Yikes! guitar through bass amp.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Davidoc, Sep 9, 2001.

  1. Davidoc

    Davidoc Guest

    Sep 2, 2000
    Northern VA and JMU
    I have a carvin pb-200 amp, and I was diapointed with the volume I got with my bass. (going from a 12-watter to a 160 made me overestimate).

    My guitarist plugged right into it with no effects on, and the thing blew me away volume wise.

    Is it supposed to be that loud for bass? Does the gain on my bass suck? How can I get the massive volume the guitar played at?

    Are guitars naturally 5 times louder?
  2. Yes
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Because of the way the human ear hears, midrange frequencies(which is where most of the guitar tone is) are perceived as significantly louder than extreme lows or highs.

    If you are using smiley face EQ settings, this will be even worse than normal.

    The gurus in amps can explain this much better than I can, and that's where I'm sending this thread.
  4. just boost your midrange to hell and you should be heard.
  5. MikeyD

    MikeyD Guest

    Sep 9, 2000
    Yes, and plug the bass into an octave pedal to shift it up an octave! ;)

    Seriously, it takes far more power to generate typical bass frequencies than guitar frequencies. This is why it is common to see bass amps having many times the power of guitar amps. The guitarist in my group is presently using a bass amp for his guitar - a 160 (?) watt head into a Hartke 2x10. I sometimes cringe at the thought of that thing cranked up full: it would destroy my hearing in a second. The guitarist in my last band had a 50-watt tube combo, and he had no problem keeping up with my 600+ watt bass stack.

    - Mike
  6. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    my buddy's 2x65wx12" solid state guitar amp has no problem destroying my 450watt stack if he wants to.

    it's just the way it works :(

    i wonder what his guitar sounds like in my stack...

  7. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I am in two bands with the same drummer. I play bass in one and guitar in the other. I use a 220w bass amp and a 15w guitar amp. I use earplugs for both bands.

    Part of the volume equation is that bass players want a clean sound and guitarists dont. Amps are rated clean so a Marshall 100w valve amp can dish out 189w when 'dimed'.
  8. My 3,000 watt QSC drives two 15" subwoofers and a 2x10 JBL E110 biamped system, and this lets me keep up with my guitar player using a 60-watt tube amp with a 12" speaker.
  9. I am sorry I just find this hard to believe. I know my guitar player uses a 160 watt marshall tube head, compared to my 150 watt Peavey combo, and yet I do not have a struggle keeping up with him.
  10. Hey Davy,

    I´ve plugged a guitar to my bass amps plenty of times.. They are great for playing clean, even better than guitar amps.. I´ve also plugged them using distortion and other effects.. When using distortion I´ve boosted the bass freqs. to the top and sounded almost like a a bass and a guitar together..

    but well..

    All that is true but did you check if the guitar you p'lugged had an active circuit? that could also be the reason why it sounded so much louder than your bass..
  11. This is true. As I've said many times, I love the sound of my Jack Casady with no midrange on the amp, but, it robs a lot of volume; turn the mids back to twelve o'clock and it's like a different amp.

    Mike J.
  12. Oysterman

    Oysterman Guest

    Mar 30, 2000
    Hear him crank it through a 4x12". You will not survive.
  13. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania

    I agree... If you can keep up with an 160 watt guitar head, there's something wrong... Is he using a 1x12?

    I've jammed with many guitarists, back when I used my Hartke 3500, I got slaughtered by a guitarist using a 50 watt 1x12 marshall combo.

    I don't have much of a problem keeping up with guitarists, now that I use an 700 watt rig. :)

    But... I'm sure an 160 watt head with a 4x12 would give me a run for my money, atleast. :)

    Edit: As a rule of the thumb, it's always good to have 3 times as many watts as your guitarist... ie: guitarist uses an 100 watt head, use a 300 watt head. :)
  14. You are free to believe anything you want. :D

    However the facts often don't validate personal beliefs. I run very inefficient subwoofers with an 85 dB 1w/1m sensitivity. A JBL E120 12" driver has a sensivity of 103 SPL. Doing the math, his 60 watts puts out 121 SPL at 1 meter. I need more than 2,000 watts to hit 121 SPL with my subs.
  15. Thats what he uses.......
  16. Oysterman

    Oysterman Guest

    Mar 30, 2000
    Then, you have three options:

    1) Something is seriously wrong with his setup.
    2) He has the volume set at very low levels.
    3) It's not 160 watts.
  17. Steven Green

    Steven Green Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I use a 625 W Mesa head, an Eden 410XLT + 118XL and still fight my guitarists, who have a Fender Quad reverb and a Fender Twin (both 100W)! Depending on the room, I will either be turned up high, or CRANKED (causing the speakers to jump). I have a hard time believing a 150 W Peavey combo could keep up with a 165 W Marshall. Is that a hybrid (tube in preamp/ S.S. poweramp)? What model? I don't think Marshall makes an all-tube amp that is 165 W. Ok, I'm done...:D
  18. Imabassplayr

    Imabassplayr Guest

    Aug 5, 2001
    Hint: have your guitarist turn down :)

    I'm not joking when i say that i can hear myself over my friend's 100 watt fender amp, a drummer and another 15watter with my 50 watt POS. Its all in the volume.... have ur drummer stuff the hell out of his drums, have ur guitarists turn WAY down and place ur amp correctly in a room and u can be heard. Then again my guitarists don't use tube amps.
  19. Davidoc

    Davidoc Guest

    Sep 2, 2000
    Northern VA and JMU
    Turns out my amp is probably defective
  20. I.'.I.'.Nakoa

    I.'.I.'.Nakoa Guest

    Aug 10, 2000
    Fort Worth.
    my guitar player uses a 120 watt full stack(8 12's, and i ahve a hartke ha3500 running 240w into a peavey bw115 cab, and im at half of his volume... and i scoop mids to -15(or 18, i dont have the head here to check). and he is LOUD. and our drummer has 3 china cymbals, (which are LOUD)(among others) and he plays hard.