why all the power?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rexspangle, May 13, 2001.

  1. This may sound like a crazy question but I cannot figure this out totally:

    I understand the more power you have the more air you push etc... but what is the importance of so much power, speakers and so on. When all you do is run the bass through a system? (and sometimes lose your sound quality anyways)

    this also makes me wonder why you would want a stereo head for the same reasons as above?

    basically what I am wondering is why such a huge set-up when all you are using it for is a monitor?
  2. bobaweeka


    Jan 2, 2001
    I think for a lot of people either:
    A: the guitar and drums are so loud they need to hear themselves or
    2. Some people think more wattage=more macho or
    C. Louder is sometimes better

    Just my opinion
  3. Loud is good. Not too loud, but loud enough so that you can hear yourself, and loud enough that it punches some emotion into your playing...can't think of punking out wearing headphones... :D

    Some people go overboard I think with their setup, but then alot of people are playing venues that have no PA support, so their rig is the only source of the band's low-end.

    Some people just like equipment (not so much a macho attitude more a case of G.A.S!).
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    It has nothing to do about being macho.

    When you have a lot of power at hand, the possibility that you occasionally may have too little power decreases. You can always turn down.
  5. If you want a clean sound, you really should have more power than you really need to use so that you have the headroom to nail those high-amplitude transients.

    If you look at the waveform of a bass signal, there can be an initial peak at twice the amplitude of the waveform. If you don't have the power to handle that peak, it will distort.

  6. Jake15


    Jan 17, 2001
    USA, PA
    I just put the signal through a DI. The tone comes from my amp but the deep sound comes from the amp and monitors.You still get the good sound and you can hear yourself.
  7. DUBZ


    Aug 28, 2000
    I agree with the above Bassists,Because Bass & lead or rythym guitars are at totaly different frequencie's,the guitar will be heard much easier than a Bass would be,for example:if you had a guitar 100 watt amp & a bass 100 watt amp competeing together,the bass 100 watt would not cut it with the guitar 100 watt because of the way bass & treble travels,for a bass to compete comfortably with 100watts of guitar amp,the bass amp should be at least 350watts plus,& like the guys above said,you cant always play through the P,A so the extra headroom will be very handy & you can always turn down.
  8. I have yet to play through a PA system. In fact, the show I'm playing this Thursday will be the first time ever, and I'm sure it will seem strange. Not everyone plays venues with full PA support.
  9. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Too much power is....POWERFUL!

    Its macho and it looks cool too.
  10. Yeah I agree more power looks and feels way more cool.

    what about a stereo head? what are the advantages? and how would you effectively run that through a system?
  11. Only way I can see a stereo head of being use is to bi-amp to separate cabinets.
    Unless you're a lead-guitarist-type-of-bassist and then you could use the stereo to take your chorusing/flanging/phasing to new heights! :D
  12. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I used to have G.A.S. for more power. Now that I have a 700 watt rig, I don't feel a need to have more... having a good lump sum of power is always good. It can NEVER hurt to be too loud, that's what a volume control's for. I tend to think that a bass amp shouldn't have to go over the 4th notch, in volume. Otherwise it just kind of starts to sound bad. I don't use much pregain either, I like a really mellow/smooth sound. So I keep my pregain around 3-4 also.
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Another reason - Some cabinets just beg for gobs of power.

    For instance, the Bass Player that just came out reviews Wayne Jones cabinets. At one point of the testing, they mention that they gave up using tube amps because none of them had the mega juice that solid states do. So, they continued testing with SS to see what the full potential of the cabs was.

    Acmes like a lot of juice, too.
  14. The main reason is TONE, pure and simple. A 1000watt rig is in all probability going to sound much nicer than a 100 watt amp. Forget volume, it's all about tone. Another reason is for extended range basses. Those low B strings (and F#s) require much more power than an E string in order to get a good tone. IMO, a low B string requires a minimum of 200-250 watts. I myself use up to 1300 watts, but I dont play loud.
  15. I think I push my rig too hard most of the time to keep up the volume...the most I ever play through (of my own equipment) is SS 350watts, sometimes down to Tube 50watts.
    I just can't be buggered having to haul tonnes of gear around to get the volume!
  16. no matter how many watts you have, your not given the title of "macho man" till your amp goes to 11 :D ::gets spinal tap flashback:: :D
  17. Dont forget that when you rehearse with full band it is good to be heard. PLUS that when you record it is good to have a good amp that can produce fundamentals without big effort.

    Its not ALL about live applications, but i can see the point "yeah I have this mega monster cab and amp onstage but all they do is line the bass from the instrument"... good use of that amp I say.. ;).

    This is why we all should demand NO LINE! go MICROPHONE, so that people hear what your setup sounds like. :D :D

    Actually Marshall had an amp that went to eleven at some time (after the "this is Spinal Tap" movie :) way cool!
  18. davetsbass

    davetsbass Guest

    Mar 24, 2001
    burnt hills NY
    I play with my 5 using about 50 watts. I have a 300 watt head but the 50 is by far enough to power a B string. It sounds great, too. Nothing like no low end or anything.
  19. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    There's actualyl a lot of guitar amps that go up to 11. Just not many bass amps... Quite a few Fender guitar amps goto 11, same with Marshall and Peavey.
  20. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Its easier to deal with those gigs where you get told "we're taking the bass out of the P.A.mix so we can beef up the egos,er,I mean vocals...and keys...and whatever".