Bass Players: your opinion is needed

here is the info:

Mr. Baboon is a drummer. It is his passion.
He has a bass guitar (it’s “ok” in quality he says to me) that he plays around with.
Mr. Baboon has a birthday coming up.
I have not purchased a gift yet.
I asked why he doesn’t play the bass more and he said: it’s no fun without an amp (he left it with a pal in CA when we moved).

The Bright Idea:

A Bass Amp for a birthday gift!

so tell me:

how much do they run?
is it better to let him pick one out or is there an "industry’ standard?

There is a Guitar Center and a Mars Music nearby to shop at.
Could you give me your opinions on Bass amps?


I’m not a bass player but I know a few of them :D. Anyway IMO it would be best to let him pick it out for himself. All musicians are picky and usually want their own sound. I’m sure you could get one for as little as $100 if he’s just gonna play for fun. Happy Birthday to Mr. Baboon btw :).

I will echo the opinion of dreamer in that you should let him help out with the selection of the amp. As far as cost is concerned, it will range wildly depending on the amp. If you are against tipping him off by asking which specific amp to buy, you could at least find out the basics…
[ul][li]What wattage does he desire? (how loud should it get?)[/li][li]Are there any brands he likes more than others?[/li]Does he require any sort of onboard effects?[/ul]

I’m a bass player. Amps run in price from about a 150 to, well, a lot more. It depends on what Mr Baboon’s intention for use will be. If it’s just for playing around with at home, you can get something in the 150 to 300 range. Here’s some web links to check out:



Make sure the amplifier volume level goes to 11and not just 10 like the cheaper ones. It costs a little more it’s worth it.

Yup. Like said above, musicians are picky about their gear.

I would reccomend a gift card so he can pick one out on his own.

I’m a guitarist, not a bassist, but although I agree with the esteemed posters who say that musos are picky, I’d have to add that even a low-end amp is going to sound better than no amp.

(Actually, now I’ve put that in writing, I have heard amps which probably weren’t better than nothing, but they’re few and far between, and were generally not ‘name’ brands).

Why don’t you approach the guys in your local music shop? Explain the situation, see if they’ll demo you a few amps. Maybe they’ll offer a week’s trial or something?

Good luck…


Can’t be done successfully. I am a guitar player and I will say that I would MUCH rather just be given permission from my wife to go out and buy a guitar than have her go pick one out. Musical instruments are VERY personal items.

You put him in a bad spot if you get one he doesn’t like. He’s not going to say “This sucks, lets get a different one” He is going to keep it because you spent a bunch of time researching it and picked it out special for him. Then he is stuck with an amp he doesn’t really like.

I know. My ex did this to me when she bought me a nice Ibanez guitar that I hate to this day. Expensive, but not something I would ever pick up and play.

If it was only a small hobby of his then picking one yourself with some assistance would be fine. I play guitar & bass but only occassionally and not very serious. While I would be picky about an instrument as a gift, I would be very flexible with an amp.

But…music is Mr. Baboon’s passion.

Take him shopping to one of the music stores (or maybe he knows of a different place). Give him a spending limit (around $250) and let him go wild. He will definitely enjoy this.

One thought, being that it’s just for fun, you might look into going to a pawn shop. Sometimes you can get a deal. $0.02 worth from a ex-bass playing cheap barstard.

Thanks for all the input!

I wasn’t sure if an amp was something that was “personal” musically or not. I wasn’t sure if an amp is amp, if you know what I mean.
Shows what I know!

Last night, I told Mr. Babs that “someone on the dope” had posed a question about a bass amp and since he was thinking of getting one, did he have any input.

He started to tell me all this stuff and then he ended the conversation by saying:

but you know, I think I am going to wait on the amp for a bit. I have been wanting that snare for a while. I think that is what I will get.

now then, whether he said that as a hint, I am not sure. but I DO know what ‘that’ snare is that he is refering to.

So I think the best bet is to get him the snare and let him get the amp with any birthday moneys he may get.

Thanks again!

So…as a certified member of G.A.S. (Gear Aquisition Syndrome) I have to know…

What snare?

He wants a Stewart Copeland (Tama) snare.

THAT is easy for me to remember.

He also wants a DW, maple oiled-finished (to match the set) 12" snare.
That one needs to be special ordered and wont get here in time - so maybe that will be a nice christmas gift.

Just a thought as an individual with multiple snares.

Does he have more than one snare stand? Every now and then, I like to set up my kit with two snares. This would especially be the case if his existing snare is extremely different from the Stewart Copeland snare (wood, very deep or shallow, etc.).

Just a thought. The Tama seems like a nice snare. Get him some Puresound snare wires too. Ahhhhh, gear…

(slumps in his chair, drooling)