#1
I understand they change the EQ but why to they say its produces so many watts? I've been looking for a new amp that has at least 120 watts and I keep seeing these things? What are they and why are they good? Should I use them?

Also, if anyone can recommend me a bass that has good watts in it for less than $300? Or maybe a cabinet/head combo? Not that I really know what a head is still...
#2
the head just gives more power and tonal variety to the music your playing. i wouldnt suggest buying one though unless you are getting serious and already have band you gig with as they are VERY expensive to kit out with cabs and whatnot
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#3
Bass heads and cabinets (commonly referred to as halfstacks (1 cab) or fullstacks (2 cabs) when assembled) are a more advanced amp setup, than the standard 'combo' (a preassembled head/cab, commonly cheaper than a stack). If I remember correctly you got your first bass at christmas, so you shouldn't (and don't) need to worry about buying one anytime soon. But I'll give you a basic run-down of a bass head and cabinet.

A bass "Head" is two things. A pre-amp, which is the EQ, and a power amp, which is the amount of whats. That's the basics of what make up a head.

The head sends the sound signal to the cabinet, which has speakers to produce the sound.

If you buy a bass head, it needs a cabinet is go along with it. This allows for more customization of your setup. Allowing you get the exact sound you want.

You should not plug a head into a head. So don't go pluggin' this baby into a combo. it will cause for one of the heads to blow, and also possibly ruin your speaker in the cabinet.

Heads are rated at watts (100, 200, 300, ect.) because thats how many watts the head puts out. Cabinets are rated in the same way (100, 200, 300, ect.) watts that number is how many watts the cab can handle before the speakers blow out. You generally want a higher rated cabinet than head.

That's the basics of a bass head.
#5
If people get confused about it, i usually say this:

combo's / combo amps = pencils with erasers

head = pencil, no eraser
cabinet = eraser

just as a quick explanation. Afterwords u give em the technical mumbo jumumbo

How's ug doin btw? i barely come on haha
#7
Quote by mangablade
If people get confused about it, i usually say this:

combo's / combo amps = pencils with erasers

head = pencil, no eraser
cabinet = eraser

just as a quick explanation. Afterwords u give em the technical mumbo jumumbo

How's ug doin btw? i barely come on haha



That's a pretty good metaphor, actually.


Maybe someone should explain Ohms and whatnot, not only for the threadstarter's sake, but mine


I'm not trying to hijack the thread.
#8
elemenopheesaid it perfectly.

As for OHMs, I'm not sure about the deal behind them but I do know your head and cab shouldn't have a different amount. I think it might be ok if the cab has more but you should stick to the two being the same.
#9
Ohm stands for impedance.

You want to think of Ohms as a fraction, so put 1 over all numbers. (1/4, 1/8, 1/16) These numbers are on both the cab(s) and the head, you do not want to go over a total of 1/2 (I may be wrong on this number. It's either 1 or 1/2, I can't remember atm.) ohm, or you will severly damage your head/cab(s).

The lower the impedance number the higher the amount of watts the head can push (generally). Example: A 4ohm head puts out 550 watts, at 8ohms it will put out around 275 watts. Heads max out at the Impedance given, (you cannont make an 8 ohm head power out at 4 ohms.) but you can use lower impedance signals for the amps. (An 8ohm head could run at 16 ohms).

Say a head has 4ohms, there are a couple possiblities you could run through it. They are:
1 4ohm cab
1 8ohm cab
2 8ohm cabs
1 16ohm cab
2 16ohm cabs
3 16ohm cabs
4 16ohm cabs
1 8ohm + 1 (or 2) 16 ohm cabs.
#10
Alright, this is what that all is. in a standard combo amp there are 3 stages between where you plug your Bss in and where the sweet, sweet noise comes out.

First there is your pre-amp. This is the stage where all the EQ, effects, and 75% of everything that shapes the sound comes from. This is also where the signal gets a very light amplification, so to take full advantage of the next phase, wich is:

The Power Amp! This is where the main Wattage comes in. This quite massive box of silicone, steel, and copper amplifies the signal untill it is strong enough to drive the speakers. They judge the volume by what they call "Peak Watt Amplitude", wich is the absolute maximum number of Watts the Power Amplifier can put out before stuff starts to melt. This is a good gauge of Watt ratings for Bass guitar.
10Ws: Practice and playing with Acoustic guitars.
30-50Ws: playing loudly with other Electric Guitars and a small voice amplifier.
100-300Ws: Playing with acoustic drums, large voice PA, loud guitars, and other large scale volume instruments. Cna be used to play small shows like a Bar.
500-1000Ws: Playing live with fully amplified instruments in a large hall (like a small arena)
2000-5000Ws: playing live on a massive scale, producing enough sound to fully envelope a football stadium and most of the surrounding area with thick Bass. Used when you make it famous enough to have to be escorted by armed guards all the time.

also, on a side note or Power Amplifiers, they also make Tube Amps, this is where they use Vaccuum tubes to amplify the signle. They used to use them way back in the 50s before the modern Transisitor. This usually yeilds a smoother, slightly distorted sound. But that is totally up to preference.

And finally, the speaker cabnet! This is where the heavely amplified sound goes to make the Boom! Now there are several things you do ned to knwo about Cabnets.
Basicly, make sure that the Ohms that your cabnets have is equal to or more then the recommended Ohms from your PA. Though I suggest you do it exactly, because if you go more than recomended, you get a very muddy sound. (more on Ohms later)
Secondly is the Watt ratings. In a nutshel it is how many Watts your cabnet can take before the speakers blow out. I recommend that the Watts rating be a little less then twice what your PA can put out.

And just so you know, this is what Ohms are about:
Ohms (usually abbreviated Ω ) is how they measure electronic resistance. Because imagine, if all the increadle power put from the PA wasn't 100% absorbed by the speaker cabnets and sent right back into the very delicate and expensive pre-amp and Bass effects you use.
Also, some PAs have things like the lower the Ohms, the more Watts are put it, this is fine too, just get as low of Ohms as possbale without going under!
You can also use more than one Cabnet for one PA, but calculating Ohms and Watt ratings can be very complcated and tricky.. and sometimes expensive.. D: So we'll skip that unless you want to go into that later.

And so you know ALL the terminology, here it is:
Pre-amp + PA = Amp Head
PA + Speaker Cabnet = Powered Cabnet
Pre-Amp + PA + Speaker Cabnet = Combo Amp

If you dont' get anything feel free to ask!

^ And to that guy, calculating Ohms isn't as simple as that, there is also Parallel and Seris wiring styles, and those can get really confusing and tricky...
Last edited by Fast_Bear at Jan 19, 2007,
#11
Watts are tiny little creatures that live inside the bass head, they turn wheels which powers it, and feed them occasionally.

Anyway everyone else has pretty much said everything so this was a pointless post
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#12
Quote by elemenohpee
Ohm stands for impedance.

You want to think of Ohms as a fraction, so put 1 over all numbers. (1/4, 1/8, 1/16) These numbers are on both the cab(s) and the head, you do not want to go over a total of 1/2 (I may be wrong on this number. It's either 1 or 1/2, I can't remember atm.) ohm, or you will severly damage your head/cab(s).

The lower the impedance number the higher the amount of watts the head can push (generally). Example: A 4ohm head puts out 550 watts, at 8ohms it will put out around 275 watts. Heads max out at the Impedance given, (you cannont make an 8 ohm head power out at 4 ohms.) but you can use lower impedance signals for the amps. (An 8ohm head could run at 16 ohms).

Say a head has 4ohms, there are a couple possiblities you could run through it. They are:
1 4ohm cab
1 8ohm cab
2 8ohm cabs
1 16ohm cab
2 16ohm cabs
3 16ohm cabs
4 16ohm cabs
1 8ohm + 1 (or 2) 16 ohm cabs.

So the head would be the top part of the fraction and the cab the bottom?
#14
If you go on www.tunemybass.com it explains all about ohms and resistance on there
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#15
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to sum it up:

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