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Tube wattage to be heard over drummer? How much needed?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by That_Pink_Queen, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. How much tube wattage would you say you need to be heard over a drummer? I know 15 watts is fine with guitar if you have a decent speaker, but what about bass? And yes, I'm talking pure tube. Tube preamp, tube poweramp, tube rectifier, the works. I'm building an amp and need some more info. If it helps, I'll probably drive a 15 inch speaker.
  2. For me, Id say 200 at the least.
  3. At least 100 for practice with a drummer. It won't be enough for most live situations though.
  4. AGH!

    Looks like I grossly underestimated the wattage needed :(

    Just out of curiosity, how loud will 15 watts go with bass(tube)?

    Thanks guys
  5. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Two things:

    First, most tube bass amps nowadays have solid state rectifiers, but are still considered all tube amps.

    Second, my 60-watt Sunn Sceptre with my 2x15 can almost BURY my drummer if I want it to. Those who say 100 watts isn't enough are either going for a super squeaky clean sound, are using woefully inefficient speakers, or have never used one with a drummer in the first place. In fact, we have a gig tomorrow, and i'll be using just my 60 watt Sunn, and i'll probably be told to turn down.
  6. Enough to practice with a 5 watt tube guitar head. 50 may be enough for a drummer if your cab is efficent enough.
  7. The main issue is I'm trying to integrate this with a guitar amp. Thats why I'm going after the tube rectifier, IMO guitar sounds way better with a tube rectifier.
  8. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    The Ox is a smart guy, and I'm usually in alignment with him on these tube threads.

    My 100 watt Bassman is plenty to play with (and over) a loud drummer. Just don't expect super clean tones from it (and what's the fun in that, anyway?).
  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Depends on how loud your drummer plays. My 50 Watt blackface Bassman has no problems in a band situation paired with my Eden D210 cabinet. However, it is not particularly clean at the upper volume levels. Which is what I like about it. For larger spaces or outdoor it's inadequate.
  10. I have a 1970's 100 watt fender bassman.
    I'm not gigging with it at the moment but from a volume perspective it's been amazingly loud and regularly kept up with some very hard hitting drummers over the years.

    God knows what 200 watts could have done.


  11. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Theree's been a million threads on this. The perceived loudness of an amp depdsn on a lot of things, and watts are only part of it. there's the efficiency of the cab--that counts for a lot. More efficeint cabs will produce more volume at the same wattage level. there's also the kind of sound you want. If you boost the bass and treble a lot, you'll need more power than if you have a more narrowly focused sound. Finally, it depends on your bandmates. I played a lot of gigs with an ampeg B-15--35 watts, a 15 inch speaker. And this was in a band with two guitars, drums, keyboards, and bass. This was not the loudest band in the world, but more important, it was a band full of players who knew how to listen and how to leave space. In my experience, the more overdriven the guitars are the more sonic real estate they eat up. If you can "hit it where they ain't"-- find the frequencies where there's no one else--you'll need less wattage to be heard.

    As you might already know, doubling the wattage doesn't double the volume. If everything else stays the same, you need ten times the watts to produce twice the volume. So if you take, say, a 2x10 cab and run a 50 watt amp into it, then run a 100 watt amp into it, you'll barely hear a difference in volume.

    What you might hear is a differnece in headroom, or how loud it gets before distortion. If you like a distorted bass sound, you can get by with less watts. if you want a clean sound, you need more.

    3-400 watts is about the limit for tube amps. Beyond that and they get too heavy to carry!
  12. Music Man HD-130 with Eden 410xst, drummer, two gits, no prob. :cool: Kinda expensive though if you are just starting out. You might want to try one of those Peavey TKO 15 combo amps. They seem pretty solid and well priced. Get a used one.

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