will distortion hurt my amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by iamthemusicman, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. i have a ibanez smashbox pedal and when i plug it into my bass i get a great sound out of it but im playing through a 410 red eye and a carvin r1000 and iwas wondering if the pedal would damage my rig at all
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks

    Might damage your ears if you play it too loud, though.
  3. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    it will only hurt your speakers if you play the amp so loud that the amp adds its own distortion on top of the intentional distortion.

    Know the limits of the amp and cab (volume settings that cause it to distort) then play with your pedal.

    If I'm playing really loud I set my guitar max, effects to just before distorting amp on loud notes and then the amp/preamp volume to just before distortion, then use my guitar volume during gig. I hate to turn around too much to adjust, especially during performance.

    under those settings when you click in the pedal circuit make sure the volume doesn't jump way up when its switched in, this will run the risk of unhealthy distortion. o.k., I just thought of something. most pedals like to get a strong guitar signal to work properly, so use your preamp volume to lower volume to useable level under the previous settings instead of the guitar.

    I think this is right?
  4. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    No, wear earplugs though... I was going to say it most likely will if you clip your amp, but I think it would be kind of hard to clip 1000 watts:oops: :p
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    It can be done :)

    Actually most distortion pedals deliberately clip the signal to achieve the effect. The difference being that when a power amp clips, it's deliverng more than it's rated output power. When the distortion pedal clips, the amp, in theory, is still operating well within it's limits. Therefore nothing gets damaged.

    If the amp has a clip light, keep an eye on it. the general consensus is that the occasional flash is OK. any more than that and you're running the risk of hurting your speakers.
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