Best Bass Practice Amp: 5 Quality Bass Amps For Home/Garage & Small Venue

This is our review for the Best Bass Practice Amp for the home/garage/small venue bass player. 

After reviewing many top bass amps from all backgrounds, our No.1 recommendation is: The Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

As we’ve all got different rehearsal circumstances, We’ve included the best bass amp for all your ‘practice’ scenarios.

 

Let’s get going!

The 5 Best Bass Practice Amps We Loved 

1.Best Overall: The Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

Fender is always a safe bet in my book. With its classic shiny silver front mesh and ivory buttons, it’s enough to get the Fender enthusiast excited.

 

2. Best Budget Amp: Blackstar Bass Combo Amplifier

Blackstar gives you the choice to become totally portable with their tiny 3 Watt 3 inch speaker. It is a remarkable achievement to provide a ‘bass amp’ which is so compact and versatile.

3. Best For Added Effects: Fender Rumble LT-25

Simplicity is the key with the Fender Rumble LT-25. A supreme collection of the ‘greatest hits’ of Fender Tones. A high-quality selection of 20 onboard effects, including distortion, overdrive, compression, EQ, touch wah, modulation, reverb, delay, and octave.

4. Best Bedroom Amp :Hartke HD25 Bass Combo

The Hartke’s main attribute is its astonishing tone. That’s the first thing that jumps out and bites you. At 25 Watt you can get a nice rich and punchy sound unlike anything around this price range.

5. Best Tone :Ampeg BA-108v2

Ampeg provides you with everything you would need as a practicing musician. The Ampeg 8″ Custom speaker gives you plenty of high end without sacrificing any of the lows.

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Full Review

Fender Rumble 15 Watt V3 Bass Combo

  • 15Watt
  • 8-inch Speaker
  • 3-Band EQ
  • Push-Button Contour And Overdrive Functions
  • Weight 5kg

Fender is always a safe bet in my book. With its classic shiny silver front mesh and ivory buttons, it’s enough to get the fender enthusiast excited.

The 15watt rumble is strictly for practice reasons only. If you’re going to be playing with a drummer, you’ll need to look at the 40W or 100W.

The cabinet is actually larger than I thought it would be at 4.96 inches wide, 14.96 inches tall, and 8 inches deep. The weight is light, 16 pounds. So this would be easy to take to a tutor on a regular occasion or stash under your bed after use.

With a rich, full-sounding bouncy tone this is ideal for the beginner. Fender builds their equipment with a high standard, so it’ll last you for decades to come. There isn’t an amp in the market for around this price with the tone the Fender gives you.

After all the extras and special effects added with other amps. I find the Fender Rumble a clear winner when it comes to basic sound and versatility. Value For Money!

The EQ is pretty basic, but what you’re guaranteed are the legendary fender clear tones and a lovely deep low end.

For such a low price the rest of the market cannot compete. Like I said before, Fenders are a safe bet that’ll last you a lifetime. So grab yourself the perfect practice amp.

 

Blackstar Bass Combo Amplifier, Black (FLY3BASS)

  • 3Watt
  • 3″ speaker
  • Battery Powered (power supply included too)
  • On-board Compressor; Patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature)
  • Clean and Overdrive channels
  • Weight 0.9Kg

Blackstar gives you the choice to become totally portable with their tiny 3 Watt 3 inch speaker. It is a remarkable achievement to provide a ‘bass amp’ which is so compact and versatile.

A tasty little extra is the switchable gain control. This adjusts the level of preamp giving you some pretty beasty overdrive. The effects don’t stop there. You also get EQ control, a built-in compressor, sub-control (bass warmth). MP3/Line Input (handy if you want to play along to backing tracks etc).

Well built and a reputable seller, Blackstar produces great amps for guitar and bass all the way up the scale. Experienced players can also appreciate the satisfying tones and portability of this little gem.

This would suit the on the go bassist and complete beginner. If you’re heading out to see your tutor once a week, this is definitely worth thinking about. If you’ve got a low budget again this is for you. Perfect for the player who needs to practice quietly.

As far as playing with other people, I recommend it for home rehearsal and jam sessions with acoustic guitarists only.

Powered by 6 AA batteries, but my advice would be to get some rechargeable batts

 

Fender Rumble LT-25

  • 25Watt
  • Single 8” Bass Speaker
  • 1.8” Color Display
  • Stereo Headphone Output For Silent Practice
  • 10.4Kg

Simplicity is the key with the Fender Rumble LT-25. A supreme collection of the ‘greatest hits’ of Fender Tones. A high-quality selection of 20 onboard effects, including distortion, overdrive, compression, EQ, touch wah, modulation, reverb, delay, and octave.

50 Presets to enjoy at the touch of a button (20 hidden). So get creating and store them as you wish. You can cover all genres of music with this superb built-in feature. It doesn’t stop there, you also get 15 different amp type settings from vintage, all the way through to modern bass and preamp tones.

A super 5-star seller and a guaranteed robust quality build from one of the biggest players in the market. Surprisingly lightweight but robust enough to travel with.

For home use, i don’t think you’d ever need another amp. It’s also a good replacement for your music speakers. A very pro sound considering the price.

 

Hartke HD25 Bass Combo

  • 25Watt
  • 8-inch hybrid cone driver with a ceramic magnet
  • Built-in limiter
  • 11Kg

The Hartke’s main attribute is its astonishing tone. That’s the first thing that jumps out and bites you. At 25 Watt you can get a nice rich and punchy sound unlike anything around this price range.

The Hartke is also a great amp for anyone playing keys. Due to its superb midrange capabilities and clarity it has its multi uses. With 25 watts you’ll receive a sweeter crisper tone that can be pushed further than the 15Watt amps. Due to the speaker size being 8″ you’ll get an added low bass frequencies which all of us love right?

Hartke amps have always been built to last, the combo selection is no different. This isn’t to say they skip on design or sound. That’s not what they do.

The HD25 has a simple layout and enough guts to play small church performances or smaller room gigs. If I were torn between the 15 Watt and 25W, id definitely be going for the 25 as you’ve got so many more options when it comes to live shows. Just having that extra 10watts in the headroom is a major plus for me.

 

Ampeg BA-108v2 20-watt

  • 20W
  • 8″ Ampeg Custom8 speaker
  • 3-band EQ
  • 15dB pad on the input for use with active or high output sources
  • 60 Degree Monitor Angle
  • Weight: 10.6Kg

Ampeg provides you with everything you would need as a practicing musician. The Ampeg 8″ Custom speaker gives you plenty of high end without sacrificing any of the lows.

Shaped like a monitor, a 60-degree angle is a great design. Even though the amp is small you won’t need to place it on a table when rehearsing with others. Just place it on the floor pointing up at you. No other amp gives you this little but unique extra.

Aux level controls the input source level, so you can boost that backing track or play along with your fav song. That’s a nice touch to assist the beginner bassist.

The handy 15db switch is a quick convenience if you’re looking to not upset the neighbors. Unlike the rest of the market, the Eq is very responsive, just like the higher valued Ampeg bass amps. The controls are very basic but that’s not a bad thing if you want to plug in and just play.

Ampeg is a safe trustworthy brand. The BA-108v2 is a perfect companion for home practicing. Sturdy and built with quality in mind.

You’ll find it hard to find too many negative reviews about an Ampeg.

 

Your Questions Answered

Why Can’t I Buy A Cheap Bass Amp For Home Practicing?

Well, you can, but you’ll be missing out on a huge difference in tone, durability, and quality of the hardware. Cheap amps are in my opinion a bit of a waste of time if you want to take playing an instrument seriously.

More expensive practice amps are produced with home playing in mind and in some cases lighter and will last you a lifetime. The amps you get with a pack aren’t any good. It’s worth the difference in price buying yourself a decent one.

The old saying is, if you buy cheap, you buy twice.

What Watt Do I Require?

That all depends on ‘where’ you’re planning on rehearsing. Let’s look at the following factors:

5-15W

If you’re a ‘home player’, you possibly need to consider the size of the amp. Amplifiers that give you 5-15 watts are perfect for home use as you can turn them up (a little). They are light and small and can be tucked away after use.

15-30W

Again can be ok at home. You can gig with this size amp at smaller venues depending on what music you play. Amps this size can be turned down and still sound fantastic. They start to become a lot heavier around this size too.

30 Watts +

Live gigs, studio use, or busker. 20+ watts is probably best for you. To get a decent sound and volume out of a 30W amp is probably too much for a home setting. It’s not to say it’s not an ideal choice for home but it all depends on your practice area.

My choice would definitely be a 15-30W amp as you’ll be getting a nice warm bass tone at acceptable volumes.

Do I Need A Solid State or Tube Amp?

Both very good choices yet a decent tube amp will set you back more in cost. Solid State Amps are more than good enough for the practicing bass player. In fact, you’ll find a huge number of gigging bassists swear by Solid States.

It’s all a matter of personal taste really

How To Choose The Ideal Bass Amp For Practice 

Budget (Stretch It A Little!)

Go for the best amp your budget allows, if there is a better model $50-$100 more, try and stretch to that. It’ll be worth it in the long run. You get what you pay for in this industry.

Alternatively, do not go too much lower than your budget. There is a reason why some amps are cheap and have mediocre reviews. Why pay a pretty penny for a brand new Rickenbacker 4003 and plug it into a crap amp. Please don’t do that! 😉

Speaker

An 8-inch speaker is ideal for a quieter home environment. 10-15 inch speakers for larger practice areas and some smaller gigs. If you need to cut through a band mix, go for 15”.  

Tone Controls

Most amps out there will have the standard gain control, volume, and 3 band EQ. With this, you can find your basic sound to suit your music. As you go up the cost scale you’ll get added extras which are nice but not essential. 

Amp Drive, compression, sub and enhance are extras that you may ‘need’ when playing in a band situation. Ie. A metal band you may want some drive or in a funk outfit, you may fancy compression when spanking those strings. 

Weight/Ease Of Use

Consider whether you’re going to be moving your amp. Are you going to be playing shows? Then get yourself a bass stack. If you’re only going to be playing from home then it doesn’t matter how heavy your combo is. (..and they are heavy!)

Warranty

It kinda goes without saying. Warranty from amplifiers usually covers from around 1 year to 5 years. The last thing you want is faulty wires or circuit boards rattling when you’re trying to play. Keep your eye out for a decent amount of warranty. After all electrical products need to be safe. So cover yourself for as long as possible. 

Don’t Forget Your Essential Extras:

 

Combo Vs Stack

Best Bass Practice Amp
Combo Bass Amp

Combo Amp

  • You’re getting a speaker and amplifier all in one, which works out cheaper than buying them separately (as you would a Bass Stack). This is definitely a major plus when considering getting ‘Value for Money’. 
  • Designed to stay in one place. Generally the best choice for home use. 
  • Ease of use: Plugin and play! No getting the head out and plugging cables around the back every time you want to rehearse. 
  • They’re heavy! Although you can gig with the combo after around 5 shows you may be sick of carrying it. Combos are big wide and bulky units. Lugging this to every show and home is not great if you value your spine. 
If you really don’t like your neighbours, heres a Bass Stack!

Bass Stack 

  • Are more for the regular gigging bassist. The head and cab can be carried separately saving a lot of effort. 
  • You can swop your cabinet over depending on the size of your live show or a certain tone you like. You can’t do this as much with a combo. 
  • Smaller and Lighter
  • Costs more, but they do more

Conclusion: Our Verdict

There isn’t an individual solution. Everybody requires different equipment. So spending a bit of time researching and discovering what suits you is best practice. Look at your playing scenario, your budget, and your musical tastes. 

Read through the information above and go with what is best for you. If you choose to go with a bass stack, you have the flexibility to choose and swap out the head and cabinet to your liking. This is great when trying to achieve a variety of different tones or you’re about to play a big venue. 

Alternatively, a combo amp is more convenient and possibly suits the home/garage bassist. The only downside maybe is a lack of versatility if you’re not loving a certain tone or lack of volume. 

Our clear winner is The Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier. Simply because it’s so versatile and reliable.