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Do I really need a practice combo?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MichiBass, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. Yes, it's better to hear the actual tone when studying

    47 vote(s)
  2. No, give up G.A.S., play more and save up for a Sadowsky

    20 vote(s)
  1. Hi guys!

    So, I play a Jazz Bass and I have a bass combo, but it's at the rehearsal room. At home I play either unplugged, either through my cheap 2.1 PC system. I can hear the bass, but very lousy, and the tone is kinda the same, everything I would tweak...
    I played like all my life unplugged at home. I don't know how good that is, but I heard my strings, so it was okay... Now I thought I could get a 15 W combo ( Warwick Blue Cab 15 for 99 Euros), but I'm not that sure if I really need one. I can study / play at home unplugged... And I can save up more for a Sadowsky.

    So, please vote, and eventually bring me arguments for or against buying it...

  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Looks like a toss up. Me, I'd get a little amp.
  3. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    It doesn't sound to me like you will need anything more than the Blue 15" for a while. I'd get it. Your playing will surely improve a lot faster once you can hear your amped tone. The amplifier is arguably half of the instrument, or at the minimum, it's at least 50% responsible for your sound.

    Besides, you need to practice more than scales, fingering, etc - you need to practice coaxing various sounds out of the amp with your bass.

    If this isn't clear, I have a feeling you will see what I mean once you've played through a couple different amplifiers.
  4. Sneckumhaw


    Apr 26, 2006
    Whatever, spend a hundred bucks and just get a little one.
  5. +1. As they say, "tone is in the fingers". It helps to hear the tone amplified. Also helps with developing your dynamics.
  6. maybe buy a soundcard like a line6 where you get a lot of effects and play with it on a pc?
  7. I purchased and built one of these from a local electronics store.


    I use a good set of headphones, made a 3' patch cable and added a belt clamp on the bottom so I can clip it on like a wireless system. Works off a 9v battery and allows me to practice without disturbing the family or while watching TV. Tone and quality are great.
  8. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    My practice and gig combo are the same...
  9. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Every teacher I've talked to (mind you, not many) says its best to do serious practice with the amp on, so as to regulate tone and dynamics. Plus a small combo is great for many rehearsal situations (although much of my stuff is jazz and ethnic, w/o a pounding kick pedal in the mix).
  10. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    I don't know why all you folks are suggesting alternatives - he's got a shot at a perfectly good amp for 99 Euros. Headphone and PC substitutes aren't the same as having an amplifier, and won't even save him much, if anything!
  11. thombo

    thombo Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    amp suggestion... you can get a peavey micro bass for around $50 on ebay... i bought one in college for the same reason and still use it to this day. it is by no means "great sounding," but it gets the job done.
    it has proven handy for jamming w/ acoustic instruments, and has a handy-dandy headphone jack... always grateful for that during my years of apartment living during late-night woodshed sessions.
  12. magickbass

    magickbass Guest

    May 24, 2008
    For 99 euros you can't go wrong! And, as so many have pointed out already, you need to play amplified in order to better your playing dynamics.
  13. +1 It is amazing the mistakes I hear when I'm amplified. It is the best way to get instant feedback on your tone and technique.
  14. Yes, I think getting practice amp for low cost via craigslist or have an old amp floating around, unused, dedicating it to be stationed somewhere is the way to go. No need to spend a lot of money on a practice amp, exactly.
  15. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    Everyone needs a little amp for home practice, and for grab-n-go for low volume jams.
  16. OK, OK, I'll get it!
    Thanks for all the opinions.
    I'm gonna buy this small Blue Cab, it's nice, has a tilt-back, and I kinda trust Warwick stuff :)
  17. pajohnso58

    pajohnso58 Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    I got an Acoustic B20 for $119. It is the most "real" sounding practice amp I have played. I have even used it for a rehearsal a few times and it did a remarkable job for 20 watts.

    On the other hand, I have a Sadowsky and oooh baby!
  18. I've got a Hartke A-25 for practice...works for pa-supported gigs as well since it has a DI.
  19. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've been very happy with my little Fender RAD Bass amp. Something at home is good to have and it's nice if it can keep you in the running against acoustic guitars and a piano, so it should sound nice for those occasions. Small is good if you share the living space with others and you want to keep it in a common area. The RAD excels at all of these things and I can't see ever getting rid of it.


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