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First Bass Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by casfan, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. casfan


    Mar 6, 2008
    Hi all.
    This is my first post here. Started playing Bass when i was younger, just got it back out again.
    At the moment im playing it through one of those amps you get with a starter set 10Watts, but it the one that came with my electric guitar.
    How much different will it be playing it through a proper bass amp?
    I ll only be playing it in the house so dont need lots of Watts do I?
    What would be a good amp for this?
  2. Boogie B

    Boogie B

    Feb 7, 2008
    My first amp was a Marschall Bass-state 65W. Whatever u buy, don't buy that one, it sounds like crap.
  3. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    You should own a good first amp, possibly more important than a good first bass. Look for anything by Yorkville or Peavey, a used late model if you can find one.

    50 Watts or so is fine.
  4. casfan


    Mar 6, 2008
    Thanks for the quick reply's i will look in to them.
    Will there be much difference sound wise between a bass amp and the amp i have.
  5. Yes, because a guitar amp cannot reproduce bass frequencies with any volume. You will gain a lot of fullness in sound, and "overhead", meaning that the amp will tolerate momentary volume peaks without clipping and sounding nasty.
  6. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    And your speaker won't end up cracking.
  7. Casfan-
    You can buy a lot of bass amp for a couple hundred dollars. Check out the websites of some of the big music outlets. I'd recommend around 100 watts and a 15" speaker in a combo format. That would get you through most practice situations. Depending on your style of music, it will also cover a lot of gigs.
  8. My first amp was a little Ibanez guitar practice amp. It sure didn't sound good, or loud, but it was enough for me alone in my bedroom. It was a birthday gift I think, from my mom, she didn't know there was a difference between guitar amps and bass amps :D

    My first jam session I plugged my bass into the CD-input of the guitarists 2x12 Peavey combo! :O

    When I found a band to play with I upgraded to an old Yahama I found at the music store for $100. It was the weirdest amp. I think it had 2 10's or 2 12's, and it farted so very very bad. But it was loud. I eventually sold it to a guitarist who used it as part of a biamp rig.

    My next bass amp was the Peavey TKO 115 that everyone has used at one point or another. That did we all right for a while, since it was loud and sounded ok. But then I learned about tone.

    So I found an SWR 350 head cheap from MF, and bought an Avatar 2x10 from a guy a few hours away from me. So that was my first real rig. For shows I used that with the Peavey on the bottom for a while.

    Eventually I realized that I could do even better, and so I bought an old, unknown tube amp off ebay for $250. After $100 of work, it turned out to be a Guild Thunderbass, and to date it's probably the best sounding amp I've ever heard. I also felt the need for more air and oomph, so I bought a brand new Avatar 2x12 for the bottom.

    Around the same time, I knew I was into tube amps, but I wanted more power. So I found a Peavey Alphabass on the bay for cheap again. When it arrived, the power tubes were rolling around inside! After a quick once over, I fired it up and it was loud. What a strange beast. It wasn't a bad tone, but it wasn't what you'd call 'sweet.' It was more industrial. None the less I recorded my first real album with it, and it sounded great.

    Somewhere in there I also had an SW Big Ben (1x18). I quickly realized that I was meant for 10's! I sold that to a fellow bass tone enthusiast.

    Now I had a few too many all tube amps and one had to go. I sold the Alphabass, since the Guild had 'the tone' that I knew I might never find again, to a well meaning, but novice bass player, who blew it up after a few gigs! It went to the shop to be fixed, it's sitting there unused since he can't afford the repair bill atm :(

    The Guild held it's own for a while, but we were starting to play larger and larger gigs, so I needed something with more power. During a sale at a local store, I came across a deal I couldn't refuse: a brand new Traynor YBA200 for $475. That was less than they sold for used. So of course, I scooped it up, knowing I could flip it for that much or more if I didn't like it.

    But it sounded great, after I learned to tweak it, and did some tube swaps, it become my main gigging amp.

    Wanting a simpler cabinet choice (it took two trips or 3 people to move all my old cabs) that would serve me for larger venues down the road, I bought a brand new Ampeg 610HLF. Looked and sounded great with the Traynor (unfortunately I only got to use it on one song at it's first show when the Traynor bite the dust!)

    Now thanks to TB I'm thinking about more amps! It never ends! :D

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane :p
  9. Bett


    Jan 27, 2008
    Some people recommended the Crate BT-25 bass combo amp to me and I read a lot of good things about it, so I got one for $99 from www.musiciansfriend.com I could have gotten the 50 watt amp for a bit more, but I just wanted something good to start out with that didn't cost too much. I think the 25 watt one is enough for the amount I play since all I do is practice at home.

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