Recommendations for budget gear

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by k_hardy, May 1, 2020.

  1. k_hardy


    Apr 16, 2020
    Northern England
    Hi all,

    I'm in the process of upgrading my gear currently, as I am needing more use and ability out of it. I've used a 20 watt combo practice amp for the past few years and am now looking for either a more powerful combo amp or a head/cab combo. Anything 40W up really. Suitable for small to mid-size venues and general use.

    I'm no expert in this area so can anyone recommend any gear? Budget-level price ideally. Thanks.
    Rojd likes this.
  2. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I would get a 210 and ~350w @8ohms. Sure, you can get by with less, but that’s a pretty good All-purpose starting point.

    head/cab is more flexible, and arguably the long-term option. But combos are cheaper, convenient and always perfectly matched (more “idiot proof.” ;) ) I’ve done the majority of my gigging on combos, but i think most of TB will tell you to go head/cab. So that’s up to you...

    IMHO a Fender Rumble 500 combo fits the bill perfectly. Cheap light and loud. And sounds great (but that’s totally subjective and debatable)

    If you’re not into the warm/vintage vibe the Rumble offers, and want a cleaner sound- Id look at a similar rig by Peavey, TC electronics, or GK.

    happy hunting! :D
  3. k_hardy


    Apr 16, 2020
    Northern England
    Thanks for this! I'd had a look at the rumble series and it looks pretty good - and I am a fan of the warmer vibe over cleaner. I'll investigate...
  4. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    40 Watts isn't likely to get you much more volume than the amp you have. What are you going to use it for? As mentioned above, the Fender Rumble series has a good reputation for bang for your buck.
    k_hardy likes this.
  5. k_hardy


    Apr 16, 2020
    Northern England
    I'll use it for small and medium-scale gigs, but predominantly rehearsals and practice.
  6. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Well if you're using it for gigs at all, you need a "gig rig." A 40 watt Rumble won't be enough. If you're getting "budget" gear (which isn't bad gear), I wouldn't go any less than a 1x15 at 250-350ish watts. I have an old 250watt Fender 1x15 Bassman that I brought to "rougher" gigs, and I could have played any gig I've ever had with that amp and we're pretty loud. Sometimes I had to crank it harder than I would have liked to, but it held up well. If you want more headroom, you'll have to get more.

    I'm just offering minimums here, given my experience.
    lomo, EatS1stBassist and k_hardy like this.
  7. oldrocker

    oldrocker Supporting Member

    IME Hartke, GK and even Peavey can provide some pretty good bang for the buck amp wise.

    Even more so if you can find something used.

    Good luck.
    k_hardy likes this.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Used gear is the way to go. I'd start my consideration with a Fender Rumble 100 V3 (the lightweight one) and go up from there to perhaps 250W. The 100 will cover what I consider to be a medium gig in a low power band, but not if you're in a loud band. You should buy more amplification power than you think you will need, because you can always turn it down to practice.
  9. DownUnder_Funk

    DownUnder_Funk Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Either a 150-200W combo, or something like a Trace Elliot ELF/TC BAM200 with a 112 cab would be a good starting point.
    Orestes Chouchoulas likes this.
  10. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Traynor SB112 is 200 watts and light weight. I have the head version and find it very usable.
    RickyRocknRoll likes this.
  11. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Forty watts won't come close to cutting it. Two choices on a budget:

    1. Fender Rumble 500
    2. Get a used 410 (heavy but loud), and a used head minimum 300 watts.
    k_hardy likes this.
  12. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Budget gear can mean different things to different people. What's YOUR budget look like?

    Agreed that 40 watts wont really get you much louder. Think 200+ and for sure 210 or 115. 1x12 can work, but probably not many budget ones.
    k_hardy likes this.
  13. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    I think different amps DO make a big difference on your sound. I play cheap basses, but not cheap amps.

    Get what really is your sound and start saving pennies.
  14. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    k_hardy likes this.
  15. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    Shop used market obviously. Whenever someone is looking for good gear for a cheap price I almost always mention first the older Peavey gear from the 80's and 90's that does pop up a fair amount of time on used markets. Not so much recently, however in the past on occasion I have come across on Guitar Centers used site Peavey 2x10, 1x15 and even some 4x10 cabs for less than $200...seen on occasion some going for less than $100. There is some decent 2x10 and 1x15 combos on there too. The older Peavey stuff is great for on budget, get's you a good rig for less than just a small cab of some other manufacturer. Some say the tone is not as good, well I'd say that can be expected yet a unfair competition, especially against stuff that has been coming out in the last 5-10 years. I have never had an issue with older Peavey stuff - sounds good, built like tanks and gets the job done.
    k_hardy and btmpancake like this.
  16. 4stringfarley

    4stringfarley Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2015
    Cajun Country
    Any one that ever has to look at their bank account buys "budget gear". That budget can be $300 or it can be $3000 so it's a pretty subjective term.

    What I do, decide how much I'm able to spend, and what my goals are. Then shop around for the best bang for my buck. Hop on market place or reverb see what fits that budget and search reviews. Just keep in mind there's people out there that hate a brand and others that would buy anything that brand sells and review accordingly. Also, people will give a product a one star rating because they didn't like the color of the box it came in others will give something 5 stars before they receive it. The modern era with all the info available online (you still find 20 year old equipment with little in regards to reviews) it's a lot easier find something you'll be happy with.
    k_hardy likes this.
  17. 4stringfarley

    4stringfarley Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2015
    Cajun Country
    Owning old used Peavey gear is a rite of passage. I think it's actually required by law in some places before you can be called a musician.
  18. Orange Amplification. Crush Bass 100w.
    1 x 15” Combo. 3 band EQ. Effects loop. XLR balanced DI output. AUX input. Built in tuner. Around $500.
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
    k_hardy likes this.
  19. Local used gear will be the most bang for buck. I’d recommend and amp + speaker vs a combo amp but either will be a nice upgrade from what you’ve got.

    Good luck! Once you’ve got power to spare it can really change the way you approach the instrument.
    k_hardy likes this.
  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Probably cab/head combo so the pieces are easier to load in/out.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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