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Guitar Amp sounded really good for Bass

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JAS, Jun 7, 2005.


  1. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    Very recently I played my Fender Jazz bass through a guitar amp. It was a Fender Pro 185 (185W Combo Amp (2 x 12"))

    It was the nicest sound I have ever gotten besides an old Acoustic amp that I have. It didn't make much extra noise at all and it was very warm, but had more punch than any bass amp I have ever used. It was way more than loud enough for a loud power trio I used it for.

    I have always felt that most bass amps, especially newer ones have a very artifically enhanced sounding low end. This had none of that.

    Whats up with this? Most bass amps have much more than 185 watts, yet this was still a much nicer, cleaner, warmer, and punchier sound at volumes ranging from soft to very loud.

    Does any one have any ideas? I am trying to find a used one of these to buy now. Its like that was the sound I have always wanted from a bass amp and never could totally find.
     
  2. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    oh man i'm excited, i don't know anything about this, but i'm suspecting it has to do with the range of frequencies that bass amps are designed to handle...but i wanna know. that sounds really nice
     
  3. DubDubs

    DubDubs

    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Wattage doesn't translate into nicer, cleaner, warmer sound, that doesn't make any sense. Also you're gonna want to use that amp to drive a bass cab unless you have the funds and are so determined to have that tone that you can afford a new speaker every month. Guitar speakers are weak and not designed for any kind of bass frequencies you'll tear it up in no time. That said if you're into that lots of bassists use guitar AMPS for bass. You get more treble and midrange becuase those are the frequencies the amp is designed to amplify and the preamps are designed to alter those ranges.
     
  4. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    Does the wattage have anything to do with volume? Besides sounding nice, it was much louder than other bass amps I have used that have more wattage. Would I be able to use this in soft- med loud situations, without blowing the speakers? If not, what kind of set up would be best to achieve this sound? I deffinately don't want to blow the speakers, but I have found most bass amps to be more boomy and less warm and clean like this was. What should I do?
     
  5. When you were playing out of this 185watt 2x12 guitar amp, was it distorted? Was the sound clean from high end to low end, low E string to high G string?

    If the sound was clean then I'd say keep using it. I don't think it will do any harm.
     
  6. I used a Fender Twin for years and always got positive responses from the bands I was in and from the audiences. I played from quiet folky stuff to punk in pubs and clubs and never had any problems at all. Foolishly, I traded it for a 'proper' bass amp and suddenly lost all the vibrancy and life out of my sound. Maybe I'll save up and try to get a guitar head and bass cab (if I can persuade the music stores here to hook them together).
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I occasionally use my Peavey Ultra 60 with my Mesa RR410. It sounds quite good. It may only be 60 watts, but it puts out the loud.

    It sounds pretty good; I don't know if it would hold up under a couple of half stacks and a drummer, but if you were doing a trio thing, you'd probably do fine. I've rattled the windows but good never getting my Peavey above 10 o'clock.
     
  8. Here's another thought: Don't countless big name bass players use a guitar amp in the studio to get the distortion and overdrive in their tone? I don't think they're replacing speakers all the time.
     
  9. i have played my bass through a crate blue voodoo head and a marshall 800 cab a couple times.

    i know exactly what you are talking about in regards to sweet tones. it was awesome... i'm just glad it wasn't my cab. i dont think the speakers handled it very well.
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Possibly, but then if you're in a studio, you can probably go right to the board and not have to worry about blowing speakers.

    And, since blowing a speaker tends to make it distort, if you're using guitar cabs for distortion, if a speaker blows, you're not out a whole lot, are you? You're good until/when you more or less melt the voice coils on the speaker.
     
  11. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    You're correct about the artificial aspect of the low end.

    I used an old kustom 2x12 twin reverb kind of combo for a year or so and it sounded great. I think the phase cancellation from the open back cab had a lot to do with the bottom end not being overwhelming but sooner or later....the cones of guitar speakers will rip to shreds trying to produce all that low end and move all that air. They just aren't stiff enough over the long term.

    You don't need to worry about the voice coils. Watts is watts but the surround and spiders are built to go short and fast. The don't have clue how to handle long and slow for any length of time without ripping
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Anyone tried dropping bass speakers into a guitar cab, then?
     
  13. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    not really but I wish I had. My memory of that little rig was so good that I made a mental note to hold on to the amp. 15 years later I still can' make myself throw it out. Like a poor mans Eden metro and SWR red head.

    Great...now you got me thinking about spending money again....
     
  14. DubDubs

    DubDubs

    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Yes wattage has a lot to do with volume. For lower volume situations you should be fine but I would never turn it up more than half way if I were you.
     
  15. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    A few years ago, I bought a Fender Blues Junior to have at the house, with the wacky idea that I could get my guitar player to leave his Marshall at home when he came over to work out tunes. The Fender was so loud I couldn't stand to be in the same room. But of course, he had to use the Marshall anyway. But just for a goof, I turned the treble all the way down and set the gain and master at about one third up and played my bass through it. That really pissed me off. It sounded better than the bass gear I was using at the time, an SVT-CL re-issue, a SWR IOD, a DB659, and a RMX1850HD. The Fender sounded warm but clean. And this is really hard to describe, it had a sort of sparkle to it. It made me wish I could get a Blues Junior Bass Preamp. :hyper: