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If you don't ask...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by swish, Dec 26, 2000.

  1. swish


    Dec 26, 2000
    This could try your patience, but if you don't ask - how do you find out?

    I'll bet that most of you can recognize a bass amplifier from about a 1,000 yards... I on the other hand cannot.

    What is the difference between a bass amplifier and a guitar amplifier?

    I am on the verge of putting down the old 6 string acoustic and picking up a 4 string electric. They already laughed at me when I wanted to sit in front of the guitar mic with the bass (without plugging it in)... Now I don't want to end up wandering aimlessly around the stage holding a quarter inch jack ... unsure of which stack to plug into ... and not wanting to see my self esteem plummet one more time...

    Thanks in advance for your help...

  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Hey Swish. Welcome to TalkBass :D

    :eek: I'm still tryin' to get this straight in my head: a polite guitarist,
    who can spell ?!? :p (I'm kiddin!)

    Guitar and Bass amps are designed to cover a specific range of frequencies.
    However. A lot of guitarists have co-opted bass amps.
    Examples: The Fender Bassman, Peavey Basic 60, Pignose B100V (Huh? :( ).
    Bassists on the other hand, can (but should not) play through a guitar amp.
    Wellll...unless the guitarist has really pi**ed you off [​IMG] .

    As far as speakers, guitar amps use anything from a 4x12 to 1x6. Usually 12's.
    Popular Bass amp speaker configurations are 2x10, 3x10, 4x10, 8x10, 1x15,
    2x15, 1x18, or any combination thereof. There's also 2x8, 4x8, 8x8, 6x10, 1x12,
    2x12, 4x12, even 6x12 or 4x15 :eek:

    For starters, you can get yourself a good combo for under $500.
    I'm a tube "snob" :rolleyes: , but there are decent solid-state combos out there.
    The SWR Workingman's and LA series, Hartkes, etc. Check some of the
    other threads in this forum for a discussion of pros + cons.
    There's also the annual "Buyer's Guides" put out by Guitar Player/Bass Player and
    Guitar World magazines. You might find one at a Barnes & Noble, etc. The listings
    usually indicate "bass amp" or "guitar amp".

    Fill out your profile dude! Is there a Mars or Guitar Center nearby where you
    can check stuff out?

    Now that you've seen the light, the next time "they" laugh at you,
    just think of Lemmy (from Motorhead): He goes through guitarists like
    Spinal Tap goes through drummers [​IMG] .

    [Edited by notduane on 12-26-2000 at 02:49 PM]
  3. swish


    Dec 26, 2000
    Thanks for the info...

    I live out in the sticks. Two and a half hours from Spokane and three or four hours from Seattle. They don't put real stores out here ... I'll look for the two you mentioned.

    There is a bit of good news. I live at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers - the subject of a national debate over taking out the dams on the Snake River so fish can swim by... They are run by the Corps of Engineers and I happen to have friends who work for the Corps. They have promised to dedicate the power from at least one of the big generators for use solely by bass players - Woo Hoo .. Bring on the first 18x18!!! (then again it was a promise by a federal employee...)

    I filled out the profile (sorry it didn't get done the first time) - try not to be too disappointed...

  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey swish, and welcome.

    there's also a fabulous bass-only store, bass northwest, http://www.bassnw.com , that is located in seattle. they are excellent to deal with and also deal via mailorder.
  5. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    swish, to back up what JT just told you, if I lived only 3 hours from bass northwest I WOULD make the drive.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Me too! Make a day of it, if you have time.

    First, go online and look at what BassNW has to offer, do some research here and on manufacturers' web sites, then make that trip to Seattle and play through the ones that research tells you might work for you.

    Good luck in your hunt, and welcome to Talkbass!
  7. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    hi swish!

    i understand you want to know how to distinguish a bass amp from a guitar amp by looks, right?

    well, MOST guitar amps have 2 channels (for clean and distorted sound) sometimes additional built in effects like reverb, but very few tone controls - just bass, mid, treble.

    bass amps on the other hand usually have just one channel and no effects, but often more sophisticated tone shaping like graphic eq, sweepable mids (semi-parametric eq) and the like. of cause the cheaper models also just have bass, mid and treble controls.

    if you look at (larger) stacks, bass rigs often consist of 2 different cabs like a 115 and a 410 or 210, while the 'typical' guitar rig consists of one 412 cab, sometimes 2 of them (and has written 'Marshall' on it :D)

    i know that this is very general but hope it helps a little.


    [Edited by Matthias on 12-27-2000 at 05:09 AM]
  8. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    Can you really blow a a guitar amp with a bass? Say a fender twin.- I have never tried it but everybody always says that.. has anybody actualy done it or seen in? I am often tempted to plug in my 5 string in the guitarist amp!!
  9. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    It's the speakers, not the amp itself, that is the problem. Guitar amp speakers don't like bass frequencies and, yes, at higher volumes you can trash them.

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