Bass: Electrifying

I bought an acoustic bass guitar, rather than an electric, in part because that meant I wouldn’t need an amp right away.

I bought an amp today. I went back to Guitar Center in order to: try a few amps; make sure that the electric components of my acoustic electric bass (AEB) actually work; buy an amp if it seemed like a good idea after trying a few; try out a few electric basses, since I suspect I’ll get an electric at some point.

I did try a few amps, my bass played just fine through them, and I did buy one of the amps I tried. It was a second hand Acoustic B15 15W Bass Combo Amp. By the way, the link is to Guitar Center. It’s not an affiliate link, so I don’t get anything out of it, but I did spend a while in the bass room of the the North Attleboro store trying stuff out.

A 15W bass amp can prevent an acoustic bass being drowned out by an acoustic guitar or two. It can annoy immediate neighbors, but not the whole neighborhood. It is an example of a “practice amp”: it can be used by an electric bass player for practice, but is not powerful enough for performance anything but the smallest and quietest of venues and ensembles.

I did play a few electric basses through the amp I was about to purchase. They are a lot smaller, and in particular slimmer, than the acoustic I have. Short scale electric basses seem tiny; I didn’t try any of them.

If I’d bought any of the electric basses I tried, it would have been the $200 Yamaha. I wasn’t able to play a similarly-priced Squier bass. I did try a couple of Squiers in the used and dinged categories. I don’t think that a P-bass neck is for me.

After trying the electric and before buying the amp, I plugged in my AEG again. I was nervous about doing so. Would my visit to the electric wonderland show me that I should have got an electric bass and an amp in the first place?

I’m glad to say that I like the sound of my AEB at least as much as that of any of the electrics I tried. It also felt good to play after the slimmer electrics.

My time in Guitar Center was well and enjoyably spent. I know not everyone likes the chain, but I appreciate being able to try out a variety of instruments and equipment. Similarly, not everyone likes acoustic bass guitars. Not everyone likes to buy used gear. I felt more confident buying a used amp than I would buying a used instrument: a solid state amp has very few moving parts to go wrong.

Thanks for reading this far. Even more thanks if you comment.

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