Understanding Bass Guitar Amplifiers

The electric bass guitar is an important part of any bands rhythm section. This stringed instrument is similar in appearance to an electric guitar; it needs an amplifier that is specially designed for the instrument. An amplifier helps the bass guitar to produce a good tone, and many options are available in this large eBay collection.

A bass guitar amplifiers function

The amp uses electricity to make the bass guitar loud enough to be heard over the other instruments. A typical amplifier will have tone controls, preamplifier, power amplifier, and a driver in the cabinet. A head unit is an amplifier without a speaker. It contains the signal processor that is used for effects and equalization. The bass amp is different from a guitar amplifier. They are specially designed to meet the needs of the bass guitar. The speaker cabinets for this amplifier are larger than one designed for a guitar. They also are made of sturdier materials to handle the higher levels of power. A bass amplifier needs to reproduce the low growl of bass at a higher sound level.

What is an amplifier cabinet made of?

The bass amplifiers cabinets are more rugged than their guitar amp counterparts. They are made of heavier wood and have a heavy-duty bracing. A cabinet will have vents or reflex ports cut into the side to improve the sound of the bass. Their pre-amplifier controls allow for a deeper frequency range to accommodate the low-level bass sound.

What is a combo amp?

A combo amp has an amplifier and one speaker in a single cabinet. These types of amps have been used since the 1920s. Many musicians use them because they are easier to transport to a rehearsal or small music venue. There are many types of new and used combo amps for the bass guitar. A lower powered amp can be used for practice sessions. Most musicians who play jazz or acoustic sets will prefer this type of amplifier. Larger sized amps are used for medium-sized concert venues. Blues and hard rock bassists will typically use a larger combo amp. Brands like Fender and Ampeg can be found on eBay.

What is a bass stack?

A bass stack can be used for larger venues. The speaker cabinets are stacked together. Each amplifier has its own head. The purpose of a bass stack is to get a higher wattage and volume out of the amplifier. This approach works better than a combo amp for larger venues. The bass stack allows the bass guitar to hit a low note without any distortion. The amps allow the musician to have better control over the sound and tone of the bass.

Who manufactures a bass amplifier?

Bass players have been using amplifiers since the 1930s. The type of bass amp depends on the music that will be played by the bass. Some manufacturers focus on one genre of music. There are others that make a general purpose amp. Some bass amplifier manufacturers include the following:

  • Fender
  • Ampeg
  • Peavey
  • Ibanez