Best bass amp for home?

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by LaXu, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    I've been playing bass through studio monitors with VSTs or just DI for quite some years but would like something that is a bit faster to setup for some quick plug in and play at home.

    So I was thinking of picking up a nice bass combo or compact head + cab. The last thing I had of the sort was a Roland Cube 100 and even though it was nice, I felt it was a lot of stuff I didn't necessarily use. I have a Line6 Helix Floor for my guitar stuff so I can use that for fx and the bass amp sims if needed.

    So what would you recommend if the key criterias are:
    • Ease of use. I don't need several channels or digital modeling. A reasonably versatile EQ is fine.
    • Neighbor friendly. Something that does not need to be played loud to sound great.
    • Compact, something I can maybe put on a chair so bass does not travel downstairs.
    • Great clean sound. I mostly play clean so overdrive options are not necessary either.
    • Fx loop or poweamp in would be nice if I want to use the Helix amp models. But can do without with the right sounding amp.
    • Up to 500 euros, willing to go higher up to 1000 if it gives exceptionally better results.
    • Not hideously ugly! ;D
    I play an Ibanez BTB33 5-string converted for low B.
     
  2. Jimbo010

    Jimbo010 Member

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    I had the same issue as you. If I wanted to sit at my console and play I would beat up my studio monitors. I tried different combinations of my amp rig and cabinets and nothing seemed to sound the way I liked. So I tried one of my Behringer Eurolive powered PA cabinets loaded with one horn and one 12" speaker set next to me on my mixer desk and it sounds great!! Not too loud but plenty loud enough. Very punchy but with good midrange and upper end crispness. I use my Sansamp Bass Driver DI as a preamp right into the Behringer (upper and lower EQ set flat). I have used these on and off for 10 years and they have never failed me. And they are reasonably priced.
     
  3. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Member

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    Is there a reason you don't just use the headphones out on your Helix for a quick and easy home solution? If you're going to use it as modeling ANYWAY with your practice amp...

    That said, any of the Fender Rumble combos should fit the bill nicely and tick off most of your criteria.
     
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  4. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    Ditto on Helix into full range PA cab. I love the Helix Busy One Ch2 into a QSC K-10 (Bartolini P/J pickups). .
     
  5. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    I just prefer how real speakers sound in an actual room. Headphones to me always feel flat to play too.

    Fender Rumble was already on my radar, I need to go try them.
     
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  6. zekmoe

    zekmoe Member

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    I have a higher end bass rig, but I also love my diamond cloth Ampeg R100 from several years ago. Imho sounds spectacular and records extremely well. They can be found for around $300. They should be less but I think the market knows how good they sound and record.
     
  7. msteeln

    msteeln Member

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    you can't go wrong with the Ampeg B-100R if you can pump it in your location, but $100 can get you the Fender B-DEC 30 which can cop a similar vibe, and more, yet not bring the cops. it's modeling, in this case that's a good thing, but far more, for solo jams and learning progression it likely can't be beat.
     
  8. Boeing bloke

    Boeing bloke Member

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    Well....for me the rumble 25 worked just fine. Not expensive. The usual aux in and headphone jack.

    But if I’m practicing vocals at the same time, it’s garage band through either headphones or monitors.
     
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  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Member

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    For a 5 string with a low B I would suggest a 1x12 at the very least or a 1x15 or 2x10 and a minimum of 75-100w. More can only be better.

    That's as far as I'll go as far in making any recommendations because what I prefer for an amps voicing may be much different from what you prefer and there are many to choose from.

    However, I would stick with brands known for their reliability which would include Roland as well as GK, Ampeg, TC Electronic, Hartke, etc.
     
  10. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    Before I gave up and just used my 4 watt guitar amp (only for strings and it has a speaker swap) I had decided on an ebs or Hartke amp. Just thought the ebs sounded great and the Hartke hybrid cone thing seemed interesting.
     
  11. GGinMP

    GGinMP Silver Supporting Member

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    Fender Rumble 100 is the sweet spot (for home playing) in their combo line IMO. Smaller than the 200 & 500 (which have the same size cabinet), but more punch then the littlest ones.
     
  12. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    These are subjective but many seem to prefer either the 1x15 200 or 2x10 500 for their speakers over the 1x12 100. I hope I can find multiple models to try so I can make my own judgement.
     
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  13. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Member

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    Our local Fender dealer has all the Rumble line & the 12" in the 100 is muddy in comparison to the two 10" in the 500 or even the 10" in the 40.
    The 15" in the 200 is tight somehow, which just goes to show that diameter is NOT the most defining quality of a bass driver.
    Oddly enough, I prefer the non-brand-name 10" in the 40 to the 12" Eminence in the 100.

    VOX makes the smallest lightest hybrid combo:



    but with zero effects loop, it does have a D.O., but that is pre-everything
     
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  14. Sacrifice

    Sacrifice Member

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    Phil Jones Bass Double Four. Awesome tone, rich and full lows that don't roll through the building like most bass amps. Maybe the greatest "condo combo" ever.

    You're not gigging with it though. Well, not real gigs. I have used it in a small restaurant playing bass with 2 acoustic players, and it was satisfactory. Made me wonder if their Bass Cub (next step up from the Double Four) would have been the better buy.
     
  15. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    The Bass Cub is pretty interesting and I will definitely try it if I can find one locally.
     
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  16. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Member

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    I’ve had both. I didn’t consider the Bass Cub as a “step up” as much as a lateral move. I liked the tone and attack of the Double Four a lot more than the Cub, which I didn’t feel cut through the mix as well.

    Ended up selling both of them and keeping the PJB Briefcase, for the smaller gigs.
     
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  17. Sacrifice

    Sacrifice Member

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    That's good to know about the Cub. :beer

    The Briefcase was the original PJB "big sound, little box" amp, right? Never came across one of those. I'd like to sometime. Not an amp you find in just any music store unfortunately.
     
  18. s2y

    s2y Member

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    I have a Phil Jones Super Flight Case. I think I've had it since they were pretty new. I found most small combos were a little weak in the low B department and also didn't bring out the best in my Rob Allen basses. It was expensive, but worth it. Markbass hadn't quite made it to town at that point.

    It's good that there are now more affordable options. I've been tempted to replace my ginormous Ampeg stack with a nice and much lighter Markbass rig at some point.
     
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  19. Will Onyx

    Will Onyx Member

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    GK MB112 ii

    You’ll thank me latter.;)
     
  20. derekd

    derekd Member

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    Markbass is my current choice, also.

    I refuse to buy something I can't carry without doing permanent damage to my back.
     

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