My Final Gear Choice Reasons for Practice/Jam Sessions

In a separate thread @Hoopscoach asked for advice regarding Bass amps and pedals, both stand alone and multi effect. This is the same road I had to navigate a month or two ago when I decided to take up the Bass and I thought it best to start a new topic that showed what I ended up doing.

To begin it has to be said that, equipment choices are just as subjective as choosing a Bass and what one person wants/likes will not be for everybody. It sounds corney but as long as YOU are happy with your choices do not worry about what other people think. YOU are the one that will be spending your hard earned money and countless hours perfecting your sound and technique so you might as well spend that time with equipment you enjoy.

I have been involved with music for over 60 years and own just under 10 guitars and ukuleles and have never sold anything off. And, yes, I still play them all from time to time. Why is this, because when I initially purchased them I researched and purchased what I wanted and did not compromise or worry what others thought about makes, models colors etc.
The only time that this came back to bite me was when I decided to take up the Bass and made my Bass and Bass equipment decisions.
I quickly discovered that the lower frequencies the Bass is in made a big difference in Bass and equipment choices.
My first Bass was a Yamaha TRBX304 which is an active Bass. Within a short time frame I discovered that I could not get the sound/tone out of it that I wanted. So I came to the forum and had the idea that I wanted to add an active/passive switch to the Bass. I got involved with many discussions with @howard and the final result is that I upgraded to the Yamaha TRBX504, which is an active/passive Bass, and discovered the sound I was looking for.

I initially purchased the Rumble 40 as my Bass amp but upgraded to the Rumble 100 within 2 weeks. I did this for two reasons: 1 - The Rumble 100 has a larger speaker (12") and to me sounded a lot better probably because it is moving more air, 2 - I will be playing at weekly jams and small venues and also wanted the additional power (overhead).

As far as pedals are concerned, I have never been a fan of individual pedals or modelling amps. The only pedal I owned up until two months ago was a Blues Driver pedal that I used on my 6 strings.

When I decided to learn Bass I discovered that my headstock tuner was acting up because of the lower frequency range of the Bass so I purchased an in line tuner. Note: I cannot emphasize how important it is to tune your guitar at the beginning of every session. I have walked out of jam sessions because people would not tune their instruments. If you don’t check the tuning, every time, chances are it will be off and the resulting sound will be off and sound terrible. We usually get a minimum of 20 people at each jam session so you can imagine what that would sound like if nobody tuned up. We actually did a demo of this for new players and at the beginning of a session it was decided that we all would just play without tuning just to see what it sounded like. This sure drove the point home of everybody playing in tune.

Now on to pedals.
I decided that since a lot of the time I do not have access to my amp I would use a headphone amp. There again I discovered that my 6 string headphone amp did not sound very good with the Bass, with the much lower frequencies. I checked out the Vox Bass headphone amp which in Canada runs about $100.00 after taxes and shipping. I again went on the forum for advice.
I discovered that a lot of people were raving about the Zoom B1 Four or the Zoom B1X Four.
This was only about $20.00 more than the Vox headphone amp and included effects, amp models, drum machine, tuner, looper and could also be used as a headphone amp.
There again after discussions with several members on the forum I chose the Zoom B1X Four because I wanted the pedal.

So in the end I am using a Yamahaha TRBX 504, into a Zoom B1X Four, into a Rumble 100 amplifier. The only thing missing now is some recording equipment.

I realize that not everyone can do what I did because of their financial situations and I feel for them because when you compromise your equipment purchases it affects your overall attitude to your practicing and continuing on down the musical path. All I can say is to get the best you can afford and stick with it until you can finally afford what you want.

I also have to say that if I had not discovered @JoshFossgreen, the BassBuzz forum and the Beginner to Badass course I probably would not have taken up the Bass.
As my dad used to say “I have not had this much fun since ma caught her boob in the wringer”.



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Really appreciated the detail and effort put into your reply.

Many thanks!



You are more than welcome.

I do realize how difficult it is to decide on musical instruments and equipment.
You will see some people constantly buying and selling over and over.
This is too costly an approach as far as I am concerned.
Anyways, I am glad I could be of some help to you.


Hey @Celticstar,

I just read your post and realize we’re pretty much in the same boat. At 64, I’ve been around music - either instrument or vocal - for most of my life. I’ve never considered myself good enough to play an instrument in public, but I’ve won several international competitions singing with a male acapella chorus (barbershop harmony).

A few years ago, I picked up the Ibanez bass jump-start kit from my local Guitar Center. The kit included the Ibanez GSR190 - a decent P/J bass. It stood on a stand in my home office/studio for quite some time before I got serious with it and started researching instructional programs (JamPlay, TrueFire, and @JoshFossgreen’s B2B). Eventually, I settled on B2B, but I also began taking private (Zoom) lessons from Stuart Hamm.
I quickly “outgrew” the Ibanez for one reason or another and - after doing some research - bought a Yamaha TRBX304 when I attended Stu’s Recording Workshop at Sweetwater in October of last year.
The pandemic being what it is I’ve been hit hard by GAS and started looking at the Fender basses. I couldn’t make up my mind between precision or jazz, sooooo bought a Fender Stu Hamm Signature Urge II on Reverb. The Urge II is long scale with P pickups and a full set of noiseless J pickups. Extremely flexible for tone control.
Have I sold the other basses? No. They each serve a purpose and I have no intention of selling them.
Now, I’m interested in the Zoom B1X Four as I’m taking care of a friend who is recovering from major surgery (I’m not at home, so would definitely be disturbing someone with my playing! LOL)
BTW - I went with the Hartke 150 for my amp. Very clean and no frills.
Not sure where I’m headed with “all this”, but your post struck a chord (pun intended), so I thought I’d share my rather long tale.


I was going to sell the TRBX 304 but everyone wanted a ridiculous price markdown and it has only been played around 10 times over a two week period so for now I will keep it as a backup. The TRBX 504 is all I play now.

Just received my Zoom B1X Four the other day but still have not gotten around to checking it out.
Don’t you just hate it when life gets in the way.
Maybe when I retire… hold on I am retired :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face:

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LOL - me too. Well… mostly!


Thanks for that information. As a beginner, I watched Josh’s reviews and got the rumble 100 and the squire jazz bass. It may be that ignorance is bliss, but I am loving them both, mostly because it was an attainable price point.


Squire Jazz basses are about as solid as you get, love them.

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@MattSuff You can’t go wrong with the Rumble 100 - Good choice.

I know nothing about the Squire Jazz Bass but as long as you are happy with your selection that is all that matters.

Happy practicing.

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That is a great combination to get started, @MattSuff . . . :+1:

Both are very solid, you get a LOT of bang for the buck, and I think very highly of them.



I have been thinking of getting a pedal for my bass. Yet I am just in the beginning stages of playing. This topic enlightenment helps me a lot . To view something that I will have to face. Thanks


What pedal are you considering and why?

You can get most pedal effects in the Zoom B1 Four or B1X Four multi effects for a very decent price compared to individual pedals. :slightly_smiling_face:

I admit I am not a fan of pedals and most of the time the only one in the line is a tuner.
My main genre of choice is the Blues and I have always managed to get the sound I want from the Bass and Amp controls. I bought the Zoom just to play around with different effects but definitely do not rely on it.

I have always felt that beginners should master their instrument first before getting into any add-ons.

And last of all I would warn you to not get caught up with pedals/effects to the point that your actual practice time is suffering.


All good points!
I bought the B1X Four for the inline tuner, the Rythm (drumkit metronome), the headphone output, and its ability to accept auxiliary input for backing tracks. It’s portable enough to put in my hard case - I have it with me now at the hotel in Fort Wayne. It’s the perfect portable practice amp for me!
Of course, I can always hook it up to my Hartke HD150 and use the myriad effects as well.


Yep for the money can’t beat it.
What I don’t understand is why, with all the positive reviews on this multi effects pedal, people would still be hesitating to get it if they want to explore the word of effects pedals.

I bought it to play and noodle around with the different effects and check out different sounds/tones produced depending on where the effects are in the signal chain. I purchased the X model for the pedal because it was only a few dollars more.
Have you used the pedal on your yet?

These are also great features.
You forgot to mention the 30 second looper that is also built into it :slightly_smiling_face:


I haven’t actually used the pedal since I haven’t been exploring the effects. I did scroll through them when I first turned it on and some of them sound pretty interesting. TBH the first effect I want to look at is the “peachy” (patch 28) effect and take a stab at Macca’s “Think For Yourself” bassline.
But you’re right - players should definitely check out this pedal if they’re even thinking about applying any sort of effect. Figure out the effects you want to pursue and then go get the pedal(s) specializing and expanding that effect. This is the perfect pedal to explore!
I completely forgot about the looper TBH, which is why I left it out. The pedal itself is very good quality and stays where you set it, meaning you don’t have to keep your foot on it to maintain volume/intensity.
The knobs are excellent too, as they are infinitely incremental. The tuner is VERY sensitive and gives excellent feedback in terms of the note being played (sharp/natural/flat) and is enhanced by the LED’s (red-green-red).
It really is an amazing pedal for the cost of a good quality strap.