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Apartment Player... Need Amp Advice!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SR Addict, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Hey guys,

    Thought this would be the best place to ask. I've been away from the low end for about 5 years, and have recently discovered after fiddling with the guitar that this is where I belong. Grabbed myself a new bass this weekend, and I need some advice on what you'd recommend me for an amp.

    I live in apartment, so that's a big factor (I have problems turning my Blackstar HT-5RH guitar amp even to 0.5). I have a 6 string bass, so I definitely need something that will produce an articulate B. I'm looking to spend around $300-$350 for a small combo if that's feasible?

    I was looking at the Ampeg Micro-CL. I don't know if that's considered a joke, or if it's actually any good. Also saw some nice little combos from Ashdown, Acoustic, and GK.

    Thanks for the help, guys. I've obviously been away from the bass for too long, and so much has changed. I definitely don't want to be chained to my Apogee ONE and my MacBook for playing.


  2. My Acoustic 260 mini stack is all that I want or need. It works well for my 4 strings. I have no ide what it would do with 6, but it might be worth a try.
  3. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Unless you need something to gig with right now - I'd get a multi effects pedal with a drum machine and some good headphones and go nuts. No problems with neighbors. Bass travels far and loud and fast, you won't be able to use any of the amp really.
  4. willop


    Feb 7, 2013
    beaver, pa
    What your needs? Just to hear yourself, size matter (apts can be small), something you can gig with??

    I started with a peavey 158 - for playing alone it's fine, $99. not much tone/sound shaping ability. Most acoustic guitars can drown it out even turned up. (1x8 15x)

    I got a fender rumble 75 over the weekend and it can be turned down so your neighbors won't complain or you can turn it up and shake the dishes. Sounds good both ways, lots of sound shaping/tweaking ability, GC presidents day sale $219 new. (1x12 75w)

    I played a 1x10 100w, acoustic I think, head/cab and it had a very different sound than the 1x12 - not quite the earthshaking ability of the fender rumble.

    With your budget you can certainly go bigger in watts -if you need that. The fender rumble 150 was $369ish and very nice - bigger, louder, more for a working musician, if you need that capabililty.

    You can plug headphones into any amp - probably even a guitar amp - and practice away and bother nobody.
  5. I don't need anything to gig with. At least not for more than a year. I have a great set of ear cans (KRK KNS 8400's), but I can plug that into my Apogee and jam away in Amplitube. I really would like a decent little amp.

    I just wanted a small combo to put in my 'toy room'. :p

    Thanks for the suggestions, fellas. I will look into them.
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I would go for a nice used Eden combo great tone even at small volumes.
  7. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
  8. ldervish


    May 22, 2005
    Johnson City, TN
    +1 quality goods that go low and sound great doing it
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    A year is going to go by in a hurry and you'll be ready for at least some small pub gigs or parties in no time. I'd recommend at least "1/2 a gig rig", meaning something like a separate amp and one small speaker with the intention of adding another speaker when gig time comes, or a combo of a couple hundred watts or better that has the capability of chaining another speaker to it. If you don't want to do that, I'd just olay through your guitar amp, it won't hurt it at bedroom levels as long as you're not trying to get subwoofer level clean bass out of the guitar speaker.
  10. I'm an apartment player as well.

    I have two rigs. One is a "silent" set up. A small 8 channel Behringer mixing board that I bought for $50. I DI my Sansamp in there, throw on headphones and I'm set for the night. I use the other channels for my iPod, drum machine, or whatever. That cheap little mixer is really handy for other uses as well.

    The other rig is my stage rig. Peavey Tour 450 through a Hartke VX410. I have it set up in my bedroom and rarely turn it on. If I know my neighbors are out, and I have the time, I might switch it on and run through some stuff. Even at a very low volume, it carries through the whole neighborhood. So, my "silent" set up sees most of the use.
  11. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Oh, and shop used. You'll get better quality for your money. Quality used is better than budget new. Also you volume needs and tastes in tone will change some as things develop here and you'll probably flip throigh a couple rigs before landing on a keeper. Stuff that sounds sweet at home doesn't always do so well mixed in a band and vice versa. Unless you happen to swerve into a really nice deal on something good.

    Also a word about acoustics and apartments.... Low frequencies go around/penetrate through most types of common construction. Mids and highs are much easier to damp with typical foam, insulation, etc. This means if disturbing the neighbors is a concern, you could either dial most of the bottom out of your tone and wnjoy seemingly higher volume to you in the room there with it, or keep a full sound and do it very quietly.....can't really do both. Headphones, or a computer/recording program amp sims run through your stereo system for playback are good apartment solutions.
  12. mournblade

    mournblade Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    Roanoke, TX
    I played through a GK MB115-II at GC. Loved it. I luckily have a house and a monster rig, but I was tempted to buy it and put it in my loft area. 449 plus 15% off through today.
  13. Go for something like this, much more flexible. Plus, good headphones are worth their weight in gold.

  14. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    I've found that the headphones output on the Genz Benz amps sounds far better than any otherm amp I've tried. The headphones sound quite like the actual speaker-connected amp and not some tinny fizz. One of the new Contour series may work quite well in your situation.
  15. I've used a Fender VibroChamp through a 4 ohm 15" cab with very nice results. As mentioned previously, though, bass frequencies will go through walls, even with 5 watts of tubes.....
  16. My basic practice gear:

    GK MB200 and a pair of headphones.

    Very simple, but at least this setup leaves me with an option to add a cab or two later when I'm ready to blast the neighborhood. ;)
  17. Wow, ya'll are some amazing folks! Thanks for all the suggestions. Definitely have my homework cut out for me now.

    Much appreciated, guys. I now have an idea of what to look in to.
  18. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I would get a nice 110 cab and use your Blackstar.
    I use a Epi Valve Jr. and a 115 cab and my son has a VJ & 110 cab.
    I tried a Blackstar 5 through a SWR Henry 8x8 cab at a music store once, It sounded good.

    You will not get a clean B out of the stock transformer but you can chance that out cheaply. A Epi VJ with the biggest Hammon transformer will play a great B string.
  19. Thanks for all the advice, guys. Ended up buying myself a brand new Ampeg BA-112 today. Holy cow. Talk about bang for the buck! What a versatile little amp this thing is.

    Just one question about it, though. My bass has an active EQ. Even though the pickups are passive (Nordstrand Big Single 6), should I still be plugging into the -15db input? I've never had a bass with sort of combo before.

    Thanks guys. Definitely happy with my pick. :)
  20. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    I would only use the -15 db input if you're getting distortion on the normal input.

    I only use the -15 with my very hot G&L's.

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