#1
I play guitar in my band and I have a 120 or 100 watt amp (don't know of the top of my head and I don't wanna look, sorry). What would my bassist need to match my amp for both scenarios??
#2
300-400 watts. 3-4x the wattage of the guitarist is the general rule of thumb. More wattage is needed to push out the lower frequencies.
Gear:

Basses:
2008 American Standard Fender Jazz
Ibanez SRX300
Amp(s):
Ashdown MAG 300 C410T + 1x15
Effects:
SansAmp 3-Channel Bass Driver D.I.
#3
^^Are you serious^^ Would like 150 be acceptable for smaller venues? Or say I turned mine down a little and had his up all the way? would that work?
#5
Quote by cedaguol
I don't think so... 300W is just to much I think...


Actually, no. It's not too much. It's sufficient. I know what I'm talking about.. The higher wattages are needed to push the lower frequencies. Ever seen a 150watt 4x10? I sure haven't. There's a reason for this, as I stated before.

matt: it really depends on how loud you guys will be playing.. and how loud your drummer is. It also depends on how heavy of distortion you as a guitarist uses. Trust me man, I've had an equal wattage bass amp (65w) as the guitarist and I could barely hear myself AT ALL. The drummer mostly overpowered me, and the guitarists distortion made me completely non-existant. And now my 300 watt rig to my guitarists 150 line6 (he never turns it up anywhere near full) is almost perfect. And i still wish I had more headroom at times.
Gear:

Basses:
2008 American Standard Fender Jazz
Ibanez SRX300
Amp(s):
Ashdown MAG 300 C410T + 1x15
Effects:
SansAmp 3-Channel Bass Driver D.I.
Last edited by -zj* at Apr 27, 2008,
#7
It is a good rule of thumb, the whole 3-4x bit, in determining how much wattage your bass amp needs. But there are always factors to keep in mind.

Speaker size. The bigger the driver, the more energy required to drive it. Takes quite a bit more to push a 15 than a 10.

Energy efficiency. This one's all up to the manufacturer. It's perfectly possible for one amp to be noticeably louder than another amp of the same wattage and speaker setup.

Here's an important one: how you mix. If your band has 3 guitarists and you're all playing with overdrive, well, your bassist better buy a Big Ben with a 1000-watt head (this week's lesson - hyperboles!). However, if it's just you and him on the string side of things then, depending on the situation, he could get by with a 100-watt, if the stars are aligned right. That is to say, assuming you're not one of these guitarists who puts his low-end on 10 because you don't understand that how you sound by yourself is totally different than how you fit into a band's sonic dynamic. You do understand that, right?

Other things can have an effect too. The boost/cut rating of the amp's onboard EQ, whether his bass is active/passive, power of the bass' pickups, the amp's acoustics, his favorite color, you name it.

But, bringing it around full circle, the 3-4x rule can be useful. But hey, you've got ears - if he can get his hands on something for a test run, then that's all you need.
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#8
Will these venues have PA systems?
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#9
I just totally ignore the 3x rule because there are so many undertermined factors which will effect what size of amp you want.

At rehearsal, my old 100W SS bass amp is just about enough for two guitarists using 50W SS amps and a 400W PA running 3 mics and a synth. For gigs however, it barely got through by the skin of its teeth.

Now my 300W bass amp (although I am running is at 180W atm) easily handles the job of all that. I play it at the same level (volume wise) as my old one but the headroom makes the tone much clearer, with better highs and tighter lows.

If you guitarist has a tube head, you'll need more, (closer to 3x-4x) especially if he's cranking it. My current amp easily keeps up with a 50W ENGL tube which is cranked. My old amp used to piss over his vintage Traynor 25W too, boy did that amp sounds sweet tho.

Gear:
Fender Standard Jazz Bass
Artec Matrix Pedal Tuner
BBE Optostomp
Boss GEB 7
EHX NYC Big Muff
Ashdown MAG C410T-300
Torque T100BX
GAS-ing for:
Boss SYB5
Behringer Intelligate IG9
#10
Yeah PA's are great
DI it post amp and let the sound guy mix it in, same with guitars.

ffs 3/4x is so unnecessary he's not playing a vampyre.

100/150W is fine IMO
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#11
300W is what you will need, because as a bassist you need clean headroom. If they are using SS amps and aren't pushing them very hard at all, you may get away with less. However, if you want confidence in the power you have, 300W is what you should get minimum.

Jonnomainman may have been able to get away woth 100W, but I can take a fairly sure guess the guitarists weren't pushing there amps. Also, as they were SS amps, they are quieter for the same wattage as tube amps. I don't know the TS's situation, but if the guitarist is running 100W tube amps (double rectifier possibly), the bass will be pushed at 300W.

For bass, more is better, as it gives you the headroom to keep your tone clean.

And WhyLater, speaker size doesn't have that much influence over the volume, so long as you consider anything under 15" is likely to be in a pair or a four. The speakers influence the tone. Larger speakers give a bassier tone, smaller ones have more clarity.
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#12
lol....there are 3 guitats in my band:
1.) Marshall MG
2.) Peavey
3.) Kustom

together i think it is about 250-300 watts....I'm getting a 600 watt Kustom for 3 reasons:
1.) I can barley hear myself
2.) My guitarists are going to upgrade soon
3.) I can't use the amp anymore
w/o bass n drums, there wouldn't really be rock music.

Schecter is pronounced 'Shek-ter', right? I don't want to walk in and say, "Hey, can I try out that Sketcher?" and have the helper reply with "Wtf, we don't sell shoes!"
#13
I have a similar problem to this guy. Im a bassist, and The two guitarists in my band are (supposedly) getting 50 watt tube amps. Should i stick to the 3x rule or won't i need it.
#14
Seriously, the 3x rule is very sensible. If you want to hear the bass, that is. If you think that smaller amps are loud enough, your bassist isn't doing enough with his instrument.

I run an Ashdown 180w amp, which manages quite nicely against a drum kit, and I can run at a nice low volume against a 30w guitar one.
The lower you can have the volume control on your (SS) bass amp, the nicer the bass will sound.

Heretic-yeah, go for a 300w amp. You're going to need it. Tubes work out at about double the volume of solid state, when you take into account that they sound better at higher volumes, and so always get cranked to the max.
#16
I've always said ~4x the power. That's all I've ever used.

I used to play my 250W amp against my guitarist's 65W amp and it was about right.

I have a 600W stack against my guitarist's 150W stack and that's about right as well.
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#17
Quote by gm jack
And WhyLater, speaker size doesn't have that much influence over the volume, so long as you consider anything under 15" is likely to be in a pair or a four. The speakers influence the tone. Larger speakers give a bassier tone, smaller ones have more clarity.

Yeah, the reason you'll have a cab with one 15" and a cab with four 10"s is because the smaller speakers take less wattage to drive. I wasn't saying "Hurr, if you have a bigger speaker it'll go louder!!"

I can see the confusion, though.
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Flea

Weileder

...Coincidence? I think not.
#18
Quote by WhyLater
Yeah, the reason you'll have a cab with one 15" and a cab with four 10"s is because the smaller speakers take less wattage to drive. I wasn't saying "Hurr, if you have a bigger speaker it'll go louder!!"

I can see the confusion, though.


That only becuase that is how the speakers are set up. The cab will likely be made to pair with a certain head, and the speaker configuration will have already been decided. They then just take the right power speakers to make the cab to the design.
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#19
It seems like everyone has overlooked the fact of whether the guitar amps are tube or solid state
To the best of my knowlage a 100W tube amp will be quite a bit louder than a 100W solid state. Right?

Just a little comment.
To TS: Buy a big big big amp. You'll be set for life. Or untill you blow it up
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#20
Quote by King Of Suede
It seems like everyone has overlooked the fact of whether the guitar amps are tube or solid state
To the best of my knowlage a 100W tube amp will be quite a bit louder than a 100W solid state. Right?


HIuge wattage tube amps are not common. Add the fact he seems to have little clue about his gear, which most probably would have if you had a 100W tube head, I think it is a safe assumption it is 100W SS.
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#21
Quote by gm jack
HIuge wattage tube amps are not common. Add the fact he seems to have little clue about his gear, which most probably would have if you had a 100W tube head, I think it is a safe assumption it is 100W SS.


I do have a clue, it's just i forgot whether it was 100 or 120, but it's 120 SS.
#23
Quote by Mutant Corn
....^ Would it happen to be a certain Marshall digital modeling amp?


Nope, it's a Fender Ultimate Chorus.
#24
Quote by King Of Suede
It seems like everyone has overlooked the fact of whether the guitar amps are tube or solid state
To the best of my knowlage a 100W tube amp will be quite a bit louder than a 100W solid state. Right?


other way around. Tubes have a higher resistance than solid state electronics... which in turn takes a little more power to run. NOt too much but a little more. Bass frequencies need a ton of power to push. I.E. a sick car system that pounds bass has a hi watt amp..3000 watts or so. You can hear the guy with the crappy stereo cranked up next to him cuz the highs cut through much easier.

Another factor is the tone you are looking for. A 4x10 cab will be more apparent than a 1x15. SO it will take a lot less power. THere are also factors such as active electronics... preamps and such. I have found that 300-400 watts is perfect for any live gig. If for any chance you are playing a larger venue.. run your bass through a DI or mic it.
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#25
tubes are by far louder than solid state...well it's not really louder it's a trick to the ear. it seems louder and the different tone cuts through the mix like a knife through butter. both my guitarists are currently running 100 watts tube and i've got 225 tube watts and turn down to about 11o'clock. while i'm not actually as loud as them, when we play my bass can be heard loud and clear through the mix.\

EDIT: i explained it kinda badly as we're all running tubes. my other guitarist i jam with has 100watt ss peavey. and if he turns all the way up and i go to about 1:00 we can't hear a bit of what he's playing.
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#26
Quote by Revelation
tubes are by far louder than solid state...well it's not really louder it's a trick to the ear. it seems louder and the different tone cuts through the mix like a knife through butter


better put... reality tubes have more clarity. If you measure db level... you can crank more power with solid state. Crappy sound though
98' 1960 Les Paul Classic
00' 57' Reissue Goldtop Les Paul
92' R0' Historic Les Paul

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Trem-o-verb 2x12 combo
Mesa 2x12 Rectifier Extention cabinet
Boss GT-8
Korg DTR-1 Rackmount tuner
Sennheiser WZ-300 wireless
#28
They amplify the harmonics differently which gives it a louder perceived volume.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#29
I played with a 150W into a 2x10 last night. Against two Crates, 100W and 120W each.

I heard myself pretty good. That was with a full PA and alright monitoring. The soundman kept messing with the levels all the way through tho, well annoying.

To all sound engineers out there - please keep level changing to a minimum, granted, it may be needed during the first song but its a pain trying to hear yourself when you keep dropping out.

Gear:
Fender Standard Jazz Bass
Artec Matrix Pedal Tuner
BBE Optostomp
Boss GEB 7
EHX NYC Big Muff
Ashdown MAG C410T-300
Torque T100BX
GAS-ing for:
Boss SYB5
Behringer Intelligate IG9
#30
I played with a 60W tube combo through a 300W 212, and I needed to give it some juice. I was definitely heard perfectly and was thrilled with the overall sound, but I couldn't have imagined cutting through at half the power.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..