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Amp Choice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KingDavid, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. KingDavid


    Dec 29, 2013
    I'm a fairly new bass player. Recently got a '01 Mexican Fender P-Bass. I need an amp. Here are my thoughts:

    Fender Rumble 150
    Ampeg BA115/BA115HP
    Ampeg BA210SP
    Ampeg B100R

    My brother plays guitar and decided it would be cool to do some performances. I would just like some reviews on each of these amps, which one you would prefer. Most likely, starting off, I will need something powerful enough for a medium cafe sized performance. Nothin huge, but a nice average sized place.

    Also, just for a small help, would any of these amps need a noise gate pedal? (I think that's what it's called..)
  2. I wouldn't mess about with little combo amps, even though any of those can play cafe volume.

    My experience is coloured by bringing a little practice amp to my first cafe gigs and being undergunned, then going out and investing in the rig I still gig with nearly 20 years later.

    Point being, having too little rig really sucks. Those combos are very limited yet cost best part of what a decent used rig will cost.
  3. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Of those mentioned in the OP, the B100R ranks as one of my favorite if not my most favorite combo. It's a loud 100w but it depends on venue and size/style of band as to whether it can cut it. If just guitar and bass in a medium sized cafe, no sweat IMO.
  4. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    I suggest you think in terms of a modular rig that you can add to. A used head... GB, GK, MkB, TC etc.. with a 112 or 115 cab that you can add to down the road. Better to spend a bit more now and add to that than to go with a lesser rig now only to have to upgrade the whole thing later.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    None of them would need a noise gate. Noise gates are for people who use a lot of pedals that are noisy. If it were me I'd go B100R first and BA115 second if finding a B100R proves tough. Unlike some of the other posters, I love little combos for what they are, and they'd be fine for your purposes. If you find yourself needing more amp as you progress, you can deal with it at that time.
  6. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I have tried a couple of Fender combos and didn't like them. They seemed under powered and lack clarity. I love Ampeg but am not a fan of the 210SP due to the amp modeling feature. I have never heard an that accurately reproduces the sound of other amps. As far as the other two options you mentioned are concerned, I am not a fan of 15" speakers in combo amps. Have you considered looking for a used Ampeg BA500? Plenty of power in a 210 combo.
  7. Fender's Rumble 150 combo is an excellent choice. It is the very best selling bass combo on the planet with good reason. Good solid well defined sound with great tone. Well designed and built they are both gig-worthy & road-worthy. Fender rates their Rumbles' power very conservatively, so don't be surprised when it feels and sounds much more powerful it's higher rated competition.

    Do audition every bass combo that is available in your price range and just pick the one that sounds best to you. I know that can be tough to do depending upon the music stores in your area. Also doing critical a/b comparisons at music store volume is very different than a high volume jam with a drummer.

    Just do your best & good luck!
  8. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I can definitely recommend the Ampeg BA-115. I love mine. Very good sounding amp for the money and plenty of power for playing in a band. Gotta have an amp with a 15" speaker for bass IMHO.
  9. KingDavid


    Dec 29, 2013
    For now, I am leaning towards the BA115 or Fender Rumble 150. It is difficult to find a B100R anywhere, unless, of course, I can get it before New Years somehow. I have never seen the B500, but how's the clarity, response, any issues with the amp... If anyone knows please let me know, this may be another possible choice.
  10. bccbass


    Dec 31, 2010
  11. KingDavid


    Dec 29, 2013
    That amp looks very well taken care of, as much as I know. Love the control knobs... If I can find one of those amps in my area I'll be sure to take a look at that! And yeah, shipping is very expensive :/
  12. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Just a tip:
    I got a largely unused Ampeg BA210SP on CL that I think is wonderful, in the way most Ampeg fans would agree—warm tone, undeniable bass presence, decent volume. This amp has an effects section that is close to useless, but fortunately you don't have to use it for the amp to be an effective, loud amp. (The SVT modeling effects are actually pretty great, in moderation.) If you can find one cheap, you should consider it. I got mine for a VERY good price, and it really has the stuff for all but super loud gigs. At 220 watts, it ain't no slouch power-wise. In terms of value, this is one of the best scores I ever made.

    Noise gate? Naah. Not for me.
  13. I tried an Ampeg BA115 side by side with a Fender Rumble 75 and I personally thought the Fender sounded much better

    I liked the Bass/Mid/Mid/Treble controls (total of 4) on the Fender as opposed to the 5-position "modelling " switch on the Ampeg which didn't do a thing for me.

    The Ampeg sounded "punchy" while the Fender sounded "sweet".

    I imagine the Rumble 150 is a lot louder than the 75, but it has the same controls on it....

    People say the F75 is heavy....but I didn't find it that bad at all....

    Don't think I'd be comfortable gigging an F75 (maybe in a small venue) but it is pretty good for home/practise/ noodling with friends etc etc.
  14. KingDavid


    Dec 29, 2013
    I've found an Ampeg BA115SP. 100W, 15in, with effects, for a very good price. Would the sound be any different than a BA115HP? I need it by New Years, so I most likely am definitely getting it. Just want some background info on this amp..
  15. KingDavid


    Dec 29, 2013
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I vaguely remember playing that amp at a store once, and I don't remember it sounding any different than the BA115 or BA115hp. I do remember the effects not being the most awesome ever, but you don't have to use them and they're there if you want them.
  17. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    People have been talking about this Genz Benz deal quite a lot lately:


    I just took delivery of the 2x10 and I believe at least two other TB members have ordered them within the last week or so as well. For about $375 or so you'll have a powerful, portable, giggable combo from a highly-regarded brand. You can also easily add an extension cab for another $200 if you find it isn't enough. That looks to be roughly within the budget of the other amps you've been looking at, but instead of a 100-150 W you're getting a 300 W amp that can accept an additional cab to go up to 500 W. You might not need that much power now, but if you do in the future you won't have to ditch the amp and pick up a new rig entirely from scratch.

    My suggestion is to get it price-matched from another retailer. In part because they'll often give you an additional 10% off the price, but also because if Andrew's Music runs out of stock on these the deal will die since they aren't being made any more.

    Search around the forum and you'll find a lot of other talk about it. Personally, I'm still dialing in the tone of it, but it's definitely flexible in terms of the sound you can get out of it. The flat voicing is much more of a modern, hi-fi type of tone, but I've been able to crank the gain, turn off the tweeter, give it some bottom, and start working towards a fat rock tone with some hair on its chest.
  18. KingDavid


    Dec 29, 2013
    Wow. Just by reading the specs on that GB, I already feel like I'm getting ripped off for my Ampeg... If I can, I will definitely look into buying that. Wow, real beast. If I'm ever in a guitar store ill be sure to check that out.