Going crazy about recording via head with no cab

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by iPie, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. iPie


    Dec 5, 2008
    Hampshire UK
    So I've been searching fruitlessly for days on how to use a bass/guitar amp head without a cab. I know the speaker output needs a load on it but SURELY there is some product out there that you connect to the speaker out that provides no sound.

    Here's my situation:

    I'll be going to uni soon, and rather than take my TE half stack and hayden mofo half stack, I want to just take the heads, and play via this to record to my laptop and play via some monitors.

    Now I'm not looking to connect out of the speaker out, but the TE has an effects loop, line out, DI out and headphone jack.

    The hayden only has an effects loop, but that amp is less important... its not a bass one :p

    So Im wondering if I can buy, or at the very least make some kind of box to plug into the speaker out so I don't fry my amps, but don't have to have 2 rather large speaker cabs in a tiny room... any ideas?

    I'm really surprised I can't find something easily, there must be some sort of demand for it?
  2. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    I'm not familiar with Trace Elliot amps - yours is a solid-state output stage, not tubes, right?

    Most solid-state power amps are fine operating without a load. I've done that a lot with my Ampeg SVT-3Pro, it makes a great preamp for recording.

    So check your manual, or maybe contact Trace Elliot customer support to be certain. You may not need a speaker at all.
  3. iPie


    Dec 5, 2008
    Hampshire UK
    It is solid state yes, bought it second hand so unfortunately don't have the manuals, I'll scour the interwebs tonight :)

    Any ideas on the hayden? it's a valve amp so definitely needs a load.
  4. iPie


    Dec 5, 2008
    Hampshire UK
    The manual for an amp that's similar to mine (there's no record of the exact model on TE's site) says NEVER run the output into a combined impedance of less than 4 ohms.

    It just struck me that I could solve my problems if I could buy a really small speaker cab. And I mean really small, like the size of a bookshelf monitor or something. Are there any of these available? sound quality doesn't need to be anything at all special.
  5. Yes. Never less than 4ohms. But, having no load is not the same as having a load of 0(zero)ohms. No load is having an "infinite" number of ohms. 127 gazillion ohms.. plus. No load, in effect, is a combined impedance of more than 4 ohms. Way more.

    Tube amps always need a load because they have an impedance "range" that they must operate in. They have a minimum impedance and a maximum impedance. Many of them have a switch to set the load impedance. Some don't have the switch, but still need to operate within their min. and max. Most solid-state amps have a minimum impedance, but no maximum impedance. They operate down to the minimum, but can operate at any impedance that is higher than the minimum. Including infinite impedance.
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The Trace head is totally fine being used without any speaker load, and this is true for 99.9% of solid-state heads (including those with preamp tubes).
  7. iPie


    Dec 5, 2008
    Hampshire UK
    thanks guys :)