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spongebob

Your Practice Amp - How Much Power?

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[quote name='ambient' timestamp='1438101808' post='2831666']


Depends on the amp. My Phil Jones Double Four is tiny, about the size of a shoe box, but perfectly giggable for the average jazz gig, you wouldn't need anything else.
[/quote]

Agreed. I've started using mine for my quiet gigs. One of my 1x12s and amp only weigh 12 or 13kg and are nice and portable. But, the Double Four is almost unbelievably small. So much so, that with gigbag on back I could quite happily walk to local gigs.

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As soon as the drummer gets going...to any degree that you'd want him to... then a sound that
is just there is a waste of time. This will rule out most combos under 80-100 watts and tbh, their EQ is
likely to be crappy anyway.

As for the use you'll put them, I was building 412's at school to gig with in woodwork classes and I did my 1st gig @ 15
so I knew I'd need a good amp and cab. There weren't many good amps so a Selmer tnB and a Vox foundation
was my starter... but the H/H thru 2 412's was the benchmark. At least it put out decent volume and bass in a village hall.

Of course, gear is much much better these days so you could do ok with smaller kit but the goal was always to gig a local rock band.
At 17 I was 'full time' in a well known and regarded function band. 'Full time' meant I didn't need to earn anything else to cover my weekly expenses
and I was able to do basic tax returns. It the grand scheme of things, it didn't amount to much but I thought everyone had the same goals..

So, I've always had amps that do the work...some better than others..but I found out what works in what context.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1438109646' post='2831764']
As soon as the drummer gets going...to any degree that you'd want him to... then a sound that
is just there is a waste of time. This will rule out most combos under 80-100 watts and tbh, their EQ is
likely to be crappy anyway.
[/quote]


Depends entirely on the situation. My double four is easily loud enough to cope with 5 piece jazz bands, with keys and vocals both through the pa.

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I practice at home through a 30W Laney Richter. Bought this off ebay for £15. Kept in my small 4th bedroom/office and is perfect for noodling and learning new songs (headphones and aux in). Also have an Ashdown 180 combo at home but this rarely gets used. Ashdown gigging rig stored at rehearsal studio to avoid too much lugging about.

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DHA VT1 EQ with the line input and headphone socket, so a staggering 250mWatt output. :D

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I have a Roland 60W guitar cube I can use but I practice a lot on bass and guitar without an amp or on double bass which has the massive advantage of not needing amplification when not on a gig.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1438109646' post='2831764']
As soon as the drummer gets going...to any degree that you'd want him to... then a sound that
is just there is a waste of time. This will rule out most combos under 80-100 watts and tbh, their EQ is
likely to be crappy anyway.

As for the use you'll put them, I was building 412's at school to gig with in woodwork classes and I did my 1st gig @ 15
so I knew I'd need a good amp and cab. There weren't many good amps so a Selmer tnB and a Vox foundation
was my starter... but the H/H thru 2 412's was the benchmark. At least it put out decent volume and bass in a village hall.

Of course, gear is much much better these days so you could do ok with smaller kit but the goal was always to gig a local rock band.
At 17 I was 'full time' in a well known and regarded function band. 'Full time' meant I didn't need to earn anything else to cover my weekly expenses
and I was able to do basic tax returns. It the grand scheme of things, it didn't amount to much but I thought everyone had the same goals..

So, I've always had amps that do the work...some better than others..but I found out what works in what context.
[/quote]

What you say is correct as long as you play only relatively loud music, but not everybody plays only rock all the time. I use a tiny portable amps to jam with an acoustic guitar and singer at the guitarist's place, does the job very well, and I can cycle there. I use the bigger Phil Jones briefcase to play (pseudo) jazz with a 5-piece band, where the drummer needs to play quietly to suit the music. I also have large and powerful amps and cabs for many other occasions.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1438109646' post='2831764']
As soon as the drummer gets going...
[/quote]

Drummer? What drummer...?

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[quote name='barkin' timestamp='1438188147' post='2832408']
Drummer? What drummer...?
[/quote]

Well, I know a couple of great drummers..and I mean great, so that is a musical treat in itself.

I wouldn't be doing gigs without a drummer anyway... :lol:

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1438079788' post='2831392']
Why would anyone pay £100 for a poor amp/combo just to play at home.
A little class D and a cab wouldn't up up any room.. outperform most pratice amps
by miles and you could amp it up at a gig and still get reasonable performance.
The 60w or less combo has one use.. the bedroom..which is fine if that is all you do, but useless
elsewhere, IMO.
[/quote]I guess when you begin to learn, you know no better, so buy a small practice amp. That is what i did, and probably thousands of others. Having an amp and a cab isn`t as straight forward when you have no clue what you are doing.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1438079788' post='2831392']
Why would anyone pay £100 for a poor amp/combo just to play at home.
A little class D and a cab wouldn't up up any room.. outperform most pratice amps
by miles and you could amp it up at a gig and still get reasonable performance.
The 60w or less combo has one use.. the bedroom..which is fine if that is all you do, but useless
elsewhere, IMO.
[/quote]

Because when I played my first gig the bass amp belonged to the band, and I needed something at home to practice with. But I guess more likely because most players never get out and gig. I played guitar in my bedroom for 25 years before my first proper gig depping on bass. I thought I was never good enough to play guitar live, but having played in a few bands now I realise I was more than capable. I still don't own a giggable guitar amp despite owning two very nice 6 string electrics.

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Now I think of it I bought what is now my practice combo to fulfil two things, partly as a small home practice amp but also at the time there was an in house band being put together at work for a xmas party and our first tentative jams were in a meeting room at work on the 4th floor. I needed something that could be reasonably heard over low level gtrs but I could carry easily in one hand and my bass case in the other. This was all way before the lightweight D class stuff came out. The little 25W Marshall fitted the bill and I still have it. Money well spent at the time for what I needed.

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15 watt Warwick blue cab. Very very throbby! I'm actually thinking of getting rid of my 'big' amp as because of the nature of my 'band' i play comedy gigs rather than music, which means if we were blastingly loud we'd blow everyone's ears - we usually go on last as its just sort of eaiser, but it means its people talking and then us... Last time we gigged i could barely get my amp turned down low enough!

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[quote name='Nicko' timestamp='1438250258' post='2832846']
I played guitar in my bedroom for 25 years before my first proper gig depping on bass. I thought I was never good enough to play guitar live, but having played in a few bands now I realise I was more than capable.
[/quote]


something similar happened to me.

I played guitar for many years (not 25, but still a while)... I never thought myself as "good enough". In fact, I thought it'd be impossible for me, if I played in front of anybody my hands would shake and I could not play a thing. Totally psychological, if the other person had a guitar, or was a drummer, I could relax within a couple of minutes and play ok. So, bands playing live? Forget it :lol:
I did take part in "regular jams" with friends but that's all.
I was "forced" to play guitar live three times, always just for a short slot (well, the first time was 45min), and I was glad when it was over.

Then I discovered bass.

I felt bass was not as fun alone as guitar was, at least when you're starting. So I joined a band with the same idea of just jamming for fun. Only I discovered the bands I joined wanted to gig. And I found that my ability grew exponentially, simply from the pressure of having to do it well, and playing in a band regularly, actually playing in three bands, different styles and different approaches.

During my first 2-3 years playing bass I tried a bunch of different bands. Quite often I was not the worse guitarist in the band ;) It was actually quite funny to find people often were surprised I could play guitar: the old idea "bass player is just a guy who could not quite play guitar" is still alive and well. :)

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Most often no amplification.

Or Phil Jones Bass Buddy plus Beyer DT250 headphones and iPod goes through that too.

Or, with others, Phil Jones Bass Briefcase which is 100watt 2x5".

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Bass —> ADA MP-1 —> 6-channel mixer —> Headphones
MP3 player plugged into mixer.

On the rare occasions when I need to practice without headphones it's the 'big' rig — Ashdown Superfly + Epifani UL110 + Flite 15 — with the volume turned down to avoid frightening the neighbours.

P.

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25w all valve currently 1x15. Slightly too loud for the house really when pushed to overdrive (no separate gain). Otherwise perfect for the house.

I see no reason not to use any amp you want, although a separate gain control is handy, bigger amps will be harder to control but not impossible. A small practice amp certainly is handy to have but not essential at the min I would say you want 15w any lower is pointless for bass.

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It's whatever i have at hand ATM, it can be the F1X+1kW poweramp in to the Barefaced S12T or the Promethean combo with 500W, only feeding 250W on the cab (this is the most used) or even plugin straight in the mini behringer mixer i have hooked up to the PC and use the PC's 2.1 sound system. Everything has a volume knob so it's all good ;)
I also have a Trace Elliot 15W Boxer stored on a shelf that i don't plug in in well over 2 years, maybe it's time to wipe the dust of the old cones.

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Zoom B2 with headphones if the wife is in bed and I want to stay in the house. Anything up to 600watts if she's out.

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Thought I'd take a quick snap of the practice setup;

[URL=http://s30.photobucket.com/user/KevB64/media/0cc2e7bd-11d2-43d0-aefd-fc828c6d4e64_zpsluaelhio.jpg.html][IMG]http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c307/KevB64/0cc2e7bd-11d2-43d0-aefd-fc828c6d4e64_zpsluaelhio.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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It has been pointed out to me that you can (quite obviously) mute the Markbass 801s speaker when just wanting to use the headphone out.
This means that I officially have no issues with the 801, it's bloody brilliant :D

Si

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[quote name='KevB' timestamp='1438362644' post='2833993']
Thought I'd take a quick snap of the practice setup;
[/quote]

So incredibly tidy. I couldn't do anything like that.

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