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Can I run a microphone through my bass amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Demitri, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Yeah, no worries bro

  2. No, stop

  3. Depends...

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Demitri


    Feb 8, 2019
    We have a Fender Rumble 350 bass amp that is not being used. We are wondering if we can run our singer through it, without a PA system. Simply a studio microphone straight into the "line out".

    Might be redundant, but were new to music hardware and wanted to know before plugging anything in and risking possible damage? From what I've read, with a PA system its possible but just lower quality.

    Anybody know if its safe and possible without a PA system to run the mic straight into a fender rumble 350 bass amp?
  2. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    You can....and I've done it in the past (1980s) as many others have. The results will not be great but it (likely) won't damage anything.

    1. Amp is expecting instrument level, you're giving it mic level - will sound noisy when pumped up to the volume you need; possible feedback issues.
    2. Preamp, eq and cab frequencies not voiced for vocals - will sound boxy or boomy.
    3. No other signal processing (reverb) that is critical for vocal applications in many cases - will sound dry.

    If it's the only source of vocal amplification you have, you might try some sort of general preamp/channel strip in front of the amp to overcome some or all of these issues. Even a cheap mini-mixer in front will help a bit.
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Running a mic into a "line out" obviously won't work. You need a way to plug the mic into amp's the input.

    If you have a dynamic mic with an XLR plug, you need a line matching transformer like a Shure A95U. A95UF Line Matching Transformer (XLR to 1/4" Male Plug/Female Jack) | Shure Americas

    A less expensive option would be an Audio Technica CP8201. CP8201 Microphone Impedance Matching Transformer

    Line matching transformers work fine with dynamic mics, but you need to have reasonable expectations on just how good a bass amp will sound with vocals.

    Many studio mics are condensers, which typically require phantom power, so they will not work with the line matching transformer unless you also get an inline phantom power supply.

    I suggest reading through this thread from last week: Microphone into bass amp?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  4. Fine for practice when nothing else is available. For the rest see above ^^^
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Agree with DirtDog.

    When you say "studio mic", what exactly do you mean? This may be as big of a problem as anything else.
  6. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    Not as good as a proper PA amp but better than no amp at all.

    It probably won't sound as good as using the correct amp but might get you by until you can source a better one.

    I should think that most bands just starting out have run a mic/bass/guitar through an amp not designed for it, I know my first band did.
  7. Line out of the amp could be the end of the mic concerns if it smokes it. Just because something is XLR doesn't make it a mic input.
    Wasnex likes this.

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