Best budget bass amps 2024: punchy low-end for a low price

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It’s fair to say that amplification is pretty important for a bassist. Those low-end frequencies are pretty tricky to hear – even over your bandmate's acoustic guitar – without the help of some electrical amplitude. If you find yourself needing to amplify your low-end and are keeping a keen eye on your wallet, then you’ll want to grab yourself the best budget bass amp you can afford.

Obviously which one is best for you will depend on your needs and wants as a player, but we’ve put together our pick of the best affordable bass amps available right now, so you can get a great tone without spending a fortune.

Most importantly, the best budget bass amp will amplify your bass guitar and give you a great sound, whatever bass you’re putting through it. Whether you play clean, completely distorted, or anything in between, we’ve chosen a range of models that offer something different to every type of bassist.

With offerings from Ampeg, Fender, Orange and Blackstar, there have never been more options out there for bassists looking to amplify their sound on a budget. From small practice amps to stage-ready combos and heads, we’ve picked a wide selection of models to suit any scenario. Many of the best budget bass amps today are even amazing tools for recording – you really don’t have to spend loads to track a great bass sound. 

Best budget bass amps: Guitar World Recommends

Out of all our picks, the single best budget bass amp is hard to choose, but in terms of sound, versatility and features, we love the Fender Rumble 100 – it’s got a range of different sounds for players to choose from to suit various playing styles, and it’s big enough to gig with. The Orange Crush Bass 50 is also worth a mention for its ability to blend in both clean and distorted tones.

The Laney Digbeth DB200H head is also a great option for pretty much any style of bassist. While you will need a cab to get any sound out of it, it’s a beast for live use and the two channels provide you with incredible tube emulation, and classic solid state headroom – the best of both worlds!

Best budget bass amps: Product guide

Best budget bass amp: Fender Rumble 100

(Image credit: Fender)

1. Fender Rumble 100

Get a variety of superb bass tones from this reliable and lightweight budget bass amp

Specifications

Channels: 2 (with 3 voicings)
Power: 100W
Speaker: 1x12”
DI?: Y
Weight: 22 lbs/10 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Three unique voicings
+
Nice overdrive
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may prefer more inbuilt effects 

The Fender Rumble bass amp series really lives up to its name, dishing out all the low-end power you’d expect from one of the biggest names in the industry. The Fender Rumble 100 has enough power for you to be able to run at gigs, but it’s also incredibly light, weighing in at just 10kg.

There’s a great range of tones available from a simple and user-friendly control panel. You’ve got three different voicings to choose from – bright, contour and vintage, plus you’ve got the addition of foot-switchable overdrive for introducing a heavier sound to your set-up. There’s 100W of power at your disposal, all voiced through a great-sounding 12” Eminence speaker, though there’s also a DI output on the back for hooking up to a PA system at gigs. 

If you’re after something less powerful, the Rumble range has multiple size variants available, starting as small as 15-watt. In terms of the feature set, sound and price, the Fender Rumble 100 is difficult to beat, making it one of, if not the, best budget bass amps around.

Best budget bass amps: Laney Digbeth DB200H

(Image credit: Laney)

2. Laney Digbeth DB200H

A small, but mighty budget bass head

Specifications

Channels: 2
Power: 200W
Speaker: N/A
DI?: Y
Weight: 9 lbs/4.1 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing tube emulation 
+
Blendable channels
+
Compact and light 
+
Ideal for gigging

Reasons to avoid

-
Less of a budget option in the US

The Laney Digbeth is a great little bass head, but don’t let its size fool you. In this scaled down 200W head, you’ve got two main channels – the FET channel offers you the classic, big-headroom clean tones you might associate with solid state amps, whereas the TUBE channel offers the dynamic response and gradual break-up that you get with old school valve bass amps. These channels can be used individually, or they can be blended together – so if you’re playing some laid back jazz one day, then some modern metal the next, you’ve got an amp that can take care of all your needs.

This 200W head provides you with plenty of power for gigging, recording and rehearsing with a band, and the powerful EQ section and tilt controls allow you to precisely dial in your tone. Add in to the mix a DI output, headphone out, FX loop and aux in, and you’ve got yourself one of the best budget bass amps with an impressive array of sounds and features. 

Best budget bass amp: Boss Katana 110B

(Image credit: Boss)
The legend of the Katana finally arrives for bass players

Specifications

Channels: 3
Power: 60W
Speaker: 1 x 10" woofer, 1 x 1" tweeter
DI?: Y
Weight: 37 lbs/16.8 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful digital amp
+
Great amp styles and effects
+
Comprehensive tone shaping

Reasons to avoid

-
Too complicated for some

Much like its guitar equivalent, the Boss Katana 110B comes equipped with a wide range of high-quality bass tones, effects and connectivity options. If you want a great-sounding bass amp that will cover any genre of music and also works as a recording tool, then this could well be it.

Off the bat, you’ve got the choice between vintage and modern – so whether you want old-school tube-driven bass tones or a more contemporary and edgy tone, you’ve got it. There’s also the option to choose Flat, which will give a flat response allowing the characteristics of your pickups to shine through. Tweak your sound further with a responsive four-band EQ. You’ve then got some studio-quality effects to enhance your tone, which can further be customized with the Boss Tone Studio app.

The power amp section actually works alongside the main speaker and tweeter separately so you’ll always get a dynamic and responsive sound, regardless of the volume you’re playing at. If you ever need to go down the amp modeler route, the Katana 110B also acts as a powered speaker for those, plus an effects loop and direct recording out means it’s equipped with pretty much anything you could ever need.

Read the full Boss Katana 110B review

Best budget bass amps: Blackstar Fly 3 Bass

(Image credit: Blackstar)
Keep your low end locked down while you’re on the go

Specifications

Channels: 2
Power: 3W
Speaker: 1 x 3”
DI?: N
Weight: 2 lbs/0.9 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Compact
+
Battery powered
+
Cool effects onboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks any serious volume

Portable and punchy! The Blackstar Fly 3 Bass is a great battery-powered bass amp that will fit inside most gigbags. With controls for your volume, gain, tone, compression, and even a sub-switch, it’s surprising the array of tones you can get out of this neat little budget bass amp.

While it really is one of the smallest bass amps available, it actually offers players a good array of sounds. Go from clean to distorted with ease and dial in your tone to suit whatever room you’re in, or the bass guitar you’re using. It being battery powered allows you to take it with you on the go; need to warm up backstage before a gig? Then this is perfect! Otherwise, it’s just a neat little affordable bass amp that’s not going to earn you any noise complaints!

Read the full Blackstar Fly 3 bass review

Best budget bass amps: Ampeg Rocket RB110

(Image credit: Ampeg)
Get all the cleans and grit you need from this great budget Ampeg

Specifications

Channels: 2
Power: 50W
Speaker: 1 x 10”
DI?: Y
Weight: 22.5 lbs/10.2 kg

Reasons to buy

+
SGT lends that Ampeg grit
+
Nice clean sound too
+
Super easy to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as versatile as some others

If you’ve been watching bands and casting an eye over their gear, chances are you’ll have spotted an Ampeg or two. They’re one of the biggest names in the world of bass amps, and their Rocket RB10 is one of the best budget options available to players right now. 

It’s got a 10” speaker that can dish out plenty of low-end whilst retaining clarity. It also features their Super Grit Technology (SGT) that when engaged lends some of that legendary Ampeg drive to your sound. Countless players have relied on Ampegs when recording some of the most well-known records ever made, and now you can get a very similar sound for a great price.  

It’s really easy to use, and with handy features like a headphone output and line input, it’s great for practicing. It’s rated at 50W, so you might struggle being heard with a noisy drummer, however, there’s an XLR output for linking up to a PA system or additional cab.  

Read the full Ampeg Rocket RB110 review

Best budget bass amps: Orange Crush Bass 50

(Image credit: Orange)

6. Orange Crush Bass 50

Get an array of great bass tones with this budget amp

Specifications

Channels: 1 (with bendable gain)
Power: 50W
Speaker: 1 x 12”
DI?: N
Weight: 32 lbs/14.5 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Blend in as much or as little gain as you want
+
Punchy tone
+
Powerful EQ section

Reasons to avoid

-
Might struggle with a really loud band

While the Orange Bass Crush is incredibly easy to use, it’s also really versatile. It’s a 50W amp that’s capable of delivering crystal clean low end alongside bone-crushing overdrive. What we really like is the blend function that allows you to dial in your overdriven signal with your clean sound as much or as little as you want. This can help make it sound like you’re playing through a bass amp and a guitar amp at the same time, which is really handy if you’re after a huge beefy bass tone.

Even without that, the Orange Crush Bass 50 is one of the best budget bass amps around. The clean tone is warm and full, taking all manner of different bass pickups well, and a lovely vintage-style growl is really easy to dial in. There’s a powerful EQ section built into this as well. Alongside a traditional three-band EQ, there’s a parametric mid-band that lets you fine-tune the frequencies you do and don’t want to hear. There’s even an onboard tuner and effects loop for players who like to get clever with bass pedals

Regardless of the sort of music you play, the Orange Crush Bass 50 is one of the best budget bass amps available to players right now.

Best budget bass amp: TC Electronic BQ250

(Image credit: TC Electronic)

7. TC Electronic BQ250

Simple, easy to use and with a nice compressor built in

Specifications

Channels: 1
Power: 250W
Speaker: N/A
DI?: Y
Weight: 4.9 lbs/2.2 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Sounds great
+
Nice compressor built-in
+
Simple user interface 

Reasons to avoid

-
Foot-switchable gain would be nice

This is a straightforward, lightweight 250W bass head from one of the biggest players in the world of guitar and bass audio. Featuring a simple but effective control panel, a great array of sounds and a modest price tag, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best budget bass amps around. 

Tone hounds will love the control you have over your sound on this amp. It’s got a four-band EQ that allows you to nail your midrange, as well as dial in your highs and lows as desired. We loved the thrust knob on this amp; it brings in a Mosfet compressor that can really help level out your playing dynamics and add some serious punch. 

Add to this some practical features like an aux-in, headphone out and DI with the option of using it pre or post-EQ, and you’ve got yourself one of the best budget bass amp heads around. 

Best budget bass amps: Fender Rumble LT25

(Image credit: Fender)
Browse a ‘Greatest Hits’ of bass tones with this budget bass modeling amp

Specifications

Channels: 20
Power: 25W
Speaker: 1 x 8”
DI?: N
Weight: 19.2 lbs/8.7 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Great selection of tones 
+
Nice and compact
+
Plenty of effects 

Reasons to avoid

-
8” speaker lacks beefy bottom end

For those who want to dig a little deeper into the various sonic palettes that are available for bass guitar today, then we have another offering from Fender that can’t be overlooked when searching for the best budget bass amp.

There are 50 presets on board that all model different classic bass amps. Many of the models on board the Mustang LT are based on expensive, heavy and sought-after tube amps, so it allows you to get a wide range of different bass tones all in a more affordable and practical package. There are even a bunch of great effects built into this amp so you can go wild experimenting with different sounds.

There are different sizes available, but we prefer the 25W version because of how little space it takes up and how easy it is to transport.

Read the full Fender Rumble LT25 review

Best budget bass amp: Ashdown Studio 10

(Image credit: Ashdown)

9. Ashdown Studio 10

Reasons to buy

+
5 band EQ
+
Performs well at low levels
+
Heavy duty construction 

Reasons to avoid

-
Will struggle next to a drum kit 

After cutting his teeth as the director of Trace Elliot for 12 years, Mark Gooday left to create Ashdown Engineering in 1997. Today, Ashdown bass amps have been used on stages across the globe with John Entwistle, Geezer Butler and Nate Mendel being notable endorsees. 

Ashdown’s Studio range takes their bass amp from the stage to the bedroom and the Studio 10 is one of the best budget bass amplifiers on the market. Dialing in your preferred tone is made easy thanks to the 5 band EQ and its valve-emulated overdrive has you covered for the heavier rock tones. The pre-shape EQ button captures that lauded Ashdown tone immediately and an active and passive switch make the Studio 10 versatile enough for any bass you may have in your collection. 

We love the heavy-duty construction and the tolex is built to take a few knocks along the way. However, this doesn't affect the weight and the lightweight poplar ply construction only weighs in at 15.4 lbs! Although the 50-watt output will struggle in a live setting next to a drum kit, there are larger models in the range if you are after something a bit more juicy. 

Best budget bass amps: Trace Elliot ELF

(Image credit: Trace Elliot)

10. Trace Elliot Elf Head

Unleash 200W of raw bass tone in this pocket-sized budget bass head

Specifications

Channels: 1
Power: 200W
Speaker: N/A
DI?: Y
Weight: 1.6 lbs/0.73 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Weighs less than 1kg!
+
Packs 200W
+
Headphone output

Reasons to avoid

-
Too simple for some

Small but mighty, the Trace Elliot Elf is a rock-solid 200W bass head. You’ll need a cab to get any noise out of this, but the Elf weighs less than 1kg, and it fits in your back pocket, making this one of the most portable budget bass amp options.

It sounds great and it’s super dynamic, regardless of whether you’re using active or passive pickups. You’ve got a gain knob that allows you to dial in some lovely-sounding drive for a grittier tone. You’ve then got a three-band EQ for fine-tuning your sound and a master volume – and that’s it! It doesn’t get much more simple and easy to use than this.

Best budget bass amps: Buying advice

Two Boss amps in front of a drum kit in a rehearsal room

(Image credit: Boss)

How to choose the best budget bass amp for you

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

When shopping for the best budget bass amp, one key consideration to make is whether you go for a head or a combo. A head doesn’t make any sound on its own and requires an external speaker, or cab, though heads often weigh less and take up less room. At gigs it’s quite common to share a bass cab either with the venue or some of the other bands on the bill, meaning you can just turn up with your bass and head. A combo on the other hand houses both the amp and the speaker in one unit so you’ve got everything you need right there to make some juicy, low-end noise.

What tones are you looking for?

You’ll want to think about the kind of tones you want out of your budget bass amp too. At this price, you’re probably not going to be looking at tube amps, but there are some great budget bass amps that model or emulate the sound and response of tubes. Some of the options on this list have several different channels too – this can be great for kicking in some overdrive when going into louder sections of a song. Others might be more simple and offer a single channel with fewer sounds, which is ideal for many players out there.

What effects come onboard budget bass amps?

As bassists, we can’t let guitar players have all the fun with effects. Some of the models on our list of the best budget bass amps have built-in effects for you to experiment with. Using effects can help add another dimension to your sound, whether that be with modulation, distortion, delay or anything else. We know this isn’t for everyone though, and there are some great budget options out there with no effects and a more streamlined control panel.

How loud does your bass amp have to be to play gigs?

If you’re looking to play live with your amp then you’ll want to start looking around 100W and above. You might get away with some 50W bass amps, but it depends on the model – and how loud your drummer is! 

You will primarily be competing with the drummer, so choosing an amp that will suit the style of music you are playing is imperative. If you are playing heavier music, then aim for around 200W and above, since metal drummers sure like to play loud. However, if your vibe is a little more mellow, you may not have to go too large. The size of the speaker can also make a difference, with larger speakers providing more low-end response, but obviously taking up more room. 

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the size of venues you are likely to be playing. Starting off, you’re probably going to be in small pub venues where a 500W amp is going to be overkill, so think about your local gig spots and buy your amp accordingly. 

Other things to consider

There are several practical features to look out for when searching for the best budget bass amp too. A DI output allows you to take an XLR cable from your bass amp and hook it up to a PA system for further amplification – this is fairly common at gigs. Some models also have headphone outputs for silent practice and auxiliary inputs for plugging in an MP3 player to jam along with.

How we choose the best budget bass amps

Here at Guitar World, we are experts in our field, with many years of playing and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything guitar related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products for our guides.

When choosing what we believe to be the best beginner bass amps available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in lengthy discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are guitarists, and we want other players to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set, ease of use and durability to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best beginner bass amps on the market right now.

Read more about our rating system, how we choose the gear we feature, and exactly how we test each product.

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