Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Portable, inexpensive practice amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassManPatsFan, Feb 24, 2006.


  1. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Hey guys,
    I have been on the lookout for a small, portable practice amp that is relatively inexpensive to take to camp this summer and use as a better practice amp at home instead of my crappy fender frontman. I had been looking at the Phil Jones Bass Briefcase, but the price is really too much for me right now. The amp's portability though, was really intriguing to me.
    Basically I need something that is somewhat cheap (<450 or so?), but is also portable. The reason for this being that I have to carry it around (in one hand, mind you) taking it on a ferry and a bus going up to Nova Scotia for camp. So....something that is lightweight and has a nice handle or handles would be great.
    As for speakers and power, one ten inch speaker would probably be my maximum, because after that they seem to get pretty expensive and heavy. 100 watts or so would probably do it for me, but something that can play along with drums and acoustic/soft electric guitar would be nice.
    So, the most important part--sound. Seeing as my main amp is a Mesa 400+, I'm sure that I won't find an amp that is in any way comparable to the sound I get out of my baby, but I would like something that at least sounds half decent. I'm not really interested in 20 band EQs, or programmable digital effects, just a nice solid amp that can sound good, get a little loud, and be carried around easily.
    Any thoughs or suggestions for good practice amps that meet my desires? All help is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    -Alex
     
  2. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Sounds like a used GK 150 or 200MB is what you're looking for. You can find older ones on the cheap. I have one in my dorm room, and it's great. Good for smaller non-rock sorts of gigs too. 25 pounds, 80ish watts into a sealed 12, good tone, and flexible eq.

    Otherwise, you might be looking at a used SWR Workingman's 10 combo. They are about 30 pounds, 80 watts, and pretty small.

    Those are two off the top of my head.
     
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I think those GK little backline 110/112 sound pretty good for the $$. They are small, light and easy to use. As long as you understand what you have and it's purpose, they are pretty handy to have.
     
  4. BillytheBassist

    BillytheBassist

    Aug 18, 2005
    Texas
    Hartke A series.
     
  5. mlbarlow

    mlbarlow

    Apr 26, 2005
    Plattsburgh, NY
    I like my Hartke Kickback 12 a lot. I got rid of my stack years ago for something that I could carry on my own. (Nobody likes the bass player that can't carry his own gear :smug: ). It suits all of my playing needs which include small venue jazz, funk, blues, and shows.

    I do like those GK 150s though, and may trade in for one of those eventually.
     
  6. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I also have the GK MB150S and absolutely love it. However, it is pretty expensive but if you find a used one you can save a ton on it.

    For some lower cost options, look at Peavey. I played through a Microbass prior to buying my GK and it's a really nice little practice amp. The Minx is a little bit bigger and also gets pretty nice reviews. I've never played through one, but there's a band I've seen play coffehouse type gigs around their bassist uses the Minx and he sounds great and gets enough volume out of it to boot.
     
  7. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Hey guys thanks so much for the replies so far!

    The GK MB150S is almost exacrtly what I'm looking for. My school actually has had one for ten + years, and it just crapped out on us at the beginning of this year, but it used to sound great prior to constant abuse by teenagers caused it to stop working! I see that they are rather expensive, but what are my chances of finding one used for a good price?
    How much do they usually go for used?
    Where might I find one used? I checked ebay, BassNW, Bass Central, and all the usual culprits, but couldn't find any.
    Thanks for the help!
    -Alex

    p.s. The backlines look like they're nice for the money, but at 40 lbs for teh 112 and 30 for the 110, they might be pushing it in the portability dept. The MBs are 26 pounds! Wow!
     
  8. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    You're talking about the Yorkville Sound XM50C. 30lbs, 50 watts, 1-10" and a very big sound. It beats out the Peavey Minx, the Roland Cube 30, the small SWR LA series (by a mile) and actually sounds much bigger than some 100 watt amps.

    I got one to replace my almost 20 yr old old Minx which I quite liked. It's a far better amp. In Canada the price was $320 Canadian. Should be under $300 in the USA.
     
  9. I use the workingmans 10 a lot for practice, jazz gigs and show work. It's a nice clean tight sound and can be had for200-250.