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bass head through a guitar cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by guitarhunk69, Apr 10, 2003.

  1. guitarhunk69


    Apr 10, 2003
    a friend wants to play his hartke solid state bass head through my marshall jcm 800 four ten. is it possible to do this without harming my amp?
  2. guitarhunk69


    Apr 10, 2003
    sorry, it's a four twelve.
  3. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    DO NOT play bass through a guitar cab. guitar speakers cant handle the high excursions required for low frequency reproduction. They will die. and you wont be happy about it. use a bass cab.
  4. atom-bomb-explosion.
  5. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
  6. I think it really depends on your style? Many rock players have had decent results with playing through Marshall cabs; Lemmy, Jack Bruce, Rob Wright from NoMeansNo to name a few. these players went for a mid-heavy, growly tone and usually played with a pick. the sound would be lacking in any serious lows, distorted and not paticularily full-range but it would also be very "present" and punchy. Any "dynamic" playing with your thumb or anything would not be a good idea....(see last post's picture.)
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well if you think Lemmy's bass sound is "decent", then I suppose pretty much anything goes!! ;)
  8. Ha! Well, I am not a big fan of "that" sound but can appreciate it for what it is. One of those "classic" rock bass tones I'd say, distinctive to say the least.
  9. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    If you run a bass head through the guitar cabinet:
    1) You may blow the speakers as they are not designed to handle much of power or produce deep low frequencies.
    2) You may "stretch" the cones with the low frequencies. The sound will not be as tight after the speakers have strecthed - guitar tones (and harmonics created from distortion) may sound slightly out of tune. If you slap with alot of dynamics, you will almost certainly stretch the cones to the point that a guitarist will not be able to use the cab to get a decent tone.
    3) You will not get decent lows. Guitar cabs tend to be shallow and are usually not ported. Low frequecies tend to need large cabinets and most Bass cabs (and subwoofers) are ported to get additional low end.

    To use a guitar cabinet for your bass you most likely would need to:
    1) Cut the lows on the amp as to not produce frequencies below 80Hz
    2) Play with a pick to limit the dynamics
    3) Compress the signal to limit the dynamics
    4) Use a power amp rated no more than the rating of the cabinet (most guitar cabs are 100W) as to not blow the speakers

    With that being said, I do know of a couple local Bass players that use Guitar Cabs and they are constantly blowing speakers. They also have no low end and the tone produced is very muddy with alot of midrange. One guy is now using 12s designed for PA (as all the original 12s are blown) but still has poor tone and dynamics.

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