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Which would you upgrade first? An amp or a bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by StrudelBass, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. Amp

    1,034 vote(s)
  2. Bass

    857 vote(s)
  3. Carrots

    268 vote(s)
  1. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    Well basically lets say you already have both, but they're not exceptionally good, and you could only choose one. Would you opt for a new bass or go for a new amp? Opinions needed. Replies welcomed.
    Cowboy Kevin and LordOfWalrus76 like this.
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I'm glad you said "opinions" because different aspects are more important to different people, just like some people rather have a fine ride and a crummy house because they spend more time on the road than they do at home.

    I go the amp, anytime. A good preamp on an amp can make up for a lot of instrument deficiences. And being able to move a lot of air can impress.

    Some of the knowledgable techies agree, too. Here one quote -

    "Even the best guitar is not going to display its potential when played through an inexpensive, tiny, solid-state practice amp with an eight inch speaker. On the other hand a really good amp can make even an inexpensive guitar with weak pickups sound much better." - www.guitarnuts.com
    chip134 likes this.
  3. Oh sorry my fault. I missread the post. I thought it said that he/she didn't have any of them yet.
  4. mans0n


    Jun 15, 2002
    gotta be the bass! ok? your amp is shoddy and your bass is.. i say get a good (or new at least) bass before a new amp.. it doesnt take much time to get used to a new amp.... but a new bass takes some getting used to. and how often would ya be playing a notsogood bass on a glorious new amp anyways? enough to justify being stuck with a entry level (or less than?) bass for as long as it takes till you can afford a new bass..... i would rather be stuck with a nice bass and a 15watt amp then a great amp and a shoddy bass..... thats just my opinion though =)
    Artman likes this.
  5. New amp. I am reminded of the feelings I had on 2 consecutive days. The first day, I had my Squier P-Bass and a BP-15 amp.

    Joe is angry!! :mad:

    The next day, my Crate BX-100 arrives. I still play it with my Squier P-Bass.

    Joe is happy!! :)
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I went amp first. And believe me, it evenmade my $200 Ibanez sound significantly better. Good enough, in fact, to make it viable to gig and not worry with the axe.

    I'd definitely shell out for the amp first.
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I thought it was one of those "title says it all" posts, so I thought the same thing.

    I've edited the thread title. Maybe that'll help.
  8. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    when i was in your situation, i bought a new amp first....

    but it wasn't a "great" amp, it was just an "okay" one. then a few months later, i bought a great bass.

    i wish i had bought a "great amp" instead of either the "okay amp" or the "great bass". it would've been a lot cheaper that way.

    when it comes down to it, don't half-ass it! buy what you want as you can afford it.

    i suggest getting a great amp first.
  9. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I would say it depends on the situation.

    For example, if your situation is you need an amp with more power or your amp is just a plain low quality amp, (as is my situation right now) you should first upgrade your amp. A Lakland isn't going to sound that great through a 50 watt Crate, but a Squier is going to sound pretty good through an SWR.

    If your amp "does it's job" but you just want to upgrade to "find your sound" then I would upgrade the bass first.
  10. I would say go with the amp for sure. I have a pretty low end bass, and a real crappy amp so obviously it doesn't sound too good. I played my bass through a real high quality amp at music store once though and I thought it sounded pretty good.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    metallica is catching on - Spending a lot more on the bass can be better for your ego and spending a lot more on the amp is better for your sound, IME.

    Fieldy played basses that are considered "junk" to a high end bass owner. But the amplification dollars were always there. Higher end amplification and an inexpensive bass got a European tour for Talena of Kittie (below). The girl is definitely going to the bank!

    It can be a "circular" (moot) argument. But when you look at "who's on tour playing what - the truth don't lie.

    Personally, I like the expenditures for both components to NOT be radically different.

  12. 100% what i was going to say.
    FuzzFacetious likes this.
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I would rather play a Squier through an Eden or Ampeg rig than a Zon through a Squier or Rogue practice amp.
    zon6c-f likes this.
  15. mrdungbeatle


    Jul 29, 2002
    id say upgrade the amp. If you have a bass thats not that great, a good amp can make a big difference in the sound. Not only does it improve the sound but being able to be heard is a big plus. It will allow you to play with other people and not be drowned out by the drummer and guitar.
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Adding on to what Jeff says - wait till you try to unload that gear.......used basses are much less suspect than used amps.

    Potential buyers understand a cheaper bass on the selling block much easier than they do a used amp, due to the relative complexity of an amp and all the things that may be wrong with it.

    You can more readily assume someone is selling an amp because it has been worked mercilessly like a rented mule - (i.e., wasn't loud enough).
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I agree. I think the common rationale is that a good bass will sound good when played through anything, when the reality is that anything can sound good (or be made to sound good) when played through a good amp.

    I used to be a huge high end bass buff until I got my Epifani 310. Once I had that, I found that I could get my sound quite easily with Peavey basses. Not that they're bad instruments, just not as highly regarded as the Bebensee and the Zon I used to own.
  18. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    I don't get it, majority of replies say get the amp over the bass, yet bass is beating amp and carrots.
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    That's because the people who are voting for bass don't have a good argument to back it up.
    fretlessguy and btmpancake like this.
  20. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay

    Amps definetly make a huge difference. Ive played alot of crappy basses through good rigs and a lot of great basses through crappy rigs, and OIve found that the amp makes a bigger difference than the bass,

    Big Shrek likes this.

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