Which amp to use for 200 person wedding reception?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ashtray, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Well, I've sold off a bunch of my amps/cabs, but I still have a selection to choose from. Here's the deal - playing at a wedding reception for 200 people (indoors). We will be micing the drums with probably 2 mics. Not micing the guitar cab. Bass will not be through PA. Playing classic rock songs, and typical cover band songs (Brown Eyed Girl, etc).

    Here's my rig choices:

    1. Eden Nemesis 2x10 combo w/2x12 ext cab. Pros: combo is plug & play - zero setup time. Also both cabs are relatively light and easy for one person to carry/lift/etc. Drawback is that with the extension cab plugged in, the amp runs at 8 ohms, and output is probably 120-140 watts? (it's 200 watts at 4 ohms) It can get loud, but... loud enough?

    2. Eden Nemesis 2x10 combo w/ Nemesis 4x10 combo. Daisy chaining 2 combo amps together and stacking them for a 6x10 total config. Each amp is 200 watts. The combos are lightweight, and easy to carry/setup/etc. Pushing 400 watts, this setup should be plenty loud enough.

    3. Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0 head through a custom 5.3 ohm 6x8 cabinet. The head is lightweight, and easy to set up. The cab is about 100 pounds. Output from the shuttle is rated at 300 watts at 4 ohms, but I will be running it at over 5 ohms, so a bit less.

    4. BBE Pre / QSC RMX1450 through two custom cabs (10x8 total). This is my "ultimate rig". The QSC pumps out about 600 watts into a stack of ten 8" speakers (4x8 and a 6x8 cab - all speakers getting equal share of wattage). The vertical stack provides great wide angle dispersion to cover the entire room, and the wattage provides enough headroom to not push everything too hard. The drawbacks are the heavy weights of the cabs (60 and 100 pounds), and the heavy weights of the TWO rack cases holding this setup (split into two so I could carry each - but still the heavier one is over 50 pounds). The other drawback is setup time - I need to rewire the racks every time I move them.

    So there are my 4 choices! I have 75 minutes for the band to set up (I'm always recruited to help carry over half of the drum gear in while the drummer sets up - a good 30 minutes of my time before my car is even touched), mic the drums (myself, no soundguy/FOH person), and sound check before we start expecting guests to arrive. And the event is on the top floor of a hotel. (elevators, long walking distances from the car to the "stage" - there's not really a stage of course.)

    I'm leaning towards option #2 for the biggest bang for the buck (lightweight & easy to set up, yet still powerful/loud).

    What do you think???
  2. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Sep 25, 2007
    A cheap and cranked peavey for the man to think twice and not get married. :ninja:
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Probably not the venue for the 1,000 watt all tube amp discussed on another thread here... :D
  4. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    No PA for you? I choose option 2.
  5. OptimusPrime


    Mar 30, 2008
    I say #2 also.
  6. I'd just bring the 4x10 combo, should be plenty.
  7. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    The question is how loud do you NEED to be, not how loud do you WANT to be. Most wedding/cover bands I've experienced have been way too loud for the occasion. Your choice of the 2 Nemesis combo amps would fit the bill perfectly. However, why not use the Nemesis 4x10 combo with the 2x12 extension cab? I am almost positive that the Nemesis combos run at 8 ohms without an extension cabs, and most extension cabs are 8 ohms themselves, bringing your total ohm rating to 4 ohms, perfectly acceptable and ideal for the Nemesis amp. I'd think that 4x10s with the 2x12 cab would be the best of all worlds.
  8. Greyvagabond


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. Only 200 people, small PA, probably low-ish ceilings...that's a recipe for drowning out the vocalist! There's no way you need more than the 4x10.
  9. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    +1. No need to bother with daisy chaining, for a wedding gig, this will be plenty.
  10. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006

    Should be, but might not. If the ceilings are high or the room is otherwise weird-I'd rather turn down than wish I were able to turn up.
  11. Bass-only


    Oct 9, 2001
    Weddings are my main gig.

    Agreed - you don't "need" more than a 410 cab with a 300-watt head. That's assuming the rest of the band understands that there could be some "elderly" folks sitting at the closest tables to the band! :)

    I did a 150-person Wedding gig with my only my Markbass 112 combo (with no PA support, as one of our main amps fried) and was once asked to turn down!
  12. Greyvagabond


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed with Bass-only. I've played a ~200 wedding with a small PA for vocals (and guitar; he brought a 1x12 combo, and we faced it backwards and miked it), using a 4x10/350 watt amp. Don't make the people wish they hired a DJ with one simple volume knob!! :)
  13. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    The 4x10 should be plenty, you can always take and leave the 2x10 in the car... You can probably leave the drum mic's channels off too... It's one of those gig's that is really not 'all about the band' afterall... At a reception, I tend to start quiet and stay that way until told to turn up - and that rarely happens.

    Observation 1 - if you need to rewire your rack every time you move it - You need to get it organized... My FOH is a powered board and 2 racks. 1 for external processors and power distribution, the other is subwoofer power. It takes 5 minutes to setup and requires only left&right mains to the processing rack, monitor send & return to the processing rack, processing rack to the subwoofer power rack... 5 connection total... color coded and labeled on the cables and board. A guitarist could setup my PA with 5 minutes instruction... all my cables live in the racks and I use the little colored velcro strip's from Hone Depot to kee it organized. Those and masking tape on the board.

    Observation 2 - In reality I would probably haul the rack and 1 cab. In spite of the weight. See I really dig the BBE Preamp ... Were it my gig and I were to choose, I'd haul my WT-800 rig and I'd leave the micro rig home. I just love the sound of that beast in spite of the bulk.

    A completly irrelevant observation - you really ought to dump the Nemesis stuff, maybe the GB too. Snag a Shuttle 6.0 (assuming you dig the GB front end) or some other strong mini-amp and maybe a couple of 1x12's to use as your easy haulin' rig...
  14. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Why mic the drums? Use #1 w/out the extension cab unless you REALLY feel you have to have it.. I've played weddings for 30+ years, and for the last 8 or so, I used the GK MB150 with the GK extension cab (sometimes). If #1 isn't enough, you're too loud.
  15. Greyvagabond


    Aug 17, 2007

  16. Thanks for the input - keep it coming!

    Benefits of #2: the higher stack brings the sound closer to my ears, so I can hear myself better - rather than blasting bass past my knees, since I'll likely be standing at ground zero (ie, within a foot of my amp).

    As for the combo amp - it runs at 4 ohms. Rated at 200 watts. The extension cab is 4 ohms, wired internally at the amp for series - so 8 ohms total output when using an extension cab. This is the old/original Nemesis series. I think the new Nemesis series fixed that issue.

    The 2x10 combo is really light - I can carry it in one hand if I need to (short distances!) - so bringing it along in addition would not be a concern.

    As for my rack - I need to label my cable ends better - but even so, I have to fish the cables into the back of the rack and get them in the right connections. I have the tuner & amp in one, and the pre and power unit in the other. (2 sends from the pre, then plugging power in to everything, etc) It's not tough, it's just getting the cables untangled and plugged in the right spots. ;)
  17. jmcgliss


    Apr 30, 2007
    "Back in the day" we packed every ballroom dance floor we played, 90-100 dates a year all over Chicagoland using nothing more than a Shure Vocalmaster PA, an Ampeg B-15N, a Fender Twin, and a Rhodes. You get the idea.

    Contact the hotel in advance and ask for one or more large dollies they usually keep near the loading docks. They'll appreciate a fast load-in more than 20 hand-carry trips.
  18. 4x10 combo. If you're worried about hearing yourself, put the amp in a chair or a box or something, or put a block of wood under the front to tilt it back.

    It's a wedding, not a concert. NOBODY is looking at you. If they are, you're pissing someone off. Back off the volume, concentrate on overall sound, and make sure everybody is having a wonderful time. You should have the same balanced sound as a DJ.
  19. To be clear, I'm the guy that would drive a Ferrari at 50mph in the slow lane. I often get complaints from band members that they can't hear me. (In response, I tell them to turn down and they'll hear me just fine!) But I don't like to be "soft" on purpose, and I like to be able to be heard if need be - hence why I would bring a bazooka to a gun fight "just in case". ;)
  20. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX