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Looking for compact amp on a tight budget

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by aislar, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. aislar


    Sep 16, 2008
    Hello talkbass,

    I play a lot of instruments in my band, and can't afford to have pricey gear for any of them. In fact, I've played bass for two years now and still don't own an amp. I've been borrowing or renting. But we're now gigging a lot more frequently, often playing with bands that don't have bass players, and this just isn't making sense anymore.

    There's no live drums in this band, just electronic beats via computer, synths, and a guitar. Our music isn't very loud and the venues we're playing are pretty small so my volume requirements are not too high. However, our touring vehicle is quite small, so I need a small amp. I'd greatly appreciate suggestions of amps that I should consider and try out. My price range is $250-350, but I can probably afford something slightly out of this range if I can track it down used. Thanks so much in advance to anybody with any input!
  2. conte2music

    conte2music Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    I've had a good experience with my fender bassman 100. I think they are around $350. I've had mine for about 3 years. The volume pot went bad, pianosnstuff fixed it under warranty quickly and I've had no problems since. 100 watts, 10 inch speaker, line out, switchable tweeter, mute button, rca inputs, sturdy handle, -db cut, ground lift for line out, and it's under 25 pounds. I think it's a nice little package. I've turned a number of my buddies on to them and they love them also.
  3. ReBass

    ReBass Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    The Bassman 150 is nice also for a little more $. 12" speaker, 150 watts. I recently sold a used one for $200.
  4. BeauZooka


    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
  5. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Since you play multiple instruments, a Roland keyboard amp might be a good choice. They need to reproduce heavy lows, so they'll work for bass, plus they sound good with guitar. In fact, the lead player in my current band uses one in lieu of his all-tube Mesa and Marshall combos. I wouldn't go that route myself, but he does sound good. And these things have multiple channels, so you can run multiple instruments simultaneously.


    I posted a link to the 60 watt version because it's in your price range new, but I'd look for a more powerful model on the used market for use with bass. The models with 15" speakers would be preferable.

    Or, try to find a used Roland Cube 100 bass combo. I use one, and it's excellent. It sounds decent with guitar too.
  6. If your drums are electronic then i suppose you have a sufficient PA to reproduce them. In that case you can also go direct with your bass into the mixer. No amp needed. Maybe a Zoom B2 to colour your sound.
  7. guitarsark


    Nov 30, 2007
    Hartke Kickback 12 sounds great 125watts loud
  8. SWR Workingman10, the old ones made in Sylmar... the specs seem wimpy, 80 watts and a 10" but they have a fantastic tone, compact size and a lot louder than the specs lead you to believe. It will fit your situation (easily). A used one is certainly under $200, maybe even under $150 now.

    We put an old 70s EV 10" 4 ohm woofer in it... unbelievable punch.
  9. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
  10. aislar


    Sep 16, 2008
    Thanks everybody for all your suggestions! I'm definitely going to track down a Fender Bassman 100, Roland Cube, and SWR 10, and perhaps some of the others if I can and try them all.

    However, Link Wray's idea seems pretty amazing to me as well. No amp! Something I hadn't considered. I don't know very much about gear, so it never occurred to me that going directly into the mixer was an option. I mean I'm sure it will take away a bit from how "live" the band feels, less sound coming from the stage and all...but then I'd be able to afford a bass guitar upgrade, and have less gear to cart around. We only recently "went electronic", so I'm still learning. I suppose if I start putting the vocals+computer through a mixer on stage I'd be able to put the bass through that as well. Thanks again everybody!

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