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Bass Combo Amplifiers

Buying Guide: Instrument Amplifiers
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A bass without an amp is like a sports car without an engine: sure, it may look pretty, but you won't hear much rumbling coming from under the hood. Power up your bass with a combo amplifier and you'll be cranking out the tunes faster than you can say "ignition." These all-in-one amps put you on the fast track to sounding great wherever you go, from practice in the drummer's garage to sound check at the local club. In a word, the greatest advantage of a bass combo amplifier is portability. Compared to a big, cumbersome amp head and cabinet, these boxes could even be called tiny—but they can put out some big sound. A combo amp is easy to throw in the trunk and tote from gig to gig, while offering more than enough power for small to medium venues. With the preamp and power amp built in to the single unit, you can go from "just walked in the door" to "set up and ready" before the drummer even has time to unpack his cymbals. Like most guitar amps, bass combo amplifiers come in two principal types: tube and solid-state. While the debate between the two will likely last as long as music itself, each bassist tends to have his or her own preference. Whether you prefer the mellow, warm tones of the tubes or the low-maintenance reliability and crisp sound of solid-state, it's easy to find a combo amplifier based on your preferred platform. Maybe you'd rather have a hybrid amp to claim the best of both technologies, or a modeling amp to emulate a wider variety of sounds or mix in different effects. The many choices of bass combo amplifier offer a model for any taste. Choosing the right bass combo amplifier is as simple as sorting out your priorities. What metrics are most important to you: size and portability, fit and finish, speaker type or preamp platform? A great amp will deliver the spirited sound that brings your rhythm section to life.

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