#1
how many watts is enough to play gigs or shows and past the drummer? I'm looking for a new amp and i want to get some insight. also can you guys give any recommendations to a good amp. I play hardcore, metal, hard rock, punk, and a lot of soft stuff, so basically an amp with good cleans and awesome distortion(for solos and stuff).

I'll save up the money but i dont want to spend 3,000 dollars an amp while I can get a guitar a good amp and a wireless system and pedals at the same price. THANKS FOR THE HELP, i'm not really that smart when it comes to amps, guitars and good sounds.

Oh and are orange amps good, i dont know why i'm so tempted to buy one. maybe because i have a line 6 spider 3 15 watt(SHUT UP)
#2
Just about any amp will be an upgrade from the spider. Your amp doesn't need to be super loud to gig, as most places have a house PA that you mic through anyway. A maximum budget for the amp alone would be helpful here. And orange tube amps are good...the SS ones aren't going to improve your sound at all over the Line 6.
#4
depending on gig but I say a 5-10watt is all you need really because most shows/gigs use a PA for everything and you will have a monitor to hear yourself and other band members too.

Unfortunatly that ain't the case everytime. Sometimes you are gonna have to do without and then the wattage needed often comes down to what music you play. A 30w valve amp is often more than enough IMO.
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#5
Many people think that you need like 40 watts but really you don't. A 15 watt valve amp will get over your drummer with ease- I have a 12 watt valve amp with an 8 inch speaker and It's fine!

Obviously if you are playing pretty big gigs you may need something bigger. With a solid state amp i would say use about 30 watts of power.

One time at my friends house i didn't ave my amp so i used his Roland MICRO cube and it was just about loud enough!

I think Orange amps are great- Sound good, versatile and look awesome. But they are a bit expensive.

Try out their Tinr terror or Tiny terror combo. It's 15 watts and apparently sounds amazing!
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#6
I bought a used halfstack 412 Carvin cab with a Peavey deltabass head for only like 500 total, and then put a 20 buck distortion pedal through it and play electric guitar on it. Sounds amazing, incredible low end, and my drummer is always telling me to turn it down because he can't hear himself...and I never turn it up past 5...so yeah...

Peavey Deltabass head: 160 watts
Carvin cab: 4x100watt 12" speakers


Remember, the bigger the speakers and the more wattage the amp has, the more space the sound has. Sure a little 30watt can be heard over the drums, but it's going to sound like **** in the process with no depth or color/texture to the sound. More watts permeates the space between output and listener and creates a better sound field.
Last edited by EddieWan at Mar 5, 2009,
#7
I would say that how loud you need to be is to do with what style band you are, i mean were the kinda band that get complaints that were too loud and when i played an open mic night with a 30w cornford it was on 9 volume XD

But i would say 50w tube should work for most people because i mean even i can say that 100w is too much owning a 100w marshall DSL myself when we practise i often have it on 7 which is deafening (sept were gettin complaints from the council cause you can hear us like from really far away XD) but when i played a gig i had to turn it down to 4 because you couldn't hear the drums apprently although i could and that was unmiked :P

EDIT: also the reason i say 50w and not 30w is because alot of people need loud cleans and that way you can still go unmiked but like i said alot of bands play loads quiter than us haha.
Last edited by Zakk_Lp at Mar 5, 2009,
#8
ok so far about everyone here says low wattage amps are decent, which they are, however IMO a one speaker amp is not going to spread the sound very well unless ur hookin into a PA or whatever. IMO u should get a relatively good 2 speaker combo amp, and maybe set it on a chair or table so its off the ground.
#9
honestly, usually not a lot of places..... at least in so cal..... have a full pa.
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#10
Quote by Holy-Diver
honestly, usually not a lot of places..... at least in so cal..... have a full pa.



im from a town an hour from halifax in nova scotia, so in my tender 15 years of life, i have never encountered one
#12
Quote by octopig
im from a town an hour from halifax in nova scotia, so in my tender 15 years of life, i have never encountered one

you have never encountered a full pa? thats probably cuz not that many place mic everything.
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#13
Quote by EddieWan
I bought a used halfstack 412 Carvin cab with a Peavey deltabass head for only like 500 total, and then put a 20 buck distortion pedal through it and play electric guitar on it. Sounds amazing, incredible low end, and my drummer is always telling me to turn it down because he can't hear himself...and I never turn it up past 5...so yeah...

Peavey Deltabass head: 160 watts
Carvin cab: 4x100watt 12" speakers


Remember, the bigger the speakers and the more wattage the amp has, the more space the sound has. Sure a little 30watt can be heard over the drums, but it's going to sound like **** in the process with no depth or color/texture to the sound. More watts permeates the space between output and listener and creates a better sound field.


Just no.

A crappy high watt head which you're never going going to actually get to crank whatsoever is worthless.

Low wattage amps sound fantastic, end of story.

Quote by octopig
ok so far about everyone here says low wattage amps are decent, which they are, however IMO a one speaker amp is not going to spread the sound very well unless ur hookin into a PA or whatever. IMO u should get a relatively good 2 speaker combo amp, and maybe set it on a chair or table so its off the ground.


You always get micced up anyways.
#14
If you're not getting miced everything's gonna sound like crap any way, the people in the front will get blown away and the people in back won't hear you. Just get an amp that suits your style and that you like the tone of. Since it seems your playing heavier genres mainly you're probably gonna be looking at 50-120 watt amps since most metal amps tend to be higher wattage.
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#15
Playing over a drummer is different depending on drummers. I'm in a progressive metal band. My drummer hits crashes LOUD. back before I had tube amps I played with a 150 watt solid state amp. I could barely hear myself. And when I turned it up loud enough to hear myself it was muddy as hell.

So now I play a 120 watt tube amp. I don't have to turn up loud at all. I keep it on 3 1/2 and it's not muddy and it's really loud and almost drowns out the drummer.

You can get over a drummer with a 60 watt tube amp pretty well. But that's as low as I'd prefer to go. Although of course a 30 watt will do it but theres not as much head room.

With a solid state if you turn up a 30 watt it's muddy as hell but it can be done. A 60 watt is better but the reason the high end solid state heads are 300 watts plus is because they need that many watts to hold together and have headroom at high volumes.
#16
yeah, i turn my xxx up to 10 master and like..... 4 or 5 channel. cuts, far loud enough. and i have a LOUD drummer?
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#17
Is it a non UK thing? Do all other countries, namely the US, provide PA systems in all their venues? Or do we not play big enough gigs to warrant that sort of treatment.

What I mean is, we play pubs & clubs etc and I've rarely seen a house PA system. A decent one anyway. We have our own of course but I was a little confused as you often see comments stating that if you don't have enough juice you can just pipe through the venues PA instead.

So is it a non UK trait or...... ?
#18
i live in the us. i dont usually see pas
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#19
It depends where you are. I went into a dive bar with a half decent pa, and it wasn't big enough to warrant one. There is a place called the pit that sponsors all ages shows that has a PA. Another bar called the comedy club has a PA. Thats just off the top of my head. We're not even talking a venue or anything, just bars and a little place that sponsors all ages shows.
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#20
gay. NOWHERE has pas here. even some venues
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#21
I guess that's one thing you have to consider before you purchase equipment. But, like I said, even in an un mic'd venue with a 100 tube head you're still gonna be killing the front row guys and sound muffled in the back. PAs aren't just to make things louder, they're to make the sound even all around.
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#22
I think 40-75w on a solid state amp is the way to go at most shows
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#23
Quote by Kevin Saale
I guess that's one thing you have to consider before you purchase equipment. But, like I said, even in an un mic'd venue with a 100 tube head you're still gonna be killing the front row guys and sound muffled in the back. PAs aren't just to make things louder, they're to make the sound even all around.


That's not true. You can make a 100 watt tube amp sound fine. It's not going to kill anyones ears unless you got some screeching highs going on. I mean how many bands are out there touring with 100 watt tube amp heads? Almost every metal and rock band I can think of. Theres more reasons that they are high wattage than just volume too.
#24
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I think 40-75w on a solid state amp is the way to go at most shows


Maybe I'm crazy but.. I can't even imagine playing with my band with a 40 watt solid state amp. Even a 60 watt solid state I am drowned out.
#25
Quote by hcsn2008
That's not true. You can make a 100 watt tube amp sound fine. It's not going to kill anyones ears unless you got some screeching highs going on. I mean how many bands are out there touring with 100 watt tube amp heads? Almost every metal and rock band I can think of. Theres more reasons that they are high wattage than just volume too.



I phrased that wrong. If you turn it up loud enough for people to hear it in back it'll kill people in the front. My main point is you'll still be muffled in back, no matter how much wattage.

^Every band is different. Maybe you don't need louder gear, maybe just a drummer with some self control. There are ways of making drums quieter as well.
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#27
I've played small shows with my Palomino V16, using cleans, and haven't ever had problems.
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#29
Check out these amps, they are tube amps, they are also combo amps so they'll be easy to carry.

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/B52-60Watt-1x12-Tube-Combo?sku=480046

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Randall-RG50TC-50W-1x12-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=481197

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Peavey-ValveKing-112-Combo-Amp?sku=481442

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Engl-Thunder-50W-1x12-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=481597


These are mid power amps that should be loud enough for anything you want to do. You're 15 watt spider is not loud enough to be heard when playing with a drummer. I have a 15 watt amp which I use to practice with but I can barely hear it over my drummer. I use it because I don't want to buy another small amp, but you need something much louder to break through the drummer.
#30
Quote by DeadlyIllness

Your 15 watt spider is not loud enough to be heard when playing with a drummer.


If I can play shows (albeit small, 50 people ones) with my MG and be heard, so can he.
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#31
depends on genre clearly

metal you need atleast a 50watt tube amp if theres PAs its be fine if not it may pull it off or you may need more, like up to 100watts tube...for metal... it'll sound beast..don't sacrifice tone for money imo

but idk about other genres, but im sure most valve combos will do for quieter genres, like 15-50watts in most cases if u have a PA

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#32
Drummers can have self control it doesn't matter. A drummer can not hit stuff very hard but if you are playing metal and he is riding on crash cymbals more than high hats it's hard to hear a 60 watt solid state amp.
#33
As long as you get miced through the PA, you shouldn't need a lot of power. During my band's first gig, one of the guitarists used a 30W MG and it sounded fine.

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#34
As far as how much power you'll need to get over a drummer, not very much at all if it's a valve amp. (Solid state amps are another story)

As far as recommended wattage is concerned, it depends on the styles of music you're playing. Generally, genres such as metal, mainly use gobs of pre-amp distortion, and don't rely on much power-tube break-up for a good tone (although they will still sound better at the "sweet spot"). I find the wattage is mainly relevant to if you want good clean headroom or not. 50 watts of valve power is plenty I think.

Stuff like blues and classic rock will sound better when you crank the amp and get the natural power amp distortion going. Lower wattage tube amps are better for these genres, because the power tubes will break up at a lower volume than a higher powered amp (and cranked high powered tube amps are WAY too loud in 99% of band situations).

When trying to decide how much power you need, keep the headroom in mind. Seeing how you've listed several different genres you play, a versatile amp would be best for you. I would either go with 50 watts if you want more clean headroom, or 30 if you want slightly easier breakup. Or if you want the best of both worlds, get an amp with switchable power output (Ex: The Mesa Boogie MK IV can switch from 85 to 15 watts I believe).

I used to own a Peavey Windsor head (100 watt tube), and I never needed to turn it up more than 1/3 of the way up for gigs (most were miced, but not all), just to give you an idea of what a beast a 100-watt tube amp really is.
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#35
Quote by hcsn2008
Maybe I'm crazy but.. I can't even imagine playing with my band with a 40 watt solid state amp. Even a 60 watt solid state I am drowned out.

most of the shows in my town are really small, like 50ish people, and the bigger ones always mic up the amps.
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#36
50 watt solid state or 15 watt tube aslong as you mic it through the P.A. you can use almost anything
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#37
it feels weird though.. i'm in canada and i've never played in a place without a PA... I don't get it, we play in nice venues but they aren't the nicest one we could find, and still we get mics everywhere..

well anyways, i've played 2 gigs with my 65 watts laney linebacker, the first one sounded like crap and teh 2nd one didn't sound so bad. It always depends, but I think it would be safer to get a bigger amp. If you're going solid state and aren't going to be mic'ed, I would say over 100 watts or it'll sound cranked and fizzy.. If you're going tube, well my 40 watts traynor sounds just fine =)
#38
Wow I can't believe so many of you don't see PAs...Every show I've ever played had a full house PA.