Practice Amp Showdown!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dean_CustomJazz, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. Dean_CustomJazz

    Dean_CustomJazz Guest

    Jan 23, 2002
    Well my birthdays right around the corner, and I just got a good report card so that means one thing....
    I got $250 big ones, and i've decided to invest in a slightly powerful practice amp. I'm lookin for good power, reliability, good sound, and most important LOW WEIGHT, since this is the whole purpose I want a practice amp (since i'm sick of lugging around my 2x10 and rack to practices). and I've narrowed it down to 3 choices:

    GK Backline 110- $259, 70 watts, 1x10 combo, built in distortion channel, very small, tilt back, but nicely "watted". even nicer weight: 30lbs

    Behringer Ultrabass 1200- $249, 120 watts, 1x12 combo, tuner out, mix in, bass enhancement control. good power, haven't heard many reviews, a bit on the heavy side: 48lbs

    SWR LA12- $249, 60 watts, 1x12 combo, tuner out, mix in, Steve Rabe designed preamp. the least wattage I will accept, I own an swr cabinet and very pleased with it, and not bad in the weight class: 36lbs

    I like all these amps alot, but I have no clue which one I shud buy :bawl:. as of now my top pick is the gk, because i like the size and wattage. but the others just look so good to :confused:
  2. I wanna hear the behringer too...I'm very interested in it...

  3. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I wouldn't get too worked up about the "watts" thing. Consider that the SWR has a larger speaker area which has a bigger impact on volume (all things being the same) than a mild increase in power.

    You need to hear them and buy based on sound. Otherwise, if you like your 2x10 setup, consider the same vendor; they probably voice their equipment in a similar way.
  4. Dean_CustomJazz

    Dean_CustomJazz Guest

    Jan 23, 2002
    I haven't heard anything bad about the backline 110 so far, alot pof people said it was pretty cool for its size.
  5. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    Missing from your short list is the Fender Bassman 25. For my needs the little Fender blew away two of the combo's on your list.

    I would suggest you forget about driver size and power ratings and concentrate on tone and functionality. A larger driver doesn't automaticly translate into a louder combo. Also a poor cabinet design / driver selection can eat up amplifier power.
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    after buying and returning many many amps, i'd suggest rethinking your spending plans.

    i too wanted the perfect, lightweight, practice amp and learned several things.

    -unless your drummer taps the drums like a 9 yr. old girl, nothing with a 10 inch speaker is going to cut through the mix (was that sexist?).

    -peavey makes the loudest (but unfortunately the heaviest) amps for the buck.

    -in order for an amp to compete with drums my experience tells me it has to be at the very least -100 watts.

    - if you're going with wattage less than that i wouldn't be too concerned with tone, because you're going to have to crank the amp big time and your tone is going to be basically distortion.

    if i were to shop for something new and lightweight i'd check out the new ampeg line. i've never played through one, but i've seen them, they look mighty cool - and all the reviews i've read claim they truly break new ground. they cost a bit more, but might be worth saving for. i'd also recommend doing yourself a HUGE favor and buying whatever you do at a guitar center or other big chain. what you hear in a store or someone's house is soooooooooo much different than what you hear when you get the amp in with your band. it's a comforting feeling to know you can return an amp without any hassle if it doesn't quite make the cut.
  7. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    fourstringrebel has a behringer 60, and I was pretty impressed by it. I guess the 120 would be even better.
    For me, a practice amp is something like a peavy microbass, I guess our definitions of pratice amp are a little different.

  8. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Have you played the SWR LA 12 yet? It was definitely not the amp for me. Not that I was in the market for a 1x12 but if I were.... It's miles behind the WM 12 in tone. To me the highs were overbearing and terrible sounding even with the treble backed off. The bottom lacked real meat. I'm a fan of SWR too and currently play through and SM-500 head.

    brad cook
  9. by "practice" do you mean practice by yourself or practice with a drummer?
  10. Dean_CustomJazz

    Dean_CustomJazz Guest

    Jan 23, 2002
    mostly by myself, and sometimes jsut jamming with my drummer
  11. fender58

    fender58 Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Southern California
    I tried a bunch of practice amps for me and my bass in my room, sometimes with other players, but no drummer, and settled on a used peavy minx 110 for $100.
  12. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    Practice Amp = Fender Bassman 25 :cool:
  13. ndjx


    Oct 26, 2001
    Why don't you try looking for a used Son of Bertha 1x15 to go under your 2x10?
  14. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    i second the reccomendation for the fender bassman 25. It is small and lightweight, not sure exactly how light exactly, but defenitly light enough. The wonderful thing is that it sounds HUGE compared to other amps of similar size/weight/price. Also the peavey microbass and minx 110. But I would still prefer the fender, has a much bigger sound than it should according to the laws of the natural universe.
  15. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    The Fender Bassman 25 is a great amp. If your drummer could control himself, it would be a very cool marriage of weight and tone.

    The Fender Bassman 60 would probably be better though. The 12" speaker will really help.

    However, if you are willing to sacrifice some on the weight, I recommend the Ampeg B100-R. It's about 60lbs. But as long as your drummer isn't a hamhanded wonder, you should be able to practice with it. If your drummer is good about controlling his volume, the Ampeg B50-R should be about 40lbs, and the same great tone.
  16. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    I can't speak for the GK or Beringher but I was definately UNDERwhelmed by the LA12. To me it lacked power, punch and decent tone.

    While I compared practice amps I was looking for the same criteria as you. Sound, Weight, Price.
    I bought a Peavey Basic 112 for around $260 new.
    The Basic 112 will work in a practice environment. I've used it for practicing with two bands. One with a very loud drummer and lead and it workes fine. I like the tone of the Peavey even better then my gig rig.

    If you have the opportunity, test your choices side by side to make your decision. Everyone has their own opinion but only you know what sounds good to you.

    As far as your choices go I think all have a decent reputation for quality, but find out if they have a authorised repair facility in your area. This isn't necessiairly the store from which you bought it because they may just ship it out.

    Good luck with your new toy and Happy Birthday!

  17. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I ended up with a Tech21 Landmark 60, but I was really impressed with the Bassman 25 and 60, too.
  18. I wanna try the Behringer Ultrasoung's like $250 for 120w 112 w/ 2 channels and a footswitch....oooh....footswitch

    I dunno how it sounds though,anyone have experience?

  19. mrbaloo


    May 9, 2002
    I tried out the Behringer Ultrabass 1200 (120W@heavy dist) and spent some time at a music store when I was to buy a new combo amp. With some Epiphone (EB-0, EB-3 & Thunderbird IV) and Ibanez (SR-series) basses I didn't get "the sound" I wanted. I guess that I didn't get lucky that time. So I would recommend anyone that has an interest in this amp to bring their main bass to a store and try it out before buying anything. I have heard both pros and cons about this amp and the spec's are impressive for that money...

    /MrBaloo - ended up buying an EBS Drome 12" instead
  20. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    For a Practice amp, no one beats Peavey Amps, like the Peavey Basic 112 for instance.
    Excellent power output for its size, inexpensive and very reliable. Very hard to beat in my opinion.