First amp for a young player - advice sought

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    My step son, who lives with his father (so he can't just use my gear), recently started playing bass and is in need of an amp. He has everything that he needs, except the only amp he has is a cheesy little piece of junk practice amp that won't last much longer. I decided that I wanted to help him out by getting him an amp for his birthday. (boy, I hope he hasn't started reading talkbass yet…) So, I made an impulse buy on a blem sale from musiciansfriend and ordered him a GK Backline half stack …it's 125 watts into a 15" cab - I figured this will take him all the way to his first gig and beyond… but after I pulled the trigger on this, I started to wonder if he would have been better served with a smaller, more portable, combo amp.

    Does this look like an okay rig for a 14 year old beginner?
    Does anybody think that the kid would be better served with a smaller combo amp? I could always keep this for myself, or send it back, and pick him up a small combo amp if this seems like to much amp for him. I don't want to stick him with an amp that's not appropriate for his level (way more than he needs, too much to lug around) …of course, I bought it - so obviously, I think it would serve him well - but I'm having some doubts, so: Opinions please!
  2. gwx014


    Dec 22, 2005
    I think you did well!
  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Smaller??? Neveeerrrrrrrrrr. That combo will be just fine. Think back to when you were 14, did you want anything that was small and quiet?? :p

  4. nice amp! i would have loved something like that when i was 15...I reckon he'll love it! good job!!
  5. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    A half stack? Yeah, I think he'll like it.
  6. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Excellent choice! Will you be my daddy? :D
  7. dangnewt

    dangnewt Veteran Dispenser

    Jun 6, 2003
    MetroWest Boston
    Much smaller and you get drowned out by a loud drummer. That rig will serve him very well.
  8. When your young, small and portable aren't even in the equation. The good thing about what you bought is that he can upgrade either piece in the future but always have a working rig. I've considered the backline series a little on the "light" side performance-wise. A rig with the ashdown head and a cab might have served as least as well or if you're thinking "combo" the Hartke kickback series is 120 watts and decent (price and performance).
  9. Techmonkey


    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    I'm 15 (not quite 14 but meh) and for my 15th I got a Hartke 4x10 350w halfstack. Do I do large enough gigs to warrant it? Nope. Would I consider something smaller? Hell no :bassist:
    The fact of the matter is I don't really take my amp anywhere. For schoolwork, I just take my Sansamp round my saxophonists's house and we record all our stuff onto his PC there. For gigs, most bands have their own amps, so I usually only end up taking it out every 3 or 4 weeks...

    When I first saw it, the "Holy crap will I be able to carry that thing?" only passed through my head for a second - it was quickly replaced by the "Holy crap I have a halfstack! :bassist:" thought, and has remained that way since.

    I think he'll dig it :D