playing guitar head through bass cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jrthebassguy, Jul 23, 2001.

  1. Ok, heres my situation. With the recent small success that the band I play guitar in, I bought a guitar halfstack. And I might be playing bass in another band fairly soon. But my Hartke B90 just isn't as loud as I'd like to be, so I need a bigger amp setup. I'm in the about the strictest budget as possible, so I was wondering if I bought a bass cab and ran it with my guitar head if it would be dangerous, or sound just downright horrible. Cause until I can afford a bass head, this is the next best thing. I was thinkin maybe I could grab myself a used Aguilar 4x10, hehe.

    Please dont kill me cause I play guitar too :( :D
  2. oo0o00o0oo


    Apr 30, 2000
    It might not sound so great, but it shouldn't damage anything.
  3. krist n(whatever) from nirvana used to use marshall (guitar) heads though bass cabs... i think.
  4. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I don't think that there would be any problems, but:
    Aren't guitar heads a bit underpowered for bass? Most guitar heads I've seen put out 50-100W, your Hartke B90 is rated at 90W, so I can't see any advantage here. But if you get a 410 which is more efficient than your 15" combo (and I guess that's true for almost any 410) you can gain volume though.
    Hope this makes sense.
  5. A few years ago I used a 70’s all tube Fender Bandmaster Reverb (75w RMS) with a 4X12 Bassman cab for smaller venues.
    Sounded good and almost as loud as an Ampeg SVT 3 I had at the time.

    Also had a Marshall 900 series 100w guitar head (all tube) with a Marshall bass 4x12 cab and it sounded pretty bad for bass.
  6. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    I have played through the guitarists Crate all-tube head and 4x12 cab, and IMHO, it sounded awful. Even with the lows fully boosted there were basically NO lows whatsoever. Now, I'm not sure whether that could be attributed to the head or the cab, but all I know is that it sounded real bad.

    'course, this is comin' from the guy that bought a 2x15, so maybe it's just my ears:D
  7. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves

    Jul 16, 2001
    chicago, il
    I've played bass through a Fender Dual Showman head [tube, 100 watts]. Sounded good, but had to push it pretty hard. Apparently Noel Redding and some other '60s bass players used multiple Dual Showman heads w/ multiple 2x15 cabs.

    It'll work, but it'll work a lot better with a tube amp that's known for low end, i.e., a HiWatt, Orange, Ampeg V4, the larger MusicMan heads, the Dual Showman. Many of those amps have cousins that were designed for bass, and are still in use as bass amps.

    Just buying a bass cab would help with the low end, but might not solve your problems.
  8. Very true. Keep in mind that Hiwatts and Sound City's were all purpose amplifiers, meaning that they were meant for any type of instrument.

    Oh how I would love one of those super rare 400 watt Hiwatt heads.
  9. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    there should be no damage if you play through bass speakers, except you may sound like s***. I've seen people play bass through guitar speakers and it isn't a pretty sight. After a while, the speakers get totally damaged, and have to be reconed. Peavey makes some higher wattage heads (200 Watts+.) IMO, tube watts sound much louder than ss watts.
  10. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves

    Jul 16, 2001
    chicago, il
    PortraitofTracy, I was trying to imply the same thing regarding tube watts without saying it outright. I don't want to get people started on the "Watts Is Watts" debate. But in my opinion some tube guitar heads or guitar/bass heads like the Ampeg V4 series, Music Man HD 130s, and HiWatts could successfully be used for both guitar and bass when paired with the right cab. 100+ tube watts are loud. And heavy. But not SVT heavy.
  11. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I blew up my Fender Bassman once, and used my guitarists little G-K combo hooked up to my 2x15 cab. It actually sounded as good as the Bassman. I ended up using if for a couple of gigs with no problem.
  12. gurf


    May 21, 2010
    Krakow, Poland
    hm... it's gonna be like... one of the biggest UPs ever made. I'm a miner, but.

    Recently I began to think about my sound... and. I love mids. I just love mids. Every amp I use I cut down lows a bit and turn mids up (treble @12). I play '83 squier pbass, plectrum and flatwounds and woolly mammoth thru ampeg b100r (that's already not that common).

    What I've been considering is. Changing ampeg to an old orange guitar amp (orange or50 [or or15 if 50 is not available] - has to be valve [tube]) and then go for ampeg b15 cab or any other 15'' vintage cab.
    Would that work? I mean technically - the sound is up to me and my liking and I know that I'd just have to collect this stuff to check it and be 100% sure.

    and to conclude - I'm a big fan of RIC's treble pickup, old, thin bass sound from joy division, the cure, post punk and new wave in general, often distorted, and I LOVE how orange valve amps overdrive.

    All I got now is puny amplitube orange or50 simulation, so that basically nothing.

    anyone care to share his/her thoughts?

  13. Sometimes for the fun of it I play my guitarist orange tiny terror through my Hartke hydrive 410, it sound really, really good, until the gain goes up past half way. To much distortion for my taste, but like I said up to that point is sonic bliss.
    I believe the tiny terror is only 15 Watts, maybe 30 tops. So if you use a guitar head that has enuff head room, I say go for it!
  14. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Peter Hook didn't play a Rick. Proper old Oranges work great for bass, but you have to buy a Matamp to get that new. Basic rule is choose amp for tone, and cabs for volume.
  15. subbasshz


    Aug 11, 2012
    phoenix az
    Im addicted to punishing volume.
    play a redbear MK120 though a 4x10 all the time. actually sounds great (if you like fuzzed out gonna explode bass tone)
  16. gurf


    May 21, 2010
    Krakow, Poland
    I did not say that Hook played Rick (we all know about Hondo copy, not the point). That was enumeration.

    but well, thanks for the replies. They're a bit more valuable than what I got from bassists from my country.

    When I get my hands on anything like that I'll share it with you.
  17. Baird6869

    Baird6869 LET'S GO BLUE JAYS...(in 2016)...LET'S GO!!

    I often play my Les Paul guitars through Hiwatt 100W tube amp and various bass cabinets.

    The Hiwatt (all purpose amp, but guitar sounds best thru it) through my Sadowsky 410 cab sounds pertty good with guitar. OK totally clean but much better with effects like distortion, chorus, etc.

    Guitars sound waaayyyy better thru the Hiwatt head matched with my Hiwatt 4x12 guitar cabinet though.

    Depending on what the head is, I might recommend having one head and a guitar cab for guitar and a bass cab for bass. A 100 tube watt guitar amp IMO is loud enough to play bass thru for most small/meduim rooms.

    I gig my Hiwatt ('70's DR103) with a Sadowsky or Berg cab pretty often and it sounds great.

    I play bass 95% of the time and a bit of guitar.... it I wasn't such a gear whore, I could likely get by with the Hiwatt as my only amp and a 410 bass cab for bass and a 412 guitar cab for guitar.
  18. Reviving the thread:

    Would using a darkglass or sansamp/VT Bass through a tube guitar power section into a bass cab produce good results?

    Or perhaps I should just boost the hell out of the bass and mids on the clean section?
  19. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    If you're looking at playing guitar through a bass cab, I'd highly recommend getting a tweeterless, or one that the tweeter can be defeated. I remember playing guitar through an amp simulator through an old Trace Elliot bass combo and no matter how much I eq's it, it was too bright and shrill.