I am looking for a real basic e-bass setup. As far as google knows this is a bass and an amplifier.

Now there are enough questions about Which bass should I buy? and What to focus on when buying a bass? . What I want to know is: What is the best setup say for a student, which wants good quality and much possibilities for low cost:

e.g: There is the possibilitie to buy a headphone amplifier, which can easily be plugged into a speaker. On the stage and in the studio you can plug into their amplifier. Pro: cheap, good quality on headphone. Con: not so good on the speaker.

e.g: Buy a normal amplifier and hear yourself as you would play on the stage/ in the studio. Plug your headphone in there if you want.

e.g: Buy a DI box where you can plug in your headphone. And your computer. And your amplifier. And whatever you add to your equipment. It is scaleable and so better.

  • If the student has a teacher, the teacher is a good (possibly the best) person to ask about this. It's not clear if you're asking about what products to get or how to connect and use typical products. If you're looking for recommendations on what products to get, that is off topic. Also, "good quality" is subjective and subjective questions are off-topic. I'm not sure what you mean by a "headphone amplifier". There are things called "headphone amplifiers", but they don't do anything for bass guitar. Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 19:20
  • 1
    A DI box connects a line or instrument level signal with a microphone input on a mic preamp, such as one would find on a mixer channel or computer interface input. I've never seen a DI with a headphone output, and you'd normally not plug a DI into a bass amp. It seems like some of the options are a bit mixed up for you. I suggest you instead tell us what you want to accomplish - like do you want to be able to play loudly with a band and also play silently with headphones? Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 20:46
  • First thing you need to do, for yourself and for anybody who might want to answer this question: Decide on a Budget. How much can you or do you want to spend? You can do "beginner" for $200 or even less, anywhere up to $600 or $700 or $1000.
    – Stinkfoot
    Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 4:00

2 Answers 2


Get yourself a Fender Squire Precision bass - they run from $200 to $400 and are quite good quality - great bang for the buck. Even pros sometimes use them on stage (they swap out the logo) so that their high-end gear doesn't get banged around. It's a bass you can use for a long time.

For an amp, look into the Hartke practice amps. Also good quality and feature rich - you can plug in phones, an MP3 player, or practice through the speaker at decent volume/quality that won't drive your neighbors nuts. You can find something good for your purposes for $130 or less.

You should also get yourself a metronome, if you don't already have one, or better still, a little rhythm track generator. Korg makes a portable one with its own speaker that works on batteries for about $75. Bass is rhythm instrument - a timekeeper - and works with the drummer, so that's extremely important to have. If you're planning on patching in computer or tablet audio, you can get all sorts of software and apps for rhythms that are free, or very low cost.

Important: If you plan on practicing through phones (you inevitably will end up doing that unless you live alone, surrounded by a decent amount of empty space) you need a good set of phones to handle the lower registers of your bass. Cheap phones will fart, get blown out, sound horrible...

Also, don't buy a "starter set" and don't buy one of those amps with a zillion effects and noises, unless you intend on spending a few hundred $ for a Roland. Your goal right now is to get a good playing and sounding bass and a nice clean, deep sound out of your amp.

If you want to spend around $300, you can get a Roland Micro-Cube amp, which is worth every penny you pay for it: It is excellent quality, small, light and portable (can even run on batteries), produces an excellent bass sound at low volumes, includes a very good rhythm machine and some special effects that work well. Of course it also supports phones and an MP3 player going in. It's a great all in one solution - but for low volume only. If that's too much to spend, go with a Hartke.

  • @LeeWhite - Just experience.
    – Stinkfoot
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 14:40

You can get a good value-for-options setup for an electric bass guitar with a well featured "practice" amp. The practice amps are usually low powered and lightweight in a small form.

Many of the models out today also provide a headphone out that lets you practice silently, as well as an aux-in to play music or play-along tracks through the amp.

Additional features you may find are things like built in drum tracks or metronome and line or speaker outputs to expand the amp with.

The cost of the amp will generally be lower than if you bought the components separately, such as purchasing a headphone amp, direct box etc.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.