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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

    1,037 vote(s)
  2. Bass

    858 vote(s)
  3. Carrots

    268 vote(s)
  1. Mantis Tobaggan

    Mantis Tobaggan Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    Tampa, FL
    Get a good rig and then collect bass guitars
    A. D. Fairhurst likes this.
  2. madbass6

    madbass6 Banned

    Jan 13, 2009
    I do not give consent to use any of my photos ! please respect that. thank you.
    in my opinion that depends, if your a studio musician I would defenetly upgrade the BASS first! if your more of a weekend warrior musician (especially if your Bass is passive) I would upgrade the amp first!
  3. madbass6

    madbass6 Banned

    Jan 13, 2009
    I do not give consent to use any of my photos ! please respect that. thank you.
    on another point same topic! I think (not sure) the thread mite be refering to upgrading from a Pro Bass amp Rig to a better or DIFFERENT pro. Bass amp RIG ! not practice amps! a pro Bass amp Rig VS a practice amp would make a huge difference with sound comparison! im just seeing alot of coments like I would rather play a Squier through an"Eden" or "Ampeg rig" than a Zon through a Squier or Rogue "practice" amp.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
    A. D. Fairhurst likes this.
  4. Afc70

    Afc70 Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
    Bass, obviously, because:
    1) not everybody uses amps & a high end ken smith trumps a series 10 bass, if u go direct, every-time
    2) studio work(same deal)
    3)appearance (smith vs series 10 again) wanna look "fly" or lame?
    4) playability (""""""")
    5) a nice bass will inspire you more and not depress you.
    6) if you are able to get a very nice instrument first, then obtaining a nice amp later shouldn't be too hard, becuz you can get nice amps at very reasonable prices nowadays.
    7) you'll get more gigs with a nice axe, allowing you to make more cashola to upgrade your amp later :)
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  5. marycoffins13


    Jan 9, 2016
    Definitely amp! A crappy practice amp will make any bass sound terrible. Tone makes all the difference
  6. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Two ways to look at it. If you are just learning and not gigging or even jamming I would get a better bass. Now if I was jamming or gigging I would buy a gig worthy amp.
  7. Fushigi-kun


    Oct 23, 2015
    Also depends on what level you're at. Entry levelers will most of the time prefer a great amp over the bass, because they will sound good (or less bad). Bass players with a higher skill level will most likely prefer a better bass, so that their playing matches the potential they know they've got.

    And of course, it depends on at what scale you are gigging. At small gigs, you're pretty likely to be allowed to play over the main act's bass amp. Then you wouldn't need a big amp for gigging.
    If you're the main act and you want to create your own sound, get the amp before the bass.

    I got the bass before the amp, and I'm happy with it. Most of the time I don't even use the amp for practising. Sometimes I do, but that's to really what exactly I do sound like (good to know for live, ya dig)

    If you're hungry, the carrots would present a more feasible option... Of course then you have to take in account your own metabolism, whether you NEED to eat or not, possible metabolic diseases such as diabetes (is it, actually?), and your own skill in resisting primal instinct. Of course if you already have a bass and an amp, carrots is the only element lacking and therefore the only logical choice. Then again, do you really need them?

    I'd go with the bass. I can hear myself playing even without an amp, and I find the feel of the instrument more important than the sound I'd get out it, the few times I do play with an amp.
    But that's my opinion, based on and fitted to my desires in playing bass. To each their own :)
  8. njones89


    Mar 27, 2015
    Sioux Falls
    In my case, I went with a new instrument first. I upgraded to a larger amp when I started doing more than just practicing in my bedroom. Now I have a couple pro basses and a pro combo amp. Next step is to get an amp head and my first cab.
  9. balz


    Apr 3, 2015
    I have a question related to this topic. I have now a vintage style amp head (hybrid) and a bass with a humbucker. It's definately a rock sound, so if i wanted a more modern type of clean sound could i get it better by changing the head to a modern clean sounding head or changing the bass to a clean sounding one, say, with single coil pickups? My own guess is that the amp has more effect to it...
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  10. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    If the bass plays OK and stays in tune, the answer is pretty much always amp. There are plenty of functional cheap basses, but you need to move some air to get heard
  11. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I am me
    I'm at the point with my equipment where an addition wouldn't necessarily be an upgrade.

    More like an addition to the family
  12. ronlitz


    Apr 20, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Cheap bass + cheap amp = bad tone

    Nice bass + cheap amp = bad tone

    Cheap bass + nice amp = good tone

    Nice bass + nice amp = great tone
    NortyFiner likes this.
  13. Hunter


    Feb 8, 2016
    Definitely get an amp first, gotta get that bass rig started somehow.
  14. A lot of us did! The title of the Poll was misleading
  15. I'd rather upgrade my amp first. I've played some horrible basses through some good amps and it makes the bass tolerable. Not good but enough to get by on. It doesn't make sense to me to have a really nice bass that sounds very good through a nice amp but sounds bad through a bad amp. Just my 2 cents
  16. PunkNerve

    PunkNerve Fender Guitar and Bass Historian

    Apr 24, 2016
    Definitely the amp unless your bass just feels bad to play, i.e poor fretwork, bent neck, etc.
  17. What's the minimum you can spend to get what may be generally considered a decent amp? 300? 500? 800? Over 1000?

    IMO a decent guitar or bass is minimum 350-500 (think Mexican fender strat or some of the nice yamaha basses in that range) and I know that really rocking (guitar) amps can rack up a few thousand (mesa boogie dual rectifier) but can you get a decent amp for 350-500?

    I'm talking generally considered good, as opposed to "YMMV" "tone is subjective " - consensus is objective even though it's comprised of subjective opinions.
    A. D. Fairhurst likes this.
  18. addicted


    May 23, 2012
    Amp should go first for me. As somebody who has multiple basses and 1 amp, I must say my "bad" basses will sound great with great amps. "Bad" amps do not support my bass so well.

    I buy bass to satisfy my itchy hand to play new things honestly. Oh...and looks.
    A. D. Fairhurst likes this.
  19. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton valar morghulis Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Exceptionally good doesn't really help me determine it. Are we talking about a high powered amp that has a cracked cone and puts out a nasty tone, or just an amp that puts out a decent tone but isn't powerful enough for what you want?

    Is it a cheap bass that for all intents and purposes plays fine but you're not to thrilled about the sound, or a bass that has uneven frets and a busted truss rod?

    If it's a playable bass, I say upgrade the amp.

    If it's working (enough) amp, I say upgrade the bass, but invest in a DI for gigs before you build your dream rig.
  20. If the situation was a need to upgrade a bass or amp already owning crappy versions of each, and needing it to work gigs, it would be an amp. If work was rare or nonexistent I would go with the bass.

    Fundamentally it is the instrument that you play, If I consider the situation of no bass and no amp I would certainly go with the bass first. I started playing bass with no amp, it was an upright. Then we moved and the bass didn't, belonging to the school system. About a year later Dad and Mom bought me the Framus, semi acoustic. I didn't own an amplifier until nearly 4 years after the bass. Considering I have, two working bass rig and about 10 basses I feel I place more value on the instrument. I can run out and find a bass amp that will satisfy the need, easier than getting a bass that will suit my needs in sound, playability and inspiration.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
    Jhengsman likes this.

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