Really need help...first time amp buyer!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Clairebe, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. Clairebe


    Apr 9, 2002
    I'm looking for advice. I am not a bass player (yet). I know which bass I'm getting. I just have NO idea whatsoever about amps.
    I know you can get practice amps. I know you can get big expensive amps, which are presumably used for gigs.
    I want something that I can use to practise, that possibly has a headphone socket as well (would be useful, but not necessary) and that I could also use for small gigs. Hopefully something that is actually decent. I would be willing to save up and shell out for a decent amp if I knew it would be worth it, but if anybody can help me at all, I would be extremely grateful. Thanks.
  2. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    The good news is: There are lots of great choices at different price levels.
    The bad news is: There are lots of great choices....etc.:D
    Meaning, your ears & budget are the final correct decision.
    What style you'll be playing & the $$ are the main factors. Ask 50 players here, you're gonna get 60 answers, & they will all be right!!
    So-play through the major high-end brands 1st-
    Eden, SWR, Ashdown- find the top of the line models & play them (Look at their websites for specs)

    Then go down in price to the "intermediate" level,
    i.e. Carvin, Peavy, soem Ampeg, etc. & do the same.

    I would stay away from the "cheap" stuff, only 'cause if you keep playing, it will wind up collecting dust when you upgrade, a never-ending process!

    You usually get what you pay for (usually). Most of the mfrs, make some very cool sounding rigs with tons of features, some very unique, each has its own character- You gotta decide which suits you!

    Now get out there & have fun!
  3. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    You should buy the SWR Workingman 12.

    And, behold, it came to pass...
  4. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    That would be one very good choice-
    I had A WM 10 I liked-
    but maybe Clairbe is wealthy, and could look into BabyBlue, or the Black Beauty-
    Or an Eden Metro- or their new Time Traveler 10
    Or those totally great Ashdowns
    Or an EBS Drome...

    Or maybe with the money saved on a Carvin PB,if it sounded fine,for providing a consultation, Clairbe
    could buy me the Demeter tube amp w/ a Kern IP-77 preamp....maybe.....:D
  5. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    By used. You will find that your tastes in amps will develop very quickly. Chances are good that you will sell your first amp within a year. If you buy used at a good price, you will not suffer a big loss.

    I recommend a Peavey TNT 150 or similar. These are solid, reliable, decent sounding amps that can be had cheaply. Plus, there will always be a market for it used.
  6. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    I like how ampeg is in the same category as peavey and carvin.... that's cool... i guess.. nevermind that it's the defining bass sound for rock music.. anyway, done ranting.

    My suggestion, get the cheapest thing you can bother to play on. No matter how good a pracice amp sounds, you can't use it with a drummer, so i suggest saving money on the practice amp, and saving up for the real one later. My first practice amp is still going strong, its a crate BX-25 i think... Carvin also makes some really good stuff for the money. that's my suggestion, and good luck... oh, and if you can play it first, i definatly support the "go used" mentality.
  7. ndjx


    Oct 26, 2001
    How about the Gallien-Krueger combos? Maybe the 400RB-III 2x10 combo or the Backline 115?
  8. I have to second the swr workingman's series, I have the 12 combo and love it. You can play some smaller venues with it (better be REALLY small), and it has a headphone jack as well.
  9. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    I meant the appropriate series in the intermediate price range, Falsehood-stop ranting!!!:D

    I used a B15N long before they "re-issued" them-
    The defense rests!;)
  10. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Whatever you do don't buy an Avatar cab. Anyone get that joke??? :p :D
  11. Clairebe


    Apr 9, 2002
    Ok, could anyone please explain to me what certain amps can and can't be used for as well? Like what a combo amp can actually do, and what a practise amp can do.
    I know I'm stupid. I'm only learning.
  12. To answer your last question :-

    Practise amps are used for practising - my take on this is low power amps meant for when you're in your home practising the bass - you don't need a lot of power in your bedroom or wherever.

    A combo is a style of amp that combines the amplifer section witha built in speaker cabinet - possibly one or more speakers. Most 'practise' amps will be combos.

    Other people go for a variety of different combinations of amp heads (a separate amplifier section that contains both a pre-ampo and a power amp) and speaker cabinets. The speaker cabinets need to output from the amp head to work. Speaker cabinets come ina variety of shapes and sizes with many different speaker sizes.

    Another possibility is a rack system where you buy separate pre-amp, power amp and speaker cabinets.

    As you're starting out, a combo (amp plus speaker(s) in the same cabinet is probably a good idea) They are a compromise but are a reasonable balance of power, portability and price (Hmm, the 3 P's!)

    The only combo I seriously considered is the Peavy TNT115. It has a single 15 inch speaker to give a good range of tones, is about 100watts output which is enough to practise and do small gigs and is reasonably portable!!!!

    Best bet is go look at some price wise, decide what you can afford in a reasonable amount of time and go and try as many different amps in your price range to see how they sound, how easy they are to get the sound you want, to move around etc. You might even consider how it looks - I don't know!!

    But you should really take some recommendations and go try them, then cross them off your list or keep them on it 'til you can make a final decision!

    Happy Hunting!
  13. I would go with the Workingman's 12 also. I have a Workingman's 10 but at this point realize I would have been better off with the 12 even though a little more money.

    Two other bass players I know have Hartke kickback 12 amps. They love theirs, but I wonder about durability in the long run