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Bass amps for practicing


 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Hi guys!

A new question. I need an amp for my bass. Currently I'm playing unplugged and sometimes through the computer with some modeling software... but I'm lazy so usually I play unplugged.

I live in a small flat and I am considering the new Roland Micro Cube for bass. It is good from the size point of view but it is expensive for the type of bass (around 200€). I think you are paying for the effects. It is only 2.5+2.5 watts... and I don't know if it will be enough. I want to check it out but I don't find it in any store.

The alternative is a Marshall MB15 (15 watts) or even a MB30 (30 watts). The MB15 is only 100€, I checked out yesterday and it sounds good (it has two channels, the classic is very nice) and it is enough loud. In fact I was playing while another client was checking out one of those big guitar amps and I can hear me. But they are more or less in the limit of size.

Did you play or know these amps? I'm considering them because more or less they can be in my budget, sound and size requirements. I didn't like the small Peavey or Laney amps. I also checked out a Hartke but the Marshall sounds better (IMHO).

Thanks in advance! :D


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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I have been looking at that Roland, but in all the clips I've heard it makes the bass sound like an electric guitar - lots of treble, not much bass! I really want to try one in person though.

Do you want a really small amp? Why not something you can jam with?

Personally I would look for a used SWR Workingman 1x10 (no longer made).

Or for something really small and low-volume, an old Peavey Microbass. But an older Peavey TNT or TKO would be great as well, and usable outside the bedroom.

The Fender B-DEC also looks interesting, lots of built-in fun, and could probably keep up with a light-tapping drummer. Even more pricey though.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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 vink
(@vink)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 722
 

Hi Nuno,

I have a very cheap Behringer, which I got for something like $80 if I remember right. It's 30W and has a 12" speaker. It's a little noisy, but it is great for a practice amp. It works well for me because I don't play bass that often and not that much. But a great improvement from playing unplugged or through the computer.

But, in your case: you've really developed a love for the bass, so I would say you should get a serious bass amp that's good enough for playing gigs. I think there's a Fender Rumble which runs around $300, recently there's also another thread about some GK amps that sound very gig worthy. If you are not ready to shell out the bucks for that right now, my suggestion would be to spend the minimum possible for what's a pure practice amp. Wait to get a serious amp, rather than spend money on something that's in between. The Roland Cube may end up being an "in the middle" amp. Also, I'm not sure if the effects/models are as critical for a bass amp as they are for a guitar amp.

Have fun ..

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Yes, I agree, probably it is not very interesting the effects and modelers for basses. Perhaps for playing some fusion or very specific styles, but it isn't as in the guitar side. For that reason I don't know if the Roland is interesting: 200€ for a delay, reverb, chorus... a tuner... and a small amp that I don't know if it will sound well. I also saw the official videos and I'm not sure if they are recorded with a mic or they are plugged...

On jams. Currently my opportunities for jamming are zero... :(

Nobody in my near environment plays an instrument and nobody wants to learn. It could change the situation but it should an investment for the future.

For jams I'd need a bigger amp, more watts and more space, and the space is a very serious restriction now. I'd be buying something that I don't know if I'll use it.

For example, those Peavey, Fender or GK are out of my possibilities. I should change it by a piece of furniture. I checked out a GK in a store when I was buying the bass. It sounded great but the smaller was too big. I love an Ampeg in which I check out all the basses in one of the stores but I should sleep in the bathroom!

I already had a Marshall for guitars, the MG15. I liked his clean channel but no the distorted. I'd say that is the maximum space available, perhaps the MB30, just a couple of inches longer and wider. I only checked out the MB15 but it has more 'bass sound' than the comparable size amps by Hartke, Laney, etc.

There is a store that has the Roland in stock. I'll try to go this week but lately I don't have much time for shopping. :(

Keep you informed!

Thanks guys! :D


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

Hi Nuno - as you know, I'm hoping to get a new bass just after Christmas, and, of course, I'll need an amp to go with it! Like you, I looked at the Microcube Bass Amp - seems an awful lot of money for such a little amp, they're around £150 here.
Then yesterday, I got a new Dawson's Catalogue through my door - with plenty of guitars and amps to browse through. One that caught my eye was the Stagg 20BA 20Watt Bass Combo - it might not be all that great, but at £50, I reckon it's got to be better than playing unplugged!

It's smaller than the MB15 as well.....

MB15 - 390cm x 380cm x 240cm

20BA - 370cm x 410cm x 200cm.

There don't seem to be any frills, or effects, with the 20BA - but hey, for £50, what do you expect! Looks a decent little starter bass amp to me - obviously, I'd want to try one out before I paid any money over but it's got to be worth a look at that price.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Somewhere around the house I have a little Rogue 15W bass practice amp I paid about $30 for at Musicians Friend a while back. Look around there and watch their Stupid Deal of the Day.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Topic starter  

Hi Vic!

Thanks for the tip. It could be a good candidate as well! It seems it is not distributed here but, however, the brand is very familiar to me... it is possible they have a mistake in the web.

Yes, the Microcube is cute but it is a lot of money for that amp. I don't know if it could be cheaper by purchasing every part independently (amp+drum machine+effects). Anyway, I'll try to check out next week (before the match ).

Thanks! :D


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Topic starter  

Hi Ricochet!

I don't know if they are distributed here. I only know that brand for the viola basses. I'll find some dealer here, Musicians Friends don't sell overseas.

Thanks! :D


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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Bummer. Wasn't thinking about where you are.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@trguitar)
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Yeah, I'm always stopping myself short of suggesting stuff to the guys in Europe cause 90% of the stuff I think of comes from Musicians Friend and they can't get it.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@twistedlefty)
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Posts: 4166
 

MF can ship some brands overseas.
unfortunatly there do not currently seem to be any bass amps
i would call or email them and ask because often the website stock does not list all they actually have available.

http://mf.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/mf.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1405

"We are currently able to ship the following brands Internationally if you call 800-391-8762. We cannot ship Internationally via our website."

Axman
Black Label
Digital Reference
DR Pro
Giardinelli
Livewire
Mitchell
Musician's Gear
Musician's Friend
Proline
Pulse
Roadrunner
Rogue
Silver Creek
Simmons
Sound Percussion
Sterling Audio
Williams

"We are also able to ship the Limited Edition Epiphone Music Rising guitar Internationally.
We are currently working on expanding this list and hope to offer more product to our international customers in the near future. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."

If toll free calls to the United States are not available in your area, you may call us at 801-501-9551.

#4491....


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Topic starter  

Thanks guys! :D

We also have some big stores. Mainly, they are in Germany (for example, Thomann). I usually buy my gear in the stores, I like to check it out. Sites as Thomann are cheaper than the local stores but I think the stores give that possibility so I don't care to pay the difference.

Also, the stores usually depends on a business that import some brands. One of my usual stores imports Marshall. Other store imports Hartke. I tend to try the brands that they import because I can get a better deal.

I only buy books by internet. I used Amazon.com but recently I discovered The Book Depository in UK. Sometimes is Amazon is cheaper but the other store send the books in three or four days. My last purchase in Amazon needed around four weeks.


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(@slejhamer)
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Peavey Microbass.

Hate repeating myself, but you can get that one online there. Search for comments on talkbass. Lots of fans.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Topic starter  

I was listening a Roland Micro Cube today. It sounds well. I think it sounds enough loud for playing at home. I read it in some reviews and probably it is true: it could be heard between several acoustic guitars.

The effects are cool: several amp modelers, an "octaver" (BTW funny effect), and usual effects (reverb, delay, chorus, etc.). The integrated rhythm box is cool, too. It sounds more or less well.

Just a minor trouble: it does not sound as a bass. Mitch, you are right! I guess the problem is the speakers, perhaps they don't allow to emit the low frequencies and for that reason it sounds like a guitar. They just are 10 centimeters! And we are comparing to speakers with 8 and 10 inches.

For example. Consider a normal TV. If you increase the volume, it sounds louder and, probably, clear. Now consider a hi-fi amp. Even if it is not too loud, the sound has more 'presence', for example, the bass sounds like a bass, I guess you can perceive all the frequencies in this case.

I also checked the Peavey again. It is a nice amp as well but by comparing it with the Marshall, probably, the Marshall has a better sound. In Spanish we say that the bass "must weight", it "must be heavy". Perhaps it is the same concept than "full sound". The Marshall has that "full sound".

Vic, try to check it there. I don't know if you can get a good price, Marshall is a UK brand. I found this site and it is only £59.

Keep you informed!


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