Bass into low wattage all-tube guitar amp using bass cabs safe?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by H3R3T1K, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. So I wanted to upgrade my guitar amp and those low wattage all-tube-heads they make for guitar sure look nice. So I'm getting a Kustom Defender 5H (5 Watts) and a noname V30-loaded 1*12 cab. Guitar is a sideshow so it's not expensive stuff in case you ask. Then it hit me. My thinking was that I spent so much money on OD-pedals to make my SS-amp sound like a cranked up tube amp when I might just play into a low-wattage guitar amp using my bass cabs of course to get REAL tube grind at basically bedroom volume levels (not gigging right now). So I called a technician who's specialty is converting guitar amps for bass use and he said to just try it. Unmodded, I'm asking him and he says yeah. He said if it got too loud he could do something to it to make it grind earlier but I should try it first. I found a thread on the Semour Duncan forums on the topic and some guys say it's totally safe while others advise against it but they don't state why. So I thought I should ask on here. What do you guys think?
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Try it, it's not going to hurt anything.
  3. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I do it all the time. I've got a little 70's princeton amp that sounds great, as well as a couple 5 watt silvertone amps. All fantastic for recording and the princeton will get loud enough to play with a somewhat quiet full band. Just watch out for speaker farting, if it gets to that point just turn down a little (or turn down the bass).
  4. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Speaker farting is unlikely, plus the distortio would make it hard to pick up, which is where the speaker danger is, with a low powered amp, not massively a concern. Low powered amp into guitar cab might be better unless its a bright bass cab (not tweeter one). Bass cabs tend to have a dark theme, especially when they use a tweeter to not admit the cones are really dark and there is a two octave gap before tweeter kicks in.
  5. Well my cabs are 2*10 and 2*12 rated 400 and 500 Watts.
  6. I used to play around with my buddy's tiny terror into my hydrive 410, I thought it sounded great at low gain settings, once it got cranked up there was to much distortion for my taste, but up to that point it sounded really, really good.
  7. Negro_Negus


    Dec 29, 2011
    Lansing, MI
    King of Kings
    The Defender is pretty safe, just read the name.

    I got excited about TUBES one day and purchased a Kustom Defender for myself. I thought: TUBE amp ~$100 (!). I bought it and then realized it was only 5w. I should have read the description first.

    I will tell you this much- it is very safe (perhaps overly safe) through my Ampeg 2x15 fridge. I have done small gigs with this setup.

    The only thing the Defender doesnt protect you from is an overdriven tone.
  8. Please explain what you mean by "overdriven tone". Sounds good!

    How loud do you have to play in order for it to sound good? I'm hearing it sounds crap at bedroom levels...
  9. He means you have two choices, overdrive or more overdrive. I've done same thing with 5w tube amp, it doesn't get very loud at all before it breaks up. Fun times.
  10. Does it break up at bedroom levels? I mean I live in a flat with a granny in the flat below...
  11. Cirk


    Jan 16, 2011
    Panama City, Florida
    I use a valve junior with an Ampeg 1x15 sometimes at home. The natural overdrive is fun, but it can still get pretty loud. YMMV
  12. As long as your cabinet is within a safe impedance range for the amplifier, then you're fine.

    (guitar cabinets are generally higher impedance, so amplifiers are often built to match that, but an 8 ohm tap is still pretty common, hell, even 4 ohms isn't all that rare)
  13. Bedroom levels suitable for downstairs Granny is asking a lot. Just for you I plugged mine in again. Imaginary Granny downstairs was not happy. I can back off the master volume and bass knob to where I imagine I could get away with it. It's still fun, maybe it's just right for you, maybe not.
  14. Hawkbone


    Mar 23, 2009
    Just visit with her now and then and let her tell you a few stories - get away with anything after that!
  15. Thanks for trying it again. I like the amp because I can use it for guitar as well. Would it be possibly to have the volume low-ish and get the gain from a pedal but retain the tubey sound?
  16. I don't know about your amp but mine gets gobs of gain in the preamp stage. Have at it, you won't cause any problems with a bass cabinet even at full volume.
  17. Sorry, I'm talking about guitar because friends tell me "oh no it's gonna suck for guitar because it's only gonna sound good if you crank it and that's gonna be too loud" and I'm like "I'll put a distortion pedal in front of it and I won't need to crank it". Will it still sound like a tube amp with the volume at 9 o'clock or lower? Because my friends tell me it will just suck. They tell me to buy solid state with adjustable output (Peavey Bandit) for guitar but I want a tube amp that I can use for both bass and guitar.
  18. Sure will. Plug in and play bass. It will have a tubey hair with low preamp gain, probably rising to fizzy crap at full gain. Some like that fizzy sound.

    You won't be able to crank it with guitar while Granny is home. 5w goes a long way with guitar. Find out what night she goes to Bingo.
  19. Thanks guys!
  20. Hawkbone


    Mar 23, 2009
    Try a transparent boost pedal like a LBP-1 in front of it

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