We’ve found our favorite bass amps that work great with keyboards. Check them out if you want a way to bring your keyboard basslines out more in the mix.
These are our recommendations for the 4 best bass amps for keyboards on the market:
Roland Cube-120XL Bass Combo Amp
- Roland CUBE-120XL 120-Watt 1x12-Inch Bass Combo Amplifier
- Price as of 08/06/2020 14:16 PDT(more info)
The Cube line from Roland is a fantastic way to get deep, punch bass in a compact package. This 1X12” amplifier has an impressive 120 watts of power—that’s plenty to make sure you’re heard in any setting. The proprietary technology used inside makes sure it uses this power efficiently, giving you the maximum bang for your buck.
The Roland Cube-120XL (see full specs) is a very flexible amp, too. It comes with 8 amp models built right in. You’ll get a good array of built-in effects, too, including a looper and a 4-band EQ. Tweaks you make to the effects can be saved to the memory for easy recall. We also love the solo function, which you can use as a second channel to quickly change settings.
Peavey MAX 158 20-watt Bass Combo Amp
Peavey amps are a favorite of metal players, and it gives you all the same great tones used with keyboard as it does with an electric bass. The most impressive thing about the Peavey MAX 158 is the Transtube distortion boost, which lets you push the overdrive without always cranking up the volume. The Psycho-acoustic enhancement adds more bass oomph without putting too much strain on the speaker, maintaining your good tone.
The Peavey MAX 158 (see full specs) has 20 watts of power and comes with an 8” Peavey speaker installed. You’ll get the standard 3-band EQ and gain controls for tweaking your sound. This is another one that’s just as great for practice as it is for live performance, with a headphone jack and a chromatic tuner built in. For boosting your bass without blowing out your speakers, the Peavey MAX 158 is the way to go—one of the best bass amps for keyboards period.
Orange Crush Bass 25w Bass Guitar Combo Amp
- Orange Crush Bass 25W Bass Guitar Combo Amp, Orange
- Price: $183.08
- Price as of 08/06/2020 14:16 PDT(more info)
If you’re looking for more of a classic British sound, the Orange Crush Bass Guitar Combo Amp could be your answer. Along with the active 3-band EQ, a Parametric mid-range control gives you a tighter control over your sonic profile. Overall, it’s a highly-responsive and very musical amp that can work wonderfully for players of rock, pop, punk, and more.
In terms of power, the Orange Crush Bass Guitar Combo Amp has 25 watts—a good amount for practice, jamming, and small gigs. Orange has been making amps since the late ’60s, and their consistent reputation for quality is worth mentioning, too. You can count on the Orange Crush to stand up to the wear and tear of the road and give you the same great sound every time.
Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier
If you want great bass sound at an incredible value, check out the Fender Rumble 25. It’s not quite as powerful as other amps on this list, at 25 watts, but it has a decent output for the power rating. The inclusion of a 1/8” input and 1/4” headphone jack makes it great for at-home practice, too.
The control options on the Fender Rumble include a 3-band EQ and an overdrive switch, along with the standard gain control. This is a great option for rock players, with a gritty, tuneful distortion from the overdrive circuit. As a 1X8” amp, it’s also nicely compact and relatively lightweight—just over 20 pounds, which is pretty portable for a bass amp. The top-mounted controls are convenient, too, letting you adjust the sound easily without leaving your keyboard’s bench.
What to Look for in the Best Bass Amp for Keyboards
You don’t necessarily want to get a massive bass amp when you’re pairing it with a keyboard. That will add a lot of weight to your gear load, first of all. It’s also not necessary since you’ll likely be using this amp in conjunction with a separate one to process the treble end of your sound.
More important than the output is the bass sound quality. You want to look for an amp that will give you that rich, full, rounded low end a lot of keyboard amps are lacking. The inclusion of a 3-band EQ can be helpful in refining the amp’s sound to match the particular sonic profile of your keyboard, which will have different harmonics and resonance than a bass guitar.
You’ll also want to consider the outputs you have on your keyboard. If there’s just one speaker output, both amps will have to run through the same channel. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, giving you a more unified sound overall, but you’ll need to take some time to adjust the balance and make sure you’re getting the right mix.
While you can find some bass amps with on-board effects, you’re less likely to find things like reverb on a bass amp than you are on a keyboard or guitar amp. This isn’t an issue for most keyboardists, given the huge variety of effects available on most keyboards. If you don’t have the effects you need, though, or if you don’t like the effects included on your keyboard, you won’t necessarily be able to get them through a bass amp.
Really, though, the decision comes down to sound. Think about what style you play and the kind of bass response and tone you’re hoping to achieve. If you play in a lot of styles, a solid-state amp with modeling functions can give you all the tones you need in one compact package. Give a listen to the four amps above before you make your choice (each, in its own special way, can qualify as the best bass amp for keyboards). In the end, with so many different sounds to choose from, one of them is sure to satisfy your needs. Good luck!
Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel. Email him