Best Bass Guitar Amps – 2019 Round-up Review

Although it may seem like the guitarist gets all the glory, the bassist is a vital part of the equation when it comes to the breakdown of any band. Naturally, you will want to have the right equipment to make sure that the overall roundness of your band’s sound comes through to the audience. This, of course, will mean that you will want the right bass amp, and that can be challenging to find when you don’t know what you are looking for. 

Even if you have some experience, there are so many factors and choices available to you that the process may seem like a daunting one, and lead to a headache mixed with a tinge of frustration. After all, which amp is the best for you and your bass needs?

In this guide, we are going to try to break down the essential information, as well as give you some vital details on our handpicked best bass guitar amps of 2019. We are confident that by the time you finish reading this comprehensive guide, you will find making a decision to be far easier and vastly less stressful.

Comparison of the Best Bass Guitar Amps

Product

Rating

Price

Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

Best Overall

TC Electronic BH250

TC Electronic BH250 250 Watt Micro Bass Head with TonePrint Effects and Integrated Tuner

Runner-up

Blackstar Bass Combo Amplifier

Blackstar Bass Combo Amplifier, Black (FLY3BASS)

Best for the Money

BEHRINGER BXD3000H

BEHRINGER BXD3000H Ultra-Lightweight 300-Watt 2-Channel Bass Amplifier Head with FBQ Spectrum Analyzer Black

Best Power Amp for Bass Guitar

Hartke HD500-Bass Combo

Hartke HD500-Bass Combo (HMHD500)

Best Bass Guitar Combo Amp

Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier

Best Bass Guitar Amp Under $500

Do Bass Guitars Need Amps?

Unlike a guitar that produces audible sounds even without an amp, the bass does not. So, you will need an amp so that those sweet, rich bass tones come across when playing. The type and size are important factors that must be considered, so in the sections below we will look at not only what size you should get, but what to look for when making this critical decision.

How Big of a Bass Amp Do I Need?

If you are just starting out, you may not know how big of a bass amp you need, or even what is significant about the different sizes available. Often when people talk about the size of an amp, it is a reference to the wattage. So, let’s start with that. 

How Many Watts Do I Need in a Bass Amp?

Your bass amp's power output is important when thinking of the intended use. If you are simply using it for a small venue like a studio, you may want to go for something like 100 watts. On the other hand, if you are trying to fill up a larger venue, the more watts, the better.

Regarding the actual size of the amp itself, there are a few things to think about as well. Perhaps it is obvious that usually the higher the wattage, the larger the amp. Your next major consideration should be portability. If you are going to be lugging it from gig to gig, you may want a lighter, more compact option.

How to Choose a Bass Guitar Amp

We have already begun to talk about how to choose the right bass guitar amp for your needs. But even with the size question out of the way, there are many factors that you should be considering. The aspects we have listed below are some of the most important:

Channels

This is important if you are looking to set up two EQ with effects, as it will give you the ability to switch between the two. You will be able to monitor control effects with better control. This will provide a more in-depth sound and is excellent for both combo amps and separate heads.

Type

When you are looking for the best bass amp, you will want to check out which type will suit your needs. When you look at this factor, there are two different categories. Here are the two types of categories:

Tube or Solid State

If you want a high-quality and durable bass amp, you will want a solid state amp. These will be louder, but in the upper, tonal limits will begin to get muddy. Tube amps will have a better overdrive. But the solid state opinion usually has plenty of headroom that will compensate for the overdrive.

Combo or Separate Head & Cabinet

If you are playing a small venue or studio, you will be okay with the combo amp. These are great for any type of music and offers great sound. If you are looking for a larger venue, you can opt for a separate head and cabinet for more gain.

Speaker

This is a matter of preference. Though it may seem like a larger speaker is better, the sound may be preferable to you from several smaller speakers. This layout may offer tighter, more accurate sounds. With the bigger speaker, you may find the sound a little muddier and heavier.

Intent

This is a factor regarding whether you are playing a small venue or a larger one. Like we said in the section above, if you are playing a small venue then you will want to go with a smaller wattage amp. The opposite is true if you are playing a larger venue.

Review of the Best Bass Guitar Amps

Now that we have talked about how to find the right amp for your bass, it is time to look at this carefully curated list of the best options available to you on the market today.

Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

PROS

  • Fender quality guaranteed.
  • Lightweight for better portability.
  • Great tonal options for beginners.
  • Overall value for a budget-friendly price.
  • Ability to a plug-in MP3 player through Aux port.

CONS

  • Layout of the controls is a bit clunky.
  • Aesthetically speaking, the knobs do not appeal to everyone.

What Recent Buyers Report

There is not much that recent buyers find fault with when looking at our overall best amp entry. Other than some personal issues with the overall look, on the whole, the bassists that have used this amp say that it offers excellent sound quality for a budget-friendly price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We noticed this superb piece of equipment due to its versatility and ease of use, combined with the name recognition and attention to the durable, high-quality design that comes with the Fender name. This and the ease of portability are what stand out to us the most.

Who Will Use This Most

This bass amp is an exceptional choice for the beginner bassist. It is easy to use and still gives you enough control to start on your journey to crafting your own sound.

Bottom Line

Why not go with the vintage look and sound you can get with Fender? The high-quality sound that the Rumbler brings to your bass and your music is a cut above the rest. 

TC Electronic BH250 250 Watt Micro Bass Head with TonePrint Effects and Integrated Tuner

PROS

  • Easy to use controls.
  • Pre-amp boost built-in.
  • Addition of aux jacks for exterior peripherals.
  • Lightweight and compact for better portability.
  • Ability to be connected to a computer via USB cable.

CONS

  • Issues with fuzz at higher volumes.
  • Not compatible with all headphone jacks.

What Recent Buyers Report

With the massive amount of effects options and the easy to use controls, this amp is highly rated by recent buyers. Even with a few minor design flaws like incompatibility with all headphone jacks, this amp has been widely reviewed as an excellent option.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With its easy to transport frame and high level of performance, this amp offers a wide range of choices for any bassist. Having a pre-amp boost built into the amp makes this unit even more convenient. These are just some of the things that really caught our attention.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a superb option for beginners and musicians that need a lightweight amp that can be moved from place to place comfortably. If you are planning on playing in concerts or in a band, this amp may be just what you need.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that with this runner-up from TC Electric, you will get a high-grade option that offers an enhanced tonal range regarding the sound quality.

Best for the Money:
Blackstar Bass Combo Amplifier

Blackstar Bass Combo Amplifier, Black (FLY3BASS)

PROS

  • Extended playing time.
  • Versatility of sound options.
  • Offers a great tonal quality and range.
  • Battery-powered, which makes it easier to transport.
  • Lower volume makes this great for in-home studios or practice rooms.

CONS

  • Issues with fuzz at high volumes.
  • Not great for band practice due to low volume capabilities.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love a lot about this amp, and chief among those things is the low price tag. The ability to practice in small rooms without being intrusive and still having a great sound quality is another huge reason why these recent buyers recommend this amp from Blackstar.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Looking for a high-performance, budget-friendly amp sometimes seems like searching for an impossible combination. But that is not the case when you consider this amp. We were thrilled with the purchase value of this piece of equipment.

Who Will Use This Most

This amp will benefit almost any bassist, but some scenarios will lend the most return on investment. The first is the bassist that travels quite a bit. The lightweight design and quality of the sound are impressive.

The second kind of bassist that will get the most from this amp is the beginning bassist that is practicing in their home. The lower volume will keep everyone around them from going insane from the noise, and that is a great thing.

Bottom Line

Considering your budget sometimes makes this process not nearly as fun and adventurous. Often you end up settling for something that fits the bill but doesn't exactly thrill you; however, with the Blackstar Bass Combo Amp, you will not have to make your sound suffer just in the interest of money. 

Best Power Amp for Bass Guitar:
BEHRINGER BXD3000H

BEHRINGER BXD3000H Ultra-Lightweight 300-Watt 2-Channel Bass Amplifier Head with FBQ Spectrum Analyzer Black

PROS

  • Value for price is a steal.
  • Can be used for uprights.
  • Versatility of high-quality playing options.
  • Designed with a lightweight and compact build.
  • Tone of options to control the versatility of sound.

CONS

  • Issues with durability.
  • Issues with wattage capabilities.

What Recent Buyers Report

Bassists that have recently purchased this amp mention the 7-band EQ, the control over the power, and how much power this gives them. Though there is a little issue with durability, overall the quality of this amp is fantastic and a good addition to your musical stylings.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The patented amplification technology and the multi-band EQ are what make this such a great power amp for any bassist. Additionally, the size and weight of this bass guitar amp make it an excellent choice if you are looking for a portable unit that can easily be taken with you anywhere you go.

Who Will Use This Most

The bassist that will benefit the most from this amp is the gigging musician, particularly one that is looking for volume and power that will fill the venue with their sweet low-end tones. Additionally, if you are planning on buying this unit for your tween or teen, it is ideal as they can easily move it and carry it without much trouble.

Bottom Line

This amp from Behringer is simply a high-powered, volume driving option that will give any bassist the power boost that they need to truly rock out.

Best Bass Guitar Combo Amp:
Hartke HD500-Bass Combo

Hartke HD500-Bass Combo (HMHD500)

PROS

  • Enhanced low-end tone.
  • Price versus value is spectacular.
  • Power level is perfect for small venues.
  • Easy to use set-up for customizable tone.
  • Compact, lightweight, durable design.

CONS

  • Lack of tweeter in build.
  • Decreased capabilities when it comes to volume.

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who have purchased this amp really love its design and easy to use, customizable tone. Though they do wish there was a tweeter built into the amp, they feel that the good far outweighs the bad, and it is a great option for almost any bassist.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This combo amp has a lot that stands out to us, but easily its most impressive features are its craftable EQ and high-quality drivers.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an excellent option for any bassist at any level. If there was one that would get the most out of this, it’s the bassist that is looking for a good combo amp that offers great volume and tone. This bassist will be able to take advantage of these qualities as they play their rock or even jazz.

Bottom Line

The Hartke HD500 is a tremendous all-around combo amp that will heighten your sound quality and make you feel like a rock star. Its numerous attractive features all combine to create a high-quality sound within a durable build.

Best Bass Guitar Amp Under $500:
Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier

PROS

  • Highly affordable option.
  • Optimized clarity of tone.
  • Built-in headphone output jack.
  • Capability to provide high-quality distortion.
  • Lightweight and compact design for better portability.

CONS

  • Lack of built-in effects.
  • Some issues with sound quality at high volumes.

What Recent Buyers Report

Optimal tonal quality and distortion capability are just some of the things that recent buyers seem to rave about. Even with the limited effects available, this small but uniquely colored amp is a choice that many of them highly recommended.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Finding a high-quality amp for under $500 is no easy task, but with this amp, you get all the advantages of a high-end amp at a budget-friendly price. This impressive value includes multiple effects and clarity of tone.

Who Will Use This Most

The traveling bassist that plays small venues would get the most from this amp. Though this may be better suited for the traveling gig artist, it is truly a great option for any beginning to intermediate player. 

Bottom Line

The Orange Amp is an aesthetically pleasing, high-quality option that offers multiple effects to allow you to craft a sound that will make your dreams come true.

Perks of Upgrading Your Bass Guitar Amp

Any time you look to upgrade any form of equipment, there are always benefits. Whether it be aesthetic or functional, by upgrading your bass guitar amp, you are bound to see a difference in your performance. Below are the three main reasons to upgrade your bass amp:

Better Sound

Looking for an amp that offers more sound molding capabilities will mean that your sound will be able to evolve. This is a great benefit, especially when working with a band. You may have had to start with a lower quality amp just to get your foot in the door, and now, by using what you have learned both through real-world efforts and reading our comprehensive guide, you should be able to find an amp that ups your game. 

Durability

You may also get better durability and more prolonged use out of your new amp upgrade. Often, as you move up the scale to a more professional amp, you will get bodies made of better-quality materials both inside and outside, and that means a sturdier product.

Portability

One of the benefits of upgrading is the better portability factor. By looking for an amp that is of lighter weight or wheeled, you can open up more transportation options.

Conclusion

Having the right amp can mean all the difference in the sound quality and texture of your music. Knowing what to look for, and how to choose the best option for you is a vital part of any bassist’s career. With the knowledge we have laid out for you above, we hope you feel armed with everything you need to keep your vibe right and make music that is rich and full.

People Also Ask

While perusing our guide, there may well have been some questions that popped into your head, and with that in mind, we thought we would gather some of the most commonly asked questions here for you in the hopes we can help you out even more.

Are Tube Bass Amps Better Than Solid State Bass Amps?

When asked, most professional bassists will advise you to go with solid-state amps over tube amps. This is because instead of electricity moving through vacuum tubes, it radiates through solid metal which is a better conductor. Solid-state amps offer a low maintenance higher wattage and are vastly more portable. You will get a smooth and clean sound that many bassists really enjoy.

Are Bass Amps Different from Guitar Amps?

The overall construction and idea are the same, but there is a difference. The overall control over the tonal range is different. The bass amps also tend to be closed back while offering more power, whereas the guitar amps can be either closed or open and give you more ability to distort the sound without pedals or postproduction.

What is the Best Bass Amp Brands?

There are many brands out there that craft superb bass amps, but for us, there are a few that stand out above the rest. Here are our top 7 bass amp brands:

  • Hartke
  • Fender
  • Orange
  • Behringer
  • Blackstar
  • TC Electronic
  • Peavey