New Amp Recommendations

I’ve been amp-less for almost a year now, but I sometimes miss playing without headphones. I also miss the tonal quality that an amp gives which is missing when I play straight DAI-to-headphones. (Yes, I know I can model that in software, but most of the time I’m not playing with software… I’m just monitoring.)

I’ve been thinking about getting a new amp. Something small, maybe the 40-watt range, but with a really good sound. I’ve already had a Fender Rumble 40, which was great, but I’d like to try something different.

These Positive Grid Spark amps… they all say “guitar”, but a couple of places say they’re also bass amps. Is that true? Or are they a “bass amp” in that “I guess you can plug in your bass and it will make noise” kinda way? Any other thoughts on those?

What about plugging monitors into my DAI? Is that a decent option? The only concern there I see is that if I wanted to take it somewhere to play with someone, it would be a wee bit of a problem, wouldn’t it?

Any other recommendations for a good quality, low-wattage amp-esque solution?

5 Likes

I have the Spark 40, which I originally bought for guitar. When I started playing bass, I was delighted to find that they had bass models as well. So I started with that.

There are several good things about it. It’s easy to use, has 4 presets that can be recalled and/or tweaked with the manual knobs. It’s configured from iOS/Android and the app is pretty good. There’s also some cool Songsterr like capabilities and “intelligent drummer” type utilities. It’s the same type of effects that are available within Bias FX, but the patches aren’t cross-compatible. You can download several patches from their tone cloud.

It has bluetooth in as well as aux in, which is nice for jamming along to whatever song you are learning. And it can serve as a USB interface for recording.

The only negative I have, aside from the patches not being universal like they are with Line6, is that the speaker is on the small side. It sounds good, but lacks the ability to move a bunch of air, so might sound a little on the weak side compared to something larger.

That said, in my little practice room, I find my Rumble can be a bit too boomy, and sometimes I’ll opt for the Spark just for the clarity.

4 Likes

One of the pieces of gear I miss after selling is my Orange, that was a good amp, should have kept it and sold the rumble

4 Likes

Give the Ampeg Rocket Bass amps a try. I thought they sounded really good.

5 Likes

more expensive for sure but i really like the phil jones products.

4 Likes

Yes, that will work well.

2 Likes

Yeah definitely! I mean it’s what the outputs are there for. I haven’t had an amp in almost four years and yet I still have 160W of speaker I play through.

But it will still sound flat unless you do something for an amp/cab sim. The better the monitor, the flatter and less character they have, kind of the opposite of amps/cabs.

So, your options would still be software (like me now), or tone-coloring preamp pedal, ideally w/cabsim (me two years ago).

Well you could always buy a pair of powered PA speakers as monitors and go from no amp to having more raw power than most others on the forum :rofl:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DBR12--yamaha-dbr12-800w-12-inch-powered-speaker

The only drawback of this approach is that the enclosure and speaker aren’t as focused on bass response as what you would find in a bass cab. As an example the DBR12’s there have a freq response bottoming at 50Hz (presumably the point where it’s dropped off by ~10db). On the other hand, you have to get a serious bass cab to go below that anyway; for example, Fender Rumbles also roll off around 40-50Hz. It’s not a huge thing (and sounds much better in the mix that way anyway) but if you are after raw low end muddy bass oomf in this like you were getting an 8x10 or something, you’d also want a sub.

3 Likes

@JustTim I’ve got all 3 sparks and Katana dual bass amp(battery powered). If you want to try it out let me know we can arrange that.

If I’m in your situation I might consider the spark mini and the spark cab. Maximum versatility.

Oh and yeah the spark 40 is for bass as well it’s too warm for most guitar but perfect for a bass in a smaller space.

3 Likes

Which Orange did you have?

I actually reached out to Positive Grid on that question, here’s what they sent me:

I think I might be picking up a Spark pretty soon here. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Orange Crush Bass 50

2 Likes