Does a bedroom bassist even need an amp anymore?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Felix1776, Aug 18, 2022.

  1. Keep the amp

  2. Downgrade to small practice amp

  3. Go virtual

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Felix1776

    Felix1776 Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2014
    Pueblo West, Colorado
    At this point, it's safe to say I'm a bedroom bassist. I haven't been in a band in 6 years and really don't see myself getting back into playing out unless it starts paying well again. For me, 90% of my playing involves playing along with songs on Youtube or Spotify through my amp using headphones, i.e. silent practice. It's rare I even plug my cab in and play out loud. I've got about $2k in my amp and pedalboard and I'm starting to wonder if I should sell it off.

    I know amp sims have gotten really popular especially amongst guitarists. I think that stuff is pretty cool, but I know basically nothing about it. Would a bedroom bassist be able to completely ditch a real amp and pedalboard and do everything through a laptop using an amp sim program of some kind?
    GTHintz, Bobo, gebass6 and 4 others like this.
  2. If you like the amp and you don’t need the cash real bad, keep it! The first thing that will happen when you’ll sell the amp is someone phoning you to join a new band!
  3. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Paying well to play out? I think you’ll be waiting the rest of your life, unless by some stroke of luck you hook up with a name act.
    fig, Ed Byrnes, KaraQ and 9 others like this.
  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    How do you like your amp? If more than “kinda” you should keep it.
  5. Kaa


    Sep 28, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Can you do it? Yes. Should you do it? That's a tougher question. I use a headphone amp for my playing in my basement. I'm in the same boat as you, mostly, where I only jam with some friends occasionally.
    DJ Bebop, Cal03 and hieronymous like this.
  6. gtirard


    Feb 22, 2020
    Paris, France
    there is more than paid gigs and bedroom playing, you may have friend who stop by to your house with guitars or invitation to a jam...
    Polfuste, dougjwray, DJ Bebop and 6 others like this.
  7. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    Might be fine for you, I don't use headphones personally if I can help it, I like to "feel" the bass
    not just hear it. Headphones just don't do it for me and never have.
  8. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I do most of my practicing with my bass completely unplugged.
  9. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    None of us can really tell you... just do what makes yourself happy. Personally, I prefer to play my bass through an amp, even if I have to keep the volume low at times, so I can't imagine in scenario in which I would want to sell my amp unless I was extremely strapped for cash (speaking hypothetically, because I do play in a band and therefore am not going to sell my amp regardless of what I prefer to do at home).

    If you don't get anything out of using an amp and are convinced that you won't need one again anytime soon, then I guess you can free up some money for other things by clearing it out. I would just keep in mind that if you do decide in the future that you need an amp and then have to go out and buy one again, you'll probably end up out a bit more money than if you'd just have kept this one.
    nostyle, Kaa, Murch and 2 others like this.
  10. sean_on_bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I still prefer practicing through an amp of some sort, and preferably one that can produce a good tone. The problem i have with practicing through the computer is the latency mainly. Even when the latency is low i still notice it and if i continued to practice that way it would mess up my timing chops.
  11. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    Or the other way to look at it. Selling your gear for the purpose of ending up in another band….LOL!!
    Outtaseezun likes this.
  12. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    I do both, live amp and silent practicing. But I’m still gigging, and we record a fair amount, so I’m used to playing with cans IEM, or earbuds.

    Sims are good, but you can’t the tactile feel of sound out speakers unless you have a transducer, which I’ve used, it’s close, but not quite there.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  13. Zak TMD

    Zak TMD

    Apr 22, 2016
    Outside of the heart of darkness, Washington, DC
    Breaking even is the new making money.
    So I've got a good amount of experience with amp sims, currently I own amplitube and amp room. They both can do some really good and convincing bass amp tones... BUT

    There's a few additional things at work with the sims - processing power is important, and if you go into it without the right setup, you're going to have latency issues and probably never play through it.

    I think there's a lot of convincing reasons why you shouldn't give up your amp above, but that doesn't mean you can't do both.
    sean_on_bass likes this.
  14. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray

    Dec 12, 2019
    New Hampshire
    Absolutely do not need it. With a good interface and/or DI you’ll never regret. Plug-ins are just incredible these days.
  15. Katoosie

    Katoosie Bleep-bloopin' thru existence.

    Jun 12, 2020
    I like physical gear. Turning the knobs is fun as hell. For as long as its possible, I'll keep my sound capable and knob equipped devices around :)
  16. Zak TMD

    Zak TMD

    Apr 22, 2016
    Outside of the heart of darkness, Washington, DC
    Breaking even is the new making money.
    I literally never touch my amps when I'm not practicing with the band or playing a show.

    EDIT: With the exception of tone hunting / fine tuning or new pedals, but again this is for the above purpose.
    Bass4Gsus likes this.
  17. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    When I practice at home I never plug in anymore. My DAW and plug-ins have more tones than I could ever get with an amp. Plus my wife doesn't have to listen to me noodle.
  18. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    For your situation, I think it makes sense to have a really good headphone system. I dig mine and it allows me to play at any time, day or night. Lots of great options out there. Sounds like you might have something that works for you right now.

    Kaa likes this.
  19. Hummergeist

    Hummergeist Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2020
    Tutorials, reviews, and interviews for Future Publishing.
    Sure you can. A decent audio interface and monitors or headphones. Any functional music software, like Ableton Live, Logic Pro, GarageBand, Reaper, etc. And one or more amp/cab/fx plug-ins. Helix Native is very good, but more guitar oriented. I use the Two Notes Torpedo plug-in, got it free with an audio interface; it gives me amp/cab/room/mics/compressor, and it's the best I've heard so far.
  20. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I seem to be in the minority. I have an Ashdown Tourbus 15 for personal practice at home. But then again, on un-amplified ukulele gigs, Uke66 band, it is perfect with my Kala U-Bass. So the amp multitasks, and has earned its keep. I do appreciate those who use headphones, and when in a situation, say, late at night, I can plug in to its headphone out jack. Since the driver is 8 ohms, but the "white paper" on the output transistor says it can handle 4 ohms, I also added an external cab jack for my Ashdown lightweight 12-inch cab, and the old trick from 50 or so years ago of soldering a really small capacitor across the jack to squelch oscillations that were occurring when I plugged in my active bass.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
    DJ Bebop likes this.