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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

    1,012 vote(s)
  2. Bass

    840 vote(s)
  3. Carrots

    262 vote(s)
  1. If your amp is small, the amp. Otherwise, doesn't really matter both will improve your sound. I have a mahogany cirrus and an ampeg ba115.
  2. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    Carrots because they would probably be the one out of those choices that rots first...:wacky:
  3. GnarlyThotep


    Sep 19, 2017
    Unless your bass is a special kinda awful, the amp is going to make a bigger difference.

    If you love the way your bass plays but hate the way it sounds, you need new electronics and/or a new amp. If you hate the way your bass plays, you probably need a new bass--doesn't matter how it sounds.
    Robroy likes this.
  4. I just upgraded my amp. :)
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    15 year old thread guys.....
    Two-Spirit and mikewalker like this.
  6. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1 Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    There is no right answer to this. If you have a substandard bass, a quality amp is going clearly amplify those deficiencies. If you have a crap amp, it’s going to sound like crap. Either way, it’s going to sound like crap. Now, if you had gun to my head, I’d opt for a better amp, then get a job to pay for a better bass.
  7. telecopy


    Dec 6, 2009
    Playing at home? Bass. Playing out? Amp. Money to burn? Both.
    Levin likes this.
  8. I would upgrade the bass first. The bass is what you have to be the most comfortable playing. Then you can upgrade the amp to suite the sounds of the bass, power, etc.
  9. Amp 1st. A cheap bass can easily be improved with a new pickup and a pro setup. Wood is wood, and most basses now are made on CNC machines anyway, so tolerances are tight regardless of price point. (I don't mean to start a flame war here, just speaking in generalities).

    A cheap amp isn't much good ever.

    Amplifying the low frequencies requires more power than higher ones. That's why a 50 watt tube amp for guitar is often more than enough but a 50 watt bass amp is anemic sounding. Speakers that handle bass well usually need to be able to do pretty big excursions safely too, which costs more too.

    Thankfully class D has solved the power issue for bassists inexpensively, but you still need a good preamp and a good speaker cab to sound good.
  10. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    If your amp isn't loud enough to be heard then amp first.
    If your amp sound like junk, amp first
    If your bass is a piece of junk and your amp is loud enough to be heard, bass first
  11. Ampslut

    Ampslut Supporting Member

    May 15, 2017
    It depends on whether or not you are wanting to gig or jam. You can have a top of the line bass but, if your amp can't keep up, (you suck).
    You can get a pretty decent amp (rumble 500 combo etc. around $600) for the price of a moderately priced bass guitar.

    On the other hand if your present amp is cutting it, then go for a better bass if you are not satisfied with your current one.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  12. Heavy Blue

    Heavy Blue

    Nov 11, 2017
    Prairie Canada
    If the bass in question isn't a total POS then the amp, for sure.

    As someone said earlier. My Squier VM sounds great through my SWR. A bigger upgrade than a "better" bass would have sounded through my old Yorkville that I had prior.

    The other thing to consider is keeping the current amp/bass and upgrading the cab.

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