Bass Amps

Bass Amps

Beginning in the 1920s, the first amplifiers and speakers designed for gigging musicians became available. From the 1920s to the 1940s, upright bass players who wanted to strengthen the acoustic sound of their instrument had to use small portable PA systems or guitar amp combos designed for acoustic guitar or archtop guitars. Since these systems were not specifically designed to amplify bass instruments, their utility was limited. The only speakers available during the early 1920s were "radio horns of limited frequency range and low acoustic output,"[citation needed] and the modern cone speaker was not available until 1925. The first amplifiers and speakers were PA speaker setups, and were powered with large batteries, which made them heavy and hard to carry around.

Engineers invented the first loud, powerful amplifier and speaker systems for public address systems and movie theaters. These were bulky and very expensive, not intended to be readily transportable, and so they could not be used by most touring and gigging musicians. After 1927, smaller, portable AC mains-powered PA systems "quickly became popular with musicians"[citation needed]; indeed, "...Leon McAuliffe (with Bob Wills) still used a carbon mic and a portable PA as late as 1935."[citation needed]

During the late 1920s to mid-1930s, small portable PA systems and guitar combo amplifiers were fairly similar. These early amps had a "single volume control and one or two input jacks, field coil speakers"[citation needed] and thin wooden cabinets, and generally did not have tone controls or even an on-off switch.[1]

  • Fender 2370100000 Rumble 15 (V3), 120V, Black/Silver

    Fender

    Murphy's Price: $79.99
    From the company that invented the electric bass amp, the Fender Rumble Series is a mighty leap forward in the evolution of portable bass amps. Don"t let its diminutive stature fool you - Rumble 15 uses every last electron of its 15 watts to pump out a...
    Murphy's Price: $79.99
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  • Fender 2370200000 Rumble 25 (V3), 120V, Black/Silver

    Fender

    Murphy's Price: $99.99
    For bassists everywhere at all levels, Rumble bass combos are re-engineered to be astoundingly compact, portable and lightweight, with seismic Fender bass tone and stage-worthy features. The stylish Rumble 25 combo pumps 25 watts of pure Fender bass tone...
    Murphy's Price: $99.99
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