Amp that can compete with a very LOUD drummer

I’ve been trying to decide on an amp but I’m getting overwhelmed with all the options. Here are the things I need.

Enough wattage to compete with a very loud drummer without having to max out the amp.
Auxiliary IN.
Headphone OUT.

I’m not looking for overkill. I mean, yeah, that would be awesome but I don’t have a lot of money and I don’t want to break my old back lugging it around.

Any recommendations are appreciated.


Well, it depends on how loud you mean by “very loud” . . . :slight_smile:

Also, what is your budget? Although I don’t have any current gigging experience yet, I am very happy with my “Fender Rumble 100” amplifier (100 watts $300), and think that would be the minimum you should consider. It is VERY lightweight, too (~22 lbs) and is super easy to transport.

I’m sure that some one else will chime in with more suggestions!

All best and good luck in your search, Joe


@Jazzbass19 I had been looking at that very amp based on your recommendation in another thread.

How loud is ‘very loud’?
My brother, the drummer, has been called excruciating.
His snare hit is so cutting it is physically painful.
When we were young, we lost a Guitarist who refused to tolerate it.
I attribute a good portion of my hearing loss to playing with him when we were kids.
I would never be willing to play with him without serious ear protection.
Nor would I recommend anyone play with him without serious ear protection.
It’s just not worth the hearing damage.

With that in mind, can anybody say whether the Rumble 100 can keep up?

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I don’t have an amp recommendation but I do have an idea for your brother’s next birthday gift…

That’s my buddy Scott’s company, he said some Sweet Spots will definitely help and also that your brother may have his snare tuned too tight. Tell him Duck sent you. :slight_smile:

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Thanks, @Korrigan I’ll tell him about it and send him the link.

As for the snare, I’m probably out of luck, he loves it. I don’t know about the tightness. It’s something that he has been developing over 30 years through many different drums, drum heads, tunings, sticks. Trying to get that perfect ‘CRACK!’ by hitting the rim and the center at the same time.

He’s actually really talented and has continued to play for his whole life. The loudness thing is just part of what he loves about playing. He loves the sound when he’s being aggressive and I think he likes the catharsis of being exhausted when he’s done. He can play quieter but I don’t want to ask him to. When I finish the class and we get together to play I want him to go full on. I want to be part of that crazy.


Not that it helps much, @eric.kiser, but the really good drummers can play as low as the music requires. Now, the hardest part with playing soft is, of course, to still keep time…

So, what if you played a ballad every now and then? (I guess I don’t know what kind of music you guys are playing…)


Unfortunately, that would be a total guess . . . also need to consider the venue: small or large club, room acoustics, indoors vs outdoors, etc. etc.

If you read the reviews for the Rumble 100 on Sweetwater, et. al. you may find some that say it is NOT loud enough to get over a loud drummer . . . that you need the Rumble 200, or the 500, or even more.

We have some very knowledgeable people on here that may be able to give you some guidance on this . . . :slight_smile:


To compete with a drummer, get something loud.
At least 300 watts.
You’ll need that much power to make things cut.
The Rumble 500 is a decent light and affordable option.

Best of luck!


My thanks to everyone for the replies.

I finally heard back from my brother and told him about this thread. He was not impressed with my assessment of his playing. Which actually ended up being pretty funny. He assured me, he is more than capable of playing at a level that will work with whatever amp I get.

Edit: Based on this, I’m leaning toward the Rumble 100. It seems to have everything I want except for the extra wattage. Which may or may not be worth it at this point. Also, that 22 pound weight makes it terribly convenient for most situations.


I went to my local Guitar Center today and found out that for $50 you can rent 2,000 watts of PA for the weekend. As long as I choose an amp with a Direct Out then I should be able to buy something convenient for daily use and still be able to compete with anything that comes up.

Does this sound right or even practical to those of you with experience?


Sounds good to me, @eric.kiser . . . :slight_smile:

You’e been busy doing your homework . . . and there’s so much stuff out there, it can be overwhelming. The “Rumble 100” (and on up) has an “XLR line out” jack which could be used to plug into a PA system, recording devices, etc. so that is a good feature to look for, and is another reason why I settled on this amp.

All best, Joe


Here is just my opinion : I’m not sure a lot of power is really needed. with the current class-D technology we have access to small amps in the kilowatt range, but my experience is that in most cases a 200-250w amp is enough.

With my 220w Ampeg (class AB), I’ve never had any problem to be heard even with a very brutal drummer. If really more loudness is required, during a big concert outdoor for exemple, there will be a PA and you will be connected to it with your DI, so the amp power won’t be an issue.

That’s just my experience :slight_smile:


@eric.kiser -
My advice would be this:
For any group that you’re going to play in, I’d recommend having an amp that can create the ideal stage/rehearsal volume for the group on its own comfortably.
If you’re doing lots of quiet acoustic, folksy stuff - great. Make sure that when the band is rehearsing, you can hear yourself where you and the band are happy.
If you’re playing lots of loud rock and roll with a loud drummer, make sure you have enough headroom (setting your amp volume well within the safe volume capabilities of your amp) to play a rehearsal at the level you and the band like to hear the bass.

Renting a PA for gigs is an option, and yes, like @terb said - there will be PAs at most gigs.
HOWEVER!! Most PAs are focused on the sound reaching the audience. The sound that you will hear on stage from a PA will come through monitors, and it is a very rare club or stage that will have adequate monitors to give you more bass, if your amp can’t deliver it.

It’s best (says me) to show up with everything you need, and be prepared to dial back and lean into a PA system than it is to rely on a PA system (even one you might rent) that you don’t know and can’t necessarily count on.


Thanks for all the responses! I have had great fun trying to go through the process of getting this figured out.

This was from the Fender Rumble 200 thread…

When you get an amp head, what do you look for to know you won’t be bitten by this. @JoshFossgreen made reference to a Pro XLR direct out. Is that an actual specification? I tried to search out an answer but kept getting pointed to separate boxes.

Edit: I found it. If you look at any of the TC Electronics amp heads, there is a button that lets you select whether the direct out will send pre / post. Using the pre setting protects all the sound guys hard work. Which I find to be incredibly cool.


I think most amp heads in the professional price range (like, not the super cheap ones) probably have an independent speaker volume that’s post-DI, but you can download the manual and check out the wiring diagram to make sure.

Yeah, you can kinda make good use of it either way. You can go pre, and then EQ the amp to make your stage sound work based on the room… or if you don’t trust the sound guy :stuck_out_tongue: send him a post signal with some nice EQ and compression so there’s a lower chance of your bass tone sucking in the house! (sending the signal “post” still leaves the speaker volume later in the chain than the DI, ideally)


Thanks, @JoshFossgreen.

Man, trying to learn all of this with all the options and massive amounts of technology with a thousand different combinations floating around. It feels like falling into a rabbit hole inside of a rabbit hole inside of another rabbit hole… :rabbit: :inbox_tray:


edit: oops replied to the wrong comment :slight_smile:

Yeah gear is crazy! I barely knew anything about gear for the first 10+ years I played bass, whatever amp or pedals I had were just a result of whatever my dad (also a bass player) had around.

I still have huge pockets of missing gear knowledge (i.e. that thread going on right now about ohms and wattage is very educational for me!), for most of my life I’ve just known how to play the bass and not too much else. :stuck_out_tongue:


Great advice Gio,
so I will buy the wife a drum kit, then ask if I can get a 500w amp? Genius


And then she discovers she likes jazz drumming, orders some brushes on Amazon, and you’re stuck with your Rumble 40 being overpowered. :wink:

Actually, that would be my ideal scenario.