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GOOD Practice Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MikeyFingers, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. The Peavey I've been using has pretty much died on me and it sounded like crap even when it worked. So I need something new.
    I don't mind if it's small, but not too small. I'm not in a band, so I don't need to compete with guitars and drums to be heard. But I still want it to have a good full sound and tone, and be able to shake the windows a little if I really want to.
    That's the thing that really kills me with practice amps, or "kickers". They have a very dull scratchy sound with almost no low end and basically sound worse when you turn them up. I want that full round bassy low end and clear sound if I crank it a little.
    Figure a max price of about $250-$300. Can I get a decent amp for that much?
  2. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    The amp I’ve been using for rehearsal and practice at home is the GK backline 112. It’s 100 watts at 8 ohms with a 12” speaker and sounds great. I bought it at Guitar Center new for $279.00.

  3. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have the GK backline 110 and it's GREAT. It's even got enough power for church ensemble, and even blues band rehearsal (with a reserved drummer), and the convenience of the kickback is great.
  4. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I just bought an Ashdown and for practice. Its 180 watts and a 12" speaker. I can't recall the model but I know its blue and weighs in at 37lbs. I ordered it from Music123 but they don't have any in at the moment. I have an old Peavey Combo 300 that weighs close to 90lbs and I just joined a band that practices in a basement and I figured for $299 it may not be as loud as the Peavey but it should sound OK for practice and be easy to carry. Besides I don't need to turn up the Peavey much at all so this amp should do the trick.
  5. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    The Alesis BassFire 60 is great bang for the buck. 60 watts, 12" sealed cab, built in tuner, effects, amp and cab modeling, compressor, etc, etc... More than loud enough for a dorm. Would even work fine for low to moderate level band practice or coffee house gig...
  6. Awesome, thanks guys. I never heard of the Alesis^ company, posted by Quadzilla. But I was never a fan of the built-in everything amps.
  7. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Try a Trace Elliot Boxer 65 12" speaker or TE's Commando 65 (12" I believe) or Commando 100 combo.

    I have a Boxer 30 and it is quite loud even enough to play with a drummer when put off the floor a bit. Nice TE sound. These can be had of ebay for sometimes > $100 or definately under 250 (depends on model). Simple to use, good tone, and a good value IMO.
  8. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    Anything from peavy is usually solid but, i see you've had some issues... I am currently using a hartke A35 for my apt and i've been more than pleased with it. I even used with a drummer one day and it held it's own against a pretty hard hitting drummer. You can get one for just around 200$
  9. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    FWIW, I'm trying out one of the new Roland bass cube 100's next week. If it's "all that", my GK Backline 110 will be going up for sale, and it's a fantastic amp. Amazing output for it's microscopic size... yep, handles a B string, too.
  10. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    For practice I use a cheap mixer, a small 100w studio power amp, and some bookshelf speakers. The tone is not as good as my main amp, but it is always setup so I can just pick up the bass and play :bassist:

    Plus I run the computer and CD player through the mixer for practice. Or hook up a mic for my ill fated attempts at learning to play and sing at the same time.

    Depending on if you already own speakers and/or a mixer, this setup could be under $250. However, the price of the cables really get you, so watch out.
  11. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    I just got a Eden Nemesis Silver Series, 2x8, 120 watts. Real deep, but not boomy low end, which surprised me, and great clarity. Built in RCA jacks, too, which are helpful for learning new stuff w/a CD. Maybe a little out of your budget, I paid $349 new, but has the ability to add an 8 ohm cab and boost power to 170 watts.
  12. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Don't forget to look at the Yorkville Sound XM50C. It's a very big sounding small amp that is in your price range. It'll get the sound you describe. I have one myself for home practice. I use it more than my Mesa Walkabout and that's an expensive but great sounding amp.
  13. HariKari


    Feb 21, 2005
    Payson, Utah
    Steamthief, where did you pick up your N28S for $350? That's a dead steal.
  14. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I know where to get a Nemesis Silver Series 1x12 for under $300...
  15. dave_p


    Dec 20, 2005
    i have a gk backline 112 as well and so far so good
  16. wurmhole


    Apr 10, 2004
    Aurora, Co
  17. I really dig my Ashdown MAG 200 combo. I don't remember what I paid but it was worth it; 200W/12", 5-band EQ, tilt-back cab. :cool:

    ~ Charlie
  18. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    HariKari, I'm new to posting here, is it cool to put in a shameless plug? I'll do it regardless! I bought my N28S for $349 from bassnw.com, factory fresh in the box from the Eden facility, though it was +$25 for shipping. Still the best price, by far, that I found, and no sales tax to boot. Also arrived within one week. First purchase from them, and I'm very pleased!
  19. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Surprise, AZ
    A used Ampeg B100r or B50r. Either should be within your budget and both are very cool. Vintage tone and looks for not too much $$.
  20. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I checked out one of the 100r's and IMHO, at 65 pounds, it was a bit much for something that was supposed to be pretty portable, and at $550 (new), seemed kinda' pricey.

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