Guitar effects on a bass??

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by eddygordo23, Jul 27, 2000.

  1. eddygordo23


    Jul 27, 2000
    is it possible to use guitar effects on a bass. Will it hurt anything and will it sound right??

    Jordan Leavitt
  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Merely using effects pedals that were designed for a guitar in conjunction with a bass guitar will not hurt anything, except maybe your tone.

    Guitar effects generally are not designed to work with the frequencies of a bass guitar. There are some pedals, however, that work quite well with either bass OR guitar. For example, some of the pedals made by EBS or TC Electronics are wonderful for both instruments! The downside is that they're about the most expensive on the market, ranging in price from $200 to $300 or more.

    Since there's no signal that the effects pedal sends to the amplifier, there's really nothing bad that it can do. The only real problem is that some of the low frequencies may not benefit from certain effects or sound particularly good with effects. I'd recommend trying them out with your current setup to determine if you like the way they react. The worst thing in the world is spending your hard-earned money just to find out that your effects pedals just don't cut it!

    There are some bass players who use guitar effects for bass. When I started playing 17 years ago, I wanted a chorus pedal. Chorus pedals were just not that common for bass, so I bought some cheap pedal and enjoyed it. It worked okay for the time. If I used any effects at all myself, it would probably only be a chorus, and the units mentioned above have generally received fantastic reviews from users and magazine review columns.
  3. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    There's a thread below called "Play on a guitar pedal?" with lots of good info to read. You'll have to reset your preferences to "show all topics" (not "last 60 days") bcause it's an old thread -- last post April '00.

  4. gustat


    Apr 11, 2000
    I use a 1975 Big Muff Pi Pedal (ElectroHarmonix) for fuzz.
    It is made for guitar...but sounds pretty baddass
  5. frost13


    Apr 12, 2000
    I tried using a DOD Supra Distortion.. It is an inexpensive pedal for guitar, but sounds pretty good with my bass.
  6. My brother's a guitarist and I plug into his effects all the time (but don't tell him that). I've found that a lot work well... particularly his Boss DD-3 digital delay (this one is fantastic), Boss Chorus (CE-1), his Phaser (a DOD), and his Tremolo (a Nobels-- it isn't excellent for bass though). His distortion is good too (a Nobels's really a copy of the Boss DS-1 distortion which is great for fuzz). But when it comes to wah the guitar effect seemed to fall short. He has a Dunlop Crybaby and it really does nothing for bass. If you want wah, a made-for-bass wah pedal is your safest bet.
  7. Jope


    Sep 10, 2000
    Because a guitar amp is designed for higher frequencies, it can handle distotion alot better. A bass amp is usually more hard set in the case to get those low notes we all love. Therefore if you use a guitar effect that creates distortion, it will really hammer on the tone. Just keep everything leveled and avoid cranking the volume. If not you might have to look for a new amp before long.
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Simply not true!
    Distortion on guitar amps sounds good BECAUSE those are weaker in higher frequencies, thus preventing it from sounding harsh and shrill...that's because distortion on a bass amp needs a lot of tweaking... Tansistor (bass) amps usually have a more linear frequency range, so they actually produce more/better lows AND highs than guitar amps which are mostly tube-driven (or at least designed to sound like they were..) Modern bass enclosures w/ tweaker reach up to 20kHz - far higher than guitar speakers...

    I saw bass players blow up guitar amps and speakers - but I doubt you can destroy a reasonably good bass rig just by using a guitar effect...except a line booster maybe...but (modern) bass rig usually are sturdier than guitar amps.

    [Edited by JMX on 09-10-2000 at 06:00 AM]
  9. Something to try (haven't tried it myself), is to split your bass signal in two after any bass-specific effects you have in the loop. Then you run one signal through the guitar FX to a guitar amp, and the bass-only signal to your bass amp.

    Has anyone tried something like this?
  10. thegreyfox


    Apr 7, 2007

    this is my first post here ever. I'm a 14-year-old Bass/guitar Player.

    I have a Made-For-Bass effects Pedal (AX3B Toneworks Modeling signal processor).

    I was wondering. (and I hope this fits in with the topic at hand) If I ran a guitar through my effects pedal and bass amp, would it hurt anything?

  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Wow. :D No, you wouldn't hurt anything, except maybe your tone. ;)

    Edit: That "wow" was not intended to offend, it's just that the prior post was from seven years ago.
  12. xlows


    Oct 21, 2006
    justin meldal-johnsen said in a bass player or bass guitar awhile ago that too many bass players limit themselves by not using guitar pedals and that he does so frequently to expand his tone palette.
  13. thegreyfox


    Apr 7, 2007
    Thanks. I'm only playing on my friends guiatr for like a few weeks so it won;t matter that much

  14. Niff


    Mar 18, 2007
    New Zealand
    this really has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but i was 9 when this topic was being discussed. crikey.
  15. Haha. I was 10. The good old days of Pokemon and cooties. :D