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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cronus, Feb 2, 2002.

  1. cronus

    cronus Guest

    Jan 17, 2002
    Romulus, Michigan
    im sure this has been asked alot of times but ive tried other forums and nobody really responds. what im asking is how many watts should my amp have when im jamming with friends and stuff like that. i dont plan on any gigs or anything yet. is 100w enough ??? or should i go higher
  2. TheListPunk

    TheListPunk Guest

    Feb 2, 2002
    Topeka, Kansas
    I'm gonna have to say that 100 watts is enough unless everyone else is really loud.

    is a newbie
  3. Well...
    Bass Player magazine (for what it's worth) recommends 400 watts at 8 ohms.
  4. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I think so!

    For just jamming with your friends and stuff, most players start out with 100 watts or even less. When me and the guys are just fooling around I like to use my bassman 25 sometimes. That's only 25 watts.
  5. lexrhomb


    Apr 26, 2001
    It depends on what your guitarists are using
    like the 2 guitarists from my band are using marshall DSL's with quadbox's, so i had to save for a 350 watt ampeg stack to be heard well enough

    everyone should own a warwick bass
  6. Bass18

    Bass18 Guest

    Jul 21, 2001
    Our band doesnt jam heaps loud, just a reasonable level (enough to want to wear earplugs) and my B2R going 200 watts into a 4x10 goes fine, I only have to turn the volume up less than a third of the way. Oh and by the way, we are a three piece and the guitarist uses a 60 watt valve fender.
  7. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    This doesn't really have much to do with the thread, and lex this is in no way directed at you alone because a lot of people say this, but.....

    Actually, it doesn't matter one bit whether your guitarist is using a 10 watt combo with a 6" speaker or a 200 watt stack with 4x12's. It all depends on that little knob that says "Volume" above (or below in some cases) it. If you're going to be JUST jamming with friends and don't ever plan to do anything except that, then by all means don't get anything bigger than you have to. A Fender Bassman 25 or something similar to that. Then just tell your friends to drop it to a reasonable level and you're set. There's no reason for ya'll to have to pierce each others ear drums.
  8. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    100 watts is great. it will keep up with a (rock)drummer, and have just enough power for some awesome low end.
  9. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    This can definitely be a gig-level rig for a guitarist. One school of thought is that the bass needs at least 4 times the wattage of the guitar amp, (I prefer more :D )... hunter585 is hitting the nail on the head though... if everyone can agree to a reasonable level, then there's no reason to blast away... Of course, most of the time, everyone wants to hear themselves prominently. This is where the volume wars start. At those times, there's a certain satisfaction in knowing that you can blow the other guys out of the water!

  10. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Get the most power you can afford. Even if you don't need it now, you will probably need it later. And a higher powered amp running with the volume at say 5, will sound better than a lower powered amp where you have to run it at 9 to get the same volume. If you have to crank it near the maximum to get enough volume, then you are running out of headroom. To simplify it a bit, headroom is the difference between the volume you run it at and the maximum. The more headroom, the more efficient your amp is and, the less likely you are to peak out, and the better you will sound. A good rule of thumb (according to Bass Player Mag, so don't kill me if you disagree) is if you have to crank it past 5, then you should have a bigger amp. That said, if all you can afford is 100w, or even 25w, then it will probably do for just jamming if your friends cooperate and keep their volume low (hard to get some guitarists to do that though). Also, Bass18 mentioned his guitarist uses a 60w amp. You can't really compare bass and guitar amps as far as wattage. Bass needs more power to get the same volume because the longer wavelengths of the low frequencies need more (they have to push the speaker cones farther for one thing). A 60w guitar amp can be very loud, but to get the same volume with bass you may need 300w.
  11. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I'm sorry, but bass player magizine must have been somkeing some big time weed to say that.... i mean,,come on. Why not just mkae the knob go to 5 then? UGH, i hate stupid thoughts. You'd think there would be a better way to say "If you drive your amp harder, its not going to sound as good". simple things piss me off. Also, what he said about buying as much as you can afford, because even if you dont need it now, your going to, is The best advice ive heard on this thing in a long time.
  12. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Sorry you think it is stupid, but I can say as a former Electronics Technician, that the part about headroom is absolutely true. If you don't believe me then you don't have to, but it is a FACT.
  13. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I choose not to. no ones going to tell me that if i turn my volume knob past 5, i need a new amp. But thanks.
  14. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Its all about head room. If you play with a consistant level, no accents or the occasional slap, you probably dont need more power. However, like most of us you most likely play with different accent levels and so on. If in this instance he has his amp cranked just to keep a baseline volume and he happens to really accent a note, his amp WILL CLIP and possibly damage his amp and speaker. Thats the reason for adding more power even if right away you dont need it.

  15. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania

    Your amp allows all the knobs to go to 10, and your cab should allow your tweeter to go to 10. Try turning all your knobs up, and playing?

    Hey, I mean, why allow them all go to 10, if you can't put them at 10 without blowing something, right?

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  16. I fight (both practise and live, which is the same stage volume, earplugs ALL the way) with

    a reasonably loud drummer
    a 30w matchless chieftain guitar amp (2x12 combo)
    a 60w mesa mark ii guitar amp into a 2x12 cab
    occasional keys
    a loud vocalist (actually it's the vicious foldback he likes)

    and with 400w/4ohms I only just make myself heard with a 4x10 - usually with the amp almost maxxed. Even with an 8x10 the amp sometimes gets into trouble. Small guitar amps are loud, very loud.

    The moral of the story? Get as many watts as you possibly can if you intend to play live at any stage...
  17. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    One thing about bass frequencies is they travel FAR. Sometimes you just can't be heard, but most of the time if you stand 100 feet (or more) away from your rig you will (especially if you have something like a 8x10 or 4x10 with a 1x15) hear yourself more than the rest of the band. I've noticed this in my brothers band where he was using a SWR 6x10 with a Bass 750 going against a Peavey 100 watt alltube head with a fullstack (cranked to 9). To add on was a insanely loud drummer and vocalist.
  18. Three perspectives on the subject:

    * I used to gig with a 100 watt sunn combo with a 1x 15. At the time, that's all I could afford. Everyone in the band could hear me and it sounded ok. (the PA was for the crowd)

    * (local music store salesman, talking about bass amps...) "Anything less than 300 watts is a practice amp!"

    * Buy as much power as you can afford and are willing to pack around. Power is your friend.

    My advice: if you're not yet sure how much power will satisfy you and your needs, wait and try some different bass rigs before you buy.

  19. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    I know this has been hotly debated before (and no one here is really talking about a humongo rig), but here's the trend I've seen since I've been hanging out here.

    Player starts out with 15w practice amp. Not even loud enough to scare the cat. Buys 100w combo. Still no joy. Buys 300-400w rig, but feels like he's not loud enough (the PA is for pussies, after all). Buys big ol' honkin' 6000w, 500 lb. rig with three 8x10s "for the headroom." Roadies die of exhaustion/tinitus. Sells 6000w rig and finds the highest quality, most portable 300-400w rig he can find. And sticks with it.

    I want to skip that middle step.

    If you look at any gear site/catalog, the vast majority of bass amps (and most of the top sellers) are 350w and under. Just about all 2x10s are rated at 350w and under. So...who's using all of those SWR 350 heads and Eden 210XLTs? High school kids? Church players? Or gigging bassists? Hmm...

    I don't have the gig experience many of you do, and don't proclaim to be an expert. But just based on what I've read here, and seen with other players I know with 750w rigs that never leave the house, after a certain point the whole "headroom" thing is a myth, at least for most players. There are obviously going to be some situations that call for massive stage volumes (and some of you may be in one of those situations), but I think 90% of players can probably get away with 300-400 watts and do just fine.

    At least that's what I'm trying to convince myself before I drop a bunch of cash on a high-end 350w rig. ;)
  20. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Excellent point!