Bass amp advice...

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by FILTHnFEAR, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    So I'm helping a friend decide on a bass combo.

    He's brand new to playing and doesn't want anything massive or earthshaking. It'll be pretty much for practising and low volume jamming with me.

    Budget: around $250, possibly a bit more if we can find something really cool.

    He's interested in something with built in FX, so I'm thinking Line 6, but are there any other brands that have FX built in? Built in FX aren't mandatory, but would be nice

    Open to anything really, as I myself don't know much about bass amps, so any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I'd say your original idea is right, those Line 6 LowDown combo amps are pretty great for the price. Get whatever pops up in budget, they're all pretty much the same.

    Alternatively, if he wants more to mess with, a POD HD500 can be found for within budget and just send it through whatever small bass amp you can find (Peavey, Crate, etc.).
     
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  3. GenghisCoyne

    GenghisCoyne im here to party

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    i played a hartke combo amp yesterday. not because i wanted to, because the owner of hartke apparently works at the sam ash in manhattan and saying "no id rather not play your creation" seemed like it would be uncomfortable. Anyway, hartkes are pieces of shit. skip it.
     
  4. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    What does he plan to do with bass effects?

    I picked up the newest fender rumble 40, I dig it.
     
  5. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    Add a bit more and perhaps a Behringer BDI21 Bass Amp Driver Modeler + Headrush FRFR112 might be of his interest.

    Later on, he may upgrade to an mfx like the Boss GT-1b.
     
  6. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    go to a store and see what they have in that price range and play them all (they wont be much as stores dont stock tht much bass combos, and in that price range specially), then go to another store and do the same, repeat till you are happy. IF he cant play enough yet, (or you either) have someone at the store to demo the amp for you. More importnt, take hiss bass with you. Basses change its sound characteristic a lot depending on pickup configuration and electronics, so theres no point loving the sound of the amp at a store as it was played with a Squier P bass, only to come home and play with a yamaha with active humbuckers.

    also, tell him to forget about effects. Maybe hes coming from a "guitar" perspective, but 99.9% of his bass playing it wont require any effects. Ive been playing for 20 years now and only bought my first pedal a year ago (darkglass distortion) and wishing to have a compressor pedal and thats pretty much it.

    forget about pedals, he doesnt needs them, spend your money on something else, either better bass, or better amp (instead of compromise on an amp with pedals), later down the track he could start thinking about pedals if he finds a need for them.

    also, mayority (or pretty muhc all) bass amps/combos are solid state, so to find one capable of doing bedroom volumes is pretty easy (all of them do), problem is to find one that could play loud enough without having to weight a ton, which is surprisingly easy to find....... which btw, he does NOT need a big 10x8 cab/combo thing... a good 1x12 or 1x15 combo would be enough to play gigs and to be portable enough for such gigs
     
  7. Esp Griffyn

    Esp Griffyn Play more music

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    All Hartke amps or just the little practice combos? What didn't you like about it?
     
  8. GenghisCoyne

    GenghisCoyne im here to party

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    it was a combo. sounded farty. quacky? do those make sense? i played the hydrive 2x10 and and ha3500. its seemed like they were trying to do the gritty modern darkglass thing but it wasnt quite there and just came across as a fizzy loss of definition.
     
  9. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    He wants some FX just to play around with, some chorus and reverb etc. Don't see any reason not to have some. I know they're not really necessary when jamming with other instruments but most his time will be spent alone on the amp just learning to play.

    This next week I'm going with him to a few stores to try some things out, and take his newly acquired bass with us.

    The Line 6 Lowdown series seems like a nice place to start, and we'll keep an eye out for a Fender Rumble as well. Going to Sam Ash, GC, and another local shop that usually has a secent selection. I'm sure we'll find something mething to fit the bill.

    Thanks all, any more input is welcome.
     
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  10. Esp Griffyn

    Esp Griffyn Play more music

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    I see. So you played two and they're a crap. I guess guys like Victor Wooten and Billy Sheehan don't know they're using bad amps. Stuart Hamm too, used them for about twenty years, though I never heard him sounding like a Darkglass.
     
  11. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    The HyDrive stuff came out at least a decade ago, and the amps were pretty much reworks of certain Ampegs like the SVT4PRO, SVT6PRO, and B2RE (the HyDrive speakers are what Hartke "invented").

    The HA stuff is even older, maybe 25 years or longer at this point. It is their entry level amp though. The HA5500 is/was a HUGE upgrade.

    I don't think I'd like the combo of the HA3500 and HyDrive 2x10 either, so I get why it wasn't great.

    Though, Larry Hartke is a treasure. I've met him a number of times. Such a genuine, weird dude. His humor can be dry and he's very passionate about certain stuff, but if you roll with the jokes it's a blast. It's a bummer that Samson doesn't do more with Hartke.
     
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  12. GenghisCoyne

    GenghisCoyne im here to party

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    taste is subjective. stu hamm left. sheehan uses fractal through the PA live, and its replicating his signature preamp thats been out of production since the 80s. victor wooten is playing a 14000 fodera using arguably the best technique of any bassist to ever live. their signal chain is as relevant to 2 guys jamming in a random ohio bedroom as where the ivory for Beethoven's piano keys was harvested. shill on arbitrarily though.
     
  13. Esp Griffyn

    Esp Griffyn Play more music

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    Well you're the guy who wrote off an entire brand because you played two amps in store, so I guess I should just take everything you say with a pinch of salt. Or a sackful. Moan on arbitrarily though.
     

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