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Using a Guitar Amp with Synths and other stuff. Do I risk to blow the amp?
Old 19th May 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

Using a Guitar Amp with Synths and other stuff. Do I risk to blow the amp?

Hello

I'm using a Twin Reverb with Synths and other stuff, do I really risk to blow the amp?

I mean, I've heard some people that says "it is not a problem of volume but of frequencies, synths deliver lower freq than any guitar and even bass guitar, so even a bass guitar amp could be damaged by synths"

Is it that true or is it a myth? I mean I'm using the amp carefully, not at an high volume and seems everything's fine, but I don't want to damage the cones or the amp, so I'd like to know which is the real risk

Thanks
Old 19th May 2012
  #2
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

I used to run my Ensoniq EPS mono out through my Peavy Mark III Bass Amp
into my vintage '73 SVT cab with CTS AlNiCos.

Just watch the input level and make sure you're running through
full range speakers.

If the amp has a line in jack then I'd try that input, but still be careful
with the settings on your synth until you can bring up the volume
safely.
Old 19th May 2012
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishgardener View Post
Hello

I'm using a Twin Reverb with Synths and other stuff, do I really risk to blow the amp?

I mean, I've heard some people that says "it is not a problem of volume but of frequencies, synths deliver lower freq than any guitar and even bass guitar, so even a bass guitar amp could be damaged by synths"

Is it that true or is it a myth? I mean I'm using the amp carefully, not at an high volume and seems everything's fine, but I don't want to damage the cones or the amp, so I'd like to know which is the real risk

Thanks
Definitely NOT a myth. Not only can a synth deliver sound down to 20 kHz (which a guitar amp is definitely not designed to handle at high volume), it can deliver square waves -- or at least close enough to true square to overheat the voicecoil of your speaker driver.

Pop science explanation: The natural law of conservation of energy tells us that when the electrical energy being pumped into the speaker is not being transformed into motion, the energy must 'go' somewhere -- and, in this case, that means transfer into heat. The heat can weaken the glue holding the voice coil to the cone. Sometimes solder is even melted. And, in rare occasions, a paper cone will actually catch fire, although that's more likely an indirect result of a loose voice coil binding against the magnet and allowing heat energy to build up that way.


FFTT is correct that, by using a speaker better suited to full range reproduction and keeping levels relatively low, you can probably avoid disaster, but, remember the more distortion/square waves you feed a speaker, the greater the potential for ambient heat rise.
Old 20th May 2012
  #4
Gear Head
 

Well, I know that, what I was interested in knowing is if keeping low volumes I could damage the speaker or the amp, that is what I was asking if it is a myth or not

Anyone have damaged anything using synths in the amps?
I see a lot of people doing that and I've always done that, without damaging anything, but now I wanted to be sure of that because I don't want to damage the Twin Reverb (I like it a lot :P)
Old 21st May 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Input #1 on the Fender Twin Reverb is designed for low level instruments like guitars. Input #2 is designed for high output instruments. Back then combo organs were common so input #2 was appropriate and it should be safe with synths. Just make sure you don't feed it square waves at bass frequencies too loud, that puts a big power demand on the tubes/transformers/speakers.
Old 21st May 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I've never damaged a speaker that way, but if you were reckless with low frequencies at high levels you could damage a speaker. Open back speakers unload at low frequency (below system resonance) and you can get large cone excursions that can damage the driver. Sealed speakers should be less vulnerable. Either way, just don't get too loud and it should be fine. Wouldn't worry too much about the square waves, it's the low end content that is most likely to damage the drivers.

Cheers,

Otto
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