Hey everybody - I haven't been on these forums in a long time but I'm back seeking some help and insight:

Now that I'm older and have some disposable time and somewhat of disposable income, my fiancee and I are wanting to consolidate our mess and move in together. She is starting to learn the bass but has no amp (she's been a classical guitar player for some years now). And I just sold a lot of gear to make way for a better amp (was using a crate ss amp).

My question is: would the best solution be for 2 separate amps for guitar and bass or is there a solution in a rack system that will sound good for playing with a drummer and that saves us the headache that comes with moving guitar and bass gear around, let alone storing it in a small apartment/house?
If 2 amps are the way to go, what would you recommend for a bass amp that can keep up with a drummer and what of a guitar amp that can take a fuzz pedal really well??

Thanks everybody!
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budget would help a lot, as well as genre/bands, etc.

i don't have a ton to work off of, but for me, if i had to slim down to two amps that i own, it would probaby be a mesa mark and an orange rockerverb. you can cover a ton of ground between those two.

edit: shit i just realized that you wanted one guitar and one bass amp. we definitely need more info.
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Last edited by trashedlostfdup at Aug 21, 2015,
2 different amps might be the better choice one for guitar, and one for bass.

if going the rack route then you'll need separate power and eq sections for the rig as well as separate speakers. in a sense back to 2 amps.

so the decision is to buy a guitar amp and a bass amp, or sort out the tech in a possibly complex rack system to do pretty much the same.

regarding separate amps, kinda need to know what sounds, type of tunes , etc, you are after.

my wife and i are in sort of the same situation though and have gone the modeling rout. an early flextone ii for me, and a fender bronco for her.
Rack-based gear is generally aimed at touring musicians with a full road crew. It is big, heavy and overkill for most working musicians that play at home or the local pubs. It also tends to be very expensive so a lot of simpler solutions have come around lately.

A powered speaker with a Digital Multi Effects for guitar, and preamp for bass would work well. It depends on what you plan to do with it and how much you want to spend but there are a lot of choices.

SansAmp for bass, Pod HD for guitar, ZLX 12p speaker and you are good to go. Small, light weight, easy to move and store, and sounds great.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

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Last edited by Cajundaddy at Aug 21, 2015,
It's not a question of rack vs. amp.

If you're in an apartment, buy a used Pod for yourself and a used Bass Pod XT (or a Pod X3) for her, run both into a small mixer, hook up a pair of headphones to the mixer and rock out. If you've got an MP3 player, hook that up to the mixer as well -- you'll get backing tracks from that through your headphones as well.

When it comes time for you to play with a band/drummer/whatever, run the output of the mixer to a power amp and from there to PA-style speakers. Voila. Noise.

I basically do this same thing and run guitar modeler, bass modeler and keyboards (and there's a sequencer on each of two of the keyboards). My power amp is a Carvin HD1500 (1500W) and a minimum speaker cabinet for me is the fEARful 15/6/1. You can build one yourself pretty easily https://www.speakerhardware.com/categories.php?cat=138&pg=3 or have one done:
http://www.jhawkcustoms.com/fearful15.htm, but at under 50 lbs (mine are) for the cabinet and with power handling of around 900W (it turns out that the HD1500 in bridged/mono mode will put out about 900W into an 8 ohm load. Add another cabinet and it will put out about 1500W bridged mono into a 4 ohm load -- two cabinets) you can pretty much run just that for practice (aim it directly at the drummer's ear). The power amp is about 9 lbs, and by the time you add your guitars, the modelers, the mixer, etc., the whole thing is under 100 lbs and easy enough for the two of you to carry in one trip from the car/truck/van/bus/boat to the practice location/venue/outdoor barn.
When it comes to practicing by yourself, portability, ease of use, nothing really beats combo amps or small lunchbox head+small speaker cab (1x12 or 2x12). It really depends on the budget...

My suggestion above is fine and probably most middle of the road.

You can base everything off of pedals that can be either played direct with speaker emulation built-in, like these:

There's also the ultra portable rig - Sansamp bass DI for the bass, this is a DI box which also sounds fantastic, I've heard and talked to some top bassists that use these and just haul an amp onstage for stage monitoring. Or if you need variety of sounds maybe this:
Sansamp Bass DI Programmable

Then on guitar you can pretty much do the same but supplement with a few effect pedals if you need different stuff, so probably on of these pedals:
Sansamp TRI-AC
Sansamp Classic
Double Drive
Hughes and Kettner Tubeman II
Blackstar HT-Dual
...the list goes on but these are probably the most flexible I know.
AFAIK Tech21 have emulation on several of their other pedals which can be plugged direct, they are more specific, while most of these I listed above can cover pretty much the whole gamut of tones. The Doubledrive and TRI-AC can be configured for 3 patches on the fly so say clean is on bypass, little hair, crunch and full blast for leads, then just slap in an extra chorus and delay and you're good to go!

So that leaves the PA system, plenty of cheap power out there, a set of two powered PA speakers can handle the whole thing, you can get ones that don't need a mixer, most of the new ones on the market can accommodate up to four inputs so just use one as the master amp and slave off to the other PA speaker.

Alternately you can get some multifx units and do the same thing, probably each one of you running in stereo, if you were to get the Boss GT-10 and GT-10 bass for example, each one of you can use two 1/4 cables and plug in to the PA speakers L and R. Eventually you can even add mics for singing and a mixer when needed/if needed.

If you go that route I think Vox Tonelab is probably the most natural sounding multifx as they all leave some to be desired, but with programming knowledge you can pretty much use whatever you pick, just learn to control the hardware and read the manual, more time you spend the better it gets. Downside: there is a long learning curve and probably not as immediate as pedals or amps.

Same thing could be done via a power amp+passive speaker configuration, there are a lot of easy to carry around power amps, class D I think is what they are called. They weight about 5 pounds or so, a friend did a gig (he's a bassist) with a TC poweramp that was rated 1000 watts and weighed under 10 lbs.

There are floorpedal amps now, look at these guys:

Bass amp is 3lbs and delivers 300 watts!

Don't look at the cheapest powered PA speakers though and don't be afraid to go used on the whole thing. Some of these pedals (TRI-AC) could only be found second hand, last I remembered they were discontinued.

Another options which might be crazy - powered PA system and two iPhones/iPads/PC. Plenty of software and interface options, some things could even be foot controlled.
Last edited by diabolical at Aug 22, 2015,