Best Bass Combo Amp Review – Top Rated Models in 2020 with Buying Guide
The many bass combo amps for sale and the different features they come with might make it difficult when looking for the best bass combo amp. To simplify your decision-making process, we have examined the products that are popular among bass players and decided that the Fender Rumble is the first option to consider. The 500-watt class D power amp will provide musicians with a deep bass response and help them explore various bass tones in a lightweight unit. If you can’t find this product, you might want to consider the VOX PB10.
Our Top Choice
Designed with portability and high performance in mind, this guitar amp is worth adding to your list of options. The unit ensures powerful tones without affecting your comfort when traveling. Thanks to the foot-switchable overdrive circuit, versatile three-button voicing palette, speakers, XLR output, and effects loop featured, you can employ the amp for any gig.
Given its features and design, the unit falls a bit on the expensive side.
If you travel a lot and you’re in need of a compact guitar amp that will help you create sonic delight yet not affect your comfort, this portable unit should not go unchecked.
If you’re an on-the-go bass player looking for an amp that will help you express your sonic creativity without affecting your comfort when traveling, this unit might be right up your alley. It weighs only 12.32 pounds, which makes it easy to store and transport. Its various specs will help you play with the sound you create. Also, the unit was designed to help you enjoy private practice sessions.
A few buyers who tried this amp say the item worked fine just for a year or so.
Portability, ease of use, a stylish design, and several characteristics that will help you play with your sound are the benefits you get to enjoy if you go for this amp.
Also To Consider
Built with travelers in mind, this amp should not be ignored before you make your final decision. It measures 8.2 x 11.7 x 11.6 inches and weighs only 14.99 pounds, which means that portability is not an issue. The product is easy to store and transport. Sporting eight different amps, six cool effects, and a stereo AUX input among others, this easy-to-use item will up your sonic performance.
At least one user says the tuner featured did not help much.
In case you’re on the go a lot and you’re in need of an amp to help you perform in different places without affecting your comfort, this amp should not be missed out.
11 Best Bass Combo Amps (Reviews) in 2020
Because the market is generous when it comes to bass combo amplifiers, finding the right one for your needs might prove a bit of a challenge. To ease your shopping, we have compiled a list of bass combo amps reviews based on the most appreciated products in this line and the features they come with.
- 1. Fender Rumble 500 Bass 2×10 Combo Amp
- 2. VOX Pathfinder 10B – 10W Bass Guitar Practice Amplifier Combo
- 3. Roland Micro Cube RX Battery-Powered Bass Combo Amp
- 4. Blackstar FLY3BASS Bass Combo Amplifier
- 5. Hartke HD15 Bass Combo Amplifier
- 6. Peavey Electronics 03608210 Max 115 Bass Combo Amplifier
- 7. Gallien-Krueger MB112-II 200W 1×12 Combo Bass Amp
- 8. Ampeg BA-110V2 Bass Combo Amplifier
- 9. Hartke Kickback 12
- 10. JOYO MA-10B 10W Mini Bass Amp
- Yearly Guide & Report
- Frequently asked questions about Bass Combo Amps
1. Fender Rumble 500 Bass 2×10 Combo Amp
The first product to consider when looking for quality guitar amps is the Rumble model from Fender. If you’re interested in high-performance and portability, then you should not miss out this amp when exploring the market. Providing the classic Fender vibe, the amp was designed to deliver powerful tones without affecting one’s comfort when traveling.
The unit is lighter and louder than many other amps offering more power at the same time. The Rumble amp measures 17.9 x 27.6 x 22.8 inches and weighs 36.5 pounds, which many musicians see as a leap forward in portability. Therefore, if you’re in need of a small guitar amp, this item might be the one to opt for.
The versatile three-button voicing palette and the foot-switchable overdrive circuit render the item ideal for any gig. Other pro features the amp comes with include the 2 – 10″ speakers, XLR output, horn defeat, effects loop, and an additional 8-ohm speaker output.
This is an easy-to-use amp, that is simple and straightforward, and for live performances, it’s really easy to transport.
It’s got a compact size and a weight of only 39 pounds which means you can put it nearly anywhere.
In terms of looks, the design is a simple yet aesthetic one, with the device being durable, and the corners protected by strong rubber pieces.
You get eight knobs on the control panel, all looking retro, and all of them providing the effects and customization you need.
In terms of sound, the lows are good, as you might expect from a bass amp, and the mids are decent too, and both of them are as clear as you can get.
All in all the bass amp is practical, easy to use, and fun no matter where you use it.
It doesn’t have side handles, so picking it up or placing it atop another amp is difficult.Buy from Amazon.com for ($599.99)
2. VOX Pathfinder 10B – 10W Bass Guitar Practice Amplifier Combo
Another bass combo amplifier you might want to check before hitting the order button is the PB10 from Vox. Weighing just 12.32 pounds and measuring only 16.1 x 7.5 x 11.8 inches, this amp will go perfectly with travel guitars and on-the-go bassists.
The dual-speaker unit was designed to amplify your sonic experience without requiring too much effort when traveling with it or carrying it from place to place. The amp features the Bass and Treble shaping controls as well as a Bright switch that will help the musician enhance the upper harmonics. If you want to fatten up the sound, you can use the Drive controls to dial in a soft bass distortion and enjoy that.
The Headphone/Line output enables recording and private practice sessions. The Pathfinder Bass 10 sports a pair of 5″ VOX bulldog speakers that are powered by the 10-watt amp. The combo amp boasts the classic VOX design and feel.
On the front of this vintage-looking amp, you can see several buttons that will help you greatly and those include the knob that switches from clean to overdrive, the EQ control, and the volume knob.
The model is a versatile one and that is also due to the headphones/line port that allows you to use it silently.
Having all the essential tools to make a bass sound good, this amp is great for beginners due to how easy it is to use.
Aesthetically, this is a beautiful amp as well and it looks like a miniature version of some great VOX amplifiers.
It’s also one of the smallest models in its category and due to the handle positioned at the top, it can be carried around like a small bag.
It’s a solid-state amp and that means it won’t be able to cope with heavy distortion effects and that makes it limited.Buy from Amazon.com for ($246.99)
3. Roland Micro Cube RX Battery-Powered Bass Combo Amp
If you’re traveling a lot and you need a portable combo amplifier, this tiny fellow from Roland might be what you need. The Micro Cube model measures only 8.2 x 11.7 x 11.6 inches and weighs 14.99 pounds, which makes it ideal for travelers.
Even if it boasts a micro design, there’s nothing micro about it when it comes to the features it offers. The 4-speaker combo sports eight different amps and that is probably a feature not many combo amps offer. Moreover, the unit houses a built-in tuner, six awesome effects, and a Rhythm Guide so you can keep time like a professional.
The stereo AUX input allows the user to connect a CD/MP3 player and recording equipment. Another great thing about this amp is that it is powered by six AA batteries that will provide you with up to 13 hours of continuous use, which render it perfect for street gigs.
The amp comes with custom-designed speakers that are specially made for them and they are really compact and powerful.
It contains two small power amps and four speakers and that helps it create a stereo and immersive sound that is so pleasing to hear.
It can run on a battery, but it can also be powered by an AC adaptor that comes included in the package, offering versatility this way.
Like the guitar version of this model, the amp features some great effects that can be used by a bassist feeling the need to express his or her music in more nuanced sounds.
The company has great experience when it comes to providing a stereo effect, along with spatial depth with the help of chorus and reverb and that’s why those two effects sound great.
One of the main complains of players is that the amp doesn’t sound loud enough.Buy from Amazon.com for ($299.99)
4. Blackstar FLY3BASS Bass Combo Amplifier
You shouldn’t let yourself be fooled by the small size of this model since even though it is indeed very compact, it manages to offer more than enough volume for home practice, and the tone it delivers is very good as well. The 3-watt bass is battery powered, which means that you can use it to practice even when you’re far from home.
It also has an MP3/Line In, which is very useful when you’re jamming along, and you can use the amplifier to listen to your favorite music. This feature allows you to transform the amp into a portable speaker. It also has a headphone and emulated line out so that you can record or practice silently without disturbing your neighbors.
The amplifier combines two channels, EQ and compressor, and whether you plan to play the bass or use your phone or tablet to play your favorite music, this nifty model allows you to take your music with you everywhere you go.
Even at full volume, this amplifier manages to hold up sound quality very well without that honk that small amps tend to have.
This model has an input for your phone, tablet, or MP3 player so that you can use it as a portable speaker.
It allows you to practice or record silently without disturbing your neighbors or your family since you can connect a pair of headphones to it, or you can use the emulated line out feature.
The compressor is very good for a product that’s this small, and even at low volumes, it can still reproduce the low B surprisingly well.
It can only be used for home practice since, even when blasting at full volume, it won’t be able to be heard in a large venue.
If you want to enjoy the best possible sound quality, you should use a pair of headphones instead of the built-in speaker.
5. Hartke HD15 Bass Combo Amplifier
This model features an intuitive control layout so that even amateurs can use it without too much hassle, and it is built to provide reliable and long-lasting performance. It uses Hartke’s new patented HyDrive speaker technology that offers a serious tone, and it is ideal for bass players of all styles and genres.
Even when you’re cranking the volume up, the speaker manages to balance the punch so that you can still enjoy a pleasant sound that’s not too harsh. The amplifier delivers 15 watts of output power, and this makes it suitable for small venues, bedroom practice sessions, and rehearsal sessions.
Apart from the ¼” input for active and passive bass guitars, this model also comes equipped with a 1/9” stereo aux input that you can use to connect additional devices to the amplifier, such as MP3 players, keyboards, drum machines, and more. There’s also a headphone output so that you can practice silently if you need to.
This model is designed to be user-friendly and reliable for players of all skill levels, hence why all the controls are readily available on the top-mounted panel that allows for easy adjustments.
On the top of the amplifier, you’ll find a durable solid strap handle that makes carrying the unit around a breeze.
The speaker is packed in a ruggedly constructed cabinet that has a sleek, perforated metal grill designed to protect it from damage during transit.
It features a built-in limiter that will prevent unwanted distortion, sudden volume, as well as loudspeaker damage.
The stereo aux input will let you play along with your favorite tracks via an MP3 player.
The metal housing can get loose, and while you can tighten it back on, some of the screws may need replacement since they’re rather flimsy.
It is good for small and medium rooms, but you shouldn’t expect it to deliver enough power for outdoor performances.
6. Peavey Electronics 03608210 Max 115 Bass Combo Amplifier
Designed to meet the needs of both professional players and beginners, the Max 115 Bass Combo Amplifier from Peavey is another product you might want to check before making a decision. This unit won’t just help you take your sound closer to a superior level but it will make it comfortable for you to take it when traveling given its weight.
Although 52 pounds might seem not that light to some people, in the world of amps, that is still a decent weight considering the sonic benefits a player can enjoy by using such a product. The 300-watt amp comes with a 15-inch heavy-duty woofer and DDT speaker protection.
The EQ section features Punch, Mid-shift, and Bright controls and a 3-band EQ. The unit also sports a built-in chromatic tuner, 1/8″ jacks for phone output and aux input as well as XLR direct output with ground lift.
Taking into account its small weight and compact shape, this amplifier is great for on-the-go bassists that have to take their amp with them wherever they go.
It offers a whopping 300 watts of power, and that is more than enough to cover a small or medium-sized venue.
The amplifier comes with heavy-duty 15-inch woofers and they also have DDT protection, to ensure that even if the power the amp receives isn’t enough, it will still perform well.
You get the controls you need from such a powerful amp, including a 3-band EQ, knobs to control the punch, mid-shift, and bright.
Surprisingly, it even has a built-in chromatic tuner that will let you keep your bass strings in check.
It offers all the needed input and output jacks, including the possibility to connect a phone to it.
In terms of effects or customization of the sound, it doesn’t offer too much.Buy from Amazon.com for ($419.99)
7. Gallien-Krueger MB112-II 200W 1×12 Combo Bass Amp
If you’re an advanced player and the field of amps holds little mystery to you, you’ve most probably heard of the legendary bass amps from Gallien-Krueger. If one of its products is what you have in mind, you might want to try the MB112-II model for a sonic boost and a light build.
Featuring a 12” Paragon Speaker, the 200-watt unit was designed to deliver a big sound through a light compact construction that weighs 34 pounds and measures 15 x 15 x 17 inches. Its dimensions render it thus ideal for bassists on the go.
This grab ‘n’ go bass combo amp comes with a Chain Out that will enable the user to connect the unit to an MBP-powered enclosure so the musician can increase the volume for larger venues. The unit also features a 4-band active EQ and a gain control in order for the player to dial in the ideal amount of grit.
It’s one of the most appreciated bass amps by professional players due to the sonic capabilities it has and its light build.
The amp has an impressive power of 200 watts, and it’s made to deliver a big punch, with lots of volume and personality.
Despite the fact that it’s so powerful, it only weighs 34 pounds and it measures 15 by 15 by 17 inches, so it’s really compact, easy to transport wherever you need it.
You can even connect it to an MBP-powered enclosure for those times when you need it to pump out even more volume on some bigger stages.
It allows you to deal in the perfect amount of grit for your liking, and it also comes with a 4-band active EQ to allow for more versatility.
It would have been nicer to have better construction, considering all the physical stress it goes through.Buy from Amazon.com for ($539)
8. Ampeg BA-110V2 Bass Combo Amplifier
This versatile option delivers 40 watts RMS power and a classic tone, which makes it ideal for both rehearsal and practice since the volume levels are loud enough for home, rehearsal, and small gigs. It also comes fitted with auxiliary inputs so that you can play along with your favorite songs on your phone, and the headphone jack will let you practice silently.
The 40 watts of power will certainly get you heard, but what makes this model even more impressive is the new 6-degree wedge. This feature lets you place the amp on its side and experience the full focused sound of a floor monitor. The unit is very easy to use since all the controls are found on the front and are quickly accessible.
Thanks to its rugged design that features a protective all-steel chassis and impact-resistant corners, this portable model is safe to take with you anywhere.
The 60-degree sound reinforcement monitor angle provides an increase in sound clarity, and it guides the sound directly at your ears even in small spaces.
It is very easy to transition from the true monitor angle to a traditional upright position when you need more bass response.
It has a compact design that doesn’t sacrifice durability since the amplifier is covered in an all-steel chassis with impact-resistant metal corners and rugged embraced enclosures.
The player-focused design makes this model very easy to use for beginners, yet it manages to deliver the performance that even the more experienced players demand.
Playing at low volume is not always a pleasant experience since the fan noise is quite powerful, and it can overpower the sound coming from the speaker.
It doesn’t come with a line out option, and if you need this feature, then you’ll have to get one of the larger models in the Ampeg line.Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
9. Hartke Kickback 12
If a high power and a lightweight design are the things you want from your amp, the HMKB12 model from Hartke shouldn’t go unchecked. The product was created to provide players with a serious bass tone that will cut through the mix yet with a portable build that will make it easy and comfortable for the musician to carry the unit from place to place.
The amp weighs only 26 pounds and measures 20 x 17 x 18 inches. With such dimensions, adding this tiny music-enhancer to your gear won’t require too much of your effort. Kickback KB12 delivers 500 watts of Class D power and features the Hydride Speaker Technology.
The amp is a new and improved version of the Kickback 12 Bass Combo that many users appreciated for its overall quality and performance. The 2-way cabinet design of the unit will allow you to use it in the upright or kickback position.
The name of this amp shows exactly what its main feature is – the possibility to kick it back so that you can point it upwards or at an angle.
It does offer some simple controls and working with it is simple and intuitive.
The combo is capable of delivering an impressive power of 500 watts, something that you might find to fill out a large hall with sound.
Coming in at only 35 pounds, it’s clear that you can carry it and place it how you wish, making the task of moving it up the stairs an easy one.
It offers a 3-band EQ that is just what you need when you have a quality bass.
The amp is one designed to work best for live performances or practice sessions because it doesn’t make things too complicated.
If you need more versatility in terms of tones, this amp will not provide that, unfortunately.Buy from Amazon.com for ($449.99)
10. JOYO MA-10B 10W Mini Bass Amp
This highly-portable option features 5-inch customized full-frequency speakers that are rated to deliver a power of 10 watts, and it runs on six AA batteries, which means that you are not tied to a power socket. The AA alkaline batteries will deliver about three hours of battery life, depending on how you use the amplifier.
With that said, you’re not stuck with just one power supply mode since when practicing at home, you can use the included power adapter to connect to a wall power socket. The unit is fitted with a high-quality aux-in jack that will let you play backing tracks and a 3.5mm stereo headphone output jack so that you perform silently or ensure an interference-free playback.
Taking the bass amp with you when traveling is very convenient, and you won’t need a bag since the unit comes equipped with two hidden shoulder strap buckles that let you carry the 4.1-pound amplifier on your shoulder.
This model has two channels, a headphone output, and a 5-inch off-frequency speaker that makes it suitable for various venues, including street performance.
It weighs only 4.1 pounds, and this makes it one of the lightest bass amplifiers on our list, and you can carry it effortlessly using the two hidden shoulder strap buckles.
It is up to the user to decide on what power supply mode to use since this unit can be connected to a power socket, or it can run for up to three hours using six AA alkaline batteries.
This stylish option is available in three different colors, red, white, and black, and the logo lights up when the unit is switched on.
The sound is a bit thin for bass guitars, but it is not fair to hold this against it, considering just how small and portable it is.
It is good strictly for practice at home or performing with friends at campsites or other small venues.Buy from Amazon.com for ($55.99)
11. Roland CUBE-20XL Bass Combo Amp
The large 8-inch speaker allows this model to reach a high volume, and while its performance is impressive, what really makes it stand out is the fact that Roland has managed to pack all that into an ultra-compact frame. Thus, with this model, you can enjoy the performance of a large amplifier without having to deal with all the extra weight, seeing as it weighs just 20 pounds.
The CUBE-20XL comes with seven studio- and stage-ready effects, as well as six COSM amp models onboard, so that you can put your creativity to work. What’s more, there are also single-knob compression and drive controls that will let you give your tone a bit of an edge.
The 20-watt bass amp manages to squeeze a lot of power so that you can enjoy big and rich sounds even at low volumes, and this makes this option excellent for practicing at home, or in other environments that are volume sensitive.
This portable yet powerful bass combo amp delivers enough power for at-home practice and band rehearsals thanks to its custom high-performance 8-inch speaker.
The sound remains big and rich even at low volumes, and this is a feature that customers appreciate since it allows them to practice at home without disturbing their family and neighbors.
For beginners, this model offers excellent value for the money since it is affordable, compact, and comes with all the features that are needed for practice and recording.
The aux input allows you to connect portable music players, and the onboard tuning fork can be used to tune your guitar without unplugging.
When driving the amp to full volume, there is a minor rattling noise, but this isn’t present in all products, and the rattling intensity differs from unit to unit.
Some of the effects can stop working with time, and it isn’t clear what causes this.Buy from Amazon.com for ($249.99)
Yearly Guide & Report
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player in need of a good bass combo amp, the market offers many products to meet various needs and levels. Finding the best combo amplifier for bass guitars, though, might not be that easy considering the various features such products come with and the different models available on the market.
Even if your budget won’t allow you to get something expensive and you’re on the lookout for a cheap bass combo amp, there are some factors you need to consider in order to simplify your shopping process and get an amp that will serve your needs. Here are the main specifications you might want to bear in mind when looking for a bass combo amp.
Tube vs. solid-state amps
The market offers solid-state and tube amps that meet different needs. If you want a high-power bass amp that won’t empty your pockets, you might want to consider a solid-state amp. A tube amp is generally more expensive and even more fragile.
The thing with solid-state amps is that they play loud and the distortion created might not be that musical when they reach their upper limits. Tube amps, although costlier, will get you a cleaner and more pleasing overdrive. However, many solid-state amps were designed in such a way to have enough headroom and thus avoid overdrive.
Bass amp combos or head and cabinet?
Just like when you’re on the lookout for a phaser pedal, an octave pedal to try something new, or bass pedals to flavor your music according to your musical mindset, one of the first things to use as a filter is the sort of practice you need the product for.
If you intend to go for small studio gigs or just home practice, then an all-in-one combo amp should be enough. A bass combo amp integrates the speaker(s) and the amp into a single cabinet so you don’t have to worry about cabling and component-matching issues.
A properly engineered amp/speaker combo with a closed back should play loud enough for small and medium venues. In case you will play in large halls and open arenas, you will need a high-powered head that is matched with a single or double cabinet.
Speaker size and number of speakers
Another aspect that will help you decide which model to go for is the size of the speaker integrated into the combo amp. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. This depends on the sound you prefer. There are bassists that prefer the sound of several speakers in one cabinet whereas others prefer two large speakers instead.
The difference is in the sound the speakers will get you. Therefore, a greater number of smaller speakers in a cabinet will create a more accurate sound. With a single larger speaker, the sound gets a bit heavy, even mushy.
The market offers various speaker cabinet combinations. The most popular ones for bass players include the 4 x 10″, 1 x 15″, 1 x 18″, and the 8 x 10″ combinations. Again, the type of sessions you will engage in and the venue you choose for your gigs will help you decide which combination to choose.
In case you will use the amp just to practice, a 100-watt unit should do. For sessions that are more than practice, you should keep in mind that low frequencies will draw lots of power to move big speakers back and forth. In this case, you might want to consider a 200- to 400-watt amp.
It’s not uncommon to see even 500-1000 watt amps, though. Besides the fact that bass guitar amplifiers require so much power to reproduce low frequencies at high volumes, bass amps come with a higher power rating to ensure clean headroom. Bass players generally prefer cleaner tones.
With a high-wattage amp, you can achieve a clean tone even at incredible volumes and still have great control over your sound. However, a higher power rating is usually required for large venues.
Number of channels
Another feature to keep in mind when looking for the best bass combo amplifier is the number of channels. If you get a model that comes with dual channels, you will have the possibility to set up two different EQ and effects chains and then switch between them with ease.
In case you want internal overdrive, it is best to go for an amp that comes with two gain controls to allow you to control the distortion amount and volume. You will find EQ that is either a simple 3-knob tone control or a more sophisticated graphic or parametric model.
Portability and build
If you travel a lot and you want a bass combo to keep up with that, then you need to pay attention to portability. Thanks to the latest achievements in this field, it is now possible to enjoy the benefits of an amp even when on the go without your comfort being affected.
You will find many models that come with specs even pros look for in a lightweight compact unit. Some of the amps we have showcased above are ideal for touring players or users interested in taking their musical gear with them when traveling. There are models that weigh only 20 pounds or so.
Don’t forget about the materials used and their durability. A bass cabinet will vibrate more than other cabinets and this calls for a solid build as well as a thicker wood. Metal corners and speaker screens are also recommended given that certain amps are heavier and thus roughly handled.
Frequently asked questions about Bass Combo Amps
Q: How do bass amps work?
Bass amplifiers are electronic devices that convert electrical signals into audio waves and thus make the sound of the instrument audible to those listening to the performance that involves such a musical instrument. Amplifiers are used for various low-pitched instruments including bass guitars and double bass.
In order to do that, the bass amps feature various parts that might differ from one amp model to another. To convert the audio vibrations produced by the bass strings, the amplifier requires and thus features a preamplifier, tone controls, the power amp as well as a speaker.
In the case of a bass amp combo, you will find all the parts mentioned above. However, the market also offers stacks or head and cab setups where the amplifier or the head and the cab or the speakers are separate. Bass amps are further divided into other types based on the technology used. You will thus find tube amplifiers, solid-state amps, and hybrids.
The head of a bass amp is where you find the main electronic components and where you plug your bass guitar. The output of the head will be sent to the so-called cabinet, otherwise known as the box where the speaker is.
The preamp is where the first signal of your bass goes to and the part that shapes the signal in different ways. After the signal has been shaped by the preamp, it will go to the power amp where it is made more powerful and, once amplified, the signal is sent to the speaker.
Q: Is there a difference between bass amps and guitar amps?
Although both fall into the class of stringed instruments, basses and guitars do come with differences and so do the amps used for them. While the differences are not major, they exist as far as power, design, and voicing are concerned.
One thing is clear: both devices are designed to amplify a signal that would otherwise remain quiet; therefore, guitar and bass amps use similar circuitry. One of the major features that set the two amp types apart regards the power requirement.
In order to reproduce low frequencies, bass amps require more power. You’ll see this difference between guitar and bass amps in the number of watts mentioned in their description. The watt range for guitar amps is somewhere between 15 to 100 watts whereas the one for bass amps is between 100 and 500, but you can find units even with higher wattage.
One of the most easy-to-notice differences between bass and guitar amps lies in the number of controls they feature. Although this characteristic may vary from one model to another, bass amps usually come with fewer controls. Things change when it comes to guitar amps as such units sport a variety of controls including effects and distortion.
Besides power and design, bass and guitar amps are different as far as voicing is regarded, otherwise known as the tone produced. As we’ve said before, bass amps require more power to handle low frequencies, which translates into a cleaner and deeper tone. Guitar amps are used not only to amplify the signal but also to distort and add various effects to the sonic output.
Q: Can I play electric guitar through a bass amplifier?
Since there is a difference between a guitar and a bass and between bass and guitar amps, many musicians tend to say no when it comes to answering this question, yet there is much debate regarding this topic. While playing an electric guitar through a bass amplifier is not impossible and won’t break anything either, issues regarding the sound might occur.
Think of the role of these instruments. Guitars are not low-end rhythm instruments and basses are not lead instruments; therefore, the amps designed to be used with such instruments come with differences that will help these instruments meet their specific roles.
The tone you get when using a bass amp for bass is cleaner and deeper. When employing such a unit for your electric guitar practice and performance, the sound you will get will thus be cleaner and some musicians might find it to be just a bit too clean.
Plus, another feature that might stop some guitar players from using a bass amp is the number of controls offered by such a unit. Guitar amps come with a variety of controls including effects and distortion. With a bass guitar, you get just a few controls, which means it reduces the versatility you’d enjoy when employing a guitar amp.
However, it is best to try out a bass amp when playing the electric guitar and see if the sound produced matches your preferences. Guitarists have used bass amps for decades, which means they do a great job in certain instances like when you use effects pedals.
Q: What wattage bass amp do I need?
To find the best bass amp for your specific goals, you need to pay attention to various features such units come with. One of them regards the wattage. Today’s market offers units that vary from 20W to 2,000W. Your needs will help you decide which unit to go for.
Your budget might allow you to buy the best bass amps on the market yet if they don’t boast the characteristics your playing style and performance require, they might actually affect your sonic output. To handle lower frequencies bass amps call for higher wattage.
Still, if you only practice at home now and then and no drummer is playing with you, a bass amp with a lower wattage should do. Things change when your guitar sessions involve more than some spare-time fun practice, though. If you have gigs and play with a drummer, a higher-wattage amp is recommended.
Generally, a bass amp should put out 2-4 times the wattage of your instrument. For example, if your band includes a guitarist with a 50W amp, you might want to consider getting a 100W to 200W bass amp.
Think of the tone you want to achieve, the configuration of the speaker included in the amp unit, and other such aspects before purchasing the bass amp. Of course, it is always best to try out a product before buying it, yet since that is not always possible, this general rule might serve as a starting point.
Orange Crush Bass 50 watt Bass Guitar Amp Combo
With the Crush Bass 50 from Orange, you will get to shape your sonic experience with tones and features that only pros use. The 50-watt model was designed to deliver punchy and bold lows thanks to its ported cabinetry and analog circuitry. The flexibility of the active EQ section will allow the players to shape and customize their sound in endless ways.
The Gain and Blend controls will help you create that full-range live sound by adding layers of harmonics and distortion to the bass core tone. Due to the optional FS-1 footswitch, you can engage these controls remotely.
Housing a 12” speaker and a reflex port to enhance the low-end response, this combo amp ensures a rounded and fat sound thanks to the all-analog signal path. The headphone output will enable you to practice in silence whenever needed and even connect it to a console for accurate recording.
With this amp, you get some beautiful tones and features that professionals use.
It works using analog circuitry and thanks to that it has a punchy and bold sound, especially in the lows.
You have the possibility to customize the sound using the EQ section, which will let you shape the way you feel in many different ways.
The amp also offers blend and gain controls, which will give you the possibility to create layers of harmonics over the tone or distort the sound in a simple yet beautiful way.
You also get a footswitch that you can use so that you won’t have to bend down and modify the settings from the panel.
The low bass sounds will sound better with the help of the 12-inch speaker and the reflex port it comes with.
You get the feeling that it compromises on certain aspects such as the number of effects.
Orange Crush Bass 50 watt Bass Guitar Amp
Boasting features that will take your bass experience to the next level, this model from Orange will make a great addition to your musical gear if versatility, a stylish design, and a rich blend of specs are the things you’re on the lookout for.
The EQ circuit the unit comes with is inspired by the well-known 4 Stroke Series amplifiers and has a parametric mid band at its center. This means the players will enjoy a greater control over their sound than when using a traditional EQ and they will also be able to vary the frequencies they are interested in.
The amp can be fine-tuned to suit many musical styles and can be used even with a beginner bass guitar given the flexibility it offers. The Gain and Blend controls will enable you to add extra harmonics and distortion to the core bass tone. The fat, rounded sound delivered is possible thanks to the all-analog signal path.
The controls found on this amp provide you with everything you need, including a three-band EQ, gain, frequency, and band control knobs.
You also get a built-in tuner, that also comes with a LED interface, and a button that you can press to activate and deactivate it when you want.
Everything about this amp is simple and intuitive to use.
Coming with 50 watts of power in the form of a solid-state amplifier, this model will give you a good sound and feel.
The analog circuitry will help you get that natural bass sound that you are looking for.
You get different effects and a blend switch input alongside an FX loop, and that gives you more possibilities.
In terms of tone, the sound is a pretty balanced one with the lower-end notes sounding beautiful but the mids and highs being decent too.
The sound is a bit too colored for the liking of some bass players.
Ibanez Promethean 20W 1×8 Bass Combo Amp
No matter the level of bass playing you’ve reached, the Promethean model from Ibanez is worth considering when interested in a bass combo amplifier. The 20W unit features simple controls so any musician can use it with ease.
Engineered to help you shape your sound, this bass combo amp is also ideal for bassists traveling a lot with their musical gear. The item weighs only 19.6 pounds and measures 15.2 x 14.5 x 13.8 inches. It is one of the most portable amps you will find on the market.
Loaded with a single 8-in. driver, the unit features a 4-band EQ to enable the user to shape the tone with ease. Thanks to the aux input and headphone output the bass features, you will be able to play along with your favorite songs and practice in silence whenever needed. Furthermore, the -10dB pad will accommodate basses with active pickups.
The construction of this model is strong and rugged, showing that it can last you for a long time no matter where you take it.
Weighing only 19 pounds and being so small, it’s clear that the amplifier is made to be carried wherever you need it.
It has a -10dB switch made to compensate for the high gain of some active instruments, so everything sounds smooth.
Furthermore, it has a 4-band EQ which is ideal for mid frequencies.
You also get the possibility to connect a pair of headphones to it, but it also comes with an auxiliary input for MP3s or CDs, and that makes it great for daily practice.
It only comes with 20 watts of power, which means you can only use it at home to practice by yourself, otherwise you can’t hear it over the sound of other amps and instruments.
Eden EC Series USM-EC8-U Bass Combo Amplifier
The item is extremely portable reaching a weight of only 11 pounds and measuring 10.5 x 8.5 x 12.6 inches. This renders it ideal for touring players. Committed to providing excellent tone crafting, the amp houses an 8″ 35W Speaker as well as Stereo / Media Input and Headphone Output that will enable you to play in silence without disturbing the people around you.
The product also boasts a 3.5mm jack socket for MP3 or other device connectivity. The user gets a single tone control with Eden “Enhance” EQ sweep. The cabinet design ensures great response and efficiency.
The easy-to-use controls will ensure that any beginner can take full advantage of this amp, and the EQ adjustments are intuitive too.
It comes with the custom-designed Eden speaker that is made to provide a great tone and unrivaled playing response.
The cabinet design has been created to be as compact and lightweight as possible in order to help with portability.
Its construction is also a rugged one, due to the carpet covering and the quality craftsmanship. Furthermore, the grille is kick-proof, just in case you bump into it accidentally.
This amp also looks great thanks to the high-gloss finish and the illuminated Eden logo on the front.
Of course, you get the ins for MP3, headphones, and line, for added versatility, or when you want to play over a tune.
The power output of 20 watts is something that limits this model a lot, as it only makes it good for practice sessions in the silence of your home.
Peavey MAX 115
Another space-saving unit to consider when looking for a new bass combo amp is the MAX 115 model from Peavey. The product was designed to deliver more bass without affecting the players’ comfort when traveling with their gear. The item measures 27 x 14.8 x 22 inches and weighs 21 pounds, dimensions that render the amp ideal for touring bassists.
Thanks to the exclusive HyperVent technology used, the amp will push the bass through specially engineered ports that will allow excellent woofer response. The item delivers 60 Watts of power and comes with a D 15-inch heavy-duty woofer and DTT speaker protection.
The patented TransTube circuitry allows the user to choose from three separate voicings that include MAX, Vintage, and Modern. As expected, each option emulates a distinctive sound so you can enjoy versatility and customize your sonic experience according to your preferences and musical personality.
This is a small unit that will certainly save space when you’re looking to travel with the band, and it also weighs 21 pounds, making it a lightweight champion.
The main feature that sets it apart is the HyperVent technology used that will help the sound push with more force through specially designed ports, and this will great a great sound and an awesome woofer response.
Delivering 60 watts of power, it’s ideal for those practice sessions with the band, and it also has DDT speaker protection to ensure that the speakers will work fine no matter the power going through them.
You can choose between three separate voicings, each with its unique style, and that offers great versatility, and a unique sound no matter the voice.
The built-in chromatic tuner is a nice touch for those looking to adjust their sound quickly.
It lacks an effects loop and that is a serious point for some bassists.