why did you buy so many watts?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MCBTunes, May 15, 2005.

  1. I dont get it, with PA systems out there at almost any venue, why does anyone need anymore than 200 watts? Or am i missing something?
  2. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Any wattage number is completely arbitrary without any sense of application. Some people use inefficient cabs, some play to huge venues, some play without PA support, some people use multiple cabs that all can handle an sound best with 500+ watts. Sure, you could get by with 200W for an on-stage monitoring application, but a lot of guys are going for more with their rigs, and require big wattage for a wide variety of purposes
  3. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    I think most of us don't buy 300+ watts to use. If I have a 400 watt amp, I can turn it up to 2 and do what a 100 watt amp will do on 6--only cleaner. The harder you push an amp the more THD comes into play. Even the best speakers are relatively unclean, and any distortion coming from the amp and preamp only multiplies what is already there. If I want distortion, I want it to be controlled distortion that I program into the signal not what is inherent in the rig. I hope that makes sense. Besides, sometimes I like to just play LOUD!!!!!!! :)
  4. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    wow- you must be getting the good gigs then... seriously, with tons o' watts, you don't have to use them all all the time, but if you need them, they's there- that's my logic anyways... plus it's like the previous poster said- loud and clean (headroom) is better than loud and farting out...
  5. eric234

    eric234 Guest

    Mar 11, 2005
    well i've noticed that people use way more watts than they need like my dad has an amp that runs off a single watt but can get up to 105 db and 110 db is the sound of a rock concert so that goes to show you don't need alot of watts to play loud
  6. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Yes. The PA is great for the audience. But even with plenty of PA monitors on stage you will not be able to hear yourself unless you are wearing an ear bud. The Marshall stacks, Mesa Triple Rectifiers and a pumped up drummer make your 200 watt bass amp useless unless you have it strapped on your back. :eek:
  7. I went to a jam a few years ago with my Trace RAH200 amp and a 15 cabinet with a Black Widow and got buried by a couple guitar players,one with a Twin Reverb and on with a 50w Mesa setup with a 15 and a 12.Up to that point I had done allright keeping up in most situations and probably could have added another cabinet and been allright but I swore I wouldn't run out of power again,it just wasn't fun not hearing myself.I bought a 1000 watt Carvin head shortly after that and found out 1000 watts isn't too much to use live,it's about right for me.I now use a pre-poweramp rig with about the same wattage,you can get a good preamp for $300 and $400 for a poweramp so it's a fairly cheap way to get power.

    Last week at practice I used my guitar players old Music Man HD 65watt tube head.It kept up with my band easily and sounded great with my 410 cabinet.It had deep bass and a nice midrange cut.I felt like I could gig with it and be very happy.I do like my RBI/Crown rig better,it feels better,but I now think I can get away with less if I have to.
  8. konfishily


    Jan 24, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    I need 400+ watts for practices rather. My drummer plays loud and my 2 guitarists play loud as well. I dont use all the watts, buts its nice to have em for some headroom. I can always get another cab to get all 910 watts out of my poweramp.
  9. because when your guitarest has a 50watt tube amp with a 2x12, your drummer insists on hitting his set with all his might, and theres 9 loud horns sitting next to you, you cant even hear yourself 1 foot from your 200 watt amp

    and because seperates are tough to find in low power (low power power amps)
  10. catdriver


    Apr 19, 2005
    Park City UT
    'cause I frequently have to workout with as many as 4 guitar players, all playing little 30 watt ss amps..... that's alot of noisy to carry over...... it's surprising really how quickly one can drown under that assualt. Then the least talented one shows up with a triple rectifier and no sence of dynamics...... wow and I thought it was cool to be one of the few bass players in my area.
  11. 8mmOD


    Mar 20, 2005
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    I gig with my old solid state Ampeg SS150H all the time through an SVT410+SVT15 & they are not the most efficient cabs out there. The amp is rated 150 watts at 8 ohms so its a little bit louder than that running at 4 ohms. My drummer hits hard, my guitarist uses a 100 watt VHT pitbull full stack & I wear earplugs... I can hear myself on stage no problem & the amp sounds great. Sure if I was running with no PA support and had to turn the amp up to 8 I would hear some unpleasant distortion, but if I found myself in that situation I would use a more powerful amp.
  12. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    its a bit of a powertrip and it just feels good to have some big numbers behind you at a gig... Its also handy incase the FOH PA breaks down you can say, here, just use mine! :D
  13. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    It's all about T.O.F. Theoretically, the 200 watt amp could keep up if it was putting out 200 clean watts at full power. Unfortunately, it will reach the T.O.F. (threshold of farting) at about 100 watts, depending on how much the bass is boosted with the EQ. Unless that's the sound you're after, the distortion and continuous farting may detract from your performance. Your favorite bass line will sound like a series of short farts. Sort of like my elderly mother going up a flight of stairs after a big meal of Mexican food. Pft,pft,pft,pft,pft,pft........On the other hand, my PLX3002 can drive anything from a single Eden 112XLT to a couple of 8x10 cabinets and it has never reached T.O.F., no farting ever. ;)
  14. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    uh, maybe band practice?

    Then there are smaller gigs with minor or no PA support.

    And last but not least, even if the FOH is rockin', I like to hear and feel the bass on stage.
  15. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004

    At band practice, you need to hear yourself, and have clean headroom to spare.

    Some smaller gigs may require you to just use your stage rig, be prepared for these. You don't want to play your entire set list without anyone hearing the bass.

    I Also like to hear myself. It's also nice for the drummer.
  16. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Signature worthy material this is. You got a cousin in the UK named nick?

  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Two words: clean headroom....
  18. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Good point. When I'm playing Rock I like to feel the bass in my guts. And it should make the guitar players knees a little wobbly when I hit the low notes. It is a subtle reminder to not get too carried away with the gain knob on his Marshall. Of course, if I were just backing up some folk singers a 50 watt combo would be plenty. :D
  19. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    What speaker(s) does he use, and what is their effeciency?
  20. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Because I want them! :p

    Not that I run alot of power but why shouldn't I if I want to?