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Old 07-05-2016, 02:07 PM   #1
R3-AUA
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Default Bass amp wattage: how much power is enough?

Our bass player is being overpowered by the rest of the band. So she's in the market for a new amp. The question is: what should she get? I get mixed opinions: some say 100 watt is more than enough while others recommend 200 watts...

So what is enough for rehearsals with a full band - i.e. drummer and 2 guitarists - and small gigs (at small clubs)?
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:34 PM   #2
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I'm mainly a bass player and have been for many years. I can tell you from experience it would completely depend on the type of music you play as to whether or not 100 watts is enough. If your playing country or mellow stuff you could probably get by with 100 watts. If your playing harder music then 200 would be a minimum. Especially if you have a loud drummer. In the old days I had a Yamaha B100 and it was a great amp unless it got loud then it would distort and sound muddy. My last gigging amp was a Peavey 450 watt 4 ohm combo with a Black Widow 15" it was always enough.
Now I'm playing the new Fender Rumble amps and I can't say enough how impressive they are, and light enough to lift with one hand. I strongly recommend the Fender Rumble 200 it's perfect for any small gigging and would even handle an outdoor gig if it came up, and they sound amazing. They wont break the bank or the back.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:41 PM   #3
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Classicrock makes sense....... we have a 150w bass amp in our rehearsal room that is fine and can be gigged, but we also have a 300w that we gig with, it's only a little thing the 15 inch speaker goes practically from edge to edge and it's a tilt back design, and for larger rooms it can be DI'd into the PA with the big bass bins anyway, so no need for huge bass stacks any more.
Our bass player used to lug about 2 huge cabs and a Peavey head, but does'nt bother any more, and he likes a lot of da bass!!!
We play rock and pop punk covers so are pretty loud!!!
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:01 PM   #4
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Well we play anything from 90s rock/grunge to a bit of (modern) metal. Nothing over-the-top heavy, but loud enough that I believe 200w would be much better than 100w... On the other hand, I'm not a bassist and I'm purely asking on behalf of our bassist.

I'll tell her about the Fender Rumble. She's had her eyes on a Peavey Max 112 (200w with a 12inch speaker) or a Max 115 (300w, 15 inch speaker).

Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:07 PM   #5
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If I may share...

Our bassist's rig consists of a Hartke Preamp DI into a Power Amp and he has a collection of cabs. He sounds awesome!

At my home in my band room, I have the Behringer BDI21 which I got for only $29.99 at Sweetwater. It goes into my PA and it likewise sound awesome!

If your bassist is on a budget, she could get the Behringer BDI21 for now and just plug into your PA if it is powerful enough. Later on, she can scout pawnshops and get a power amp and a cab. Later on, she could add in a volume pedal too.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:10 PM   #6
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Here's a demo video... it's in Russian though.

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Old 01-02-2017, 02:05 AM   #7
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I know I'm kinda resurrecting an old post but I'd like to chime in on this. After over 40 years of playing bass both locally and on the road i must say that I'm not sure there's such a thing as too much power in a bass rig.
I played in a group in Indianapolis and built a combo rig. I measured the port size and internal dimensions of a Peavey 2-10 cabinet and built one with a 4 space rack section at the top.
I bought some 10s from Madison Sound that were rated at 400 watts each. I added a Peavey passive crossover and a horn tweeter.
I used a Peavey Max Preamp (tube) and a QSC RMX2450 power amp. That's 2400 watts bridged. No it wasn't overkill. It was for clarity and it's the cleanest sound I've had. We played a moderate volume so I had tons of headroom.

Hope this helps and isn't too confusing.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pep View Post
I know I'm kinda resurrecting an old post but I'd like to chime in on this. After over 40 years of playing bass both locally and on the road i must say that I'm not sure there's such a thing as too much power in a bass rig.

This is particularly true if you're playing in a "rock" kind of band, where there's loud git'rs, loud drums, and a PA'd vocalist/s.
As mentioned above, playing in a mellower combo would make a nice 100W/12" adequate.
But with a full band, I'd suggest that 200W/single 12" or 15" is a START, unless you're DI'ing into the PA.
I'd 2nd CR's suggestion above about the Fender Rumbles...the bigger multi-speaker, higher-wattage ones are excellent.
For reference: I play bass in a band that focuses on 'classic rock', dance-able fun-rock, and 90's/00's medium-to hard jams. Medium-loud drummer, average-loud git'r player, and a strong vocalist with git'rist & I both backing vox.
My rig: 1x15" cab; 2x10" cab; bi-amp pre; 2-ch power amp that supplies 200W to EACH cab. I can play most normal-size places w/o going into the PA.
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:38 PM   #9
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I also would suggest going at least 200 watts. 100 wouldn't cut it.
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:44 PM   #10
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For a 4-string basist, I'd recommend a real 200 watts, or a fake 500 watts as the bare minimum for playing with a rock band.

I use a Rumble 500 v3 and have been extremely happy with it. I think they run $400 new.



When I need to move more air, I simply plug in the extension.

For a 5-string bassist, there may be additional considerations.
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