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Help with first amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by digitalman2112, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. digitalman2112


    Jan 23, 2012
    Hi everyone,

    I just purchased my first bass guitar and am looking for a decent amp to go along with it. I basically want something just for practicing and probably recording also. Should also mention I'll likely be playing with drums/guitar too. I've been looking through amps all day and basically right now I'm looking at these two:

    Behringer Ultrabass BXL450:

    Behringer Ultrabass BXL450 45W 1x10" Bass Combo: Shop Bass & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend

    Acoustic B20:

    Acoustic B20 1X12 Bass Combo Amplifier: Shop Bass & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend

    I'm not too inclined on bass amps, and am currently taking a look around on these forums but thought I'd post to get some additional input. I notice the Behringer has quite a bit more power to it: 45W vs. 20W.

    Besides your basic input right now I'm noticing two things: The Acoustic doesn't seem to have a gain control knob? and also the Behringer doesn't have knobs for bass, mid, and treble? or is that what the FBQ sliders are the equivalent to?

    Some other stuff I'm wondering about:

    My friend who plays guitar has a Fender Mustang II which saves preset tones and whatnot...can either of these do that sort of thing?

    For recording, my friend's Mustang has a USB output that connects to his PC and sounds great. I haven't seen that on any bass amps I've looked at, but I know you can use a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter, does that give decent quality or? and can that be done on the Behringer? It states it directly on the Acoustic but I don't see it on the Behringer.

    I know thats a lot of questions, but any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Rule number one: More knobs does not necessarily equal better tone.
  3. JimWasHere


    Sep 8, 2010
    Portland, OR
    What kind of music you intending to play? What's your price range? Are you playing with a drummer?

    The best thing I can suggest is to go down to your local GC and just start playing through all their bass amps. Take your bass, and have some idea of what you want your tone to be like, even if it's just a copy of your favorite bass player's tone. If you're going to be playing with a band any time in the foreseeable future, you might want to get something big enough to compete with a drummer. Most important though, is actually playing stuff. The internet is not very good at telling us what amps sound like :p
  4. if you're going to be playing w/a drummer and guitarist those amps won't have enough power. You need 100 watts or so if you're in a smaller room. Check the stickies in the amp forum here for some recommendations, plus hitting GC as the above poster suggested.
  5. digitalman2112


    Jan 23, 2012
    Hmmm...I'm back to looking around. I'm looking at Marshalls now because I realized the Behringer seems great but has no output for recording from what I can tell, and the Acoustic also seems great but no gain control seems like a big setback to me.

    I'm mostly going to be playing rock, classic rock, prog rock, etc. Zeppeling, Rush, and Red Hot Chili Peppers would be the top three things I'm going to be wanting to play.

    Price range, I was hoping to cap at $150, but up to $200 could be possible. I want to be able to play with a drummer later down the road....is Watts essentially = Volume for amps? What wattage would be appropriate to play with a drummer?
  6. digitalman2112


    Jan 23, 2012
    Hmmm.....really? I know that the Mustang II is 45 Watts and I've heard that thing first hand and it seems like it can go more than loud enough to play with drums. Is it just different for bass that you need at least 100W?
  7. sounds like you're going to have to go the used route w/that budget, lots of good stuff out there like a Peavey TNT130, etc. I'd stay far away from Behringer stuff.

    Volume is roughly related to wattage, yes, but it's more complicated than that. A number of other factors are in play.

    Highly recommend you do a little homework in the stickies here so you understand amps a bit better, there's a lot of good info here, and information is power ;)
  8. the low frequencies of a bass require a lot more power than what's needed for guitar. A guitarist w/a 45 watt amp has about all they'll ever need for most applications. I've found personally that in a rehearsal room situation w/a band 100 watts w/(a) decent speaker(s) is minimum.
  9. peteygrizz


    Mar 31, 2011
    Blackwood, NJ
    You are going to want a 15" combo with a minimum of 100 watts to be able to hear yourself with a band. For your price range, check craigslist and keep an eye out for Peavey combos with 15" speakers such as TNT series. They are usually 100 watts and more than loud enough to start a band. These are great bang-for-the-buck starter amp. My first amp was a TNT 150 and I still have it 16 years later and it still works well. I often see these in my area for $100-200. Bid $25-50 less than asking price and only buy if you can try it out first, Make sure it can be turned up at least halfway before it starts to distort with a heavy attack.
  10. JimWasHere


    Sep 8, 2010
    Portland, OR
    This is kinda relative to a lot of things, like how loud the band is. Considering your price range, you might also want to consider either a headphone amp until you have enough cash to get a bigger rig, or a modeler until you can get a bigger rig. One of the advantages of starting with a modeler is that once you get a rig, you can sort of start with some of the tones you've already had. Just remember that it's not the real thing :p The modeler and a set of good headphones will definitely get the job done for your practicing/recording goals, and some of them have recording interfaces of one kind or another.

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