Which guitar amps also work well as bass amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by A. D. Fairhurst, May 17, 2016.

  1. I remember that I tried my bass in the shop through a Blackstar HT Stage 100 Head and Marshall Cab, and it sounded bloody good! So much so that I'm thinking about saving up for one sooner or later. Does anyone else know of any guitar amps that work well with bass?
  2. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    All of 'em.

    Originally, there weren't really specialized bass amps, just high powered guitar amps.
    So crank the bass on an amp and see how it sits with you.
    A. D. Fairhurst likes this.
  3. deathness


    Jan 19, 2015
    Acoustic 150, almost the same as their similar vintage bass amps: 150b, 140, etc, etc.
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  4. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    Acoustic 470
    Plush 1000s
    Traynor YBA-1
    There's alot more.
  5. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    Plug a bass preamp into the FX Return of a guitar amp and you can use its power section that way. Basically the more power the better, even a high powered guitar amp will just barely cut it for bass in a live scenario. I've enjoyed plugging preamps into 4x6L6 power sections (for example Dual Rectifier). I think 4x6L6 can get you by in light-medium rock situations.

    I owned an Ibanez Thermion (IMO highly undervalued) for a while and it had a killer power section especially when loaded with 6550's or KT88's. I've thought of getting one again just to use as a power amp.
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
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  6. deathness


    Jan 19, 2015
    The YBA-1 was originally designed as a bass amp, no? Isn't that the "B" in "YBA"?
  7. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    I used to use a Marshall Major head for bass, it was plenty loud and sounded pretty good, they are just a tad bit pricey nowadays though. Sold mine for 150 bucks in 1976 grrr!
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  8. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    I'm not sure? Probably. I know both guitar and bass sound great through one of these.
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  9. deathness


    Jan 19, 2015
    Yeah, doesn't matter if it works. I think the Traynor was a version of the early Marshall bass amp designs which ended being one of the most famous and used guitar amps of all time in rock. So there you go.
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  10. twinfallsbass

    twinfallsbass Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2005
    I've read that the Bugera 1960 is excellent for bass. I would have bought one by now, but they are a big boxed amp and it would have looked like an elephant sitting on top of a bar stool with the cabs I currently have ;-)
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  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Guitar heads can sometimes be a good deal used...for example, vintage Ampeg guitar heads sell for much less than their bass heads. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a guitar head but if one came along at a great price, maybe. Personally, I wouldn't bother with guitar cabs at all but if you must, skip open back cabs...weak low end, easily blown if you try to compensate with EQ.

    With older tube guitar heads the output transformers sometimes restrict the low end, the Fender Bandmaster compared to the Bassman for example. Voicing of the EQ may be sub-optimal, you won't find the "deep" or "ultra-low" switches found on bass heads.

    Amp companies that used the same basic circuitry for their solid state guitar and bass heads (usually just removing reverb and tremelo) like Kustom, Sunn, Acoustic, Peavey (up to about 1990) are good choices.

    Yes, the guitar amps are YGA.
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  12. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    sunn model t
    And the sunn model t reissue

    big difference between the 2 but both work rather well
  13. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    I used a Randall 50w tube head once for a practice; got good breakup but not loud enough.

    I'll tell you what NOT to use - a GK 250ML (into external cabs). Tried this once and while it got pretty loud, the bass freq's were too much for it - even into an 8 ohm load per side. The chorus sounded awesome until I let the magic smoke out of it. Suffice it to say I have not tried this with my Ampeg SS-70c...
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  14. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    This one landed in my garage yesterday. It fits the bill. Canadian! Looks great.
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  15. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Compound W should fix that problem right up! :D

    Dang! I misread the company name! :rollno:
  16. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I won't comment on amps but one of the best sounds I have ever heard was Using a Marshall 4X12 guitar Cab. I was running a Peavey Firebass 700 through it and it was pure Nirvana.
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  17. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Agreed; but get better, no get different drivers.
  18. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Ampeg V-4
  19. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Hiwatt, Roost and Sound City amps were all purpose amplifiers originally, as where Simms Watts, the AP200 Super was a 4XKT88 ultra linear design that had plenty of good solid controlled low frequency power.
    It did have an enormous 5 wire primary output transformer.
    That seems to be half the trick, nice big transformers generally result in nice big bottom end.
  20. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    I have a Peavey Classic 50 head paired with a single 15 cab that sounds great with a bass. It doesn't get loud (and I don't want to push it) but it has great tone.

    It would work great for recording.