Amps for Acoustic Basses

Hey all.

Just thinking ahead as likely to meet up with someone (longwinded connection - husband of a friend of my son’s mum, a “dad friend” I guess. Nice guy and puts on a great bbq) I know who plays guitar, and I’m aware that an acoustic bass won’t be heard once a regular guitar is in the mix, so at some point will need to invest in a small amp.

Have had a hunt on here but not much luck, so here goes my question:

Would pretty much any bass amp be fine, or are some better than others when it comes to amplifying an acoustic?

If it’s of relevance/interest, the bass I’d be amplifying is an Aria FEB-F2M, which has F-holes rather than the conventional big ol’ sound hole in the middle.

Thanks in advance everyone


Hmm good question. For guitar you got acoustic amps, but I think for bass you can still use any normal bass amps. I would say a cab with horn/tweeter is mandatory. Maybe a HPF/EQ pedal in front of the amp can help too.

Phil Jones amps pops to mind. There is a thread about this on Talkbass too:


Just use a dedicated bass amp. Size based on needs


Phil Jones came to mind too. I know my BG-75 is rated as FRFR.

I also thought of using a Zoom B6 as a preamp as it has dedicated acoustic input switches but I don’t know how an upright piezo setup (what it’s designed for) compares to an more traditional acoustic/electric with its preamp already built in; ie just plug it directly into a bass amp input without need for the impedance difference the B6 offers on the inputs


Thanks for the responses.

I Should have clarified I wasn’t after anything huge or super high spec - all the Phil Jones amps are wildly out of of budget and generally too large physically.

@Paul thanks, though I’ll need to look up what a cab, a horn and a tweeter is in the context of an amp (excuse me whilst I go ask google some questions…). Had amps for electric guitars years about 15 years ago but didn’t know anything about the tech, just had a smallish Marshall amp for playing in my room.

Perhaps I was being ambitious thinking there’d be an amp that’s suitably portable (as in can carry in one hand) and good for acoustic basses, though with @toughdoody 's suggestion I may just look at what bass specific mini amps are about and go from there.

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Sorry, a cab is the cabinet which contains the speaker. If you look at a normal hifi speaker you usually see a big cone and a small cone. The big cone is good for low frequencies while the small cone (usually called a tweeter) handles the high frequencies. You need an amp to drive these speakers.

A horn is similar to a tweeter but handles mid/high freq through a horn lol.

But let us forget about all this. We got a few threads about affordable portable/mini amps. Hope this helps!


That’s fantastic, thanks for summing that up so concisely, and moreso for those links - I’ll have a read this evening.

Really appreciate the help


Any bass amp would do the job of delivering loud deep bass tone with generous tone flexibility. If you have a super human ear and/or after a specific acoustic tone then the high-er end acoustic amp will deliver that.

The acoustic transducer pickup or the saddle/piezo pickups offer different tone so the right amp would definitely bring that out. Just do you know, in a crowd of a hundred only you and 3 other dudes can tell the difference, lol.

The 2 models I have are excellent both have mic input with 48v phantom power made by the same guy under different brand. You can probably find a 2nd hand Genz Benz for a couple hundred.


Thanks for the input (sorry - I was convinced I’d already replied!). I certainly do not have a super human ear - I can’t even pick out nots by ear, let alone super specific tones.

The Genz Benz is certainly out of budget but I appreciate the suggestion.

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yep, any combo amp or amp/cab works.

The Phil Jones reco is very solid as they are ‘tweaked’ to play nice with uprights as well.
I have no idea what that means or translates to technically, or if it even matters, but since they use piezos and so does your acoustic there is something there I guess. you can research further.

I have the BG-120, which can put out 120watts as is (plenty for you) and if you ever need more you can add a cab and get 240watts!!

It sounds awesome and actually works with just about any instruemnt.
I have my Alessis drum pad or Beat Buddy hooked to it at home and holy cow its like having a drummer in the room, louder than I would ever have imagined.

I cannot say enough about Phil Jones stuff.
The BG-75 is great too but a bit less power so know what you want it for before investing or perhaps save your money.

They are all super portable and small too.
But with all the superior engineering, they cost more.

The little Ampeg amp is really great too and super portable (just not as much as the PJ).

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Popped in to the local-to-work (my town as of a few months ago has no music shop at all… When I was at school there were 3) to check out what they had, and the owber suggested a Guitar Man (not heard of the brand before and can’t find reviews online either) which is about £70. 6.5" speaker from what I could tell, and 10w output.

Had a much nicer looking Vox Pathfinder 10w amp there too at around £100 (which would be about my absolute maximum budget unless I wait until the new year)

Thanks @John_E for the suggestions. Will definitely do some homework on both the Phil Jones and Ampeg options

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Oh 10w wont get you what you need on bass. That is a ‘practice by yourself in a quiet place’ kind of amp. If you are jamming with a guitarist you are going to need more than that for sure, and doubt you will get anything for 100 in any currency.

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Ah that’s a shame, I was hoping 10w would be enough to make the bass audible alongside an acoustic guitar.

Shall have a rethink and revisit at a later date when the budget allows for more if that’s the case.

On a side note @John_E how did you know that my bass has piezo pickups?
I tried for ages to find what pickup it has and couldn’t find the details listed anywhere.

Edit: that Ampeg one you suggested could be a very good shout.

Also, just spotted a Roland Microcube second hand for £79, reviews look good and it certainly would be small enough for taking with me if travelling on foot etc

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Most all acoustic basses have piezos.


Ah good to know. Thank you.

When I was trying to find it out, articles were talking about there being 2 or 3 types of pickups in acoustic guitars, but couldn’t find anything specific on bass guitars regards acoustic pickups, and the Aria website didn’t give any details

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If an acoustic comes with electronics then it’s going to be using a piezo. Otherwise they would put it all over the marketing that they were doing something different.

As fot the other options, that is another big rabbit hole to go down. In addition to piezo, there are sensors that attach to the wood, internal microphones, electromagnetic, and setups that combine any and or all of the above.

For me, I didn’t like the sound of the electronics in my Dean acoustic. When I plug it in I use a Fishman Humbucker Sound Hole pickup. You don’t get any real acoustic sound unless you use the wood sensors or some form of microphone setup.


I’m rather late to this party, so my comment is more of a question. Being that I don’t profess to be an expert in this area, I can’t offer any technical advice on amps etc. However…
I play my double bass with a Realist Lifeline upright bass pickup plugged into my Tech21 VTBassDI and into a Fender Rumble 500-watt amp head and 115 cabinet, and it sounds great to my ears (disclaimer: I’m not a sound expert). This is the same setup I have been plugging my bass guitars and my EUB into for years.
So now I’m scratching my head and asking, do I need to buy another amp just for the double bass (since it IS acoustic)? Is there some reason why the Rumble head and cab is not adequate for acoustic? Have I stumbled upon another rabbit hole by even visiting this thread?


Not at all! Hahahaha.

You can if you need another rabbit hole to hop down.
You can also get a preamp pedal designed for uprights like a Radial Bassbone and get an amp or cab designed (all these “designed”s should be in quotes).
You can also be happy just like you are cause you like the tone you hear. If you want to “dial it in” another 2%, hop on down the hole……


The main difference between the bass amp and acoustic guitar/ bass amp is the frequency response. Most even acoustic guitar amp has more than one input channel the second one can be used for microphone. These type of amp can handle very wide range of frequencies.


Thanks @eric.kiser that’s good to know fo future. Have since done some reading on how piezo pickups work, very interesting.

Cheers @Al1885 for the information