Choosing a first bass amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chaz5420, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Chaz5420

    Chaz5420 Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    Hey everyone, I've been wanting to play bass for a while now, (I've played guitar for about 2 years) but haven't really put any thought into actually purchasing one until recently.
    As far as my budget goes, I think that 200$ is fair enough to get a used Squier VM Jazz bass,
    but my main concern budget-wise is getting a decent combo amp I can play it through. For this,
    I think my best bet would be a Fender rumble 25, but I have a few questions to ask before actually getting it.

    1. How loud can it get? Usually when I have people over to play music, it's seldom more than 3 acoustic guitars, maybe 2 or 3 more for some of the bigger jams. Do you suppose that the Rumble 25 could be heard over all that, or should I be looking for something more powerful?
    2. How versatile is it? So I'm a guy who will play pretty much everything from Folk, to Metal, to Funk. Do you think I could get all that out of a jazz bass and the Rumble?
    3. What alternatives would you suggest that are in the same price range (75$-150$)?

    Thanks! :thumbsup:
  2. Badwater

    Badwater Guest

    Jan 12, 2017
    If you have a guitar amp you can use it for bass as long as you don't crank it up to cause distortion or popping sounds. For a bass amp, it would depend on what you use the amp for. Is it going to be a monitor while you play gigs. Or is it going to serve you as a gigging amp for small venues. Or is it for home use only. As a beginner, it would be good to get a decent home amp that will give you great sound as you learn and practice. The Warwick BC20 or BC30 is a great transparent amp that has a built in limiter, and it sounds great.

    Once you get up to gigging levels then you should have an idea of what kind of amp will work for you.
    Good luck, and keep up the learning.
  3. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    At 25w any bass amp is going to be a practice amp. Maybe it can get along with a couple of unamplified acoustic guitars, but that's about it. Its nowhere near what you need if you ever play with a drummer for example.

    So having said that, I would go used, stick with mainstream name brands for now, and get whatever you can afford realizing that it is largely a practice tool.

    Months and years down the road you will discover what you like and dislike about bass amps and should expect to replace this one several times along the way as you advance.
  4. For $150 in the US you should be able to find a well used but fully serviceable Peavey 115 combo that will allow you lattitude to play with a full band of non egotist guitars and a drummer with feel. Only drawback is the older ones feel to pick up lIke they have a slab of concrete inside.
    csc2048b likes this.
  5. csc2048b


    Apr 4, 2010
    i agree. peavey makes a good reliable workhorse. consider the weight as part of paying dues.
    JGbassman likes this.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!

    We have members from all over the globe. Roughly where are you? The answers for someone in Paris France and Paris Texas would be completely different.

    That being said, I agree with the others. Your money would go much further in the used market. Maybe you can check your local Craigslist and hit us up with any questions on what you find.
    csc2048b and Wisebass like this.
  7. Chaz5420

    Chaz5420 Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    Thanks for the input, Guys! I guess I'm still thinking in terms of guitar amps when it comes to wattage, because my Vox VT30 can really make the walls shake despite it's size. I currently live in WI, so I'm close enough to some guitar stores I can browse at. I've looked at a few reviews of the Peavey TNT 1x15, and it seems like it would be a good option, but I was also thinking that a possible alternative (at least for the first few months of learning the new instrument) would be to plug the bass directly into my mixer, and to use an amp simulator. I think it seems like a viable option, but I'd like to know what you guys think of that.
  8. So long as you respect the limitations of the PA cabs to produce low end it will do fine for practice.
    backin82 likes this.
  9. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    You'll have to adjust your "power scale" for bass. 30w guitar amps will crank out serious volume compared to 30w bass amps. But as many people will (correctly) point out - the biggest factor in how loud you can get is how much volume of air can be moved by the speakers. Smaller amplifiers can sound big with enough speakers. Conversely, huge amp outputs won't do any good if there isn't enough speaker area (or volume) to move the air. Once you hear that for yourself, it will make more sense.

    I think a 1x15 combo is your best bet at your budget. It can move a good amount of air. For reference, I started on a Fender 1x15 and it covered everything until I started playing in a ska band with a loud drummer and a full horn section. But other than full band settings with drummers, a 1x15 will hold its own for sure.
  10. I managed to pick one up for $75 but it stays at home.
    csc2048b likes this.
  11. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
  12. csc2048b


    Apr 4, 2010
    lucky you
  13. I manage to pick up the 75 pound ones easily. The 100 pound ones not so much.
  14. Andyman001

    Andyman001 moderation must be taken with a grain of salt

    Feb 11, 2010
    S/E Idaho
    What about Perris CA?
  15. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    the rumble is a good amp, but I would not call it versatile. I would also play through it at a local GC. The Fender tome is not for everyone. There will be Hartke and Ampeg there also. I have a hunch you may prefer the Hartke for what you are playin.
  16. Andyman001

    Andyman001 moderation must be taken with a grain of salt

    Feb 11, 2010
    S/E Idaho
    Seriously, agree with the others. Look used, at least 100w 1-12, or 1-15. apart from Peavy & Fender, Gallien Krueger, Eden, SWR, Ampeg, MarkBass, Acoustic, Hartke among others made pretty good combos that will get you started.

    add, and guitar center used site to search options.