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Small bass amp suggestions?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ggunn, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I'm sorta shopping haphazardly for a small bass amp. I've got an SVT full stack that never leaves my studio, an Ashdown combo with extension cab for gigs, and an EH Freedom amp for campfires, but I'd like to have something I can carry in one hand and my bass in the other to jump on stage for an open mic with my songwriter buds. It doesn't need to have a whole lot of power, and I don't have a ton of money to throw at it, but I'd want it to sound at least half decent. Any ideas?
  2. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    I just picked up a Line 6 Lowdown Studio 110.


    I tried a bunch of small combos, pretty much every one I could find in LA, and this one sounded the best.

    It's a 12x12x12 cube and weighs 20 something pounds, so it fits the "carry it in one hand" requirement. Amp is 75 watts, one 10" speaker.

    It's got the Line 6 modeling technology in it, and has presets for Clean (modeled on an Eden Traveler), R&B (Ampeg B15), Rock (Ampeg SVT) and Grind, which is just an ugly distorted sound I will never use, but some guys might.

    It has full EQ so any of the presets can be tweaked and then saved. Also has a DI out and inputs for headphones and CD players.

    Pretty cool little unit. I'm not sure I'm sold on the modeling thing, I have yet to hear a modeled amp/cab sound that was convincing to me, but we'll see...
  3. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Look for a used Yorkville (Traynor) 100w or 200w combo - great value, great sound.
  4. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    Ampeg B-100R
  5. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    The Shuttle 6.0 combo, because I love my Shuttle 6.0. But it is probably more than you want to spend. I like the used Yorkville suggestion. Or Fender combos.

  6. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
  7. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    I've got a couple of hours booked at the rehearsal studio this afternoon, I'm hauling in some gear to give it a workout and evaluate, including the Studio 110.

    Will be my first chance to crank it up and see what it can do at something approaching gig volume. I'll report back if you're interested.

    I am anal retentive with a capital A when it comes to gear so I go through it pretty thoroughly.

    Thank God for OCD!
  8. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    You might want to check out the Acoustic line of small amps. I own a new Acoustic B600H head that does a nice job but the small amps are portable and inexpensive and come with a 3 year total replacement for a new amp warranty. Guitar Center (and companies) now own Acoustic so you can try one out there or buy one from Guitar Center, Musician's Friend, etc.

  9. +1 I have one of these and use it at practice with a drummer and guitarist. I usually use the Rock or the Clean settings. The DI out is also nice because it can be used for bigger gigs with PA support.
  10. D.I.X.bass


    Jan 19, 2010
    ampeg 1x15 hpt 220 watts great for small gigs
  11. +1 The B20 would work perfectly for writer's nights. And you can't beat the tone at twice the price.
  12. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Just about anything 50 with a 12 or 15

    My preference are kickbacks.. with XLR DI
  13. I'm interested as well... I've actually been thinking about the Studio 110 for church, keep us posted!!

    Which reminds me... ggunn, you might also consider something like a Hartke Kickback 12. That's what I'm currently using at church (300 seat space) and constantly get told to turn it down... 1x12, 120watts, fairly small and manageable in one hand. The kickback feature is probably my favorite on it... you can tilt it back and point it right up at your head. I've even used it for small/medium bar type gigs with no trouble and as a monitor on a 40-foot outdoor stage (with PA support of course).

    Off the top of my head, I think SWR has a Workingman 1x12 combo with that tilt feature, I think Gallien-Krueger has a tiltback model too.

    Just my .02. :)

  14. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
  15. baalroo


    Mar 24, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    yeah, I LOVE acoustic gear, awesome sounding stuff and costs about a third of what you would expect for the tone you end up getting.

    I think this specifically would suit the OP perfectly:


    under $300, sounds really good, and easy to haul around.

    in fact, it's the same price as the Line 6 combo being discussed, and IMO it's WAY COOLER.

    p.s. why isn't this thread in the amps forum?
  16. jhfishn

    jhfishn Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Mays Landing, NJ
    I found a used Eden NS28. It has 120 watts and uses 2 8" speakers and a horn. It has a nice eq section and a DI out and also has a speaker mute switch.

    Now you might think the 8" speakers would sound weak but they actually are ridiculously fat and warm and loud without breaking up.

    I think I paid around $275 for it.
  17. +1 acoustic B20

    i have had my b20 for about a week now ... it's entirely too loud to play in the apartment and not disturb the neighbors ... lol but you can definately handle this in one hand and have enough volume for a practice session

    I looked at small combo amps for hours a couple weeks ago both used and new ... I decided on either a used peavey minx 110 or the acoustic b20 ... i got lucky tho and found a very nice used B20 in a pawn shop in grapevine texas.

    if you lived closer i'd bring it to you to try out ... but it's be easier for you to try it out at a GC ...
  18. The Peavey Minx110 is the best sounding compact bass amp I have heard, and can be found used for under $100. Peavey rates them at 35 watts, but Peavey is notoriously low on their wattage ratings. Even though it is only a single ten, it produces more bottom then many 12 inch amps. They are heavy for their size, but can be shlepped around with one hand relatively easily. I haved used mine for the same purpose as the op is looking for and couldn't be happier with it.
  19. or you could go dc....pignose makes a light weight battery powered bass amp
  20. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I've got an EH Freedom Amp for campfires and such; I am looking for something in between that and my Ashdown 210 combo in size and portability. Something I can hit the stage with in a coffeehouse (bass in one hand and amp in the other), set up in a few seconds, and play to a small crowd. It doesn't have to sound spectacular, but I'd like for it to be able to make a low D at least. I'm going on a GC expedition later today to check out what they have. Thanks for the suggestions, yews guise.

    Whoever said this should have been in the amps forum was probably right, but this is where I hang out and the question came to me while I was surfing in here. If the mods want to move it, that's OK.
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