Bass Amplifiers

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About Bass Amplifiers

The bass player has the important role of linking the harmony and rhythm in a band which is why careful consideration needs to be given to their amplifier. Bass amplifiers come in two styles: combos and stacks. Combo amps are the amplifier and speaker combined into a single unit. Combo amps are compact portable and easy to set up. Stacks feature a separate amplifier (head) and speaker (cabinet).Bass amp stacks offer more flexibility (say if a bassist decides to connect their head to another speaker) and generally deliver more volume than combos. With that being said there are many powerful combo amps available on today's music market. Another factor to consider is speaker size which will influence the amp's projection of sound. Most practice amps have 8" or 10" speakers; performance amps generally employ 12" speakers; and separate cabinets usually contain speakers that are 15" or 18".

Bassists also need to decide whether to go with a tube or solid state amp. Tube amplifiers work by passing an electric current through vacuum tubes for amplification - the result is a warm tone with clean overdrive. Solid state amps incorporate semi-conductors to amplify a signal (digital processing is also common for newer solid state amps). Solid state models are usually lighter and more durable than tube amps. Many bass amplifier manufacturers even offer hybrid models that implement the best of both worlds. Today's tube solid state and hybrid amplifiers have benefited greatly from modern technology and they typically boast features like separate channels preamp overdrive equalizers and effects loops. Some popular bass amplifier brands include Fender Ampeg Ashdown and Orange Amplifiers.