Best Bass Amps For Church And Other Live Performances

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Finding The Best Bass Amps

Finding the best bass amp for your church or band can be a daunting task if you haven’t done so before. There are so many options on the market that it can feel overwhelming. This list of my recommendations for the best bass amps for church or other live performances is my effort to make this process a little easier for you.

Many people have different ideas about what is best. Some want the best price. Others want the best features. And hopefully, everyone wants the best sound quality.

I have been a bassist for 40 years now. I started in 1979. I have played in the Christian rock genre opening up for such notables as Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Sweet Comfort Band, Rez Band, and Darrell Mansfield. I have taken my expertise in this field and tried to distill it down into a list that will be the most helpful for you.

Before we get to the list, let me answer a few questions that people always ask when searching for a bass amp.

Questions People Ask When Searching For The Best Bass Amp

What are the best bass amp brands?

We have listed many of the top bass amp brands here in our bass amp buyers guide. However, the short list is this.

  1. Fender
  2. Peavey
  3. Gallien Krueger
  4. Ampeg
  5. Hartke

What is the best bass amp for small gigs?

Most of my peers and most of my experience is with small churches. The need for space is at a premium. It has been my experience that a small bass amp combo is the best option. You can usually get by with a 25w to 50w bass amp. You can check out the one I recommend below by clicking this link.

Is there a difference between bass amps and guitar amps?

Yes! The two major differences between guitar amps and bass amps are the speaker size and the construction of the speaker cabinet. Bass amps have larger speakers specially designed to handle the low end of the audio spectrum. The cabinets are made out of thicker materials and are designed with low-frequency audio in mind.

Do you need a special amp for bass guitar?

Yes and no. You can get by with just playing your bass through any amplifier. However it will not sound good with amplifiers that have less than 12″ speakers. It can also blow the speakers of a regular amplifier if played for long periods of time or at high volumes.

Best Bass Amps For Churches And Other Live Performances In 2019.

In deciding how to make this list of bass amps, I had to determine what criteria people would use in defining “best.” There are a lot of good bass amplifiers on the market. Having spent 40 years (Wow where did the time go?) playing bass, I felt that sound quality, ease of use, features and price were all important when determining the best bass amps. That is what is reflected in these choices below.

The Overall Best Bass Amp

In deciding which is the overall best bass amp for a church or other live performances, the scales were tipped heavier on sound quality and price. Features were not as much of a factor. I have always believed that you should try to get the most bang for your buck. So with that said, I believe the best overall bass amp is the Fender Rumble 500

Fender Rumble 500

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Fender Rumble 500 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

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Last update was on: July 23, 2019 3:48 am

You can read my complete review of the Fender Rumble 500 here.

Best Bass Combo Amp

I have always been a fan of combo amps. As a musician that traveled a lot, moving one piece of equipment vs. two was important to me. For those that use the church stage for different types of events, eliminating a piece of equipment to be moved may be a benefit. So I personally lean towards buying a bass combo amp. Just as long as you can swap out the stock speakers for a JBL or Cerwin Vega speaker if you desire.

With that in mind, my recommendation for the best bass combo amp is the Gallien Krueger MB115.

Gallien Krueger MB115

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Gallien-Krueger MB115-II 1×15" 200-Watt Bass Combo

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Last update was on: July 23, 2019 3:48 am

You can read my complete Gallien Krueger MB155 review here.

Best Bass Amp Head

Many bass players like to have a separate speaker cabinet apart from the bass amp head. There are pros to this type of amp as well. You can swap out speaker cabinets for different types and sizes of venues. You can use a different cabinet for different styles of music. For a musician that plays at church, this will enable him to just take the head home and use it with a different speaker cabinet. This can be handy since the heads are not nearly as heavy as the cabinets.

So I didn’t want to let my own preference determine your choice and I included the Aguilar AG 700 as the best bass amp head.

Aguilar AG 700

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Aguilar AG 700-700-watt Super Light Bass Head

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Last update was on: July 23, 2019 3:48 am

Read my complete review of the Aguilar AG 700 here.

Best Bass Amp Head Under 500 Dollars

I know from experience having been a pastor since 1988 that some of you are on a strict budget. So I wanted to include a great bass amp head that is under that proverbial 500 dollar mark. The Hartke TX600 is a good option for those of you that don’t have an unlimited budget.

Hartke TX600

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Hartke TX600 600 watt Class D Bass Amplifier Tube Preamp w/ Instrument,…

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Last update was on: July 23, 2019 3:48 am

Best Small Bass Amp

If you are a small church or don’t have a lot of room on your platform for large equipment, then you might be in need of a small bass amp. The amp I have chosen is small in size but still gives a good tone. The one drawback is that if you have to fill a large room with sound, then you will probably need to mic this amp with your sound system. However if you are playing in a small church or venue, it will do the job admirably. Take a listen to the sound this amp produces.

Hartke HD25

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Hartke HD25 Bass Combo

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Last update was on: July 23, 2019 3:48 am
$129.99 $164.99

You can read my complete review of the Hartke HD25 here.

Best Practice Amp For Basses

You may need a practice amp for use at home or when you are not on stage. A good practice amp will give you enough power to have a good tone so you can hear when you are snapping or popping the bass, or when you are trying to give it that smooth jazz feel.  I recommend the Ampeg BA-110 as my top choice for a practice amp.

Ampeg BA-110

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Ampeg BA110V2 BA-110V2 40W 10" Bass Combo Amplifier

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Last update was on: July 23, 2019 3:48 am

I have done a review of the Ampeg BA-210 which is a larger version of this bass amp.

Best Cheap Bass Amp Under 100 Dollars

In all honesty, I do not recommend bass amps under 100 bucks. You get what you pay for. However Fender does put out a small amp in this price range. So if you just cannot afford anything better, then this bass amp might do the trick for you. Just understand that this is not a recommendation, but just an option that I found for you.

Fender Rumble 25

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Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

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Last update was on: July 23, 2019 3:48 am

Wrapping Up This Best Bass Amps Review

Well, there you have it. My top recommendations for the best bass amps for church and other live performances. I am confident that the amps in this list will serve you well for years to come. I have included all the varieties that I can think of and I am sure you can find the best bass amp for your situation.

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Duke Taber has been a Senior Pastor of various churches since 1988. Prior to that, he was involved in the Christian rock scene opening for such notables as Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Rez Band, and once played briefly with Darrel Mansfield. Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.Currently he is serving as a Technology Consultant for Living Waters Fellowship in Mesquite Nevada