Need advice best portable, small amp?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by jgeary, Dec 14, 2011.


  1. jgeary

    jgeary

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego
    Hi everyone,
    Looking for your opinion on the best, affordable ($200 range?), light-weight amp for BG. I just purchased a Squier short scale, and also own a Kala UBass. I play in a fairly small room at a Senior Center. As I'm not such a Spring Chicken either, I need portable with really good (as good as you can get in a small amp) bass tone.
    Looking at the Roland Micro Cube for bass or maybe a Fender Rumble? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Or if there is a link which you could direct me to....
    Thanks!
    Jill
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Best affordable light weight amps IMHO are the Ampeg BA series. BA110 is 35w with a 110 that costs $180, and BA112 is 50w with a 112 that costs $279. There is also the BA108, which is 25w with a 108 that costs $100, which I use quite often, but for a little more volume insurance, it might be worth it to check out the BA110 and BA112 as well.
  3. mcblahflooper94

    mcblahflooper94

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    A 1x15" B200 Acoustic 200w is only $300. I don't know if that's not affordable or easily transportable.
  4. Yango

    Yango

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    Apr 14, 2008
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    53.0000° N / 71.0000° W
    Increase your budget and get yourself a Mesa Walkabout Scout 12" combo. You'll live happily ever after.
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  6. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

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    Jul 4, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
  7. boristhespider9

    boristhespider9

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    Sep 9, 2008
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I agree! I've used the Ampeg and Acoustic combos and wasn't impressed. They are OK for sitting around your bedroom I suppose, but clipped when playing with a loud drummer.

    I like my Trace Elliot combo as well. Loud little sucker!
  9. JdoubleH

    JdoubleH Scented meat Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, GA
    I have no experience with the Roland, but I can say I wouldn't recommend the Fender as being "nice as you can get". The GK MB112 and Carvin MB10 recommendations a few posts up are probably pretty solid bets. The Carvin MB10 looks like the easier one to move around one-handed as it is only 26lbs and only 11.5" deep, with a strap handle on the side. I've got a Genz Benz Shuttle combo with a 1x12" cab that would work great if it weren't several times your stated price point, but being cube shaped, is pretty taxing to carry one handed (It's only about 30lbs, but it digs into my leg, being that it is pretty deep). The power output of that Carvin is likely plenty for the room you describe, as long as you aren't backing a 10 piece funk band with two drummers and a left hand heavy B3 player. At $299, it is a pretty great deal, and it is made in the USA! Not sure how long the price is good for...

    What are you accompaning? Are they amplified? Based on what you described, a single 10 with a few hunderd watts should cover it, especially if weight and size are a concern. The price range will dictate how much power is behind it, and the quality of the overall sound. From what I've seen, none of the combos in the $200 range excite me much, and I wouldn't expect much in terms of sound quality. The Ampeg or Acoustic could get the job done, but if you could stretch your budget into the mid $300's, you options improve quite a bit.
  10. pbass888

    pbass888 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I got this used at a local gc for 400 and it kills on all the small gigs (jazz ) with both electric and acoustic instruments. ITs 150 watts and weighs about 27 lbs. easy to carry and small. Much fuller sounding than fender, ampeg and gk at this size in my opinion.... its the markbass minimark.
    Markbass - Minimark
    Highly recommended if you can get a good used one, and ive been through the usual suspects you've mentioned.if you want more sound id recomend the portaflex by ampeg.
    Good luck!
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    He's playing bass in a fairly small room at a senior center. My guess is he's not playing with a loud drummer.
  12. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    It would be best for you to go out and play through what's available to you, and choose based on what YOU think sounds best.
  13. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    Owner, SGD Music Products
    This is true! I think the Ampeg is better than the Acoustic in that case.

    I was in a basement studio and it couldn't cut it.
  14. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Va.

    I'd suggest you consider spending @ $100-$150 more and get something decent and light .. since you aren't a spring chicken. In the price range you mentioned .. you may get something ok .. but it is going to weigh @ 50lbs give or take .. One other thing you need to consider is .. will you ever be taking this amp out somewhere else? If that is a possibility (who knows you might get the bug and you and a few of the guys might want to go out one night ..) then you want something that will be able to at least do the job. I'd be looking at the Carvin MB112 or the GK MB 112 to start .. Lots of tonal possibilities in a lightweight package. I just noticed that GC has a cupon for $50 off a purchase of $299 or more ... so a GK MB112 (200W @ 28lbs) which normally sells for $339 would go for $289 .. Something to think about (as opposed to 50W @ 39lbs & $279 -$15 for the Ba-112) . The light weight stuff will be pricier .. but it is worth it's weight .. ;)
  15. Bassquest

    Bassquest

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Location:
    Yellowknife, NWT Canada
    I use a Fender Rumble 30 for small gigs like seniors centres and with acoustic/fiddle events. Easy to carry and does the job.
  16. pan1k

    pan1k Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Normally I'm more of an ampeg guy than GK, but the GK 200 watt 1x12 really impressed me. So much, i ended up buying one on the whim. You can get one used for about $250-300
  17. RNJBass

    RNJBass

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Roland Cube 20, $229 shipped on Amazon, 23 lbs. I have the 60W and it is a lot more that the advertised 60, plus it sounds great.
  18. jgeary

    jgeary

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego
    Thanks everyone! I know virtually nothing about amps as I've played upright bass and other acoustic instruments.
    The main purpose of this amp to be used with a bass guitar, accompanying acoustic instruments (some are electric/acoustic, but none are solid-body, solely electric) in a fairly small room. I will not leave it at home - it will be for taking to these small-venue gigs, and possibly as a practice amp, too - but mostly to take to the senior centers and such for playing out.
    Jill
  19. Alex1984

    Alex1984

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver
    GK combos and SWR Workingman/Workingpros are all good choices at your budget. Heard great things about the Ibanez Promethean too.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Apologies to referring to you as "he" earlier, Jill...did not notice before...

    :D

    Anyway, based upon your further information, I think you could get away with a small practice amp in that price range. And if you're looking to save money and go very small, I think you could do it with something as small as the BA108. If all you need it to do is get loud enough to compete with acoustic instruments and sound good, I don't believe you can do any better for $100. I use it on my acoustic gigs and rehearsals and it sounds excellent and hasn't even come close to running out of steam.

    I'm an Ampeg endorser, but I wouldn't endorse it if I didn't like it, but still, go and play a bunch of them at your local music store and see what you think.
  21. soulman969

    soulman969

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    I would highly recommend this approach to the OP. A 200w 1x12" combo of the quality of the GK for under $300 is a screaming buy. This isn't just a practice amp. It has plenty of balls to do smaller gigs or act as a stage backline monitor when run through the FOH PA.

    The 50w 1x12 Ampeg bass amp is little more than a bedroom amp and at $264 vastly over priced compared to the GK. I have an MB112 and I've gigged with it as well as using it as my practice amp. At 28 lbs it's a breeze to carry around and more than loud enough to handle most any situation I need it for.

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