    5. When you tour, do you even need to travel by plane?
    Never.

    6. Would you use cab modeling to record direct (or run out to a PA) if it was built into your amp (assuming of course that it sounded good)?
    Nope!

    7. Would you use firewire for direct recoding if it was built into your amp (and had good sounding cab modeling built in as well)?
    Again,nope!

    As for the original question, I have always used @350 watt heads with no problem. Having plenty of cab(s) has been the key for me. I can always preamp out to a poweramp and run more cabs!
     
  11. 1. How long have you been playing?
    31 yrs.

    2. What style of music do you play?
    Rock, Progressive, Blues/Funk/Jam & a little jazz

    3. What amps you have owned?
    Ampeg SVTs (1969 & 1999 Classic)
    GK 400RB
    The new Behringer 300 watt (BXT3000?)

    4. How often do you play locally or tour?
    1-2 times per month

    5. When you tour, do you even need to travel by plane?
    no

    6. Would you use cab modeling to record direct (or run out to a PA) if it was built into your amp (assuming of course that it sounded good)?
    Yes
    Now this one is way out there-

    7. Would you use firewire for direct recoding if it was built into your amp (and had good sounding cab modeling built in as well)?
    Yes
     
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    1. How long have you been playing?

    35 years.

    2. What style of music do you play?

    Punkrockdiscospacejazzdeathlounge, more or less. A little more eclectic than that though.

    3. What amps you have owned?

    Ampeg Peavey Fender Kustom Silvertone Allied Crown Hafler QSC Euphonic EBS Hartke G-K, some other ones.

    4. How often do you play locally or tour?

    Couple of times a week, usually.

    5. When you tour, do you even need to travel by plane?

    Not yet, although I occasionally fly somewhere for a jam.

    6. Would you use cab modeling to record direct (or run out to a PA) if it was built into your amp (assuming of course that it sounded good)?

    I'll decide that when someone builds a good sounding one. Tools is tools, I'm not opposed to the concept.

    7. Would you use firewire for direct recording if it was built into your amp (and had good sounding cab modeling built in as well)?

    Maybe, but my soundcard has SPDIF input, so I'd rather use that that than IEEE 1394. IOW, I prefer a dedicated-processor based solution.

    In general, I'm happy either going direct into the board, or using one of my homemade preamps.

    What do I win? :cool:
     
  13. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    This sort of feels like a "market survey".
    I will contribute: I have spent alot of time and money to find the equipment that I think sounds the best. If I thought there was an amp or cabinet to model I would find a way to go out and get the real thing, this bieng said I don't play in situations
    where I have to span decades tonally from song to song. In most situations the DI out of the back of whatever amp or pre-amp I am using is usually money, for live recording I usually DI up front and will "cab" it in the studio later if requested..
     
  14. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    >8mm, you sound like a manufacturer doing research, LOL!

    I am just a working musician who knows exactly what I want in a bass amp & I am interested in what other working players use & want... most specifically the size to weight ratio vs. total watts. I am not opposed to building a better mouse trap, but mass producing one would not be a simple task. I'm pretty happy with my little ss150 at the moment, anyone else using that amp? It actually was made for guitar, but in my opinion it sounds better for bass. At the least maybe I could petetion Ampeg to re-release the thing.

    What have you all found to be the right wattage amp for your needs? When I toured Europe last October, my 1200 watt power amp drew more power than the provided convertors so I was forced to use a 300 watt Marshall solid state head. I was surprised to find the 300 watts actually was enough power for all the venues but one. But it was a bit wimpy through an SVT 810 on the biggest stage we played.
     
  15. My guitarist owns an SS150H and he brought it over today, it sounds unreal. But wouldnt be enough power for me.
     
  16. It's cool to see some insight to the inside of my new friends here.....This is me....

    1. How long have you been playing?

    Started with martin and ovation in the 70's playing campfires...neil young and nitty gritty ( friends I wish I could remember now) Picked up a Hondo in 90 and a carvin with home made speakers to help a friend out who needed a bass player and as karma goes met the people I play with now. Left the state a few years and came back for family reasons. The old band got in touch and (here we go again) Oh ya.....The Bass..? Playing it about 6 years total.......Acoustic guiar..?....forever..... didnt mean to ramble


    2. What style of music do you play?

    I play in a 3 piece power band and have just added a keyboard.....it's kind of a "JazzFusionRock" thing. Remember "Sea level" ?


    3. What amps you have owned?

    Fender Bassmaster...Carvin....Now use a HA3500, 215XL cab, and a Hattke Bass Attack


    4. How often do you play locally or tour?

    Used to play once or twice a week...Hard to get up at 5AM the next day for work. Now....practice (with band) at least once a week (it's seams to be an issue thing when you get older) And we are a few months from giggi'n once a week.......and when we do I know from experience that ........I might make enough to cover my drinks


    5. When you tour, do you even need to travel by plane?

    Could you define "Tour"?


    6. Would you use cab modeling to record direct (or run out to a PA) if it was built into your amp (assuming of course that it sounded good)?

    NO!

    Now this one is way out there-

    7. Would you use firewire for direct recoding if it was built into your amp (and had good sounding cab modeling built in as well)?

    I use "Cake walk Pro Producers Edition" at home and would never use a modeler period. I don't know what your recording into but I would never "Model" my sound........

    These are my personal feelings and you guy's are lucky I wanted to share.........[​IMG]


    Thanks again for participating.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by 8mmOD : Today at 04:31 PM. Reason: additional comments
     
  17. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    Were you running it at 8 ohms or 4 ohms? That makes a really big difference. Its only 150 watts at 8 ohms & thats not nearly enough for bass IMO.

    I really should stop "talking up" these amps, I have never paid more than about $175 for one, but I just saw one go for $350 on ebay. :eek: But I own 3 so I guess I don't really need another.
     
  18. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i do both but much prefer having way too many watts and being able to use the voluem knob as just that. if you're going for power tube breakup "brown sound" sorta stuff, (generally more of a GP thing, but not always), then it's more important to match the wattage/rig size to the venue, as you want the "sweet spot" to occur at a point where the volume isnt too loud for the venue.

    i kind of do a best of both worlds thing. i use a lower powered head that i dig, and send a line out to a powerful power amp from it for the bigger venues.

    and yeah, you do sound like a manufacturer doing reasearch.... ;)
     
  19. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    why not have both worlds?

    my main gigging head has been my EA iAMP-800, which weighs 18 lbs. and pushes 800 watts @ 4 ohms. why deal with the weight?

    with most soundmen, they find me rather quiet onstage, and thusly end up cranking me in the PA. but it is nice to have the extra power if needed.

    recording wise, i mainly use my laptop, with a Presonus Firepod and Sonar 4 Studio edition. when i'm asked to come into the studio, i bring along my Demeter Tube DI. but i've had great success with my trusty Countryman DI, too.
     
  20. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.

    That looks like a prety slick amp... it has a lot of features that I would use... but how does it sound?