BA115HPT review by Ampeg

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (9 votes)
Ampeg: BA115HPT

Sound — 9
I play a lot of different styles from alternative rock to metal, funky, etc, it's pretty much suitable for everything. Thanks to the tubed preamp it has a really smooth tone, but it can be a lot different - I only have to play around a bit with the EQ-knobs and the style switch. There wasn't a sound that I couldn't make out of it what I wanted. Since the speaker is 250W, it never distorts if I don't want it to. But if I do, I just turn the gain up and turn the style-switch to the desired tone. It's at its best in a big tent, or in small-mid sized clubs. On an open-air stage it could be less powerful, but what do I want?

Overall Impression — 9
I really like this amp, and I can't understand those who hate Ampeg. This amp is a really reliable, good-sounding one for my taste, and if I'll buy another amp it'll be a better Ampeg. Yeah, I never owned any other amps before this, but I played on a couple different ones, and I'd always stick to this one. Unfortunately Ampeg's site says it's a discontinued product. The alternative to it is the 115HP, which is the same as this one but without the tube preamp. Anyway, if You want to buy a bass amp and You run into this somewhere in the price range You could afford, I wouldn't hesitate a bit.

Reliability & Durability — 8
It's a well-built amp. It served me well on a lot of gigs, as well as other bassists who asked me to lend it to them. It's gain and master volume knobs are broken and there are a few scratches on it's side, but I never used a bag to carry it and most of the time there was something put on the top of it, so it's OK I guess. After a couple of months the 15" speaker broke somehow, but it got replaced by the company where I bought it (for free) and it's still good since then. Recently the tweeter gone off of it, but I read that it's a common problem at these amps and it's even better without it, but that isn't a solution to the problem really, and I'll try to replace it and see how long will the new one work. First I thought that there's a problem with the tube so I replaced it, but after that I found out it was the tweeter. I never replaced the tube in it before, so I guess it's reliable in that way too.

Features — 9
This amp was made in 2005, I bought it around 2006-2007 for ~$770 in USD (I live and bought it in Hungary). It has a 15" speaker and a tweeter, with 220W at 4 ohms with a tube-driven preamp. It has 2 jack inputs (0db for passive and -15db for active basses), a five-position style switch, a built-in tuner, a balanced line-out (XLR), a CD-input (RCA), a mute switch, 3 EQ controls (low, mid, high), a gain and a master volume control knob. At the back panel there's also a level control for the tweeter. Detachable wheels are also included with it. I used a passive bass before, now I'm using an active one and the amp is suitable for both. The built-in tuner is something that I really got used to, I'll never buy another amp without it, that's for sure. Since I'm not using effects I don't miss any features from this amp, it's really good how it is, maybe a graphic EQ would be good. What's strange for me that it doesn't have a "clip" LED, but as I see it doesn't need it.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    So what's the difference between this and the version without tube? Does it make a huge difference in sound?
    MaggaraMarine wrote: So what's the difference between this and the version without tube? Does it make a huge difference in sound?
    I don't think so, since it's only a preamp tube. But someone who tried both could tell.