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Amp for n00b

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dr-X, May 13, 2002.

  1. Dr-X


    May 13, 2002
    hey, im new to bass, so here's my life story. I have a huge passion for music (mostly heavy metal), i am 17 years old, and have always had half asses/not really interested attempts at learning instruments. I can play some guitar and a little more drums, but ive never really been that dedicated.

    In comes bass. My mate was given a bass guitar and wasnt really interested in learning. So he gave it to me. This is gonna b my first attempt at actually learning an instrument properly, im not gonna give it up (trust me, when i say i wont, i wont). Problems being:
    a) i have no amp
    b) i have a POS guitar.

    Now the local music yokel told me my guitar will probably do me, while im learning at least. It goes, even if the neck is slightly bent (SLIGHTLY). So i figure i can put up with it for a while. (im not a rich kid, i pay for everyhting i own by myself, but i cant usually put up with having **** gear).

    So my only real issue, it would seem, is getting an amp. Now i could be like everyone else, and buy a 15W practise amp until im good and ready to be in a band, at which point i go out and buy a new amp, costing me those few extra $$$ unnnessescarily. OR - i could go out and get myself a tasty looking amp for a decent price - the Ashton BA150 is only NZD$1000. Now while this si about 4x as much as a practise amp, it's still very very good, im told, for what it is, and would be quite sufficient to play along with my brothers load incessant drumming without being drowned out. So why am i here you ask? Well i need your opinion. Is it worth getting the expensive (albeit very nice sounding) 150W amp or should i start with something a little smaller and a little more helpful on the ol wallet? The other option i was looking at was a 40W (i think it was an ashton) for NZD$400. This seemed fairly reasonable, until i tested it side by sdie with the 150 watter and i was sold.

    Basically i need to know - if you were me (im a poor student who has to save up his $$$ just to eat breakfast), would you go for the cheap one, or would you make sure you had a decent amp for when you actually got good and wanted to be in a band?

    Thanks :D
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    In Bassland, a 150-watt amp is a practice amp. A 15-watt amp is a headphone amp, but may be a bit underpowered.

    Munji's rule of thumb: Start at 300 and go up.
  3. I respectfully disagree. I too am a newbie, and I practice using my 20-W Peavey Microbass (bought in EXCELLENT condition for $80 U.S.), and it sounds terrific at the volumes i need it for. I do not need 300 W yet. In a few years, I will buy an Eden Navigator preamp + Carvin DCM1000 (probably) poweramp combination, and mate that to an Avatar 2X10'' and 15''. At that point I'll be able to put some serious volume out. Until then, as I improve my shoddy bass-playing skills, loads 'o' volume is not needed nor desired.
  4. (LEt me "edit" my post; Munji is right that if you want to play alongside anyone you should probably want 150W or better., I just practice in my room and my amp is fine for me)
  5. Dr-X


    May 13, 2002
    Munjibunga - thanks for yer input. unfortunately like i said im a poor student. NZD$1000 is a LOT of money for me, and unfortunately i cant consider anything more powerful than 150W. I am just new, and if i do end up in a band (im not even sure if i will) then obviously somethng more powerful would suffice. However, i am told this particular amp has speaker outputs. While i know next to nothing about bass amp stuff, i am an audiophile, and it would seem sensible to me that this means i could attach an extra set of speakers externally at another point in time, giving me the extra wattage i needed.

    more input? :)
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Oh, I know. I was just in my grumpy phase. A used SWR Workingman's 12 would be good. Maybe still too foofy, but a good rig for practice and small gigs.

    However, that said, on the FS forum, there's a WT-400 for sale at $600, a good price, and a D-410XLT 4-ohm for $500, also a good price. You might be able to get each one for $50 to $100 less, so for maybe less than $1000 you could get a rig that you'll never have to replace. Further, not many rigs at ANY price will sound better, and if anyone says their rig sounds better, you can give 'em the ol' "Beauty is in the ear of the beholder" line, and be right.

    OK, money. Don't you have any siblings you could sell to the Rumanians? Maybe sell your dad's car. The insurance will cover it. Use mom's credit card on Pay Pal. Don't just sit there, DO SOMETHING!
  7. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Munji, glad to see your positively influencing youngsters like myself...

    I'd look for something on the used market or something like a Peavey Microbass, if you're not sure if you'll be comitted to playing bass, you probably don't want the buy an expensive rig and loose a ton in resale.

    Just get a portable practice amp, if you play a gig sometime, you should just plug into the PA until you have a more powerful amp.

    But the chances are that you wont be having any gigs anytime soon.
  8. Dr-X


    May 13, 2002
    well im pretty sure ill be dedicated to learn so it may be worth going for the expensvie unit right out, it's really just about how much i have to spend. Right now it would seem like either go for a very cheap practsie amp (pick one up second hand for ~$30) until i get the hang of bass then go for a 250W+, or just go straight for the very high wattage.

    t would seem i would be wasting a lot of money going for something right in the middle if it wonf suffice int he future. ill slepp on it.

    thanks guys.

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