Bedroom / small gigging capable amp

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by Danukenator, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Danukenator

    Danukenator Kane's Bane

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    Howdy y'all,

    Recently, I've been obsessed with playing bass. I upgraded the POS no-name bass I had for 5-6 years to a Sterling SUB 5 and it completely reinvigorated my desire to play. I'd like to make a modest upgrade to my amp. My current bass amp is a Roland Cube 30...the guitar version.

    I'd ideally like to get a new amp that is good for bedroom playing (e.g. avoiding death by annoyed roommates) but could also play alongside drums/guitars in a jam session. I'm not planning to gig so it isn't like I'm competing against a half-stack, etc. I'd also like to keep the price below $800 (if possible).

    I've focused entirely on playing bass so I'm pretty ignorant about the gear. I'm playing a variety of stuff, mostly rock, blues, and pop from the 70's and 80's (lots of Blue Oyster Cult, Scorpions, Van Halen, Stone Chisel, etc). I haven't really been playing much metal.
     
  2. stevexc

    stevexc SS.org Regular

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    My Fender Rumble 100 works well for that exact scenario. Plus it works for gigs as it's got the line out, so long as the monitor situation is decent.
     
  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Any 2x10 or bigger combo amp above 200 watts.

    Fender, Peavey, Ampeg, Hartke, Carvin, SWR and Ashdown are all great options and plentiful on the used market.

    Hop on your local used gear boards and give us some options.

    Eh, fuck it. Take a look at these:
    https://maine.craigslist.org/msg/d/ashdown-bass-combo-amp/6738406521.html
    https://maine.craigslist.org/msg/d/bass-amp-fender-rumble-350/6732976850.html
    https://maine.craigslist.org/msg/d/tc-helicon-bass-amp-bg/6760348248.html
    https://maine.craigslist.org/msg/d/peavey-bass-rig/6728665386.html

    Those should get you started. You don't need to spend big bucks now. Just get a basic reliable setup that's easy to work with and spend the extra on a pedal like a Sansamp, M80 or B7K.
     
    Danukenator and budda like this.
  4. saved

    saved SS.org Regular

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    I never liked the ashdown amps
     
  5. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I don't think they'd ever be my first choice, outside of some of their discontinued higher end stuff, but always thought the MAG and ABM series units were solid. Nice and flexible with a powerful semi-parametric EQ or active shelving. Very loud and clear. They were just kinda of forgettable. They didn't have the GK grunt or a particularly hi-fi sound either.
     
  6. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    any bass combo should do you fine, jsut be sure its at the very least a 1x12", but try to aim for a 1x15" really. That should do you more than fine

    as for brands. back in my days15 years ago I did everything you ask with a Crate BX50 combo (1x12") and it was more than fine..... Now I have an Ampeg PF350head + 1x15"Cab, and it worked me fine for the couple of years I gig witha small band I had couple of years ago. The amp lived with the -15db pad ON all the time at home and barely made it pass 9-11 o'clock on the volume dial

    before buying that ampeg I was looking at a Warwick cheap combo amp, and I was blown away on how low the level was at the store I tried..... So give them a try if you can.

    Im more biased into Ampeg, so try one of their combo amps, good value
     
  7. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Try a 210 vs a 115 and see which you like more. You may decide differently upon joining a band.

    Lots of good suggestions here so far.
     
  8. GenghisCoyne

    GenghisCoyne im here to party

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    Every so often i see a used minimark 802 for under 800. If youre willing to go around 850 youll find one as soon as you look. The tone is really clean, it shows off your bass really well. Ive used one as my home/ band practice in ideal conditions (combo guitarist not half stack) amp for 7 years and i have never felt like it was inadequate.
     
  9. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall Player

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    There is no amp on this earth that won't drive your roommates insane even at low volumes, because low frequencies propagate through solid objects. Get any amp at all that has a headphone jack and use that during the times of day when it would really bother your housemates to hear the sound of bass resonating through the floors, ceiling, and walls of your home.
     
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  10. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall Player

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    Speaker size doesn't mean shit any more. Some 10's go lower than 15s, some 15s respond faster than 12s.

    Use your ears, not your eyes and reading glasses when you're buying musical gear.

    The Fender Rumble amps are highly regarded, same with the Gallien Krueger MB series (bonus is that they offer a powered extension cabinet so should you need more volume in the future, you can get a matching cabinet and go louder). Blackstar recently released some promising combo amps with a similar feature.

    If you don't care about weight, but an old Peavey TKO or similar amp from the 80s or 90s with the Black Widow speaker. They weight a metric fuckton, but they have suprisingly flexible EQ sections and can get really fucking loud. They can also fall out of a truck on the freeway going 80MPH and still fire up at the gig.
     
  11. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    How are VST's for bass these days? If you have a decent computer, you can probably download a free DAW and a VST or two (or just run garage band if you have a mac) and rock headphone practice that way. Then you only really need to worry about an amp for the gigs.
     
  12. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    pretty good. Ive been playing wit the Amplitube Ampeg for the last year..... and many years ago I used to do so with the old version. Sounds great and perfect.

    But for home practice...... The OP wants to practice with a band too, hes better spending the money on a nice combo amp. Unless you have good recording monitors, playing bass trough a computer over headphones gets annoying
     
  13. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    How about...

    A Peavey Vypyr VIP? It could do electric guitar, bass, and acoustic guitar. It's not perfect, but should fit your needs.

    Or,

    a Behringer BDI21 and a used PA of your choice. This way, you will still have the flexibility of using your PA for whatever. When you gig, you can plug the BDI21 into your gig place's board.
     
  14. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Im not saying dont get the good amp, im saying maybe the good jam amp doesnt have headphone but theres a workaround.
     
  15. Danukenator

    Danukenator Kane's Bane

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'm going to try and hit up some shops over the weekend and report back! For my price point Fender, Peavey, and Ampeg all seem to be popular contenders (esp. because they can be found used pretty readily).

    I should update my profile because I moved all the way to Oregon but you've given me something to do when I visit home!
     
  16. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Like I said, focus more on the bones of the amp, it's basic specs and configuration, at this price point.

    Just about any 2x10 or more speakers being pushed by over 250 watts will fit perfectly in the space between semi-unobtrusive practice and loud enough for small gigs and band practice. If you want a little more wiggle room, and don't mind the extra heft, 500 watts and an extension cab will worth shooting for.

    The perfect "first rig" would probably be one or those old Hartke 4x10 combos. They used to be plentiful on the used market.
     
  17. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    I would argue diferently and against it...... Thats way too big for a "first rig" settup, specially for a bedroom practice and rock/blues/pop practice band

    bit too overkill, but mostly un-practical


    but agree with you on the more bones to the amp. Just because its "big" or "small" it doesnt meant they are gonna sound like their respective size, so get something that can go loud. Because I have seen good sized combo amps being quiet AF

    but also think about practicality. Think how many times you would be carrying and moving that amp back n forth to your practice and home. Your style of music is not balls to the wall levels, so you wont be fighting a death metal drummer with endless blast beat/double kick.

    again a 1x12" or 1x15" with enough power would be the best compromise for you. I rather something small that I would crank it up, than something big Im never gonna pass over 5 in volume but I would need a trolley and a hired roadie to move around
     

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