Im new to the bass, what amp do i need???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ganimast, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. ganimast


    Nov 21, 2007
    Hey guys, im a musician playing the guitar for 5 years now, and ive decided to learn the bass to expand my musical horizon, but....
    I know almost nothing about the bass lol

    My question is:
    I already have an amp for my electric guitar, so can i use that for my electric bass, or do i need a special kind of amp?

    Thank you ^_^
  2. Bass will sound pretty thin through most guitar cabinets/combos. For practice it might be barely acceptable, but for any kind of performance you will need a bass amp & cabinet.
  3. NMK Nate

    NMK Nate

    Nov 14, 2007
    Middleton, WI
    National Sales Rep, Full Compass Systems
    When I started learning I bought a cheap Kustom combo amp.

    It sounded terrible, and the input connector blew on it in 3 weeks. I chucked it in the garbage and used my Crate guitar amp for the first few months. (and it sounded better then the cheap amp I bought before)

    If you have a decent sounding amp, I'd say go for it. Just make sure to keep your gain down and you'll be fine.
  4. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Peavey is a great starter. They're not exactly well known for tone, but they're good work horses, and built like tanks.

    Oh, and welcome to TB. :D
  5. I would suggest finding yourself a nice size practice amp 100-150W that will be plenty great for practice and acceptable for playing in a practice space.

    Right or wrong, I never liked running my bass through one of my guitar amps for fear of damaging the guitar speakers. It just seems to me like the bass pushes them a little too hard.
  6. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    No matter what you get, your first bass amp will suck and you'll grow to hate it. I've never met a bassist who liked their first bass amp.

    Please don't bother shopping for a brand-new amp at first. It's a waste of money, and you lose value instantly. Go lookin around for a used combo in good shape. You have plenty of resources. Talkbass, Craig's List, local stores, classified ads... no need to dump money into a small cheap practice amp when there's tons floating around to be had for cheaper. Then in a year or two when you want something different, you'll better know what to look for and what to listen for. Especially what to listen for, cuz your ears will tell you what you don't like about your small practice combo. Experience is key, man.

    Crate served me well when I started out. I had a BX160 that had a 15" and decent power. It let me expand with an extension cab, and then when the time came I upped to an Ampeg rig when funds allowed and needs dictated it.
  7. blmeier7


    May 7, 2006
    Amarillo, TX
    I would not use a guitar amp for bass unless you can remain at low volumes. I damaged a friend of mine's guitar amp many years ago by getting the volume up a little too much. Are you planning on gigging or just need something for in home practice? There are a lot of low dollar combo amps that you can pickup used that will work great. My first bass amp was a Peavey combo and it worked well, I also had a Crate combo but it didn't last more than a year or so. Gallien Krueger makes a nice 1x12" combo that would be great, you can probably find a used one if you aren't in a hurry. If you decided to sell it down the road the value and demand would still be there.

    edit: I had the 1x8" (40watt??) Crate combo and this was about 12 years ago. Some of their larger combos may be worth looking at. I know that Crate is an okay choice if money is a big factor.
  8. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    First off, welcome to TalkBass!

    I have to agree with mjolnir. You just can't beat Peavey for a starter amp.

    I'd recommend just about any of them that are over 50W and have a single 12" or dual 10" speaker.

    The older TKO/TNT amps are absolutley bullet-proof, but weigh a ton. Can prolly find one of these cheap for >$200.

    I also had a Basic 50 that I wish I'd never sold. Great little practice amp, and might have worked for acoustic/coffee-house type gig. Or maybe small gigs with a not-so-loud band and PA support.

  9. Raul Amador

    Raul Amador

    Sep 17, 2007
    Vancouver, WA
    Executive Editor, Bass Musician Magazine
    I would avoid a guitar amp for the reasons already stated. I would also avoid anything smaller than 100w. I started with a Kustom 100w combo(under $200 when I got it) and that has worked well for starters and hasn't failed for years. I didn't really notice its shortcomings until I got a really good bass. I upgraded to a Eden head and accugroove cab and I love it!! ( I still keep the Kustom for backup)

    Good Luck with this!
  10. RedCoatMonster


    Aug 14, 2007
    Thomas, OK
    MY first amp was a Berhinger Ultrabass bx300 and it served its purpose pretty well. I know alot of people really dont care for Berhinger but this little combo was actually pretty good IMO, and only about $80 I do believe. Also, it gets pretty oud without distorting too and as far as it being reliable Ive never had a problem with it, still have it infact.
    As far as using a guitar amp goes, I would advise against it, you arent going to get good sound out of it, theyre just made for two totally different spectrums of sound. I did it with my buddy's 212FM Fender combo and I felt like I was about to make it set on fire ha ha ha.
  11. pulse


    Apr 10, 2007
    Berlin, Germany
    just dont buy a peavey combo man, dont do it

    I would look into a second hand trace elliot combo from the mid 90's with lots of booty shakin power if it were me

    some of those old 2x10s were really loud with 300 watts goin into them but still portable and bassy soundin

    sayin that I dont know what the maintanance issues are like ... who knows

    or how about an ashdown combo if giong new?
  12. pablosynfo


    Oct 17, 2007
    get hartke or a yamaha is good for starters acceptable tone, i use to have a peavey TKO 115 it sucked so bad
  13. pablosynfo


    Oct 17, 2007
    REMEMBER MY WORDS... DONT GET A PEAVEY COMBO hahaha seriously bro
  14. fredman


    Sep 23, 2005
    That's a pretty good synopsis, Bryan.

    One part I can add is, don't ask anyone for opinions on any products, because you will get folks that like it, and folks that hate it, no matter what it is, and you will still be looking for answers.
    I was going to ask what's the best combo for ~$150-200, but as I said, I would get all kinds of opinions and be no further ahead in my quest.
  15. asnutter


    May 11, 2005
    Southwestern PA
    I have to agree with what the majority of folks are saying...
    all of the points are worth consideration...

    biggest factor when deciding on the amp is "what is my intended use???"...

    are you using it primarily for practice, or will you eventually be competing with your buddies' drums, and 75 watt lead and rhythm guitarists???

    If practice is the main issue...
    Look into getting one of those line 6 110, 75 watters...
    it has 5 modeling amps, good power for its size, headphone jack, cd/mp3 inputs...pretty cool little combo...
    and there are some decent offers going on at the GC stores this weekend...log into their website and print off one of those "save 10%" coupons and that thing could fall within your price range...

    at some point...later in life... you will want to change your amp...

    best thing to do now is, weigh out your factors... much can i afford to spend??? much does it weigh???, will it fit into my yugo??? etc...
    3-multiple uses???...will it serve me for practice, small gigs, coffee shops...etc...
    4-trade in/resale much will i be able to sell it for???
    5-sound...does it sound good with MY bass(es)???

    no specific order on those things...and, dog-gone it if there aren't at least a dozen + amps within your price range to consider...

    Researching which product you want to buy is the fun part...
    After you buy it, you will probably miss the resarch part, and will want to sell your gear so you can get some newer, bigger, louder toys...

    it's a viscious cycle but, sheesh!!! it sure is fun...

    Best of luck!!!
  16. ninerfan


    May 28, 2006
    North San Diego
    I still have and use my 1st bass amp. It is an Ampeg BA115. You can pick one of these up used for around $200-250. It is a decent sounding amp with just enough power for me to keep up with 2 guitarists and a drummer. It also has stereo inputs and a headphone jack which is perfect for practicing without disturbing anyone. i just plug in my ipod, put on my headphones and can play while my wife and daughter are sleeping.
    Just my $.02
    Kmonz90 likes this.
  17. Nordskov


    Apr 26, 2007
    Get to the nearest music store and try out everything they have. Then you should have an idea of whats going on.
    When you have found your favorite, seach for it second hand.