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Minimum size and price for gig-worthy bass amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Smashingdugongs, May 1, 2018.


  1. Smashingdugongs

    Smashingdugongs

    May 1, 2018
    Hi, quite soon I have 2 gigs, not very big ones, I imagine sub 100 people, but I don't have a bass amp. I mean I do but according to literally everywhere on the internet it would be useless. I have an amp that came with my first bass, about 4 years ago, which I mainly use for practising at home, using headphones anyway. That amp is a 35W gear4music amp that cost like 40 pounds. I was in a band last year that was a bit heavier than my current one (which is more indie/alternative), but whenever we did gigs I just used the amp the bassist in the other bands brought or hired one. My predicament is that I am going to UNI next year and the rest of my band aren't, so I am sort of sceptical to buy an amp and then only use it for a few gigs. But then again, I am doing a bass course next year and will probably end up in another band anyway soooo...

    TL;DR What is the most affordable, portable, powerful bass amp that I can get for less than £200, which will serve me well for smallish gigs at the moment, but also bigger ones in the future? Or should I just take my chances with the 35W amp? Stacks or combo's welcome
     
  2. denhou1974

    denhou1974

    Mar 6, 2008
    You didn't say what kind of music. You won't hear that 35W amp on stage. For only 2 gigs take your money and go rent a bass amp or play through the monitors.
     
  3. Smashingdugongs

    Smashingdugongs

    May 1, 2018
    Ahh its mainly sort of indie/rock/alternative. I use a 5 string and tend to do lots of melodic basslines, we have 2 guitarists and a drummer who is quite metal-y. The reason I want to buy an amp is because we're expecting more gigs after that, and I plan to be gigging next year while I'm at UNI so I'm looking at amps now, while I still have money to spare ;)
     
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Without PA support, for a band with a drummer, you probably want 300 watts minimum, and 4 10s, 2 12s, or one decent 15.
     
    Bass_Thumper and frEQ like this.
  5. 1,000,000 dollars.

    200£ is about the same number in $US as their used gear is really cheap.

    I think you are looking for an old faithful Peavey 15'' combo.
     
    BadExample likes this.
  6. Smashingdugongs

    Smashingdugongs

    May 1, 2018
    Well I can't really afford more than £200 right now because I have to pay for UNI next year, which is very expensive. Thoughts on this?: https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_hb_300b.htm
    I have a Harley Benton bass and it's great, so I can't imagine it would be anything other than amazing value for money.
     
  7. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Read the details. Only 145W to the internal speaker. You'd need to add an extension cabinet to get 300W out of it.

    That said, 300W into 2x15 would be good (in theory) for producing the same volume level as a non-mic'd drummer.
     
  8. Smashingdugongs

    Smashingdugongs

    May 1, 2018
    Ahh I see. But considering I can't really afford to get a cab as well, would that HB do okay for smallish gigs until I can afford a cab?
     
  9. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    Used.

    ^^^^start here.
     
  10. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds

    Oct 7, 2016
    Go get something used. Look around your area, and come back here with your used options.

    Maybe Behringer at that price. But they may crap out in you.
     
  11. Smashingdugongs

    Smashingdugongs

    May 1, 2018
    Found this ashdown mag 300 used on gumtree for £160
     

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  12. Smashingdugongs

    Smashingdugongs

    May 1, 2018
    But theres not much else close to me
     
  13. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    If the venue has a PA, your amp can be mic’ed. A 25W tube amp can work well in a smaller, 100 person venue. Low power solid state amps don’t fair as well. But it really depe ds on how loud the band plays.

    Does your current amp have enought power when you are practicing with the band? Have you tried playing at gig level to see how it copes? I wouldn’t expect much out of a 40£ amp.

    I would contact a music shop and enquire about rental rates. At least you’ll know where you stand and that can help you make an educated decision.

    The Mag 300 isn’t a bad amp and will certainly do the job and then some. The problem is, you need to have enough experience when buying a used amp or combo to determine if there are any issues.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  14. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    That's a pretty good rule of thumb, and one that I personally subscribe to - with emphasis on a decent 15 if going that route and using just one (usually say two 15"s for good measure).

    As always the devil is in the details, but if you're not as picky yet as far as tonal preferences are concerned, most things in that range will allow you to get very loud, and hopefully have enough flexibility to do any functional tone tweaking that you might need.

    Just thinking back to when I went off to college (this was before the class-D and neo era), I took with me a GK 700RB-I and Avatar B210. Both were picked up used, and at the time I found both for just over $550 total.

    While that cab doesn’t meet the rule of thumb standard that I mentioned above, it did just enough to get me through all of the pit-gig and house-band needs while I was there. Once I started playing out, I just added another cab and I was good to go for all sorts of bigger stages with and without PA support. Best of luck!
     
  15. I was in exactly your position about 10 years ago. I bought a Trace Elliot 715 combo for £160, it was an absolute workhorse right up until I upgraded to a larger rig earlier this year.

    It's only 150w, but IME it kept up much more often than it didn't; I was asked to turn it down far more often than I needed it to be louder.

    Old trace combos tend to go for <£200 on eBay - where in the UK are you based?
     
    BadExample likes this.
  16. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player

    Jun 12, 2008
    A beat-to-hell but functional used Peavey 300W combo.
     
  17. Smashingdugongs

    Smashingdugongs

    May 1, 2018
    I'm in norwich, i'm not sure how much i trust the ebay route though, I kinda have to get this right because the uni im going to is gonna be expensive and im not even sure student loans will cover everything, but that's why i'm doing it now instead of waiting til next year when i'll be broke.
     
  18. Smashingdugongs

    Smashingdugongs

    May 1, 2018
    I also found an ashdown abm 300 with a 2 by 10 cab and a 1 by 15 cab for £350 but I might email the seller
     
  19. Hang in there. Killer deals pop up all the time.
     
  20. Smashingdugongs

    Smashingdugongs

    May 1, 2018
    Thoughts on a used Peavey Databass from ebay? The listing doesn't say how old but it says everything works and the pictures look fine. Also £80 seems pretty damn cheap for a 450 watt combo
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 6, 2021

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