View Full Version : Help Me Pick My Bass Amp! (Ampeg vs Hartke vs Orange vs Etc)

05-16-2011, 03:13 PM
So I'm picking up my first bass guitar, a Rickenbacker 4003, and I need a good bass amp. I'm not going to be performing, just recording, and for the most part I'll be direct injecting. So I don't need an amazing amp, I'm just looking for something to songwrite with. I need something that sounds good while being affordable. Later on I might spend $1000 and up on an amp, but right now I'm looking at the $150-$350 price range.

Right now I need opinions on these options -

Fender Rumble 75
Behringer Ultrabass BXL1800
Hartke A70
Orange Amplifiers Crush PiX CR50BXT
Ampeg BA112
Eden E12

(I excluded Peavey, Kustom, Ibanez, Rocktron, Warwick, Marshall, and Acoustic).

Anybody use any of the amps above??? I'm sure everyone is going to say pick up the Ampeg, which I might do, but I'd like to hear about the other amps anyways! I've played the Fender Rumble amps and I can't say I was a big fan.



05-16-2011, 03:19 PM
If it's for recording the only acceptable amp I see on your list is the Eden. Honestly pairing a beautiful Ric with the mess you have listed made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Eden or Ampeg.

05-16-2011, 06:04 PM
fisticuffs, I'm NOT recording my bass by miking whatever amp I get. If 90% of the time I recorded bass I was miking an amp, you can be sure that my setup would cost a couple grand. Again, this is just for home use for practicing and songwriting. The lesser evil.

05-16-2011, 06:11 PM
I'd buy something used for a more quality bang for your buck. $350 used will get you something twice as good as anything on your list. Plus, when the time comes to upgrade, because you bought used you'll still get around the same price you paid for it.

05-16-2011, 10:58 PM
Agreed. Even if you're just messing around, you'll still want to have a powerful thump and cheap amps will leave you wanting. You still gotta move air, even if its a little farts worth.

05-17-2011, 02:48 AM
I would not go with the Ampeg. I had a BA115 and I just did not like it it just was missing something. I do like Ampeg in general. My dad had some SVT amps and now he went kind of cheapish and is using a B2R with one of their 1x15 and we get some great sounds out of that. But still we both were not happy with that BA115. If I were goin for a small bass amp I think I would give Eden or Mark Bass a shot. Those guys are doing cool stuff with small bass amps.

05-17-2011, 04:28 AM
I'd buy something used for a more quality bang for your buck. $350 used will get you something twice as good as anything on your list. Plus, when the time comes to upgrade, because you bought used you'll still get around the same price you paid for it.

this seems reasonable to me. as i'm interested in putting together an inexpensive bass rig too, i wonder what some good options would be in this category?

05-17-2011, 07:36 AM
I wouldn't discount the Peavey. If you want to move a lot of air for not a lot of money there are literally hundreds of TNT's and TKO's out there for next to nothing that will do just that. Not known for their great tone but they seem to be indestructible.

05-17-2011, 08:26 AM
I use an Orange CR100BXT and I love it, great old-school tone. Great features, including XLR out and built-in tuner.

05-17-2011, 11:35 PM
iwould say for the money the Harke 500 or 1000 pro model simple load and clean but thats just me

05-18-2011, 07:33 AM
You might take a look a the Roland Cube bass combos. In my experience, they offer more versatility, presence, and punch than any combo in their class. They also come with very usable onboard effects.



05-18-2011, 01:05 PM
Sorry to have been offline for a while... Thanks for all the feedback so far everyone!

CavePassive you make a good point about looking at used stuff. I wish I lived in a big city like Los Angeles because used amps get posted on Craigslist there every single day.

harpinon, you make a good point also. I thought the amps I was looking at could give me some decent bass response but then I played the Ampeg BA112 and it didn't give me enough low end and was really small. If I did go with an Ampeg it might require me to at least get the BA115. But then padavis, you didn't have great things to say about that amp. I've played a BA112 and a BA115 and they get a decent grade from me, but are a little dead sounding to me.

fisticuffs I'll take Peavey into consideration.

sutarappa I've looked at the Rolands a little bit and what they had seemed way to small for me. Also, while some do like those onboard effects, I'm pretty against digital effects being put into amps. When an amp offers 12 different digital effects and six types of amp modelling I usually run in the opposite direction. But thanks for the suggestion.

LeftyBass, that's a good opinion to hear. If I can stick to my plan and only spend about $200-$350 on amp, and if I don't go used, I think I'm focused most on the Ampeg and Orange amp. I've played the Fender Rumbles and am not a fan. I haven't played any of the Hartke's yet, so that could be an option. But yeah, the Ampeg seems like a reliable backup choice. And with the Orange bass amp, for some reason I'm really attracted to it. Maybe it's just the aesthetics and styling that appeal to me because in fact I've never even played a Orange amp before. LeftyBass you have the 100watt version and I'm looking at the 50 watt version but maybe I'd have to spend more for the 100watt version since the 50watt version isn't very big.

LeftyBass, can you tell me anything more about your Orange bass amp? What made you pick it over other amps?

So yeah, it's clear that a $200-S350 budget is pretty limiting. If I were to spend a good deal more but still not go crazy, I really like the Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scouts. They're still small while having a ton of low end and great tonal features. They cost about $1500 and if I were miking a bass amp a lot I would pick one up for sure. That or maybe a Fender Bassman TV or a Markbass head and cab.

padavis you seem right, I should check out an Eden. I have to find a store that stocks them. As for Markbass as you mentioned and I just did above, yeah, I would get one of their amps in an instant but their stuff starts at around $700 just for a combo.

05-18-2011, 01:24 PM
LeftyBass, can you tell me anything more about your Orange bass amp? What made you pick it over other amps?

Sound, features, weight.

05-19-2011, 09:14 PM
If you are looking for something to record, I'd look more at a Sansamp and a tube channel with an EQ & compressor. You won't have an amp, but you are probably going to be listening back while recording to some monitors anyway, but you will be able to get some good tones.

Gaetano Capuano
05-19-2011, 09:23 PM
Ampeg b100R, the best EVER in that price range if your looking for vintage tone.

05-20-2011, 07:44 AM
have you looked at the Gallien Krueger MB series combos? The MB112 is pretty cheap and is 200 watts and ridiculously light weight!

I plan on trying one out as soon as I get a bass.

Gaetano Capuano
05-20-2011, 08:18 AM
when I was looking for a combo I tried out the MB115, it was nice, real nice!

05-24-2011, 09:34 PM
I bought a 3500 on eBay for 300 and added a sonic maximizer in the effects loop. Great sound with my stingray5.

05-24-2011, 10:17 PM
Sorry, I wrote a long reply but it didn't post and I'm not up to rewriting the whole thing.

Toogy I've checked out the Gallien Krueger MB stuff. I haven't tried the MB112 which is more in my price range, but I have tried the MB115 a couple times recently and I wasn't a fan. It had a lot of oomph, but I wasn't into the tone.

NashSG I will kind of have your suggested setup. I'll be running my bass at times through a REDDI tube DI through my Aurora Audio GTQ2 mic pre into my converter. I'll get tube coloration from the REDDI and further coloration from the mic pre. And my mic pre has a pretty good 3-band eq, so I can use that for EQ. I just lack a compressor.

Gaetano I'll have to check out that Ampeg you mentioned. Right now if I go cheap, I'm leaning towards the Ampeg BA112 at this point. It has decent tone and is pretty versatile compared to similiar sized and priced bass amps.

05-25-2011, 08:55 AM
How about an ampeg SB-12 ? is there really a better studio amp out there ?

05-25-2011, 05:06 PM
How about an ampeg SB-12 ? is there really a better studio amp out there ?

I find it hard to disagree with you there LOL