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Beginner practice amp is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by onlyneedsone, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. onlyneedsone


    Mar 7, 2014
    So I know this question has been asked a TON of times and I've been reading through most of them. But I wanted a personalized answer you know? So im getting my first bass soon and I wanted to be able to spend as much on the bass as possible. So I was looking for a little amp to just keep in my room im not planning to join a band or anything anytime soon I just wanted something to practice with and something that'll sound decent and has a headphone jack. I was thinking of getting a cheap small amp and then hooking it up to my computer speakers via headphone jack if I wanted to hear myself without headphones. I dont really want to spend to much I only have $200 for a bass and amp. And so I was wondering would it be worth it to get the amp at all or should I find a decent practice amp.
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    If you can manage to get another $100, you can get a Fender Squier pack which will include a bass and an amp. Otherwise, look for something used.
  3. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Don't bother with an amp right now. Buy a decent used bass and get the amp later.
  4. +1. ^^^ This is good advice.
  5. onlyneedsone


    Mar 7, 2014
    What would I use for practice if I passed on the amp? Or is there a cheapie I can use to just plug in my headphones?
  6. Cirk


    Jan 16, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Vox has a little devide that plugs into your bass and you plug your headphones into that. IIRC they're not too expensive. Would someone please post a link? Thanks.
  7. olias


    Mar 30, 2006
    Amarillo, Texas
    You will be able to hear your bass without an amp. It will be very quiet, but you can hear it. I practice like this a lot to save wear and tear on the wife.
  8. Well , first of all , welcome to TB. Since I don't know what your exact plans for your bass are , I'll go through a few scenerios.If you plan on taking lessons , you will need an amp. If you plan on learning and playing a few songs from the radio , you tube or an I-Pod you will probably need an amp. If you are going to have a friend over with an acoustic or electric guitar , you will need an amp. Since all of these things are a pretty safe bet in the next few months , I would suggest getting an amp. As to what amp you get , you probably wont need anything too big for a while. Someone above suggested the Ampeg 108. This is a nice little amp than be very quiet for practicing without bothering anybody. It can get loud enough to play along with an acoustic or electric guitar and it has a surprisingly good sound for a small amp. They are about 100 bucks new so the cost is not outrageous. A Squire package was also mentioned. They are a pretty good deal although the amp doesn't sound quite as nice as the Ampeg. As stated , used stuff can be had a pretty good prices too. TB classifieds and Craigslist are a good place to start. Decisions. decisions , decisions.
  9. Halvorsen


    Mar 7, 2008
    +1 to spending the money on a good starter bass instead of trying to get both right now. I bought a used Gorilla 8 inch combo amp to practice with at first, total waste of money. You will more than likely end up playing with other people, and a small combo amp won't cut it anyway.

    Try to find a nice used bass and spend any extra money on having it set up properly by a bass tech.

    For what it's worth, I used to plug my bass into my computers line in jack using some radio shack adapters and a guitar patch cord.

    Basses are usually loud enough to practice without an amp.

    Or you can press your chin on the upper horn of the body, and it will vibrate your skull :D Just don't do it too much, It will leave a red mark on your chin......
  10. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    Get a used bass, MIM fender or Ibanez for around 300, and a crappy crate or acoustic 1x10 combo to mess around. Save up for a GK back line or ampeg PF, and a 410. I use jamup on my iPad exclusively at home with the alesis io. I guess if I was taking lessons I would even play through my crate guitar 15w amp just for sound.
  11. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Why not get a cheap older generation multi-FX like a zoom 506II ? It will have a tuner built in (which you'll probably want anyway), you'll be able to plug it into your computer speakers (As long as you're not playing anything too aggressive), you'll get to play with a bunch of effects, and it will still be useful even when you do get an amp.

    The key to making your money go as far as possible is to keep an eye out for available bargains... who knows, you might find a decent bass s/h for $100 (I got my P bass for the equivalent of about $50 off a local guy - it needed a couple of tweaks but it's a good instrument). Depending on where you are you might even be able to pick up a giggable setup for $200.
  12. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    I'm playing through a peavey rage 108 right now. Sounds pretty good actually!
  13. I can't stand playing with headphones.
    A used Peavey max 126 is like 50 bucks and not uncommon to find at a pawnshop or GC. It amplifies the bass to a listenable level. Not useful for much else, but that is all you need.
  14. I would to spend any extra money on a better bass guitar.
    Something that feels comfortable and sounds good enhances your playing and feel of the bass.

    If you feel a need for an amp, I would suggest you try a GK MB200.
    I think this amp is great investment. You can use headphones, you can use an iPod in the AUX IN, you can power up a cab for rehearsals with a band, you can record yourself on the computer using the amps preamp.
    Check the classifieds and you might be able to pick up anywhere from $150 to $225.
  15. Aislinn


    Feb 14, 2014
    Chicago Area
    I guess the question to first ask yourself is do you KNOW you're going to continue working on the bass or could this just be a phase?

    I'm getting back into playing after many years off. I will probably never do gigs but I didn't want just something to amplify what I was playing, irregardless of the sound. So I went small but it has a lot of nice features.

    If you're really honest with yourself, you already know the answer to your question. If you want us to tell you to go big, just say the word. We'll be happy to help. ;)
  16. onlyneedsone


    Mar 7, 2014
    I looked up the Vox headphone amp and that sounded like a good idea. If I got a combo amp that would really put a damper on my funds for the bass. I went to my local GC and tried some friends basses so I know what brand/type of bass I want. Ibanez & scheckter or a jazz bass if nothing else. I want to get serious with learning to play bass so I wanted to start by getting the best bass possible first. If I need an amp to hear myself play would the Vox suffice and then plugging it into my computer speakers. My birthday is comming up soon and about $100 would be guaranteed so would it be good to get the bass then the amp? I've heard a couple people say I could forgo the amp at the beginning and start to learn that way and others have said I would need the amp. So is the amp really nessesary for the start and if so would the headphone amp be okay. Ive been stalking the TB classifieds (thanks for the welcoming btw) and the GC used section for basses to really help stretch my dollars.
    Edit: I'd hope to do gigs and stuff eventually but for now my goal is just to learn to play and do some songs I like.
  17. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Is that really better than an old Zoom?
  18. onlyneedsone


    Mar 7, 2014
    Do you have a link or know a place where I could find one?
  19. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Where are you?