The role of a bass player in a band or any musical group is to maintain the rhythmic groove. Bass players we would say are the most critical instrument in any band (though the lead guitarist might argue otherwise). In order to sound the best on-stage, you need the best equipment. Once you’ve gotten the best bass guitar, you need to look into buying the best bass guitar amps to match.
If you are a bassist you know how important having the best bass guitar amp is. A high-quality amp can make almost any bass guitar sound like a $10K+ bass regardless of price. In this post, we review the best bass amps currently in the market that can offer the best performance for high-quality sound
Best Bass Guitar Amp
Our favorite bass guitar amp is made by the creator of the bass guitar amp. This beefy amplifier is everything you need for your private jam session or headbanging concert.
• Various wattages from 15-500
• Headphone jack
• Switchable contour controls
Best Portable Bass Guitar Amp
Featuring a sturdy, minimalistic design the VPyle-Pro PVAMP60 is no doubt one of the best on-the-go bass guitar amps currently in the market.
• 60 watts
• Bass and Treble tone-shaping controls
How many watts should I get?
One of the first questions you should ask when you are buying a bass amp. You need to know how powerful your amp should be so that you can be heard over the drummer and guitarists.
First, you should consider how the other members of your band are playing. If your drummer is exceptionally loud, you will want at least a 200-watt amp. Though if your guitarists are using at least 100-watt amps, you may want to go to at least a 250-watt amp.
You will also need to consider the amount of headroom that you have. Bass amps sound better when they aren’t maxed out. You should aim for getting the volume of sound you want when the amp knob is at 4-5. If you have to turn it up to 9 or 10, you should consider getting more watts.
Finally, you will want to think about the performance environment. If you are performing in front of a large audience in a concert hall you will certainly need more amps than if you are playing a small gig in a coffee shop.
What Size Speakers?
Another great question is what size amp speakers do you need. The most common size for bass amps is 12-inches, but amps typically range from 8-inches to 18-inches.
The speaker size you choose mainly depends on your preferences. 10-inch speakers will pack a much bigger punch than 15-inch speakers, but 15-inch speakers will provide a lot more depth. Some bass guitarists even stack four 10-inch speakers on top of one 15-inch speaker in order to get the best of both worlds.
Best Bass Guitar Amps
1. Fender Rumble Bass Guitar Amp
The Fender Rumble is not just great because it made by the company that invented the bass guitar amplifier but also because of its great specs and sound. The Rumble is powerful enough to provide a great punch, but also performs exceptionally for gritty growls. It offers great sound quality and value. The amp comes in 15-500 watt options.
This beefy amplifier is everything you need for your band or your private jam session. It comes with a ¼-inch headphone jack eliminating the need for an adaptor to used studio quality headphones. It has great volume controls and a newly developed foot-switchable overdrive circuit and versatile three-button voicing palette deliver powerful tones ideal for any gig. Not only that, but you also get some great pro features such as XLR output, effects loop, horn defeat, and an additional 8-ohm speaker output.
The Fender Rumble is a rich, full-sounding bass amplifier with excellent sound quality. If you play a four-string bass guitar, you will have no issues with low ends because the sound will be clear, plenty and deep. This bass amp is suitable for intermediate and advanced players, but beginners can certainly jam on this bass guitar amp as well.
Fender is a well-known brand in the guitar and bass guitar world, so you can’t go wrong with this amp.
2. VOX PB10 Bass Combo Amplifier Review
Featuring a sturdy, minimalistic design the VOX PB10 Bass Combo Amplifier is no doubt one of the best on-the-go bass guitar amps currently in the market. The amp’s diamond grille cloth, basket-weave vinyl wrap and chicken head knobs giving it a nice modern look. Despite VOX BP10’s compact size, it boasts of 10watt powering a pair of 5-inch VOX Bulldog speakers for stunningly beautiful bass sound.
It has 2-band EQ consisting of Bass and Treble. The controls from Bright switch provide an additional edgy boost to your upper harmonics. When you turn up the amp, its drive control provides a warm modern bass capable of adding character and vitality to the tone. The amp also includes a headphone/line output jack to allow you to practice privately and record your music directly.
While the amp is generally great, its dual 5-inch speakers struggle a little bit with base frequencies as you continue turning up the bass. You can avoid this by keeping the drive off and the volume at a good range. Avoid pushing the volume too high because it may lead to some rattling as well as cabinet/speaker distortion. Check the VOX BP10 out and see for yourself how great of an on-the-go amp it is.
3. Ampeg BA110V2 BA-110V2
Ampeg is a very powerful brand in bass guitar amps and you will often see the Ampeg logo on-stage with some of the most popular bands. While they are known for their high-end bass amps, they also make amps for the day-to-day bassist that are still quite good.
The Ampeg BA110V2 BA-110V2 40W features a classic tone suitable for both practice and rehearsal. However, it is also equipped with a number of features and specifications that may interest even intermediate bassists. It is made with strong and durable material with impact-resistant metal corners. This means the amp can resist damages resulting from collisions and other things that it is predisposed to when in playing arenas.
The Ampeg BA110V2 features 3-band EQ including Bass, Midrange, and Treble. It’s true 60-degree monitoring angle with front-facing controls increases clarity in the sound. It also features the revolutionary grinding base scrambler override, auxiliary input as well as headphone jack for silent practice. This bass guitar amp delivers top performance at levels of volume that are ideal for home, small gigs, and rehearsal.
Its controls are front facing to allow for quick and effortless adjustments in both wedge and upright positions. It has a comfortable and ergonomic handle for easy carrying and padded bottom feet ensure stability. The amp is capable of producing a wide range of tones, especially when paired with active electronics. The BA110V2 is a top performer in its category and therefore a great choice for you.
4. Peavey Max 112 Bass Combo
The Peavey Max 112 bass amp is a great amp for rehearsals and gigs alike. It packs 200 watts into a 12-inch speaker. This amp has a lot of punch and comes with DDT speaker protection in case you want to crank the bass to the max. The patented TransTube circuitry gives you an additional gain boost which will give you that extra boost when you need it.
The Max 112 bass combo amp features volume with psyco-acoustic low-end enhancement and Transtube distortion boost allowing it to deliver very low bass not common with most amps in its price category. The low-end enhancement technology adds low end without taxing the speaker too much as common with other brands. These features and much more make it ideal for intermediate bassists who want to sharpen their bass guitar playing skills.
5. Fender Bassman 410 Neo
The Bassman 410 is one of the best live performance amps you can buy for under $1000. It features four Special Design Eminence® Neodymium 10-inch amps and a compression driver horn inside of its cabinet. The amp is rated at 1000 watts for program play or 500 watts for continuous.
For such a great bass amp, you’d except the entire cabinet to be heavy, but in fact it comes in at under 55lbs. To make transportation easier, it features removable casters and spring-loaded heavy-duty handles. This is a great amp for any bass guitarist who wants to perform in front of a live audience.
6. Fender Frontman 10G
If you are looking for a great beginner bass guitar amp then you should check out the Fender Frontman 10G. Equipped with a 6-inch special design speaker, the Frontman 10G produces good quality sound. This makes it a great choice for beginners needing the best bass guitar amp for practice. The 10Gs have a heavier base response because of the amp’s closed-back design.
This amp is capable of producing a wide variety of sounds from metal to blues. Do not expect it to produce epic bass sounds but you must give the 10G credit for sound quality. This one channel amp has several easy controls including gain, overdrive select switch, treble, and bass volume.
The amp has 3-band EQ, ¼-inch instrument input as well as a 1/8-inch auxiliary input jack for jamming along with a media player or CD. It also features and 1/8-inch headphone output jack that allows you to practice in silence. The Frontman 10G’s compact design, lightweight and affordability make it ideal for beginners looking for a good amp to practice with.
7. VOX AP2BS amPlug Bass G2 Guitar Headphone Amp
If you want to get the most out of your practice sessions then you should go for the VOX AP2BS amPlug Bass G2 Guitar Headphone Amp. This headphone bass guitar amp will help you hit your base tone giving your great low end. Even more compelling is the fact that you will enjoy great sound quality without sacrificing any space whatsoever.
It features an improved analog circuit to provide you with an exceptionally clear and present tone to inject inspiration into your practice session. The amp offers you up to 9 onboard rhythmic patterns to help you find the groove. This compact headphone amp for bass guitar allows you to ditch the cables and plug-in directly to enjoy great base tone.
It has 3 gain models to allow you explore tonal varieties to produce warm overridden sound. VOX amPlug headphone bass guitar amplifier features a new folding plug mechanism that rotates 180-degrees to fit any model or brand of bass guitar. Its aux input allows for jamming along with any audio player you desire. The amp comes with 17 hours of battery life to allow you to play or practice anywhere anytime as is pleasing to you.
8. Pyle-Pro PVAMP60 60-Watt Vamp-Series Amplifier
Coming with powerful 8”-inch speakers capable of producing excellent sound quality, the Pyle-Pro PVAMP60 60-Watt Vamp-Series Amplifier is a nice addition to your collection if you are training to be a perfect bassist for whatever reasons. It is designed to play both high and low-level inputs and comes with two channels including clean and override. The two channels allow for crunchy control. It permits users to gain control mainly for overriding.
If you buy this unit, you will enjoy three bands EQs including bass, mid-range and control treble allowing you to choose the band the works great for you. Pyle-Pro PVAMP60 offers perfect volume control feature while its ¼-inch headphone jack allows for silent rehearsal in crowded places or places that need minimal noise. In case you want to establish a connection with an external speaker, this amp acoustic guitar amp comes with ¼-inch output jack.
The amp is capable of giving you high frequencies response that ranges from 20 Hz to 15 KHz which are great for practice but not for events and functions. You can adjust the gain on the override for a classic blown-out sound or add your desired delayed effect using the built-in delay. It is a very durable amp able to serve you optimally for years.
9. Hartke HD150 Bass Combo
The Hartke HD150 bass amp packs 150 watts into a 15-inch speaker that is ideal for small venues, rehearsal spaces, and bedroom practice sessions. It is ideal for all levels of player.
The amp comes with patented HyDrive technology that allows it to produce deep and warm low frequencies as well as mids and cut. The amp has a 7-band graphic EQ and headphone jack for private playing.
10. Sawtooth 10-Watt Electric Amp
Sawtooth is known to produce great quality amplifiers but their ST-AMP-10 Kit tops the list if you are looking for the best bass guitar amp. The 10W amp is capable of playing a variety of tones in a compact size. The impressive practice amp allows you to go over chords, scales and rocking out your most preferred tunes.
The amp is fitted with volume, bass, treble and mid controls for versatility. You will also love its override switch that allows you to go between clean and overdriven sounds. It features a 6.5” speaker and 6.35 input mono jack and stereo headphone jacks. This means you can choose to practice without ever disturbing anyone in the room making the amp perfect for use at home and at any time of the day.
The Sawtooth ST-AMP-10-KIT-1ST-AMP-10-KIT-1 is highly affordable yet performs incredibly well. It is easy to use right out of the box and has few straightforward controls. It is also very portable. These and many more features make this amp an ideal choice for individuals who are just starting bass guitar learning process. In other words, it offers good value for investment if you choose to buy the amp.
From the above best bass guitar amp reviews, we believe you must have found one or two to shortlist for further research. The important features in bass guitar amps that you should look for include the gain control, jacks, design, EQ bands, power supply and sound quality among others. If you are not sure, you can contact an expert at your local music or guitar shop to help you make the right choice. These reviews should act only as guides for further research.
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Ignorance is . . . expensive. “If your drummer is exceptionally loud, you will want at least a 200-watt amp. Though if your guitarists are using at least 100-watt amps, you may want to go to at least a 250-watt amp.” 250W is all of not-quite-1dB louder than 200W. If you think you can hear a 1dB SPL increase during a noisy band practice or performance, you are drunk and shouldn’t play with heavy equipment.