Like any electronic instrument, an electric bass guitar relies on its amplifier to push its sound out to the audience. They come in a few different forms, but when you need big stage-shaking power, a full-size amp stack is the way to go. Whether that means outdoor gigs or just a big venue, you'll be up to the task.
One of the benefits to buying your whole amp stack as a packaged kit is that you'll know the amplifier head is well-matched to the speakers without having to spend time researching the parts. If the head were too strong, you'd run the risk of blowing your speakers. Too weak and they wouldn't get the power they need. These stack sets come with heads that are just right for the cabinets they're paired with. On top of that, you'll have the benefit of getting up and running quickly—no need to micro-manage your parts.
As with any amplifier, these bass amp stacks may be tube-based, hybrid or solid-state. The 100W Ampeg V-4B, for example, features an all-tube amp head to give you those warm and mellow overtones. The monstrously powerful SVT-7PRO head and SVT-410HLF combination, on the other hand, uses a single preamp tube to shape the tone along with durable solid-state power amp hardware in its hybrid design. Fully solid-state bass amp stacks are a touring favorite, giving you the reliability to perform from one gig to the next without a hitch.
"How much power do I need?" That's an important question to ask when picking out a stack. There are a lot of variables that affect this, but here are some ballpark suggestions: for a small venue like a 50-seat lounge or coffee shop, you shouldn't need more than 250W. Folk musicians will find that's also enough power for a medium-sized club or auditorium that seats 150 to 200, or an outdoor gig where the front row is about 50 feet away from the cabinet. Rock, pop or jazz is going to take more power, though—250W to 750W for that 250-seat venue, and if you're playing big concert halls that seat hundreds or even a couple thousand, 400W is the bare minimum.
Once you've got the bass amplifier stack that combines the power you need with the amp head you want, you're good to go. Any of the stacks you'll find here are a good investment that will provide great sound for all of your performances, no matter your genre or personal style.