A confession about my amp, and a plea for recommendations

So I have an embarrassing confession, the reason why I haven’t showed y’all my amp is because my current amp (that I had in my attic) is a First Act (like the ones for children) amp you can’t even buy anymore, I wouldn’t dare use it without headphones (except to tune of course) and I wanted to save up for an amp so that by the time I finish B2B I can reward myself with a new (or a nice used) amp. My budget is $300, what would you get?

The Fender Rumble 100 seems to be the most popular in that price range as far as new amps go, but I wouldn’t mind looking for deals on used amps around that price point.

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I’m partial to the Rumbles, so I won’t even try to talk you out of the 100 :grin:

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The rumble is a good amp I liked it. I bought a TC Electronic BQ250 and every video I record is with that head it even has headphone jack xlr out on the downside you would need a cab. Some of the others will have much better recommendations for you I am sure

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Get a Fender Rumble 40 or an Orange Crush 50.

Any remaining money, get a Vox Amplug 2 that you can run headphones on a portable setup so you can practice on the go with a drum beat. Get some picks, some bright roundwound strings, hearing protection, comfortable strap, etc.

Josh has done a pretty good video on this subject:

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I had a a Peavy Max15 combo. Was $350 though, but LOUD! I gigged with it, and could continue to do so, but I upgraded for some of the other tone hunting I was doing. It is a 300watt so plenty of headroom and was built solid. If you want something that could take you through 5-7 years of your musical journey it is a good one!

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I picked up a used Peavey TKO 115S from eBay for just over $250 aud. 80 watts and more than capable

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I wouldn’t be too embarrassed about your first amp. When I first started playing in the seventies I sold my precious Spider-man comic collection to get a Fender Stratocaster. I couldn’t afford an amp as well so I had to plug into the back of my parent’s ‘stereogram’ . I’d previously learnt All Right Now by Free on acoustic and i thought this stratocaster was going to make me sound like Paul Kossoff. You can imagine my disappointment when I played the solo on my strat for the first time and it sounds tinny and weedy. It never occurred to me that Paul Kossoff played a Les Paul through a Marshall stack. I even bought a crappy little yellow plastic fuzz box out of the catalogue and it still didn’t turn me into an instant guitar God. Moving on about 40 years my first real ‘bass’ amp was a little Vox portable (I have had a lifelong love affair with Vox AC30s). The updated version is a bit more advanced than mine with a drive and compressor (not really necessary on a practice amp In my opinion, I’d rather it had a tuner). I’m sure you could get these in the US and used they’d probably be a bargain. They are only about 200 bucks new: VOX VX50-BA bass guitar amp combo for sale | Bax Music (bax-shop.co.uk). The only real advice I’d give you is to avoid over-complicated amps with lots of built-in effects. Don’t get me wrong, they are fun to have, but when I’m putting in some serious practice time on bassbuzz lessons any effects pedals I have are put away. They can be too much of a distraction. The best sound for practice is a dry clean tone. You can’t really hear if your frets are buzzing if you have the death knob on the Skull-Crusher Overdrive turned up to 11. I think the best features to look out for on an amp besides a 3 band EQ are a tuner, headphone socket and audio in.

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@chris6 that is absolutely 5 star advice right there! :clap:

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Yep, what is to be embarrassed about? You’re not touring, not even gigging, you’re just practicing… No problem at all using what you have if it’s working ok. In my music room I mostly use a DAI into my PC and home stereo amp which does nothing but amplify my bass through a set of studio monitors (no real amp to speak of). It works fine. When I have to look after the kids downstairs (you’ll love this)… I plug into a Peavey Rage 15 watt GUITAR practice amp. Again, nothing wrong with it… I’m just practicing. For practice the most important function of your amp is to increase the sound of your bass to a level where you can hear yourself…that’s it’s primary function. As long as you can hear when you buzz or hit a bum note or drop out of time and you can correct it because you heard it then JOB DONE. I don’t want to hear this “embarrassment” nonsense! You might give my poor little Peavey a complex!!

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Embarrassed? I mean, I don’t even have (or want) an amp :slight_smile:

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Nothing to be embarrassed about :slight_smile:

When I bought my first bass, I was a teenager and I bought it with the money I got from a few years of part-time work.
At that time, my family wasn’t in a good financial situation, so I use part of my already-low salary to help at home (behind my dad’s back, because he’ll never allow me to do it otherwise).
When, after a few years I got enough to get my bass, for sure I hadn’t enough money for an amp, not even for a cheap one! So, during the first couple of months, I used my closet as a ghetto-amp (by gently pressing the bass body into the closet and getting the help of the wood acoustic properties lol).

I can’t think of a more cheap amp than that, as I was happy as hell that I can play my hard-earned bass.

Don’t worry, everyone has their own circumstances and, at some points in life, we have to set priorities, don’t let things like that discourage you and keep it up!

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Great story Leo. Makes my parents ‘stereogram’ amp sound positively posh :grinning:

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I definitely don’t think there is anything to be ashamed about. I started on a blown out Yamaha 10w guitar amp before getting my Rumble 100. I will say this from experience, just take a second and look at what type of music you want to play or more importantly who you listen to that you really dig their tone. Find out what amp they play and try for that if you can. Trust me when I say I bought my Rumble before I knew that and to be honest most of the music and tone I really like turns out is mostly vintage Ampeg stuff. Not a big deal if you don’t really care at first or on a starter bass amp but thought I would mention it.

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I’m close to finishing the course and looking at a Rumble 40 Studio as a treat

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Good points all made above. Practice amps are for practice, so it isn’t important. When I recommended the Peavy, I meant it is a decent first gigging amp. So the first amp “upgrade” as opposed to first actual amp, which any of the small Fenders are perfect. I have a Fender Rumble 40, which even got me through band practice before the band started using bigger amps themselves lol.

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Thank you everyone! I appreciate the replies!

I love my SWR’s
They were bought by fender, then closed later on,but
they were the standard for recording and for live shows before they his the combo size amps, and they are awesome.
I have a workingMan 15 which is 180w with a 15" speaker, but don’t let that fool you, that baby is loud AF, and if you get an 8ohm add on speaker cab, it is 240 watts.

I also have a Workingman10, which is 80 watts with a 10" speaker. Also very loud, and if you add a speaker cab to it (8ohms) it is 120watts

They have a mid range which is the WorkingMan12. it is a 12" speaker and is 120watts or 200 with an add on speaker cab.

I have the 15 and I bought a cabinet withs is the WorkingMan 4x10, so it is four 10" speakers. They are both light, have wheels and are mobile, and they kick ass, and have a great sound.

I bought the 10", because for at home practice, I wanted a 10" speaker. I like them, they are punchy and I think are a great size for a combo amp, with either one or two 10" speakers

I am really happy with them all, and the best thing is, I paid $300 for them all.

I got some seller deals, and paid $100 for each unit, but you can find them for $150 to $200 for the 12 or 15, or $100 to $150 for the 10.

They have lots of options, they all have fx loops (that was a SWR signature feature FWIU, reading the history of SWR) as the Aurial enhancer which is a way to dial in the frequency range that you want to adjust your mids about.

Plus they have a presence before the master volume, and some have limiters (compressors) built in them also (but I have seen those more on the bass heads.

There is a great Workingman 4004 Bass amp head being sold by a church in my area, and they are selling for a super reasonable price, and I would love to get it, but I am not able to spend, even the $100 for it, right now.
I have to sell some things first, which I am doing, but nothing has gone yet.
Not much is moving on Offer Up right now. tax season, the 2nd stimulus check, the holidays just past, etc… Yeah,I am watching things get dropped down to stupid prices, and not much is moving.

So, it is a buyers marked on the 2nd hand scene, so be sure to check that out
If you want more info on SWR you can google SWR Sound Engineering I beleive, and you can still find all themauala, and read the history of the guy that started the company, back when there was no good option for bass amps, and he created something for the recording studio, that enede up becoming the staple, and then it progressed into big amp and cabinets for live performances cuz artists were wanting to take that sound from the studio on tour with them.

Anyway, I really like mine, and I never broke the bank to get them, and I have small enough for practice at home and plenty enough for small gig’s, so I won’t grow out of it anytime soon.

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SWR was a good brand! Never got to try one myself, but demos I’ve heard it has a good tone.

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Thank you! I will be on the lookout.

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I had this one as one of my first practice amps at home. As a standalone combo amp it was really nice! Especially the simulated tube feature made it sound very warm. Eventually I sold it when I started messing with pedals, it sounded a bit too “colored” for my taste. Wasn’t too impressed with the comp and drive either.

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