Some questions about bass amps and half-stack

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Marc., Jun 28, 2008.

  1. I'm looking into a new amp, and I've been flipping through this American Musical Supply magazine I got in the mail, and two things in particular caught my eye:

    A Fender Rumble 100 1x15 with horn
    A Fender Rumble 100 2x10

    Both combos, of course. Now, I've always been weary about what amps do what: I currently play through a Peavey Max 115 75w 1x15 amp with a Hypervent system, and it's simply beautiful. 75w is awesome for jamming in a small room, but it just barely gets the job done gigging. I've been looking around for a relatively cheap amp that I could gig with (I was looking at some half-stacks for a while), and I see some ridiculous things.

    I see things like "1x15 250w half-stack." I've never even thought of buying into these. I mean, after all, my 75w has that same 1x15 speaker, and a built-in ventilation system on top of that. Wouldn't the 250 watts blow out the 1x15 speaker? Or is it something about the head and speaker being separate that stops that?

    But I digress. What is the difference between a 100w with a 1x15 with horn and a 100w with 2x10? Which is more stable for being played loud? My instinct says it's the 2x10, since it's less work between the two speakers, but I don't know. Also, are either of these good enough amps for gigging at relatively small clubs? I play in a psychedelic-ish band (think Cream and Jimi Hendrix rolled into one) so I don't think having an exceptionally loud guitarist or drummer will be a problem. Hell, the guy I play with sits with his guitar in front of the amp slamming down his whammy bar half the time. Plenty of room for me to be heard with 75w.

    Help is appreciated
  2. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Well, the preamps and the power amps are more than likely the same.

    The single 15 will have more surface area than the 210.

    But the biggest difference between the two will probably be the speakers themselves.

    Do you prefer a 15 or a 210?

    Only YOU can answer that question.

    As far as the difference between YOUR combo and these is that you will be only slightly louder with 250w vs. 75w. Depending on the actual sound level you play at you will probably gain some needed headroom. If this is true your sound quality in general will improve.



    EDIT: Whoops! Read Rumble and thought Bassman. Going to the Rumble series wont help you a bit. Going to the Bassman series will.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Man, you're all over the place! But that's OK...I'll try to help sort it out for you...

    Your 75w amp is more than likely limited by the amount of power from your head, not the speaker (although I don't know that for sure). If you buy a 250w combo, it's got a speaker in it that can take 250w. Has nothing to do with separates. Different speakers have different power handling ratings.

    The difference between 100w with a 115 and 100w with a 210 is that the 210 will more than likely be brighter and not have as heavy a bottom end as the 115. But if 75w isn't quite cutting it for you, neither will 100w as it's not that big a difference in wattage. I'd be looking for something 200w or better, maybe even 300w.
  4. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    +1 for the above...

    there's also a lot of love here for 410 cabs... to me a good 410 matches a good 115 in terms of sound produced... then its all down to what tone you want...

    The difference between 100watt 115 and a 250watt 115 is the quality of the speaker, magnet type/size... and a million other factors...
  5. jsm81


    Jan 25, 2008
    It really comes down to the actual speaker (or driver). Different drivers have different ratings and different levels of power handling. That's why matching cabs and poweramps can become a struggle at times. With a combo amp the factory does the matching for you. Usually the driver is rated alot higher than the amp can actually push.

    The 2x10 will push more air, so techinically you'll get more volume. However, if you're used to playing through a 115, a 210 might sound thin to you. A 115 typically gives you a nice round sound. For smaller gigs the 210 would be nice. I find 10's easier to control as far as volume goes. I think either way you'll be happy. I used a Fender Bassman 100 combo for years. It had a 115 cab, very smooth sound.
  6. This expression gets thrown around a lot in these parts. Can someone please explain to me what in the hell it is supposed to mean?

    A 15 has more surface area than a pair of 10's, I would think that would "push more air".
  7. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender Supporting Member

    Doubling power will only get you 3dB louder. You can get the 3dB for free by doubling the number of speaker cones. (But you can't get more than 6dB by adding cones.)

    To get twice as loud (10dB) you need 10x the power. Obviously, that won't be easy or possible.
  8. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender Supporting Member

    As for the "push more air" thing, the effect you get is +3dB due to two speakers.

    Another thing to consider is the sensitivity of the cabinet. A cab with 97dB sensitivity will be 6dB quieter than one with 103dB sensitivity. The 103 cab will be as loud as the 97 on 1/4 the power.
  9. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA


  10. Sure you will get 3dB adding a second identical speaker.

    That is not what we are talking about here. Will 4 5" speakers be another 3dB louder than the 10's?
  11. I was always under the impression that a 1x15 250w would be pushing it a lot. It just doesn't make sense to me, though I'm not very good with amp electronics (as you can see). In this magazine I was talking about, they have a combo listed as "1x12 600w." That seems a tad bit ridiculous. I'm strongly reminded of terrible Berhinger amps trying to pass off a 1x12 300w for $150. Honestly, I usually just go by wattage and speaker size.

    I'm going to start saving up money from holidays and a job I'm getting for 2 months around Halloween. I should get about 500-600 dollars... any half-stacks or combos you guys would recommend? Like I said, it's just for small clubs, I played my 75w at one and they said it was just barely making the cut, but I was heard. I want to be louder than that, and the headroom would be really nice. I'm planning on playing on a passive bass, by the way. I hate actives.
  12. Doing a rough calculation, a single 15 has 176 sq. in., while two 10's have 157 sq. inches. That's only a difference of about 0.05 dB in SPL, if all of the other speaker parameters are the same.

    That's not much "air"...
  13. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Some of us are glad to take what we can get.


  14. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    As to the two combos mentioned in the OP's question, neither one will be any improvement over what you already have. To increase the volume so you can hear the difference, you're going to want at least 200 watts, if not more. Whether that's a combo or seperates doesn't matter. Combos are fine if you don't want to change anything out, like the speaker(s), and some combos do get quite powerful, like 600 watts, but forget them, too much $$$. However, a 250 watt 1x15 combo would be affordable, and a huge improvement (in volume) over your current amp. Whether it sounds better is subjective, but that's YOU picking out what you like. Good luck, have fun shopping.
  15. But it certainly doesn't jive with peoples claims that you will get 3dB more out of the pair of 10's.
  16. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Well, you probably get 3db going from a 110 to a 210 but generally speaking they are messed up if they think a 2 speaker cab is automatilcally 3db louder than a one speaker cab.