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What should my first amp be?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jherzog, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. jherzog


    Aug 16, 2004
    I am a complete beginner on a very restricted budget. I am looking for an amp to go with the Yamaha RBX270 (suggested to me in a different topic). I would like to spend as absolutely little as possible without buying something so poor that it hinders my learning or joy or playing.

    Do you have any suggestions of what kind, how powerful, what size speaker, and how much $$ I should spend on an amp?

    I will be playing this in my apartment and if I stick with it and improve I would be willing to buy better equipment in a few years.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    The question isn't how much money to spend but how much money do you have to spend?
  3. jherzog


    Aug 16, 2004
    Okay, I was considering $100. I was hoping someone would tell me that I can get a good amp for my purposes for less. I could spend more but man I shouldn't. So far all I have looked at is the 10in. Washburn amp.

    Hence why I was leaving my question open ended
  4. i can't suggest this more....save up a lil bit more money...you can get a used SWR working man 15 for about 350 bucks...and that is an amp that will last you through beginning playiing to gigging small/medium venues...it sounds great and for the price is EXTREMELY reliable

    but that's just my opinion...find something that you'll be happy with :)

    you can probly get the Workingman 10 or 12 for the 200-250 range and you'll probly be a lot happier with one of those over the cheap washburn amps...
  5. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I agree with saving up a bit until you can get a better quality amp.

    Take it from us, G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) can get pretty expensive if you have to keep buying and selling, etc. In the long run, you're better off spending a little more on a piece of gear that will serve you well for a long time (like a Workingman's 15) than to buy a cheap beginner's amp now and having to upgrade once or twice (or over and over again) until you get where you need to be.

    Used gear is such a bargain these days (especially in the US from what I've noticed) and you can get a great amp for low $$$ if you're patient and know (and learn (we're here to help!!!)) what to look for.

    You really want to have an amp that is big enough/powerful enough/loud enough to play with a band. Drummers are loud and you need to be able to keep up. If your amp isn't up to it, it's going to sound bad, not inspire you to improve and probably die soon...

    Do lots of reading here, on www.harmonycentral.com (there's now a bass amp section!!!!) and www.bgra.net Lots of great user reviews available.

    Good luck and feel free to ask us lots and lots of questions!!!
  6. jherzog


    Aug 16, 2004
    Thank guys and I understand what you are saying. I am excited and have the time to learn now so even though my budget is restricted I wanted to go ahead and get some equipment to learn on. I have no intention of ever using any of the equipment in gigs or bands. When I get that good I will treat myself to some nice equipment. I really just want beginner stuff to learn on. Like I said in my first post I don't want toys that will make it harder to learn or make it no fun to play but I am not concerned with band/gig ready equipment.

    Thanks for you input and any other suggestions.

    I will checkout those links.
  7. If that's the case, then you could get some type of headphone preamp. Most have CD in to jam along and learn with different artists and in a pinch you could hook it up to a stereo to hear it out loud (no way near loud enough to jam with a band and could damage your stereo).

    I use a 7-8 year old ZOOM 9002, and I can also use my new BOSS ME-50B.
  8. Something to add/correct to that last post: The best things I've learned are at jams with other musicians, usually better ones than I.

    With that note, I'd go for a small Peavey (Microbass or Mink) or Yorkville or something similar to start off jaming with a guitar player or keyboards and if you're playing more and more and get into playing with drums then get something bigger.
  9. damo2576


    Aug 9, 2004
    I was in same position as you, got the orange crush 20b.

    Its cool! Sounds good, looks good. All you could ask for in little practice amp.

    Cost £100. Be cheaper in US

  10. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Great advice from all...

    If you don't forsee a gigging/loud type situation, then yeah, I also suggest the headphone/preamp type of thing. I still use my old Digitech BP50 for when traveling and practicing in my hotel room before the show. It can fit in any bag and can take batteries. Tons of different sounds for added fun. The best part is that you can hook it up to any bass amp or computer or stereo (I think?) and still have all the different sounds you like and/or create. Even has a tuner and a drum machine you can play to! :hyper:

    I also think that bass isn't quite the most super-fun instrument to play by yourself in your bedroom. It CAN be fun, but it isn't typically an instrument that is easy to hold a beginners attention for long periods of time when just learning (based upon personal experience). Like Big Benner said, you learn the most and have maximum fun IMO when playing with others. So if you consider that, yes, getting something like a Peavey Microbass or even any portable practice amp might be in your best interest.

    $0.02 given. :D

  11. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    OK, Transverz wrote it, I was too chicken too...("I also think that bass isn't quite the most super-fun instrument to play by yourself in your bedroom. It CAN be fun...") but I completely agree. At home I can play bass for a while and enjoy it, but I have a lot more fun playing bass in a band (and you'll get better A LOT QUICKER). I find that I amuse myself more buy dabbling in the dark side and playing guitar at home.

    If you aspire to be a solo bassist like Steve Lawson or Michael Manring, more power to you, but playing in a band, learning to play with a drummer and keep the guitarists "honest" is a lot of fun!!!!
  12. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    haha, did I step on a landmine? I hope not because I was also just being honest...

    I mean, when you first start out, you aren't exactly making up crazy lines that rival the best of them and thinking "damn, I'm the freakin' best ever!". I was more saying "damn, I suck, these tabs are hard, kinda boring, this sounds NOTHING like the song!". Then when I played the song with other people, I understood much better what it is and how much I need to get better!

    Of course it can be fun by yourself. Shoot, I'm sure the solo bass player is probably some of the most revered people on here! But that's if you got enough skill to entertain yourself. I know I sure don't. At least not entertaining enough for too long unless I'm by myself trying to learn a song to play with my band. (Or testing out my new GAS results!) But when you are just beginning you are just looking to learn and have fun, it can be a little ungratifying playing basslines that doesn't quite make total sense or justified until you hear it in context.

    (oh and btw, my guilty pleasure is also doing some unabashed rocking out with that smaller 6-stringed thing before everyone gets to practice...if I could only play two things at once! OH MAN!) :bassist: :bassist: