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Newb looking for input on amp choices

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wb20, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. wb20


    Sep 9, 2008
    Asheville NC
    Hey Guys, I just signed up on TB, and started trying to learn bass this week. It's something I've wanted to do for 20+ years. Monday was my 42nd B-day, and came home to my wife & visiting mom to find they'd chipped in and bought me a J-Bass and practice amp for the occasion :) Just hope I'm not too old to learn new tricks!

    I determined the amp, a Fender Rumble 15, was too lame even for a beginner so it's been returned to the store. I've spent a bunch of hours searching TB for advice on inexpensive combo amps, and decided for now I'd like to spend about $200. These are the options I've found; any input (or other suggestions) would be appreciated.

    Used, $200, SWR Workingmans 10 "Pre Gibson", 80W/10"
    New, $210, Marshall MB30, 30W/10", nice addl outputs and electronics
    New, $210, Peavey Max 112, 40W/12"

    Other used stuff available, but ruled out:
    Used, $140, Peavey Max 110, 20W/10", Too small & priced too high
    Used, $135, Behringer Ultrabass BX1200, Many TB complaints about reliability/quality/sound
    Used, $100, Peavey TKO 65, Think these are over 20 years old - speaker condition?
    Used, $280, Crate BX100, 100W/15", TB consensus seems to be Crate is junk

    I'm also interested in the possibility of running it into my very capable stereo system, but that's for another thread.
  2. jtc_hunter


    Feb 16, 2007
    I would try that TKO. If it sounds good, they are workhorses and very underrated powerwise.
  3. try an ashdown electric blue. 180 watts through a 12" or a 15", good sound, built in compressor and subharmonic generator, loud enough for gigs, very good eq, i could go on but basically you get good bang for the buck and some nice extra features and some very nice sounds.
  4. Adam Bomb

    Adam Bomb

    Mar 26, 2008
    Bezerkely, CA
    +1 to the Ashdown. The EB180 head is loud and fun.

    Also I would give Acoustic a listen, e.g.:


    Enjoy! I am 43 and have been playing all of 4 years! :bassist:

    --Bomb :bassist:
  5. wb20


    Sep 9, 2008
    Asheville NC
    Thanks for all the prompt responses! JTC - the Peavey is a CL sale "found in closet of house we moved into, condition unknown, sold as-is" so it's a BIG if. They invited potential buyers to bring an instrument to test it, but I know stereo speakers that old are usually rotting away.

    I hadn't heard of the Ashdown or Acoustic brands. They both look good, though this is more variables in the mix (arrgh!) I thought I'd hear more positives about the used SWR, as they seem to have something of a cult following.

    I've also found two old TB posts saying home stereo systems based on the same amp (Adcom) as mine made great practice systems, though I have a few questions and big "ifs" on doing that. Part of me really dislikes buying a "compromise" combo amp when I already have a Big Black Box in my living room that's known to dump 1100 watts into 2 ohms!
  6. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    I'd go with one of the new Acoustic combos. The sound great and get loud for their wattage. I have the AB50, and it sounds great and is loud for a 50 watter. This one is $250, but you get 100 watts - enough to practice with a band when you are ready and maybe even play some small party gigs:


    They have them at guitar center, too. Really good amps for the money.

    Alot of newbie bass players buy the low wattage amps for practice and end up dissapointed. It takes alot more watts to push bass than it does for guitar. A 50 to 100 watter should work for you at practice volumes for a long time, and actually get decent tone. The little practice amps always sound like poo to me.
  7. I tried a Peavey Max 20 watter at GC, and was absolutely blown away. I had to keep examining it to make sure it was only 20 watts. I am looking for a grab-n-go amp in the under $200 range, approx. 25-50 watts, and that Peavey is probably where I'm going. I compared it to the Fender Rumble 25 and the Acoustic B20, and the Peavey really smoked them both in tone, volume and just plain depth of bass. I am going to bump-up to the 212 with 40 watts that you were looking at. It's only $50 more, and should give me enough juice to blend with some loud guitar or medium decibel drummer.
    My big fatty is the Acoustic B200, and I love it, but it's 70+ pounds, so you have to be ready to haul it. If I'm just playing with a guitar player, I would take the Peavey, if there's drums involved, the B200. The 200 has great depth of bass and infinite amount of EQ with 6 knobs and frequency notch control.
    It really just depends on what you want to do. If you are planning on jamming with other people, you definitely want enough juice to blend with the other instruments. It's always better to have more than you need, than not have enough.
    Hope this helps.

  8. I agree with this recommendation of the B100. You really can't touch the value, tone, and volume of this one. This would be a GREAT starter for you.

  9. +1 Ashdown. also the Marshalls are good.
  10. wb20


    Sep 9, 2008
    Asheville NC
    Thanks for the input guys. I'm afraid I screwed up, but at least it wasn't a terribly expensive screw up.

    I went to look at the Peavey TKO 65 and ended up buying it for $100. It's LOUD, it has the 15" black widow driver, I like the sound, and there is some sentimental connection, as I had an old college dorm mate with similar Peavey bass cabs.

    Now the downs -- the pots are scratchy, and it's been in a basement or something, and rancid mildewy. So I gutted it and pressure washed the cabinet. The particle board took on more moisture than I expected and suffered some damage. But it doesn't stink now! It's getting new black paint and grille cloth.

    Unfortunately, I just want to PLAY my new toy and don't have really time for another project. So I may just order a new Ashdown or Acoustic as suggested and get to it. (ack! I'm already into G.A.S.!)

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