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Bass Amp Thru Guitar 4x12?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SabreChris, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009
    I am a guitar player and I have an unused Peavey XXX (400 Watt, i think) 4x12 cab.

    Just wondering if this will work ok with a bass head until I get a dedicated cab?

    I was looking into a Carvin BX600.
  2. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Only at low volumes & then just barely. I think a lot of people will chime in on this, but you are almost certain to damage those speakers.
  3. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    A lot of great music was recorded and performed through 4x12 guitar cabs. Cream, the Who, almost every British band of the late 60's.

    It can be done successfully with some caveats.

    Watch the wattage ratings on your head. Most 4x12 guitar cabs are rated for no more than 300 watts. So, don't run a 500 watt bass head into it. If you are running a 100 watt tube head, or up to 200 watt solid state head, you will probably be OK at moderate volume.

    Do not exceed the OHM ratings for your head. Many of these cabs are rated for 8 or even 16 ohm operation. Try to keep this in mind when calculating wattage per speaker.

    Do NOT expect huge bottom end. These speakers may not be capable of reproducing fundamental frequencies below 80 HZ. So you will get some low mids and harmonics, but not clear reproduction of the lowest frequencies.

    Finally, don't drive the speakers to distortion. This may be a sign of clipping -- That is the first sign that you may be damaging the speakers.

    Having said all of this, you can get some great sounds out of a 4x12. Bob Daisley recorded many OZZY songs (including Crazy Train) through a 4x12 Marshall guitar cab.

    At moderate volume, with the right head, a 4x12 guitar cab can sound awesome for bass. Just make sure you know what to expect and how to avoid damaging those speakers.
  4. might want to run it WITH a bass cab and a crossover. you can get cool tonal color through a guitar cab, but as stated, there can be some problems, all remedied by watching your wattage and impedance settings and not sending super low frequencies to the cab in the first place.
  5. SabreChris


    Mar 19, 2009
    Thanks man, this is an all-time great response. Lots of good information!
  6. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Used a Sunn 4x12 for years with an Acoustic 450 and a Jazz bass
    They will produce some medium to low bass; not the clearest sound but one you might like; not for huge volume IMO

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