what bass amp should I get?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by spacedogsy, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. spacedogsy


    Feb 5, 2020
    hi all,

    I'm planning to get started with a bass guitar as a complete beginner. So far I've been playing an acoustic guitar for about 8 months (quite intensively tho, for more than 2 hours every single day approximately), but I can say I've never really played a bass guitar before, apart from a little bit of pluckiddy pluck pluck's I've done in a local music store to try out how the different bass guitars really feel on my hands.

    Anyway, the problem I've got here is that I have absolutely no idea what sort of amp I should get. I didn't even know that they'd cost me this much amount of money considering that the cheapest ones will cost you what, about 100€? I just don't wanna have a go without a consideration and waste it all at the end. I've been in a few local music stores to have a look, but the ones they've got are just too advanced for me I reckon (assuming by their price tags varying from 450€ - 700€). To make it a bit easier for you guys to give me any sort of recommendation, I wouldn't wanna pay more than 250€, that's where I drew a line. I think I would mainly play funk and a bit of rock (that filthy slap sound has made me buy a sterling sub ray 4 as my first bass), and it really doesn't have to be loud cause I live in a shared flat with my mates and our neighbours who live just across the street are quite sensitive for a german standard, I gotta say. Also, there will be a number of occasions where I'd have no time at all during a day and would have to practice at night so that little AUX thing to connect it with my headphone would be quite important for me as well. Overall, I just want my amp to sound a bit clearer than the other models around its own price range, if indeed there's any difference you can tell. Any kinds of recommendation or a word of advice or two will be much appreciated! cheers
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  2. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Most of the 15-35 watt practice combo amps by Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Ampeg, etc. would probably do the trick.
    gh0st42 and alanloomis1980 like this.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass! In your peice range, you can't do much better than the Fender Rumble 40. It's a lot of amp for the cash.
    BarfanyShart and alanloomis1980 like this.
  4. spacedogsy


    Feb 5, 2020
    thanks all, just one thing in particular: would you guys notice any massive difference between Fender rumble 25 (or 40) and GK MB108 (or 110)? Or better put, would u rather prefer one over the other? cause I‘ve heard these two brands quite often from the others.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  5. reddog


    Mar 5, 2013
    Philly burbs
    I have a couple Rumbles. The 25 might be too limiting, unless you're in the mood to buy a 2nd amp. The 40 would be a great unit for you.
    spacedogsy and alanloomis1980 like this.
  6. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Based on your description, I think you’d like the GK better. A little clearer, and a good slap tone.

    what are your goals? That Rumble 40 is right on the line between “low level jamming” and “not quite enough.” So even if you get the Rumble, you may want more when it’s time to mix and mingle.
    spacedogsy likes this.
  7. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    Rumble 40 is a purchase that is impossible to regret. When you are ready to join your neighborhood metalcore band you can pick up a heavy piece of old, high wattage gear used for cheap.
    spacedogsy and alanloomis1980 like this.
  8. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    spacedogsy likes this.
  9. spacedogsy


    Feb 5, 2020
    I just ended up buying a new GK Backline 110 II 70 watt for 110€ (not the MB110), coz I thought it must be quite a deal to buy a 70 watt amp from gallien krueger for that price, although it looks quite old-school indeed. Has anyone of you got any experiences with it? It seems like there's not much information about this amp out there.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  10. spacedogsy


    Feb 5, 2020
    since I'm an absolute beginner, I won't be spending much time jamming in a band - I actually never even thought about doin a gig in a band. Just yet. I might as well be digging it if I do practice hard for the first couple of years and get eventually better at playing, but for now I think I would just need an amp to practice alone in my small bedroom for the most of the time, while being able to jam a little bit every now and then with me mates (who play acoustic instruments) in a room slightly bigger than mine. I doubt that it'd be 'limiting' or 'not quite enough' in my case to get a low-powered amp for this purpose. In fact now that I've bought the backline 110 70w already, I'm rather worried that it could even easily get too loud given the circumstances?
  11. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    The Backline 110 will do what you want. You can always set the volume where everyone is comfortable and you can still practice with acoustic instruments no problem.

    The 25W Rumble is good for what it is but the 40W has more facility and a bigger speaker so I always tell students to go for the 40W if they can.
    gh0st42, alanloomis1980 and reddog like this.
  12. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    IMO that’s a great amp that should serve you very well. It’s got phones and aux in, which are what I consider essential features. A little heavier than the Rumble or MB (yet still lighter than the Hartke I recommend!) but it’s a practice amp. And you saved a few bucks (do you call them “bucks” in Europe? ;) where are you exactly?)

    That amp would be excellent for acoustic jamming. I used a 25w 8” Ampeg for bluegrass, sometimes with up to 20 jammers, and it never broke a sweat.

    too loud? I doubt it. You have bass guitar volume, amp gain and master. So that’s 3 volume knobs, you should have Plenty of control.

    PS welcome to TB and the low end. Have fun :)
  13. spacedogsy


    Feb 5, 2020
    Thank you all, everything's got much clearer now. much appreciated!

    At the moment I'm studying in Germany, so I saved a few quids since lots of things seem to be slightly cheaper here in Germany than in the UK. I reckon here in europe we just don't have a general slang word for euros, we just call it a euro haha

    One more trivial thing if I may ask, would it be possible to connect my phone with the Backline 110 (through aux in?) and use it as a massive mono-speaker to listen to music when I'm not practicing? I listen to music quite a lot when I'm at home and I'm just wondering if it'd do any harm to the amp, since it's a bass amp which must be designed to pump out lower frequencies more efficiently. Of course I'm not intending to turn the music all the way up and blast it towards my neighbours - it would rather stay at moderate level mostly.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  14. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    The “MIX” input would take a phone aux signal. (In the manual it’s for “CD player” lol.) here’s the manual

    I’ve used small bass amps for PA systems for small events, they are excellent for mics and aux music playing :)
    spacedogsy likes this.
  15. fretlessbass

    fretlessbass Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    If you're not ready to play with others, a cheaper alternative--just for practice--would be the Vox amPlug 2 for bass (or something similar):
    It's a headphone amp, about the size of a pack of matches; it plugs right into your bass. You can use any headphones with it.
    It has an input jack, which you can use for a metronome, or any musical source.
    It even includes a few drumbeats.
    It runs about $40 in the US; not sure what that is in euros.
    I have two: one in my gig bag, for last minute review of material on a gig; the other, because I live in a warm climate, and practice outside, most of the time.
    BTW The other cool thing about starting out with a headphone amp is that it gives you time to save for an amp that will actually be powerful enough to play live music--a huge consideration for most bands!
    Hope playing bass brings you as much joy as it does all of us on TB!
  16. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Sunny Beach
    Steer completely away from those low watt bass amps.
    Start off with at least 100 watts. Sooner or later your probably going to hook up with bandmates and the tiny bass amp will be absolutely worthless. I suggest a Rumble 100 or something similar to start with.