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solid state bass amp + distortion box = ok?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by W Collins, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. W Collins

    W Collins

    Oct 17, 2013
    Can I use an overdrive pedal infront of my high-wattage jazz bass amp? (Eden WT800 into a bag end 4x10)? Isn't distortion, whether pre amp or power amp, ALWAYS bad with solid state amps?

  2. Yes you can.

    No, it's not!

    There's probably more people using solid state than tube amps on here and a lot of em use overdrive.

    Tweeters, on the other hand, are bad!
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    If you can't disable or turn down the tweeter, then just turn down the highs a bit on your amp EQ.
  4. drewfunk


    May 10, 2010
    Olympia, Wa
    When people say distortion is bad with a solid state amp, they are talking about distortion from the amp itself. A distortion pedal is completely separate and is just coloring the tone going into the amp, not distorting the amplifier itself.
  5. There are some solid state amps that can distort on their own! The Traynor Ts50b is rad.
  6. W Collins

    W Collins

    Oct 17, 2013
    I see now, the issue is with potential tweeter damage. Thanks for the info.

    For what it's worth, could someone describe the difference in a distoreted pre amp and power amp wave form? Don't they both clip the speaker in the same way?
  7. The issue is not with potential tweeter damage - it's potential ear damage from said tweeter!

    Tweeters make a distortion sound harsh and fizzy, so it's better that they are rolled off if possible.
  8. W Collins

    W Collins

    Oct 17, 2013
    "Tweeters make a distortion sound harsh and fizzy, so it's better that they are rolled off if possible."

    The tweeter in the BE cab isn't selectable off. I could disable it (or perhaps have a switch installed). But you're saying it wouldn't damage it?
  9. It wouldn't damage it, no. But I recommend that you do, with a screwdriver or something, to improve the sound.
  10. Too right you can blow tweets with distortion. That is how the whole underpowering myth got traction.
  11. Distortion in a pedal is done by carefully crafted circuits with tiny little amplifying chips introducing just the right amount of distortion in just the right way.

    The bigboy amplification in the power amp doesn't have those characteristics. When it distorts it just sounds bad.

    The distorted waveforms are happily reproduced by woofers until they either put too much power through and cook, or shred from peak loudness.
  12. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I've done it for years with a Roland JC 60 and a Boss DS-1 (And other pedals) with my guitar--so why not for a bass and a bass amp?

    I surprised many people at jams with my sound doing that.

    So go for it if you want a distorted bass--but take some time to figure out what works and what doesn't before showing others.
  13. Not only is it ok, for me it's mandatory.

    The only problem is the money you'll spend getting the perfect dirt sound. That can add up.
  14. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    There's a big difference in the quality of tweeters in run of the mill bass amps and higher end stuff like Bag End. I'd suggest you not go messing around with your cab if you don't know what you're doing. If you don't do it right you could end up blowing the crossover, which isn't a cheap fix.

    I run several different distortion pedals with solid state amps, with tweeters, and while sometimes you may need to dial out some highs, there's nothing inherently bad about the setup.
  15. chaosmic

    chaosmic Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Owner at MetalString Sound and Rabbit Hole FX
    I agree. I leave the tweeters in my Mesa and Berg cabs set flat and use all kinds of overdrive and fuzz into a solid state amp with great results. The quality of the tweeter and crossover has a major impact on whether distortion blends naturally with the overall sound of a cab or not.
  16. W Collins

    W Collins

    Oct 17, 2013
    Thank you for the input all. I'm running it through a jazz bass, and if i roll out the tone knob and add some reverb/delay into the sound it plenty fun. I'll keep tweaking the tone. Any particular rec's on 1) a growling SVT type OD tone and also a 2) flat fuzzzy tone?