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Ultimate Guide to Best Bass Combo Amp for Gigging & Practice

bass amp combo

The best bass combo amp offers excellent bass amplification and low-frequency handling. It also must add character to produce a good tone through essential features such as tone shaping, good projection, connectivity, portability, and more.

In this guide, we have compiled a list of the best combo bass amps based on our expert analysis of the most recent review and rating data that we have compiled – further details can be found in the methodology section.

For this edition, we have set a price ceiling of $1000 and divided the 2 price brackets into 5 tiers, recommending only the highest-rated amps in each tier.

The Best Bass Amp – Top Rated Picks of 2024

Author & Contributors

Best Bass Combo Amps Under $200

Fender Rumble 25 Bass Combo Amp - 25W

96 out of 100. Incorporating 3900+ ratings and reviews.
At publication time, this was the Highest Rated Combo Bass Amp Under $200


  • Limited projection - not powerful enough to play live with most bands without going through a PA
  • Onboard overdrive is not that impressive


  • Good tone options with its contour switch
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Can accommodate other instruments other than bass, like guitars or keyboards.

Fender is a renowned brand that is famous for producing high-quality guitars and amplifiers. Over time, the company has diversified its offerings and expanded into markets outside its famed market. One such market is beginner-level equipment, which is aimed at new users.

The Fender Rumble 25 is a piece of equipment that is specifically designed for beginners. Despite its entry-level status, it is a powerful tool that can prove to be an asset for both novice and experienced bassists alike.

After being featured in many of our beginner bass amp guides for over 5 years, this amp still holds its position as the top-rated bass combo amp for this guide.

Bass practice amps are essential for bass players of any skill level, and this can serve that role nicely. Note that this combo amp won't keep up with a full band playing loudly.

In this price range, the key selling point of this amp is that it has a contour switch. A contour switch changes the contour of a certain frequency range, generally the mid-range. Without getting too technical, this feature basically changes the voicing of an amp which in turn gives you a much wider variety of tones on hand.

This flexibility is rare for an amp in this price range, though this feature does become more common in higher price tiers. If you're looking for a stage bass amp, its bigger sibling, the Rumble 500, has a power amp with more volume and features.

Considering its affordable price, the Fender Rumble 25 is good at what it does. It provides you with a compact and convenient grab-and-go personal bass amp. It is the best bass practice amp in the entry-level price range.


  • 25-Watts
  • 8” Speaker
  • Controls: Master Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble, Overdrive, Contour
  • AUX-In and Headphone-Out
  • Weight: 21 lbs.
Rating Source Highlights
WebsiteSource*Rating Value
YouTubeJoe Hart90/100
GuitarSquidRussel Wolfe90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


Hartke HD15 Bass Combo Amp - 15W

95 out of 100. Incorporating 425+ ratings and reviews.
At publication time, this was the Second Highest Rated Combo Bass Amp Under $200,


  • Built-in limiter prevents beginners from damaging the amp
  • Not for use in bands


  • Offers clear, punchy tones, especially for its size
  • Built-in limiter prevents beginners from damaging the amp
  • Suitable as a practice amp or for smaller sessions
  • Simple and easy to use

Hartke is considered one of the best manufacturers of bass guitar amps. Their products are highly regarded and can compete with any other in the industry. 

However, in this latest edition of our gear guide, the Hartke HD15 fell one point from its previous top rank. Despite this, it still maintains the quality you'd expect from more expensive amplifiers produced by the company. This makes it a great choice if you're looking for a practice or entry-level amp within the under $200 price range.

The key selling point of this bass combo amp is that it features a built-in limiter. This limiter helps to limit peaks in volume that could damage your amp. This is huge for beginner musicians who may not understand what levels of volume, or in certain cases playing dynamics, can damage an amplifier.

Although it's a really good personal practice amp, it's a bit quieter than the Fender Rumble 25 and definitely not loud enough for jamming with a band unless you put it through a PA system.

The AUX input combined with its headphone output are handy practice features that let you jam along with your favorite tracks. However it does not come with any effects, and while that may be a limiting factor depending on the genre you play, it does help to keep the price low.

All in all, the Hartke HD15 is the best small bass amp for those who are looking for a budget practice amp.


  • 15-Watts
  • 6.5” Speaker
  • Controls: Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble
  • AUX-In and Headphone-Out
  • Weight: 16 lbs.
Rating Source Highlight
WebsiteSource*Rating Value
MusicRadarMike Brooks100/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Best Bass Amp Under $300

Fender Rumble 40 V3 Bass Combo Amplifier

96 out of 100. Incorporating 1950+ ratings and reviews.
At publication time, this was the Highest Rated Combo Bass Amp between $200 and $300.


  • Cranking it up affects the tone
  • Limited onboard controls for extensive tone shaping


  • Lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry around for rehearsals or gigs
  • Versatile tone shaping: Standard 3 band EQ, 3 voicing palette, and overdrive channel
  • Good sound quality at an affordable price

For this edition, the best bass combo amp in the $200 to $300 range is the Fender Rumble 40. It has surpassed the Fender Rumble LT25, which was previously the top-rated amp in this category.

Both amps have a rating of 96, competing with some of the most popular amps in this list. However, the Rumble 40 has higher sales compared to the LT25, with a margin of 19.69%. This indicates that the Fender Rumble 40 not only has good performance but is also highly preferred by customers.

For its features, the Rumble 40 V3 has a 40-watt amp, and a 10” speaker (slightly bigger than the LT25's 8"). This means it's got enough power to keep up with a band and handle small to medium-sized venues.

It comes with a 4-band EQ and a 3-button voicing palette. So, whether you're into a bright, punchy tone or something more vintage and warm, this amp gives you enough flexibility to tweak it to your liking.

Regarding connectivity, it's got an XLR line output. Hook it up to a PA system and give your sound an extra juice. Plus, there's also an aux input for connecting to your phone or laptop, and a headphone jack for silent practice sessions, which is always handy.

Overall, the Fender Rumble 40 V3 is a bass combo amp ideal for small to medium-sized venues. It's got enough power and versatility to handle your intimate gigging needs.


  • 40-Watts
  • 10” Speaker
  • Three-button voicing section (bright, contour, vintage)
  • Controls: Gain, Bright On/Off, Contour On/Off, Vintage On/Off, Drive, Overdrive On/Off, Level, Bass, Low-Mid, High-Mid, Treble, Master Volume
  • AAUX-In, Headphone-Out, Footswitch, XLR line out with ground lift
  • Weight: 18 lbs.
Rating Source Highlight
WebsiteSource*Rating Value
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


Best Bass Amp Under $500

Hartke HD150 Bass Combo Amp - 150W

94 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.
At publication time, this was the Highest Rated Combo Bass Amp between $300 and $500.


  • Very heavy - weighs twice as much as similar 1x15 bass combos & needs two people to lift it safely
  • Lack of certain output options, like a 1/4" jack for an extension cabinet


  • The tweeter gives it a detailed high-end
  • The 15" woofer moves a lot of air
  • Wheels make it easier to move around
  • You can get a surprisingly wide range of tones using the 7-band EQ
  • Completely gig worthy

Hartke is a well-known brand for producing great-value bass amps, and the Hartke HD150 combo is another good example of this.

Earning the top spot for the best bass combo amp between $300 and $500, this amp has a 150W amplifier with a 15" speaker and a 1" tweeter. These features are quite unique for an amp in this price range.

The addition of a tweeter, paper, and aluminum cone on the speakers gives this amp a bit more high-end emphasis, which works with many styles of bass playing. For more control over your sound, Hartke equipped the HD150 with a 7-band EQ.

Other features include a built-in limiter and effects loop, and it even has built-in rolling casters for added mobility.

This bass amp combo has a lot more trebly sparkle than the other ones above. The combination of 7-band EQ and a dedicated tweeter really allows you to create great scooped sounds or to simply jack up the high-end as you hear in some slap playing. I've seen other reviews that say the top end is too bright, but that's probably just their personal taste, as I find it quite pleasing. You can also tone it down to get something that sounds a bit like an upright bass.

The big 15" speaker moves a lot of air. This amp has no trouble keeping up with a loud band, and you can even gig with a full band in small to medium venues without having to go through the PA.

The downside is the weight. While it's easy enough to move around on its casters, it's a two-person job lifting it in and out of the band van.

If you're looking for a good-value 150W stage amp, then do check out the Hartke HD150.


  • 150-Watts
  • 15” HyDrive Speaker, 1" Tweeter
  • Controls: Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble, 7-Band EQ
  • AUX-In, Headphone-Out, Line-Out, Effects Loop
  • Weight: 66 lbs.
Rating Source Highlights
WebsiteSource*Rating Value
YouTubeJ H92/100
Talk Basscgull80/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


Best Bass Amp Under $750

Fender Rumble 200 Bass Combo Amp - 200W

95 out of 100. Incorporating 450+ ratings and reviews.
At publication time, this was the Highest Rated Combo Bass Amp between $500 and $750.


  • I'm not a fan of the Vintage setting
  • Thin sound quality when pushed to extreme volumes


  • Clear and punchy tones suitable for both bass or keyboard
  • Horn feature that can be turned on and off for high frequencies
  • Light enough for 1 person to lift
  • Good for stages from small to big
  • Versatile tone controls

The Fender Rumble 200 is an amplifier that is similar to others in the series, but it has an additional interesting feature. The Rumble 200 comes equipped with a tweeter, which is not present in other regular Rumble amps but is found in more expensive models like the Rumble Stage as well.

This feature allows the bass amp combo to reproduce clear treble frequencies, resulting in a sound that is clearer than that produced by amps that only have a 15" woofer. Basically, the tweeter is like a tiny speaker that adds some high-end sparkle to the sound. But if you do not want a brighter sound, you can simply turn the tweeter off.

In case you hadn’t guessed from the name, the Rumble 200 packs 200 watts of power. Given the wattage, you have enough volume for mid-size venues without needing to DI to the PA. It also has an XLR out in case you need to hook straight into a PA for bigger venues.

Other features include an effects loop, AUX-in, and headphone-out.

Unlike the Hartke HD150, one person can lift this amp on their own, and the handle on top feels secure. And even when it's light, construction feels solid and I have no doubt that this bass amp will be working reliably for many years.

It has a surprisingly thick tone even with the tweeter on, and it moves plenty of air. This makes the bright setting sound really modern. I'm not a huge fan of its vintage bass tone setting, which kills the top end and gives it more of a mid-range voicing, but that's just personal taste. 

Still, it gets close to the classic bass tones that many are looking for. If nothing else, the EQ is versatile enough to let you sculpt the sound the way you want it.

If you are looking for the best bass amp for gigging with good portability and projection, then the Fender Rumble bass combo amp should be your top pick among the many bass amp deals available.


  • 200-Watts
  • 15” Speaker
  • Controls: Bass, Low Mid, High Mid, Treble, Gain, Drive, Level, Master, Contour, Bright, Vintage
  • AUX-Input, Headphone-Output, Footswitch, XLR Line Out, Effects Loop
  • Weight: 34.5 lbs.
Rating Source Highlights
WebsiteSource*Rating Value
YouTubeKevin D'Abramo94/100
GuitarSquidMaurice Lundgren87/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


Best Bass Amp Under $1000

Fender Rumble Stage 800 Bass Combo Amp - 800W

95 out of 100. Incorporating 275+ ratings and reviews.
At publication time, this was the Highest Rated Combo Bass Amp between $750 and $1000.


  • Complicated - learning to understand all the features takes time
  • Not for you if you don't like navigating menus on an amp
  • Unreliable Bluetooth function


  • Rich and versatile range of voicings with customizable tones
  • The acoustic models are quite good
  • The effects are so good you can get rid of your pedalboard
  • Sufficient volume to perform with a band

The Fender Rumble Stage 800 is the most expensive and feature-packed bass combo amp in this guide. It comes with digital sound processing that offers a wide range of amp models and effects. This means that you can use this amp as a complete bass rig.

You can choose from a variety of genre- and tone-specific presets and apply over 40 different bass effects.

To enhance the digital processing, the amp has a switchable HF compression tweeter. This allows you to achieve trebles that are otherwise not possible to get from a regular bass combo amp.

To help you get a good handle on all its features, the amp comes with an LCD color display along with the necessary buttons and an encoder dial. You can also wirelessly tweak the settings of the amp via the Fender Tone app. Speaking of wireless, this amp also has Bluetooth compatibility and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Other noteworthy features include a 60-second looper, bundled footswitch, USB direct recording output, and XLR line output.

One drawback of having all these features is that it's quite time-consuming trying to understand them all. Take a look at the manual, and you'll see what I mean: you can get a bit lost scrolling through the menu, but you get used to it after a little time.

While many amps provide some kind of modeling these days, this one has two modes for sounding like an acoustic amp. I quite like the acoustic model, which is based on their Acoustasonic Amps - it doesn't make your Fender P bass sound like an upright, but it does have a nice character to it. It does, however, have an Acoustic Sim model, which does provide a sound that's heading in that direction.

In fact, I'm prepared to go further and say that all the effects are pretty good. I really think this amp has reached the point where you can do away with most of your pedals, although you'll want to keep your preamp if you use one. Even the looper is fairly useful, although I won't be getting rid of my RC-300 anytime soon, but then you don't need a lot of features for bass looping (at least I don't).

At 800 watts, it already has a lot of power for most venues. Yet it can go even louder by connecting this bass combo amp to external speaker cabinets.

All in all, the Fender Rumble Stage 800 is more than just a bass combo amp; it's an all-in-one rig that is well worth the investment.


  • 800-Watts
  • 2 x 10” Woofer and Compression Tweeter (Switchable)
  • Controls: Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Master, LCD Display, Buttons, Rotary Encoder
  • AUX-Input, Headphone-Output, Footswitch, Line Out, Effects Loop Send/Return, Footswitch, Extension Speaker
  • Weight: 39 lbs
Rating Source Highlights
WebsiteSource*Rating Value
YouTubeSounds Like Ben94/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


Things to Consider When Buying a Bass Combo Amp

Every manufacturer uses a lot of jargon in their ads, and most of the time, they are purposefully obfuscated or exaggerated to make a product seem more attractive than it really is. In all reality, bass amplification is actually pretty simple. So long as you know a few simple terms, you’ll be able to get a general idea of whether or not an amp will be a good fit for you.

Power Rating (How Loud Your Amp Should Be)

Volume is generally measured in wattage because the volume an amplifier will produce is closely tied to its wattage rating. However, with that in mind, volume is a funny thing. More volume doesn’t necessarily mean an amp will be more audible, and some types of amps may be significantly more audible than their wattage rating would imply.

Though, as a general rule, a bass player is going to want to double the wattage of the guitar players in their band if they’re playing larger venues (bars and clubs). For example, if you have two guitarists each running 100-watt solid-state amplifiers, you’re going to want 400 watts (100*2*2=400) to have enough volume to compete with the other instrument(s) in your band without your amp distorting. For smaller venues, like coffee shops, you’re probably not going to need more than 100 or 200 watts. Of course, how you EQ your amp, speaker size, and how the speaker(s) are designed will also have an impact.

It is also worth pointing out that having a tube preamp is not as hyped on bass amps as they are on guitar amps. Many of the best bass amps don't utilize tube circuitry.

Bass String Gauges can also impact how loud strings respond to playing.

Tone Controls

Tone controls are a must-have on any amplifier, so virtually every amplifier includes them. We’ve just listed the most common EQ and tone-shaping controls below for ease of reading. Note that some or a few bass amps come with expanded controls, including 4-band EQ or even 7-band EQ. You can get more tone-shaping options by utilizing a pedal or processor that allows for pre-and post-EEQ adjustments.

Treble controls the high-end frequencies. More treble equals more clarity because high-end frequencies travel through the air more easily. However, use this in moderation so you don’t overcrowd the mix.

Mid is the middle ground between bass and treble. It adds more body to the sound, but it also creates a clear voice. Be especially careful with how much midrange you dial in because the guitar is a mid-range focused instrument. Too much mid-bass will create a mix that feels flabby and unfocused.

As expected, much of a bass amp's sound quality has to do with how it handles bass frequencies. Bass makes the sound fuller, and because the bass guitar (obviously) is a bass-focused instrument, it’s an incredibly important frequency to have control over. While beginners may want the most bass possible, too much bass can still make your instrument sound muddy.

Treble, mids and bass frequencies usually get separated into three distinct groups. This is solely for ease of use because these three groups are constructed to allow us to manipulate sound more easily. For example, when you turn a treble control higher, you actually boost a range of frequencies rather than just one.

A scoop (which is sometimes known as a mid-shift or contour) changes the base frequencies that are altered when you manipulate the mid-range control. Don’t concern yourself with the technicalities of this right now. Rather, just know that if an amp has a scoop or mid-shift control, you have more sounds available to you.

Effects and Amp Modeling

ore and more amps these days are coming with built-in effects. Some include a variety of different distortion models (based on famous stomp boxes) and modulation effects. And while amp modeling is not as pervasive compared to guitar amps, there are now some bass amps that offer this tone flexibility.

With that being said, there is sometimes a tradeoff present when an amp has built-in effects. When resources are spent on effects, other aspects of the amp may suffer. This can either mean that the amp is built with lower-quality materials, ships with a smaller speaker, or is more expensive than an amp of similar quality that lacks these effects. There's also the downside of some of the amp models and effects being sub-par or impractical for bass guitar use.

So, whether or not you should look for an amp with built-in DSP really depends on what it is you’re going to be doing. Amp modeling and effects aren’t used with the bass to the extent that they are with the guitar, so while the added flexibility may be attractive, don’t think you need effects to sound better.

Should you choose to go with an amp without built-in effects, we would still recommend that you consider getting a tuner pedal and a compressor. Another option is to get a Bass Preamp with built-in effects.

Speaker Size

At the risk of oversimplifying the topic, a bigger speaker will produce more bass frequencies and give your tone more depth. A smaller speaker will have a more focused and punchy tone. A 12” speaker is considered to be a happy medium between the two extremes.

When thinking about which speaker size will best suit your needs, you first have to realize that bassists get great results with everything from 10” to 15” speakers. It’s not a question of what genre you play, your technique, or even your instrument. It’s all about what you want to hear.

Though with that in mind, should you purchase an amp with a speaker that is smaller than 10", you may find that your tone is a bit thin. This generally isn’t a huge issue because amps with sub-10” speakers are generally for beginners rather than performing or recording musicians. However, it is something to keep in mind.

A home practice amp with a small speaker is perfect for low volume practice, and if you want quiet practice, use headphones, or go for headphone amp. Small amps are also better for a home studio setup.

Built-in DI

An XLR DI output allows you to plug your amp directly into a P.A. console. This feature is useful because it allows the front-of-house sound technician or engineer to shape the volume and frequency response of your amplifier. The impact the inclusion (or lack) of this feature will have on your experience as a musician is largely going to depend on the venues you play and whether or not you need to go through a PA system.

If you rarely gig or do small gigs exclusively, you’re not going to stand to gain much from this feature. However, it can be a lifesaver if you’re playing larger gigs because you don’t have to worry about miking an amp.

A DI also allows you to plug your amp directly into a recording interface, which makes digital recording easier if you don’t have a wide selection of microphones on hand.

Many amplifiers state that they have “XLR-Out” or something along these lines. This also qualifies as DI, so if you see a manufacturer say “XLR-Out” or "DI,” know that you can plug your amp into a P.A.

You can also buy a separate DI Box or Bass Preamp with a DI built-in.


With their big woofers and cabinets, combo bass amps are generally heavy. Thankfully, many manufacturers do put careful thought into designing their amps to be portable. Some do it by utilizing lightweight materials; others focus on improving the handles; and some even add rolling casters to the amp itself. If you're planning on playing regularly in different venues, you will have to balance your volume and bass tone requirements with sensible portability.

This guide is focused on combo bass amps, but there are other types of bass amps available. Including compact amp heads like the Darkglass Electronics Microtubes. Those who want to travel light can also go for a bass preamp like the Aguilar Tone Hammer and go straight to PA.

Modern Connectivity

For those who record at home, getting a bass amp combo that can simplify the recording process can be a big plus. This is where bass amps with USB recording output come in as a very convenient solution. Other modern technologies, like Bluetooth connectivity, can make streaming tracks more convenient, which in turn can help improve your overall practice and jamming experience. Old-school connectivity like Aux input and headphones out is still essential, especially if you want to do the silent practice. Since the low-frequency sound of bass guitars is hard to contain, it's best to use a headphone amp for quiet practice.

Are Combo Amps Good for Bass Guitars?

Combo amps combines the amplifier circuitry with a speaker in one cabinet. This is a type of amp that is ready to use, removing the need for speaker matching. This amp type is perfect for beginners who are learning the ropes, and can also benefit pros who just want to plug and play their bass. On stage, most professionals prefer bass amp heads, as they usually offer more power, tweaking, and connectivity options.

Can Guitar Amps be used for Bass Guitars?

While it can work, I strongly advice not to plug your bass into a guitar amp. Bass guitars require more low frequency response, which guitar amps are not designed to handle. This means you won't get the full sound of your bass, and you will end up damaging your guitar amp. A keyboard amp with their wider frequency range can be a good alternative, but it won't perform better than a dedicated bass amp.

Best Bass Amp Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2017. This current edition is published on May 12, 2024.

We started by compiling a list of bass amps (excluding bass head amps) with good ratings from US based retailers in the sub $1000 price range. We ended up with 60 combo bass amps from popular brands like Gallien Krueger, Hartke, Fender, Ampeg, Orange, and more. All these amps are readily available from major online retailers in the USA. We then collated reviews, ratings, recommendations, and forum discussions about each one and processed the data with the Gearank algorithm to produce a rating score out of 100 for each amp. We analyzed just over 22,767 sources during this process. Finally, we selected the highest-rated options in each price bracket above to recommend. For more information about our methods, please read How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

As a music director, I have to learn, play and teach bass parts to our team of musicians. And while I mainly play guitar, I've enjoyed playing bass on many occasions, usually to sub when the bassist is absent. My favorite bass is a decades old P-bass clone from the '70s, called the Yamaha Pulser PB-400. It has been used by generations of musicians at our church and it still plays and sounds great. I also enjoy playing my brother's 5-string Yamaha TRBX 305, which is a big departure to a traditional 4-string P-bass.


Jerome Arcon: Co-Writer.
Alden Acosta: Product research.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.


Main/Top Image: Produced by based on a photograph in the public domain.

The videos above have been embedded in accordance with YouTube's Terms of Service.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

8 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to Best Bass Combo Amp for Gigging & Practice”

  1. I really wish manufactures would be forced spec the amp’s SPL (Sound Pressure Level or volume) rather than watts. To compare watts you need to know the efficiency of the driver. Its like light bulbs, my 17 watt LED lamp is much brighter than my 60 watt incandescent, so now they rate lamps by Lumens.

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