i apologize in advance if this has been discussed already. i googled this as well as searching forums here. here goes:

i like older sounds. mid to late 60s. zombies, beatles, kinks, stones, etc etc etc
i have a p bass copy with flatwounds. i play with a pick and mute and get a decent sound out of it. ampwise i have a rogue 30w practice amp thats probably 10 years old at least but it still works fine.

i am going to build a 1x or 2x10 cab soon and i would like a head for it. i know a lot of older bands only had guitar amps for the bass and i was wondering if i did this how loud would the amp have to be?

i know theres debates on how loud bass amps need to be for gigs but i have played with a band using 200w and it was plenty loud. didnt need half of it(glad it was there tho)

i am not opposed to buying a cheap guitar combo and chopping it to just a head. most of my musical instruments have been rigged or frankensteined at some point. very low budget and can't justify spending money on something that is just a hobby at this point.

any suggestions would be appreciated
i was thinking ss cause of price but tube would be amazing. i like a clean sound tho. very very little if any distortion(slight overdrive not fuzz) motown/early rock. im a "plug straight in" kinda guy.
What's the 200W amp you've been using? Sorry for all the questions. What kind of budget do you have for a head?
Acoustic B200H and the 115 cab. sounded good. but i traded it for an acoustic guitar a while back cause i was no longer playing and needed a good acoustic. budget wise, really dont have one right now. just researching. when it comes time to buy possibly less that 200 usd. i thought about a fender frontman 65 or 100 possibly. and also looked at a bunch of 5w tube amps like the epiphone valve jr. and the kustom 5w(cant remember the name but its like $100) but i wasnt sure if these would be loud enough for a band setting and i dont need another practice amp. i read a review of the valve jr and a guy said his bassist had used it when his head went out at a gig and it worked suprisingly well and thats what got me to looking at small tube amp heads.
Honestly in your position I'd try and get hold of a cheap bass head. You're not going to get clean out of a small tube head and you're not going to get the volume out of a SS guitar head. You might as well get something where the EQ will be usable for bass frequencies. For under 200 dollars you'll be able to find pretty decent solid state bass heads second hand. I'm talking GK (not Backline), Ashdown (not Electric Blue), that sort of thing. Avoid Behringer.
thanks. i appreciate the responses

do you think i could get away with 100w bass amp in a live setting playing non hard rock and metal?
Last edited by glennick at Jul 3, 2011,
It depends on how loud the rest of the band is really. Also if you're getting the most out of the amp. If the head puts out 100W at 4 ohms you'll be getting a lot less power if your cab is 8 ohms. The sensitivity of your speakers also makes a big difference.
A lot of it has to do with what everybody else plays through. Is your guitarist playing through a 100-watt halfstack or full stack? How many guitarists are in the band? How loud is your drummer? What sized venues do you play?

The bass amp traditionally needs three times the power of the guitar amp. There's a reason why Ampeg's flagship SVT is rated at 300 watts give or take. Most of the guitar amps of the time were 100 watts.

You could always mic your bass amp through the P.A., but only if the P.A. is up to the job. If it is meant solely for the vocals, then it won't sound good. And a mic'ed practice amp is still going to sound like a practice amp. Get the biggest, best amp you can afford. You can always turn a loud amp down. You can't always turn a lunchbox amp up.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley