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Good First . .. and Last Bass Amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SabreChris, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009
    I am a guitar player of 20 years and I have a bass ariving next week from MF. I am learning to play so I can write and record bass lines for my songs.

    Can someone recommend a good first bass amp that will not need to be replaced?

    I would like it to sound good at low volumes for practicing, yet allow me enough volume to practice with a band or use as a stage moitor. Figure I will probably go direct if I ever play out as bass. Also should have good direct pre amp out for recording.

    I was looking at the Peavy TNT amps, and they look solid.

    I have a Peavey XXX amp and heard that some people use them as bass amps. Could I use that for practicing bass and then get a modeller or just run through mic pres, EQ, and tube compressors to get a good recorded sound? I've got recording gear and my primary concern is the good recorded tone, but will need something to sound good while practicing too.
  2. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Markbass Little Mark II or III
    Avatar 410 cab
  3. fender_funk_man


    Feb 19, 2009
    ampeg b1re head and an eden 2x10 cabinet. A good DI then plugs you into a PA system and thats all you'll ever need.
  4. BullHorn


    Nov 23, 2006
    Not everyone likes Markbass, but it's definitely solid and well liked among many. If it's sound is your thing, go for it.

    If I could go back in time, I would've gotten something else instead of my Markbass combo, it's not my thing. Probably an Eden WT or somesuch.
  5. The Ampeg Rocket Bass series is pretty excellent for this. Sounds great quiet or loud and doesn't break the bank, especially if you buy used. I've played through the new Acoustic combos and they seemed excellent in a similar way.
  6. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    Ampeg BA115 is my vote... I got one for double electric and upright as well as playing at home and with low volume groups. As long as any group you're with isn't at extreme stage volumes and you can get PA support (the DI on this thing is really awesome) you'll never need another amp
  7. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Avoid the BA115. It isn't very versatile, and not loud enough if you want to gig audibly with a rock band. +1 to the new Acoustics, a B200 might be right up your alley.
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Check out Carvin. They make good quality stuff right here in the USA for mid level money. I've had the same Carvin head and 410 for at least 15 years or more. Never gave me a lick of trouble until last night. I think I blew a speaker. I needed something to do next week anyway I guess.....
  9. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009

    Yeah, that looks sweet. I can tilt it back to use as a monitor on stage and go to the board. Shouldnt need any more amp than that.

    Think I will audition one. Thanks.
  10. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Your last amp? Yeah, right. Unless you have discovered something like Kryptonite against GAS, I'll wager you that whatever you get won't be your last.:D
  11. Big + 1. Fat chance.
  12. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    You really ought to consider the Hartke Kickback 12. That's the original design that Hartke put out and their other similar models do not perform like the original.

    It has an XLR out for use as a direct box for recording and the body of the tone is VERY solid. It's heavy for a practice amp (42lbs) but the weight is where the tone is. The speakers take a beating! I've used mine with a loud drummer numerous times and the sucker keeps on chugging. The headphone out is a great tuner out, too.

    It's a fine practice amp and all I ever get are compliments on the tone. $350.
  13. Yorkville 300t
  14. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    I like the LMII. I use it at home for practice (set very low) and it sounds good through my AE112 cab. It also sounds good cranked up. So far, I have no desire for another amp. I do need one more Berg cab but that's for another day.....maybe tomorrow....LOL.
  15. If you really want a professional bass amp that you won't need to replace, you need to audition a LOT of rigs first. It takes most of us years to try everything we might want and decide on something.

    Also, IMHO, a combo amp is just not a professional gigging amp for a rock band. Sorry. I realize they are valid for folk, jazz gigs, whatever. But for a rock band, it's not gonna cut it.

    The Markbass stuff is good, and I'm a big fan of the GK heads. Get a head you like and an Avatar 4x10 to have your best bet against future upgrading. Get a head with more power than you think you will need.
  16. Ashdown LG1000.
  17. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Avoid the BA115 like the plague. The tweeter is pure crap (noisy as hell), it is not powerful enough and it sounds marginal at best. I've never been able to cop anything but mud out of it. Any old Peavey combo will be cheaper, more durable and sound nicer (altough it'll be uglier and without a DI). I had one for years and I never got it to work for me.

    For the approximately the same dough, you can pick up an old Peavey head and some cabs. If you never want to buy another rig, please spend the 200$ more and get a head+cab setup. Anything else will not be enough at one point or another, unless you are very lucky (always play with a PA) cor go with a bigger combo (200w+ 2x10+) and then head+cab is superior because of its modular nature.

    Any of the mic "standards" can be used to record good bass tones (SM 57, for example) so a DI is not necessary if you just want some bass in a demo.
  18. Yeah look into avatar for cabs as already suggested if you aren't going for a combo, they are hands down the best value for your money.

    You're a guitarist, so it needs to be really stressed, you will need a LOT more wattage than you would ever consider reasonable if you are planning on jamming with drums. 100w isn't usually enough and wattage has to go up exponentially just to get a bit more out of it. Look for something 200-500w to be comfortable with a midsized cab.
  19. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009
    OK, thanks. I usually pull two tubes out of my amps so I am playing with only 60Watts through half of a 4x12 and that is enough. I'm not into noise wars, but everything I have read says that 500-600W+ is the magic number for bass.

    That said, SS amps are cheap, I cant imagine why they would go with such low power and put only 100-200 watts into these combos? It cant cost much more to double that.

    So here is the NEW question:

    what features do I need to look for?? Should I get something with compression or overdirve, or do most guys do that with pedals? How are the transients tamed?
  20. Interesting question...

    As for features, few "pro" level bass amps come with effects. There are exceptions (eg., sub-bass effect on SWR heads). Comp and dirt are usual pedal, or rack based in the case of comp.

    Transients are tamed through good technique ;)

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