Using computer speakers for an amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zamp_17, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Hello,

    This is probably a weird question. Would there be a large disadvantage to using good computer speakers for a bass amp? The speakers I am thinking of getting have a 150W sub. I was thinking that if I got a good set I may not need to buy both a bass amp and computer speakers. Would the quality of sound I would get be much less?


    <A href="">Speakers</A>
  2. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Eh, those might be adequate for low volume practicing, but nothing more than that. There's no way you're going to play with a band using computer speakers.

    Manufactuters of computer speakers don't seem to use any standards at all in their ratings. Take their listed specifications with a lot of skepticism.
  3. chunky


    Nov 3, 2004
    Portland Oregon
    FWIW, I've heard more than one "I ruined my nice computer speaker setup by playing bass at what I consider to be low volume" story.
  4. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
    yeah ..
    dont do it :)
    though it seems to be able to handle and pump out a decent power out of it ..

    well most comp speakers are small, imagine you are driving out bass thru such small speakers and bass ... i rather you get another 15-30W small bass amp for practicing ..
    but for band rehearsal, no way man :)
    you waste your computer system
  5. Thanks for the help,

    Would you recomend any good semi-portable amp that would be good enough to play with a band?
  6. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    The quality of most consumer speakers, especially computer-specific systems, is such that they simply won't hold up at good volume like a speaker designed for professional use. If you plan to play only at low volumes, and are less concerned with getting any specific sort of tone, then playing out of a stereo can be alright. But no bassists are really like that, and you'll find it much harder to get into that psychoacoustic groove using home stereo speakers which are made to best reproduce most every instruments but the bass, simply due to the low frequencies involved. As in any case, there are notable exceptions, but the short answer is to get a decent practice amp - hands down.

    For example, in my car I have 800 watts divided between a set of infinity 6" speakers and a 10" sub. While these are all fine components, and do a most wonderous job of reproducing recorded music, they simply aren't suited to the job of reproducing the live, unaltered bass sounds. My bass doesn't sound awful when I hook it up on my car and rock out, but despite a good supply of power and quality parts, no amount of stereo speakers in a reasonable price range and application will replace the need for a real dedicated bass amp.
  7. I have the cambridge sound works radio. bought it from the online outlet for 150 clams. has a dedicated sub. has muliple inputs, including a MIXING input.

    I plugged my bass via the Korg Bass Pandora and jammed with the music- it was electronic-rave-trance stuff. I was hitting the low B a lot with the ampeg effect engaged. About an hour later, I stopped. I mean sheeeeei. . . .iiit! This little radio rocked with that sub. But you probably need the Korg to tune the input level.

    And it is a nice clock radio and bedroom system.

    FOr 150, buy that instead of computer speakers.

    edit: not loud enough to practice with a band.
  8. Thats the same company as the speakers I had been thinking about. I've used a smaller set of their speakers before (25W 6.5" sub) and it worked well for practicing bass at medium volume (didn't want to turn it up too much as they weren't my speakers). I figured with the added power (150W 8" sub) it may be able to keep up with a band but I'm probably wrong.

    Angelopb, Do you know how many watts your radio is?
  9. emor


    May 16, 2004
    I've kind of been wondering about this myself.

    I have a Cambridge Soundworks system (similar to the one pictured) that I use in my woodshop along with a Walkman-type portable CD player w/AC adapter. I keep the CD player in a Rubbermaid box with the wires running out a small hole drilled in it to keep the dust out. You just plug the speaker system into the headphone jack. The speakers have their own amplifier. Works great.


    I've been thinking about asking my wife for one of those Tascam Bass Trainers for Christmas and was wondering if the same set up would work for that when I don't feel like wearing headphones.

    What do you think?
  10. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    yeah tons, what is your budget?
    (they're called bass amps) :rolleyes:
  11. Probably less than $500.
    I've also got a couple 100W 15 inch subwoofers but have never had the time to make a cabnet for them. Do you think that buying a head and box would be a good idea or should I just buy an amp with speakers.
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    for 500 bucks there are lots of 100+ watt bass combos out there. I would suggest a 1x12, 1x15, or 2x10. Don't be afraid to look at used ones as long as you bring somone along who is experienced. Try a bunch before you commit to buying one.
  13. CurbowPete


    Aug 28, 2004
    I use my Logitech 5.1 set up for low level practicing from time to time in my college dorm room. The sound is decent enough for practicing but useless for much else.
  14. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Get a real bass amp with real bass speakers.

    It's pretty difficult to use subwoofers built for car audio/home audio/home theater systems in a bass guitar rig. While they may seem pretty loud, when you get them in a live sound situation you'll barely be able to hear them at all. Next to a loud drummer, they'll be practically non-existant.

    There's a few speakers out there that sit right at the border between home/car audio and pro sound that can be used in a bass rig, but you've got to have a bit of experience in speaker design and sound systems before you get into that.

    If you're playing a 4 string in normal tuning, there's no need to get into subwoofers anyway. There's plenty of affordable, good sounding bass rigs that'll do the job for you.

    If and when you get bit by the 5 string bug, that's when things get a lot harder.