Will I ruin my Bass amp if I play six string guitar with heavy distortion threw it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Will_420, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. Will_420


    May 7, 2021
    New York
    Hello all, stupid question here. If I play a 6 string guitar with heavy distortion and effects threw my fender rumble 200watt will it damage the amp? I cant really afford another amp and would like to save the money by playing guitar threw my bass amp
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Nope amp and speakers should be fine (assuming the speakers are properly matched to the amp in terms of impedance and power handling). The other way around is trouble though.
    pie_man_25, scott sinner and Will_420 like this.
  3. Will_420


    May 7, 2021
    New York
    sweet, thanks! and I could deffinitaly see how running a bass threw a guitar amp would really mess things up
  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    If the amp has a tweeter, you can certainly damage the tweeter and crossover.
  5. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    No, but doing so may open up a wormhole to the other side of the universe, perhaps altering the time-space continuum. Probably not a good idea.
  6. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    I do it all the time, horns are off anyway.

    Ampeg PF-50t
    GB 9.2
    Ampeg SVT 4 pro

    and always through 2, 4, or 8 10's
    Will_420 likes this.
  7. Will_420


    May 7, 2021
    New York
    good point, I always keep it off tho I hate that thing with a passion
    dbsfgyd1, Tommy V and Aqualung60 like this.
  8. Will_420


    May 7, 2021
    New York
  9. I'd recommend getting a guitar amp at some point if this is something you plan on doing for the long term. Not because of damage, but it will sound better.
    Will_420 and Iristone like this.
  10. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    It's not a stupid question but you can blow a tweeter by overpowering it (too much power in the high-frequency range) just as you can a woofer (too much power in the LF range). I hadn't thought about the crossover, but it stands to reason that you could damage that, too.

    That said, the Rumble 200 has an overdrive circuit (though I don't know how the voicing will work for guitar) and, it appears, an ON/OFF switch for the tweeter. I would run with the tweeter OFF if playing overdriven guitar through it. (Whether this disconnects the relevant parts of the crossover or just disconnects the tweeter, I don't know.)

    Whether you're looking to do this for home practice or at loud gig volume might matter as well.

    ADDENDUM: While I imagine that you'll be using various pedals through the amp, I mention its onboard overdrive because it means the designers of the amp anticipated some overdrive through it (and it's not like bass players never use OD/distortion).

    That said, 1) I wouldn't be surprised if the onboard OD included some sort of high-frequency roll-off, 2) screaming guitar will likely have more high frequency content than most distorted bass signals, 3) tweeter with a lot of distorted HF is unlikely to sound good, and 4) rolling off some highs at your pedals is likely to sound better (and might help protect the amp).
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
    Will_420 likes this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I should've known to wait for the pros, didn't think about tweeters and such.
    thunesBARROW and agedhorse like this.
  12. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    I have run an acoustic and electric guitar thru my rumble 40. No tweeter in it. Sounds good.
  13. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    You can, I separated the cone on my amp many years ago with a flexed wah, distortion, chorus, delay doing a Star Spangled Banner solo. But it was glorious until it went "click".
    Will_420 and eddybuzzard like this.
  14. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    I don't get. Is this a new thing? Why would you want to throw your bass amp around?
  15. J Gold

    J Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Sorry-schoolteacher here:


    Your cab will be fine. But always remember: guitars are stupid!!
  16. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    Plus with the tweeter on, unless you are using a speaker sim it will probably sound awful too.
    Will_420, Iristone and agedhorse like this.
  17. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    It's fine! I've used my Rumble 200 for guitar a zillion times. I don't see why guitar would be able to damage the tweeter any more than bass could with fx, high harmonics, etc., but I keep the tweeter off anyway, for both guitar and bass.
  18. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    Getting it to sound good might be the hard part
  19. Relayer71

    Relayer71 Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2009
    As a (former) guitar player, bass/keyboard amps make excellent guitar amps for CLEAN sounds (with a touch of reverb and chorus).

    But as mentioned, don't do the reverse (bass into guitar amp).
    Will_420 and BT3 like this.
  20. ArteK

    ArteK Supporting Member

    I've seen guitarists use an Ampeg B15 head with a 1x12 cab (liked the warmth he got) and the Fender 50W Bassman was a very popular choice for blues guitarists.

    I suspect you'll get a definite sound out of it, and whether you like it or not, is going to be up to you.
    Will_420 and jeff7bass like this.