Would it be wise to use my bassamp for an analog synthesizer?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by René_Julien, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    I can get a great deal on a Minimoog Voyager Performer.

    At this point I know nothing about analog synthesizer and how to amplify them.
    (I know I like the sound of Moog :))

    Are there drawbacks of using a bassamp?

    Would a guitaramp be better?

    Or a small PA system?

    I want that Moog to come to it's right sonicly.
  2. Alot of people use keyboard amps for bass I know that much, but I dunno about the other way round. If you have a high quality tweeter or mid driver in your amp then you should be able to get a good sound, either way it can't hurt to see what it sounds like.
  3. markorbit


    Apr 16, 2004
    I suppose it depends on which bassamp you have but in theory I see no reason why you can't use one.

    The Voyager can throw out some real bottom so I would avoid a guitar amp.

    I think you can buy dedicated keyboard amps that will do more justice to the full range, depends on how much you want to spend. As you have a bassamp it might be worth a try first.
  4. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Ok thanks. :)

    I also have a Crown XLS poweramp laying around.
    That poweramp only has XLR balanced inputs.
    As far as I can tell the Moog Voyager has 1/4" unbalanced stereo outputs.

    So would a full setup PA type thing be better? PA cabs?
    I know not much about PA cabs either. :meh:
    A subwoofer + fullrange cabs with tweeters maybe... ??

    Also, do I need a preamp between an analog synthesizer and the poweramp, or just a DI?
  5. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    As someone who was around in the '80s :::cough cough (geezer) cough cough::: when synthesizers came out, I can tell you that yes, a bass amp is fine. Depending on your rig, you may be missing some highs, that's the only concern.

    I'm here to tell you to please do NOT use a guitar amp, for the same reasons you don't want to play a bass through them. The lows from the synthesizer can damage the speakers.

    Sure, depending on your PA that may be fine as well, just depends on the setup for the same reasons already mentioned.

    Your synthesizer should not need a preamp.

    Good luck. :bassist:
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    A Roland KC-350 would be ideal, but I also used an SWR WM 15 with my Moog synth. A bass amp is a great 2nd choice, if a keyboard amp is not available. Guitar amps are right out.
  7. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Well, this is my rig:


    I'm thinking of replacing the 410XL with a 4.5XL, or two 4.5XLs, the ones with the 5" midrange drivers.

    I'm guessing tweeters aren't really necessary. (?)

    What is (or was) commonly used by analog synthesizer players?
  8. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Thanks, just looked into the Roland KC range.
    They're affordable too. :hyper:
  9. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I used to play an Arp onstage through my rig - it sounded fine. Be careful though - synths can be even tougher on a rig than bass. I popped a few 18"s in an acoustic 301 cab with mine. :p

    That was in the '70s.:D
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Are you going to play bass lines on the Moog?
  11. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Thanks, these are the kind of thing I want to know.

    I don't want my "flavor-of-the-month-obsession-to-learn-analog-synths" ruin my bass rig.

    Would you care to elaborate why it ruined the 18" speaker?
    Or did it just happen? :)


    I was born literally the day when music died.
  12. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Actually not really.

    I'm planning to do a lot of lead in the higher register a là modern power metal. :bag: Don't hate me. ;)
    edit: also, Kraftwerk. :D
    Don't judge me. :eyebrow:

    Also interested in going really low with it.

    If I really get the hang of it, I might get a digital synthesizer in the future too.

    (Yes I know, the more obvious thing to do when learning keys is buy a cheap small digital keyboard... but come on: MOOG!! :))
  13. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Just pay attention and USE YOUR EARS! Sorry for the shouting but that bit is important.... you can destroy speakers with a synth if you don't pay attention.
  14. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Your rig will be fine, and a lot better than some of the stuff we were using back in the day.

    In my band, we had a dedicated bass amp for our synthesizer (Korg Poly 800) for rehearsals, and ran through our P.A. for live shows (our P.A. was a dual 2 X 15 plus horns Sunn rig, a dinosaur by today's standards and a beast to move, but it did fine with both bass and synths).

    We didn't have a dedicated keyboard player, so our setup wasn't as elaborate as others I'm sure.

    Good luck, I really like those old analog synths.
  15. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Please, can you elaborate?

    What can cause speaker damage. :confused: :meh:
    The frequencies???
  16. akaTRENT


    Jan 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    The ex bassist for wolf mother used two ampeg svt av's with two av 6x10 cabs. one was for bass the other was for keys.

    Jimmys svt amp was originally used by a keyboard player if im correct in that band with that sound.
    (iron butterfly, inagada daveda or whatever)
  17. J.D.B.


    Mar 11, 2007
    I used a pair of 15" bass amp combos for my(analog) percussion synths many years ago. They held up O.K. for the beating I gave them(I was relentless on equipment back in those days). I had to replace the primary transistor in one of them and the cones in both were beaten up pretty good after a couple seasons. I replaced them with Peaveys and they were fine after that. They might even still be working, wherever they are.....
    Yup, the big low freq. stuff can REALLY move a voice coil, so be careful how hard you drive them in the lower range.

  18. I play my 'Keys' through my Bass Rig all the time at pretty loud volume with no problems
  19. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Thanks for sharing that.

    Are you satisfied with the way the highest register sounds?
  20. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    The arp 2600 only has a high pass filter - no low pass. I was probably trying to get more out of that 18" than it could handle. We had one tune where I did this little noise generator explosive percussive sound - I think that may have been what did it one time. It's not quite as easy to hear speaker breakup with a synth, so consequently a little harder to know when you're getting to a bad point. I'd avoid super abrupt attack & decay, just soften them a tad, and if you can run it through something that would allow you to dump everything below 40 HZ or so you probably won't have any problem.

    Somebody on Facebook just poasted a pic of us playing back in '83 - you can see the arp behind me. :D