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wattage comparisons

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bigwig, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Bigwig


    Dec 27, 2003
    hey ... im quite the noob when it comes to amps...and how they work..but i was just curious why bass heads have so much more wattage compared to a guitar head....
    my friend just got his new peavey and its 100 watts...and when i told him the yorkville i ordered in is 400 watts the thought i was nuts...but ya...
    why the huge amount of watts?
  2. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Simple physics. Lower frequencies need more power. Take a look at sub-woofers for car audio applications. A simplistic rule of thumb is that the bass player needs at least 3x the power of all the guitar players amps. However, this ignores a really loud drummer.
  3. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    It just takes more energy to push bass frequencies. 100 watts of bass is nothing. 100 watts of guitar will blow your head off.

  4. The human ear is much more sensitive to midrange frequencies (where most of the guitar sound is) than to bass frequencies (where most of the bass guitar sound is), so to compensate for our ears' insensitivity to bass, you need at least 3 times as much power. 10 times would be better though, to blow a 100W 4x12 away :bassist:
  5. Bigwig


    Dec 27, 2003
    hmm that does make sense...i was just curious about the whole ratio of 4:1...but thats good...im just a little under that with my new head thats coming in...
  6. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    400w will serve you nicely. also, don't forget that everytime you add more speakers your perceived volume will increase even though you watts may not. of course, until you go below your amps "current capacity" that is....usually amps don't like to run under 4ohms (two 8ohm cabs connected to it)

    have fun!!!