Acoustic B15

Reviewed at $110

Tone
40%
Volume
50%
Features
60%
Construction
70%

VERDICT: You definitely get what you pay for – this being almost half the price of all the other amps I reviewed, results in a lot less possible volume and low end, but still plenty for practice purposes.

The higher wattage B30 might be worth checking out if you like the sound of Acoustic amps and want something that could work for a mellow rehearsal or gig (no rock drummers or big distorted guitar). I would definitely use this as a practice amp, but that’s about it.

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Eden E-Series EC10

Reviewed at $200

Tone
40%
Volume
40%
Features
60%
Construction
60%

VERDICT: I was really surprised to be so disappointed with this amp. I’ve loved all the higher-end Eden rigs I’ve tried over the years, this just didn’t have enough low end to qualify as a decent bass amp in my reckoning.

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Ampeg BA-110

Reviewed at $180

Tone
40%
Volume
60%
Features
40%
Construction
40%

VERDICT: I wanted to like this amp. Ampeg makes some great stuff, and I did like the natural tone of this amp with all the knobs flat. However, because it was lacking treble, I didn’t like the distortion, and the construction quality wasn’t as high as the other amps.

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Hartke HD75

Reviewed at $250

Tone
20%
Volume
60%
Features
40%
Construction
40%

VERDICT: Bummer. I didn’t like the sound, it weighed a ton without giving much more sound than the Fender, and the loud amp hiss would make it an annoying choice for a practice amp.

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Fender Rumble 40

Reviewed at $200

Tone
80%
Volume
60%
Features
80%
Construction
80%

VERDICT: I love this amp. Of all the five amps I chose, this is actually the one I was least expecting to love – I’ve owned a couple Fender amps in the past and didn’t really like them. But the Rumble 40 had great tone, cool features, and it only weighs 18 freaking pounds.

Without a doubt, the Fender Rumble 40 is the best amp we looked at, whether you just need a lightweight, good sounding practice amp, or something to take on a small gig or rehearsal.

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Hear for Yourself

Hear the tone differences of each amp for yourself by comparing the audio samples below. Cheapo computer speakers or phone speakers will likely be too limited in range to hear the differences clearly. Use speakers or headphones with a decent range and volume. For more details on how I recorded these audios see the “How I Recorded the Amps” section in the intro, above.

Remember that when you’re listening to these, you’re hearing tonal differences, but they don’t accurately indicate the important differences in volume capacity and body that you would feel in the room with these amps.

Review Recap & The Winner

The biggest thing I learned from this review process is that a lot of beginner bass amps are crap. But it’s not all doom and gloom — our tests revealed an immensely good amp, one clear winner for the BassBuzz Best Beginner Practice Amp. In this video I give a quick recap of each amp and reveal the winner (as if you hadn’t guessed already)…

BASSBUZZ AWARDS BEST PRACTICE AMP

Overall Winner Fender Rumble 40

The Fender Rumble 40 was by far the best amp out of this bunch in terms of volume, functionality, weight, and overall value. No matter what kind of bass or style of music you want to play, this little combo will work perfectly in a practice context.

Looking for a bass guitar too? Check out our Beginner Bass Showdown. Pair the winner of the bass guitar showdown with the Fender Rumble amp and you’ll have a kickass combo.

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