I've been getting by at home with a rather terrible generic 15-watt, 8-inch speaker bass amp for quite a while now because I have access to decent amps at the rehearsal rooms my band practices at. However, my home setup is really starting to hamper my ability to experiment sonically because my current amp clips as soon as any kind of effect or volume is applied.

So, I'm looking to upgrade to something with a bit more beef. Bass-wise, I own a Fender MIM Jazz and an ESP LTD D-5 and in terms of style, my band is very much a grunge/noise pop affair while I play metal, post-metal and blues type stuff on my own, with a view to joining a metal band at some point in the future.

In terms of features, the only real 'must' is an XLR output so I can DI to the PA to play live, overcoming the need for a massive rig. My plan would be to use the amp speaker as a monitor and let the PA handle the rest. Onboard compression would be nice but is by no means essential.

There are two unfortunate problems:

1. Budget. I'm looking to spend £175-225. I could *possibly* push it to up to £300 for something really special but I'd really rather not have to.

2. Space. I share a tiny apartment with my girlfriend so space is a huge issue. The amp needs to have as small a footprint as possible - I have a horrible feeling a 15-inch combo may be too big. So 12" or less or 15" with a very small footprint. Head and cab options strictly out, not that there are really any in my budget!

Options I had considered so far include a Laney RB3, a Fender Rumble 75 and an Ashdown EB 12-180 EVO II. I had also looked at pushing out the budget a bit and going for a Hartke A100.

Any advice on what the best of these to go for is? Or is there something I have overlooked?

Also, I have been offered an 80s Peavey Basic 60 amp (50W) for £50 but it lacks an XLR output or the ability to connect to a cab. Worth considering?
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Last edited by Jodimu at Oct 3, 2010,
The Hartke is pretty good.

Also look Orange Crush.
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**** you gilly, it's not what you think
I'm selling a very good condition Line 6 LowDown LD150 for around £150...

But if you're looking at buying new, I agree with gilly on Orange Amps, they sound great IMO
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