Looking for the best bass amps in 2023? With a range of budget-friendly models and high-end amps that are sure to fill your venue with sound, it can be hard to decide which one is best.
Thankfully, we’ve done the research for you and rounded up the 17 best bass amps in 2023 across all price ranges. Our article has everything you need to know: features, tutorials, customer information, and reviews – making it easier than ever before to find the best bass amp this year!
The Ultimate Guide to Bass and Guitar Amplifiers
The best bass amps can be hard to find. Especially when you aren’t entirely sure what you’re looking for and what the difference between bass amps are.
You can buy a tube amp, a class D amp, a small bass combo, practice amp or any other number of models but, unless you’re totally sure what these are and what you need, then these terms are meaningless.
To help you figure out which bass amps are worth your time, we’ve reviewed some of the best bass amps in each category below and answered many of the most common questions people have about bass amplification.
So keep reading and we’ll help you find the right budget bass amp that will give you a great bass tone and everything else you need.
The 8 Best Amp Heads
Let’s start by looking at bass amp heads first.
Bass amp heads are an essential piece of equipment for any bassist looking to get the best sound out of their instrument.
Combining the preamp, EQ and power amp in one, bass amp heads are designed to boost your sound from just an electric bass guitar to something more full-bodied and powerful. With no speaker cabinet attached, the tone can be further adjusted with a range of mixers and effects pedals, depending on your desired sound.
Higher quality models also often come with a variety of other features such as built-in compressors or independent volume and gain knobs to dial in the perfect sound – what better way to create an amazing tone?
The Ampeg SVT VR is a versatile and powerful amp, perfect for both practice and performance. With 1 Kilowatt of power (@ 4ohms), it can handle any gig or venue.
The premium JJ 12AX7/ECC83S preamp provides amazing tone, while the variable compression lets you dial in the perfect sound.
The remote switchable FX loop/Mute is a handy feature, letting you keep your effects pedalboard or rackmount gear connected and ready to go.
The 5-position mid-tone control lets you shape your sound to perfection, while the built-in limiter ensures consistent levels even at high volumes.
Trace Elliot Elf
The Trace Elliot Elf is a very portable and lightweight 1.60 lb (0.73Kg) 200W amplifier that is perfect for use with acoustic instruments or for live sound reinforcement.
It features a 3-band rotary equalizer that emulates the response of classic Trace Elliot multi-band graphic EQ filters, allowing you to dial in your desired tone.
The wide range input gain control with signal level indicator allows you to easily adjust the signal level, while the ultra-high preamp input impedance (>10meg ohms) ensures maximum sensitivity when using passive pickups.
Looking to power your bass rig with pure tube tone? Check out the Hartke LH1000. This all-tube bass amp head offers up dual parallel mode (two 225-watt @ 8 ohm outputs, or two 320-watt @ 4 ohm outputs), bridge mode (1 x 750 watts @ 8 ohms, or 1 x 1100 watts @ 4 ohms), and a classic 12AX7 high voltage Class-A tube preamp circuit.
You also get bass and treble shelving, plus mid-peak EQ controls, as well as a selectable brite switch for added high-frequency response.
There’s even a selectable limiter switch with LED indicator. On the back, you’ll find a balanced XLR direct output, 1/4-inch effects loop, and 1/4-inch plus Speakon output connectors.
And thanks to its two-rackspace metal chassis with steel faceplate and handles, the LH1000 is roadworthy and ready to rock.
Orange Little Bass Thing 500
Looking for an amp that can handle any bass playing style? Check out the Orange Little Bass Thing.
This powerful Class D amp is perfect for single-handed players or those who want to switch between active and passive basses without having to reconfigure their gear.
Plus, the foot-switchable compression let’s you tame your sound onstage or in the studio. And if you need to send a signal straight to the board, the balanced D.I. output is ready to go.
Footswitch not included.
Peavey MiniMAX 600
The Peavey MiniMAX 600 is a 600-watt amplifier head that’s perfect for small gigs and practice sessions.
It features DDT speaker protection, pre-gain control with TransTube gain boost, 3-band EQ with Punch, Mid-shift and Bright controls, and psycho-acoustic low-end bass enhancement.
Plus, the tone of voice knob allows you to customize your sound with ease.
Aguilar Tone Hammer 700
Looking for a powerful bass head that can handle any gig? The Tone hammer 700 from Aguilar is perfect for you. With 700 watts of power, this solid-state head can handle even the most demanding shows.
The Drive control on the tone hammer lets you dial in the perfect amount of distortion, while the balanced DI output ensures your signal stays clear and strong.
And with the FX loop, you can add your favorite pedals to create the perfect tone.
Behringer BXD3000H Bass Amp Head
Looking for a powerful and lightweight bass amplifier? Look no further than the Behringer ULTRABASS BXD3000H.
This revolutionary Class-D amplifier technology offers enormous power and incredible sonic performance in an ultra-lightweight package.
The Clean channel has dedicated Gain control, while the Distortion channel offers dedicated Gain, Shape and Level controls for tonal flexibility. The ultra-musical, active 7-band graphic EQ with FBQ Spectrum Analyzer ensures pinpoint accuracy when sculpting your sound.
The BXD3000H is perfect for any bassist looking for a portable and powerful amplifier.
TC Electronic BH250 Bass Amplifier
If you’re a bass player who’s looking for an incredibly compact and lightweight amplifier head that can deliver 250 watts of power, the TC Electronic BH250 is a perfect choice.
This micro bass head is designed for stage and studio use, and it features TonePrint technology that allows you to select from a wide range of signature effects created by some of the world’s greatest bass players.
The integrated tuner has a frequency range that’s suitable for 4, 5, and 6-string basses, and the cutting-edge Class-D amplifier technology provides incredible power and sonic performance.
The 7 best bass amplifier combos
Now let’s look at bass combo amps.
A bass combo combines a speaker and an amplifier in one convenient unit. It’s great for performers who need to travel light, providing all the amplification they need without the added hassle of needing to lug around large quantities of equipment.
Different amps can provide different ranges of tones, so you’ll need to decide what type of sound you are looking for before picking out your bass combo amp.
Overall, these amps make playing instruments while on-the-go much easier and offer several options when it comes to finding the perfect tone.
The go-to choice for first-time buyers
If you’re looking to take your bass playing up a notch, consider buying a bass combo amp. Combos are great for first-time buyers as they combine a speaker and amplifier in one package, allowing you to start playing without any additional equipment.
They are also generally less expensive and more portable than traditional stack amps, making them perfect for taking with you on the road.
Combo-style amps come in many shapes and sizes for different levels of experience, from basic practice models to powerhouses suitable for big gigging scenarios.
Before jumping into buying something too powerful or expensive though, think about how much space and how loud of an output you really need, since bigger isn’t always better when it comes to finding the right amp setup!
If you’re searching for an amp that can take your bass playing to the next level, you need to check out the Fender Rumble.
This newly-developed model offers a variety of features that will help you fine-tune your tone, from classic gritty growl to slap-worthy modern punch.
The overdrive circuit and switchable contour controls give you tons of flexibility in shaping your sound, while the beefy 25 watt power amp and ported speaker enclosure provide ample volume and deep bass response.
You’ll also appreciate the 1/4″ headphone output jack for private practice sessions, and the 1/8″ Auxiliary input jack that lets you jam along with your favorite tracks.
Plus, this amp is backed by Fender’s 5 Year Transferable Warranty, so you can rest assured that it’s built to last.
Peavey Max Series
Looking for an amp that can handle a variety of live and practice applications? Look no further than the Peavey Max 100. This amp can pump out up to 100 watts of power, making it perfect for larger venues.
But it’s also small and lightweight enough to take on the road. In addition, the Max 100 features a premium 10 speaker, DDT speaker protection, pre-gain control with TransTube gain boost, three-band EQ with Overdrive, Contour, Mid-Shift, Bright, and Kosmos-C switches, and much more.
So whether you’re playing at home or on stage, the Peavey Max 100 is a great choice for any bassist.
Orange Crush Bass 50
Orange Crush amps are the perfect way to get Orange tone and features in a small, lightweight package. The active 3-band EQ lets you shape your tone to perfection, while the parametric mid-control gives you even more sonic flexibility.
The bi-amp-inspired blend and gain controls let you dial in the perfect amount of overdrive, while the buffered effects loop ensures your effects will sound great even when used with high-gain pedals.
The chromatic tuner is always handy for quickly checking your tuning, and the included footswitch lets you easily control the amp’s functions without having to stop playing.
Whether you’re looking for an ultra-portable practice amp or a powerful stage amp, the Orange Crush series has you covered.
Phil Jones Compact Amp Combo
This Phil Jones Compact Combo amplifier is perfect for musicians and bands who need a powerful amplifier with a wide range of features.
The two 3-band EQs let you fine-tune your sound, while the optical limiter ensures distortion-free sound at high volumes.
The headphone output and tuner output are perfect for monitoring your sound onstage or in the studio, while the preamp line output and balanced line output provide flexibility for connecting to different types of audio gear.
And with 300W (RMS) of power, this amp can handle even the largest venues.
The Markbass Micromark is a super compact bass amplifier that’s perfect for small gigs and practice sessions. It has a single 8″ speaker that delivers 60 watts of power, making it capable of powering an additional cab.
An aux input lets you jam along with audio tracks, and a headphone out provides silent practice. An optional external tweeter can be added for increased volume and projection. At only 14.55 lb., the Micromark is easy to transport and set up.
Looking for an amp that can handle a range of styles and sounds? The Boss Katana 60/1W 1×10″ Bass Combo Amplifier might be perfect for you.
It features three amp voicings, four effects sections, and six user presets, allowing you to dial in the perfect sound for any gig or situation.
Plus, the cab-emulated headphone/recording output and blend control let you get the perfect tone when practicing or recording.
Ampeg Rocket Bass Series
Looking for a powerful, portable bass combo amp? Look no further than the Ampeg Rocket 50W 1 x 10″.
This compact combo is perfect for gigging bassists, with 50 watts of power, a 3-band EQ, and both 1/4″ and XLR outputs.
The 1 x 10″ speaker produces plenty of volume, while the onboard headphone output allows you to practice silently.
The aux input lets you jam along with your favorite tunes, and the balanced XLR output ensures clean sound onstage or in the studio.
For many, this is the ultimate practice amp.
Which is the best bass amp?
When it comes to best bass amps, the best choice really depends on what type of sound you’re looking for and how you plan on using it.
Generally speaking, if you’re playing gigs in a large venue, an amp with more wattage will be best and will give you the power and projection that you need.
On the other hand, if you’re mostly playing good-sized practice sessions or smaller venues with just drums as accompaniment, something with lower wattage might suit your needs best.
Taking into account all these factors can help make sure that the best bass amp is selected for whichever situation!
What are the best bass combo amplifiers?
If you’re a bassist looking for the best combos on the market, you should definitely consider the Fender Rumble and Ampeg Rocket. Both models provide crystal-clear sound quality, real power, and low-end response to keep your rhythm section bobbing all night long.
Plus they come in various sizes and styles with options like guitar input jacks and active EQs – so an amp truly tailored to your musical needs is just a few clicks away.
With either of these best bass amps, you can be sure that your gig will have plenty of energy without any worries.
What are good bass guitar amps?
Aguilar and Fender are great amp makers, so no matter which one you choose to buy, you can be sure that it will deliver great sound quality. Aguilar amps are renowned for their warm, punchy tone and great dynamic range while the Fender amps offer great clarity and a great overall tone.
Both models offer various options such as preamps, power amps and various controllable knobs so you can create your own signature sound. Plus, each brand also has several sizes and wattage ratings for flexibility.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician looking for a great bass amp, Aguilar and Fender are both great choices.
What is a good bass amp for small gigs?
The Fender Rumble is quickly becoming a popular choice for bassists playing small gigs. With its impressive wattage, you get incredible bass response and clarity even with the smallest of crowds.
Plus, the compact size makes it easy to transport, letting you take your bass amp anywhere year round. And with features such as 3-band EQ, overdrive control and an auxiliary input, you won’t be sacrificing tone quality for portability.
So, if you’re in need of an amp for small gigs and don’t want to break the bank doing it, then look no further than the Fender Rumble bass amp!
What kind of amp is best for bass?
When choosing the right amp for bass, your main consideration should be size. Generally speaking, if you are playing at home, rehearsal spaces, or small venues then a smaller amplifier will do just fine.
However, if you anticipate playing bigger shows then you may want to invest in a larger, more powerful amp to get the full and booming sound you’re looking for. Additionally, amps with built-in effects such as chorus, vibrato, and phaser are perfect for adding depth and flavour to your sounds.
Ultimately when it comes down to “what kind of amp is best for bass?”, it really depends on what type of sound you’re trying to achieve and the settings where you will be performing.
What is the most reliable bass amp?
When searching for the most reliable bass amp, it is important to look at features such as wattage and cabinet size, which will influence sound quality and durability. Additionally, finding one with a decent preamp helps create the desired low-frequency sound.
Many brands have good options in varying price ranges. One of the top reliable ones that many bassists trust would be the Aguilar Tone hammer amp. It has plenty of power, along with an efficient speaker fit for any genre or setting should make your playing experience consistently enjoyable.
Is it OK to use a bass amp for guitar?
To find out more on this subject, read this article.
Is 500W bass amp enough?
Yes! in fact, as bass amps go, it might even be too much.
Whilst power is important when it comes to bass amps, you have to understand that power comes at a cost. Both financially and in terms of space.
Generally speaking, a 500 watt rig will be huge. It will need a large speaker cabinet to get the best out of the head and it will be very heavy to transport.
So, whilst it may give you an incredible bass sound, ask yourself if you can physically fit amp in your home first.
And if you can, maybe the bass sound you get from 500 watts isn’t really worth it.
What is a Class D bass head?
A class D bass amp is a type of amplifier that functions differently from other types of amplifiers. A class D amp is more efficient, as it runs at higher power levels with less power consumption and generates less heat.
Additionally, class D amps can produce tighter, more focused bass sounds with greater clarity than traditional class AB amps.
When looking to purchase your new bass amp, class D would be a great option if you’re searching for improved sound performance and longer-lasting usage.
How do I choose a bass amp?
Choosing the right bass amp can seem daunting, but there are some key factors to consider when selecting the perfect unit for your needs. Start by thinking about what type of sound you want and how much volume you need.
Acoustic bassists may require a different amplifier than an electric bassist who mostly plays rock or blues; both styles benefit from amplifiers with onboard effects. Also, decide if professional quality is necessary—if so, it may be worth investing in an amp that offers features like EQ controls, reverb and vintage tube tone emulation.
Once you have narrowed down your choices to a few models, determine which one best fits your budget and reflects your taste in style as well as sound production. Finally, observe the setup time of each amplifier—models with multiple inputs take longer to configure and might not fit into tight schedules onstage!
Ultimately, selecting a bass amp comes down to finding something that puts out the right amount of power while achieving the sound you desire.
Is a 10 watt amp good for a bass?
If you’re using it for home practice only then, possibly. However, if you want to join a band, do gigs or even play along to recordings at home you might find it a little limiting.
Whilst some of these smaller 10 watt practice amps come with great features like an aux input or a headphone jack, they’re often lacking in power so it might be a good idea to give yourself some headroom and go for a 30 watt amp for example.
That way, you’ve got some power in reserve if you ever want to start playing in bands as well as doing your home practice.
How many watts is good for a bass amp?
When determining how many watts an amp is suitable for, the amount of wattage will depend on the size and environment you plan to be playing in. For smaller rehearsal spaces and practice sessions, consider an amp with 10 – 100 Watts of power.
If you’re looking to play shows and larger events, a bass amp with 200-300 Watts of power is ideal. It’s important to remember that higher watts don’t always indicate louder: lower watts can be just as loud if the design of your amp is optimized properly.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which wattage suits your needs best.
What amplifier is best for bass?
Finding the best bass amp for you can be a tricky task. When looking for an amplifier, it’s best to figure out your budget as well as what sound you’re looking for. Different bass amps offer different features that allow you to experiment and fine-tune your sound.
Some models also have built-in effects or octave controls so you can create unique sounds with ease. Consider an all-inclusive model that offers diverse connectivity options such as aux input jacks or USB connectivity.
Selecting the best bass amp is a personal choice based on how much you want to invest, the type of sound you are after and what kind of extra features you might need.
Is 15w enough for bass amp?
Deciding if 15 watts is the right amount of power for your bass amp is a personal choice that depends on how you plan to use it. If you are mainly playing in smaller settings like jamming with friends at home, 15w should be more than enough to give you plenty of volume and clarity.
However, if you plan to play larger gigs or festivals, then this may not offer enough headroom for those louder situations.
Ultimately, it really comes down to knowing your own needs and understanding the context in which the amp will be used. For most people looking for a quality bass amp, 15w should provide enjoyment without issue.
What is the best amp for a beginner?
When looking for bass amps, it can be intimidating for beginner bass players to find the best one for their needs. Fortunately, there are many bass amp deals available with a variety of features that can make it easier to find the right amp for you.
Beginners should look for an amplifier with great sound quality, clean and warm tones, and a range of input options so they can experiment with different effects as they gain more experience playing bass.
An easy-to-use user interface and headphone output option will also come in handy when practicing at home. By doing some research and comparing bass amp deals, any beginner bass player can find the perfect amp to fit their playing style and budget!
Is a combo amp good for bass?
When it comes to bass amplifiers, combo amps offer a great blend of versatility and simplicity. They provide most, if not all, of the effects available on stand-alone amps like distortion and chorus, while also having several channels designed to optimize different sounds.
Combos are especially handy when you don’t have room for a big cabinet or require the ability to switch between tones quickly.
Many professional players swear by these amps due to the warm sound and portability they provide.
While there are distinct benefits of using a combo for bass, ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Consider how much space you have, what type of tone you’re looking for, and whether portability is important before making your purchase!
What class amp is best for bass?
When shopping for bass amps, the most important factor to consider is the power of the amp. Generally speaking, bass needs more power to project than other instruments, so it’s likely that you will need an amp with more wattage than you might expect.
There are plenty of bass amps out there that can accommodate a wide range of playing styles and budgets as well. Whether you are looking for a small combo amplifier perfect for practice or an expansive bass stack perfect for larger performances, there is sure to be an amp that fits your needs perfectly.
Ultimately, finding the best bass amp means considering the size and volume requirements of your particular instrument, while also taking into account budget and personal preferences.
What is a good wattage for a bass amp?
When choosing a wattage for your bass amp, the most important thing to consider is the type of playing you will be doing. If you are mostly playing in small venues, 40-50 watts should provide ample volume.
You could even get away with using 25-30 watts if your bandmates are taking care of most of the volume. If you plan on playing larger clubs, look into amps that range between 100 and 200 watts – depending on how large the room is.
Also keep in mind how clean or distorted you like your sound – some amps are better able to hold their tone at higher volumes than others. No matter what amp you decide to go with, make sure it fits both your style and budget so you can enjoy creating the sound you desire!
Does the amplifier affect bass?
Absolutely! Just as different guitar amps are made for different styles of music and types of guitar, many bass amps are made for certain purposes and excel at certain things.
For example, a tube amp will be best for those wanting a more vintage and warm sound. More modern amps are built specifically for an active bass and some are even designed to not color the sound of your bass at all so that the sound from your hands really shines through.
It’s best to try out as many amps as you can before buying one. This will help you understand what kind of bass tone you’re looking for and which are the best bass amps to get you there.
How many watts does a bass amp need to practice?
Answering the question “How many watts does a bass amp need to practice?” can be tricky, as bass amps come in a variety of different power ratings. Generally speaking, a bass amp rated between 25 and 100 watts should be more than sufficient for practicing at home.
However, if your bass amp has added features such as a dedicated headphone output or reverb effects, it’s best to opt for something that is 50 watts or more.
That way, you will be able to crank up the volume without sacrificing clarity or tone quality in the process.
Ultimately, what type of bass amp you choose will depend on your specific needs and budget so make sure to do some extra research before reaching a conclusion.
What is the best bass guitar practice amp?
If you’re searching for the best bass amp on the market then look no further! The best practice bass amp depends on your goals as a player.
For instance, if you mainly plan to play at home with headphones then you won’t need an extremely powerful amp, however, if you plan to play larger venues then the best option would be an amp that offers more power.
It is important to consider the size of your practice space or venue when choosing an amp – don’t buy an overpowered or underpowered model.
Ultimately, it comes down to finding an amp that has the sound quality and features best suited for your needs – there are plenty of great options out there!
Conclusion: What To Buy For The Best Bass Tone
The amp head market for bass guitars is a funny place. Some people will swear by the tone hammer and others will say that the tone hammer is the worst thing you can buy.
Others will say that a little amp is all you need but then the next person you speak to will give you great reasons to avoid a little amp altogether.
So how do you know what to get? And, how can you rest assured you’ve gotten the right thing once you have bought it?
This is why you need to: try amps out first, read customer reviews, think about what your unique needs and circumstances are, and use all of that knowledge to form an opinion on your own.
Once you’ve done that, you can rest assured that, even if you hate the bass speakers that come with the Fender Rumble that everyone else raves about, you know you hate them and that you shouldn’t buy a Rumble.
If you’ve thought about your own situation and realized that silent practice is a must then you’ll know that bass combos that have headphone sockets are worth looking at.
Just take your time, be honest with yourself and remember, you can always send it back if you don’t like it!