Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Ibanez Promethean 20W 1x8 Bass Combo Amp


  • Very inexpensive for what it is
  • Great sound quality
  • 4-band EQ
  • Built to last


  • The power cord is a bit short

I remember the time when I was young and broke. My parents were not well-off, so I had to work hard to purchase anything I needed. And by anything, I mean all the musical apparatus. I worked for half a year to scrape some money for my bass and as I was sitting there coinless, I kept dreaming of the bass amplifier to actually start playing with the instrument. That is when I started looking for affordable options along with some available jobs. Back then the market was different and the choices you could get varied from what we have now. But that trip into the world of inexpensive models showed me how good even the cheap amplifiers can be and how much they can actually change your life if you are on the budget. Today I am going to talk about Ibanez Promethean P20 – a combo that does not break the bank and performs pretty decently. Let’s discuss all of its capabilities and find out, if it is worth even such a little coin.


I want to start discussing the features by emphasizing how different the design of Ibanez Promethean P20 is. This black combo shows off the name of the series with the combination of white and red. The pattern of vividness and brightness continues further on the control panel (more on that later). More importantly, the chassis is rugged and sturdy, promising to be long-lasting and road-worthy. This solid-state fella is quite portable with only 7.8 kilos (19.6 pounds), allowing you to transport it with ease and convenience. Promethean P20 has 20 watts of power so do not even attempt to shove it on stage. It is not supposed to break any windows since it is more suitable for practice or recording. It comes with a single 8” speaker, which is the main contributor of the sound this bad boy can bark up. To make the unit more flexible, Ibanez has included -10dB switch that compensates for the high gain of active instruments. Additionally, Promethean P20 has a 4-band EQ, which allows you to nail those mids to perfection. And as far as the connections go, here we have a single input for your instrument, an auxiliary input for CDs and MP3s (to make sure you can jam along your favorite tracks) and phone output for silent practices. As you can see, this combo does not scream versatility, however, you do get everything you need for daily practices and recordings. And for many, that is the perfect package to own.


As promised, we are moving on to the control section, which is a bit different in design and color palette from what I am used to. The whole panel is red with the knobs of the same shade mounted on top. Even though this does not make that much difference, I love the way it attracts your attention and begs you to start messing around. Let’s get a bit more serious and discuss the functionalities, a.k.a. the things that do actually matter a lot.

I want to warn you, everything is pretty simple and straightforward here. And what I am about to discuss might sound unnecessary, since I am sure you already know most of it. However, it is my duty to nag you with the information. So, the panel starts with the -10dB switch that basically adjusts the input signal of your bass. Then we have the EQ: Low modifies the definition of bottom-end, Low Mid and High Mid alter the amount of these specific frequencies, while High takes care of the trebles and eliminates all the annoying spikes. The last knob we have is the Master, which sets the level of the overall output and guarantees the uniformness of your sound. And of course, we have the Power switch with the LED light that indicates whether the unit is operating or not.

Ibanez Promethean Sound

As I have already mentioned, the power output of Promethean P20 does not provide you with enough room for gigging (and it does not claim to either). However, its capacities are perfect for rehearsals and small environments that allow you to master various techniques and refine your craftsmanship. With that being said, if you turn it up too high, it might start breaking up. Now, the nuanced EQ gives you a lot of precision, which is quite unexpected at this price point. But all four of the knobs know what to do perfectly and perform accordingly. They make adjustments without interfering with the original character of your bass. The -10dB pad will be very useful for those who have active basses since it tailors your sound to the character of your instrument. This results in a scrupulous tone that has everything in place. And generally, if I were to describe the sound of Ibanez Promethean P20 briefly, I would definitely go for that: it has everything very much in place.


And we have successfully approached the end of this article. I truly hope that now you have at least a rudimentary idea of the capacities of affordable amplifiers. Though you have a lot of choices and options, Ibanez Promethean P20 is the one that really stands out. And I have no idea how it could go wrong when the brand is so renowned for its quality in almost every aspect. Yeah, every coin has two sides and so does this combo, but when you consider the whole package carefully, you understand how valuable this bad boy is. Never let your budget interfere with your dreams and goals. Good luck!

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