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How to choose a bass amp?

The first thing you need to know before buying an amp for your electric bass is that it is particularly advisable to connect it to a guitar amp. Indeed, it may cause damage to the speakers of the latter. A low indeed requires a specific receiver. There are two variants regarding bass amps. Namely: combos and stacks.

The bass amp combo

A combo bass amp is an amp all in one. Indeed, all the amp component elements are combined in a single housing. Namely: the preamp, amplifier, and speakers. The first advantage of a combo bass amp is its compactness.

A bass combo amp, therefore, takes up less space than a low stack amp. Another advantage of a combo bass amp is its convenience of use and installation. Indeed, plug your electric bass and turn the amp and to increase its volume to start playing. With a stack amp, you need to connect various components together, then turn them on one by one before you can play.

However, the compactness of a combo bass amp is not always an advantage. Indeed, with the integration of the different elements in a single package and the small volume of its box, a combo bass amp is less efficient beyond the power of 300 watts, although some model has a power-up up to 750 watts.

The casing of the format of a bass combo and its internal space amp is less suitable for high power generated sound pressure that it makes difficult the circulation of air inside the box. This limits the performance of the speakers of the amplifier.

Therefore, a combo bass amp is, therefore, less suitable for use show or concert guy. But the combo amps are perfect for playing in a home and start bass. Be aware that there is a high and low combo amp range of high-power models that can be connected to additional speakers. This is to remove the acoustic phenomena limiting the amp’s performance in terms of volume.

The bass amp stack


The second type of amp for electric bass guitar is the low stack amp. These are also known as “two bodies” because they consist of two elements. Namely: an amplifier head and a box dedicated to speakers. This, however, makes this type of amp bulkier, heavier, and less convenient to carry.

The installation and use of this type of bass amp are also more complex. Contrary to a bass combo amp that turns, it is necessary to connect the amplifier to the head of senior speakers and subwoofer to turn on before you connect your bass guitar and start playing.


However, the separation of the box loudspeakers and amplification head stack allows low amps to be more efficient in terms of power and volume. Indeed, the acoustic phenomena encountered with bass combo amps are absent because the subwoofer loudspeakers are bigger and less crowded.

On top of that stack, the bass amplifiers also offer upgraded to bass amp combo powers, making them more suitable for professional use. In particular, when it comes to concerts and performances.

The separate configuration stack bass also amps an advantage in terms of durability and reliability, especially when it comes to using power and high volume. Indeed, with a low stack amp, the preamp and amplifier are less prone to vibrations caused by the loudspeakers.

Another advantage of the separate configuration of stack amps is their modularity. Indeed, the two bodies have the potential to change the amplification separately head and the speakers of the box. You can buy a more powerful amplifier head and use it with your old high subwoofer speakers and vice versa, without any worry.


More efficient and more reliable but less practical, the stack bass amps are also more expensive than the combo models. This makes them less accessible compared to the bass amp combo.

To finish

The choice of a bass guitar amp must first consider your budget. Before you look and choose a bass amp, it is appropriate to set yourself a budget. Once established your budget, you need to determine your needs and usage patterns. Will you use your amp only at home or on the contrary often used for concerts and shows? Will you be using your amp sedentary or nomadic way? Do you often play at low volume or high volume?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you will identify more easily the type of bass amp you’ll need, as well as its power and options. Choosing a bass amp, therefore, rests not only about performance.

Be aware that a low stack amp is most suitable for business use because of their versatility and their superior performance compared to the bass amp combo. Indeed, their power and volume than allow bass amps stack of perfectly suitable for outdoor use or in large rooms.

The bass combo amp is for individuals because they are more affordable, more convenient, and easier to use. If you intend to play only at home or within the family, friends, or for performances in small rooms, a combo bass amp will be good enough.

For recording studios, bass combo amps as an attractive alternative to both body styles. Indeed, the size and acoustics of a studio do not require power and high volume.

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