#1
This thread isn't really for me. I am a guitar player but I would really like to get my brother started up on bass. He seems interested enough to want to play and we already have some squire bass (has a dumb looking skull and crossbones graphic on it) that he can use. He just needs an amp.

So I was wondering if the vast knowledge of these bass could point me in the right direction. I'm hoping to spend less than $100 USD on an amp since its basically going to be for practice and learning to play. Can that be done?

Also, Eventually he is going to want to increase in power and tone so I'd also like to know what to shoot for later on down the line. I don't know if it matters but he love listening to Lamb of God and Tool. He also likes a lot of the folk metal stuff (Finntroll, Tyr, Ensiferum, Etc.) and older metal like pantera.
Does it seem like it's too early to be considering this or is it good to start planning now?


If this isn't supposed to be posted here I'm sorry but I'm used to posting in the electric guitar forums and thats where I would normally go.
Thanks and Cheers guys.
#3
Quote by askrere
Used is your only real option.

Not at all, there are perfectly serviceable practice amps in the $100 or less category that would be just fine for a beginner to learn on.

TS, if your brother is fine with a tiny little practice amp to start off with, try looking at these:
- Peavey MAX 158 - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/peavey-max-158-bass-practice-combo
- Acoustic B10 - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/acoustic-b10-10w-1x10-bass-combo-amp
- Kustom KB10 - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/kustom-kb10-10w-1x10-bass-combo-amp

They won't be very loud, and they certainly won't be the best sounding amps but they'll work just fine in the event that you can't find anything better on craigslist in your budget.

As for looking ahead to the future, if he'll eventually need an amp that can keep up with a drummer and other instruments, you'll want to be looking for something that's 200+w, with some kind of speaker configuration that can move some air (for example, at least a 1x15 or 4x10). When the time comes to upgrade, get your brother to a store and start having him try things out and see what he likes.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#5
@tostitos: I'd skip those in this case not because they aren't useful, but because you'd probably want at least a 50w w/ a 10" speaker in this case just because the kid can play with his brother that way. If he has other musicians around all the time, he might as well cash in on that and play with them often--he'll need a little more umph than those practice amps to do that even at quiet levels with a good electric guitar amp or (if his brother has friends who play) with a quiet drummer.

@TS When you look on craigslist look first for peavey and old Hartke in that price range--I think those are about the only brands (that are built well and reliable) that you can get decently-loud combos in the $100 range unless you get lucky. And if you see a 100w Peavey keyboard amp, that will work fine too--they're pretty much the same as the cheap bass ones.

Also, if the bass has been sitting around a long time, get him a new set of strings and set up the bass nicely to make him feel more like it's a new instrument (and to just get the neck and action set up properly after it has been sitting un-used). You could even let him go buy a new strap for it or something just to get him more excited about it and make it feel like "his" instrument.

Good luck in your hunt, it's great to have a bass player in the family!
#6
Quote by dullsilver_mike
@tostitos: I'd skip those in this case not because they aren't useful, but because you'd probably want at least a 50w w/ a 10" speaker in this case just because the kid can play with his brother that way. If he has other musicians around all the time, he might as well cash in on that and play with them often--he'll need a little more umph than those practice amps to do that even at quiet levels with a good electric guitar amp or (if his brother has friends who play) with a quiet drummer.

I know they won't be able to keep up with anything, I only recommend looking at practice amps in the event that something doesn't turn up used, not everyone has a thriving used market. I do agree that a used Peavey TNT or TKO or what have you would probably be his best bet.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#7
Quote by dullsilver_mike
@tostitos: I'd skip those in this case not because they aren't useful, but because you'd probably want at least a 50w w/ a 10" speaker in this case just because the kid can play with his brother that way.


This is what I meant, I assumed they'd be playing together, which would make things more fun, but only if you could hear yourself.

If you can't at the moment, get the cheapest bass amp you can find until you got the funds to get a real amp. No point in nit picking issues with your first practice amp, cheap is best. Hell I'm using a crate 10 watt guitar amp turned down, or with headphones I got for free, but used is probably like $20. Might not be perfect, but neither is he at first, and usually they also offer overdrive, which eliminates any need to buy a pedal, but still experiment.

(DO NOT USE A NICE REAL GUITAR COMBO OR CAB FOR BASS)
#8
You can get a small practice amp for under 100. If you know what to look for you might be able to find something beefier on craigslist. Seriously though, until he needs the volume to play in a band setting a small bedroom practice amp will be fine.

Though...

Having an amp that will shake the walls and vibrate the crap out of your ass does a lot for making you feel awesome for playing bass.
#9
I do think we will end up jamming together a lot. We have very similar tastes in music and were fairly close to the same age.

Maybe I'll buy new strings and get it set up for him.
I do have another question about dropped tuning. A lot of the music my brother would want to play (tool) is in dropped tuning. I remember when I first got this bass I tried to put it in drop D but the low E was way too flabby and wouldn't hold the note. I'm a major bass noob so I was wondering if anyone knew what I would have to do to set it up in drop D after my bro learns to play a bit more?

Also, I only felt like he needed a practice amp so he would be able to get the hang of it but I was also considering just getting a nice Bass amp just to have. I have a few friends that play bass so it wouldn't go unused or anything like that. I just don't know if I'm ready for the commitment of another big sale. (I recently got a 5150 combo).
#10
Bass strings can feel kind of flabby compared to guitar, but if going to drop D cause that big an issue, it needs some work.

A lot of those bands use a variety of down tunings, and before you come back asking how to easily down tune anywhere from E standard to D standard, C Standard, BEAD, the answer is you can't and you'll need a decent setup to transition between major tunings.

I'd say he'd be best off learning in standard and some drop D for the basics.