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Fender Rumble 200

Bass Combo Amplifier

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Best Budget Bass Combo Amps

Fender Rumble 200


Fender's Rumble 200 is the best budget bass amp for most people. With 200 watts output power, unique tone shaping controls not found on similarly priced amps, you get a wide range of playing styles with enough oomph to hold your own against pretty much anything.


What Makes A Great Budget Bass Amp?

We want a bass amp that is loud enough to gig with, sounds great, and has a proven track record of reliability.

Simple, right?

We also want something that can hold down the low end in most live situations, including clubs, with the possibility of one or more loud guitars.

If budget is a factor, then we want to stay under $500.00.

Who Should Buy This Amp?

If you already know what you like, then you probably already have your favorite amp. Go with that one.

But if you want a reliable bass rig and aren’t sure what to get, our pick will give you flexibility, reliability, great sound and years of service.

If you are a keyboard or synth player, these will also work well for that, too. However, you might want to check out our best keyboard amp guide for more tailored choices.

Our Pick

We like the Fender Rumble 200 because, at 200 Watts, it is plenty loud enough for most small and club gig situations, and sounds great enough on it’s own.

One reviewer on Musician’s Friend noted:

This amp is truly awesome. Tone is deep and luxurious, yet responsive and strong. It’s such a departure from the older fender amps!! Not even in the same category. One of the first purchases in a long time, where I feel like i got an AMAZING deal!! Super powerful lows, and makes my passive basses sound like heaven!! Good for any style….very adaptable. I was going to add the 1×15 cab, but I honestly feel like I don’t need it unless I play something huge! Just my opinion, of course….but man, this is excellent in my book! Oh yeah, and it weighs 36 lbs!!! Are you kidding me?! It’s ridiculously easy to tote around!

How about reliability? Over at Guitar Center, a reviewer posted:

This is a solid bass amp. I have yet to find the “catch” or the Achilles’ Heel with the thing. The tone is warm with present mids, the EQ is powerful and the input gain provides a useful range of hardness to the tone. The power amp is muscular with fast transient control of the speaker and it runs cool even when worked hard. Digital switching power amps seem to have matured at this point in their history and this one doesn’t do anything weird or cold / hard to the sound. The speaker doesn’t want to get flappy. The cabinet seems tightly loaded and tuned for the traditional bass fundamental, not super low subwoofer wind. FOH engineers like the DI output and usually run it flat, satisfied with what they hear. [..] I’ve used mine regularly for several months and it seems rugged enough. The 37 pound weight and compact size are really great.

Other Notable Bass Amps

The Fender Rumble 200 is a fantastic general purpose bass amp that will not disappoint, whether you’re playing electric bass or acoustic bass guitar.

However, there are a couple of other exceptional amps we like, especially if you already know what kind of music you will be playing.

The Metal Option

If you know you will primarily playing metal, most forums inevitably discuss the Peavey Max 115. You’ll get an extra 100 watts of power (300 watts total!), all for just under $300. That will get you up and running quickly! Later, should you need to squeeze more sound and presence, pick up a bass preamp for additional sound shaping and overdrive.

The Deep Bass Option

The TC Electronics BG250 will shatter your windows with it’s fierce rumble. Seriously. If you’re sure you’ll be playing some funk, reggae, hip-hop, dance or deep house, the TC Electronics BG250 is the one to get.

Other Solutions? Go Direct!

Have you thought about skipping the amp altogether and going direct into the PA? It’s not as uncommon as you might think.

If your band already has a capable PA system, or if you generally play gigs with a house PA, you can plug directly into that.

Geddy Lee, the bassist/vocalist for prog-rock outfit Rush did this for many years on tour.

Rush’s guitarist Alex Lifeson would have his wall of amps. But at one point Geddy Lee started running his basses direct into the PA and completely relying on monitors so the wall of bass amps became unnecessary. He explained that since the guitarist had zillions of effects and a wall of amps, he wanted his bass to sound as natural and anaffected as possible.

Funny story:

Since Geddys side of the stage was now completely empty, he and his crew thought it would be funny to put washers and dryers up there instead. It caught on and became a running joke on tour. On the 2009 tour they traded the washers and dryers for chicken basting vending machines. (At the time of writing he has begun endorsing Orange Amps, so he’s back to a wall of amps again.)

geddy-lee-chickensChicken basting vending machines, via Wikipedia

Going direct is a smart choice for a couple reasons:

First, you have less gear to lug, as those bass amps are super heavy.

Second, with less gear there is less room for malfunction, as the signal pretty much goes straight into the PA.

Some bass players I know do both. In the instance there is not a great house PA or monitor system, they bring an amp. When they know they have a reliable house PA to play through, they’ll leave the bass amp at home and play direct.

If direct is something in which you are interested, here’s some of the best reviewed bass preamps at Guitar Center.

Conclusion

All the bass amps recommended above will get you up and running quickly, and – as customers and professional reviewers have noted – will give you lots of flexibility and plenty of room to expand. Get a great electric bass, acoustic bass, pair it with a great instrument cable, and you’ll pretty much be invincible.


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Best Budget Bass Combo Amps

Fender Rumble 200

Best Budget Bass Combo Amps

Important Specs

Weight 34.5 lbs. (15.65 kg)
Height 23" (58.42 cm)
Width 19" (48.26 cm)
Depth 14" (35.56 cm)
Output Power 200 watts
Speaker One - 15” Eminence Ceramic Magnet Speaker
Impedance 4 ohms
Horn/Tweeter One - Compression Tweeter with On/Off Switch
Inputs One - 1/4"
Aux Input 1/8" Stereo
Line Out One - (XLR with Ground Lift)
Effects Loop 1/4" - (Send/Return)
Headphone Jack 1/8" Stereo
Footswitch Not Included
more specs

Synopsis:

Fender's Rumble 200 is the best budget bass amp for most people. With 200 watts output power, unique tone shaping controls not found on similarly priced amps, you get a wide range of playing styles with enough oomph to hold your own against pretty much anything.

TC Electronic BG250

Rattle Your Windows Pick

TC Electronic BG250

The TC's sound (250 watts) is big enough to play medium sized shows with, with an incredibly deep bass response that will rattle your windows. If you know you are going to be playing deep bass and contemporary sounds, get this.

Peavey Max 115 II

The Metal Pick

Peavey Max 115 II

Peavey might not have as much name cachet as our other picks, but this thing, at 300 watts, will give your guitar players some serious competition. Pair this with a bass preamp and you'll pretty much own on stage (it'll keep up just fine without an outboard preamp though). At just under $300, this is the metal bass amp to get.

- M
Originally published: March 6th, 2015

Important Specs

Weight 34.5 lbs. (15.65 kg)
Height 23" (58.42 cm)
Width 19" (48.26 cm)
Depth 14" (35.56 cm)
Output Power 200 watts
Speaker One - 15” Eminence Ceramic Magnet Speaker
Impedance 4 ohms
Horn/Tweeter One - Compression Tweeter with On/Off Switch
Inputs One - 1/4"
Aux Input 1/8" Stereo
Line Out One - (XLR with Ground Lift)
Effects Loop 1/4" - (Send/Return)
Headphone Jack 1/8" Stereo
Footswitch Not Included
more specs



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