WE TRY AND FIND THE BEST PORTABLE BASS AMP, AND CHOOSE THE 7 WE FEEL ARE GREAT FOR PRACTICE AT HOME, REHEARSALS, BUSKING AND SMALLER GIGS

Bass players probably have the toughest time in the band as most bass amps and bass guitars tend to be larger, heavier and more awkward when it comes to setting up and transporting their gear around. Dragging that 4x12 up a flight of stairs to rehearsal or a gig is a nightmare for bass players, so we decided to provide some options as you don’t always have to have a massive amp to get a massive sound!

To save your backs and try and help you reduce the amount of hate you feel when you try and load the van or your car with your gear, here’s our top 7 best portable lightweight bass amps that you can use for rehearsal, practice at home and the smaller gigs you want to play.

1. BLACKSTAR FLY 3 BASS STEREO PACK

When we’re talking about the contender for the best portable bass amp, we have to include the awesome Blackstar FLY 3 Bass Stereo Pack as it’s become an industry-standard bass amp ideal for rehearsing at home, recording and busking sessions. This fantastic lightweight bass amp can be powered via 6 x AA batteries making it a fantastic option for those on the go, or you can use the included power supply if you don’t want to rely on batteries.

As the amp is under £100, it’s totally affordable and firmly aimed at players of all levels. You have 6 watts of power to play with - more than enough for practice sessions, and the two selectable channels (Overdrive/Clean) allow you a range of tonal options especially when you utilise the EQ control and built-in compression.

The 3” speakers on the head and cab provide a full range sound and the MP3 / LINE IN jack built-in to the head allows you to connect to your MP3 player to jam along to your favourite tracks or use the FLY 3 Bass as a set of speakers for your PC or laptop.

BLACKSTAR FLY 3 BASS STEREO PACK

2. ASHDOWN STUDIO-12 SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT 110W BASS COMBO AMP

 The Ashdown STUDIO-12 Super lightweight 110w Bass Combo Amp is a 1 x 12" bass combo amp with 110 watts of pure power designed to provide bass players with a highly portable option to take to small gigs and rehearse at home without destroying their windows.

Its lightweight construction (10.3kgs/22.7lbs) makes it one of the best portable bass amps available on the market today. Simple to use and even easier to set up, the Ashdown STUDIO-12 Bass Combo is a plug and play amp designed to get you gigging and playing in seconds, but providing enough tone-shaping options for those who have specific tones in mind.

You have a 5-Band EQ of Bass, Lo-Mid, Middle, Hi-Mid, and Treble, Valve emulated overdrive circuit and Passive/Active Input pad push-button to suit those with either active or passive pickups. By far one of the best portable bass amps that you can gig, record and practice with.

ASHDOWN STUDIO-12 SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT 110W BASS COMBO AMP

3. FENDER RUMBLE 25 BASS AMPLIFIER COMBO (V3)

The Fender Rumble 25 Bass Amplifier Combo (V3) is one of the best portable bass amps found on stages and in studios thanks to the fact it makes use of every watt to pump out beautifully rich harmonics and lush low-end tones through its 1x8” woofer.

You have a 3 band EQ so you can sculpt your ideal sound in seconds. Practice in silence thanks to headphone out and enjoy jamming along to your own tracks vie the 1/8" Mini Jack Aux input that allows you to hook up your MP3 player or audio device to the cab.

Best of all, you have a switchable Overdrive channel so you can take your sound into the realms of gritty distortion. At just over £113, the Fender Rumble 25 Bass Combo Amplifier is a budget-friendly bass amplifier capable of providing you with the sound you need onstage, in the studio or at rehearsal. Ideal for acoustic gigs and those impromptu jam sessions too as it weighs a mere 9.5kg/21lbs.

FENDER RUMBLE 25 BASS AMPLIFIER COMBO (V3)

4. LANEY RB1 RICHTER BASS GUITAR COMBO

We’re going for a highlight of the Laney Amplification range here with the Laney RB1 Richter Bass Guitar Combo as it’s a highly portable option that gives you all that massive Laney bass tone relied on by pro musicians everywhere, but still remains easy to carry around. The 8” customs peaker pushes some serious air around thanks to the modest but impressive 15 watts of power.

The cool thing about this amp is the fact you also have a powerful three band EQ, an on-board compressor and an internal limiter, providing you with some serious control when you want to stand out in the mix. This amp makes our best portable bass amps blog thanks to the fact it’s been designed for lugging around!

The cabinet is sturdy and the protective chassis keeps all the inner workings safe. At just over 7kg its easy to carry around too! If you’re finding it hard to hear yourself in rehearsal, the fact you can angle it upwards means you can hear everything you’re playing!

LANEY RB1 RICHTER BASS GUITAR COMBO

5. BLACKSTAR U60 UNITY BASS 60-WATT BASS AMP

Next up we have the Blackstar U60 Unity Bass 60-Watt Bass Amp is an extremely powerful 60-watt portable bass amplifier powered by reliable, solid-state technology and packed with an array of awesome sounds. This bass combo amp provides you with a lush sound reminiscent of tube amps without the ACTUAL tubes thanks to Blackstar's unique Response control. You can take advantage of the unique nuances of three classic power amp stages and blend or isolate the incredible Drive section which has 3 different overdrives (Overdrive / Distortion / Fuzz). This means you get all that lush response of a tube bass amp with the reliability and instant gratification of a solid state amplifier and an array of different sonic options.

There’s a 4 band EQ on board for easy sound sculpting, a built-in selectable compressor as well as Footswitchable Overdrive and Chorus that can really bring your bass out in the mix. You do have 60 watts of power to play with so the Blackstar U60 Unity Bass 60-Watt Bass Amp can easily provide you with all the sound you need in rehearsal or at a small gig. However, should you want to go louder or play direct to desk, the Line Out can allow you to hook up to the PA or add an extra cabinet.

A great portable bass amp from one of the best amplifier companies in the world!

BLACKSTAR U60 UNITY BASS 60-WATT BASS AMP

6. ORANGE CRUSH BASS 25W BASS GUITAR COMBO AMPLIFIER

Last but by no means least, we have the awesome Orange Crush Bass 25 – a powerhouse of a bass amp from the renowned Orange Crush range. Straight out of the box you get all that juicy Orange tonality thanks to the all-analogue signal path and the 25 watts of power make it a great amp for smaller gigs, rehearsal and home practice.

The 3 band EQ provides all the control you need over your sound and the lightweight 8.3kg construction makes it easy to cart to gigs or the studio setting. Integrated CabSim technology allows you to enjoy the sound of a mic’d up Orange 4x12 cabinet through your headphones and can also be used in the studio scenario via the headphone socket. Simply connect your desk or PA to the headphone jack and your 8” bass combo will sound like a massive Orange 4x12 combo! If you taking the amp to practice you’ll enjoy the fact you have an onboard chromatic tuner and the smaller dimensions for easy transport.

This is one of the best portable bass amp options and one of the most widely used options too!

ORANGE CRUSH BASS 25W BASS GUITAR COMBO AMPLIFIER

7. ASHDOWN ORIGINAL 300 WATT BASS AMPLIFIER HEAD

Ok, we’re not using a combo for this last option, but if you already have a cab or want to plug straight into the PA and forego the cab altogether, you can’t go wrong with the absolutely awesome (and extremely portable) Ashdown OriginAL 300 Watt Bass Amplifier Head. This lightweight amplifier head has 300 watts of power waiting to be unleashed.

Sculpt your sound via the 5-band EQ and utilise the active/passive switching depending on the output of your instrument. The Ashdown OriginAL 300 Watt Bass Amplifier Head has a DI output as well as an independent FX send and return for hooking up pedals and an uninterrupted signal path, whilst the handy headphone output allows for silent practice.

As we’re fighting for the crown for best portable bass amp, we have to mention the fact that the Ashdown OriginAL 300 Watt Bass Amplifier Head basically fits in the palm of your hand, has been constructed with a steel and alloy chassis and finished off with scuff proof paint – it’s been designed for travel and almost indestructible. The 5 year warranty ensures you’re covered for quite a long time too!

ASHDOWN ORIGINAL 300 WATT BASS AMPLIFIER HEAD

Shop a full range of Bass amplifiers over at PMT Online or call in to your local PMT store to try any of these for yourself!