Small Bass Tube AMp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BamaBird, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. I love Tube amps----- and for guitar there seems to be an ENDLESS slew of options in the 15 watt and under (small home use) category ----hundreds in fact-----

    But when it comes to bass amps the options seem VERY limited.

    Can anyone make some recommendations??? FYI I am not looking to spend a months Mortgage on one---- My Panama Guitar amp (all tube hand wired Fender clone) was 249.00 ---so that is the "neighborhood" I have been searching and can find ----well NOTHING----

    Thanks in advance for any info.
  2. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    Almost no point in making them. Just use a good beefy bass cab with your guitar amp. Sure, the OT should be more robust and the eq points are a bit off for bass, but unless you want almost nothing but full on fuzz, anything under about 30 watts would be hard to sell more than a few. I use a 20 watt tube through a pair of 12's and still don't think I could use it along with any other instruments. It does fine up against speaking volume levels from a stereo for practicing, but that's with a lot of cone for 20 watts.

    There is the Ampeg PF20T
    Maybe cruise by the "low wattage tubesters" thread.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  3. hhmmm.... I see.

    I have a 60 watt SS HArtke B600 which is fine ----I just wondered why the tube options for bass where so limited to (seems) mostly 500 watt and up

    Ashdown makes a 15 watt I see and a 30 ----Little Bastard I think its called ----cant seem to find them very easily though.
  4. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    I believe the deal is clean power. Due to most designs, a 15 watt guitar amp isn't necessarily a 15 watt amp.... It's an amp that can.put out 15 or so watts undistorted mor or less. By the time you reach a nice sweet spot where you can use your guitar volume knob as a distortion switch (so to speak) the amp is putting out more power. With a bass, this isn't always desired, so once most players hit the top end of an amp's clean power, the extra oomph that is so desirable from a guitarist's perspective becomes the volume limit for a bass player. If it runs into a bit of hair under its clean power rating by design, it only gets dirtier and fuzzier after going into saturation. Cool if that's what you want.... Makes the amp almost useless if it isn't what you want. If you're only starting with (like a small guitar combo) 15 watts max clean, by the time you have enough juice to shake the room you're all fuzz. It takes a lot more power and speaker area to produce those lows. Have you popped in on the low watt tube thread? There are some more amps out there, nothing comes to mind right now, other than .... IIRC Fender Bassman 30? I think that existed for a bit. Might be a 20? Still a small niche. Under 100 watts of tube topography doesn't do a heck of alot for the vast majority of players, unless like I said you want it fuzzy.
    DrummerwStrings and BamaBird like this.
  5. Not really fuzzy no......I like clean ---and as I say I have a ---low 60 watt-- Hartke I really is fine for my bedroom levels of play.
    I have tried other smaller ----like the VOX PB 10 and a Gorilla (old 80's deal) 30 watt that where "o.k." but could not "vibrate" a floor at all
    Interesting you mention Fender I just came across this little beastie / Effects-_-Channeladvisor-_-Fender+Bassbreaker+007+Guitar+Amplifier+Head&utm_source=GSH&utm_medium=CSE&utm_campaign=Channeladvisor&CAWELAID=500002510000053487&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=28120526597&CATCI=pla-254344947197&catargetid=500002510000063588&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKEAjw652_BRDfkebVrdOGkDISJAD0Q2RuLE6gjgSavNs7RMTIHBx3p2ihI4jdoq5E-st4Pv5dCRoCdq3w_wcB

    But I do understand your point.....below a certain wattage----the market is just not there.......

    You can get a 60 or 100 watt SS bass amp----and a tube emulator---or use a small watt tube guitar amp and there ya go for a fraction fo the cost and your vibrating walls . ;)
  6. A 15w tube amp is very useful for a guitarist, in small venues at moderate volumes. For a bass player, 15w (tube) is a great practice amp. However, a 30-50w tube bass amp can be used to play gigs in small to medium size venues, at low to moderate volumes. It requires lots of cone area (multiple drivers) and high efficiency. Those who require a minimum of 500w should look elsewhere.
    BamaBird likes this.
  7. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    The 15-watt Ashdown is a nice little amp, and can be had around your price point. The 30-watt version can handle some gigs with the right cab. The Ampeg low-watt amps are nice as well.
    A better option for you might be to hook up a guitar amp to a good bass cab. I can testify that both Mesa's Rectoverb 25 and TA-15 can sound excellent through a Powerhouse 15, for example.
    AstroSonic and BamaBird like this.
  8. FYI, not a bass amp. But might be OK to pair up with a bass cab.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Ampeg PF-20T or 50T. Search over.
  10. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Shaker Heights, OH
    Fender Musicmaster Bass
    Fender Bantam Bass
    Finnigan's wake likes this.
  11. ALl good suggestions and I do like the AMpeg JimmyM.

    I think I will hunt for a used wallet is looking in that range ----but I see none for sale......
  12. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    If you can find one, the old Ampeg B25Bs are very nice. It is 55 watts but sounds great at lower volumes. They can be had in the sub-$400 range. It is basically the Ampeg B18 in a different head case. Same deal for the Guild Thunderbass or an old Fender Bassman.
    BamaBird likes this.
  13. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    I've played the Ashdown (30 watt) Little Bastard a couple times as shared backline, both times into a Bag End 15" cab. Sounded good and had enough power, including one night in a club w/ fairly loud PA spill.

    Mark me down as pleasantly surprised with the Ashdown's volume, even though I still prefer my Mesa Walkabout (a hybrid, but convincing tube tone) into the right cabs.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
    BamaBird likes this.