What bass amp should I get and how much wattage do I need?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MateoG78, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. MateoG78


    Feb 3, 2019
    Hello TB. I am looking for a bass amp, preferably a combo. I am in our high school rock band club and I need a new amp. My current set up is a Peavey Vyper-1 and a Rockbass corvette. I was looking at a few different combo amps and I was interested in the Fender Rumble 500 v3. I want a good combo to keep up with the other players. The other players would be a drummer, a guitarist ( using distortion or overdrive), a singer, and an acoustic guitarist. They won’t be there all at once.

    The songs that I have to play are Rooster by Alice In Chains, Elderly Woman by Pearl Jam, Drain You by Nirvana, and maybe Bulls on Parade by Rage Against The Machine. Is the Fender 500 combo enough for these songs and enough to keep up with those other instruments/players?

    What are some other options that might help me? Should I just stick with combos or go with a separate heads and cabinets? What are some good Head and Cab combos?

    please and thanks!
    Ggaa likes this.
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Combos are not very good, and watts mean very little. Combos seriously compromise the cabinet part and that is the most important thing. Are you looking new or second hand, do you have a car to move stuff, are you OK carrying things. The most bang for buck is in big old heavy stuff people want out the way on local ads.
  3. MateoG78


    Feb 3, 2019
    I want an amp/cab that is loud enough to sit in with the other instruments but not too weak or overpowering. I would prefer new but used is ok if the equipment isn’t in a bad condition. I don’t have a car but I’m not too far from school. I don’t mind carrying but I would like lighter stuff
  4. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    Combos can be good or bad, in general yes, a head/cab set up of an older design will be cheaper and get you more flexibility and volume in the long term HOWEVER...

    For you purposes the Rumble 500 (210 right?) should be plenty. You can always ad the extension cab later to get the full power out of it if you move up to gigging. Or worst case you use it for a couple years, get a bigger rig, and have a nice, lightweight, decent sounding back up to cart around to rehearsals and smaller gigs. Unless you are playing full on metal against half stacks, you'll be fine.
  5. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    What’s the budget?
  6. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    If I were in high school, I would stay away from 'new' and I would stay away from 'light' as both of those will be expensive with less umph. I know how enticing new can be, but honestly, I would be more concerned with getting the most amp for the money. Also, high school rock bands are going to be loud and a 500 watt 210 lightweight combo will really only be about 250 watts without an extension speaker. And, 2 10" speakers are not going to move much air. The only thing that would sway me is if you need to be lugging this stuff everyday than it maybe worth the portability and you could always add an extension cab to get more umph. One more thing to be aware of, while that Fender rumble will sound pretty nice, it is somewhat of a lightweight. So, if your band buddies start stepping up to bigger gear you probably will need to as well. If I were you, I'd try and find someone with experience who could help you buy some good used gear. If it helps you rationalize, I basically have a limitless budget when it comes to gear and just bough three 410 cabs... all of them were used.
  7. I wouldn't recommend hand carrying any combo worth looking at. You can form very bad habits as a young'n. One hand carrying something heavy is a good way to set you into lifting with ligaments and tendons using your arms like ropes.

    Use a straight back and 'strong' shoulders, lift with the legs. Get a hand cart.
  8. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Honestly, a Fender Rumble 500 v3 210 is a pretty good starting point, especially given that you can add another 210 extension at some point and have a pretty solid stack that should stand up to just about anything.

    With that being said, there are a ton of other options, especially used that are probably worth considering. Despite some opinions, older, heavier stuff won't necessarily sound any better, but it will be cheaper given that it's in less demand than newer, lighter gear. Is there anything that interests you on the used market near you?

    The head/cab vs. combo thing is a personal decision. The head/cab route can provide some more flexibility in the long run, especially if you ever find yourself gigging in venues that provide backline cabs, but it's by no means necessary. Assess your short- and long-term needs, and choose the format that's right for your. There is no wrong answer.

    Lastly, if you're going to be hauling a cab from your house to school, definitely use a hand cart as @Downunderwonder noted. It'll make your life a whole lot easier, and they don't have to be expensive.
    JRA and BazzaBass like this.
  9. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I play in a rock band with a horn section and I gig a 2x12, but my old Fender 250 watt 1x15 combo would work just fine for vitually every gig I've ever played. Everything depends on the people you are playing with. If you have folks who know what they are doing the 2x10 Fender Rumble should be just great.......if you like it.

    But the truth also is...............if you have ear splitting guitar players who don't care if they hear you, and no sense of how to mix a band, you'll probably get buried by anything you could buy for any amount of money. Turning up and more volume does NOT mean that you will be able to cut through.

    I didn't play bass in high school. But I've seen a few bass players playing in high school rock bands, stage bands etc. and they were all playing those entry level Fender type combos and they were great. I could be wrong, but my sense is that a Rumble 500 would be great for you. If it's not, get your advisor to teach your bandmates how to play.

    Personally, if you don't know anything about amps and old equipment I'd skip used. You'd have no idea if what you were getting was good or not. And you don't want to lug around some 84 pound 4x10. But the hand truck idea is great. I use a little folding hand truck to lug my old combo around when I use it.

    instrumentalist and JRA like this.
  10. MateoG78


    Feb 3, 2019
    My max budget right is $1000-$1200
  11. MateoG78


    Feb 3, 2019
    I don’t know much about used amps and cabinets, only used Basses. And I don’t know any other people who play bass except for a couple other students and they buy new. the other kids know how to play properly, none of that going crazy on their instrument business.
  12. MateoG78


    Feb 3, 2019
    I don’t know what I’m really looking for in an amp. Just something that’s flexible/versatile and that’s good with rock. It’s sounds generic but that’s all I’m looking for right now
  13. MateoG78


    Feb 3, 2019
    I was looking at this today. Is this any good?

    Attached Files:

  14. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    The 410/115 is something of an infamous combination of cabs, and something I personally wouldn't recommend purely from a power distribution standpoint.

    My personal take is that what you have in your cart is potentially a bit overkill given your current needs. The 410 you have in there on its own and even an LH500 would probably more than meet your needs for many years to come.

    Nothing wrong with the LH1000 if you have the extra money, but you can safely ditch the 115.
    instrumentalist and Lobster11 like this.
  15. marqueemoon


    Oct 8, 2019
    See what’s out there used. Get something old school and cheap while you’re young enough to be up for hauling it around.
    somebrains likes this.
  16. Agreed,..combo are good if you are a small room boy who need practice everyday or just another party on small class,...but if you are a stage boy ,...you need a good amp
  17. Bboopbennie


    Jun 16, 2019
    Is the Fender 500 combo enough for these songs and enough to keep up with those other instruments/players?

    Should be, or you have to tell the players to turn it down. Biggest mistake playing live is being to loud for that setting. Next is not having the Amp/ speakers to play outdoors in a big venue. Big amps still have volume knobs!
  18. somebrains


    Feb 7, 2017
    This is cheap and arguably a grail cab with a huge msrp and average used price that’s higher than $450.
    It’s worth taking a drive to check out.
    GK 4x12 Neo bass cabinet

    If you want to run a preamp either rack or pedal, I have a QSC gx5 I'll ship you cheap. You won’t pop a Neo 412 with a gx5 at 4ohms. It’s 850 watts 4ohms single channel. I guess you could get a 2nd neo 412 and drive both of them off a gx5 at 700watts 4 ohms per channel. You can play at reasonable volume, or blow out a football game. Your call, being young is full of possibilities.

    Grab a Sansamp to cover most of your initial needs. It's the generic range of sounds that'll work with most everything you mentioned.

    Here’s a more in-depth use case with the programmable one.

    They’re cheap used
    Used "sansamp bass driver"

    I like the VT

    I’d probably go with the deluxe in either case.

    They’re also cheap used
    Tech 21 VT Bass Deluxe | Reverb
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
    RhynoRock likes this.
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This cab.
    GK 4x12 Neo bass cabinet

    4 12" speakers will move a TON of air. Neo drivers will keep it from being too heavy. GK is a good company with a good track record.

    Then hit up all of the online music stores on Cyber Monday and snag a great head at a great deal. Maybe a GK Legacy or Fusion 800 to go with that cab. That rig will provide plenty of volume well into gigs if you decide to go that far.

    I'm guessing the adult who is helping you guys grew up in the 90? :D
    MateoG78 likes this.

  20. Check out all the very happy owners of Fender Rumbles.
    Fender Rumble Club
    Ggaa likes this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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