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Bullet-Proof Practise Amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ZenG, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    I'm planning on upgrading my amp situation pretty soon.

    For practise I have an MB-15 Marshall.

    (1x8x15 watts)

    When I roll off the treble and mid on bass guitar and turn the "bass" setting up a little I can get it to where (when I pluck Low E) the speaker seems to be unable to handle the vibration and distorts.

    The other day in the store I tried a Bronco 40 and it did it on that.

    I couldn't get it to do it on the Rumble 75.

    Is this typical of low watt/small speaker practise amps?

    On amps I usually roll off the treble and mid and I do the same on the guitar.......which gives me a nice "stand-up"

    But sometimes I think I'm going to blow the cone right out of the Marshall........:)
  2. Fender's Rumble line is about as bulletproof and teenager proof as bass amps get. Which is to say they are very tough, and extremely reliable. Sound Great Too!

    A newly revamped & redesigned Rumble line is soon to be released at Winter NAMM next week. :hyper::cool::hyper::)

    You may want one of the new Rumbles or you might rather have a great deal on a closeout. Either way, you win! :bassist:

    Then you can join the Fender Rumble Club where all the sexy bass players hang out. ;)
  3. It's also time to learn the mids and treble controls are not just there to turn down. They are your friends when you start playing with other people (if you want to be heard anyway). Bass guitar in not just thump,thump down in the "mud".
  4. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Bass guitar lives in the mids.

    Try out some of the Ampeg combo amps. I have been using a BA115HP for a long time now for both rehearsal and gigs and it has been a total workhorse.
  5. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    Congrats, you just figured out that eq settings are important, and a single 8" combo amp speaker is pointless for anything but low levels and sensible eq. What happened is that you found the speaker's physical limitations, and that even a tiny bit of power with too much low end can hurt a speaker. I hope the marshall is ok, doesn't seem like you damaged it, but now you know;)
    There are some really nice smaller combos around these days, but as far as "practice amps" go, none of them are designed to rattle stuff off of shelves. If you want bigger sound, you need a bigger amp (more specifically, a bigger speaker, or at least more speakers)
    What's the main style and tone you're after (an example of a player or song for the tone would be a good idea), where are you located, and what's your budget?
    Carvin, GK and Ampeg are kinda the top dogs here as far as rec's for combos. On the cheap, used peavey stuff like the tnt's are hard to beat for being rock-solid and nearly indestructible. Just about any speaker that exists can be driven to fartout with mids and highs cut and bass boosted.
  6. Most bigboy rigs will do the same farting only with much greater loudness, so it's harder to hear over the general racket, good to learn young.
  7. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    The lush low tones of the bass guitar are for me a sort of self-medication......anti-stress as it were......

    As soon as I crank up mid and treble I'm out of my "comfort zone"..........:bawl:

    I wasn't expecting too much out of the MB-15 really...........it's ok for what it is..........

    Sometimes when I'm practising along to cd's it becomes sort of a volume war.......crank the amp up so it can be heard over the cd....and then crank the cd up so I can hear what I'm playing along to......

    keep this up 'til the wife comes down stairs and lays the law down.......
  8. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    Have you tried rolling off the tone knob on the bass, or using flatwounds? Even the wooliest of bass tones need those mid frequencies... the highs, meh, they'll become a bit more important once you need to settle into a mix, but cranking the bass is rarely anything but trouble. Y'know if you do find yourself with a more powerful amp, and more cone area, the lows will get fatter without needing to boost the lower side of the tone...while shopping and trying stuff out, try leaving all eq knobs at noon, and find the one that has what you feel is the closest to what you're after. Once you've narrowed the field, then start twiddling the eq knobs to find "the one". Of course, IMO, IME, YMMV, my $0.02, etc.
  9. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    I confess I have not yet used flats.

    Although I have been circling the airport on those....

    Are flats a good finger-pickin' string?

    and are they a good choice on an Ibby SR500?
  10. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Not sure of anyone elses translation of the phrase 'practice amp', but for me it means something for my time in the shed, all alone learning tunes, developing skills, creating muscle memory in fingers through repetition, etc ...

    .. a deep bass tone is the last thing I want .. I am after clarity in a good solid fundamental note that lets me hear every little mistake I might be making ... if I EQ to add 'bottom' to my 'play alongs' with computer or CD, it sounds good, but I dont hear half the little nuances that I would hear if I was playing with more clarity ...

    I read the title to this thread, and looked immediately to my right where I have two little Peavey Minx sitting side by side .. one for me, one for the student ... I couldn't imagine anything more 'bullet proof' (these are probably 20-30 years old easy), and I dont think I have over $125-150 into the both of them ... one of them has even seen time in an orchestra pit at the local playhouse ...

    ... I may be missing something, but to me, that is a bullet proof practice amp ... JMHO