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what bass amp would synergize with an Ashbory bass guitar?

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  • what bass amp would synergize with an Ashbory bass guitar?

    Does it even matter at all what bass amp I use? What wattage to look for when playing live?

  • #2
    I have no idea if the specific amp matters but the normal recommendation is 300 Watts or so if you're competing with a drummer. What is the size of the venue? Will the amp be miked?
    Last edited by DeepEnd; 02-14-2018, 06:11 PM.
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    • DeepEnd
      DeepEnd commented
      Editing a comment
      Depends more on the drummer than anything else. Some get crazy loud. Electronic drums can help if you can ride herd on the volume. I've also worked with a drummer who wouldn't allow the drums to be turned down. Another useful technique is to put the drummer in a sealed enclosure and slowly pump the air out.

      As for miking, it depends on the amps. Some amps are deafening and don't really need to be miked except for sound mixing purposes. Sound guys prefer miking amps for obvious reasons but it may not be necessary in your case.

      Here's some good (if slightly confusing) info from the Eden Amps Forum: As you can see, there's no absolute agreement. A 300 Watt or so amp with a 1X15 or larger cab would be adequate but not overkill.

    • samal50
      samal50 commented
      Editing a comment
      I went to Guitar Center to try out some 1x15 combo bass amps that were about 300 watts. I asked the sales person and told me anything above 100 watts should be "good" for live stuff as the venue usually will mic it?

      I think I got to try the Ampeg BA Series 150 watts 1x15 bass combo ($399), Peavy MAX Series 300 watt 1x15 ($299), and Fender Rumble Series (these come in combos and separate bass head and cab so it varies).

      The Eden Forum you linked had some good info. Almost everyone agree on 1x15 (is this the size of the cab or the size of the speakers inside it?). I would assume it's the size of the cab since the 1x15 I tried at Guitar Center all appeared to be the same size, some were heavier though.

      I came across this Eden bass amp that may be good for apartment use, what do you think of it:

      Also, regarding combos vs. using a separate bass head and bass cab, I don't quite get why some prefer the latter. I was looking into the latest Sweetwater catalog and saw an attractive bass head and cab from Trace Elliot. The bass head is called ELF (200W Micro Bass Head), the bass cab is ELF 1x10 (300W, 1x10). I don't get what these numbers mean. Does the head able to handle only 200W of power, but the cab is 300W, would they be a mismatch then? Each product is $300 a piece. What do these numbers even mean? So if I have a bass head that's 200W, would this be compatible with any wattage bass cab or what? I don't get why the head is only 200W while the cab is 300W.
      Last edited by samal50; 02-23-2018, 04:17 PM.

    • DeepEnd
      DeepEnd commented
      Editing a comment
      Okay, 1X15 means one speaker that's 15" in diameter. 2X10 means two speakers that are 10" in diameter, etc. A 200 Watt amp can put out 200 Watts continuously without producing excessive distortion. The technical term is "clipping" and it sounds pretty bad. A 200 Watt speaker can handle 200 Watts without blowing up. You can use a 200 Watt speaker with a 100 or 150 Watt amp with no worries. You can also use a 200 Watt speaker with a 300 Watt amp if you don't get carried away but it's best to match them or err on the side of caution.

      The advantage of a separate amp or "head" and speaker cabinet is that you can upgrade and replace them individually. There's some small benefit to having the electronic parts separated from the part that vibrates (the speaker) but since the head sits on the speaker cab they're still being vibrated.

      As for how big an amp, I play guitar and occasionally bass in a praise band, and the bass amp runs a "line out" to the PA. The amp is a 75 Watt 1X10 that the bass player uses as a monitor, and it's just about "adequate" for that. The same amp at 150 Watts would be barely louder. All else being equal (which it rarely is), the same amp at 150 Watts with a bigger speaker would be noticeably louder but not exactly deafening. As for the Eden 200 Watt head and 1X10 cab, 200 Watts should be adequate if you're miking your amp but I'd want a bigger speaker. There's only so much you can get out of one 10" speaker.
      Last edited by DeepEnd; 02-24-2018, 02:02 AM.

  • #3
    Are you the bassist and what level / kind of playing are we talking about?
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    • #4
      You don't give much info to get an idea of what type of amp you might need.

      Most bass amps are run clean so its not like a guitar amp that will have different signature drive tones that match certain guitars well.

      Also the genre of music and what the rest of the players are using to get a match with other players on stage is a big deal too.
      If you have guitarists using 4X12 bottoms and 100W heads you'll obviously need a different amp then working with plays who have fly weight combos. Its a matter of how large the footprint needs to be.

      If this was a heavy metal band playing 100W tube amps through 4X12's an SVT cab with a matching head used to be the ideal rig for that kind of band (and still is) You may get by with a 6X10 cab or one of those 1X15+4X10 cabs 1X15+2X10 cabs or possibly a 4X10 but your footprint starts getting masked by the thump of the larger guitar cabs.

      If the players are using small combo's with 10 or 12" speaker in the 15~30 range, you may get by with a 2X10 or single 15" cab, maybe even a combo.

      As far as heads go, The head design and cab matching are important as is the tone. I used to use a 100W V4B tube head with a 2X15 cab loaded with Altecs when I toured the club circuit and had absolutely no problems matching players using 100W Marshalls and 4X12 bottoms. The footprint the amp produced was very large and it made the room resonate with low bass tones which is the main goal.

      To get the same kind of boom using a regular solid state push pull amp you need about 2 to 3 times the power to match a good tube amp. Example. I can just get by playing live in a classic rock band using a 200W SS Crate head and a 1X15 cab with a JBL playing if the guitarists use single speaker combos in the 20~40W ranges.

      If they went up to 2X12/50W or higher I'd likely need to add a second cab and another head to drive it to match the larger footprint. If I simply pushed the one amp harder it would begin to distort and loose its clean plush punch which is important for a bassist to have in order to properly stop notes.

      Playing bass its important to both start and stop notes and have silence between the notes so there is a maximum dynamic change from silence to maximum volume like a drummer get hitting a drum. When an amp gets too gained up too much the noise floor rises and the dynamic range between silence and a plucked note looses its dynamic punch. It may indeed get louder but great sounding bass is about dynamic control. This is why bassists typically get higher wattage amps and run them at a lower volume because most amps have their best dynamic kick when run between 30 and 70%

      Class D heads can be rated very high for their sizes but you'll likely find the gain and dynamic punch becomes unusable for a player who uses his fingers once you get the gain up fairly high. I have one of those 350W Ampeg Portaflex heads and its good up to maybe 200W before the dynamic bottom begins to fall out and it begins to sound more like a guitar amp then a bass amp. If I use it live its about the same as that old school 200W SS amp.

      If you go class D I think the ideal head for most classic rock bands using either a single 15" or 4X10 cab would be a 500W head and simply run it at half to 3/4 power. You never want to run a class D head full power anyway because they suffer from heat failures. Most have thermal switching and will power down when they get too hot and wont let you turn them back on till they're cool. Makes for an very embarrassing situation at a live gig. The band has to stand around while the bassist is trying to fan the heat away from the head so he can power back up.


      • samal50
        samal50 commented
        Editing a comment
        So simply adjusting the volume of each player's amp doesn't always work, each players must have matching amps by the wattage?

        In my case, I have a Peavey 258 guitar amp (25 watts). What bass amp would go well with it? The ones I mentioned on top of this thread (Ampeg, Fender, Peavey, Trace Elliot). Their wattages are about 300W vs my guitar amp at 25W, a huge mismatch (per wattage) or are they a good pair? I'll let others play with me of course. LOL.

        My electronic drum kit amp is the Simmons DA50 (50 watts).

        I'm curious what vocal PA system should I get (wattage wise) to fit in all these wattages? How about a synth or keyboard amp, what would work well? I never really looked into this as a whole but more like per individual instrument instead. Now I'm kinda seeing the big picture, sort of.

    • #5
      Originally posted by samal50 View Post
      Does it even matter at all what bass amp I use? What wattage to look for when playing live?
      How large are the venues you will be playing at, what other musicians / gear will you be playing with, and what style(s) of music will you be playing?


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      • samal50
        samal50 commented
        Editing a comment
        The venue should be under 500 capacity. I would assume anything above that, the venue would need to mic individual player's amps and instruments?

        What bass amp wattage would compliment a 25 watt guitar amp (Peavey Rage 258)? I always thought they should have the same wattage but I guess I was wrong?

        What wattage amp should the vocalist have? The synth/keyboard player? Etc. I always thought the sound guys at the venue would pretty much improvise with the musician's gear using their venue's own sound system.

    • #6
      I noticed that some "solid state amps" with less wattage are a bit more expensive. What's the deal with solid state vs. non solid state? What does it even mean when one is "solid state"?
      Last edited by samal50; 03-04-2018, 08:11 PM.


      • #7
        let's go back to the obvious beginning here, samal, since you are woefully underinformed. I will try to answer your questions without getting into the technical stuff too deeply [or at all]. This all sounds to me like you are taking a 'casual garage band' and trying to put it on stage without knowing how to make the requisite gear changes...not a good idea. Which is why you are in here asking for guidance, which is a good idea. I hope this helps!

        Good info from DeepEnd [as always] and WRGKMC [overly long and TMI, as usual], BTW...go back and read it again!

        1) If you are using an Ashbory, it is really no different than playing any electric bass...except that it looks like a kid's toy, but it is a real instrument.

        2) Bass amps are typically higher wattage for a number of reasons, mostly very technical [which we won't go into now] so I will just say accept this as fact: bass needs more power to be heard/felt.

        3) Wattage ratings: Again, there are a number of very technical aspects, but a basic rule of thumb is that if the amp is rated at 300w, the speaker needs to be rated at or above 300w...or you run the risk of blowing the speaker! For you, I suggest a bass combo to remove this from the equation.

        4) Solid state means there are no tubes [aka valves] involved in the circuit. Most bass amps* are solid state for good reasons, including low distortion and reliability [most bassists change strings less than once a year, so they are loathe to do anything on their amps ]. I have NEVER had to wait for a bass amp to cool down. That may occur if one runs the amp full tilt wide open for extended periods, but I wouldn't work with a bassist who did that. Neither should you do that...ever.
        * There are of course a number of notable exceptions like the Marshall Bass Amp, the SVT, Traynor, etc.

        5) IMHO a PA should be no less than 600w per channel for club work. The power requirement goes up as the size of the room increases. For a venue that will seat 500 people, you'd better hope they have their own PA.

        6) Most quality bass amps will have an XLR line out to go to a channel on a PA. I rarely recommend mic-ing a bass amp live , unless you have a purpose-built mic.

        7) Guitar amps are totally a separate critter. Do not think that a 50w tube guitar amp can't keep up with a 300w bass amp. Tube amp wattage is NOT the same as solid state wattage, for a number of technical reasons we won't go into here. And wattage is not linear, so a 300w amp is not ten times louder than a 30W amp. However, I suggest tthat 25w Rage is not a gigging amp, it is a practice amp, and if you want a guitarist to be heard onstage, IMHO, they will need a 15w [or more] tube amp, or a 65 watt [or more] solid state amp.

        8) Keyboard amps also are typically high wattage, and again solid state, for some of the same reasons as bass amps [distortion, et al], and often higher wattage than the bass amp. I would suggest no less than 150w, but would lean toward 300+.

        9) Your 50w Simmons drum amp is a 'practice' amp, not a performance amp...although, it would certainly help keep the overall volume under control

        10) Electronic/electric instruments come with volume controls, as do amplifiers, and they are there for a reason...not only to get louder, but also to find a point of balance...
        Last edited by daddymack; 03-05-2018, 12:53 PM.
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