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If You Use a Guitar Amp Will You Break The Speaker Or The Electronics ????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bunny10, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. bunny10


    Mar 11, 2006
    In the past bass players have used Showman, Hiwatt
    and Marshall amps and cabinets that were designed for guitars not basses, and they got great sounds and they didn't blow them all up.

    How was this possible if these amps and cabinets were designed for guitars and not basses?

    Which is more important, or should I say which is more fragile, the amp or the speakers. And how do you know if they will work as a bass rig?

    And lastly what makes a bass amp a bass amp and what makes a guitar amp a guitar amp?
  2. musicmansf


    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    I would only think it works backwards of what you just said. Mike Ness and Adam Jones both use bass amps for part, or most of thier tone because a bass amp can put out alot broader of a frequency range than a guitar amp and when clean, sounds absolutely gorgeous and fat.
    Guitar amps are designed with a mid-focus in mind so they cut through and distort quicker, while bass amps...are for, well...bass frequencies and are designed to have much more of clean signal as long as possible (lower down to 28 hz sometimes), thats why guitarists using bass heads use a distortion pedal for the most part.
    Using a marshall or hiwatt cab for a bass guitar=blown cones extremely easily, and a thin, mid-range at a low volumes (I use my line 6 to mess around with effects at low volumes and the speakers fart out because the magnet is way thinner than a bass magnet would have to be, thats coming' from a boogie black shadow too. The bassiest of guitar speakers IMO), I'd like to know where you've seen a bassist doing this before?
    Speakers are by far the easiest thing to screw up
  3. HollowBassman


    Jun 24, 2007
    Hancock, MD
    You can't hurt a guitar amp by playing bass thru it! The amp only modifies and amplifies a signal. There aren't many notes on bass that aren't available to extended-range guitars anyway. Speakers are a different story. Most guitar speakers suck!
  4. asad137


    Jan 18, 2007
    Guitar amplifiers are likely designed to not reproduce true "bass" frequencies. Because they're designed for guitar, their frequency response doesn't have to extend as low as a true bass amp. This, in turn, limits the low frequencies that make it to the speakers, which probably saves the speakers from being damaged.

    If you play bass through a guitar rig, you'll notice how little ACTUAL bass there is compared to a bass rig.

    The speakers are definitely more fragile. There's nothing inherent in bass signals that will damage an amplifier. However, if bass signals are amplified by an amplifier capable of faithfully amplifying them (i.e. a bass amp or PA amp), they can generate cone excursions that will quickly destroy a guitar speaker.

    Frequency response. Typically guitar amps are designed for a certain "tone", whereas arguably many modern bass amps are designed for a much wider frequency range.

  5. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Some bassists have and still do use guitar amps and cabinets. In many cases, though, they're using it in conjunction with a bass rig for some cool bi-amped distortion tones (bass amp for clean tone and lots of lows, guitar amp for mid-focused distortion).

    Others will swap out the speakers in the cabinets for PA speakers for a broader frequency response and better handling of the lows. And some will use the cabs as-is, but dial in tones without much low end at all (which IMO, doesn't sound very good... such people should be playing guitar instead!).

    The amp isn't the fragile part in this equation - it's the speakers. Now, if you've cranked the amp to 11, it doesn't matter what you're putting into it :D

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