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Buying a practice amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi again.

    I recently said that this is one of the forums I visit the least, but I'm starting to feel the necessity of some amps, including a practice amp which I currently don't have. I plug my bass through my soundcard at a low volume and that's no problem, but recently I've been asked to rehearse for different upcoming gigs and don't have a portable amp for rehearsal. Looking at the local stores, the best two options for practice amps are a Kustom KBA30 and a Laney HCM30B. Nothing great, I know, but both cost around the same (approx. US$200 at current exchange rate), so maybe there's a little difference between the two. I'd like to know which of the two would be the best choice. Maybe none? Well, I like the fact that they're here and no hassles to buy. Just pay with my credit card and take the amp from the store to my house. Should I consider a better option in that range even if I have to import it (pay S&H, customs and stuff)? Thank you in advance for your opinions! :)
  2. xb100


    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In
    Do you have a set amount of money you want to spend or are you on a specific budget?

    What music will you be playing?

    I can tell you right off the bat those practice amps or anything else close to em wont do you any good in a band setting, your ganna need anywhere from 150-300 watts minimum.

    So I suggest if you need to save up.

    Look into the SWR workingman series combo's, you could find them for around 300-500 used.

    Ashdown also makes good combo's check out the blueline series or if you have the extra $$ check out the mag combo series.

    Peavey also makea a good practice amp it's called a tnt 115. I have one and play with 2 guitarist's in a rock/metal band, and it does the job fine I don't turn up my master volume past 12 o clock and keep the pre-gain right at 10 o clock. I also mess around with the EQ to get a sound that will cut through, but that isn't hard at all.

    Hope that helps some.

  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Well, not too much money for this. I'm thinking on this strictly for practicing and rehearsal. I'm also thinking of (and saving for) a powerful amp for live situations and I'm avidly reading opinions in this forum about the current market's offers, but that's another story. Again, this is just because I want a really portable (but good) practice amp (I know the TNT 115 and it's not that portable IMO). Right now, when I have a rehearsal, most of the times I plug my bass in a Peavey KBA300, which almost every keyboard player have here (they're very popular). Maybe I should continue like this, without spending my money on something like the Kustom or Laney and save that money for the big amp? I currently rehearse with different kinds of bands: Tropical music, rock and a jazz Big Band.
  4. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Today I compared the more expensive versions of these two today: the Roland Cube 100 and Fender Bassman 150. Both are 1x12" configurations, and cost around US$440. I thought the Roland embarrassed the Fender, with more volume, warmth, depth, and overall hard rockin' mojo! I have (and love) a Roland Cube 60 guitar amp, but was still surprised how good this little bass amp is. And the effects are surprisingly decent.

    Based on this, I suspect the lower wattage Roland would sound great too. But if the Cube 100 is within your budget, by all means try it out.

    Another option would be the practice amp I have, Carvin's PB100-10. It has excellent tone, great portability, and costs less than US$300. It's enough for modest volume rehearsals with drums and one electric guitar, but gets lost in the mix with any more than that. (With an extension cabinet it's fine, but that kind of defeats the purpose.)
  5. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave

    Oct 17, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I have the Kustom's bigger brother, the KBA65. To be honest, I don't really like it. Even with a 6-band EQ, I cannot seem to get a tone I like out of it. The fret noise seems excessive when compared to my other amps (keeps me working on my technique though - LOL). It's OK for it's purpose of practicing at home but even still....I can't trade it in for the Ashdown Perfect Ten Mini Rig soon enough.

    Good luck with getting a 30W amp to keep up in a rehearsal setting. I've had trouble getting my KBA65 to do that at *some* (but not all) of my recent auditions. Therefore, I have to agree with xb100's advice of trying to get a hold of something with more power.
  6. Paul182


    May 18, 2005
    Get A Roland Cube