Bass Guitar Amps

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About Bass Guitar Amps

Bass guitar amps are a very significant part of any bassist's overall sound. They are available, like guitar amps, as either combos (with the 'brains' and the speaker all in one enclosure) or as separate units made up of a head and a cabinet. Bass amplifiers use different speaker configurations than guitar amps in order to accentuate the low end frequencies required by bass guitars.

Bass amps come in all shapes and sizes, from small practice combos with built in effects to larger gigging combos and towering stacks for dominating the world's largest arenas. Lots of guitar amp manufacturers such as Fender, Laney and Mesa Boogie offer ranges of excellent bass amps but there are also certain companies who specialise in bass amplification. These companies include Aguilar, Mark Bass and Gallien Kruger.

See all of these great brands and more in the bass department of every guitarguitar store. We have some of the largest collections of bass guitar amps available anywhere in the UK and expert staff on hand to assist and offer guidance. For bass amps, there is only one place to go: guitarguitar.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bass Guitar Amps

Even if you DI (directly inject, i.e. plugging the bass straight into the PA) your bass, we'd recommend using an amp on stage, if only for your own monitoring purposes. Many amps offer DI outs that do not disable the speaker so you can both DI your bass (whilst enjoying the benefit of the amp's tone) and have your bass coming through your amp's speaker on stage.
We'd say a minimum of 200 watts is where you want to be and more is preferable. Bass just needs more power to be where it needs to be in a live mix and it is always preferable to have too much power and turn it down than to have too little power and not be heard!
Both types have their benefits and drawbacks. Valve heads have an authentic vintage sound with lots of character but they are very heavy, expensive and require maintenance. Solid State heads have a modern sound with a tight attack and are generally cheaper and lighter than valve heads. Some would say they do not match valve amps for depth of sound and overall 'size' of sound but this is debatable. We suggest trying both and deciding from there where your tastes lie.
Some bass heads and cabinets are connected via a Speakon cable. This type of connector, made originally by Neutrik, has a mechanism at each end to lock the cable in place. The reason for this is that on some older bass amps, the vibrations from the low bass frequencies were actually making the standard quarter inch jack cables shake loose and fall out of the amp! Speakon cables are the antidote to that embarrassing problem!
We wouldn't advise it! Whilst it will respond and make a noise, the sound itself won't be great and worse, you may end up doing serious damage to the amp itself. Guitar amps are not and never have been designed to handle the particularly low frequencies produced by a bass guitar. You'll lose out on a lot of the bottom end, which is what a bass really needs to sound like a bass! We recommend going straight for a bass amp. It's the right tool for the job and you'll enjoy yourself more!