The right bass amps can give you the right punch in any live performance. If you have a budget for $500, there are many great models from you to choose from. With that in mind, here is a list of what I think are the best bass amps under 500 dollars.
GK MB115 combo bass amp review
With no question asked, the Gk Mb115 is probably of the best bass comp amp that 5 Benjamins can get you. It sounds really fantastic and should give your live performance plenty of kick. There is slightly more expensive model of 210 but this should be good enough for those with a $500 budget. Besides having clear sound, the volume can be pretty loud too.
Despite the great sound, the G-K MB115 is amazingly light. It comes in at around 35 pounds and is much easier to carry around than, say a tube Ampeg. The first time I saw the small size, I was hesitant on whether it can deliver the good. Fortunately, the sound quality blew me away and I am convinced for live performance, this portable bass amp is as good as it gets. For older players who are getting on in age, this will be essentially good as it is a back saver.
The control panel is also easy to use and set up. It even allows you to add new bass line as you learn new songs so it becomes more and more handy over time.
The G-K MB115 gets my top billing as the best bass amp under 500. Get this if you can.
Roland Cube 80W combo bass amp review
Another solid contender for the best bass amp under 500 crown is the Roland Cube 80W. It is a powerful amp despite the 80 wattage power. With this amp, you can simplify a lot of your equipment set up weight.
When compared to the GK Mb115, it has slightly less juice especially when it is not hooked into the PA system. For live performance, I would still suggest GK Mb115 over this. However, the Roland cube has more flexibility when it comes tone sculpting, a compressor and a pre/post EQ DI that can allow you to directly record the sound. As such, in a studio environment where volume and juice are not the most important, I would say the roland cube will be a better choice.
Ampeg ba 115 combo bass amp review
Another model that get frequently compared with GK Mb115 is the Ampeg ba 115. In discussions on Ampeg ba 115 vs Gk Mb 115, weight is usually the deciding factor. The Ampeg ba 115 weighs around 65 pounds which is twice as heavy as the 115. For gig purposes, it is going to be a drag to carry this heavy amp around.
When we look at the sound quality both models are pretty close in terms of their output capacity, although some swear the 115 sound slightly better. For volume, the 115 comes out on top. When playing with Ampeg ba 115, you will find that it will reach its limit pretty fast due to the 100W power.
When it comes to the best bass amp for the money, I recommend the GB Mb115 due to its excellent sound quality, powerful output and portability. For gigs or live performance, this is one amp that is hard to beat at the $500 price point.