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5 comments / Posted by Bruce Ohms



Guitar Practice

The path to becoming a professional musician is not just glitz, glamour, and being onstage in front of a thousand screaming fans. There are the unseen non-glorifying hours of being holed up in bedrooms and rehearsal spaces, honing technique, and practicing those licks, chords, and scales until they are second nature. Becoming proficient at guitar or bass requires that players not only put in the time to practice, but really make the most of that time. Choosing the right practice amp is a crucial component to helping you sound your best as a guitarist or bassist.

Choosing the perfect practice amp can be intimidating, especially for those new to music. One of the main things you have to determine is if the amplifier is going to be used solely for practice, or if you would prefer a more versatile solution that can serve as a practice amp and also be taken to jam sessions with other musicians. Of course, if you’re just starting out, you may not know if a garage band is in your future. But it really does help to think about what you want out of your amp. Many practice amps have the extra power and features to pull double duty if you want extra flexibility. Carvin Audio’s MB Series bass amps even come with a direct out so that they can be used on the gig, and can be used with an extension speaker for band rehearsal.

Another thing to consider is portability. If your practice amp is going to remain in your bedroom, then portability isn’t much of a concern. However, if you are planning on jamming with friends, or want to change it up and jam in different parts of your house, it really helps to have an amplifier that is compact and easy to move. You don’t always have to compromise tone for portability, either- Carvin Audio’s Vintage 16 1x12 Combo puts all-tube tone in a compact package that only weighs thirty one pounds!

Vintage16 Compact All Tube Guitar Amp

The Carvin Audio Vintage16 Combo Amp has great tone and portability.

Regardless of skill level, you should always seek a practice amp that sounds good. An amp that sounds good will ensure that you keep playing! Furthermore, an important part of practice is really getting a feel for the nuances of your playing and figuring out any problems with your technique. Your practice amp should put out a sound that is clear enough for you to really hear the intricacies of your instrument and help you determine what you need to do to keep getting better and better. In addition, a good practice amp can help you really get a feel for what kinds of tones you like and how to get them. The MB12 Combo gives you the same professional-grade tone shaping controls found on the larger amps like the BX Series, including bass, treble, and parametric mid EQ controls, a compressor, and a contour control.

A practice amp like the MB Series that is equipped with a headphone jack is incredibly useful in assuring that you hear yourself clearly, as well as making it so you can practice at any time of day without waking up the neighbors or bothering your housemates.

Practice makes perfect, as the age-old adage goes. Having the right equipment to practice on can make all the difference.



  • Posted On February 10, 2017 by Rojer Weller

    Yeah I agree too,I miss the Carvin catalogs, I wish they would bring the snailmail catalogs back, It was nice to be able to pick it up and read it anytime I wanted to and not have to mess around with the computer that didn’t always show me what I wanted to look at.

  • Posted On January 20, 2017 by Arnie Spravka

    One other thing, I have about a dozen other amps, many brands, and could of saved all that money by buying the Belair first if I only would of known!

  • Posted On January 20, 2017 by Arnie Spravka

    I agree with Glenn, the amp you would use on stage or on a gig should be what you practice on, so you know what to expect. Granted, the Belair is a bit heavy, but THE SOUND is what I need! I love this amp!!!

  • Posted On January 19, 2017 by Ernest Papay

    I wish this was available with reverb when I bought my Nomad years ago. I barely ever get the volume up to 1 and always have to drop the volume on my DC120. Nice overdrive on the Nomad, though.

    Is the “16” a one channel beast or can distortion be switched in and out?

    Miss those Carvin catalogs!


  • Posted On January 19, 2017 by Glenn

    I have found that the best practise amp should be your gigiging amp. That is the best way to learn the intricate nuances of your amp and have it consistent at all times. Play an electric guitar and amp long enough and you begin to realize the amp is essentially an instrument in itself; or at the very least, an extension and accompaniment to your guitar. The only issue is dealing with volume variations, but there are acceptable solutions for this including choosing certain amp manufacturers or models that deal with volume variations better than others, power scalability, judicious use of external eq’s and power amp soaks/attenuators. Granted there are lots of extras that may be required, but knowing an amp inside and out as to how it will react, feel and sound at any volume level is well worth the trade off and expense…

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