1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Negative effect on speakers from chords?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 707GK, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. 707GK


    Jun 13, 2013
    Northern California
    So I don't know if this guy knew what he was talking about or if he was just blowin smoke but I was told again recently that playing chords stresses out the speakers because of the conflicting frequencies you send through them simultaneously. Any truth in this? I searched & couldn't find anything for nor against this statement. I don't play chords often but I do some powerchords on occasion. I also play some other dissonant chords on softer intros to songs, usually no more than 3 notes at a time, mostly in the higher register. Just want to prepare myself for future repair/replacement of my speakers if this is the case.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    That's why guitarists have to buy new combo amps every few gigs. :crying:
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    BAHAHAHA!! Ahem.... sorry.

    That is awesome, whoever told you that is either super funny or really stupid.

    If your speakers are not farting they are fine.
  4. 707GK


    Jun 13, 2013
    Northern California
    Ok cool thanks. I didn't think he knew what he was talking about. He claimed this and that about his education and his experiences so I didn't want to just discredit him without doing some research.
  5. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Only the brown note. That will **** your **** up.
  6. So we shouldn't be playing chords through speakers then? Someone better warn all the musicians. Apparently people have been doing it wrong since the '30s.
  7. 707GK


    Jun 13, 2013
    Northern California
    Hahaha yeah I challenged him on this statement and his only response was about his education and blah blah blah. I will continue to play how I play and not worry about my rig
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    You should challenge him to a bass chord-off.
  9. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    I would make it my mission to make him argue that point while in front of other musicians for as long as it takes for him to acknowledge that he's wrong, or face maximum ridicule in the process. The longer it takes, the better. Then again, I'm a jerk like that.
  10. Absolutely not - in fact, complex waves (which is what you get when multiple frequencies combine) most typically will involve LESS extremes of speaker movement (weaker peaks in the waveform), hence less stress on the speaker.

    Think about it: every set of speakers and headphones in existence would be wrecked if it were true.
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Then have a bass chord-off.
  12. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    When stuff like that happens to me I just say "Okay" and ignore pretty much anything else that comes out of their mouth.
  13. Cirk


    Jan 16, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    "That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard" - Groucho Marx
  14. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010

    I play low chords on the bass all the time. Speakers can handle it no problem, but you need to be in tune and things can get a bit muddy at times if you crank the bass end of your eq up. Keep your eq flat or a tad bright to get those harmonics for best results when chording.
  15. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Unless you play sine waves, you can't help but play chords even if you hit a single note.

    A good bass is harmonically rich. Natural, or induced harmonics.



    By the time you get the the 5th harmonic you have a complete chord. root, third, fifth.

    It's a combination of these harmonics and their strength that gives you "tone".
  16. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    My opinion? That's one of those things that makes perfect sense "in theory" with said theory covering 'eventually'. In practical terms? Who cares if you speaker blows out 15 years from now?
  17. Tell him you have a cordless bass.

  18. Ha ! :)
  19. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    He doesn't happen to be a sale droid at a big box music store, is he? :bag:
  20. Hmmm, in theory you can get low frequency beats happening with mildly out of tune strings, whether the amplitude could ever be enough to stress is another question.