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Using a guitar amp for practice: bad idea?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by djole94hns, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. Hello there,
    I recently borrowed a 15w guitar amp from a friend (Behringer GM108). I use it with low, mid, high and master set on 10, and drive set on 2. I am wondering if I can damage the amp in any way by using it for bass guitar? I have heard stories of these small amps used by bassists get their speakers heavily damaged with time, that there is no other option but replacing the speaker. Is this true?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. jrusidoff


    May 31, 2013
    I sometimes play thru my little 15 watt Fender Frontman guitar amp, and never have had any problems. I can imagine you could blow the speaker if you crank it to the sky, but I am using it at home and never do that. The wife, you know!;)
  3. mustBmtd


    Sep 28, 2012
    Depending on your level of playing at some points. But if being a seasoned player most of the time this does happen. And does sometimes blow speakers
  4. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I play through a 10 watt guitar amp all the time when I practice. No problem. Obviously, if your speaker is farting out, your overdoing the volume. But otherwise, it's all good. I should add that sometimes with my G&L that has pretty high output level, you get an ugly clipping effect out of the amp. But just turn down your bass (guitar) volume a bit if that should happen and increase your amp volume.
  5. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    You really have to be very carefull!
    I personally would buy a (used) El Cheapo-bass amp.
    1) You then can't damage somebody else's gear
    2) You wont damage it at all
    3) You'll almost allways get better sound and volume

    That at least is my opinion
  6. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I use an AMPEG SS 70-C to practice bass line and even some slap but not with volume set to 10!! I do think you could damage the speaker, so to it easy.
  7. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
  8. I'm practically broke at the moment, so this is my only option :/ A friend that i borrowed from is actually well aware of the risk, but he doesn't give two ***** about it (sorry for language) since he has a 60 watt Fender amp with some effects now, forgot the model... He also has a backup 20 watt amp, and this Behringer thing was actually part of a guitar/amp kit he got when he started playing. But well... I warned him :)

    Volume is at 10, but Drive is between 1 and 2. It is very quiet actually :)
  9. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    No.....its not easy to screw things up. Just plug in your bass and don't play too loud and you're fine. You don't need a bass amp to practice.
  10. Wow, those guys really push it to the limits :) I am playing really quiet on a guitar amp :D
  11. If you're playing quietly, it doesn't matter if you use a guitar or bass amp. I used a 30w Fender guitar combo for a while for band practice. I got some distortion, but other than that the amp is fine. Much better for low volume though.
  12. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    Yeah, that clip lets you know what can happen if you overdo it. It sounds to me like what you're doing is safe.
  13. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    As long as you don't hear at distortion, you'll be fine. If you do hear distortion, stop immediately.
  14. In my teaching studio I have two small guitar practice amps, Rogue CG-20R's. 20 watts/10" speaker.

    I've been using them to teach bass and guitar for around 10 years. I also frequently rehearse for my own projects through them, so they have many hours on them by now.

    I have always kept the volume reasonable. They sound just like they did the day they were brand new.
  15. IMO, no, it's not a good idea. I'd rather just not take the chance.
  16. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I think the only risk is it will probably sound like crud. Just don't crank it and you should be fine. I used one for a while as a kid, never an issue.
  17. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    The first time I played with anyone they had a massive Musicman monster amp. He let me play through his Princeton. But don't go above 2 so you won't hurt the speaker.

    He was amazed he couldn't hear me.
  18. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I'll plug into any amp for practicing. If you push it too hard, you will hear the speaker farting. Just back the volume or bass tone back till it doesn't do it any more. Just use common sense.

    This is harder to do when practicing within a band context because you can't monitor as well. It is easier to push the speaker too hard.

    If you have the option, use the guitar amp and run it into a speaker cab that is more suited for bass. The amp isn't the issue, the speakers are.