The Bass-ment

Bass Amp Dilemma


I recently received my Epi Viola bass, which I had loaned to my brother a couple of years ago. I used to play the bass through an old keyboard amp, but I figured that I'd try to find a proper bass amp on the cheap - and one that wasn't another project. So I thought that I had decided on an Ampeg BA-110. It's a small 35w solid state practice amp with a 10" speaker. It has a balanced line out, so I figured that if for some reason I wanted to play this at a gig, I could use the amp as a preamp and monitor and run a line through the PA. Would cost me $158.40 before tax at GC.

Then I found that GC had their Acoustic brand B100 on sale for $119. The Orange, CT store had one, so I tried it and bought it. The tone was great and the volume more than ample for my purposes.

But now, having the thing home, it's effing huge. It certainly seems to be a better deal than the practice amp, but it's like a piece of furniture. Have any of you folks who play bass, used something like a 35w and ran it through the PA? What were your results?


I've seen and heard a lot of basses run thru a DI directly into the PA. They either use a DI or some sort of pedal like a Sans Amp, and many have a line out built in. One of the oddest setups was an upright bass run thru a GK into a Bose 801 as a monitor then into the PA. Your keyboard amp would be fine as well.


You want small it costs. Markbass is the best.

Or get a small head with a small speaker cab. A GK 200 or 300 watt head has a DI port to run into the PA.


just got a GK1001rb, my yorkvile 4x10 and JBL 15 will knock yer ass off via knk and inovations rbs. DI is now a crutch of the past.


My new rig is a Markbass 1X12 combo with speaker outs. I run a 2X10 external cabinet and the amp is 500 watts.

As soon as I get control over the slap/click pickup in the fingerboard balancing with the bridge wing pickup, I'm done lugging the SVT...unless it's a REALLY COOL gig.


Three days, three amps. Tried the Acoustic B100. Nice tone, pretty big sound actually, but the amp was too big for my taste. Day two had an Ampeg BA 110 in the Zigstudio. Nice amp and quite a nice size. The tone was okay and it had a line out. Problem was that the line out was unbalanced and post volume control, so I'd need a DI box and my PA input would be subject to changes in my amp volume. I tried the amp through the PA into an unbalanced 1/4" input. I was able to get some volume, but it just didn't seem like the 15" speakers for the PA were going to be happy handling the bulk of bass duties along with everything else. Seemed like it might be a bit muddy. Too bad, because I thought that the Ampeg was a nice size and was only another 32 pounds of sh%$ to carry when I wanted to use the bass for one or two tunes in a show. Besides, I always like the conservative HiFi look of Ampeg products.

So after a ton of research and consultation, I picked up a TC Electronic BG 250. 250 watts, 15" speaker, plus a tweeter, balanced line out -pre or post effects, tube emulation, their TonePrint effects which is really cool, and the thing only weights 35 pounds. Was a bit more expensive than the Ampeg, but I had some unused goodies to trade in, so I go cash back in the deal.

The Bg 250 is able to give a nice spectrum of tones, even before using the Toneprint, which I'm still fiddling with. The Toneprint aspect is the least important to me, but it looks like fun. You can beam a preset effect from your iPhone into the amp. I'll give an update after I do some more playing.


I looked at one of those because of the toneprint. In the end I went with the Markbass 1X12 with 300 watts (500 watts with an extension speaker).

Mostly to take advantage of the light weight and extension speaker capabilities.


Look at the Pignose hog 30 for a practice amp. Way under rated IMO.


I have a used SWR Workingman's 10 that is 80 watts, one 10 and a tweeter. Weighs 32 pounds and sounds great. Paid $165 for it in excellent condition. Highly recommended. Show up on Ebay frequently.


Currently I play through an old English (as in bought in England) combo amp that I don't think was ever sold in the US. It's the same one that the guy I bought my first bass from in '88 gigged with - pubs and NCO/ Airman's clubs - so it's adequate for me. Some of my basses, like the active Alembic and LB-20 Carvin, sound kind of muddy through it, so I'm looking very hard at one of the new solid state Carvins.


Both the SWR and Carvin combos are way better than anything Peavy, Fender, and Ampeg are putting out in that size and price range. While the Mark Bass gear is costly, I like it because it really delivers more per cubic inch...sound, tone, and volume, plus versatility.

Older and vintage tube gear is also affordable, but heavy and the speakers almost always need upgrades. The positive of that is neodymium a increase output, improve sound/tone, and vastly decrease weight.


I'm with Jeff. I have had Peavey, Yorkville xm50, xm100 and 400B, SWR bass amps, looking for the right sound and weight combination. I am now with Mark Bass...and loving it.

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