Good choices for practice amps?

Hey everyone,

I currently have an Ibanez Soundwave 35 that’s likely on its way out.

I’ve watched the official bassbuzz review videos of “budget amps” and am just curious as to whether or not anyone might have any combo amp suggestions for practice and for just generally putting around with!

I hear it’s better to go with a 10" speaker minimum so let’s start with that!

Thanks ahead of time for the suggestions and hello from Ontario,




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There are quite a lot of decent combos around. Ampeg and Fender do some lightweight ones and if you don’t mind more weight, there’s Orange as well.

Your choice might depend on different factors:

  • what sound you like,
  • what kind of music you play.
  • if you will only use it for home practice or for band practice as well

Any additional information might help guide you :wink:


Being deliberately provocative here, but why do you need an amp?

I have an Orange Crush Bass 50, but have probably only used it once in the last six months, and that was when I took it to a band rehearsal as the venue didn’t have amps in the room.

For all practice, I just use a pedal with an Aux in (so I can plug the phone in to get tunes to play along with) and a headphone socket. I started with a Zoom B1four, which for the money, is an excellent piece of kit. I am now using a Hotone Ampero One - a significant step up from the Zoom in terms of the sounds you can get out of it. The benefit of this approach is that I can practice at 05:30 am, without waking up the whole house!

Other than that one band practice, where I did take my amp, at present, I have no real use for it as most rehearsal venues either have loaner amps, or a PA that you can directly plug into, using the pedal.


Canada! Haha


I’ll eventually be playing more alternative rock and metal! I’ll mostly be playing on my own at home but eventually I’d like to play along with family members/friends as well.

The ampegs have an attractive price range forsure but I hear there’s also fender to consider as people really seem to like those!


Interesting! I’ve never owned a single pedal but that sounds enticing! I have a vox headphone amp which I use for “quiet” practicing requirements.

I’d be interested in pedals though from the sounds of it. I’d likely have to do more research on those to find a proper pedal.

Eventually the goal is to be able to jam with family/friends as well which is another factor for the amp due to just simplicity of a plug and go type of deal.


I haven’t owned an amp in three years myself, almost four. I use my audio interface plus monitor speakers or headphones.


This is the Zoom:

This is the Hotone:

The Zoom was a great intro, the Hotone a step or two up. I did buy some “standard” pedals, but only used them in a band scenario a few times before I bought the Hotone. The pedals, along with the amp, are now just gathering dust!

I do understand the jammin’ with others use case for an amp. I’ve only done that once in a home environment - to be honest, there isn’t enough space in the house for this, plus my wife and daughter wouldn’t be impressed with the noise. Hence, using rehearsal studios; they generally have a PA you can just plug into…


Thanks for the links! I’ll be sure to check them out!

It would mostly just be jamming occasionally with a few relatives and friends hence why I thought it might be alright for amps if ever we were at home or over at their place (reminiscent of a younger time were my grandparents, uncles and cousins would play around the campfire - acoustically of course).

But I’m hearing a serious case for these pedals! Looks like I’ll be stopping at a Long & McQuade’s pretty soon haha!


I’m not sure if I’d bother with amp…cheap ones are waste of money while expensive ones will give you hernia.

If budget allows I’d go with:

You can do whatever you want with this thing:

  • plug it directly to your interface / DAW
  • Plug it straight to your monitors / PA
  • Use with headphones
  • Plug into another amp
  • Use pedals
  • Use your own IR’s
  • Create different signal paths
  • You have FX loop
  • Firmware is continuously updated with new amp models / effects
  • It’s small so it fits on any pedal board

Options are endless and it looks like a safe bet in the long run.

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I’ll be sure to look into it!

Thanks for the info!!

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Fender Rumble series are definitely best bang for the bucks. Fender acquired so many awesome companies and incorporating many great qualities. I’d get the Rumble 100 to start, if and when you have the need for more power then you can upgrade later.

If price is not the issue then Boss Katana would be my choice.


Thank you! Especially since I’ll be needing some sort of speaker if playing with family/friends anyways I figure some sort of amp would be ideal. The boss katana has quite a few additional features I hear so that’s also an option!


I have a Rumble 100 and it’s a good amp.


Katana is definitely a great choice with one caveat it’s awesome that you can connect via Bluetooth both midi and audio to the amp. However, the dual Bluetooth dongle is sold separately and that’s $40 it’s a proprietary connection so there’s no aftermarket part.

A few nice words on Fender Rumble. They are nearly neutral tone amp very much like Genz Benz(Genzler) that they acquired. I’ve become a Genzler diehard and the Runble 100 display every bit of the tone quality of an amp nearly 5 times its price. That’s a very tough value to beat.


Just one more +1 for an amp.

You can play everything through digital models and headphones, but feeling and hearing the air move when you play the bass is different.

I still practice through a little practice amp in my office, right next to all my digital recording gadgets.

I also think it’s great to practice straight into the amp because it can be so tempting to start tweaking all the options and tones and effects on the other devices, sometimes you forget to practice.

Practice with headphones is great, the family can sleep, etc.
Practice with an amp is also great, and I recommend it.


another +1 to amp…baring any noise issues where you play, I would say amp over headphones everytime

alot of the bass lives in the frequencies you feel rather than hear, headphones can’t give you that

I play along to songs on my 500w amp in a tiny room with (musicians) ear plugs on most of the time so I can get it louder to feel the bass


Neither can almost any bass practice amp, almost all of which start rolling off the lows around 50Hz. Here’s the frequency spectrum of a Rumble 100:


yeah bass guitar is not a sub synth through a speaker stack of subs (you can really feel that sub in a club in your gut), but freqs up to 100hz or so are still really important for the feel (power) of the bass