In the past (in the 80’s), low-cost bass amps were synonymous with bad quality sound output even when had purchased the best cheap bass amp.
However, bass amps under 500 are no longer a bad thing. Music has changed and changed since the 80’s.
In fact, the 80’s was an era where affordable electric guitars and basses were not common. Let alone if you wanted to use a budget bass amp, you’ll end up having bad sounds.
Now, the world of sound in general and music, in particular, has evolved and everyone wants to be that star. But to build up your confidence and train yourselves, you do not want to buy an expensive amp. You really want to get a cheap bass amp and spend countless hours using it.
When you’d be done practicing for months and you have the confidence and the skills, then you can switch to the more expensive high-class, “tip-top” amp. Read on for more information about top bass amps under 500.
1. Hartke HD25 Bass Combo
The Hartke HD25 is the right product for you to practice bass amps if you want a reliable 25-watt 8-inch bass amp with a great tone.
Featuring its HyDrive technology, this bass amp is able to deliver enhanced bass response all while maintaining very competitive market pricing.
Is a cheap bass amp good to use?
We totally understand if you don’t have the funds for a premium top-shelf bass amp. Most people don’t and if you are just starting out or tight on cash, you may be looking for the best cheap bass amp head.
Although you can use a cheap bass amp for practicing, they are not only limited to this. You can also use it to learn on and for small gigs.
If you are looking for a cheap bass amp, then we suggest you go for a combo amp, which is an amp and speaker cabinet mounted in one unit. While there is definitely a lot of junk out there, we believe you can definitely find a diamond in the rough.
The first question you should ask yourself when looking for a cheap bass amp is what your definition of cheap is.
Some people may think under $100 is cheap for an amp while others may think under $300 is cheap. So you have to figure out for yourself what you consider cheap.
Next, you should probably consider the value, which is mostly the performance to cost ratio. In general, we advise you to stick to name brands, which tend to have great tones.
Next, look for tone sculpting features built into your bass amps such as EQs, overdrives, and other voice controls. Also, you should check for headphone input and AUX-in so you can run headphones or music through your amp.
Finally, build quality is important as you will likely be transporting your cheap bass amp around. Ideally, you want an amp that can handle a beating and withstand some small drops.
Additionally, make sure the speakers are well protected as they can easily collect dust. You should also pick the desired speaker size as it impacts the frequency range of your bass. It goes without saying that larger speakers will be able to produce a wider audio frequency spectrum and lower lows.
Best Cheap Bass Amp
- Hartke HD25 Bass Combo
- Ampeg BA-108 20 Watt Bass Combo
- Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amp
- Monoprice 611920 20W
- Ibanez Promethean 20W
1. Hartke HD25 Bass Combo
If you are looking for the cheapest best bass amps of all time, we think the Hartke HD25 is a great choice. This is probably one of the cheapest reliable 25-watt bass amps you can get for your money.
This bass speaker cabinet is the best bass combo for home and comes with an 8-inch hybrid con driver with a top-mounted amp.
Perhaps our favorite feature with the Hartke HD25 is the patented HyDrive speaker technology, which sets it apart from a standard Fender bass amp.
This technology features a well-crafted hybrid cone that is half aluminum and half paper which helps deliver some serious tone.
This hybrid cone is driven by HyDrive transducers with improved low-end frequency response. All of this is protected with an outside paper cone and perforated metal grill, which also contributes to its deep and warm low frequency.
In terms of inputs, the Hartke HD25 gives you a lot of flexibility.
There is a 1/4 inch headphone output and 1/4 inch input for active and passive bass guitars. Also, there is a 1/8 inch stereo aux input. Furthermore, in terms of tone control, you have a lush 3 band EQ and a built-in limiter. All in all, the best combo bass amp for gigging.
- 25 watts of power
- 8-inch hybrid cone
- 3 Band EQ
- Built-in limiter
2. Ampeg BA-108 20 Watt Bass Combo
The Ampeg BA-108 is known to be the best budget bass amps for beginners and those looking for something to take for practice.
The standout feature of the Ampeg BA-108 is the true monitor angle at 60 degrees for extra clarity and rather flat frequency response.
This is a bit different from the traditional upright position for bass amps, which will give you a more low-end response.
For practicing and learning certain songs and bass riffs, you probably want a more flat frequency response monitor speaker versus something that is bass-heavy.
Another thing that the Ampeg BA-108 does well is that it has a great tone and tone control. With the BA-108, you have a nice Ampeg preamp and tone stack circuits all matched with superb Ampeg speakers.
Also, you have a 3 band EQ to further hone your tone. In terms of just raw specs, you are looking at a 20 watt RMS power amp with an 8-inch speaker.
- 20 Watts RMS, 8-inch speakers
- 60 Degree true monitor angle
- Great tone
- 3 Band EQ
3. Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amp
You can’t really talk about cheap good bass amps without at least mentioning Fender. The Fender Rumble 25 v3 is a no-brainer if you want a bass amp under $100 that is a name brand.
With the Fender Rumble 25, you will get that classic Fender tone with an awesome deep bass response.
Additionally, the standout feature is that this bass amp has an overdrive circuit activated by a button, which helps you deliver a gritty bit and nice punchy bass.
In terms of specification, this is a 25-watt combo amp featuring one 8 inch Fender speaker.
It also features an aux-in, headphone out, and a three-band EQ. Additionally, the Rumble 25 is rather lightweight at 21 pounds.
Overall, you can use this bass amp to practice or for studio play. It is great as a small-sized combo amp with great tone and easy-to-use controls.
- 25-watt amp with 8-inch speaker
- 21 pounds
- Overdrive circuit
- 3 band EQ
4. Monoprice 611920 20W
If you want a 20-watt bass combo amp, the Monoprice 611920 is certainly the best cheap bass amp you can get.
We believe the Monoprice 20 watt amp is strategically priced just slightly below its competition, yet remains on par in terms of performance and features.
First and foremost, it has a wide frequency response range of 70 Hertz to 10 kilohertz, with only a total harmonic distortion of 0.5%.
The tone is pretty good, but not great. However, the Monoprice makes up for it in terms of other features.
It features a built-in active compressor, which is nice for limiting your volume. Also for tone sculpting, it features a 4 band EQ with two mid-range EQs, one at 600 hertz and one at 2 kilohertz.
It is rare to find a 4 band EQ on a cheap bass amp, so this is definitely a standout feature on the Monoprice 20W.
Finally, you have a standard 1/4 inch line out and two 1/4 inch inputs with separate volume controls per input. This is great for a small practice room and you want to share the amp with someone else.
- Cheaper than the competition
- Built-in active compressor
- 4 band EQ
- 2 quarter-inch inputs with separate vol control
5. Ibanez Promethean 20W
The Ibanez Promethean is certainly a very cheap and lightweight option when it comes to combo amps.
Coming in around 17 pounds, it is one of the most lightweight 20 Watt amps you can get for your money. This cheap bass amp features an 8-inch speaker with very easy-to-use controls.
The standout feature is probably the 4 band EQ, which gives you precise control over your tone.
Keep in mind, most combo amps only have a 2 or 3 band EQ so having that extra band over the competition is always nice.
Also, there is a minus 10-decibel pad, which accommodates basses with active pickups, which is definitely a nice plus.
Other than that, the tone is pretty good and it has a closed-back cabinet design. The Ibanez Promethean 20W also has the standard aux-in headphone out features.
- Lightweight at 17 pounds
- 4 band EQ
- -10 dB pad
- Durable design
If you are a bass player who is just beginning to learn how to play and you don’t have much money to spend on equipment, you have to be very careful about what you buy.
Spending a lot of money on a top-of-the-range bass amp, in particular, will be a waste of money unless you plan to use it at your gigs.
This is why most beginner bass players like to buy inexpensive bass amps that are cheap enough to allow them to practice with but still good enough to sound decent.
If you are looking for cheap bass amps, we have selected five of the best cheap bass amp options that you can choose. These are really good, even though their price tags may suggest otherwise.
I mean some of the above amps brands are renown globally, and they would surely not want to harm themselves by putting out cheap, but not working amps.
After testing all of the above amps, I am confident that you can buy these without any issue. And if you wonder which one I prefer, then you’ll be surprised to learn that it is the Monoprice and the Ampeg. I also provided you with the best budget bass amp for gigging in the Hartke amps. It does a very good job at a very reasonable price.