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Using my bass amp for guitar?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jlepre, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    I have a Genz Benz STM-900, and was wondering if I used it for regular electric guitar, how would it sound? Would I hurt anything? Would I need another speaker cabinet, as right now all I have are 15" cabs?
  2. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Its just a lot of power for a guitar cab.
  3. vgbob


    Jan 15, 2007
    Wouldn't hurt anything, but a bass cab is not tuned for guitar generally. Might be a bit 'bass heavy'. Having said that I have a 15" Eminence Delta in an open back cab and it sounds really good with a guitar amp. I really never try my bass heads with it though, so can't tell you how that sounds.
  4. I also use an Ampeg head with 1x15s and 2x10s for guitar for the simple reason that I wouldn't want to spend coin on an electric and/or acoustic amp when I don't play them that often. It's definitely not going to sound like a Marshall stack, but you just have to fiddle around with the tone controls to bring the bass down significantly as it's going to sound really bassy for guitar. The thing though is since I mostly play Jazz, the bassy sound of a bass rig on a guitar sounds more to my liking.
  5. DblG


    Apr 27, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    One of my guitarists amp died midway through the gig last week. I plugged it into my 2nd input of my amp. Sounded better than ever! haha
  6. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    we do that all the time at practice so he don't have to bring anything. I have our guitarplayer plug into my behringerV-amp ( guitar version ), and play thru my stereo rig, he uses one of my 2 4x10's and I use the other one thru the same crown amp. Then left/right goes into the PA so we can have separate channels out of the mains in the jamroom.
  7. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    I would think using the tweeter in my cabinet would be a good idea for this purpose correct?
  8. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    since we use the 4x10's for the "meat" of the sound, re-enforcing it thru the PA I never thought about adding a tweeter to the equasion.
  9. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Depends - tweeters don't typically do well with distortion...

    - georgestrings
  10. toomanyslurpees


    Jan 21, 2009
    Wasn't the SVT's introduction to the world them being sent out on the road with the Stones for guitar amps?
  11. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    I tried running an electric through my GK/Trace setup and it sounded like absolute bin. The amp and cab just weren't voiced right for the guitar. It was sterile, pitchy and flat-sounding. It was totally gross. I don't think you could do any harm to your gear by doing it though so if you're really just looking to save money on an extra amp you can probably get by.

    What I'd do if I had even a little dough would be to buy a Vox AC4 combo or something similar and run it extended through your 15s. Tone wise I've had a huge amount of success with low rated tube heads and large cabs. Depends what you're going for but it can really work and you don't have to worry about an extra speaker lying around your house. Also you can take it places, like the beach, a party or even to the moon.
  12. spacebassed


    Jan 31, 2009
    Elliot Randall's guitar solo on Steely Dan's "Reelin' in the Years" was played on a cranked Ampeg SVT.

  13. Kilometers


    Nov 7, 2012
    I always liked the sound of a guitar through a bass amp. It's very sterile and clean. Not in a bad way but in a very pure way.
  14. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I very occasionally crank my Strat through my ancient Hartke bass rig (350 watt head and 4x10 cab). As one would expect, it's very clean and punchy. And obscenely loud. :D
  15. I use small amp modelers (BP355 for bass, RP355 for guitar/lead cello) and run them into the power amp input/effects return of a bass head, into Acme Low B2 cabs. I can also dial something close enough to "flat" on the preamp, that I can plug straight into the front at need.

    So basically my "bass amp" or "bass rig" is closer to a PA system than what we usually call bass amps. It handles the full frequency range quite nicely.

    Various A/B switches, or other types of switches, can be useful if you need to switch rapidly between a guitar amp modeler and bass guitar.

    As to just running a guitar into a bass amp, it can indeed be done. It depends on the amp and cab type. If your bass cab is two-way (has a tweeter or two sizes of speaker with crossover) distortion pedals can sound overly harsh/fizzy. There's a serious high-frequency roll-off baked into guitar speakers/cabs. The more closely your cabs reproduce the entire audible frequency range, the more likely you'll want to use an amp modeler between your guitar and the rig.

    I had _great_ luck in the past, running my lead cello through an Ampeg 4x10 cab topped by an SVT III pro. It was like a really really clean Fender Twin with a few _miles_ of headroom. It responded well to guitar pedals. A solid-state bass amp, might be frighteningly icepick clean if you feed guitar directly into it.

    All this being said, sometimes the best answer is to go pick up a $50 Peavey amp off Craigslist.
  16. Hi.

    For "acoustic" type of a tone, perhaps.

    For distorted/overdriven tone, You have to be very careful in order to distinguish the intended distortion from the tweeter crying for mercy. It won't cry for long... especially if it's a piezo.

    IOW, I wouldn't use the tweeter.

  17. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Running a bass through a guitar amp can give you problems; a guitar through a bass amp not nearly so much.
  18. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    If you're talking about just messing around or for a rehearsal every once in a while it's not gonna hurt it but it's not voiced for a guitar so the tonality won't be what you're looking for.

    If it's for gigging I'd get a guitar amp and do it right. I don't think you'll ever be happy with how a guitar will sound through a 15" bass cab or through a bass head. I've played my Teles through my GK MB112 and even a 1x12" bass combo won't do them justice for anything more than a practice session. JMHO.
  19. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Well I guess it won't hurt it, so if I get a gig filling in on guitar I might give it a try. If I don't like the sound, then I will look for a cheap combo with a 12" speaker.

    Thanks all for your help.
  20. vgbob


    Jan 15, 2007
    If you don't want a separate combo, just a guitar speaker cab of some sort would with with the STM-900.