Bass through a guitar amp

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by HarryWS, Feb 7, 2013.


  1. HarryWS

    HarryWS

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Hi guys, due to the amp I was previously getting being discontinued and raised in price, I had to find a new solution. I saw the Marshall MG100HCFX + MG412ACF half stack for sale and I looked into it, from pretty much all reviews I've seen of it on YouTube or looked at online, people are using it a a guitar amp rather than a bass amp and I was wondering if I could get away with using it for my bass. Is there any immediate problems with running a bass through a guitar amp?
    (Here's a link to the amp http://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-an...FX-Amp-Head-and-Cabinet-Half-Stack-Bundle/GZ5 )
    Cheers :)
  2. humble1

    humble1

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    The main problem is blowing the speaker cones across the room. For the same price, couldn't you get something more appropriate for bass, or are you looking to use it for both?

    You "can" use a guitar amp for bass, but mainly I'd think in terms of recording applications and very low volume stuff, and at higher volumes you get that kind of thinnish sound you hear in old live Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rare Earth. It's not a "bad" sound, but it's not a modern sound either.
  3. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington Heights, IL
    Low frequencies will kill the guitar speakers QUICKLY. If you run some sort of crossover before the head and kill the low end below 200hz, you can use it with ease. You will have a massively distorted tone here, but this is what the pros do for that "elusive" distortion tone. While the guitar rig goes, they have a bass rig blasting a clean bass tone - don't forget that part!

    Summary - it is not going to work well for a clean bass guitar signal at moderate to high volumes. Low volumes? Do not tempt fate....
  4. HarryWS

    HarryWS

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    The amp would be only for my bass, could you recommend an amp (preferably a stack/half stack) for around the £400 mark?
    Thanks for the information!
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  6. depalm

    depalm Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Rio
    One of my best tones are when I use a Marshall amp on bass.
    Many years ago It was all I used.

    Recently I was doing a new mix for an old album and I ran many D.I. bass tracks through a 100w Marshall amp and 4x12cab. Just Great!
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    I would look at some of the Ampeg and Acoustic stuff in that price range.
  8. HarryWS

    HarryWS

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    I'm a beginner bassist (been playing for a couple of months) so doing anything technical, for now, is out of the question :( Thanks for the help, looks like I won't get it which is a shame! The carbon fibre drew me in, hah!
    Thanks again
  9. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    In that case go for it just make sure you report back to us about what happened.
  10. humble1

    humble1

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    When you say stack or half stack, you're talking stage applications, or outdoors maybe? Or, do you want that particular cabinet shape with the wheels or with the amp on top?

    If it were me, I'd think in terms of a 1x15 with wheels, so like maybe one of the older Mesa Boogie cabs, those are nice 'cause they have EVM-15L's in them, which will handle 400 watts and give you a monstrous thump. Would something like that be anything you'd think about?
  11. HarryWS

    HarryWS

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    I'd love to be that brave but I'm 15 and strapped for cash so I don't think I'll risk it ;)
  12. giacomini

    giacomini Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
  13. HarryWS

    HarryWS

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    I'm just drawn to stacks and I could mix&match heads/cabs without forking out for a whole new amp, application wise, it would be used for small time gigging.
    And The Mesa Boogie's are out of my price range unfortunately :(
    Thanks though :)
  14. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Basschat UK forum has classifieds for you. Loads of Peavey, Trace Elliot, Ashdown, Hartke rigs on Ebay.uk also.
  15. IPYF

    IPYF

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey mate. Don't buy that guitar amp.

    When it comes to playing bass through guitar amps most people will tell you quite correctly that you CAN do it. It's just the least favourable option for someone in your situation.

    The key thing is that the Marshall you've put up will always sound average with a bass run through it. The amp isn't voiced for bass and the speakers aren't designed to handle it. You won't damage the amplifier but you will almost certainly wear the speakers out over time and I doubt you will ever like the tone.

    Take Downunderwonder's advice and start playing on the used market. It's not unreasonable for you to find what you need at that price point. Bring back anything you're thinking about to this thread if you want advice on it. I stuck my nose on Ebay.co.uk and there's bucketloads of Hartke gear on there that you could grab for well within your price-range. Try a HA3500 combo maybe. They are a great unit.
  16. HarryWS

    HarryWS

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Cheers for the advice, it's a definite no-no on this amp, I'll snoop around on eBay to see what I can find but the Peavey Tour TKO combo looks as if it could be what I'm looking for (I have a peavey bass and it would be pretty cool to match!)
    Thanks again for your help!
  17. Puarija

    Puarija

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    For practicing, I have a Genz-Benz Intro 50 (50W 12" bass combo) and a Line 6 Spider I (50W, 2x10" guitar combo) and I rarely find myself playing through the GB. As for high-volume situations, I wouldn't feel comfortable hitting the stage with a guitar cab of any kind. If you're at the level where you can afford to have a professional sound guy, then a guitar combo at moderate-low volume mic'd through the PA can be a nice situation.

    It really just depends on what you're trying to do. Either way, you can get a lot of amp on the used market for £400...

    Jacob
  18. inthevelvet

    inthevelvet Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    AZ
    There are myriad options(all of them better than using a marshall MG, IMHO). I picked up a mint used GK MB112 a couple years ago for ~$200, and I've used it for tons of gigs, although bigger gigs I use the DI to go into PA.
  19. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    we always use that marshall setup with the other bass player's 80s jackson bass at the practice space we rent, while i'm playing a g&l l2k through a LMIII and a gk 410, we haven't blown the marshall's speakers, but it isn't really a bass amp and i think the grit you get out of it you could get with a dirt pedal, with the high gain you don't get an extreme amount of low end, so maybe that's why we haven't damaged the speakers
  20. Phlipper

    Phlipper

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    I currently use a PV Classic 50 head and 2 x 12 cab with Blue Marvels for bass and it kills. I got the idea after seeing a band whose bassist used a PV Classic 50 combo for bass. Excellent tone and plenty loud unmic'd. But that's 50 tube watts and very tough speakers (I've never heard of a Blue Marvel breaking). The Blue Marvel speakers are pretty hard to kill.

    Tube guitar amps are great for bass, but the speakers should be pretty highly rated and robust, or you should use a bass cab. I think the low end Marshall SS head and low end speakers aren't going to cut it for you.
  21. wmheilma

    wmheilma

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Sometimes it is cool to use a guitar cab for bass if you can play at low volumes, but it would be better to have a good bass amp if you don't have piles of gear.

    Tonight, I am going to be rockin' a big Trace Elliot all tube head on a 200W Marshall 4x12 cab, but I would not do this for most of the gigs I do. I'd blow my guitar cab pretty fast on a loud gig. Plus it does not have enough bottom end to get down underneath a loud band. (Even my little LDS 4x8 cab goes lower than the Marshall 4x12.) For loud shows I bring an LDS stack or an SWR 6x10.

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