Decent bass practice amp

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MartinBushMartinBush Frets: 90
Hi all

I have just picked up a Squier Bronco and I'm very pleased with it.

So far I have only played unplugged and into my 10w Stagg guitar practice amp. 

Is it worth me getting a dedicated bass amp at this stage? My plan is to work on one of the Rockschool grades rather than playing in a band, although I will also be using it for home recording. I don't have a style yet nor do I have a sound in mind - I just want to hear the bass and do some practice (and not blow my guitar amp).

I see that Fender do the Rumble 15 which is about my price range. It seems to look the part too. Size is also a factor so I'd like something compact.

Martin
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  • chromatunachromatuna Frets: 204
    edited June 7
    I bought my son a little Hartke one about 15 years ago and it is really good. It was the only small bass amp that we tried that didn’t rattle or flub out on low notes. Still going strong after lots of use. 
    I really don’t need any more guitar pedals...I really don’t need any more guitar pedals...I really don’t need anymore guitar pedals.......
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 4850
    The Fender Rumble series sound excellent. There's a 40w model on Reverb atm at a fair price, a good buy if you can stretch to it.
    https://reverb.com/uk/item/41040569-fender-rumble-40-v3-40-watt-1x10-bass-combo-amp
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 14934
    The Rumbles are very good.

    A good amp is always a good choice - a nice tone that you enjoy usually means you play more rather than being frustrated that it's not quite right.

    I've got a Roland Bass Cube from about 20 years ago that I still keep despite my silly money main set up. The Roland sounds great and it's small. Although by modern standards it's actually quite heavy.



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  • MartinBushMartinBush Frets: 90
    Thanks all.

    I think I may go for a new Rumble simply because it will have a warranty and there's the ease of ordering. At this stage providing my guitar and amp work as they should I think I will be happy. And the Fender look is to my taste :)


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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 5337
    FWIW the Peavey Microbass smps are crazy good for the size and money, they also make for decent clean  guitar amps.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55409
    The Rumble is really good, and unlike most tiny low-powered bass amps it doesn't suffer from farting when pushed hard, since it has a very effective limiter.

    In fact, even the Stagg should be OK at genuinely low home practice volume, but the Fender will just sound better.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • MartinBushMartinBush Frets: 90
    edited June 7
    Cheers @ICBM ;

    Am I right in saying you are more likely to damage a bass amp playing a six string through it than damage a guitar amp with a bass?
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 3545
    Cheers @ICBM ;

    Am I right in saying you are more likely to damage a bass amp playing a six string through it than damage a guitar amp with a bass?
    Probably the opposite.  A guitar speaker won't like the low frequencies, but played quietly it should be OK
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55409

    Am I right in saying you are more likely to damage a bass amp playing a six string through it than damage a guitar amp with a bass?
    A guitar is normally fine through a bass amp - unless it has a tweeter, in which case playing any kind of distorted sound through it will firstly sound terrible, and secondly risk blowing the tweeter at any real volume. (Tweeters in bass amps are usually a fairly stupid idea in my opinion, but that's another story!)

    A bass through a guitar amp may not be fine at any real volume, because the extra power in the low frequencies and the larger cone excursion - often even worse if the cabinet is open-back - can blow the speaker. It's usually OK if the speaker is rated for at least twice the power of the amp and especially in a closed cab.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • MartinBushMartinBush Frets: 90
    Thanks.

    So it looks like I may have a reason to buy a new guitar amp too if I make a "mistake" as described above :)

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55409
    Thanks.

    So it looks like I may have a reason to buy a new guitar amp too if I make a "mistake" as described above :)

    :)

    Even though its not 'recommended', you may find it harder than you expect to do any harm to it... a bass-playing friend of mine has an old Solex 10W 8"-speaker guitar practice amp that she insists on using for bass - it's even been gigged with, albeit as a personal monitor and with the main signal run through the PA from the amp's line out jack. It has resolutely refused to die!

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 14934
    edited June 7
    ICBM said:
    Thanks.

    So it looks like I may have a reason to buy a new guitar amp too if I make a "mistake" as described above



    Even though its not 'recommended', you may find it harder than you expect to do any harm to it... a bass-playing friend of mine has an old Solex 10W 8"-speaker guitar practice amp that she insists on using for bass - it's even been gigged with, albeit as a personal monitor and with the main signal run through the PA from the amp's line out jack. It has resolutely refused to die!
    My very first amp was a Solex ML10

    If ever there was an amp that should be set alight, it's that.

    Horrible thing!

    Mind you - I saved and saved and saved.... took a couple of years on my pocket money, and just when I had a nice little pot of money Marshall introduced the first Valvestate amps and I got the 8080.

    That was a cracker.



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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55409
    fretmeister said:

    My very first amp was a Solex ML10

    If ever there was an amp that should be set alight, it's that.

    Horrible thing!
    It does sound fairly dire for guitar. Surprisingly, not too bad for bass... with the overdrive off, of course.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 8314
    Is it worth me getting a dedicated bass amp at this stage? 
    Yes. Treat yourself (and your neighbours) to an Ampeg SVT VR and an ickle 810 cabinet.
    Be seeing you.
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  • bencowling81bencowling81 Frets: 273
    I got a MarkBass 801 Combo recently. Really compact and does pack a punch. 
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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 7516
    edited June 7
    For home practice, I used to just use my Zoom B3n with headphones. 

    Has the added benefit of an aux in for playing along to tracks, a looper and lots of on board sounds. 

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 16707
    I use a Yamaha THR on the bass setting, which sounds ok. I actually use a HX Stomp into the THR in "flat" mode and that's really decent. Granted, it doesn't fall into "cheap practice setup" but if you already have either of those for guitar it might be worth looking at
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 22096
    I have a Blackstar Fly3 bass amp, with the extension cab. It may be too small for what you want, but it sounds ridiculously good for jamming with YouTube stuff or just general practising without pissing the neighbours off. (Bass frequencies really travel through walls.)

    We even use it for band rehearsals, along with an e-drum kit. 
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  • MartinBushMartinBush Frets: 90
    I'd not heard of the Fly3 @p90fool but have watched Phillip McKnight's video on the guitar version and they do appear to be pretty good. The small size may be a benefit in our house providing it does the job. The Fender still looks best to my eyes, but that won't be the only factor when I do buy something.

     On the subject of sounds that travel through walls, I find that crummy music played on bluetooth speakers are also pretty undeterred by walls/ distance. 
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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 4589
    EBS Session 30 that I got for my lad sounds lovely to my uneducated (bass) ears 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55409
    It's not cheap and almost certainly not what you're looking for, but a friend of mine brought round one of the Phil Jones 'Double Four' practice combos the other day...

    Quite an odd thing - it's very clean-sounding and the controls need to all be wound up a long way to get what sounds like much out of it, and it's supposedly rated at 70W, which sounds ludicrous at first because it's really not loud at all, even given the tiny speakers, which can't be very efficient - you can easily talk over it even when it's up full. But in fact, it has a curious characteristic in that it's actually louder than it seems in terms of filling a space - especially if you put it on the floor, which really adds a lot of deep low-end. It has a passive radiator on the back too, and it seems very undirectional. You might even be able to get away with it for a quiet coffee-bar type gig, although I'm not sure.

    It's very much a 'jazz' bass sound and not a 'rock' one though - it's almost impossible to make it do anything other than a very clean controlled tone, there's no real punch or attack to it. Very specific, and probably the opposite of what you want!

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • RockerRocker Frets: 4166
    p90fool said:
    I have a Blackstar Fly3 bass amp, with the extension cab. It may be too small for what you want, but it sounds ridiculously good for jamming with YouTube stuff or just general practising without pissing the neighbours off. (Bass frequencies really travel through walls.)

    We even use it for band rehearsals, along with an e-drum kit. 
    Absolutely spot on @p90fool, I have one, minus the extension cab, next to my computer for the same reason you mention.  It is 'not too bad' as a guitar amp when trying YouTube stuff.  Plugging the bass into a MarkBass or any gigging type bass amp is an entirely different experience but the Fly3 does all you might need at sensible volume.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 14934
    ICBM said:
    It's not cheap and almost certainly not what you're looking for, but a friend of mine brought round one of the Phil Jones 'Double Four' practice combos the other day...

    Quite an odd thing - it's very clean-sounding and the controls need to all be wound up a long way to get what sounds like much out of it, and it's supposedly rated at 70W, which sounds ludicrous at first because it's really not loud at all, even given the tiny speakers, which can't be very efficient - you can easily talk over it even when it's up full. But in fact, it has a curious characteristic in that it's actually louder than it seems in terms of filling a space - especially if you put it on the floor, which really adds a lot of deep low-end. It has a passive radiator on the back too, and it seems very undirectional. You might even be able to get away with it for a quiet coffee-bar type gig, although I'm not sure.

    It's very much a 'jazz' bass sound and not a 'rock' one though - it's almost impossible to make it do anything other than a very clean controlled tone, there's no real punch or attack to it. Very specific, and probably the opposite of what you want!
    They are odd things.

    One of my favourite recorded tones uses PJB stuff - Kyle Eastwood's "Metropolitain" album.

    It's a lovely plumy thick but articulate tone that just seems to be there rather than punchy.






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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55409
    fretmeister said:

    They are odd things.

    One of my favourite recorded tones uses PJB stuff - Kyle Eastwood's "Metropolitain" album.

    It's a lovely plumy thick but articulate tone that just seems to be there rather than punchy.
    Yes, exactly. It doesn't sound 'loud' at all, but when you stop playing you realise just how much you were *feeling* it all around you.

    Probably exactly what you *don't* want if you're trying not to annoy other people in the house.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 14934
    I can get a good version of that tone, and I have to say I am liking it more and more.
    It's just far more versatile than I expected.



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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 11748
    Rumble 40 in da house here. 

    It’s just so light, blows my mind. It has been used in a couple of band contexts as well and kept up better than you’d think. 

    Okay for clean guitar if you mess with the EQ knobs a lot. I’m not sure it would be ideal as an only guitar amp unless you only play 80s jazz funk. But as a make louder device if you have nothing else it works. 
    Inhale away Jackson Jeffrey Jackson. 
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 725
    Another vote for the Rumble 40 - I was going to go smaller but needed the XLR out for recording. Blown away by the quality, price and weight. 
    Pedals. 
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  • BorkBork Frets: 151
    The EBS Session 60 combo is outstanding in almost every way.  It's a rare thing when there are almost no compromises in my experience.   Clean, warm without being boomy and well built for the price.  The cabinet is a tiltback design so you can play standing  up and they're relatively affordable on the second hand market.  I've owned two in the past because I kept coming back to them after trying other things.
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 4707
    I have a Fly with the extension cab. It's OK but tbh you can't expect much from a couple of tiny speakers. It struggles with any real volume and even more so with an active circuit going into it. Having said that, I have it sitting on my desk and use it a fair bit, but it's not a true practice amp really: you hear a lot more through what I'd call a proper amp.

    the fly is IMO a step up from playing with no amp, but that's as far as it goes. good for what it is, but limited.
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