Diving Deeper into the Marshall BA 400 Bass Combo

The Marshall BA 400 is a serious contender for bassists seeking a powerful and versatile combo amp. Here’s a more detailed look at its strengths and weaknesses to help you decide:

Power and Tone:

  • 400 watts of power: This provides ample headroom for clean tones even at high volumes. You’ll cut through the mix on stage and have plenty of power for band practice.
  • Valve preamp (depending on model): Some versions of the BA 400 boast a valve preamp, which contributes to a warm, rich sound characteristic of Marshall amps. Solid-state preamps are also available in some models, offering a brighter, more modern sound.
  • EQ Section: The 3-band EQ (bass, mid, treble) with a 3-position mid contour provides extensive tonal shaping capabilities. The Deep and Bright switches add further control over low-end punch and high-frequency detail.


  • Effects Loop: The loop allows you to integrate your favorite stompboxes without coloring the amp’s core tone. This is particularly useful for bassists who rely on effects like overdrive, compression, or chorus.
  • DI Out (pre/post switchable): This allows for direct connection to a PA system for recording or live performance, with the pre/post switch offering flexibility in capturing your desired sound.
  • Headphone jack and tuner out: These are essential for silent practice and keeping your bass in tune.

Other Considerations:

  • Weight: As mentioned before, the BA 400 is a heavyweight. While the solid construction ensures durability, portability might be a concern. Consider factors like how often you need to transport the amp.
  • No built-in effects: If you heavily rely on effects processing, the lack of built-in options might necessitate using external pedals.
  • Price: The BA 400 can be on the pricier side compared to some competitors. Consider your budget and if the amp’s features and quality justify the cost.


The Marshall BA 400 is a powerful and versatile combo amp that excels in live performance and band practice situations. The rich tonal options, extensive EQ controls, and effects loop make it a great choice for bassists who want to shape their sound and integrate external effects. However, the weight and price might be drawbacks for some.

Who would this be ideal for?

  • Bassists playing in bands who need a powerful amp for rehearsals and gigs.
  • Players who prefer classic Marshall sound and want an amp built to last.
  • Bassists who like to sculpt their tone with EQ and effects pedals.

By considering your specific needs and playing style, you can determine if the Marshall BA 400 Bass Combo is the perfect amp to power your low-end!


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