Which Practice Amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wld3, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. wld3


    Jun 22, 2008

    This is my first post on this forum; I'm glad to have come across this site. I recently picked up a bass again, having 'messed around' with one in my younger days but never being serious enough to really learn to play well.

    Having said that, the bass I bought is a Schecter C-4 and I am very pleased with it and with the price I paid for it. Now I am in the market for an amp.

    Having some knowledge, in general, of amps, brands, etc. and doing a little feature and price research, I came up with these options:

    Marshall MB15 link or MB30 link

    Hiwatt Bulldog Bass 20 or 30 link

    SWR LA10 link

    Ashdown After 8 link

    I know these options represent a range of power and pricing but, since these are the ones I'm giving the closest look to, I thought I'd toss them out there and let people with opinions on these, or an alternative choice, advise me and offer suggestions.

    So, any thoughts?


  2. JMDT


    Jan 30, 2008
    Louisville, Ky
    I'd make sure I got one with a 10" speaker; single 8's just don't cut it with lower strings. A 12" would even be preferable, but few practice amps have 12's. From that list I would go with the Marshall.

    Have you looked at this amp yet http://www.orangeamps.com/products.asp?Action=View&ID=96. It has a killer sound, has a 12, and is pretty cheap.
  3. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    there is a SWR Workingman 10 in the classifieds. It needs a tweeter replaced which should be cost about $20.
    It is a steal at $100 shipped. I have one and it has been the greatest practice amp and also use for playing with my acoustic friends.
  4. wld3


    Jun 22, 2008

    I was not familiar with the Orange line. The site is a little skimpy on the details. One thing is certain... they are orange. I'll keep it in mind as I continue considering my options.

    I appreciate the comment about going with at least a 10" as opposed to an 8". However, I was considering the latter only because I am only needing this amp for personal practice in my bedroom or office; not playing with others, etc. So, I thought something like the Ashdown might work.

    Ultimately, at this point, I too favor one of the Marshalls. Although I think the SWR may be a better amp, it cost quite a bit more and the Marshall has the compression feature.

    Anyway, thanks for the reply and I'm looking forward to hearing from others with suggestions/thoughts.

  5. wld3


    Jun 22, 2008
    I get that this is a deal but for this purchase I'd much prefer buying something basic but new. I don't need to be replacing things, etc.

    Later on, when I am more familiar with playing and know more solidly what I am looking for, then used gear will probably be a route I take, or at least consider, for many purchases.

    Thanks for the heads-up anyway.

  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 on 10" or bigger, even if you're playing by yourself. Those small speakers just don't have the sound that makes you want to keep playing. I use an Ampeg BA112 as my small amp. 50 watts, 1x12, and it sounds like a bass amp. Too bad they're discontinued, I wouldn't suggest the larger current Ampeg combos, except for a B50R, or B100R. See what you can actually try out in person, and go from there. Alot of it depends on how you hear it, and have fun in the process. Welcome back.
  7. Tyrannius


    Jun 14, 2008
    Don't want to hijack your thread, wld3, but I'm actually in pretty much your situation right now having recently bought my first bass. I've spent most of my computer time over the weekend looking into a similar list, that being of:

    Ashdown Perfect Ten (Rather than the After Eight)
    Marshall MB30
    SWR LA10

    Any comments regarding the durability of the amps in question would be great. Obviously tone is also important but I'm going to check these out in person tomorrow so my biggest concern is buying something that won't start buzzing within a month or whatever.
  8. wld3


    Jun 22, 2008
    This is my short list now as well.



    Mar 7, 2008
    Athens GR
  10. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
  11. heatheroo


    May 22, 2008
    Ephrata PA
    if you're looking for a "truly" practice amp..........as in: playing in your room and don't even consider gigging with it........then I am satisfied with my behringer BX108. I tried all the low cost practice amps and this one to me had the best tone without that nasty speaker rattling a lot of the other ones have. Now I know.........I just recommended the dreaded "B" word...............and like I said, even if it did have enough power, I wouldn't consider gigging it..........but at $70 new and practically giving away used ones on ebay........it's a decent deal.
  12. wld3


    Jun 22, 2008

    Thanks for the replies and links, however, I would think that most of those are really overkill for my purposes. A 2x10 + horn combo is nice and I sure hope that the $899 amp suggestion wouldn't need replacing soon but these are not what I'm looking for right now.

    For now, I'm just looking to plug in and learn to really play.

    Hey, seriously, I appreciate the feedback... I just think that batch of suggestions is a bit off track from what I need.

    Let's narrow down the field a bit:

    10" (or possibly 12") combo
    $170-$225 price (perhaps more, depending)

    Current list:

    Marshall MB30
    SWR LA10
    Ashdown Perfect 10
    Hiwatt Bulldog Bass 30 (probably not)

    Other options:

    Warwick Blue Cab 30
    Fender Rumble 25 (probably not)
    Gallien-Krueger Backline 110 (hmm)

    I may would consider the Line 6 LowDown Studio 110 but I don't see what you get for the extra money except the built-in models, which I don't think I really care about at this point.

    I like the idea of having an Ampeg, like the BA112, but I'm not sure I'd get substantially more out of it, as a practice amp, than I would the other choices.

    Maybe I'm looking at this wrong. Should I be looking for a practice amp now that could pull off service as a studio amp later? My thinking has been to just get something basic to get started and then select something else for gigs and/or studio when that time comes and I know more about what I'm looking for in an amp.

    Other thoughts/suggestions?

  13. lovefist


    Mar 27, 2008
    Go Roland
  14. wld3


    Jun 22, 2008
    Hm.. I found the CB-30 and it seems very nice (details) but, again, I'm not sure why I'd pay $100 more for this than a Marshall or SWR. I recognize, again, that it has all the modeling/effects that they don't have, but I just don't see needing/desiring those as I learn my instrument. In fact, I'd be afraid that too many settings/tweaks would just serve to confuse me.

    Thanks for the suggestion. Other than the CB-30, I think the smallest thing Roland is making is a 15" combo.

  15. Roland has a Micro Cube Bass RX which is REALLY nice for bedroom playing.


    It does go for around $230
  16. When I first started playing I got the Marshall MB30. Then when I started playing with some friends I got an Ampeg BA115, then a GK head and a 2x12. But guess what I still play on the weekends around the house, my Marshall. It's only good for practicing though, it's not something that will shake the walls but I think it has a real good sound too. But if you keep playing you probably will want something bigger, but I doubt I will ever get rid of my MB30.
  17. wld3


    Jun 22, 2008
    Ok, that is cool. Checking out the vids shows impressive sound quality for something with 4" speakers. I like the drum patterns too.

    I still lean towards something without all the bells and whistles and I don't care in the slightest that it can be powered by batteries, etc. but that is a cool unit.

  18. wld3


    Jun 22, 2008
    Thanks for the comment on the Marshall.

    My main concern with a little practice amp is that I don't something that bottoms-out or buzzes. I've been told that the Marshall is solid and the ported cabinet gives it a strong sound no matter what you're playing.

  19. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Carlsbad, NM
    :bag: I personally have the Line 6 Studio 110 and think it's great as a practice/small venue amp. The 10" speaker sounds deeper and better than some of the cheaper 15" speakers I've seen. As a 12" cube it's really small and portable, and at 75 watts it has some power to it. Just don't expect it to sound like the models it's supposed to sound like... and it isn't the most clear amp in the world... but it works great as practice, and works great to play any small to medium sized area.

    Edit: As with most Line 6 stuff, it does take some tweaking from stock settings to really make it sound good. Personally I didn't like the way any of the stock settings sounded and ended up rewriting all of them. Mainly boosting some eq settings and gain.