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uk_lefty

Compact practice amp advice

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Hi everyone.

Looking for advice please. I've just got rid of a forty watt fender Bronco modelling amp, it weighed over 12kg and was taking up quite a bit of space. I would like to replace it with a smaller practice amp and without spending too much. I'm looking at small amps like the Harley Benton 20w or the Ashdown Tourbus, and also the sort of "desktop" amps that Blackstar, Laney and Vox do. 

The desktop amp would be ok if it doubles as a Bluetooth speaker but can they handle a "proper" bass, meaning okay a low b without distorting? 

What would be ideal also is something that could handle guitar as well as bass. I've used guitar amps for bass in the past and it's been ok, but something that's meant to cover both instruments could be good? 

I'm not bothered about amp modelling and so on as I have all that on my multi effect pedal. 

Any advice welcome!

Thanks

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Peavey Microbass is a great little amp for bass and guitar -- I have used one in my workshop for ages and I also have another one at my Holiday home!

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What about acoustic guitar amps? Have heard these are closer to bass amps than guitar... Not sure how true that is?

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4 hours ago, uk_lefty said:

Hi everyone.

Looking for advice please. I've just got rid of a forty watt fender Bronco modelling amp, it weighed over 12kg and was taking up quite a bit of space. I would like to replace it with a smaller practice amp and without spending too much. I'm looking at small amps like the Harley Benton 20w or the Ashdown Tourbus, and also the sort of "desktop" amps that Blackstar, Laney and Vox do. 

The desktop amp would be ok if it doubles as a Bluetooth speaker but can they handle a "proper" bass, meaning okay a low b without distorting? 

What would be ideal also is something that could handle guitar as well as bass. I've used guitar amps for bass in the past and it's been ok, but something that's meant to cover both instruments could be good? 

I'm not bothered about amp modelling and so on as I have all that on my multi effect pedal. 

Any advice welcome!

Thanks

I had this exact situation arise a couple of years and, after a brief flirt with a couple of options, settled on a Phil Jones Double Four. Utterly fantastic sounding piece of kit - and I play 5ers pretty much exclusively so the sound of those lowest notes was key to me. It handles my B string with ease (I even run octavers and synth sounds through it) yet it’s the size of a shoebox. Proper, full bass sound.

No idea how Phil Jones have managed such a feat. In my opinion it’s the best truly small amp on the market if practise and small jams are your primary concern. It’ll happily fit on/under a desk, on a chest of drawers, under a bed - pretty much anywhere. Just don’t expect to be doing serious gigs with it as it does have a limit.

As a side note, it doesn’t have any overdrive or other effects on board (since you say you’ll use it for guitar too) so you’ll need to plug pedals in if you want that kind of thing.

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The Blackstar beam is just the sort of thing. It isn't very loud for bass, but keeps the speakers under control using quite intelligent compression baked in. Has good sounding reverb echo and modulation effects, and the Bluetooth thing too.

Got mine for £119 when Maplins went bust, not sure what they go for now.

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On 03/02/2019 at 12:05, CameronJ said:

I had this exact situation arise a couple of years and, after a brief flirt with a couple of options, settled on a Phil Jones Double Four. Utterly fantastic sounding piece of kit - and I play 5ers pretty much exclusively so the sound of those lowest notes was key to me. It handles my B string with ease (I even run octavers and synth sounds through it) yet it’s the size of a shoebox. Proper, full bass sound.

No idea how Phil Jones have managed such a feat. In my opinion it’s the best truly small amp on the market if practise and small jams are your primary concern. It’ll happily fit on/under a desk, on a chest of drawers, under a bed - pretty much anywhere. Just don’t expect to be doing serious gigs with it as it does have a limit.

As a side note, it doesn’t have any overdrive or other effects on board (since you say you’ll use it for guitar too) so you’ll need to plug pedals in if you want that kind of thing.

I'd second Phil Jones amps too, I have a bass cub, a tiny amp, but with a huge sound.  I recently tried a microbass a few days ago, a great little amp too, but defiantly a thumbs up for Phil Jones, how he does it, i don't know.

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Phil Jones stuff is great, but not cheap. I run a couple of C4s and a 4B with an AG700. For practice, I just use one C4. Do you already have a compact amp head? If so, why not just look for a small cab? The problem with small 'practice' amps is they cannot be used for anything else (unless you get something like a PJ Double 4, to which you can add power amps and cabs and use it as a preamp).

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I have a Roland Cube for practice and it's fine.  I even use it for rehearsals, even with drums,  if we're not cranking it up.  Nice sound as well for £200. 

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Another PJB Double Four user here.  I decided on one in an effort to rejuvenate my enthusiasm for home practice and can confirm that it has had the desired effect. 

Apparently PJB unveiled a new practice combo at this year's NAMM show, called the Micro 7.  It's supposed to be cheaper than any of their other combos, but there don't seem to  be any signs of it in the UK yet.

Edited by Krysbass

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The Phil Jones stuff does sound like a great piece of kit but we'll out of my price range I'm afraid! Have ended up buying a Fender rumble 15 off BC marketplace but now am considering getting an electric guitar in the next few months so might be looking at the Blackstar Beam again!!

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38 minutes ago, dannybuoy said:

These Yamaha models get great reviews and have modelling on board for guitar and bass:

https://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musical_instruments/guitars_basses/amps_accessories/thr/index.html

I owned one of these for a few weeks before switching to the Double Four. Unfortunately, though it is a nice piece of kit, the Yamaha THR10 just won’t cut it - especially if you want a satisfying low B sound.

It’s a nice little desktop practise amp, but I feel it’s best suited primarily to guitarists who maybe dabble in a little bit of bass playing from time to time. For the same money as the THR you could just get a decent little combo used.

Edited by CameronJ

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Sadly miss the Genz Benz Shuttle 3-8T which is probably one of the smallest combo's that could do a bass guitar justice.

I don't really need any power just wanted a unit as small as possible so I've ordered a Vox Pathfinder 10B to see what that sounds like.

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