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Cannot decide: Bassman 100watt or Ampeg BA-115

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MOTORHEADBANGER, Mar 25, 2009.


    MOTORHEADBANGER Spud-boy looking for a real tomato

    Dec 23, 2008
    Sidney, Indiana
    I know everyone hates the "should I get this, or this" threads, but I am seriously stumped. My old Fender Bassman 60watt just doesn't come through anymore and just isn't that loud. I feel it is time to move onto something a little more powerful. I have come down to a used Fender Bassman 100 watt and an Ampeg Ba-115. I thought a bassman 100 would be good because it is very similar to my 60, but I have heard many good things about the Ba-115. I use a Fender MIM P-bass and a Mike Dirnt P-bass. I play mainly:metal(classic to modern), hard rock, Jazz, classic rock, punk, and just some odd inbetweens like The Clash.

    Any imput would be very helpful.
  2. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    You really have to listen to both. They're quite different.
  3. Dave-Action-Fig


    Nov 28, 2006
    I haven't tried both amps so my opinion doesn't really matter.
    But I have to say that I dislike the BA-115.
  4. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    If your wanting to stay with a combo there's a ton of good, lower priced combos available now.
    I'd suggest you try as many as you can.
    Fender's Rumble series 1-15 or 2-10 combo's, Fender's Bassman series, G.C. Acoustic 100 or 200 series combo's, G.K.'s Backline series, Ampeg's smaller combo's, Nemesis series from Eden, Peavey Max combo's, ect.
    But....with you playing metal/hard rock I'd suggest you go with atleast a 300 watt head and either a 4x10 cab or a 2x15 cab.
    If you take the time and watch the T.B. classifieds, you can probably find a "used" 300 watt head and some type of used bass cabinet for roughfully what you'll pay for a nice new combo.
  5. bassman251


    Jan 30, 2007
    I like my fender bassman 250
  6. zagnut


    Jan 4, 2009
    Back in Detroit
    Have it and like it. Not sure if I would do any gig'ing with it though. XLR out is nice for running into PA if need be.

    Take your bass and go on a road trip. Visit some stores and take some combos for a test drive.
  7. If you're talking about the current Bassman 100/110 combo (the tiltback with the silver faceplate), be aware that it is *not* loud enough for gigging. It might be the world's greatest practice amp, and could be usable for coffeehouse gigs, but nothing with a band.

    Yes, I owned one.

  8. Hi, I have both these amps. They are very different. The Fender Bassman 100 that I have is a 1x10 combo, the Ampeg Ba-115 is a 1x15 combo. I would suggest taking your bass and listening to both. The DI on the Ampeg doesn't have a ground lift. That's not good for playing live- no easy way to stop humming ground loops. The Fender doesn't cut through with a band as well as the ampeg. Fender is much lighter and more portable. The disadvantage to both of these combos is that they are on the low end of what you need power-wise with a band. You also can't power an extra cabinet to get more volume with either. I'm guessing your budget is $250- $300?
  9. CodaPDX


    Feb 2, 2009
    If you're looking for something appreciably louder than a 60 watt combo, then I'd go for something with at least 200 watts to its name. All other things being equal, going from 60 to 100 watts will net you less than 3 decibels - barely enough to notice. There's plenty of stuff out there that would work much, much better for you than the BA115 or Bassman 100. If you're dead set on those two combos, then I'd go with the BA115 - it sounds good and it'll keep up with a drummer in small gigs. Don't expect anything more from it than that, though. I have the BA115HP, the 220-watt version, and I wouldn't dream of taking it to a medium-sized gig without PA support.
  10. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 to that. 60 watts to 100 watts won't even be a noticable difference. If your 60 watt combo isn't enough, (and I can see where it wouldn't be), go for something alot bigger. I believe it takes 10 times the power to double the volume, so 600 watts, (and efficient speakers) will get you that. But 300 watts, (and efficient speakers), will be noticably louder, and better sounding.
  11. zagnut


    Jan 4, 2009
    Back in Detroit
    Even 100 to 200 watts won't be that noticeable. Doubling the power on an identical driver / cab only produces a 3db increase in level. Good rule of thumb is to get twice the volume, you need 10x the power. Sensitivity of the drivers plays a big role in this, as well as the number of drivers.

    If I had to get a combo for gigging, I'd pick one with around 400 watts with the option to add an extension. Either that or a smaller amp (like the bassman or rumble I have) with a DI out that has a ground lift. Of course, this doesn't do you much good if the location doesn't have a PA you can hook into.
  12. bl2112


    Jul 11, 2008
    I for one do notice a dif between 60 and 100. I played with a 60 watt rumble with a drummer and a 100 watt rumble with the same guy and the 100 watt sounded clearer, fuller and I didnt have to push it as hard.

    But depending on the sound your after the Ampeg BA 115 (my current giging and praticing amp) is much better then the fender. I've A/B and the Fender couldnt match the tone or the fullness of the Ampeg.

    But YOU got to try them all we can give you is opinions
  13. zagnut


    Jan 4, 2009
    Back in Detroit
    Like I said in my above post, it isn't always the amp that determines the level or clarity of sound. The driver, the cabinet tuning and material (not so much this as the previous 2) play a bigger role IMO than the amp itself. You can put the worlds most expensive amp on a cheap driver in a horribly tuned cab and it will sound like garbage. On the other hand, you can put a $200 amp on a $1000 driver and it can sound phenomenal and louder while being a lower wattage.
  14. I had a BA115 and it was all right but the new BA combos seem to be of less quality than the ones 2-3 years ago. I wanted to get the BA-210 but it seemed cheap. The speakers rattled and the cover wouldn't stay on. I always liked the Ampeg amps but opted for a Fender Bassman 250/210. I went to get a smaller practice amp and tried the BA-112 and it had the same problems. I tried 3 of them and neither of them sounded good. Speaker rattle and the covers were loose. Maybe it's just a bad batch. I'd like to try an Acoustic or Ashdown sometime. I hope Ampeg does something to get their combos right because I'd like to have another some day...for now I'm sticking with the Bassman.
  15. Tehrin Cole

    Tehrin Cole

    Mar 6, 2009
    Brooklyn,New York
    Endorsing Artist:Kustom Amplifiers
    I currently,own a Fender Bassman 100,but I've also played through an Ampeg BA115.As Rick says,they're 2 different amps so,you really have to listen,and compare.Though,both are great combo amps,I find the Ampeg to be a little cleaner,...not at all,taking anything away from the Bassman,,....it serves me very well,to this day.I've recently,come across a company called"Markbass".Their products are nothing short of AMAZING!Their heads supply a power rating of 500 watts,weigh MAYBE 5 pounds,....small,and light enough to stick in your gig bag,and go!You can get any cab configuration,that you may desire,or,you can get one of their single units(head,and cab,all in one).I tried one of their single units with 2 10"s,and was totally blown away by what I was hearing!I couldn't believe the big,rich,massive tone,coming out of this small unit,and what was MORE surprising,I had plenty,....PLENTY of headroom,to spare!I'm definitely sold on this amp,and plan on buying one,in the VERY near future!Ask your dealer if they carry this product,....I think you'll be more than pleased,that you tried one!
  16. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Holy Molly, what are they made of these days ? Cardboard ? I remember my BA-115 as a very mediocre amp and it was an old one. Steer away. Please. For the sake of your own sanity.

    I'd also suggest the used market. And Peavey.
  17. bonzo4880


    Sep 16, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    i have a 100 watt ampeg ba115 that i bought used. i use it for practice and for smaller gigs (have an svt3 pro for gigging). as mentioned above it doesnt have quite enough power for larger gigs without PA support. i also found that the eq settings were pretty lame, both the 5 way tone switch and 3 knob eq. Lame meaning that the chosen frequencies arent incredibly useful and dont help a lot.

    I would either do some hunting here on TB for a used head/cab and try to save up a bit more money, or maybe try to find a used 410 combo. either one is going to cost more than your current budget but in the long run i think youll be glad you did. if youre going to make an upgrade, make it worthwhile..otherwise youll be GASin in 6 months.
  18. The BA-115's must vary greatly in quality and sound. I bought mine (made in USA) used four years ago and absolutely love it. It is the best sounding bass amp I've played and build quality is great. My RIC 4001 sounds excellent through it. The usual knock is the hissing tweeter, but mine does not hiss at all.

    It is not a SVT/810 though! I play in an acoustic trio, no drums. It is fine for smaller clubs, 100 people or so, and does well as a stage monitor in outdoor gigs. The lack of ground lift is easily solved with a $15 plug-in device.

    It's too heavy for the single top handle, putting a handle on each side helped a lot. I also hated the tilt back "feature" so put a flat bottom and casters on it.
  19. jjk2007

    jjk2007 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA
    I own the BA115 and it stays in my music room. Only loud enough for small gigs, tweeter does hiss and sometimes rattles. It has a decent sound to me but for anything outside practice or the small coffee shop/acoustic type gig, it would be hard for me to use.

    MOTORHEADBANGER Spud-boy looking for a real tomato

    Dec 23, 2008
    Sidney, Indiana
    First off, I am only going to use this for band practice. There is no way a 100watt would hold up live. I use an Ampeg B2RE and a Fender Bassman 410 for live stuff. Also I was wondering if anyone had experience with the older Fender Bassman 100's with the 1x15?

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