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Help Me Pick My Bass Amp! (Ampeg vs Hartke vs Orange vs Etc) Bass Guitar Amplification
Old 16th May 2011
Gear Addict

Thread Starter
Help Me Pick My Bass Amp! (Ampeg vs Hartke vs Orange vs Etc)

So I'm picking up my first bass guitar, a Rickenbacker 4003, and I need a good bass amp. I'm not going to be performing, just recording, and for the most part I'll be direct injecting. So I don't need an amazing amp, I'm just looking for something to songwrite with. I need something that sounds good while being affordable. Later on I might spend $1000 and up on an amp, but right now I'm looking at the $150-$350 price range.

Right now I need opinions on these options -

Fender Rumble 75
Behringer Ultrabass BXL1800
Hartke A70
Orange Amplifiers Crush PiX CR50BXT
Ampeg BA112
Eden E12

(I excluded Peavey, Kustom, Ibanez, Rocktron, Warwick, Marshall, and Acoustic).

Anybody use any of the amps above??? I'm sure everyone is going to say pick up the Ampeg, which I might do, but I'd like to hear about the other amps anyways! I've played the Fender Rumble amps and I can't say I was a big fan.


Old 16th May 2011
Go and try them out, simple as that.
Old 16th May 2011
Lives for gear
Help Me Pick My Bass Amp! (Ampeg vs Hartke vs Orange vs Etc)

What made you pick out the Rick? What amps were you trying it through when you bought it? If anything, it is a clearer more modern sound (even through it goes back a ways) than the basic Fender P or J basses. So are you looking to keep that character? Or compensate for it and round it out?

While I personally find them ugly and cheap looking, I've been really impressed lately with the sound and performance of the Mark Bass gear.
Old 17th May 2011
Gear Addict

Thread Starter
Aeolian, I surprisingly like Markbass stuff as well. You'd think it would suck being a Guitar Center only brand, but it's pretty good stuff.

Chris you make a good point, although some of the amps I don't have access to. I did just literally try the Ampeg on my list 30 minutes ago at a Guitar Center. It sounded decent and pretty good, but I wasn't thrilled. Hopefully this other store I know will allow me to try out a Hartke tommorow. For some reason I'm really curious about the Orange amp. Maybe it's just the look that's attracting me to it. Because I really don't know what opinions people have of that company and their amps.

I guess I'm going to have to swallow whatever I get, because obviously in the $150-$350 pricerange anything I get will be ridiculous. I would like to consider $1500 cheap and at least get something like the Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout, or even a Fender Bassman TV or a combo from Markbass, but if I'm not miking this amp I can't waste a lot of money on it. I've got other studio needs like better monitors, more mics, a good tube di, on and on
Old 17th May 2011
Lives for gear
given you're not always going to use it to record (although with a good one you may want to), I'd also think about used as a way to stretch your dollars and get a better bang for the buck.

Our bass player has the Ampeg B50r (discontinued) but it's great as a practice amp.

Good luck.
Old 17th May 2011
Lives for gear
Igotsoul4u's Avatar
I played a Mesa Boogie Walkabout scout and was blown away by the depth and volume it had. Loved it and want one.
Old 17th May 2011
Gear Guru
FFTT's Avatar

For recording, invest your money in a good single 15 cab with an EV or Fane
driver, like the B15 replacement and run any clean guitar
amp through that cab.

80% of your recorded bass signal usually ends up direct line in anyway.
You just mic a speaker at low volume to get some air and finger noise
to give it a little life.

Any clean 50-100 watt guitar amp can deliver very recordable bass
tones through the right speaker at reasonable volumes.
Old 18th May 2011
Gear Addict

Thread Starter
Thanks for the feedback so far everyone!

nedorama, you make a good point about looking at used stuff. It's just the only used stuff that's nearby to look at is what a couple of small Guitar Centers have. If I were in a big city like Los Angeles, then i'd have a ton of options looking on craigslist and such. But it's a great suggestion, I'll have to look around my local area.

Igotsoul4u, we're much in agreeance, those Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scouts are pretty killer.

FFTT, good suggestion.
Old 18th May 2011
Lives for gear
No problem. There's always eBay; I've purchased my Princeton and several pedals off eBay without issues.

Where do you live? People near you may have suggestions.
Old 25th May 2011
Gear Addict

Thread Starter
nedorama currently I live in Rhode Island and practically Massachusettes as well. I'm only an hour away from Boston which has a lot of stuff. I could do Ebay, but I just personally wouldn't get an amp off ebay for various reasons. If it were a synth or a piece of rack gear, possibly. But definitely a good thought.

Last edited by 121840; 25th May 2011 at 03:51 AM.. Reason: mispelling
Old 25th May 2011
Lives for gear
I'd check out Daddy's junky music in Boston (they also have stores in Warwick) - I remember buying a mirage sampler there back in the early 90s.
Old 1st June 2011
Gear Addict

Thread Starter
Thanks for mentioning Daddy's Junky Music stores to me nedorama. While they have limited used stuff, they carry the two Orange Amps - Bass Combo Amps I haven't been able to try that I've been interested in and dying to hear in person. The problem is that both amps are currently in their Warehouse in New Hampshire. So I'm out of luck unless I order one knowing that I might not like it and immediately return it, and I don't like to do that to a store. It's unfortunate because their stores in Warwick, Dedham, Dartmouth, and Boston are all reasonable driving distances for me, just no Orange Amps currently in any of those locations.
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