Re: How loud does a bass amp have to be


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Posted by Duke on April 23, 2000 at 21:28:04:

In Reply to: Re: How loud does a bass amp have to be posted by penroof on April 19, 2000 at 09:05:44:

: : : I am used to guitar amps and know that 80 watts on guitar amps are hella loud... I want to get into bass, and plan on purchasing a Fender Standard P-Bass and a bass amp, i can not spend over 400 bucks on my bass amp, how many watts would be loud enough with spare to get over drums (i have an extremely loud drummer, really!), what bass amp manufacturers do you reccomend?

: : I read a rule of thumb on upgrading in a Bass mag: If you have to turn it up past half way, you should start looking at a new amp or adding a cabinet if you have that capability. Basses need ample headroom, especially if you have a 5 string or do any thump/pop playing. Many reputable stores will let you try it out in a rehearsal to see if the sound and power work for you. The other issue is where you plan to play. If you play outside it seems you need 2-3 times the power needed for inside. Another option is to plug it into the PA system for extra help. However, with a bass, depending on your speaker size and frequency, you may be standing too close to hear yourself, but may be too loud to the audience. If you are loud enough for proper band balance and have trouble hearing yourself, a monitor speaker or a small practice combo amp tilted back toward your head may help. I use my practice amp as my monitor. Good luck.

: I have a 60 watt Hartke combo. If I play it through the PA are there any power requirements that need to match or speaker capabilities. The fellow i play with is concerned that the PA speakers wont handle the low frequecies.

: I used a 50 watt Yamaha for many years in a lab band (indoors) and it worked fine by itself except it was a little muddy at high settings (more to do with my bass than my amp). Your 60 watt Hartke combo is a nice rig for up to small clubs at moderate volume. Whether it is enough without a PA depends on your bass (active or passive) and how you like your sound (bright or dark). You should try it in a rehearsal in a setting similar to what you expect to play (hard floor open room, carpeted restaurant with sound damping furniture) to do a sound check. Whether it will overpower your PA depends on your PA as well as what type of music you play and how you like your sound. If you've got at least 10inch speakers on your PA and at least 200 watt PA, it will be fine to augment in most cases except if you play a 5-string and play a lot of low-end(as in jazz). Some of the best bass sounds I've heard came from small amps mic'ed or directly hooked to a nice PA system. Personally, I like to have the predominant bass come from my speakers with the PA as filler to broaden the sound. Keeping in mind that blank space for bass players is just as important as playing and volume. Good luck.



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