Bass amps

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
I might be getting a bass this week.  I'll let you guys know if I do end up getting it, but for now I'm speculating on what amp I should buy if I do get it. 

I have never owned a bass before, just played my buddy's a few times, so I don't know that much about it, other than the fact that playing bass is fun.  I want to get an amp, but I mainly need just a practice amp... but then I thought maybe that later down the line I would want to jam on it with my friend who plays drums.  I doubt I would really want to play bass at shows, but I do want to be able to hear if my friend is bashing away on her drum set.  The main reason I want a bass though is to record basslines into my computer. 

So, what do you guys recommend?  I don't even know how many watts I should get.  I don't want to spend a huge amount on it, since I don't think bass will ever be my main focus.  But I don't want something that is going to fall apart. 

I was thinking something from the Fender Rumble series. But I really know nothing about bass amps at all. 
 

greywolf

Senior member
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1,085
Basses require more power to get a decent sound. While I have no problems with my 25 and 50 watt tube amps for guitar , my bass amp with 200 is barely adequate.

I'm using an Acoustic B200h head with a 1x15 cab that has a horn.  I usally bi amp it with a Sovtek Mig 50 head and 2x10 .  The older Fenders were very good, the newer ones  I'm not as impressed with.

Peavey , GK, Mark Bass all make nice units .  If your budget allows , Eden , SWR , Aguilar and Mesa are very nice.
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,299
The standard rule of thumb is to add up all the other power on stage, add 50w for the drums, then double it.  Taking my band as an example, back when I was using amps I had a 30W AC30 type amp.  adding  the drummer made 80w.  Our bass player has been using a 250W combo with a single 15 quite comfortably.

If you're just practicing and on a budget, the low end traynors are tough to beat from a price performance POV.  Believe it or not, the 10W traynor sounds surprisingly good.

'Course I'm Canadian, so Traynors rule for any application!
 

AndyG

Senior member
Messages
562
I've always liked Hartke bass amps.  Nice thing about those is even most of their combo amps have direct outputs for recording or sending to the PA for live.
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
hannaugh said:
for now I'm speculating on what amp I should buy if I do get it. 

first and foremost - what is your planned budget? if something truly stellar was $150 beyond your budget, could you swing it? which goes back to ... what really is your budget? ;)

no sense filling your head with specs and selling your heart on something you can't afford

all the best,

R
 

dudesweet157

Senior member
Messages
647
I'm a big fan of MarkBass.  The ease of just slipping it into your gigbag pocket and plugging it into a backline cab(s) is just heavenly, and when we don't use the backline, Avatar cabs have been very good to us.  They're super lightweight with neodymium speakers and have plenty of power/low end response  We run the 210 and 112, and they sound great, just turn the tweeter all the way down.  More than enough for any place we've played.

-Rose
 

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
SkuttleFunk said:
hannaugh said:
for now I'm speculating on what amp I should buy if I do get it. 

first and foremost - what is your planned budget? if something truly stellar was $150 beyond your budget, could you swing it? which goes back to ... what really is your budget? ;)

no sense filling your head with specs and selling your heart on something you can't afford

all the best,

R

I was thinking something that retails for like $350 that I could maybe find used somewhere.  Like I said, I don't plan on playing bass at shows.  I just need something for practice that would be loud enough to keep up with my friend's drum set if we were to try a drum & bass jam session in her garage.  I want something that sounds good and won't fall apart, but it doesn't have to be super amazing.  Something with a couple of effects would be cool too, cause I might want that for recording basslines. 

I want to try to keep the price around or under $350 though, cause I am also saving up for a nice tube amp for my guitars.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
For a practice around the house amp, the Fender Rumble is a good amp.  Of course I would be remiss if I didn't say go out and play a bunch of amps to find if you like one sound better than another.  It is much easier to recommend models/brands with that.  But like I said, on a budget, the rumble will work well.  One more thing, if you do play live, 300 watts is a number where you generally want to start.  It takes a lot more energy to move air at the low frequencies, and if you add a crowd it gets more difficult.  If you are rockin' the apartment, 100 or so watts will be fine to annoy the neighbors.
Patrick

 

hannaugh

Senior member
Messages
4,230
Okay thanks.  Yes, when I get the bass I plan on taking many amps for a spin with it before I make any decisions. 
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
I'd definitely check the amp classifides at TalkBass (http://talkbass.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=127)

Something like this Avatar 112Neo (http://talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=508651) with a head like this GK400RB (http://talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=506246) would do you well even for live playing and still meet your budget

all the best,

R
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
"One more thing, if you do play live, 300 watts is a number where you generally want to start.  It takes a lot more energy to move air at the low frequencies, and if you add a crowd it gets more difficult.  If you are rockin' the apartment, 100 or so watts will be fine to annoy the neighbors."

I'm pretty certain they still make tube bass amps with "real" wattage ratings; 100 real watts will get you evicted forthwith, after the police get done with you....
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
They do still make all tube bass amps, but the lower frequencies and the energy requirements of the speakers make it a different bear to play with.  A lot of the wattage goes into keeping the sound clear at volume, something guitarist are not as concerned about.  You can still get the Ampeg SVT-VR 300 watt all tube beast, but it ain't cheap.  At 85 pounds, a lot of transformer for the six 6550's, it is a back breaker as well.  Rich pointed out Avatar cabs, and I must say that the ones I have used have been stellar.  At the price they go for, they are one helluva deal.  I want one of their 4 x 10 cabs.  You can play most any amp head through it.  It is a bit beyond what you have listed price wise, but definitely keep it in mind if you do ever expand the bass rig.
Patrick

 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,299
Patrick from Davis said:
They do still make all tube bass amps... You can still get the Ampeg SVT-VR 300 watt all tube beast, but it ain't cheap.  At 85 pounds, a lot of transformer for the six 6550's, it is a back breaker as well. 
Patrick

And you can still get the amp that INSPIRED the SVT - the Traynor Super Custom Special!
yba200-2_tc808.png


As I said, Traynors rule for any application! :headbang:
 

Soloshchenko

Senior member
Messages
430
I would recommend looking at local second hand stuff. Bass players ain't ten a penny like guitarists so you are likely to find people more willing to let stuff go cheap if they have being trying to sell for a while.

I picked up a 200 watt Trace Elliot head and cab for £200 recently. List price is about £600. The thing rocks!

Although 200 watts it is a very loud amp and has been perfect for smallish venues we play at the minute. Although a previous poster says 300 should be your minimum in my experience 300 watts is all I would need for Live stuff unless playing festivals. 300 would be my recommended MAXIMUM needed for gigging. Often you use a PA mike and that combined with a 200 watt amp should be fine down The Dock and Duck (English term for a standard bar).  :icon_thumright:
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
Back in the day, my old bass player always held his own with an Ampeg B15 tube 50 watter with a 2x15 cab
 

tfcreative

Senior member
Messages
200
In my experience, getting a bass heard in the mix has as much or more to do with the eq and the efficiency of the speakers as it does with wattage. My last rig was a 4 lb, 260 watt amp with two 112 cabs, but they were killer efficient and I eq'd aggressively in the mids. The result was that I could haul my whole rig, including the bass, in one trip but could still keep up with some loud drums, two guitars, and keys.

Basically what I'm saying is that you can get by with less than you think if you handle it right and don't buy crap. Good brands to look at used would be Eden, Ashdown, MarkBass, and probably a few others. A single twelve or a couple of 10's will get you by. My personal picks would be an Eden N28 or N12, or an Ashdown MAG 210 combo.
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,299
+1.  Our bass player runs her mids up pretty hot and she has no problem cutting through the mix with her 250W combo with a single 15.  We recently upgraded the speaker to an Eminence bass-lite 15 with an very high efficiency rating.  It's bloody loud.

BTW, that amp is, of course, a TRAYNOR!  :headbang:
 
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