Beginner's Bass Amp - Suggestions Please

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by KingFool1, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. KingFool1

    KingFool1 TDPRI Member

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    I recently got a, new to me, used bass, Peavey Foundation. If the serial number list on Wikipedia is correct it was shipped in '83, a 4 string with 2 super-ferrite pickups. I has a fairly narrow neck with a rosewood fingerboard which if very comfortable for me. I took it in to a local shop for a setup and it's playing great! $200 + 35 for the setup.

    It also still had the original molded case - btw this only has a strip of foam on the top of the case running along the strings, were these originally lined more completely? The foam is beginning to flake off leaving small particles all over, I'll probably re-line it a some point.

    I really love playing this instrument, but I've only been playing it at low volumes thru guitar amps, the tones are good but I'm worried that it may overwork the speakers.

    I'm thinking about getting a small bass combo amp, size is getting to be at a premium now. A 1-15 cabinet would be about as large as I would want, 2-10" are the same size, are multiple speakers better/worse/just different?

    I'm just playing it a home now but I'd like it to be capable of playing a small-medium size gig at some point. I generally play Blues/Country/Classic Rock, although with the bass I'm playing a lot more jazzy type things - that thing just sings! - it's soo melodic. Also I find myself playing more funky groove things because it's just so much fun.

    So any suggestions on amps I should be looking at would be appreciated. I know Peavey makes a lot of Bass gear, but it's too soon in this relationship to be exclusive, or is it? I already have 2 Peavey guitar amps. Budget new would be around $500 but I'm open to going used too. I've always had a fascination with Ampeg (I really want a Super Echo Twin) but I know they've had a checkered past with multiple management companies, I wouldn't know which models or periods to look at. But I'm open to other brands also.
     
  2. Gunny

    Gunny Tele-Holic

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    Your budget is good. Don't settle for too small of an amp, meaning get something with speaker(s) 10 inches or 12 to 15". Smaller than 10" will sound less than desirable. I'll let the others chime in on which amps they recommend, and why.
     
  3. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

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    With your budget and gigging plans, I'd look for either a 2X10 cab w/ head or a 1X15 combo. 200 Watts is about right if you plan on gigging and want to keep clean headroom, without having too big a rig to lug around.

    TC Electonics and Fender Rumble both are in your price range. A used Hartke 2X10 (what I use) is hard to find but worth looking out for. Ampeg PF-350 head (a lot of power but small in size and only around $300 new) is a great all-around head that will do just about anything in the small to medium gig range.
     
  4. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    Following this thread. I too, a long time guitar player, bought my first bass. Its a cheap Squire Affinity P bass, $65 on craigslist. Got new strings, some missing screws and knobs, read up in my Dan Erlewine book and set it up. Took it to a drummer friends with a Beringer keyboard amp, one with multi channels. He plays electronic drums thru it, can also handle vocals. It played and sounded better than I expected. So now I too need a bass amp, hopefully another craigslist deal. A pro bass player friend of mine said 100 Watts thru a 15" should be the minimum size I look for. Thoughts?
     
  5. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have an old Fender BXR 100 1x15 that I use for practice. Before that I had a 60 watt 1x12 Behringer that took a beating even with just low level practice. Get a good sized amp or get a well designed small amp. They cost the same so it's mostly a space vs volume type of thing.
     
  6. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    New model Fender Rumble 200. I think it's got one 15" in it, it'll be loud enough for playing gigs, and it weighs less than 40 lbs. They run $399 at most retailers.

    http://www.fender.com/bass-amplifiers/rumble/rumble-200/product-237050.html

    I got rid of my old Peavey TKO115. It weighed over 80 lbs. and only put out 75 watts. I replaced it with a Rumble 40 and it's almost as loud and has far better tone quality. Rumbles are great bang for your buck.
     
  7. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

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    You can find great deals on used 200 watt ashdown heads. They sound great and kinda fly a little bit under the radar so you get good prices on them used. Beyond that, I would suggest finding a friend with a table saw and making yourself a 1x15 or 2x10 cabinet (easy to wire). You can get a beast of an amp on the cheap this way.
     
  8. 4mal

    4mal Friend of Leo's

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    On my local (Portland, Or) CL this week, GK 800 RB, $300. Avatar 210 or Avatar 2x12, 200 or 230 respectively. Nothing in your price range will sound as good, get as loud and last as long... Except maybe a Peavey TNT in which case it will never die even though you want it to...
     
  9. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

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    It really depends on the amp. I currently run a 50-Watt tube Bassman clone head through a 200w Hartke 2X10 and it is plenty for club gigs. Last weekend I played a dance club to 100-150 people and the volume never got above "3" on the head. The rig is light and portable to boot.

    On the other hand, I used to own a 70s Traynor Bassmaster -- 45 watts into a single 15 -- heavy as a fridge, and it was farting out even at modest stage volume with a drummer. (It was a much better guitar amp, though).

    Most bassists I gig with (I'm often on guitar) use at least 200 watts if they're running solid state in a combo or into a small cab. Volume is not the aim... clean headroom is; bassists are generally not looking for breakup (the main reason for guitarists to go for lower wattage cranked up).

    Given the portability and low price of the modern Fender Rumble, TC, and Ampeg gear, I see no reason not to treat yourself to 200 watts at a minimum... which leaves you prepared for anything while fitting snugly in the trunk of a compact car.
     
  10. KCKC

    KCKC Tele-Afflicted

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  11. Shaunpski

    Shaunpski Tele-Meister

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    I've got an older Rumble 150 with the 15 inch speaker. It does everything I ask. I also have an older Peavey head and 1x15 cab that do very well. If I were in the market for new, I'd take a look at the new Rumbles. They are getting a lot of good press on the TalkBass amp forum. Another option getting good press is the GK MB112 or 115. You can always add the GK powered 112 cabinet to that. Good luck!

    Shaun
     
  12. KingFool1

    KingFool1 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the replies and suggestions everyone. The search continues but I'll let you all know what I end up with.
     
  13. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ampeg ba112 or ba115
     
  14. James Knox

    James Knox Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The new Fender Rumble series sound fantastic and are super light weight.
     
  15. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

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    Congrats on your 'new' Foundy!

    The Roland Bass Cube 30 (aka CB-30) is a fun amp. It is plenty loud for home use, and has modern features of headphone out, some very good built-in effects. I bought mine used, and really enjoy it!
     
  16. Lowbassnotes

    Lowbassnotes Friend of Leo's

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    I agree RB 800 is a killer amp, tons of headroom and enough to play on any stage. RB 400 isn't too shabby either, both great classic amps.
     
  17. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can vouch for the GK MB115. 200 watts into 1 15" speaker with a switchable horn for the highs. Manageable size and light weight, it's good enough for small to medium size venues and you can line out to the pa if you need more volume.
     
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