Looking for a small bass amp for practice, something easy to carry. I have been checking out the Vox PB10 & the Peavey max 126-10W. Any ideas? Thought? Recommendations?
My first bass amp (which I still have, but no longer use) is a 10 watt 6" Crescent. I moved up to a Fender Rumble 40. The old 10w/6" just didn’t have much bass presence, and when pushed the low tones distorted (bad distortion). However, using head phones it sounded pretty good.
Not sure what you’re after, but unless you’re using phones I can’t recommend anything that small. I’ve often thought about portable too, and if I did want a portable rig for some practice on the go, I’d think about something like a Vox Amplug. If you’re playing with others, you’ll definitely want more than 10 watts.
I would second the Fender Rumble 40, but I have the studio. It’s not heavy at all and has plenty of presence for at home practice.
Yeah, these small amps really don’t do the bass any justice. I had to sell my Orange Crush 20b, which is a 20 watt bass amp. It would distort my. Stingrays from open A to open E. it would stop distorting at around C on the A string.
It would also distort with my ESP and Ibanez on Open E if the Active Bass Pass was all the way up and the volume were cranked.
I would have to up the gain all the way and turn back the Volume and Bass pass on the active EQ in order to not get distortion, even then, if I played the strings hard, I would get distortion.
I am not 100% sure on that amp, if it was the Gain on the AMP that was getting overdriven (I suspect this is the case) or the 8" speaker couldn’t take it.
I have heard plenty of bass amps with 8" speakers (2 x 8) or smaller (4 x 3 In the Roland Micro Cube) that can handle the bass, so it could just be the 20w amp and the gain stage on it that can’t handle it.
If you want really small and really light, and that is more important then price, the Roland Micro cube would be a good choice, it is tiny, and has lots of features.
but expensive at $300.
I have seen them going for as low as $75-$100 on the 2nd hand market.
Now, I have not played thru one myself, I have only heard great things. If I were to look at one, I would take my stingray and test it out.
Rays have very hot pickups, so if it can handle it, most likely, other basses can, that is why I would choose it for the test.
and yeah, anything in the Fender Rumble line is great.
They are light too, so even if they are a tiny bit bigger then you are looking at, they are still very light
It totally depends on what you want. If you just want something to carry around and practice with, a fly amp will work. I have one, and also a fender rumble 40w which gives more bass. But if you want a realistic bass sound you need a bigger speaker.
I just got a Spark amp for my grandson. It is very small and it produces sounds that sound MUCH bigger than the two 4 inch speakers in it. I got it direct for $224 to my door.
It can be used for a bass. It has a setting for it, but I can’t vouch for how it sounds. With a Strat it sounds awesome. If you are looking for small with a big sound, the Spark might work for you.
I recently returned to the bass after a “break” of 43 years. I picked up a Fender Rumble 25 and it’s working really well for me. I’m amazed how big a sound the 8" speaker produces. It also has an aux input where I can plug in my laptop and play along with songs or videos and a headphone jack so I can play as loud as I want while my wife is watching TV.
The Rumble 25 is a great little amp. Seem to hold their value well too.
Welcome to the forum @spidey9. it is amazing how much fun we can have without disturbing those sitting next to us.
Welcome to the community @spidey9!
I own the FLY 3 Bass mini amp from Blackstar and it’s fine for practicing at home at (very) low volumes. I also own a VOX VX50-BA which simulates tube sounds and you feel the bass a bit better then the fly 3.
An other option is a small portable head like Tracy Elliot ELF or TC BAM200 combined with a small cab if you want some more power. Especially if you plan on using effects I would go with an amp that has a bit more watt and can produce a good clean/solid bass sound.
For a small combo-amp I personally would go for a Fender Rumble. But I think you can’t go wrong with the ones you mentioned either. If your budget allows it you can also look at Phil Jones Double Four/M7 or Markbass Micro/Mini series. There is a lot of content on YouTube about this subject or you could always visit a music store to listen what you like.
Oh and welcome @spidey9!
We are blessed/cursed with a lot of great choices - so it depends on:
- Your budget - unless you don’t have one and money is no object
- What you want to do- Headphone amp, practice by yourself, jamb with a guitar (acoustic/electric) or jam with a group
- What you want to do now and what you going to want to do in a few months (assuming you keep at it) may change - I started out wanting to be able to play at home by myself, six months later I was on stage at a Blues Jam night…
- So the used market is always a place to look - great values and you can often get most of what you have in to it back (if you take care of it) when you trade up or move on
If you can find a used Roland Cube (or new if you have the $$) they are great. Tons of features, amp modeling, effects, beat tracks, tuner, headphone out, MP3 in (this is helpful when learning songs) - a great “I only play in my bedroom/basement alone” option.
I started with a Rumble 25, great amp but I wished I had got the 40W for the line out (my Jam partner and I started playing through a board with Headphones for quiet play and to record on Garage Band - we used the Roland for my part)
Bass watts are not the same as Guitar watts if you are jamming. When it was me with the 10W Roland and him with a 10W Guitar version, it was like I was not there. Even his 10W and my 25W Rumble was not a good match up. So if you are even thinking about getting in a room with a Guitar player…go bigger. (The 40W Rumble vs. 10W Roland would have worked for instance)
I did play bass at a local acoustic guitar jam session several times. They only allowed (small) Bass amps, the Roland 10W worked great and the battery feature was helpful when I could not get to the cord. Room (small) would have 6-12 acoustic guitar players, sometimes a harmonica or mandolin or fiddle… The Rumble 25 would have worked, just no battery option.
A wise person once told me: “I buy as much flexibility as I can afford”
But don’t get to wrapped up in this, it’s supposed to be fun (and it is) and as I said as the start, we have lots of options.
Good luck, let us know what you ended up doing and have fun!
I recently got myself a used Roland Micro cube. Great little practice amp with loads of features and variety of sounds. Perfect for the basement.