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Ampeg BA 115 Combo vs Fender Rumble 115

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lilcrate, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. lilcrate

    lilcrate Tortdaddy

    Sep 9, 2013
    St. Louis
    I am pretty new to playing and picked up the Ampeg combo off of Craigslist for $175. It isn't bad, but it buzzes really bad which drives me nuts and really doesn't have many features. I just saw a Fender Rumble 115 on Craigslist for $100. Both have 100 watts I believe but the Fender seems to have some better features (4 vs. 3 band EQ, compression, effects loop, mid scoop, active/passive switch, etc) and hopefully doesn't buzz!. I am playing a Fender Jazz bass.

    Should I pick it up the Fender and give it a try?
  2. eagle67


    Nov 12, 2010
    I played them both recently, and I thought the Ampeg had a smoother sound. The Fender was louder, but to my ears sounded harsh at high volume.
  3. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    It is always worth auditioning a Fender Rumble that meets your requirements vs any and all other bass amps in your price range. They sound great and are very competitive. The Fender Rumble 150 combo is the best selling bass combo in the USA. :cool:
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    If the Ampeg you bought was used, there's a good chance it's not functioning properly. Could have a damaged driver. Many players push those small combo amps well beyond what they're capable of delivering. Test using NEW amps, and judge from there.
  5. Funny you should ask. I was rehearsing in a school music room last night and had both these amps plugged in and turned on so quickly A/Bed to see which I'd jam with. I was impressed with the volume of both. They easily kept up with the annoyingly loud guitarist. I preferred the Ampeg as it seemed to have a more even tone. The Rumble seemed a bit boomy and blurry for my likes. Granted - the Rumble was on the floor and the Ampeg was on a chair but I was really impressed with the little Peg.
  6. Is the noise on the Ampeg a buzz or a hiss? If it's more of a hiss, that can be fixed by disabling the tweeter.
  7. lilcrate

    lilcrate Tortdaddy

    Sep 9, 2013
    St. Louis
    That's a good question. Wouldn't that disambiguation be subjective? I'll listen to it and see if I can label it properly....
  8. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    Both good amp, but I would go with the fender rumble. they provide thick warm sounds with clear highs. and it's loud enough for small gigs and medium-sized venues.
  9. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I prefer Fender Rumbles over the Ampeg combo amps. The Ampegs I tried at the music stores had a lot of hiss which was a deal breaker for me. The Rumbles seemed louder, deeper, and boomier (which I like).
  10. lilcrate

    lilcrate Tortdaddy

    Sep 9, 2013
    St. Louis
    When I bought the ampeg, the guy selling it said the noise was common. I went to GC and they happened to have what appeared to be the exact same one. I played on it and it made the exact same noise just not quite as bad. I then just assumed the guy was honest.

    We aren't talking a lot of money here. I think I'm going to get it and play them side by side then sell the one I don't want.

    Okay I just listened to it and here is my take on the buzz/hiss. When you first turn it on with low volume there is a hiss(also picks up a radio station lol). As soon as you get the volume close to half way, incomes an overwhelming buzz. So I guess it has both the standard hiss and maybe something is wrong creating the buzz as well.
  11. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE

    For home practice I'd be OK with any of the Rumble amps. Fender amps haven't had the greatest name in the past, but I have a Bassman 250/115 that I've thrashed for years (literally thousands of hours) and still works great.
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Fender Rumble, and I do not even like the rumble line all that much. The BA series is just plagued with issues, this one seems to be no exception. If you do buy the BA do not offer him more than $100 because you might end up just buying a headache. It could be the actual cab vibrating.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The radio station/buzz thing could very well be a broken ground or lack of shielding in your bass, or a bad cable. There may not be anything wrong with the amp.
  14. lilcrate

    lilcrate Tortdaddy

    Sep 9, 2013
    St. Louis
    Some clarification. It isn't my bass (at least i believe) because when I bought the amp it was doing it on his bass, but not that bad because the volume was low. I went to GC yesterday and played on the new version of the BA, it didn't do it nearly like mine, not even remotely close.

    I'm not sure if some are confused, but I already have the Ampeg. I'm considering buying the Rumble. IDK, maybe I should just look into buying a used half stack or something.
  15. I played through a 'new' BA115 a couple weeks ago and was surprised at the low amount of hiss. I even cranked it up to hear how much hiss I could get. At practice levels this amp would be almost dead quiet, while at higher levels the hiss would be easily masked by the playing. Perhaps Ampeg has addressed this issue, or maybe it was just sample to sample variability. It had a nice even tone and produced a musical sound with a good sense of pitch in response to the low notes (low B to G). The fundamental was largely missing, but the second harmonic was sufficiently present to allow the ear/brain to perceive a musically satisfying tone.
  16. rockamimjazz


    Sep 10, 2011
    I used to own a Rumble 115 and currently play a BA115 that sits in my friend's studio. Tone is a personal thing, but to me the Ampeg has a much smoother, rounder and pleasing tone over the Fender. It keeps up just fine with two guitarists and a drummer at reasonable volume levels. It doesn't make any hissing or buzzing noises.


    Aug 8, 2013
    Fender Rumble gets my vote

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