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Fender B-DEC 30 owners: some questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TimBosby, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Last month I bought a Roland Microcube bass amp to practice with while I was staying at my parents' house over the holidays. While it is a sweet little amp, it is only 5 watts through four 5-inch speakers. I don't need a practice amp to be high-powered by any means, but I was afraid of turning this thing up, especially with my active basses. That being said, the tempo / rhythm feature was handy and I especially liked the "tap tempo" option.

    Nonetheless, I think I am going to return it to Musician's Friend. I still have about 10-12 days left in my 45-day return period and it's still in mint condition. I paid about $240 for it and would rather use that money for something else.

    I was thinking about picking up a used Fender B-DEC 30 (now discontinued) as a practice amp. It is 30 watts through a 10 inch speaker, so while I certainly won't be gigging with it, I feel like it may offer a better sound in my practice room or living room. Plus it has backing tracks and other cool features. I have some questions though, for those of you who own one (I've looked all over the internet and could not find the answers I'm looking for.)

    Do you HAVE to play with the backing tracks or can you play with just a raw drumbeat? There are some situations where I may not want the keyboard/guitar/whatever else going and would prefer just hear the drummer.

    Is there a tempo TAP feature? If not, how do you set the tempo?

    I have seen these online for under $200, so I may be able to return the Microcube, buy a BDEC-30, and still have a few bucks leftover.

    Ultimately I just need a good practice tool where I have full control over the rhythm. A drum machine is another option but the idea of a small amp is nice because then I can take it on road trips and that sort of thing.

  2. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    As an alternative, I suppose I could just get an Alesis SR-16. Hmm.
  3. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    See my answers in the core of your posting.
  4. Bitterdale

    Bitterdale Natural Born Lurker

    Dec 4, 2010
    Ocala, FL
    I had a BDEC-30 a few years ago. IIRC, you can adjust the volume of the individual backing tracks. So, yes, you can just play with drums.

    You can set the BPM manually.

    I used to use it for coffeehouse gigs - it sounded quite good with plenty of low end and volume.
  5. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    The Bronco 40 looks interesting but it's just amp modeling. No rhythms.

    Ideally I'd prefer something that:

    1) sounds good out loud through the speakers
    2) has tempo-adjustable rhythm tracks
    3) has a headphone out
    4) fairly portable

    The Roland Microcube meets all those criteria EXCEPT the first one - it doesn't sound BAD, but I don't think 5 watts through four 5-inch speakers is really the best for bass.

    The Fender B-DEC30 seems to fit the bill and has the added bonus of "backing tracks," different keys, all that stuff. Granted it's almost as heavy as my 500 watt Markbass combo (which is ridiculously light for a 500-watt combo at 39 lbs) BUT still small enough that I can throw it in the car for a road trip or what have you. Plus, tilt back is cool.