Using my stereo as a temp amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Magneto, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Hi,

    I'm stuck here with a new bass, but no amp (yet). My bass is active, and I don't have a preamp. I have an older stereo with some new 12" 3-way speakers, but I'm hoping I can get some advice from more experienced riggers.

    I've seen some inexpensive rackmount EQ units with 1/4" inputs, RCA inputs, balanced inputs, etc.. Although these are mostly designed to be used with mixer boards, etc.., I wonder if I could plug my bass into one of these, then out to my stereo until I can afford a bass head.

    I haven't a clue what the input/output levels of these units are, or whether it would work or not. My stereo does have an AUX input, which is quite a bit more forgiving than most CD or tape inputs.

    Any advice (besides wait and buy a real amp?)??

  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Better responses in amps probably. Moved.
  3. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    It'll work, I actually practice this way. But I doubt it will produce the sort of volume necessary for a gig situation. Hi-Fi speakers are different to pro-audio speakers. They cover a broader range of frequencies which is why it probably sounds good at home. But they achieve this High Fidelity by sacrificing sensitivity. The speakers are very inneficient compared to dedicated bass and PA speakers. So to get decent volume out of them, you need to feed them more watts that they're designed to handle. It's actualy quite easy to kill home Hi-Fi speakers because they're designed for reproducing recorded music which has been heavily compressed at mixdown. Playing a bass through them produced the type of peaks and troughs in amplitude that these speakers will struggle to deal with.

    Do it, but keep the volume down.
  4. Thanks PeteBass. I have no intention of trying to use the stereo setup for anything but some easy home practice. My main concern is trying to get something matched with close to the same input sensitivity, so I won't damage anything. I've already played the bass through the stereo without a preamp, but it's an older 60 watt Toshiba receiver, and it actually sounds pretty darned good with the home speakers. I was hoping that by using the EQ, that I'd not only get much better EQ control, but better match the sensitivity to the receiver/amp.
    You mentioned that you "practice this way" too. What are you running, and how do you have it connected? If you could elaborate a bit more, it would be very helpful.
    I used to practice this way with my Pocket Rock-it years ago, when my main amp was at a gig and I still wanted to play, but I don't have that any longer, nor do I want to shuck out 70 bucks for a new one if the EQ will work. I can add the EQ to my amp setup after I get the new amp later. I just need something NOW, because it's killing me to have a new bass and not be able to seriously practice.

    So here's what I want to do. Plug into the EQ unit with my bass, then output with the RCAs to the aux input of the stereo. I make my own cables and adapters, so I don't see a problem getting everything connected. I need to know more about balanced versus unbalanced connections, but I think I'll start a new thread about that. Any more info would be appreciated.

    Thanks again!

  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'm essentially doing what you're doing, using a graphic EQ as a preamp to boost the signal a bit. The difference is that my Home Hi-Fi is also my PC monitors for home recording. So I've set it up I've so I've also got the option of using my little mixing desk and indeed, that's what I use to record. Either works just fine.
  6. Cool... You've been very helpful, as always.. This looks like a inexpensive way to have a small home practice setup until I can save for a real amp..