Top 8 Bass Guitar Amplifiers – The Elite From All Classes And Segments

The-Best-Bass-Guitar-Amps

Bass guitar amps come in a whole variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors. Setting up a bass rig is a bit different from an electric guitar one. You need to know what you want before you take the plunge and get something. In order to help you find the best match for your own setup, we have come up with a short list. These are what we consider to be the top 8 bass guitar amplifiers on the market right now. We went out and found some pretty attractive amps from all segments. You’ll see stacks, combos, and heads. Some of the models listed here are among the best amps in general. Let’s get started and go over our selection.

Top 8 Best Bass Guitar Amps – The Rundown

ImageGuitar Amplifier / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Gallien-Krueger MB Fusion Gallien-Krueger MB Fusion

Total of 4.85/5   4.85 Stars

All tube preamp section combined with lots of power at your disposal.

+ - Ampeg SVT-7 Stack Ampeg SVT-7 Stack

Total of 4.83/5   4.83 Stars

A monolith of kilowatt power that will move serious air on demand.

+ - Markbass Blackline Little Mark 250 Markbass Blackline Little Mark 250

Total of 4.80/5   4.80 Stars

Balanced performance packed into a lightweight, compact, but also reasonably powerful head.

+ - Fender Rumble 500 Fender Rumble 500

Total of 4.75/5   4.75 Stars

Lots of power contained in a well balanced and great sounding combo.

+ - TC Electronic BH250 TC Electronic BH250

Total of 4.78/5   4.78 Stars

An extremely versatile amp head that shows the power of digital design.

+ - Behringer Ultrabass BXD3000H Behringer Ultrabass BXD3000H

Total of 4.75/5   4.75 Stars

Another capable budget wonder head from Behringer's Ultrabass series of bass amplifiers.

+ - Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 50 Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 50

Total of 4.65/5   4.65 Stars

Lots of tangible power packed into a well designed, compact combo cabinet.

+ - Vox Pathfinder Vox Pathfinder

Total of 4.65/5   4.65 Stars

One of the best practice bass amps on the market right now.

Gallien-Krueger MB Fusion

Gallien-Krueger MB Fusion

Controls:4.9 Stars
Features:4.9 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

Gallien-Krueger is known for making niche solutions which almost always hit their mark. Their MB Fusion head packs a whopping 500 Watts of power, which wouldn't be all that fascinating if this head wasn't only 4 lb in weight. However, its light nature and decent power output are not what makes the MB Fusion so attractive. Gallien-Krueger has packed this thing with three 12AX7 tubes in the preamp stage. This gives you a very organic, natural sounding tone that only tubes can deliver. On top of that, you are looking at a very versatile control cluster that allows for a whole range of tone shaping. It's fair to say that MB Fusion is currently one of the best heads available.

Ampeg SVT-7 Stack

Ampeg SVT-7 Stack

Controls:4.9 Stars
Features:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

Ampeg’s SVT-7PRO stack that comes with their SVT-410HLF speaker cabinet is one of the hottest stacks on the market right now. With an impressive kilowatt output at your disposal, you can use this stack for serious stage work. However, the best thing about the SVT-7PRO is just just how versatile this head actually is. Not only does it feature an extended three-band EQ, but it also comes with a built in compressor. Sure, there are better stand-alone options, but this unit is more than capable of leveling out your tone. Speaking of tone, Ampeg has configured the speaker cab to be more focused on the lower end of the range. Combined with a decently sized port, this 4x10 cab rocks.

Markbass Blackline Little Mark 250

Markbass Blackline Little Mark 250

Controls:4.8 Stars
Features:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

Markbass Blackline Little Mark 250 was designed to deliver a quality tone to those who can live without massive power output ratings. Even so, its 250 Watts of RMS heat are perfect for home and studio use. This head comes with Markbass VPF filter as well as their VLE emulation technology. Combined with two levels of mid range controls, these feature form a powerful six-band EQ. Those looking for a lightweight, reasonably powerful bass amplifier that brings a good tone, will most likely find everything they need in Markbass Blackline Little Mark 250. This awesome head might not be worthy of serious stage use, but it is a potent package for just about any other application you could think of.

Fender Rumble 500

Fender Rumble 500

Controls:4.8 Stars
Features:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

Fender's Rumble 500 represents a no-nonsense bass combo that's packed full of power and practical features. It is relatively compact for what it is, and features a versatile four-band EQ. Among the less standardized features, you have a fully optimized drive section which allows you to tap into some sweet overdrive if you feel like it. The 500 Watts of available power make the Rumble 500 a solid choice both for those who need a good practice amp, as well as those who want something reliable to gig with. In terms of bang for the buck, this may be one of the best balanced combos on the market at the moment. Overall, you can't really go wrong with this one.

TC Electronic BH250

TC Electronic BH250

Controls:4.7 Stars
Features:4.9 Stars
Performance:4.7 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

TC Electronic has applied some of their well-known solutions from the guitar effects pedal segment to their bass amps. The result of this effort comes in form of BH250 micro head. With 250 Watts of power, it is a very capable platform for both gigging and home use. However, once we add the incredible TonePrint technology to the mix, we get an amp that can give you any type of tone you can imagine. There are hundreds of effects and presets to go through, all of which are controlled using the TonePrint knob found on the amp. If you want to get the dry tone only, all you have to do is turn this knob all the ways counter-clockwise.

Behringer Ultrabass BXD3000H

Behringer Ultrabass BXD3000H

Controls:4.6 Stars
Features:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.7 Stars
Value:5 Stars

Behringer's Ultrabass series of bass amps has always been the safe haven for budget users. One of their latest additions to the series, the Ultrabass BXD3000H, follows the tradition set by its predecessors. However, this time around, we are looking at a pretty powerful setup with a lot of tone-shaping potential. On top of all that, the whole amp comes in at only 8 lbs. Among the interesting features offered by the BXD3000H, the 7-band graphic EQ has got to be the most prominent one. Aside from giving it a rather vintage vibe, the addition of a graphic EQ allows you to accurately dial in a pretty good tone. Overall, BXD3000H is a great option for budget users.

Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 50

Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 50

Body And Neck:4.4 Stars
Hardware:4.6 Stars
Sound:4.8 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Orange Crush Bass 50 is by far one of their most balanced models to date. This thing combines experience and lessons learned from Orange's flagship models, delivering a very tasty tone with just enough power where we can call it versatile. With a ported cab and a semi analog circuitry, you're bound to experience some of that punchy low end that's tight, powerful and well defined. On top of that, Orange has included a number of features that make the Crush Bass 50 that more flexible. By this, we mean the fully functioning FX loop as well as an on-board tuner. Perfect for home practice or studio use, you can definitely use Crush Bass 50 for light gigging as well.

Vox Pathfinder

Vox Pathfinder

Controls:4.4 Stars
Features:4.5 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars

Vox Pathfinder series pushes the practice segment of bass amplifiers to a whole new level. Featuring that classic Vox design, this compact combo represents a pretty simple yet capable solution. The amp delivers 10 Watts of power through a pair of 5-inch Vox Bulldog speakers. Despite their size, these transducers were customvoiced to provide a deep reaching bass tone. Pathfinder has proven to be a very good recording platform as well, allowing you to record some pretty awesome bass tones. On top of it all, it comes at a price that's just too good to ignore. In the standard Vox nature, they've also included a built-in overdrive section that allows you to spice things up when necessary.

Combo Or a Bass Head?

Choosing between a combo or a head is often a tough choice. Luckily for us, manufacturers often have both variants available for a specific bass amp model. The general rule of thumb is to get an amp head if you are looking for optimal performance. That isn’t to say that there aren’t some pretty powerful combos out there. On the contrary. Combos are somewhat less versatile in nature since most of them are limited to the speakers you get in the cab. With heads, you have all the freedom to pairwhatever speaker cab you want. The only real issue here is the price. Decent heads don’t come cheap, even though you can get a versatile one for less than $300. With that said, you also need to factor in the price of the speaker cab.

How Much Power Is Enough Power?

Figuring out what kind of power output you need is one of the harder tasks you’ll have to deal with as a bass player. Bass amps generally need more power than guitar amps, hence even a 300 Watt unit might not be enough for some applications. If you are going for serious stage use, anything from 500 Watt to 1000 Watt will get you plenty of flexibility. Once you dive under that 500 Watt mark, things become pretty case specific. There are 250 Watt amps which pack a decent punch, but also 400 Watt ones that come across as weak. Try to imagine what kind of venues you will be playing, and use that info to determine the necessary power.

Conclusion

Bass amplifiers are plentiful thanks to the Class D units that have settled into this segment of the amp market. You can pretty much find cheap powerful rigs that will get you a lot of potential. The amps on this list are by far some of the best on the market, so no matter which one you choose, you can’t really go wrong.


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