Questions and Answers
I need a good, non-expensive bass amplifier for my Squire Bass.
What do you, bass masters, recommend?
I need an amp that will last long, sound good, and won't empty my wallet.
I second the recommendation for a Carvin. They have less expensive models too.
Ampeg, Hartke, Eden, and Markbass are the top names in bass amps.
Peavey makes okay ones, but they aren't as good as the other 5 I mentioned.
Questions and Answers
I have a schecter stilleto studio 5 5 string bass and i am looking for a good amp to get. I want one that has tons and tons of tonal control, but can also go loud enough to play at a small concert. My price range is high so just name some even if they are 10000 dollars i am just getting an idea. Thanks!
Nice bass man =D
There are plenty of good brands out there – just try and stay away from Behringer like the plague; bad quality, bad reliability, bad sound…
In the mid-price range, there's companies like Ashdown, Gallien-Krueger and Hartke. All three of those have fairly "transparent" tones, as far as I know, and they all make good products (though I've heard GK's lower lines aren't that great). Ashdown isn't a very well-known company, since they're from the UK, but all the things I've heard about them are incredibly positive (both from gear reviews and other bass players). They have the MAG line, which is their middle line of gear, and ABM, their top line of amps and cabs. Also, since they just came out with new EVOII amps (with a compressor added) they're selling their old ones for a lower price, so you can get their 600W MAG for $300, the same price as their 300W amp – which is great, since you can get a powerful, reliable amp without paying an arm and a leg.
In the more expensive range, there are manufacturers like Trace Elliot (for a classic British bass tone) and Ampeg (pretty expensive, but the Ampeg SVT 8×10 is the bass amp of choice of most touring bassists in rock bands; the classic "rock bass" tone).
All the brands I listed should have very good tonal control.
If you want to play loud volumes while maintaining good tone, you want "headroom", which means more Watts than you "need", necessarily. Most amps don't sound the greatest at their top volume, so that's where headroom comes in. You want enough Watts to turn out high volume without maxing your amp. As a side note, Tube amps generally sound better at high volumes than Solid State amps (though not as good at lower volumes), though they cost substantially more.
In a band, it's generally good to have at least twice the wattage of your guitarists (3 times is better) – 300+ Watts is a good region to shoot for.
Also, since you're playing a 5-string, it'll help to have a speaker cabinet that can handle the low frequencies. A 1×15 speaker cabinet would work pretty well – or, even better, a 1×18 cab (that might be a bit harder to find though, and more expensive). The downside of a 1×15 cab is that you don't have as much midrange or high-end presence; a 4×10 cabinet would give you a nice punchy tone with great mids and highs, at the expense of a bit of low end. Even better than either though would be both – if you have the money, get a 1×15 AND a 4×10 cabinet and connect them both to your amplifier. Most amps have a resistance rating of 4 ohms, and most cabs have a rating of 8 ohms, so if you use just 1 cab you'll get about half of your amps full power, but with two 8 ohm cabs connected, the amp will run at its full 4 ohm rating. (Just make sure the cabs ARE rated at 8 ohms, because you don't want to blow a fuse in your amp)
Sorry if that was REALLY long, but it should help you out a bit…as you can probably tell, I'm a little biased toward Ashdown, since I just bought their MAG 600W head and looking for a MAG 4×10 cabinet…but any of the brands I mentioned should be very reliable, and very good quality.
Hope that helps.
Questions and Answers
I've been playing bass for 5 years now, and im relatively pretty good at it. I've just started to do bass covers for the bands I like, EX: Avenged Sevenfold, Falling in Reverse, Slipknot. And these bands have a lower tone sound to it. And on the bass that requires to play the E & A string quite a lot. But the standard recording device i have is not very good at picking up these sounds. It get a low clicking noise. And I was wondering if someone could recommend a good microphone for picking up the low sounds. And better yet if you know a little about amps, you could also tell me what settings on an amp would be the best to record with. Thanks!
Sincerely: Johnny Valinote.
Seeing that you didn't tell us what kind of amp you have…how are we supposed to recommend any settings.
It doesn't matter anyway…you're much better off recording a bass direct. In other words…no amp. You'll want to use a decent DI (Direct Injection) box to go between your instrument and whatever interface you're using.
Better yet, invest in a Sans Amp Bass Line Driver:
This device gives you some good control over the EQ, as well as the ability to add some grit and distortion to your tone if you want too. Yeah, it's $200. But here's the deal…a good mic with decent low end response is going to run you around that much as well. And then, your amp is a limiting factor. If you've got a small bass amp with limited low frequency response, no mic is going to make up for that.
If you're plugging your bass straight into the interface and your bass is passive, then it's loading down the pickup(s) too much. The DI will take care of that problem too.
In the studio, I'll frequently mic up a bass amp, but it's ALWAYS along with a direct feed. The amp sound is added on top of the direct if we need more cut, but it's almost never the primary sound.