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electric bass guitar detail

How to Choose a

Bass Amp

Amplifiers can make or break your sound. The difference between a good amp and a bad amp can be fairly noticable, so it's best we choose the right one!

Image by Paweł Czerwiński
Image by Sam Moqadam
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Amp Wattage

All amplifiers have a set number of Watts, the higher the number, the louder your amp can get. So how many should you have?

How Many Watts Should My

Amplifier Have

We can find the answer to this question by asking one:

  • Where will you be playing?

If you're only planning on practicing in your bedroom, your best bet is on the low side, anything 30 or below.

The bigger the venue, the more wattage you'd want.


With that being said, at bigger venues, often times the sound crew will want to either mic your amp or plug it into the main sound system. So at the end of the day, you shouldn't expect to need an excessive amount of power.

My Opinion

  • For someone looking to get a little more from their amp or possibly play some gigs I'd pick either the Fender Rumble 100 or 200

  • Note: The "1x8" and "1x12" in the names of these amps refer to speaker number and size. So 1x8 means: One 8 inch speaker. This detail is not extremely important when choosing your first amp. 

For most people, an amp with about 100-200 watts is all you'll ever need for playing live unless you're at a BIG venue.


Combo vs Separate

  • Bass amplifiers are actually comprised of two separate components. The Head and the Cabinet. 

  • The Head is the actual "amplifying" component, while the Cabinet houses the large speakers that actually create sound. 

  • Combo amps take both components and stick them into one box. Through out this article, this is the type of amp I have been referencing. 

  • In the past, combo amps were sometimes considered to be of lesser quality, but as time went on combo amps are more of the normal. 

  • As a beginner or intermediate (or even a professional!) Bass player, I would recommend a Combo amp as they are simpler, lighter, and often times much cheaper in comparison. 

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