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Guitar through a bass amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PDP2000, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. PDP2000


    Feb 17, 2002
    I know that playing a bass through a guitar amp can be harmful to the amp, but I'm curious if there is anything wrong with doing it the other way around - playing a guitar through a bass amp. Thanks alot.
  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I have never heard of anyone hurting a bass amp by playing a guitar through it. You won't get very highs, but I guess you could do it to practice or if you were desperate...
  3. I run a strat through my 25w practice amp - no problems yet. I even run it with an overdrive pedal. The only pitfall is that it lacks treble and sounds like mud. Of course, didn't a lot of early guitarist play through Fender Bassman amps?
  4. PDP2000


    Feb 17, 2002
    ya, I think a lot of guitar players did use the bassman amps. I'm just going to be using my bass amp for practice on guitar, just because I don't want too many amps sitting in my room. Also, do you know of any overdrive pedals that might cut the bottom end a bit to make it not so muddy sounding?
  5. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    I have heard it said that acoustic guitars sound quite nice through a bass amp.
  6. Oh man... I used to run my guitar through my bass halfstack with an ugly metal distortion pedal and it sounded like I was bringing hell directly to my front door, incredible. Stangely enough, I've found some solid state bass amps provide great poweramp distortion for guitar.

    In my experience, you can get great high mids for guitar out of bass amps for lead playing. Well, with 10" speakers anyway.
  7. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    If you use a distortion pedal and your amp/cabinet has a tweeter, it'll sound bad (really harsh).

    I incorporated a Behringer mixer into by bass rig (between my preamp and power amp). I run my Behringer Vamp 2 modeler and drum machine through my bass cabs and it sounds great (since the Vamp 2 has guitar cabinet emulation).
  8. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    I was in a discussion last week about using a bass through a guitar amp. Kinda ironic. oh well I'll shoot

    I own a 1979 Traynor Bassman and I've had guitar players go through those heads. Actually I've heard of more guitar players going through those heads than bass players. (I'm not saying it's a bad bass amp). Either way it sounds pretty good.

    The only thing you need to watch out for when using distortion (especially for guitar). Too much gain and that harshness that BillyB was talking about comes out of your actual speakers. Meaning your voice coil is being fried.

    I remember doing a scince project in school with speaker that showed a burnt out voice coil.
    You won't get the dynamics the speaker is supposed to produce.
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    THe '59 Bassman is currently being reissued as a guitar amp.

    Some AC30's will have 'bass' written inside the cab.

    Many of the older 100w heads can be used for either bass or guitar (Selmer Treble and Bass, Kelly DP100 etc). Many of the old style pre master volume heads by Marshal Hiwatt Sound City Laney etc can be used for both. As previously stated it's the speakers that count.

    BTW re treble and bass response, the Ibanez Tubescreamer is notorious for bass loss.
  10. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i love to play guitar through my bass amp!
    i put it on four and i thought i was going to die!!
    its sounds amazing!!! way better than a guitar amp in my opinion.

  11. I play my guitar through my SWR WM 10 with my Johnson J-Station all the time. I'll have to try it with the tweeter off as mentioned above. It may not be a plexi half stack, but hey it's close enough for my basement.
  12. If you're going to use the bass amp for practice only, I wouldn't worry about matching the overdrive pedal to the bass amp. Think about getting a guitar amp for performance and find a good overdrive pedal for that.
  13. I'm not sure about all of the tech side of playing a guitar with a bass amp, but it is possible to wreck the speaker coils as mentioned before. in my experences, playing a guitar with a bass amp rocks. It makes everything so powerful, actually i play my guyatone tele though my cheri bass amp. you do loose some of the highs, but thats fine with me. i usually play the tele with a boss overdrive, and i get the exact tone i want. think of kyuss for what a guitar through a bass amp sounds like.
  14. cjgallen


    Oct 19, 2001
    I play a Stratocaster with my Big Muff and Sansamp BDDI, through my power amp to my Avatar Cabs, and let me tell ya, it rocks HARD! :D It feels like the roof is gonna collapse, and that's with my mixer's volume knob barely cranked up :eek: Needless to say, all my guitarist friends are jealous. :D
  15. Ditto. Last night, I ran my strat through my Sansamp BDDI / 15" bass combo and it had the best tone out of all of the amps there. Better than the Marshall (AVT50?) combo and Fender Ultra Chorus by a long shot. My guitarists were also jealous.
  16. another option you could do is if you're worried about losing some of the highs, is get a guitar amp you like that has a line-out on it, then run the line out to the bass amp. Me and my guitar player tried this with his practice amp(samick I think), and it made it sound like a full stack! all the lows and power from the bass amp, and the highs from the guitar amp. needless to say, he's got some GAS for a bass amp now.
  17. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Yes. An acoustic through a 2x10 & horn cab is really nice.
  18. Mark Jacobs

    Mark Jacobs

    Dec 16, 2000
    I play a Strat and a Tele through a SWR bass amp and it sounds great. In fact, I own a Fender HRD Dlx (40W, all tubes) and half the time I just go through the SWR anyway.
  19. BassPlayerGush


    Sep 23, 2001
    this sound is sought after by many blues musicians. they refer to that type of mellow sound as the "brown tone"
  20. Not to be confused with the 'brown noise', made popular by Kenny G, Yoko Ono, and one Eric Cartman. ;)

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