Practice amp for teen: Acoustic B20 / B100, Peavey Microbass / Minx, or something else?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Timobkg, May 7, 2019.

  1. Timobkg


    May 7, 2019
    I'm hoping you fine folks will be able to give me some guidance.

    My daughter expressed interest in playing bass, so I want to get her a practice amp. Usage would be playing at home, stuff like Green Day, alone or with me on guitar.

    I have an Acoustic B20 amp, purchased in 2008 and barely used, but the fuse blew as soon as I turned it on, and online research suggests it'll need the capacitors replaced. Cost to repair it is $75+.

    I looked on Craigslist for what's available locally, and I found the following options:

    Acoustic B100 MKII "like new" - asking $100
    Peavey Microbass III Made in USA - asking $65

    I also see Guitar Center has Peavey Minx 110s for $85-95 after tax and shipping, which I understand to be a slightly larger version of the Microbass.

    Given these 4 options:

    repaired Acoustic B20 for $75,
    "like new" Acoustic B100 MKII for $100,
    used USA Peavey Microbass for $65,
    used Peavey Minx 110 for $85-95

    What would be the best option? Or is there something else in this price range that I should be looking at instead?
  2. dralionux


    Feb 3, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    The newly redesigned Ampeg BA-108 bass combo amplifier answers the practice needs of bass players from beginners to pros. The biggest change Ampeg made to the BA series bass amps is the addition of a 60-degree wedge - lay it sideways to experience the BA-108 as a floor wedge monitor. For easy access, the controls for the 3-band EQ and volume are now on the front. Covered in durable black Tolex with reinforced corners and a headphone output for discreet practice, the Ampeg BA-108 bass combo amplifier is one you'll love!
    macmanlou and Morrighan like this.
  3. Morrighan

    Morrighan la Contessa Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Isle of Everywhere
    +1 for the Ampeg BA-108v2. Mine sees regular use, even with the "proper" rigs right here.
    dralionux likes this.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The Acoustic B series sound good to me but I don't trust Chinese made amps that trade on the name of a long defunct classic amp brand and weigh less than a bag of potato chips. The B20 already needing repair would be a red flag for me.

    I'd get a will last forever. Don't overlook the larger TKO and TNT models, many can be bought used for under $100 and are loud enough for playing with drummer buddies if she gets that far.
  5. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    Cost to repair the Acoustic is about 10 dollars and 20 mins of your time.

    I don't get the Acoustic bashing
    Everything is made in China Lol

    Even Ampeg has been bought n sold multiple times. Those are cool but Acoustic isn't.

    Ampeg been bought again too. The product before had absolutely nothing to do with the original company. Heck even fender been bought n sold zillion times. All using off shore labor.

    Get over the Acoustic thing.
  6. Timobkg


    May 7, 2019
    I hope you'll forgive my suspiciousness, but I find it hard to trust a recommendation that just copied and pasted the product description generated by marketing.
    dralionux likes this.
  7. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I have the v1 of that 108 Ampeg. Its great. Classic rock n roll. The v1 BA series are heavier than the v2, but usually that makes them cheaper.

    Peavey is usually a good bet too. Dont have experience with those particular models though.

    Check out Fender Rumble too. Same as the Ampeg, the v1 and v2 are heavy but cheap. The v3 are super light and amazing, you might be able to find a 40 watt for ~$100.
    ruju and Morrighan like this.
  8. ruju


    Dec 9, 2017
    Fender rumble 40 or 100...
  9. akrachanko

    akrachanko Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Western Pennsylvania
    Another +1 for the Ampeg BA-108, any of the versions. The BA-108 is a great little combo, as many have already pointed out. I've even used one on some smaller, lower volume gigs. You get the same nice Ampeg tone, but in a nice small package. Definitely one that should be in the running. :thumbsup:
    Morrighan likes this.
  10. Timobkg


    May 7, 2019
    I'm not the most comfortable with a soldering iron, and I keep reading that soldering inside an amp is dangerous if you don't know what you're doing and can lead to a nasty shock.

    There's also no way it would only be 20 minutes - maybe just of soldering, if I'm lucky. Between taking the amp apart (something I tried and failed at previously because I couldn't figure out how to gain access to the speaker), finding the capacitors I suspect have died, identifying the correct parts to order, ordering them, ordering a new soldering iron tip (mine is shot), and then doing the actual soldering once everything comes in and putting it back together... It's definitely the cheapest option financially, but if you assign a value to time...
  11. Timobkg


    May 7, 2019
    Looks like there's a lot of love for the Ampeg 108 here. Would it be loud enough to play with a guitarist using a 25-50W solid state amp?

    Does the wedge and angling it up really make a big difference?
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  12. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    "Loud enough" really depends on how loud you want the guitar amp. I play mine at about 7/10. Which is:
    A) enough for rehearsal with Marshall tube, cajon and vocals in PA,
    B) About as loud as I want to get without earplugs, and,
    C) About as hard as I want to push the little guy!

    The v1 doesn't have tilt back, but similar tactics (tilt stand, wedge) are most helpful with a drummer. Shouldnt matter if it's just guitar and bass.

    So, i think that would be enough, but if you see drums in her near future maybe shoot for 75-100w, and she will have room to grow.
    Morrighan likes this.
  13. Timobkg


    May 7, 2019
    Okay, thanks! That sounds much louder than we would need.

    I did find a used Ampeg BA108 for $55. It's an hour away, which is farther than I hoped to have to drive. Or I could get the Peavey Microbass, which sounds similar at 20W into an 8" speaker, nearby for $65 and save myself 90 minutes of driving.
  14. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Hard to say, I would definitely go test out the peavey and see what it can do. Do some research, sounds like there are different generations of the microbass of varying quality.
  15. Timobkg


    May 7, 2019
    I checked out the Peavey, and it sounded really good and was more than loud enough for my needs. I did really like that it was made in USA with components that have clearly stood the test of time, so I bought it. I had assumed that I need a lot of wattage and a big speaker for a bass amp, but I see now that is not the case.

    Thank you all for your help and advice.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  16. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Glad it worked out! Post a pic if you can
  17. Timobkg


    May 7, 2019
    Heh, alright, here you go:

    20190509_204745.jpg 20190509_204838.jpg

    The amp looks in really great condition for being as old as it is, actually much better than it looked in the classified ad. Maybe the previous owner cleaned it up for me.

    The previous owner was an older gentleman who played guitar, who had bought the amp for his wife many years ago so that they could play together.
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  18. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    You did great.
    alanloomis1980 and Timobkg like this.
  19. If she graduates to playing in bands you can upgrade to bigger and more powerful.
  20. squeaker


    May 28, 2018
    Despite whatever others here might feel about Acoustic, I recently compared a B25C to an Ampeg BA 108 for use as a band practice amp. Both amps have angled backs so they can be set up as monitors, which I like. However, I decided I preferred the tone of the Acoustic, and purchased it new (on sale) for about $75.

    Our band is mostly acoustic (guitars and banjo, me on electric bass, but no drummer). Despite my initial skepticism, I have found that the little B25 works well in band practice. Last night, we played at a rather small and cramped restaurant, and accordingly I decided to bring the B25 instead of my larger Fender amp. Again, I was pleased to find that the B25 was more than adequate for the task.