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Bass through guitar amp
Old 9th September 2011
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Bass through guitar amp

So, I've heard it's not a good idea to run a bass guitar through a guitar amp.
At first I heard it would ruin the amp itself, but then I got clarification that it would only affect the speakers and could blow them, which seems more logical...
However, couldn't I EQ out the lows on the head itself to prevent this?
With the amp being made for a 4x12 cabinet, I can't really see a bass blowing the speakers, either, since I would think the range of the EQ would be different...
What am I missing here?
(p.s. I'm kind of a noob at this)...
btw, I'm using a Schecter Stiletto Studio bass, running to an aby switch, running to a Line 6 Spider Valve (with the 4x12, and which I might switch out for a Marshall JCM2000), and GK 800rb (with a 4x10 bass cab, obviously)...
I've done some direct-out recording with my bass plugged into the Line 6, and when I do it right, it sounds pretty cool, and I'm just wanting to mix tones and hopefully have something I can use live as well.
Old 9th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
It can be done, but it sounds like **** for recording.

Got some takes on a tune I'm having to redo right now because we went thru my peavy 5150.

When you gotta boost 80hz on the console EQ by +15 db just to get a halfway decent bass tone for the mix, then you know you did something wrong whilst tracking.

Nothing's more frustrating IMHO than having to redo performances that were good, because your engineering work was pathetic.

Old 9th September 2011
  #3
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

When using a high headroom guitar amp for recording bass,
the idea is to use the amp track as a companion to the DI track,
just to add some life to the tracks.

,Without bass drivers in the cab, the sound may be too thin on it's own.

I've had good results and others have had quite favorable results
using V-4's Hiwatts, big block Fenders, but running those amps
through 15"s or a 4X10 bass cab.
Old 10th September 2011
  #4
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A bass is just a guitar with thick strings. It won't harm the amp in any other way than a 6 string guitar will if you turn it up too loud.

Often a guitar amp is the perfect addition to a DI bass. You don't need the real low end, just some nice crunchy mid range to cut through a mix.

Just try it. The guitar amp and cab not being designed for it will filter much of the real low end rumble and ****.
Old 10th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post
It can be done, but it sounds like **** through a Peavey 5150 to me for recording.
there, fixed it for you. Nothing wrong with a 5150 - great guitar amp, just not for bass, but it shouldn't be a sweeping generalization.

With the right guitar amp, subjectively it can sound great. I've recorded bass through my Bandmaster with the 2 Weber California 12"s and it sounds fine. I'm sure that the BF showman and closed 2x12 cab I'm fixing will sound great as well.

To each his own; what one man likes another will hate when it comes to bass tones.
Old 10th September 2011
  #6
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gainstages's Avatar
i have had very good success over the years getting great sounding tracks through my old line 6 flextone 2x10. I boost the bass a bit on the amp and it ends up with a nice sound, very tight, punchy, sits well in the mix and more than enough low end on most tracks. sits nicely with the drums because its a little more out of the way of the kick.

doesn't sound like crap at all, in fact, a couple of the best sounding tracks i've done in the last 10 years have been through that setup.
Old 10th September 2011
  #7
Gear Nut
 
Depressionman's Avatar
Anything really

You can do anything you like as long as it sounds the way u imagined.If anyone says otherwise,he is probably chemical,structural or civil engineer,and is here by accident.
All the best
Old 10th September 2011
  #8
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I'm pretty sure it wasn't uncommon in the 60's for Carol Kaye and other bass players in LA to play through guitar amps. really depends what sound you're after, and which amp you're trying. And what bass. And what player. And...
Old 10th September 2011
  #9
I've done it with success. Like the sound mixed with a DI. I've used different amps on different occasions. Bass amps also make cool guitar amps sometimes. Doesn't matter as long as it sounds good. I've used 8", 10", 12", 15" speakers and toy amps. All usable tones.
Old 10th September 2011
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Absolutely no reason not to do this. Just keep the volume to a reasonable level (ie fairly low). Many studio players in the 60's did this. I know someone who got great bass tracks out of a Pignose ! They sounded really cool!. I have also heard a Peavey combo amp sound absolutely wicked with bass. It can be done.
Old 10th September 2011
  #11
I agree it can be useful to mix in the tone of an amp into a DI bass track. I have a little Vox VT30 amp here, but one of the settings (Tweed 4 x 10) is modelled on the '59 Bassman and it actually can produce a useable tone, quite a lot of midrange but good for punk rock bass guitar that has that 'twang' anyway. The amp only has a 10" speaker too!
Old 11th September 2011
  #12
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Virgil's Avatar
I´m experimenting at the moment with recording two tracks of bass: one DI throught the Chandler Germanium with thick engaged, and the second with a condenser mic to a VOX AC4 guitar amp. It´s actually quite a cool sound. The amp provides the mid and treble, while DI gets the bottom end. It´s getting me nearer the 60s bass sound. Actually, Paul McCartney used a fender bassman blonde for both guitar and bass tracks circa 1965-1966.
Old 11th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
Yeah, if you go back to the old days, bass amps were just the same as guitar amps! The tweed twin, in fact, had higher output and better speakers for bass than the 410 Bassman did! You're only going to use a guitar amp for bass for colored sound, not for a tight, clinical bass. Think Ampeg B12/B25 for the sort of ideal tube combo bass sound (warm, dirty, compressed). So, for best results you want something that has a robust enough power supply not to lose the attack on bass notes which means a fairly loud tube amp with big iron, and speakers that aren't too floppy (JBLs for example rather than Jensens). The best solution at a not overly painful price is PA and keyboard/accordian amps from the late 50s/early 60s: Magnatone, Sano, Crooks, Sound City, Ampeg, Kustom,... or bass amps from the same period :Ampeg, Kustom, Acoustic...
Old 12th September 2011
  #14
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Virgil's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jholt57 View Post
The AC4. particularly if run through a beefier speaker than the stock 10", does make a good little tube head. Not a ton of headroom on the things, but they work if you don't push the front end too hard. Good call
Yeah, it sounds quite tube-y. I don´t push it, just low volumens on the amp, stick a mic on it and let the pre amp do all the work. Then another pre amp for the DI to really get the lows. It seems to get the best of both worlds really: the amp gives note definition that is lacking when you go for a big low end in the pre amp. It sounds total Sgt. Pepper to me...if I get round the hum on the amp, I´ll be happy!
Old 12th September 2011
  #15
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Wow, guys, what an overwhelming response... Thanks!
I figured if I just didn't turn it up loud it should be ok, and then I can get the more midrange sounds out of it with some dirt... I have a few tracks where I play 2 basses and it sounds pretty good for my "lead bass" when running direct out of the Line 6, and so I was wondering if I could pull off the same thing live and through a cab without blowing the speakers.
I'll be doing some research on a lot of things mentioned on this page, it seems.
I'm glad I joined this forum.
Old 13th September 2011
  #16
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

Fliptops.net offers a period correct fliptop B-15 cab in case you're
thinking about a 15".
Old 26th January 2012
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Guitar to Bass Amp

I had a Fender Jazz King which just happens to have a 200 Watt power amp that is used in a Fender Bass amp, installed an Eminence 2515 Neo speaker, slapped a piece of plywood to cover part of the back for a partially closed back so the amp would still cool (custom rectangular porting as it is known in the gearhead nebula), used a Tech 21 Bass DI plugged into the effects return and junk bass and it sounds fine for what I need now.
Old 28th January 2012
  #18
Gear Addict
 

To the OP. Yea you're right....just don't turn it up too loud. The speakers bass extension isn't designed for as long of a throw as are bass speakers, but it's simply a matter of volume. I used to record bass regularly on older Twin Reverb loaded with EV's. Great at low to moderate volumes for recording.
Old 5th February 2012
  #19
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guitarwolle's Avatar
For our last recording, a Fender Vibroverb handwired with a built in custom power reduction (which we used) - together with a Tech21 VT-Bass pedal in front and an old 2x15 JBL Dual Showman cabinet with JBL D140F worked great. Bass was a older Musicman Stingray (dont know the exact specification).

Amp and cabinet are guitar stuff and work well (not too loud obviously).
Old 6th February 2012
  #20
Gear Nut
 
Songwriter's Avatar
 

So there´s nothing in the guitar amp´s electronics that may be damaged by the bass guitar (other than that damage you could possibly do with any guitar)? No delicate small chips or something that won´t tolerate whatever difference in signal there might be? Only the speaker (at higher volumes), right?

Guess I´m ready to try recording bass guitar with my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe to see how that sounds then...
Old 6th February 2012
  #21
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guitarwolle's Avatar
Yep, try it, relativelly low volume to start with please, then increase until it sounds fine - and you should do close micing as the Hot Rod is an open back combo - not the best for bass recording.
Old 7th February 2012
  #22
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Songwriter's Avatar
 

I´m going to try recording the Hot Rod Deluxe "direct", with the power soak/guitar amp simulator SPL Transducer. After getting the OK from SPL on recording bass through it (as long as you follow the power value limits mentioned in the Transducer documentation), I also wanted to check around to see what people said about the "bass-through-guitar amp" subject. Seems like besides the pushing of the speaker, there are no issues associated with that.
Old 7th February 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
At that point, why bother? The reason for running through a guitar amp is to get the interaction of tubes and speaker vs. going through a good DI. Without the speaker interaction, you're not going to get that different a sound than if you DI'd.

Try micing your HRD. I have an open backed Bandmaster 2x12 combo, and with an e906 on the grille it sounds great for bass. It won't hurt your amp and you may like the different sound you get.
Old 8th February 2012
  #24
Gear Nut
 
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It would only be to see how different the sound through the amp and mic/cab simulator would be from the DI sound of the bass directly into the mic preamp. You may be right about the sound not being very different, but that´s what I wanted to try out anyway.

Miking the amp isn´t really an option for me, at least not at home, since I live in an apartment building. But in my future apartment of course I´ll have a sound proof room
Old 8th February 2012
  #25
Those cab simulators never capture the air from a real speaker. Glorified DI is all it is. A speaker at low volume Wilkins still sound [email protected]
Old 7th July 2012
  #26
Here for the gear
 

ive recently recorded a bass guitarust in a 3 piece hard rock band , struggling to fill out the space i tried it through a marshall valvestate head and a tracyelliot 3x12 (the one that points in the way)cranked the overdrive up on the marshall and boom!! Changed the bands sound forever . the grunt that comes of it is 100% in your face. only problem then was getting the guitar to sound as powerful
Old 10th July 2012
  #27
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I run bass through guitar setups all the time. Gets some amazing and interesting bass tones. Really depends on what your style is.
Old 11th July 2012
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Blonde Bassman (61-63)

Best guitar AND bass amp ever made

Fender Blonde 6G6-A Bassman | Ampwares
Old 11th July 2012
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Flip_'s Avatar
 

Equipment is meant to be experimented with. As long as it won't damage it, experiment away. I hate when ppl say 'a guitar amp is made for a guitar, a bass amp is made for bass...etc' conservative thinking and rock do not mix.
Old 17th July 2012
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Really? wtf? I record bass through my JTM 45 all the time... have put basses through orange, boogies... the lot. Never had a problem. I also run keys though SVT's plugged into a Matamp Green 4x15 pretty loud. No problem.

I find that with bases, more so than guitars, it's the actual guitar that matters the most.
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