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Electric guitar through bass amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Juddium, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. Juddium


    May 24, 2004
    can it be done?

    I know this is definately the wrong place to post this, but does anyone have any experience with this? I'm thinking I might get myself an electric guitar (for fun purposes, bass will still be my main gig) and I've got a sweet bass amp setup, but I don't really want to spend money on an electric guitar amp if I don't have to.
  2. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    I know if you have a horn it'll sound pretty good. I have a 300 watt amp with a 70 watt tweeter and I was jamming with my friend on it yesterday. ( Me bass him guitar ). Sounded good. Bass was a b it louder though.
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I gigged quite a bit with a Fender Jazzmaster and a Guild Starfire through a Boss Multi effect unit into my AMP BH-260 and BagEnd S12 & S15.

    Zero issues with my tone or with my rig.
  4. matt ramey

    matt ramey

    Dec 11, 2004
    i actually prefer a guitar thru a bass rig.

    i tend to like rickenbackers or telecasters, which are fairly trebbly guitars. a bass rig adds bottom end while still letting the natural tone of the guitar punch thru.

    and it wont hurt your rig at all.
  5. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    If your guitar tone of choice includes a lot of distortion...a bass amp with a tweeter can sound pretty bad.

    If you use a guitar amp modeler with speaker emulation between guitar and bass amp, that can help a lot.
  6. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    Wasn't a problem here because I acn turn the horn off.
  7. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Way back when I played a strat through an old Bassman practice amp, like 15 or 25 watts. No problem playing with a 4 piece band with drummer - and plenty of volume to spare. I wish I could do that with a bass. I doubt it weighed 15 lbs.

    Play a guitar through it and see. Your not going to hurt anything. But don't run a bass through a guitar amp.
  8. ???\0\0\0\0???\0%]FWIW:
    But don't run a bass through a guitar amp.[/QUOTE]

    that is so stupid.
  9. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i've done it a million times. nothing wrong with it. as peopel have said, if you use distortion turn your tweeters off or use a cab without them. The only downside is that a lot of speakers designed for guitar "color" the sound in a way that most people find pleasing. Likewise, noting sounds as good as a good all tube guitar amp. That said, i get plenty of great tone from a bass rig.
  10. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I've tried it with a few different amps, some sounded good, some didn't. Depends on the cab too. My old Peavey (Mark III I think) combo has a Hartke 15 in it, sounds horrible with guitar. The best I ever did for a crazy high gain tone was a Sansamp PSA-1, Carvin DCM 1000, through an Ampeg Isovent. One of the most impressive, tightest super heavy sounds, in that new fangled too much distortion way. Too bad the next day the PSA-1 decided only one preset would work, and none of the parameters could be changed. Would've been an awesome rig for bass or guitar if the Sansamp had been reliable.

    Without processing, some bass amps make good blues guitar amps. Old Fender Bassman, of course, but Ashdown ABMs with the tube gain cranked, and I have this old Peavey head... All it says on it is "PEAVEY BASS" but my guitar player says it's the perfect classic rock lead tone, and has vowed to somehow wrest ownership of it from me.

    As far as how stupid it is to run bass through a guitar amp... plenty of bass players too stupid to know any better have done it. Here's a snip from an article on Musictoyz about an obscure band in the old days, the bassist and guitarist used to use the same equipment.

    Pete and John used these preproduction 100-watt amplifiers and the 8x12s, as well as other Marshall amps, such as the production JTM100s and '67 1967 Marshall Major Lead (affectionately called the “Pig”) 200w amps, and 1982 and 1960 Marshall 4x12 cabinets, into 1967. In early 1967, John would transition to Sound City L100 amplifiers and cabinets, and soon after, in mid 1967, Pete would follow suit, using two Sound City L100 100-watt heads and four Sound City 4x12 cabinets (with the bottom two as dummies), a precursor to his most famous setup, two Hiwatt CP103 100-watt heads and four Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets (with the bottom two as dummies). ​

    I've read a lot of articles about these and other stupid old English guys nobody remembers using guitar amps. I just love sweeping generalizations. Like everything in life, it isn't so cut and dried, IT DEPENDS. On the individual, on the equipment, the EQing, etc. Just like using cabs rated at less than the power amp, bass can be played through a guitar amp, if it's done right.

    Ah, I feel better now.
  11. thanx
    i didn´t have the time to go into all the players using guitaramps and cabs for bass but they are many...
  12. this question about playing bass through a guitaramp seem to come up in new threads every week.
    can it not be told once and for all

    1. yes you can
    2. no u wont damage anything(not more than u can damage a bass amp)
    3. no it wont sound like a bassamp but that´s the point plugging into it
    4. many artist blend their tone from a guitar and bass rig in the studio and live
    5. there is nothing wrong or right? if you like the sound from plugging your bass into a 10w guitar amp, then do it :)
  13. 1. Yes you can, I agree
    2. Sorry, I disagree. You can easily toast the guitar amp's speaker. Like, really really easily.
    3. Whatever your tone fancies, go for it. Just be aware of point #2.
    4. I dunno about that. More likely, it's a combination of a direct box and a mic'd bass cab.
    5. Each to his own, but you'll probably toast the speaker on a 10 watt guitar amp very, very quickly.

    The issue for the speaker is twofold: excursion and voice coil thermal dissipation. Guitar speakers, in general, aren't particularly good on either count.
  14. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Huh, I've practiced bass through a 15w fender champ guitar amp for years. No worse for the wear whatsoever. The little guy actually sounds pretty good when it's on the floor.

    As for guitar through a bass rig - plug a strat into a 15" + 2x10" with 200W behind it and enjoy clean, clean, clean.
  15. Before this evolves into an ugly p***in contest, I´ll throw in my .02.

    Yes, you can destroy a guitar cab by playing bass through it. You can also destroy it with a guitar. You can also destroy a bass cab by playing bass throuh one. Heck, you can probably fry a bass cab with a guitar!

    My point is: you can fry just about any cab by playing just about anything through it. The keywords are crankin up, clipping, mismatching etc. It´s easier to break things with low notes, but anything can be used as long as it´s loud enough.

    But conversely, as long as volume levels are kept reasonable and no unwanted distortion or farting (is there such thing as wanted farting?) occurs, you should be safe.
  16. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    It's been a while and don't recall the sources but rememeber definite mention that a guitar speaker is not designed to handle the excursion of a bass speaker. Only 40 Hz difference between a 4 string bass and guitar in standard tune, so I could see it either way. Now days speakers construction is considerable improved. So maybe that was a throwback. But anybody who really know speakers shoud know the answer.
  17. It's your amp, it's none of my business to tell you what to do. And I have no desire to engage in a pissing match.

    Your amp may have speakers that are robust enough to handle bass. But, in all likelihood, by running bass into a guitar speaker, you will probably be exceeding the design parameters of that speaker.

    Guitar cabs are typically open-back design, which means the excursion of the speaker is not limited by the loading of the cab. For a guitar, no problem. But try to go down to 40 Hz and you will be entering an area where speaker excursion becomes problematic. Run WinISD or Unibox and you can see for yourself, the numbers don't lie. (There's a reason bass cabs are sealed or in a tuned, vented enclosure!)

    Also, many guitar speakers are rated 25 or 30 watts, or a tad more. Fine for guitar, but not for higher-powered bass requirements.

    I have personally ruined guitar speakers on two separate occasions over many years of playing. Both times I was playing bass through them. And both times I said, "ah, I'll watch my volume, it'll be OK"

    Again, it's your amp, do as you wish. You may get lucky and not encounter difficulties. Let me repeat myself, though, by running bass through a guitar speaker, it is easy to exceed the design parameters of the speaker. Feel free to ignore my advice. :p
  18. Juddium


    May 24, 2004
    I so knew this was going to turn into a "bass through guitar amp" rant. Last time I get anywhere near that, hah.

    I'll have to see how it sounds then, if I ever get around to getting an electric. Be interesting to see if it sounds halfway decent.
  19. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    :D I think we hit your question before the thread got flip-flopped :bassist:
  20. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Yep, sorry about that. Just threw that out as a precaution. You never know who's the plug it up, fire it up, crank it up, blow it up guy out there.