Bass Guitar Amp – Which Bass Guitar Amp is Right For You?

There are a wide variety of bass amp options on the market, ranging from combos and head/cab combos to head/cab options and cabinet amps. Your decision depends on your performance needs and power needs.

Combo bass amps offer convenient and cost-effective home practice solutions; however, their power may not match that of separate head and cab models. Yet their portability makes them suitable for home practice environments.


Sunn EL34 amps from before Hartzell are readily available on the used market, often at competitive prices. 60W models like 100S, 200S and Sorado tend to be fairly inexpensive while split chassis 40 watters may be more difficult to come by but still fairly reasonable in cost. These were initially Dynaco amps housed inside Sunn boxes – thus less guitar trendy than Marshall or Fender but capable of taking pedals perfectly with plenty of clean headroom; additionally the EL34s used are much more reliable than their counterpart KT88s so will hold up well when bass distortion hits!


KT88s boast an abundance of headroom, making them ideal for use in bass amplifiers. Their clean tone with rich harmonics is comparable to an EL34’s while their tighter low end makes them well suited to metal music.

This amp features global tube reverb and two separate channels; the first features an OR80-inspired tone stack for crisp cleans and low grit, while the other is tailored for high gain Matamp-style overdrive.

The KT88 provides plenty of clean headroom, while its ISF control adds additional tonal variety by smoothly shifting from US to UK tones. Furthermore, its massive amount of overdrive is enough to handle even loud stoner rock music; its sole flaw being weak bass response that may need correcting via its bias circuit.


The Audion seems like a durable amp, with excellent build quality and features like cathode biases that allow easy maintenance of its tubes over their lifespan.

Trelja: KT90s excel in bass response, being much more powerful and well-controlled than their competitors. Additionally, their extended low end extends by an octave while boasting effortless dynamics through loudspeakers – although whether or not this proves beneficial will depend on system design considerations including loudspeaker selection.

I recently used Tungsol ecc803s in my Jolida and was pleased with their sound; however, they do not provide quite the same punch and power of KT90s. Any suggestions? Thanks!


Beginner bass amps should provide you with enough power and effects to make your instrument sing, offering great sound. Ashdown, Hartke, Fender, and Ampeg offer many bass combos and amp heads which offer this kind of powerful yet beautiful tone – ideal for new players starting out.

Current tube makers are few and far between, focusing on producing exotics and high-profit tubes. Since most modern manufacturers require making an initial investment that may exceed $20k to become operational, there is little incentive for producing lower profit tubes like the KT100s that many producers do not stock.


The KT150 is an ideal choice for those seeking outstanding bass power and extension, crisp highs, well-tempered natural (not syrupy) mids, exceptional imaging performance and longer tube life than either the EL34 or KT88 models.

Adaptive AutoBias is designed to protect amplifiers from shorts caused by tube failures by reducing plate voltage when one fails, thus helping prevent expensive repairs or smoking your amp altogether.

Before purchasing a tube amplifier kit, be sure to obtain a schematic. Unfortunately, some kits are poorly designed and could cause irreparable harm if used improperly. Also note that KT150s require more plate voltage than EL34s and KT88s; therefore if your amplifier was not designed to support them, they likely won’t deliver their full sound potential.


If you’re searching for a small bass amp that won’t disrupt the noise levels in your bedroom, the NUX Spark Preamp pedal may be perfect. Its ultra quiet operation and aux input allow it to connect seamlessly with laptops or tablets for playback of music via an aux cable, plus there is also an headphone output which can connect directly to boards for gigs and jam sessions – this bass amp costs approximately $200 new.

This bass utilizes a Class-A amplifier and can be driven at volumes that won’t disturb neighbors – perfect for practicing and performing small gigs in the comfort of home.