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GUITAR AMP AS BASS AMP

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by thumbman, Dec 13, 2005.


  1. thumbman

    thumbman Love that low end

    Nov 2, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    hey,

    i know the all tube heads like the marshalls can be used as a fairly decent bass amp for a more mid range growl...

    if anyone has done this or is doing this, can someone let me know what it sounds like (i have one tonal place to start...lemmy)

    and most importantly, is it loud...or how loud is it...could the 100w of bass amp compete with a similar guitar amp??

    any input would be great.
     
  2. thumbman

    thumbman Love that low end

    Nov 2, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    cmon someone reply...


    please
     
  3. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    If you want lots of overdrive, a 100 watt Marshall will be plenty for most situations. However, you won't get a ton of bottom end. I use a 60 watt-Sunn guitar head for my overdriven sound, but am going to biamp it with a 200s so I still get a thick clean bottom end, with overdriven mids & highs.

    But yes, you can do it. And frankly, it sounds kickass. :bassist:
     
  4. sync00

    sync00

    Nov 23, 2005
    Does a bass head have more bottom end because it boosts the lower frequencies or does a guitar head cut them off?
     
  5. R.Lee

    R.Lee

    Nov 12, 2005
    oHIo
    I hate to say it but do a search. This topic pops up about once a week.
     
  6. sync00

    sync00

    Nov 23, 2005
    Sounds like it should be part of the FAQ then. I didn't see it in there.
     
  7. A guitar head shouldn't cut the lower frequencies, and a bass head shouldn't boost the lower frequencies.

    The tone controls would probably be designed at different frequencies however. A midrange control on a guitar amp might boost or cut around 1000 Hertz for example, whereas on the bass head the midrange knob may boost or cut at 250 Hertz. This really isn't a big deal, but it just means the bass player can't quite fine-tune his "sound" as much when using a guitar head.

    Again, the real issue is the speaker(s)--guitar speakers can't handle bass at higher volume. And guitar amps don't have enough power for us bass players anyways...
     
  8. P.S. There is a misconception that bass amps should "boost" lower frequncies. In fact, usually we don't want to boost them--excessive bass EQ creates a muddy sound and robs valuable power.

    What happens, though: bass players are using speakers designed for bass, being driven by lots of power, so the lower bass frequencies are projected quite well. Stereo speakers, as well as guitar combo amps, generally don't produce the levels of bass we can produce with a clean bass rig. So the bass player may sound like he/she is "boosting" the bass, but in reality the bass player is merely putting forth the sounds that are otherwise being lost.
     
  9. sync00

    sync00

    Nov 23, 2005
    Thanks for the explanation. It didn't make sense to me that bass and guitar heads would have significantly different frequency responses. I can see now how the EQ needs would be different though.
     
  10. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Well, I also find that using overdrive with too much low end will make almost any speaker, bass or otherwise, fart alot (Jack Bruce style). I have to keep my bass almost at 0 (just like Lemmy) to keep the speakers from farting. There still is alot of low end in the sound, but not enough for my liking.
     
  11. thumbman

    thumbman Love that low end

    Nov 2, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    so would it be safe to assume that if you used a guitar head on a bass cab you would still have the low end you would need?? or want really...

    and volume wise...does the increase in mids and highs make the guitar amp seem louder than a bass amp of similar wattage...for example would using a marshall 100 be enough even though using a bassman 100 isnt enough...
     
  12. Your best bet would be one of the darker sounding guitar heads - not a marshall - but a 70's vintage ORANGE OR120 head.
    I've heard bass though these before, i know a bloke with two of them - very sweet, and that was with the EL34's too!
     
  13. Also - i forgot to add - you'd need to change the pre-amp tubes to lower gain type tubes - or you'd have no clean sound.
    For example, in the OR120, change the ecc83's for ecc81's.
     
  14. thumbman

    thumbman Love that low end

    Nov 2, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    groovey...thanks...what about volume?

    any comments?
     
  15. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Hey, some people LIKE overdrive!!!
     
  16. I'm not quite sure whether you're comparing apples to apples, but I have an old Ampeg V4 head, 100 watts all-tube, which can be used for bass or guitar. I usually have it setting on a 2x15 cab which is reasonably efficient.

    Plug in an electric guitar, and your ears will be bleeding if you crank the amp up to full volume. Sounds great however.... (though not the "crunchy" heavy metal distortion some folks crave)...this would be far too much power for any ordinary club gig. Maybe stadium stages.

    Plug in the bass...yeah the walls rattle, it's lots of volume, but I know from experience the volume level is adequate only for medium-power gig requirements for bass--country and mild classic rock in smaller settings.

    The difference is the power level required for the lower bass frequencies, whereas little power will be required to reproduce higher frequencies. An extreme example: have you ever messed with a little piezo tweeter? With a few watts of a high-frequency audio signal, it'll be insanely, deafeningly loud.
     
  17. sync00

    sync00

    Nov 23, 2005
    I read somewhere that you need about four times as much wattage as the guitarist.
     
  18. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD

    That is an extreme generalization, as wattage does not equal volume.
     
  19. hervetlse

    hervetlse

    Jan 25, 2002
    france toulouse
    hello guys, i have a question a bit like thumbman's one, i saw this combo :

    http://www.musik-produktiv.de/shop2/shop04.asp/artnr/100020138/sid/!06082002/quelle/listen

    or his bigger brother :

    http://www.musik-produktiv.de/shop2/shop04.asp/sid/!06082002/artnr/100020139

    So, the question is : does the small one (12inches) 50W all tubes, is enough for playing bass with it in small/medium venues (with pa of course), as the weight is important for me (41lbs for the small one and 64.5lbs for the 2*12" 100w)?

    i listened to the guitar samples of the small one, here, on peavey's site :
    http://www.peavey.com/products/brow...40/cat/308/begin/1/ValveKing%AE+112+Combo.cfm

    and i found the sounds to have a pretty good amount of bass frequencies, and a really good overdriven sound in it, is it your opinion too?

    So the question is : will the small 50w's one will be enough to play in a moderate loud rock trio?

    and do you think like me that an all tubes combo for 450euros/$? is a good deal?

    Thank you for your answers:hyper: :bassist:
     
  20. A combo is not a good idea. You want a head, so you can use it with a bass cab.