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What practice amps are decent?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by phxlbrmpf, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    I'm looking for a smallish, light practice amp that's easy to lug around around the house or for the occasional session. I had a look at the Peavey Microbass, but it seems almost too small. What brands would you recommend and what smallish amps do you own? Thanks a lot in advance.
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    If you have the cash.... I always liked the GK150 combo... 100 watts, very light (I think 26 pounds), and while not the best sounding combo ever made, loud enough for small gigs. They are just a little bigger than a phone book!

    The Phil Jones Bass Budy is also cool, and sounds great, but will not put out as much volume as the GK micro combo.

    They are both pretty spendy, but pretty amazing for their size.
  3. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Kustom KBA series is nice for the money. They use Celestion speakers and come in 10 watt, 16 watt, 30 watt, 60 watt and 100 watt and 8", 10", 12" and 15" speakers. I have the KBA 16 and it has great tone good enough volume for solo practice and acoustic / lower volume gigs (small coffee house). Another worth contender, though a bit larger is the Alesis Bassfire 60 (60 watt amp, 12" speaker). I have one of those also. It's a good solid amp, has a built in tuner (that tunes down to a low B with no issue) and built in amp and cab modeling as well as a limiter/compressor, many effects etc. They can be had for under $200 shipped brand new.
  4. I have an SWR LA-10 that I like.

    1.) Decent tone
    2.) 26 lbs.
    3.) 35 watts into 1 x10 speaker

    They can be had for about $200 www.swrsound.com/products/search.php?partno=4490300000

    It's loud enough to keep up with acoustic guitars, but not much more. I bought it mainly for the portability factor, and it does that well. Solid little cube. Great for just practicing.

  5. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Yorkville XM50C
  6. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    I asked this same question a few months ago.

    Everybody had their favorites. But the general consensus was that Peavey, Crate, and Fender practice amps in the 15-50w range were the standouts. Low price, decent sound, good quality, they all run somewhere around $110-130 (for 15w). I wound up buying a demo Fender Rumble 15. Got it for $100. It usually prices around $120.

    Only real negative is that the sound isnt too great on any amps at this wattage. Dont let any nuckle heads try to tell you the sound will be much better or worse on a 15w amp, they ALL have mediocre sound compared to bigger amps. But for practice at home or just starting out they are fine.

    If you got the money and want a better sounding amp I would check out an Ashdown Electric Blue 180w or a Fender Bassman 100 or Bassman 150. The Electric Blue and Fender Bassman 100 runs about $350, the Bassman 150 is around $430.

    If you will be using the amp for gigging or garage playing with a band then get at least a 100w amp.

    Feb 21, 2005
    Roland Cube 30 / 100

    Great tone for a practice amp, great to play around with the modeling, great for recording, not too complicated (PODxt will make you spent all of your practice time dialing your sound).

    Cons : EXPENSIVE. $300 for the 30 watts, $450 for the 100 watter. I have the latter.
  8. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Cool, I found an online shop that's selling a Kustom KBA-30 for 159 Euros, looks like a good price.

    Also, I found a Kustom on German ebay, but by the looks of it (the seller didn't include the exact description of the model, I emailed them about it, though) it's probably a KBA-16, which may be a bit low on power. 30 watts should be enough for small sessions with no/a restrained drummer, though, I think. I was rehearsing for a small amateur musical the other day and our guitar player brought one of those tiny Roland mini cube amps! We were all amazed at how good it sounded and how loud it was for such a tiny little amp. And not only is it small, it can also be had extremely cheaply, so it seems.
    To bad the bass equivalent looks a bit overpriced.
  9. MrBonex


    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Ampeg B100R (used of course, about $550 new).

    Best small bass amp in my experience. The only small bass amp that actually sounds like a big bass amp -- full, rich, phat. Mmmmm good.
  10. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    SWR Workingman's 10 or 12. Great amps if you can stand a little hiss from the tweeter.
  11. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Ampeg B50r. 1x12 50watt combo @ about 45lbs. I got a minty one last week for $195. wOOt!
  12. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    +1 for Kustoms. I have a KBA30 (30 Watts - 38 lb.) and I'm very happy with it.