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!
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.