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Playing guitar through a bass amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by IronLung, Dec 18, 2000.

  1. IronLung


    Dec 18, 2000
    I know you can't do the vice versa, but is safe to play normal guitar (clean and distorted) through a bass amp? It's only a little laney 30 watt practice amp.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. Sure. As a matter of fact, acoustic guitars sound GREAT through bass amps. Sometimes I'll hook my Ovation up to my Redhead and it sounds awsome. Way better than a guitar amp because the sound is really fat and full. Maybe that's why SWR specializes in Bass amps and Acoustic guitar amps. I'm sure an electric guitar won't hurt your bass amp at all. You just might not be able to distort it without a pedal.
  3. Erich Zann

    Erich Zann

    Aug 14, 2000
    Just be carefull how you set the EQ. The guitarist in my band uses a 100 watt fender bass combo amp w/a 15" speaker, whick makes it harder for me to be heard.
  4. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    As it goes, I done a gig last week playing. As there ware two bassists, I volunteered for guitar duties.

    I don't have a powerful dedicated guitar amp, so I plugged my Zoom GM-200 amp simulator (about £115) into the FX loop of my Trace BLX80 combo and it worked a treat. Lovely authentic tube amp sounds from a bass combo.

    As rightly pointed out though, watch you EQ. I played with the 7-band EQ on the Trace without the Zoom plugged in first to get a flat response. (It ended up as a reversed scooped shape, taking out bass and treble and putting in middle). Then I just used the Zooms controlls to alter EQ during the gig.

    There's also the Pod, J-station and the new Yamaha DG-stomp, which all to the same thing, but also ollow you to store patches (I only intended to use the Zoom for my home studio, so this wasn;t essential). You could plug one of these straight into the PA, but it's difficult to control the volume level unless you've got someone mixing out front.

    Remember as well. The Fender Bassman was intended soley for basses, particularly the P bass, but guitarists love it, due to it's warmth. The same goes for the Vox amp too, like the AC50 (I had one, it was great, to big though). But tube bass amp do generally work better with guitars than trannies.
  5. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    Is it safe to run a guitar head through a bass cabinet?
  6. Erich Zann

    Erich Zann

    Aug 14, 2000
    So other guitarists use fender bassamps to? cool!

    And of course it's safe to run a guitar head through a bass cab. Most guitar heads only put out about 100 watts, and as you probably know, bass cabs can handle MUCH more than that.

    Actually, I once had it set up so I was running from a guitar pre-amp (on a PV bandit) into the poweramp/speeker on a bass amp (on a PV basic 112) Now, these are both cheep combo amps, but I thought it sounded really great. Lots of low end without being to much. Really heavy sound.
  7. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Some jazz guitarist prefer a bass amp.
  8. kotym


    Nov 26, 2000
    So Cal
    Hi, this is my first post.

    As far as playing a guitar thru bass equipment or vice versa, I think what's important here is tone. Yes, you CAN play anything thru any amp, but generally, amps (including speakers/cabinet) are designed and "voiced" to sound (if I may say) "better" with the instrument it was designed to amplify in the first place - with the exception of an old tweed 4X10 Bassman . . . I stand to be corrected but I wouldn't be surprised if all Leo wanted was to simply "amplify" his solid-bodied basses. I also can imagine the 15" speaker he had access to at the time might've "flopped" on him on the lower notes and, for this, he switched to a 4X10 configuration.

    Besides, I do not see any boutique amp manufacturer building tweed 4X10 Bassman-influenced amps and selling them as bass amps. So I guess what I'm suggesting is that though the old tweed 4X10 Bassmans were originally sold as bass amps, its construction apparently is voiced for the guitar.

    But I DO have a question. Guitar amps seem to be a one trick pony in a sense that they sound best when you run a guitar thru it. But I am getting an impression that modern bass amps, because of it's power and its overall tight and clean tone, are quite versatile and efficient in reproducing a wide dynamic range of sounds. So, for this, can one say that modern bass amps, acoustic guitar amps, keyboard amps, and P.A.'s are in one family and guitar amps in another?

    Oh BTW, I am in no way suggesting NOT to experiment with your tone by mixing and matching. Being sans bass amp right now, I run my bass thru a Fender HotRod Deluxe at low volumes. And I have experimented with the reverb and overdrive channels. I have once ran my bass thru a small PV 8" practice amp with the distortion on and it had a very cool "retro" sound.

    Anyway, I am also looking to get an SWR Bassic Black combo, your thoughts?
  9. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    You could say that modern bass amps, PA's etc are in a different family to guitar amp, but only as far as the former tend to be solid state and guitar amps tube. This is why bass amps can achieve such high clean output levels.

    But you could get really picky, and say that guitar amp are meant to overdrive and amplify a certain frequenvy range, bass amp amplify a different frequency range, and PA's are full range. So all of them are different, as they are all disgned for different purposes.

    So at the end of the day, there aren't any real 'families', it's just that some amps work well in other situations.

    BTW, I'm not sure if there are many manufacturers of 4x10 bass combos, but the 4x10 cab is a bassists fave, and is made by vitually every bass amp manufacturer.
  10. akajuve400g


    May 22, 2000
    Yeah......You can play anything on anything, it is really a question of what kinda sound you want. I just sold my amp and still waiting for a new one, so I just play my bass through my stereo. It doesn't sound to great (makes my warwick corvette sound like it was hand made by a mad elf that has never before seen a bass yet alone build one) but it gets the job done.
  11. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    My brother plays through my amp and it sounds fine. My brother doens't care much about his guitar so he doesn't have a better amp then me which is kinda petiful but when he plays through my amp I never have problems. I have plugged into his little practice amp one time and it sounded aweful. I even playd really quietly. It also depends on the size and wattage of the amp but really you shouldn't experience any troubles.
  12. guitars are fine.....just don't use a violin.... Lemme explain...... My fiance' was singing in a band that had a violinist and the one day the he (the violinist) asked to use my bass rig.... I said sure, not realizing the treble was cranked on the rig....... All I can say is my face matched the little red dude on the side of this post.......
    Nuff said.......

    ..........if you groove it, they will come......

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