Necessary Wattage?

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Necessary Wattage?

Postby leftyguitarman » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:44 am

What kind of wattage would be needed in a bass amp if it was going to be put with a Peavey Classic 50, or similar amp, and a drum set? Just out of curiosity.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby mike932 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:28 am

I do not have a definitive answer. I use an old bassman 10 which runs around 50 watts (tube) with 4x10's. However I play in small (100 to 150 people) venues. I guess it depends on venue size and music style. A heavy sticked drummer can make a bass player push it to 11. I have seen a lot of three piece bands use fender and Ampeg combos that push around 300 watts and have no problems in a 200 + venue. Playing outdoors changes everything. My dream rig is the Ampeg tube head monster driving an 8x10 cabinet. I will probably never need that big of a rig, but it would give me a good place to hide behind incase the crowd starts launching projectiles at the band.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby NEONMOONY » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:32 am

Also, not definitive but much depends on the style of bass. Whether it's a light country-folky bass or a heavy pantleg shakin', window rattlin', yeah baby, makin' the girls dance kind of bass.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby MakaInOz » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:43 am

The drummer will most likely determine the volume. If you can keep him under control, ..................................... all the band members in the world will beat a path to your door to ask you how you did it!

Rough guide: Bass needs 50% more than guitar. Solid state = 2 x Tube. So a 50W tube guitar amp will require about 150W of solid state bass amp. Bass will need a 410 or a 210 + 115 cab(s). A good 150W combo (15" speaker) might do the job.

Depends on venue/gig - sometimes a 30W practice amp can handle it. Some venues just need lotsa watts. 'Dinner music' (particularly if its a sit down dinner) is different to the crowd wanting to dance.

But the 'Keith Moon' wannabee will be the issue!
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby bigdaddy » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:59 pm

I used to use a Fender Bassman 150, 150 watts, but found out that was to small even in smaller bars. I got the Bassman 250, 250 watts, and that has suited me fine. I turn the volume up until myself and the drummer sound even. The guitarsit plays thru a 40 watt tube amp and mic's it thru the pa with his voice. All he has coming back thru the monitors is his voice. When I stand on the front of the stage I can hear his guitar pretty clear. He tends to go out on the dance floor and adjust the pa volume to match where the drummer and I are at. Rarely does he signal us to go up but it has happened a time or two. With the Bassman 250 I tend to end up at four on the input and four on the output volume and that's when the band is cranking loud. Smaller bars I am at lower settings. It's nice to have alot of head room when I'm in the clubs.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby leftyguitarman » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:00 pm

I am seeing and hearing all sorts of answers. I met a guy here in Phoenix to play some blues with :D and he has a bass guitar, but wants to play it more often so I'm asking on his behalf. Anyways, we went to some music stores and they recommended anywhere from 100w to 300w while on a forum where he asked, people were saying that 50w to 75w would be enough.

And it would probably be more of the "heavy pantleg shakin', window rattlin', yeah baby, makin' the girls dance kind of bass." haha
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby oleman » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:24 pm

I use a 120W, with l/12" and it's never enough so I DI into the PA and sometimes I can almost hear myself thru the monitors.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby bigdaddy » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:13 pm

Tell him to find a Fender Bassman 250 with a 15 or even 2 10"s. He will have all the power he needs in a bar or club. We play Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn ect, ect, and I do not find myself ever coming up short with this amp. At an outdoor biker festival last summer I had it on stage and had the thing up to 9 input and 9 output for about 4 hours. My warning lights were all red and I thought I might blow that speaker but it took it. I did have the amp miked thru a larger pa system so my amp was just for us on stage. Tonights gig is at a joint where low volume is the key. I hate this place but it's an easy hundred dollar bill. I will have my amp down to around 1 1/2 input and 2 on the output. At them levels the amp still sounds good, nice warm and puncy. It's a good amp.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby Catweazle » Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:19 am

Don't forget that wattage is only half the story, the efficiency of your speakers also plays a major role. Add 3 db to the SPL rating of your speaker and you can halve the amp's output and still get the same level of sound. For example, a 512 watt amplifier coupled with an 86 dB speaker will be just as loud an an 8 watt amplifier with a 104 dB speaker. It is easy for a 30W amp to sound as loud as a 100W amp, just by putting more sensitive speakers in (it would need approx 6db increase in speaker SPL to achieve this).

http://colomar.com/Shavano/spl.html
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby bigdaddy » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:42 pm

Catweazle, you got me thinkin' now. I'm gonna have to check my speaker dp level and then see what's available, if any, that I can put in the combo to make it louder. Very interesting.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby ricochet » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:53 pm

Sadly, makers of combos and cabs seldom provide information on the sensitivity of their speakers. You have to get that from the manufacturers of the speakers. (or "drivers," as the hi-fi sorts call them.)
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby bigdaddy » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:25 pm

Ain't that info printed on the speaker itself? Never the less, I'll look into it but it don't mean I will do it. I like the sound and portability of my amp right now. Only 63 pounds and it can fill up a bar with plenty of head room.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby ricochet » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:40 pm

Usually it's not. May be on some brands.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby leftyguitarman » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:15 am

bigdaddy wrote:Only 63 pounds


Don't you love toting that around? My Classic 50 is around there somewhere. I hate putting it in the trunk of my car.
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Re: Necessary Wattage?

Postby bigdaddy » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:38 pm

My Bassman is light for a combo amp. The light weight was one of the selling features. I drive a 2006 PT Cruiser with the back seat sitting in my front room closet. I have the back doors and the hatch back door wide open so getiing the amp in and out is no big deal. It's also on rollers. I put my pa sytem which is two 15's two 12 monitors and one 10 channel mixer amp, my bass amp, sometimes my guitarist amp and gear (in bad weather), plus my box of needs, the cord bag, two basses and two guitars, two mic stands, two speaker stands. It fills the back of the Cruiser all the way up but the wife and I have nothing in the front seats but us. I bought the Crusier because of the rear room. No, my amp is no problem. When I had the Toyota Tercel, yeah, putting a bass amp in the trunk was stressful, getting it back out was even more so.
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