Combo AMP for Band Pratice and Small Venues?

I’m fairly new to playing, however I been playing with some friends for the last 6 months. Our Practice space is a basement and we’re talking about doing some small gigs in the summer. Patios, Bars, Etc… I’m currently playing through a older 100 Watt Peavy. I’m most being drowned out by the drums and guitar tube amps in the room. Is there a good combo amp to compete? Opinions? Thanks!!


Welcome aboard, @jejoshua406 . . . :slight_smile:

There’s lots of opinions and discussion about amps on these threads!

I have a Rumble 100 now, so my opinion would be to take a look at either the Rumble 200 or 500 combo amps.

I’m sure others will chime in with their thoughts. You can also do a search for combo amps on these Forums.

Here’s one thread you could look at:



Thank You!


Normally, every time you double the power you get 3 more dB level out of your system.

Since you are starting with 100 Watts, you will get:

+3dB at 200 Watts
+6dB at 400 Watts
+9dB at 800 Watts

The Rumble series, however, has funny numbering.

The Rumble 200 only gives you 200 if you use both the combo speaker AND also add on an extension cabinet. Otherwise, you get 140 Watts from the combo system only. In terms of Watts that rounds off to approximately 0 improvement over 100 Watts. It does have a 15” driver, so that will get you some more low lows though. This will do you no good.

The Rumble 500 is a similar story. It gives you 350 Watts stand alone and 500 Watts if you attach the extension cabinet. So, you would get almost a 6dB improvement and that’s a significant step up.

I don’t know if that actually solves your problem, but hopefully gives some perspective and helps you avoid a marketing pothole.


The 500 is also a 2x10 which will be great for the mids which is what you actually want to punch through.


Why compete? :love_you_gesture: You’re playing, not fighting together, right? Let them first turn down, before you get more power for your amp. If they don’t want to, I would look for something bigger, say 1200? Ashdown ABM series would be my choice. But hey, start small: mine is 15 for practice. But I play at small gigs through the PA, using an DI, as that might help you as a different point of view?

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I had an Ashdown, a 180w head. it was not a very good amp. I’ve been happy to sell it to buy my Ampeg at the time, which was also not a very good amp but still way better than the Ashdown. before the Ashdown I had a 250w Warwick amp which was even worse.

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This is often very hard to do for (amateur) drummers - not just because they would play non-amplified to begin with, but also because it is tough for many drummers to play softer and still keep time…

I was wondering whether I could avail myself of your technical expertise here, @DaveT!? What about a “strategy” where I buy a head, say one with a nominal output of 800W, and then buy one 1x12 cabinet along with it, such that you’d get (at 8 Ohm) about 350 W of “real” output from that combination. Then, at a later stage, when your funds have been replenished, you could get a second 1x12 cabinet, and now you could get up to 700W with both cabinets used together.

So, at least in my mind, this should give you the ultimate flexibility to (depending on venue and occasion) just come with the head (in case you use its pre-amp for tone shaping etc) and use its DI, or come with one cab (which would be about the size of most combos), or come with two cabs.

What am I missing here (apart from perhaps the price tag) with this approach?? Thanks!


You’re not missing anything, that’s a fine plan.


Always doubting myself (and what you guys have taught me along the way), I guess :man_shrugging: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


What head you using now?

I don’t have any bass amp now, I only use my preamps. the one I always use is an old Line 6 Bass POD Pro.

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It’s a fine strategy and it’s the same strategy that the Rumble 500 is using.

One 12” driver has a surface area of 113 pushing air. Two together could possibly perform as well or better than a 15” in terms of low extension.

The only reason I didn’t do this was that I hit my cost pain threshold. I opted for 350W and a neo 4x10 at 4 Ohms to pull full amp power because I like the tightness of 10s, 4 of them couple up to go down pretty low and the neo cabinet weight is moveable for me. The trade off is that I hosed myself for cabinet mixing or stacking and my smallest rig is bigger to move than your strategy.


Hi @jejoshua406
not to get drowned out by the drummer requires not just some watts but good speakers. @DaveT has correctly shown the increase in volume by doubling watts. I fully agree with him.
My suggestion - especially for gigs - is a 500w amp and two speaker cabs. You will not need every watt from the amp, but running it in mid power will keep distortion in limits.
Never saw a combo that could compete with drums…

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I have a Rumble 40. The band I’m in plays classic rock. For a small venue, I used my Rumble 40 but used the DI into the PA. Plenty of bass volume. If you are going to play a bigger venue or outside, you may want to go with something like a Rumble 500.


It appears to me that more and more small venues have a PA systems these days and that makes things a lot easier, assuming you can plug in.

I tried a Rumble 40 but exchanged it for the Rumble 100 within a week or so because of the tone difference from the larger speaker. If I was to do it again I would just go straight to the Rumble 500 right off and have all the bases covered. YMMV

My next amp will be the Rumble 500. There will be larger venues or outdoor gigs without a PA system.


That is a fine approach. I invest in separate heads and cabs for ultimate flexibility. You can mix cabs too. For example a 2x10 for better mid definition and 1x15 for the lows. I never had issues with lower watt amps either, so I would look into cab watt/size first if you can’t hear yourself in the mix.

The Fender 2x10 also has a good low definition compared to other cabs and it’s affordable too.


Is it me or is anything circuit related getting more expensive? Current amps are only going up in price instead of down.

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