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Thoughts on Used Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Twospot, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Twospot


    Jan 1, 2012
    Toms River,NJ
    I am just starting out playing bass. Right now I am using the iRiffPort on my iPad with the PocketGK app. Its pretty cool but definitely not like a real amp.

    I think I don't want to buy a small practice amp only for it to be too little when I start jamming with other musicians. I was looking at some 500w combos and they will definitely be out of my price range. What are your thoughts on used amps?

    Back in the day when I would buy stereo equipment I would NEVER EVER buy a floor model speakers because of the abuse they normally took. So going into this I am thinking the same way. However not knowing much about bass amp durability, is it a bad idea to buy used combo amps (or cabs for that matter)?

    As always thank you for your opinions as all are much appreciated!
  2. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Used amps are a great way to save money. Speaker and cabinet size are the biggest factors in volume, not watts. A 12" in a big box will be enough for most drummers (has been enough for me), otherwise get a 15, 2x12 or more to be share.

    The worst abuse a speaker takes is the popping of an input jack. So buying from an experienced, knowledgeable player is best.
  3. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I am sure many (if not the majority) here have bought all kinds of used gear.

    It's just like anything else, you just need to know what to look/listen for and how to assess a situation with a seller.
  4. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Jan 30, 2010
    US of A
    Used Gear Personal sales or Used Gear in a store is a bit different for me, I tend to purchase used gear from a reputable dealer because of the added warranties but buying from a home owner who has used gear I try to stay away from but like chaosMK said if you know what your doing , what its worth and what your looking for then its all good..
  5. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    What I've found out from my experience about used amps is there seems to be a direct correlation between cost and care. I regularly see low end amps trashed and unusable. On the other extreme, amps that tend to cost a little more for that category of amp (size) tend to be better values used.

    Amp under $200- buy new. In many cases these amps are the first amp for many owners and many don't understand the limits of the amp and tend to overdrive it. I know I'm making generalizations, but from what I have seen this is quite often the case.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Buy used from people..... if the speaker isn't blown odds are it'll be fine for what you use it for.

    Plus your dollar goes way farther buying used from people vs stores, stores only offer 30 days on used gear anyways.
  7. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Jan 30, 2010
    US of A
    I would definitely agree with that and have seen it as well, It does make more sense that if someone spends a grand on an amp chances are its been taken care of for the most part but a $150.00 amp who cares blow it up and drag it from the back of the truck.. seems to be right.
  8. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Jan 30, 2010
    US of A
    That depends on where you are and who you deal with: I bought a used Ampeg BA-112 and also bought a replacement if cant fix warranty which includes dropping it spills Etc. for 2 Yrs. $20.00 and I have dealt with this store before and have used my warranty options to get a check back so it depends..
  9. Buying used from musicians has worked well for me over the years. My current rig which is a couple of SWR Goliath cabs and a Carvin BX500 was bought for a total of $575.00. That's a whole lotta bass rig for not much dough. You DO need to know (or have a friend with you that does) what you are looking at and what you really need. For example, there is a Carvin BX1500 with a Carvin 4X10 cab in the local CL for $499.00 or best offer.
  10. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    Yeah. Don't be afraid of used gear. Most bass gear is made to take a bit of abuse, both in playing and handling. Even if somethig looks a bit beat up from transportation, that doesn't mean it won't work well.
  11. I found a GK SBX stack (410 and 115) on Craigslist for $500 then picked up another SBX410 a week later for $200. Then found a Mesa610 and M9 Carbine for $1500. I would sayvI saved around $2000 by buying used. All great gear, bought from strangers who were musicians. :)
  12. I would be ecstatic if I was able to buy used gear from TalkBass.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I'm trying to think if I even have any gear left that I did buy new. My Carvin bass, I guess, but even that was an unfinished kit I put together, it was new though. Used gear is great, man. Dollar goes much further. If you're patient and particular, you can great stuff in great shape. Some people have gig rigs that never left the house. Some people have what I think borders on an illness in that they just have to get whatever the latest product out there is because it must somehow be better than what they have. These folks sell tons of "almost new" gear, and they have to take a bath on the price because it's not brand new anymore.

    I buy bass gear from other bass players. Matter of fact, I buy most other gear from bass players too. We just seem to be the more level-headed folks of the bunch and can at least to some degree, know how to operate and take care of things better than most. I never buy anything off ebay, that's just asking for trouble. You never know what kind of loser is selling you what. Face to face, from a person only, no stores. They're only looking to turn stuff over and don't really care if it lasts you or not.

    Also, size up the seller as much as the gear. If they know what they're doing and take good care of their stuff, great. If they spend more on their hair than they do on strings, run away.
  14. You can - I have both bought and sold on TB!
  15. I live in Australia...

    I DID have the pleasure of picking up a used AV62 P bass from a TBer when I came over to the US 2 years ago now.
  16. Bring an experienced musician to check out used gear if you can. Most of my gear has been bought used, sight unseen. I only got unlucky once and got a refund.

    Picking up gear from a private seller you kind of need to verify it on the spot. Bringing it back later he could say you screwed it up, if he's shady. Buying from the TB classifieds is pretty safe if they have any reputation to protect.

    While this is true, the old adage "a speaker that looks beat up, sounds beat up" didn't get to be an old adage without punks wailing on their gear at practice and throwing it in the van to wail on it some more at parties from time to time.
  17. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    used rules!!! :cool:

    my entire rig is used, but i have a $2700.00 system that cost roughly $800.00. all very well cared for by professional musicians. :hyper:
  18. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
    Used is good, especially if you can try before you buy. Good advise to take an experienced friend, you can usually get by on your own. Take a flashlight to examine the speakers carefully, check for creases on the cone(s) that are telltale signs of over-excursion.

    I have had very good experience when I can ask the seller to "make this thing sound good!" It gives them a chance to show off their chops (which I lack) and show you the limits of the rig.

  19. Twospot


    Jan 1, 2012
    Toms River,NJ
    Thanks everyone! I love the consensus! The consensus says SAVE MONEY!!
  20. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Well, get better gear for less money than it would cost new.

    I almost exclusively buy used gear.

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