Best Bass Amp

Questions and Answers

Looking for a classic tube bass amp?

I own a fender deville 212 and a vox ac30 for my guitar playing needs. I also have a B2R ampeg bass head and an ampeg B-410HLF. I am looking for a bass amp that has a similar look and sound to my other guitar amps. I like the way the fender 59 Bassman looks, but some have said that it doesn't have much power. Does anyone know of an amp that has the look of the bassman, and the warm tube sound I am looking for? I have played a bass guitar through a fender reverb twin and I loved the way it sounded, but I know that the reverb twin isn't geared for bass. Thoughts?

Posted by jay
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The classic tube bass amp IS the Ampeg. The SVT models are world renown for awesome tone. Although they do not really resemble the Fender bassman. If it is a bassman "style" amp you are looking for than you might want to check out the Acoustic line of bass amps. There older tube models do resemble the Fender in looks and sound. Unfortunately the newer models are predominantly solid state amps. P.S. The bassman makes a great guitar amp too! Many players really dig the sound of a cranked up bassman. Be careful running a bass through any guitar amp, that is a good way to blow out the amp.

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Questions and Answers

Electric guitar through bass amp dilemma?

Hi, I've been wondering for years about this and never really found a definitive answer.
I'm a guitarist and bassist. Playing a bass through a guitar amp would kill it.
So I'm planning to get a new bass amp to practice both guitar & bass.
Is this the best thing to do?

Posted by Zed
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A bass amp isn't ideal for the electric guitar. Electric guitar amps roll off a lot of high end and emphasize mids, while bass guitars emphasize the lows and keep a lot of that high end for the "snap" and "attack" of the strings and fret noise. Overall, a bass amp is built for headroom, ie, being able to put out a lot of clean volume, while a guitar amp is built to put out a limited frequency range, specializing in where the electric guitar sounds the best.

Some bass amps sound great with guitars…. I'm thinking of the Fender Bassman, a bass amp that many guitarists have loved to play through ever since they came out way back when. However, most modern bass amps are too clean to fit a guitar without some pedals in between.

So in my general opinion, to play an electric through most bass amps, you would either want a multifx pedal (which benefits from a lot of clean headroom) or some sort of preamp in between to kinda dirty it up a bit. EQ probably wouldn't hurt either.

Saul.

Questions and Answers

How can i make my guitar amp sound like bass amp?

I want a clean sound from my bass guitar but im using guitar amp?

I have:

crunch
mid
bass
treble
volume

please help
turn what to 11?

Posted by the dude
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Here's the thing – guitar amp tone controls are optimized for the guitar's frequencies (ie more midrange) vs the optimal frequencies for a bass guitar.

The most important thing is to recognize that guitar *speakers* are in general not beefy enough to handle a bass guitar. A good rule of thumb is that you want speakers that are rated for as many watts as possible – certainly not lower than 50 watts, and preferably higher. I wouldn't have any problem, I think, playing a bass at moderate volumes on a Marshall 1960a cab, because of the 75 watt speakers, but on something like a cab loaded with Vintage 30's, I wouldn't even try – I can overload the speakers with just turning the guitars bass up, and the bass guitar's range goes a full octave below the guitar!

You can try plugging in and keeping it at a very low volume, but listen carefully – if it starts fuzzing out turn down the bass and volume. If you turn it up too loud you risk blowing your speakers.

All that said, if I was to try and plug a bass guitar into a guitar amp, I would try to mimic how a bass guitar amp handles its signal – with as much headroom as possible.

So, one option would be to plug into an EQ pedal and go into the effects loop return. This bypasses your volume controls, etc, but the EQ pedal gives you that, plus more control over your tone. Going in through the fx loop bypasses the preamp, which is good – preamp means gain and tone-shaping, and in general you aren't going to want a lot of gain when playing bass – you want clean power to get the best, clearest bass sound possible.

If that wasn't an option (some amps don't have an fx loop, ie Line 6 Spider series, etc), I would go in through the front, but would keep the gain at or below 25% – again, for maximum headroom. You want "clean", not dirty or fuzzy. I would keep the bass at or below 50% (again, to minimize the bass presence, which the guitar speaker isn't going to handle well), mids around 40%, and treble around 60%, with volume to taste. I tend to prefer a treblier bass sound, with lots of articulation, so this is in general the direction I would go. Very similar to my guitar's tone settings.

With an EQ pedal, I would bump up the frequencies around 3-6khz a few db, would cut the lowest frequencies (ie below 100 hz), and would bump up around 400 hz probably a few db as well. Would look to cut mids, between 800 and 1 khz, I think.

Hmmm. That's a bit of guesswork – would have to tinker with it.

Then again, I wouldn't do it, personally. I have a bass amp. The Behringer cheapo practice amp ( >100$ ) is actually a pretty decent little unit even, although obviously the volume isn't going to be huge, its great for jamming solo or with acoustic guitars.

Hope that helps!

Saul.

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