An idiots guide to .... Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by duff_hodges, Apr 24, 2001.

  1. duff_hodges


    May 15, 2000
    Suffolk, UK
    Can anyone one help out about amps in general? E.g what makes a good amp; what do the numbers mean after the amp name etc.

    I'm think about buying an amp for gigging but I do not know where to start. I have always borrowed amps in the past without knowing what the amp specification means!

    Help would be much appreciated.
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Duff - I guess it seems like we pass off a lot of questions like yours to Bass Player, but the fact is, they have some of the best, most reliable info. on the net for bass. Take a look at "Bass Amp Basics" (if that's not the title, it's very close), in the "Gear" section of .

    As for the numbers after an amp model name, they most often refer to wattage at a particular ohmage or to a speaker configuration. For example, the SWR750 is 750W of power at 4 ohms. A Hartke 1415 combo refers to the fact that it has 140W of power, ("14") and that is has a 15" speaker. However, a lot of them really don't tell you much about what to expect. A Gallien-Krueger 400RB-III, for example, has 240W of power, and an Ampeg SVT doesn't give you any indication of what to expect, (whoa, baby!). The moral of the story is, don't rely on name/model for the whole story, read the spec's.
  3. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Well, yes, but most important of all is to try the amp before you buy it. :) Spec's only tell boring technicalities, and won't describe how the amp sounds. And even if Bass Players' reviewers like it, you might not.
  4. 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
    I use this simple razor: If the mark is Eden, it's good. That's all.
  5. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Good advice above. Summed up succinctly: read everything, try everything.

    The more you do of both, the closer you'll be to finding the amp that is right for you.