Portable Bass Amp HeadsBuying Guide

Explore a Variety of Lightweight and Dynamic Class D and All-Tube Options

For a long time, it seemed like bassists only had one real option when it came to amplifying their instruments—sacrifice their backs and arms in exchange for the sweet tone that backbreakers like the Ampeg B-15 and SVTs could provide. But with the onset of Class D amplification technology, bassists are finding themselves with a wealth of options that aren't only lightweight and portable but sound excellent as well.

The main thing to know about these amplifiers is that Class D technology allows builders to pack high-wattage amp circuits into much smaller chassis than you'd expect. And because they're less expensive to make, those much-appreciated savings trickle down to bassists, allowing them to pick up a powered amp with extra features like direct outs, aux in, and headphone outs at a price that won't break the bank.

But Class D amps aren't all that we're looking at today. Ampeg's PF-50T Portaflex head also makes the list, clocking in at just under 20 pounds despite its all-tube circuitry.

In the video above, watch Jake Hawrylak runs through five solid and portable amplifiers at a variety of price points, showcasing their tonal capabilities, what makes them special, and why they might be the right fit for your rig. Browse the guide below to check out the products and find your own right here on Reverb.

  • TC Electronic BQ250 Thrust 250-Watt Bass Head

    While TC Electronic might be most-known for its line of excellent and affordable pedals, the brand also offers a line of equally excellent and affordable bass heads. The BQ250 packs 250 watts of power, a 4-band EQ, and a "thrust" knob for controlling a MOSFET preamp, which will delight players looking to achieve the warm sonic characteristics of a tube amp. You'll also find a headphone amplifier with speaker emulation, and a DI with pre and post EQ options.

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Explore even more great picks we didn't cover in the video.

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