Are you ready to take your sound system to the next level? This comprehensive guide is here to help you find the best bass and amp deals in 2023! From powerful combos and essential sets to uniquely crafted solutions, we’ve compiled a list of our top picks so you can build up your dream sound system at an unbeatable price.
Bass Combo Amps
Bass combo amplifiers are a type of amplifier specifically designed for bass instruments. They provide amplification for both the low and mid range frequencies, making it easy to create a powerful tone with precise clarity.
Bass combo amps come in many sizes, ranging from small practice amps to large stacks of professional-level power. Many bass combo amps also feature built-in effects such as reverb, chorus, and distortion to help craft your sound.
Fender Rumble 15
The Fender Rumble 15 bass amp is a great choice for players who need portability and affordability. It offers considerable power despite its small size, with up to 15 watts of output. Additionally, its design also allows it to easily fit in any bag or backpack making it ideal for traveling musicians.
The amp also features an eight-inch speaker, a headphone jack and an Aux In jack for playing along with mp3s or other audio sources. On the other hand, one of the main cons of the Fender Rumble 15 bass amp is its limited power compared to bigger amps such as the Fender Bassman Pro 800 bass amp. Additionally, its sound may not be loud enough for some larger venues and shows.
Lastly, it does not have built-in effects like other models meaning users have to purchase them separately if desired.
Bass Amp Heads
Bass amp heads are amplifiers that require a separate speaker cabinet to work. Unlike bass combo amps, they do not include a built-in speaker, so you’ll need to buy an additional speaker enclosure for your amp head.
Bass amp heads provide great flexibility in sound as you can pair them with different speakers depending on the desired sound. They also provide more power than bass combo amps, so they’re better suited for larger performances and venues.
Additionally, bass amp heads usually feature extra controls such as compressors and EQs to help dial in your perfect sound.
Most bass amp heads typically feature a 3-band or 4-band EQ, volume, presence and gain controls for adjusting your sound. They usually have an input for connecting your bass guitar, as well as outputs for connecting to external speakers.
Some amps may have additional features such as onboard effects, a mute switch and even a line out for recording or outputting to an audio device.
Replacement Bass Speakers
There are many reasons why one might need to replace bass speaker cabinets for a bass amp. It could be because the original speakers have become worn out or damaged over time, or perhaps you’re looking for more power or better sound from your setup.
Whatever the reason may be, changing out the speaker cabinets can drastically improve the tone of your bass amp and provide a much fuller and deeper sound. Additionally, new cabinet designs can also help reduce vibration and feedback, resulting in a more enjoyable listening experience.
Where to buy
Replacement bass speaker cabinets are widely available online from reputable music retailers and electronics stores. You can find a wide range of options, from budget-friendly models to professional rigs designed for live performances.
Many sites also offer helpful specs to help you make an informed decision before purchasing a cabinet. Additionally, you can usually find reviews and ratings from previous customers to give you an idea of how well the product performs in real-world settings.
How to connect a bass speaker cabinet
Typically, you can use 1/4 inch or balanced XLR outputs to connect to external speakers. Most amplifiers will have a combination of both types of outputs. Other types of outputs include SpeakOn, Binding Post and Banana connectors.
Blackstar Unity 30
The Blackstar Unity 30 bass amp is a great option for bassists who want an affordable yet feature-packed amp.
With 30 watts of power and two channels, you can get plenty of volume out of this amp without sacrificing quality. It also features a 3-band EQ and tone shaping controls, so you have a lot of versatility when it comes to creating your perfect sound.
On the downside, some users might find it difficult to dial in the exact tone they’re looking for using only the basic controls on this amp. Additionally, since its power output is relatively low at only 30 watts, it may not be suitable for larger venues or recording sessions.
However, if you’re looking for an affordable yet feature-rich amp that still offers great sound quality, the Blackstar Unity 30 is worth considering.
Trace Elliot ELF
The Trace Elliot ELF bass amp is a solid yet affordable option for beginner to intermediate-level bassists. It features a four band EQ, a built in direct box, and onboard delay effects.
On the plus side, it’s compact size makes it perfect for smaller stages or practice rooms. Special Tweeter Control allows for adjusting the upper range of the sound. Onboard effects add dimension to your tone without needing extra gear.
The cons are that the power output is not suitable for larger venues so you may need an additional amplifier if you plan on playing live or in large spaces. No midi capabilities so you are limited when it comes to connecting with other devices or programs.
Aguilar Tone Hammer 500
The Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 is a popular choice among bass players for its powerful sound and versatility.
The Tone Hammer 500 is an extremely portable and lightweight amp that offers outstanding tone with plenty of headroom to work with. On the plus side, it has adjustable gain, treble, and bass controls as well as EQ bypass switches to give you greater control over your sound.
With 500 watts of power, it’s ideal for both recording and live environments. On the downside, the price tag on this amp might be prohibitive for some beginners or those on a tight budget. It also doesn’t come with any onboard effects which could be helpful in certain scenarios.
All in all, however, the Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 is an excellent choice for bassists who are looking for superior sound quality while still being able to stay within their budget.
Blackstar Unity Bass UB500
The Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 is an excellent option for bassists looking to get a great sound without breaking the bank.
It features an impressive 500 watt output as well as two channels that each have three-band EQs and separate volume controls. Additionally, it also has a built-in compressor, Reverb and delay effects, mute switch, and even line in/out options so you can hook up other devices such as your laptop or phone.
However, one major downside of the Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 bass amp is its lack of additional features such as overdrive or distortion. Furthermore, some users may find the amp’s tone to be too “clean” which may detract from their desired sound.
Additionally, this particular model does not come with a footswitch which could limit the flexibility for some users.
Reasons to buy
The Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 bass amp is a great choice for bassists wanting to get the best sound possible. It has a 500 watt output, two channels, three-band EQs and separate volume controls for each channel, built-in compression, and an effects loop for adding external effects.
The Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 also offers plenty of tone adjustment options and is easy to use. Additionally, it comes with a rugged construction that helps ensure reliable performance even under heavy use or in difficult playing conditions.
Reasons to avoid
While the Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 bass amp offers great sound and plenty of features, some players may find it lacking in other areas. It does not have an A/B switch for switching between two different speakers, or a footswitch for hands-free operation, both of which are offered by other models with similar wattage.
Additionally, the tone-shaping options offered by the Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 are limited compared to those of other amps in its price range.
Alternatives to this bass amplifier
An alternative to the Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 amp is the Ampeg SVT-550. This model is a 500 watt amp with four channels, each of which comes with a three-band EQ and separate volume control. It also features several additional features such as a built-in compressor and an effects loop for adding external effects.
Additionally, it has an A/B switch for switching between two different speakers, and even a footswitch for hands-free operation. The Ampeg SVT-550 offers plenty of tone options and flexibility for bassists so they can get the sound they’re looking for.
How it compares to similar bass amplifiers
The Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 bass amp has a 500-watt output, making it comparable to other models such as the Ampeg SVT-550 and the Markbass Little Mark III. All three of these amps offer similar features such as two channels with three-band EQs and separate volume controls, built-in compressors, and effects loops for adding external effects.
However, the Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 bass amp has fewer additional features compared to the other two models. The Ampeg SVT-550 offers an A/B switch for switching between two different speakers, while the Markbass Little Mark III comes with a footswitch for hands-free operation.
Additionally, both models provide more options for adjusting tone than the Blackstar Unity Bass UB500 does.
Fender Rumble 100 v3
The Fender Rumble 100 v3 bass amp is an excellent choice for any bassist who wants to have power and versatility in their amplifier. With up to 100 watts of output, the Rumble 100 v3 delivers a crisp and clear sound ideal for small or moderate venues or rehearsals.
It offers a 4-band active EQ with punch and mid-scoop switches, as well as built-in overdrive, a balanced direct output, an FX loop, and more.
The pros of the Fender Rumble 100 v3 include its incredible power of up to 100 watts, versatile 4-band active EQ with punch and mid-scoop switches, built-in overdrive for added warmth and drive sounds, a balanced direct output for recording applications, an FX loop for further customizing one’s sound, along with a tough construction that will last through years of use.
However, its cons are that it is not suitable for loud gigs due to its lower wattage rating compared to larger amplifiers and it can be expensive compared to other models on the market.
The 4-band active EQ of the Fender Rumble 100 v3 bass amp provides users with the ability to customize their sound through the use of frequency adjustments.
The EQ has two bands dedicated to low and high-frequency settings, two bands dedicated to mid-frequency levels, and a punch switch for adding extra intensity and distortion.
Additionally, the mid-scoop switch allows users to create space in their mix and add clarity. The 4-band active EQ is highly versatile and gives users full control over their sound.
Fender Bassman Pro 800
The Fender Bassman Pro 800 bass amp has some great pros, such as its high power of up to 800 watts making it suitable for loud gigs and large venues.
It also offers a plethora of features, including a four-band active EQ with a mid-scoop switch and a blend control knob, along with an effects loop and two additional outputs.
Additionally, the amp is constructed from the highest quality components ensuring exceptional reliability. On the other hand, one of the main cons of the Fender Bassman Pro 800 bass amp is its hefty price tag compared to other models on the market with similar capabilities.
Additionally, due to its higher wattage rating, it requires more power than smaller amplifiers meaning it may not be ideal for some players who need more portability in their setup.
It’s also worth noting that it’s considerably heavier than other amplifiers on the market, making it less portable and inconvenient for players who require portability in their set up.
Therefore, the Fender Bassman Pro 800 bass amp may not be the ideal choice for those looking for an amplifier that can easily be moved from one location to another without sacrificing quality sound.
Ashdown Studio 15
The Ashdown Studio 15 bass amp is an excellent choice for users looking for a powerful yet portable amplifier.
It offers up to 15 watts of power, the same as the Fender Rumble 15 bass amp, but in a much more compact and lightweight design.
Additionally, the Ashdown Studio 15 bass amp comes with built-in chorus and delay effects to enhance sound quality, allowing players to craft their desired tones more easily.
On the other hand, one notable con of this particular model is its limited headroom which means it may not be loud enough for some larger venues or live performances. Furthermore, it does not have an Aux In jack meaning users cannot plug in mp3s and other audio sources directly into the amp. L
astly, although still relatively affordable compared to bigger models, its price point may be too steep for some budget-conscious musicians.
The Ampeg SVT-CL bass amp is a great choice for users needing serious power with its impressive output of 350 watts. This makes it ideal for players who need to play in larger venues and shows.
Additionally, the amp also comes with additional features such as a five-band graphic EQ, mute switch and an XLR direct out for plugging into a PA system or recording console.
On the other hand, one of the major cons of this particular model is its bulky size and weight compared to smaller amps such as the Fender Rumble 15 bass amp. This makes it difficult to transport and may be too cumbersome for some traveling musicians.
Furthermore, its price point is also much higher than more affordable models like the Ashdown Studio 15 bass amp likely making it inaccessible for most players on a budget.
Which features are essential in a bass amp?
When it comes to essential features in a bass amp head, having a good EQ is key. It allows you to adjust your sound and shape it exactly how you want. Other important features include volume, presence and gain controls for fine-tuning your sound.
Here’s a full list of important features to look for in your next bass combo or bass amp head purchase.
Balanced xlr output
A balanced XLR output is a useful feature on bass amps because it allows users to connect their amp directly to professional sound systems or recording equipment. Balanced XLR outputs provide better signal quality and lower noise levels than unbalanced connections, and are less susceptible to interference.
Additionally, they allow the use of cable runs of up to 100 feet without significant signal loss. This is a great feature for anyone looking for maximum flexibility in terms of sound and performance.
You may also want to see if the XLR output on the back of bass combo amps that you’re looking at has a ground lift. This will help any unwanted buzz that’s coming from the mains powering your bass combo amp, power amp, or whatever else you’re using to power yourself.
Adjustable compression or an onboard compressor
An onboard compressor on a bass amp can be useful in several ways. Firstly, it helps to smooth out peaks in the signal and limit distortion when playing at high volumes. Secondly, it can help to add punch or definition to the tone by increasing sustain or controlling volume levels.
Finally, a compressor allows users to set the desired attack and release times of their sound, making it possible to create unique and dynamic tones.
A built-in tuner is a useful feature for bassists because it allows them to quickly and accurately tune their instrument. This can be especially helpful when playing live, as tuning between songs without a tuner can be difficult or impossible.
A built-in tuner also saves valuable time and eliminates the need to carry an extra device. It’s an invaluable tool for any bassist looking to maintain the highest level of performance.
Headphone input for silent practice
A headphone input that can be used for silent practice is a great feature for bassists because it allows them to practice without disturbing others. This is especially useful in situations when playing at a loud volume might not be suitable, such as during late-night practice sessions or while traveling.
A headphone input also allows players to better hear and analyze their own playing, as they can listen closely without interference from external sound sources.
What are the best bass amp brands?
Popular bass amp brands include Ampeg, Fender, Ashdown, Gallien-Kruger, and Orange. Each of these brands offer a variety of different models ranging from beginner to professional-level amps.
Ampeg is renowned for its high-powered head designs while Fender is known for its classic tone. Ashdown is increasingly becoming a popular option for bassists due to their more affordable prices and quality construction. Gallien-Kruger also provides both powerful heads and combos as well as lightweight practice amps.
Finally, Orange has unique offerings such as the iconic 4 Stroke series and are widely praised for their exceptional build quality.
Other features to consider
Other things to think about when buying bass amps will include things like whether to go for a valve preamp or solid-state amp because this will fundamentally affect the tone you get.
You may also want to look at head features that are less common but still useful. For example, some amps come with a two-channel setup which can be great if you need two basses on the same gig.
Or perhaps a buffered effects loop, programmable impulse response, foot-switchable overdrive, drive control or an extra boost in the low end.
Whilst features like this are aimed much more at the professional market, it’s worth including in this guide of buying advice because you never know when you’ll need something a bit more substantial.
Remember, if you don’t know what these things are then it’s best to try them out for yourself so you can get first-hand knowledge in comparing products.
And if you can’t do that then look online because many expert reviewers will post regular reviews where you can read, hear and learn all about these more advanced head features.
Can you use an amp for bass?
When it comes to a bass amplifier, it’s not a case of “can you” but much more a case “you must”.
An electric bass guitar used without some sort of bass amplifier, power amp, or bass speaker cabinet simply won’t produce much sound at all.
Adjustable mids, active basses, input gain, master volume, all these things don’t mean anything if you don’t have an amp.
It’s best to try out of a few models to find something you like but it can be a good idea to start with popular models because they are popular for a reason.
If, for example, loads of bass players use and trust orange amplification, then you should consider it and perhaps even try one out.
What does an amp do for a bass?
An amplifier is an essential tool for any bass player to shape and amplify their sound. An amp takes the signal from your bass guitar and amplifies it so that you can hear it in a louder and fuller sound. It also provides control over volume levels, EQ settings, and sound design to create the ideal tone for your performance.
Do amps matter for bass?
Yes, amps are important when playing bass as they allow you to adjust the sound of your instrument to better suit the type of music you’re performing. Without an amp, your bass guitar would be limited in how much sound it could produce and how much control you have over its sound.
How many amps do I need for bass?
You only need one amp for playing bass guitar. Having multiple amps can give you more options when creating different sounds or performing live shows, but typically one is enough.
What is the best bass combo amp?
The best bass combo amp will depend on your budget and sound preferences. Some of the most popular ones on the market include the Ampeg SVT-3PRO, Fender Rumble 500 V3, Orange OB1-500, and Marshall Origin 20C Combo. Each one has its own unique features and advantages so it’s worth doing research into which one is right for you.
Which bass guitar amps are best for beginners?
If you’re just starting out with playing bass guitar, you should look into an amp that is easy to use yet still offers plenty of options for tone shaping.
Some of the most popular and beginner-friendly bass amplification options include the Fender Rumble 15 V2, Orange Crush 35RT, Peavey MAX 126 Combo, and VOX Pathfinder 10B. Each of these amps offer great sound quality at a reasonable price and are easy to use for those who are new to playing bass.
How do I get a good bass sound?
Getting a good bass tone starts with choosing the right amp for your style of music and playing. You also want to make sure your amp has enough power output to handle whatever gig or recording situation you’re in.
From there, experiment with EQ settings and other features on your amp until you find a sound that works best for your needs. Lastly, practice using your chosen settings until they become second nature.
What is the best EQ setting for my bass guitar?
The best EQ setting for your bass guitar will depend on a number of factors such as the style of music you’re playing and the type of tone you’re trying to achieve. Generally speaking, boosting the low mids at 250-400 Hz and high mids at 1-2 kHz can help create a warmer sound.
Additionally, adding some presence or treble around 8 kHz can help give your sound more clarity and definition. Experiment with different settings to find the best EQ setting that works for you.
What is a Class D head for bass?
A class D bass head amplifier is a type of bass amplifier designed to provide maximum power and accuracy from a smaller form factor. Class D amplifiers are known for their low power consumption, compact size, and light weight; these qualities make them ideal for those who need a powerful but portable amp.
They typically feature multiple inputs, including an effects loop, making them great for achieving highly customized tones. Additionally, class D bass heads usually come with built-in features like equalization and overdrive controls.
Buying bass amps can be a tricky business. The bass guitar market if flooded with so many options and, much like the bass guitar itself, knowing which bass amps will work for you can take time, effort and experience to find out.
Always be on the look out for bass amp deals because you can often pick up the best bass amp (or one of the best bass amps) at a really great price as part of bass amp deals on occasions like Christmas, school deals or black Friday.
Just take your time, try things out, read reviews and trust your ears. There’s nothing wrong with trusting your gut, sticking within your budget and getting something that you really like.
Even if everyone else says they don’t like it.