Advice and Help For Choosing an Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Yanjipy, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. Yanjipy


    Nov 2, 2019
    Hello BassTalk Community,
    I am currently looking for a bass amplifier upgrade. I currently have an Acoustic B-20 combo amp (20 watts) and I feel that I've outgrown this amp and its power capabilities. I want a bass amp that is loud and powerful enough to play at an outdoor gig or medium sized auditorium. For me, the physical size/weight of the amp and the convinience of it does not matter. I also don't know enough about this subject to decide whether a combo or a cab+head is better for me. If it also matters, I play a fretless Fender Jazz and a Hofner 500/1.
    My budget is $500

    Thank you so much for your help!
  2. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    In terms of combo vs. head/cab, I think that's mostly a personal preference thing, though going the separates route will definitely provide more flexibility (especially if you ever have the option to use a house cab with your head).

    In terms of size and wattage, there are some rules of thumb, though all rules are made to be broken - so take this with a grain of salt.

    Personally, for medium sized gigs for "loud" music (I saw you mention that word, though not necessarily style), I find that something along the lines of a 4x10, 2x12, or 2x15 and 300w will set you up for success for pretty much anything.

    For smaller gigs, or quieter music, you could probably get by with half of that.

    And for larger gigs, you're probably looking at more reliance on the PA, so you basically just need to make sure you can be heard on stage, with a volume level set by acoustic drums. In that case the first rule of thumb still applies. :)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
    Yanjipy likes this.
  3. If you are happy with the Acoustic brand (now a Guitar Center/Musician's Friend house brand) their stuff is on sale right now. The 300w head is $200, and the 410 cab is $300 and 15% off w/code. That slots you in under $500 with a quite powerful setup.

    They also have the 600w 210 tiltback combo for $549 - 15%.

    While these are not necessarily what I would choose for myself, I believe they represent a pretty solid value. I read some reviews on the 300w head and saw that there are some duds, so beware and prepared to ask for a swap at the first sign of trouble.

    Some other options for the head would be a Tc Electronics BQ500 or the Markbass Little Mark 250 Blackline. They're around $250 new (the MB is almost always on sale, instead of the regular $329 price) and I have both of those as backups. Great little amps that have given me zero trouble.

    If you don't mind used gear, you can almost always find a 410 cab for $150-200 on craigslist/facebook.

    Good luck!
    Yanjipy likes this.
  4. Yanjipy


    Nov 2, 2019
    Thank you, sir.
    Kro likes this.
  5. Yanjipy


    Nov 2, 2019
    Thank you very much
  6. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Fender Rumble 2x10 combo.
    Yanjipy likes this.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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