help me out with a bass combo under $350

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by muhammadsmith, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. ok. this is my first post. i don't play bass currently, but i've played around with it and i'm about up to where you play basslines that arpeggiate the guitar chord rythmn line. sorry, i thought i'd start out with something about me :D

    anywho, my friend is going to pick up bass, and i'm going to teach him what i know. i'm doing this mostly so i'll have someone to jam with. i need advice on a buying a good bass combo that can compete sonically with a 115w 2x12 guitar combo and a full-size 5-piece drum kit. dude doesn't have alot to spend, around $200-$350, and is willing to buy used. looking for more of a punchy, bright sound than a warm, boomy sound, if that helps any (you can tell i don't know jack about bass amps). i thought about a crate bx100 or some gallian kruger 100w combo i saw. i know basses need more headroom for volume spikes and all, and i don't know how loud a 100w bass amp is compared to a comparable guitar amp rating. any help is much appreciated :)
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    4 times the wattage of the guitar amp seems to be a common rule of thumb for bass amplification. Takes way more power to move those low frequencies cleanly. Dunno if you're gonna be able to find that kinda wattage for $350 or not... 200W would probably work nicely if you can get the other guys to jam at reasonable levels. You can probably find an Eden/Nemesis combo used for those kinda bucks... 225W and a nice sounding amp.

    Good luck, and welcome to TalkBass

  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I've kept up with a loud drummer and 100watts of guitar with a 100'ish watt Roland combo w/ a 15" speaker in it. if your just learning and having fun making noise... I'd get a 100 to 200 watt 1x15" Crate or see if you can find a nice used Peavey combo (TKO, TNT, Combo 300, etc) they can be had for less then $300.

    Listen to any of the Sprout MP3's on the page in my sig to hear the roland combo with a 7-piece drum kit and 100watts of solid state guitar thru a 2x12" cab.

    Have him string his bass with Stainless steel Round wounds and it will be bright and punchy enough.
  4. thanks for the great advice so far.

    ok, here's an addendum to my question: some things i thought about that i could be right or wrong about.

    1. to my knowledge, output rating in watts has alot less to do with the volume of an amp and alot to do with how quickly the signal clips. speaker size tends to dictate the amount of air moved, and thus volume. so would a 100w amp driving a 15' speaker be about as loud as a 250w amp driving a 15' speaker, except that the former clips the signal faster if you crank it more? i mean, if it's a combo, hopefully the parts are paired up so that the amp isn't driving a speaker that is so much louder than the amp can drive, so most volume levels won't clip.... at least, that's what i would think with an amittedly *very* shaky understanding of bass amps.

    2. i wonder if a quieter amp would work out better if it were angled for better projection in the room (garage) than the guitar....

    3. maybe a compressor/limiter for a bass would allow you to crank a quieter bass louder since it should eliminate volume spikes (i may be way off base, i don't know, that's why i'm posting this to hear real opinions from people who do know what they're talking about)....

    please tell me if these assumptions would hold true in practice. thanks again for the help :)
  5. I was looking for some time for a new amp and finally settled on an Ampeg B100R. 100w with a 15" speaker. It sounds REAL nice and it seems pleanty loud, although I haven't really put it to the test yet.

    I found mine on-line at EBAY for $320. I play my Fender P-J bass through it and it sounds awsome! I would highly recommend checking one of these out. Also, do a search for them here at TB - people really have a good impression of these!

    Have you looked at They have customer reviews of everything! I was thinking of a Crate myself but then I read some iffy stuff. In my opinion it is worth spending a little more cash-ola to get something sweet!

    Later -
  6. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I'm getting by just fine with my Crate BX-100. 100w into 1-15" speaker. I preferred it over the Ampeg because it suited my ears better. Ran me about $325 new. One advantage over the Ampeg is the 7-band EQ. The other amp you might consider would be the Ampeg BA-115.
  7. k. i'll move this up a little....
  8. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    That would probably do the job for now.
  9. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I'd take an ampeg BA115 over the crate. They are $429 in musician's friend, but I bet you can find a used one.
    They aren't my personal favorite, but alot of people dig them, and it is high quality.
    However you said you wanted "bright". I'd suggest getting an amp with a tweeter then. The BA115 doesn't have one.

    Does the Peavey Combo 115 have a tweeter? You might look at that.

    If your bass player is having trouble cutting through tell him to boost his mids. That will help. Also if your just jamming don't crank your guitar and I think you'll be fine.

    Finally- the biggest factor in how loud an amp will be is wattage and SPL. SPL is a spec. all speakers have, the higher the better. If I understand correctly a 100 watt 100SPL cab, will be roughly the same volume as a 200 watt 97 SPL cab.

    Maybe Bgavin can clarify better.
  10. mindblowing, chris

    "my" bassist (the dude i'm jamming/trying to teach what little i know) just bought a 70s epiphone bass w/a pro refinish and new tuners for ~$100. mistake?

    yeah, i'm probably going to just crank my guitar amp down until dude gets a real setup. i figure if dude ever needs to start gigging, he can but something loud then, and just get a practice amp for now.

    would a workable gig setup be just going through the line-out on a pod pro rackmount unit straight to a pa? i know line-out is usually dumb with normal preamps, but i've heard decent things about dma line-outs (at least for guitars) and this one has speaker emulation, so....
  11. is a tweeter the same thing as a horn?
  12. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    Running the Pod straight to the PA would sound fine to the crowd, but the bass player might not be able to hear himself which would be bad.

    Also, the POD is a nice unit, but if your going the Direct Box route, there are some other pretty nice ones. Sansamp, and aguilar come to mind.
  13. so sansamp plus a monitor or two next to the bassist?
  14. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I wouldn't. I bought a Cyclops for $450. The deals are out there.

    At your price range look for these combos:


    You actually might do better getting a head with a sepperate cab.

    Avatar Speakers has a 410 cab for $250.
    On ebay you can find various heads between 100 and 300 watts for $100 to $200.

    You are right about the relationship between speaker area and volume. Sometimes in the studio I play their Crate 215 setup. It's 200 watts into 2 15" speakers. To me it sounds louder than my 600 watt Carvin rig. It just doesn't sound as nice.
  15. k. rogue sells a 4x10 cab and a 1x15 cab, both with tweeters. just how bad would this sound with a 100w-300w head?
  16. I would not recommend a Rogue. I have bought three Rogue brand items and sent back two.

    Get Crate before you get Rogue.
  17. well, i don't got to make a decision for awhile, so i'll move it up to so it won't get lost in the mix. advice is always welcome