2xSmall amps or DI and PA speaker

At the moment i am really happy with my practice setup via headphones. But sometimes i want to practice in my small space with an amp AND music playing or lessons playing. And sometimes my nephew may come over to play guitar with me. This is a small area, like a bedroom. So nothing booming, just enough for us to jam around together or for me to practice “out loud” instead of headphones.

The two options i was looking at were the following:

Option 1:
1 small bass amp
1 small something else amp that can play computer/phone audio or a guitar
(i may be mistaken but i had heard you should not put music/drums thru a bass amp???)

Option 2:
Get a DI pedal for my bass and one for his guitar and use a small PA speaker for all sounds.

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Hi:-) Think this has to do with budget and what kind of other use you can get out of it. I would recomend going for studio monitors and a Di box.

Yamha HS8 is nice. Yamaha HS8 8-inch Powered Studio Monitor - Black | Sweetwater

Cheap and good DI: Ampeg SCR-DI Bass Preamp with Scrambler Overdrive Pedal | Sweetwater

I have now changed to Line 6 Pod Go wireless, and is quite happy with that.
Line 6 POD Go Wireless Guitar Multi-effects Floor Processor | Sweetwater

If you go for a small bass amp I agree with others on this forum that Fender Rumble 40 is a lot for the price. Fender Rumble 40 1x10" 40-watt Bass Combo Amp | Sweetwater


Nope. This won’t cause any problems. Most modern bass anps have an AUX in for just this purpose. You would probably notice that music and guitars sound a bit darker.

If you fo with a PA setup you wouldn’t need to get DI boxes. The combo inputs will take a standard instrument cable. This is also true if you use a DAI and monitors.

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I keep coming back to this.

Do you have a price range you’re looking to stay within?
Do you need to play music in addition to bass and guitar?

Example PA Setup
Something like this only has two connections…
$400 Yamaha DBR10 700W 10 inch Powered Speaker | Sweetwater

If you needed a third, you would need to add something like this…
$138 Yamaha MG06 6-channel Analog Mixer | Sweetwater

Example Monitor Setup
$400 Yamaha HS5 5-inch Powered Studio Monitor | Sweetwater

You could use the mixer above to connect to the monitors or an audio interface like this…
$100 PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 USB Audio Interface - 25th Anniversary Edition | Sweetwater
You wouldn’t need an extra interface to connect to music, since it connects to your computer through USB and you can get the music that way.

Example Amp Setup
$230 Fender Rumble 40 1x10" 40-watt Bass Combo Amp | Sweetwater

$270 Boss Katana-50 MkII 1 x 12-inch 50-watt Combo Amp | Sweetwater

These are just some examples. You can go more expensive or less expensive and if you’re willing to buy used you could save a lot.


i think up to the $500 range is good.
So by myself i would play music (music tracks or bassbuzz lessons) and my Bass
With another player it would be 1 bass and 1 guitar with maybe a drum track?


That DBR10 is probably perfect. I can always get a mixer later if needed. I imagine my 2 channel audio interface im using now as a headphone mixer would be fed into one of those 2 channels to give me one more for music if needed.


I think I gave bad info on the DBR10. The inputs don’t take instrument level input. So, I think you would have to have the mixer.

Let me call for help from folks more knowledgable than I am.

@DaveT or @howard could you guys take a look at this thread and my suggestion about using the Yamaha DBR10. I saw the inputs and was thinking it would take a bass/guitar directly. Now, I’m thinking it will have to go through a mixer.

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I think it’s a moot point. Wouldn’t you always have a preamp pedal in the chain? That’s line out.


@Thenatedog I don’t remember your setup. Do you have a preamp pedal?

Regardless, I wouldn’t expect the guitarist to have one. Although an inexpensive preamp pedal for the guitarist would be cheaper than the mixer.

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I have a Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD USB Audio Interface.
Can that be used like a preamp? Plug both instruments into that, plus music via the usb port and feed it into the PA.

I realize the PA probably is not going to be as “bassy” as a bass amp or big sub woofer. Just something for me and my nephew to have fun with when he is in town in my shop.


That works. You can use the headphone out to feed the line in on the PA.

Maybe try connecting it to USB power only to see if it still runs without the PC attached for when you aren’t also needing music and want to be mobile. My Roland Octacapture runs as a standalone mixer without the PC being on just fine.


Yes it works great off a usb charger as purely a headphone mixer. It also has outputs in the back. Thanks for the input everyone. Ill update whenever i get something and get it setup.


Sure enough. The back outputs get the mix from the inputs.



What @DaveT said.

That said I would personally always front these with a mixer. But that’s just my way (and the fact that I would be running several instruments through them).


Back to show what i ended up doing with my practice setup.

Ampeg Rocket B-115 200w Amp

Alto TX312 700w PA

Mackie Mix8 Mixer

esinkin Bluetooth Audio Adapter

Monoprice Passive DI box - for when friends come over for guitar, havent tested yet.

Have only been using it for practice solo but it has been great so far. Nice being able to crank the music up loud and feel it like playing in band practice.

Next step is to DIY a pedal board for my pedals.


I needed something really small for practising whilst I’m in Chamonix for three months. I came out by car and I have to bring all my office computer kit (monitor to give twin screens with my laptop), all my skiing gear (4 sets of skis and servicing kit), plus clothes etc. and my 2 basses (acoustic and electric). All of which doesn’t leave an awful lot of room in the car, or in the mini chalet I’m staying in; a single room around 4mx5m including kitchen area with an elevated sleeping platform thing. So not a huge amount of space. I decided the amp just couldn’t come!

So I have a Zoom B3n (around £175) which includes several preamps but any pre amp would do, and this is then plugged into a pair of Eris 4.5 studio speakers (around £90). The provides a perfectly adequate sound for practising in a small space, allows me to plug in the computer for online music or backing track, or an mp3 player. Perfect for such a small space and didn’t cost a fortune.

And even then if I’m worried about disturbing anyone I can plug the headphones in instead of the studio speakers.


Note: Bluetooth can have quite some latency. Least latency is to be expected with APTX LL.
A very cheap and OK Bluetooth APTX LL adapter is this:

Note that both sender and receiver need to support APTX LL! So you might end up buying two devices…

It has the least latency, but I found it still noticeable, so I ended up using this:
This has almost no latency and almost sounds like a direct connection.
I did not have any issues with distortions but I have the feeling that there is a little less bass. Still it’s the most usable / cheap solution when you don’t want line cables…


@HighlandBass : Ever considered the Positive Grid Spark Mini (or Spark Go)?
I have both and they can do everything you described.
Don’t expect great bass with the Spark Go, but it was sufficient for noodling around on my vacation in the Provence last year, sitting on a sunny terrace or in a Café.
The Spark Mini has better bass, so you can also use it for sofa playing…

For travelling, I select Go vs MIni based ony available weight and space…


I’m just playing backtrack music from my phone so latency isn’t a worry.


The thing about this arrangement is that it’s perfectly suitable for listening to music from my computer/mp3 player in stereo as well as playing the bass. Any bass amp is naturally just going to be mono. There is the added advantage that the Zoom has amp emulators and the one I’m using is close enough to my amp back home.