Bass amp + Cab for Basement shows and smaller venues


Hey all, it looks like it's new amp time! My band booked a few shows in December and January--the first being a basement that holds 40ish people and then a larger bar show that can hold probably 100 or so. Right now the amp that I have is a 100 watt no-name solid state from the early 2000's. I don't think that it gives me enough head room, especially in a room that's dampened with people. In other shows that I've seen at the same basement, other bassists seem to be using around 200-500 watts or so. If all else fails I could al probably go line out into the pa though too.

What amps are you using for similar venues?

Right now I've been looking at the TC electronics BG 250, but anything that would offer a good cost to volume ratio would probably work well.


For smaller portable setups


My picks for Cabs

I love a lot of manufacturers for full size 4x10 or larger cabs. But for compact cabs i always end ip back at the aguilars.


Pair of Aguilar db112

Really clear and high fi sounding. Bit of mid range grind. Very articulate.

Cuts well.

This is my main setup currently.



Aguilar sl212

Very light.  Huge low end.

Violin like highs.

Lots of thump.

Smooth  balanced and refined across the full range. 

Fatter and less articulate than the db's


The aguilar sl410x is also worth a look.  The other chioces are better sounding.  But this is extremly impressive for its size and weight.  Its a little boxey sounding in a solo context.

I would guess at gig levels in a mix this would be less appearent.  


Head wise for compact light weight heads. My picks are.


Trace elliot elf- sounds big and fat.   Modern agressive mid push.  I dont own one.  Its on my radar to replace my hartke head.  I have heard a few people gigging them and they sounded killer.


The aguilar tone hammer -

very clear and versitile.  hi fi sounding.  I own a 500. This replace a vintage genze benze head.


200  to 500 watts will take you pretty far.  Im my opinon any situation where you need more power you should be miked up to a pa or running directly into one.


The lower youd ohms load the louder the amp will sound. 

 4 ohms draw will sound louder than 8 ohms.

It is not double the difference in volume as it might seem.  Its more like maybe 15% louder.  Thats a personal observation not scientiffic measurment.


So two 8 ohm cabs into one amp become 4 ohms.


If you are buying a single cab 

A single 4 ohm cab will sound louder than a single 8 ohm cab.


Two 4 ohm cabs into 1 amp yeilds 2 ohms.   Not all amps are not ok with a 2 ohm load.












ampeg 810. an svt would be ideal for the amp, but I've gotten good results from a peavey headliner 1000. for solid state, I would not mess around with anything less than 1000 watts for bass.


counterintuitively, you're going to want a more powerful amp for smaller venues unless you like inaudible bass. larger venues will often run a DI out the head and you can take advantage of the powerful foh systems and stage monitors. but in smaller venues, these aspects might not cut it for bass guitar, so you'll want to make sure your rig can pick up the slack and be able to be audible even without reinforcement. if the bass in your music is more subtle or if your sound has more midrange and treble, 500 watts might cut it, but if you want that really solid sound you're going to need 1000 watts or more of solid state power.

Brad  L.

Its really helpful information

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