Distributed by: Yamaha Music Australia | Expect to pay: $269.99
The world of audio and musical equipment can be a tricky one to navigate at the best of times. With so many different products, conflicting opinions and confusing reviews, it’s hard to know what’s actually the best product for your needs.
Luckily, the team at Mixdown have put in the legwork for you, sifting through the spec-sheets and putting the products through their paces to bring you Mixdown’s Picks – a new series of expansive, category defining product guides across our digital channels. Anything that has made the cut has rated highly across the board with the Mixdown staff, garnering a unanimous tick of approval from our staunch critics.
For this special, we’re turning our focus to one of the most essential aspects of any genre: the bass. Whether it’s jazz, punk, pop or beyond, it’s all about that bass, and to celebrate, we’re spotlighting the finest instruments, amplifiers, tools and effects available to the modern bassist today.
Key Features: As any seasoned player can attest to, it’s incredibly difficult to achieve a decent tone while practising bass in a home environment. Many practice amps are seriously lacking in the low-end you’d expect from a bass amplifier, and when they’re not, they’re usually far too loud for the bedroom, posing a harsh ultimatum to those players restricted by space or irate neighbours.
With the BA-108, Ampeg aim to solve these woes, packing all the sound and power you’d expect from the legendary manufacturer into a down-sized package that’s almost perfect for all home applications. Weighing a meagre 12.7kg and featuring an all-steel chassis and impact-resistant metal corners, the BA-108 is rugged, compact and portable, while a classic black Tolex covering gives it that undeniable Ampeg vibe you’ve seen on so many classic amps.
Packing 20 watts of RMS power under the hood and a single 8” Ampeg Custom8 speaker, the BA-108 delivers more than enough grunt for bedroom practice, and can hold its own in a small ensemble for ad-hoc rehearsals.
A slanted chassis design allows for the amplifier to be positioned on a 60 degree angle, providing superior projection and minimising floor rumble to let the BA-108 play nice with apartment dwellers. Meanwhile, a headphone output lets players plug in their cans for silent solo sessions, while an Aux input can be used to play along with backing tracks through your smartphone or MP3 player.
When players hear the name Ampeg, there’s a certain tone that immediately comes to mind, and the BA-108 lives up to these expectations, packing a Legacy Ampeg preamp into the amplifier section to deliver on these classic tones. A three-band EQ can be used to tweak the low, mid and high end of the amplifier, while a -15dB pad switch can be engaged for players who own a bass with active electronics.
Mixdown Says: Despite its relatively diminutive size, the Ampeg BA-108 packs an almighty punch in the tone department, and there’s more than enough volume on offer to make it cut through in a small room environment.
The three-band EQ is simple and effective in operation, and the Legacy Ampeg preamp ensures that you’ll be able to achieve classic tones with minimal fuss, which is pretty hard to top for a practise amp at this pricepoint.
Features such as the headphone output and Aux In make the BA-108 a no-brainer for any bassist looking to make the most out of silent rehearsals, while the slanted design of the amplifier acts as a godsend for any player who’s fussy about rumble.
Overall: A killer practice amp that oozes all the power and tone you’d expect from the Ampeg name, the BA-108 gets a big tick in our books.
For more details, get in touch with Yamaha Music Australia.