1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Need a good SUPER light U-bass amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sonicblue62, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Hey all, I work at a college and some of the uke-playing faculty just started a Friday jazz-uke jam at the campus coffee shop. I played today with the Samick ABG that I keep in my office, but would love to bring my fretless u-bass to the gig (which will be happening weekly). Problem is my only "small" amp (a UK made Ashdown Electric Blue) still weighs 40 or 50 lbs and is not something I want to haul 1/2 mile across campus every Friday for a 45-minute jam session. Any suggestions for a light (like, 1-handed-light) preferably inexpensive amp? It doesn't even need to be that loud since I'm competing with unplugged ukes in a small, usually uncrowded coffee shop, I just want it to sound like a bass amp. The Fender Rumble 15 looks like it might fit the bill in terms of size & weight, but I have never tried one. Thanks for any input!
  2. Take a close look at the new Fender Rumble 40. Class-D power section coupled with a world class pre-amp. Weighs only 18 lbs. $180. Arriving stateside at the end of this month. This is the model that replaces the Rumble 30. Sweetwater also has brand new Rumble 30's on a super closeout sale of only $130 shipped.

  3. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I'd suggest a small handtruck. Even the lightest amp in the world will be annoyingly heavy after a 1/2 mile.
  4. Roland Micro Cube Bass RX*

    Cheap & Light. Remove the strap the cube came with and use a regular guitar strap to haul it (about 15 lbs). Bonus, it runs on batteries, so if the jam moves outdoors or somewhere else without power, you can still be heard with/above the ukuleles.

    It works well enough for me for the annual Kirstmeis wandering-minstrel type gig through a noisy shopping mall – a 45 minute stroll with it on my shoulder.

    *May not fit your fidelity requirements.
  5. lbladams

    lbladams Guest

    Probably more than you want to spend, but I find my Phil Jones Cub to be really versatile. And 11 pounds. Output is kinda directional close up, but a very versatile product.
  6. I forgot to add that if you get the hand truck, get a bungee cord to make sure your amp doesn't fall off. That would be more annoying than carrying the amp the 1/2 mile.
  7. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    A small class-D head like a GK MB200 and a 1x10 cab would work. Or a bigger cabinet on wheels.
  8. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
  9. Hand carts rule. Whatever you decide on, check the amp will accept the piezo pickup. I need an extra preamp in front of some amps with mine. The pickup has high output but needs a hoofy impedance on the receiving input or it dies.

    I'm pretty sure my mb200 works, I'll check tonight. Add a coffeehouse 10 for more poke than you'll need for the uke jam but a more worthy spend than another small combo. You'd probably do two of the tens and sell the Ashdown.
  10. If you have the cash, Phil Jones Flightcase. Works great with my Ubass
  11. bassfreakah


    Mar 26, 2011
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    I have a old rumble 15 i got at a pawn shop for 25 and up graded the speaker to a Jensen mod 8 in, It works fine for acoustic shows with no drummer, it has a nice sound too. Also have used it for bigger acoustic shows using a DI for front of house with no problems.
  12. lccben


    Dec 2, 2005
    Check out the Ibanez Promethean. Amazing amount of watts for the price. Super compact. I use it with an acoustic U-bass and it sounds great. Carvin also makes a portable amp, too
  13. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    If the venue has a PA, you could bring a 1-lb DI and simply plug in. A Radial JDI would work fine for that.

    Or possibly piggy back on someone else's amp and plug into that?

    Doesn't sound like you need much volume.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ampeg BA108 is my choice for gigs like that. Mine kills with upright. 27 lbs, 25w, 8" speaker, a hundy regular price, but I've seen them on sale for $80.
  15. nshuman


    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    PJB Double Four or BG-100
  16. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    Either this or the Double Four would make the fretless U-Bass for the OP sound amazing (I've played my U-Bass through both, with excellent results). Especially for holding down the low end in a uke group, the Double Four would be ideal. And at 7lbs, you could easily throw it in a backpack.
  17. Noonan


    Oct 27, 2011
    Get an old golf pull-cart and a ratchet strap.
  18. I end up suggesting gear for new middle school bass players quite often, and light is a common request. Recently I picked up an Eden EC8 after looking at specs -- 25w, 11lbs, $100. It's not going to blow you out of the water volume-wise, but the tone is great and it's absolutely tiny.

    Seems to me people aren't really talking about these in light of all the other good cheap gear out there, but if you're looking for ridiculously light the only other amp out there is the Markbass 801, and it's $500.
  19. katysax


    Nov 5, 2012
    I play the UBass with a uke jam group. The Phil Jones Double Four is fantastic for that purpose. It is incredibly light yet more than loud enough. I also have the Phil Jones Cub, but while that is light for a bass amp it is quite a bit heavier. I've used the Phil Jones Cub in a large hall and it was still loud enough, the double four would not be, but for most rooms the Double Four works fine. The sound quality is very good too.

    I've tried using the Roland Micro Cube and, not only is it heavier, it is not powerful enough and the sound easily distorts. The sound easily gets swallowed. The Double Four is quite a bit more expensive, but worth it.