Watts vs Sound Level

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by NightW0lf, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Hello everybody ! I've been reading you for a while, finally decided to register ;)

    I've tried to find the answer to my question on the forum, can't seem to find it, I'm sorry if it's there already (probably is)..

    I have recently purchased a MarkBass LittleMark III with a Markbass Standard 104HR - 8 Ohms cabinet. The size and weight of this cabinet was a big plus for me, having to carry it up and down stairs every time I go out for jams.

    Here is my question : I used it twice so far in a jam environment (20x25 feet room, a very loud drummer, 2 guitarists, vocal, and me..) The sound volume output of my rig was barely enough to cover the drum volume. We could hear me, but I was at maximum volume. Now, I know we will play in larger rooms, let's say 60 by 80 feet with the same drummer, adding also a keyboard and more vocals. I'm afraid I will not be loud enough.

    I know that adding a 2nd cab would probably solve the issue, it is the reason why I chose a 8 Ohms one, but I can not afford it right now. Would changing the LittleMark III (providing 300 watts at 8 Ohms) for a LittleMark 800 (providing 500 watts at 8 Ohms) give louder volume output with the same cab, if so, would it be a noticeable difference?

    Thanks for your precious time :)
  2. Something doesnt sound right here. You should be pretty loud with a 410 and 300 watts. What does your EQ look like?
  3. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    the 200 watts on 300w won't make much difference. What is telling you it is at max volume? Are you looking at knob positions?
  4. How was your amp eq'd? Did you run the VPF at a high level, or turn down the mid control. I would start with a completely flat eq, turning off the VPL & VLE controls. Then go from there. This might sound a bit nasty by itself, but should sound good in the mix. Apologies if you have already tried this.

    In response to your question: to obtain twice the output level you need 10x the wattage. 500 watts will be slightly louder. The best thing is to double your speaker coverage as this makes most difference to output volume - basically you're moving more air. :)
  5. It depends on the songs we play, we have a varied repertoire.. No matter how I play with it, it was still borderline enough. It gives a bit more volume if I push the mids more, but the sound isnt what i'm looking for ;)

    Knobs, yes, Master volume at max, Gain at way past clipping threshold (starts clipping at 10 o'clock, I tested it at 2 o'clock I feel I loose sound quality if I push it more), volume on my bass also at max.

    Thanks for the quick answers!
  6. I have tried it flat indeed ;) Still limited as output. I do intend to get my hands on a 151 as 2nd cabinet, just can't get it right now, probably next year... (wish wish)
  7. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    a 300 watt rig with a 4x10 is a pretty big rig - by some standards (maybe not TB standards). One thing to consider is that when you are in room (20x25) with all those other instruments, probably set up facing each other, it's just kind of hard to hear. I bet all you were hearing was guitars and cymbals. It's hard to hear the bass in a situation like that. This has more to do with particular frequencies bouncing around that room more than the size of your rig.

    You will read on here that if you double your watts, you get a 3db increase in sound. Not much,, so the thing to do is add more speakers. Since you can't afford more speakers right now, focus you efforts on thinks you can do, like practicing at a more reasonable volume (this will also make everyone in the band better players). Try messing with your eq. What sounds good to you when you play alone, might not sound good in a band mix... It's hard to distinguish low end in a situation like yours. Boost your upper mids to "cut-through" the mix. Try standing in a different spot in the room - like across from your amp instead of right near it.
  8. You should have blown up your cab at this point, is it farting out?
  9. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    What kind of music are we talking about here?
  10. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar Guest

    Jun 6, 2011
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    Maybe barrow or rent a bigger bass rig for that gig. But, after reading what you said I think you should be looking at a minimum of 500 watts with two good 410 cabinets.
  11. FC Bass

    FC Bass Alembic and Mesa/Boogie junkie

    Jun 9, 2006
    When I joined my (very loud) Metallica tribute band, I had an Ampeg SVT III Pro with a Mesa Powerhouse 1000 and couldn't keep up with those guys.
    I bought a Mesa 2x10 and 1x15 with a Markbass 450 head (one of the first I guess, the tiny yellow one) and still couldn't keep up...
    Then I got the Mesa Strategy, from then on I became the master of dB's in the band (with the same cabs) :evil smiley:
    I later bought another 2x10 and 1x15 set + Bass 400 and got rid of the PH1000.
    I did some gigs with the Bass 400 (half the power of the Strategy) with a 2x10 and 1x15 set, plenty of loud :bassist:

    Loud drummers with loud kits need a full tube bass head with lots of power imho
  12. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    I can see that amp/speaker combo not being loud enough. That LM amp + a 4 Ohm Ampeg SVT-410HLF is barely enough for me at rehearsal even when pushed to the point of limiter kicking in. (Loud drummer, loud guitarist through Marshall half stack, very loud keys + loud vocals.)
    And I do add a bit of mids to cut through better. (The HLF cabinet is somewhat mid scooped.)
    As already said. I doubt that an amp upgrade will solve the issue. Especially since that cab will not take much more clean power anyway. A second 410 will likely solve your problem without amp upgrade.
  13. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Hope you're wearing ear plugs...

  14. This I will try indeed. Do you think a bigger room may actually help the situation?

    Not at all, It's a very solid sound. I have also used it in a acoustic jam after this, with unplugged guitars and at low volume, it sounded amazing.

    Let's see... Of what I remember, these 2 nights we played songs like "Killing in the name of - Rage against the Machine", "Panama - Van Halen", "Cold Hard Bitch - Jet", "Hard to Handle - Black Crows", "Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams", "Tush - ZZ Top", "Whole Lotta Love - Led Zep", some ACDC and The doors, and some improvisation....
  15. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    So, hard rock. I don't think I'd be able to keep up volume wise with that rig in my metal band.

  16. Thanks all for your input, I will make the most of what I have until I can afford a 2nd cab to add to my rig. I will test it in two weeks in a bigger room, see if it makes a difference, I'll let you guys know. Untill then, :bassist: Rock On !

    Hehe, maybe I should ;)
  17. I just dont know why your rig isnt louder. I have a Peavey 410 TVX and a head that is 350 watts at 4 Ohms. It is loud enough to hang with the band at practice. Its not as loud as I want to be for practice or some gigs and I have other cabs for that, but your rig shouldnt be that quiet.
  18. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    It's probably plenty loud, but the 2 guitars and loud drummer are just louder.

    It sucks playing in a band like that, especially when they are completely oblivious to the situation and refuse to do anything about it. Or in my case, acknowledge it and still refuse. My old drummer would never play light because his drums just sounded better when hit hard. He was right, but I never understood why he couldn't just tone it down for a practice. One of the many reasons why it's my old band and old drummer.
  19. bertbass666


    Mar 6, 2009
    Have you tried raising the cab off the ground to get it to ear level or tilting it back? Just on the floor means that the backs of your knees get a great sound while your ears hear not a lot.
  20. That's the situation I'm in, I hear you 100% !! Drummers are so hard to find though... where I'm at anyway ;)