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Alternatives to a Fender Rumble 500 combo worth considering?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JonW, May 9, 2015.

  1. JonW


    Mar 10, 2009
    Hi Folks,

    I’m getting pretty close to ordering a Fender Rumble 500 combo for my first bass amp. Before I do, I just want to see if anyone out there would suggest that I stop and look at something else.

    Let’s see, some potentially useful and related info: I will be buying something new, preferably from my local shop. It’s a small town here and, due to a very busy life, I don’t have much time to explore various local ads for used gear. (Not that there are many here.) Let’s say that the budget limit is the price of a Rumble 500 combo, at $550. I figure that it’s either stay cheap like this or go all the way with a Greenboy cabinet and some fancy head, coming out closer to $2,000+. There are so many ways to let the $550 creep up to $2,000+. I’ll cap it at $550ish for now. I can barely play bass yet. I’m more of a guitar player, but not great there, either. If, by chance, life becomes less busy and I can put a lot of time into learning bass, start gigging, and I outgrow a $550 amp and end up spending $2,000+ for something better… I’d be happy as a clam and not complain about the lost money on amp #1. :) The amp now should be good for playing at home, but also give a sense of the pants flapping and power, when the family is away and I turn it up. I don’t gig but it would be nice to have something that is giggle should I ever reach that point. A headphone out would be nice, but is not required. I have a Jazz bass on the way. I don’t “play” any specific kind of music. Mostly just plinking around. But if I get better, surf music is where I’d like to be. And blues. Maybe jazz if I actually learn how all those fancy strings and frets work. ;)

    In some stores, I have played a Fender Rumble 100 (just OK), Rumble 200 (much better), and Rumble 500 (very similar to the 200). I also played the Ampeg 1x15 combo equivalent (forget the model, BA-115 maybe). To my neophyte ears, the Rumble 200 (1x15) sounded cleaner and clearer than the Ampeg. The Ampeg has a specific sound that some may like, but it was not for me. I want clarity over coloration. The Rumble 200 would probably be fine for but now but, eh, a little more spent for the extra power of the Rumble 500 might help if I have any future with the bass.

    Anyways, when all is put together, the Rumble 500 seems like a very good option for me. Just thought that I’d check with the residential wisdom here first. Thanks very much!

  2. GuiTuber


    Feb 19, 2015
    San Antonio, TX
    I am starting out myself. Actually, thrust in to the position by my band mates (acoustic band).

    I settled on the Rumble 200. It has plenty of power for what I'll be needing it for and I can add an external cabinet in the future if necessary. I also had a limited budget so this one really fit the bill.

    If you've tried most everything you can get your hands on and the Rumble 500 is the one you still like, just go for it. You certainly can't go wrong with it. It sounds like you have the resources to move up when necessary so why get so caught up in the "right" choice for your first amp?

    You've made a solid choice, so pull the trigger, get to playing and let's see where this journey takes you. :thumbsup:
  3. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    What else is available to you locally?

    I'd recommend taking a look at the GK MB combos.
  4. JonW


    Mar 10, 2009
    Good to hear from another new guy. Being in a band must help a lot with pushing things along. Also good to hear is that you're happy with the 200. I played the 200 and 500, side-by-side. Tone wise, they were very, very close.

    Yeah, the Rumble 500 does seem like a very solid choice for where I'm at. I'm getting close... :)

    Thanks. Good question. The local, small shop has Fender and Peavey. For Fender, it's the Rumbles. Not too sure about what Peaveys they had, only a combo or two, I think. An hour's drive away is a Guitar Center and a Sam Ash, so the usual suspects there. Last I checked at GC, it was mostly the Fender and Ampeg combos and then a lot of Markbass gear. I don't think that they had GK things but they might have. I'll try them out the next time I'm in that area. Good idea.

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