What makes a bass amp?

Sweetums

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Stupid question, but what makes a bass amp a bass amp compared to a guitar amp? If you run bass speakers through a guitar amp head, will plugging in and playing a bass damage the head?
 

Dave_Death

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You can run a guitar amp into a bass cabinet.

It's the other way around that threatens to damage speakers. The amp itself should be fine as long as the impedance is correct.

Cronos from Venom has said in recent interview that he hates Ampeg SVTs and if he gets stuck with one on tour he prefers to use a Peavey 6505 or Marshall JCM800 guitar head, as he can get the sound out of the latter better than from an SVT.

It's the range of frequencies that can tear up guitar speakers real quick. Even with a proper bass cab it's best to run a suitable compressor such as an MXR Bass Compressor. That also helps control feedback if using overdrive. I use the compressor on my Peavey Mark VIII XP bass amp when running fuzz into it, that solves the screeching feedback problem.
 

Sweetums

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Thanks Dave. I just wanted to double check that I wouldn't damage the guitar amp head if I run a bass guitar > guitar amp head > bass cab. Getting back into all this after several years hiatus and I've forgotten so much.
 

Dave_Death

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No worries. The other thing that might be useful if you have one laying about is a graphic EQ, especially one of those Boss Bass Equalizer pedals as they have a lot of useful frequencies. Guitar amp tone stacks can be quite limited. I actually do most of the EQ on my bass via the bass itself though, because I have an Audere active preamp in my Jazz that allows a lot of different sounds
 

Col Mustard

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+1 on the Boss Bass EQ pedal... very useful, and actually a better EQ pedal for guitars
than their normal one, because of the extended range. Another bass pedal I like a lot
is the Boss Limiter/Enhancer. This one corrects some of my bad habits, (hitting notes either
too softly or too hard) and evens my tone and compresses spikes.

Speakers designed for bass players are built with a lot of travel in the cones, and with BIG magnets
and voice coils to handle the low frequency tones. These move a lot of air. You can wreck speakers that
aren't designed for bass by driving them too hard. If they don't have enough travel in them, they can
bosh themselves against their limits, sound like crap and soon fail. I don't know the technical terms for
this, but that's the way I understand it.

If you don't play really loud, you might not do harm to anything, but you're much better off with the
proper speakers. The head will handle anything you put through it IMHO.
 

Sweetums

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Thanks everybody, I'll be on the lookout for those Boss pedals either on sale or used. Cheers!
 

bea

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You might also look at the Harley Benton BEQ-1 which is a clone of the Boss pedal - cheap and *really* robust.

Though a really good tube amp every compressor or floor equalizer degrades the sound. And no, tube amps usually do not need any compressor - they are able to compress by themselves.
 

Dave_Death

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If you don't play really loud, you might not do harm to anything, but you're much better off with then proper speakers. The head will handle anything you put through it IMHO.

Yeah I've run my bass through my Roland Cube 30X when I first got it for want of a bass amp but I never turned it up much at all, just loud enough that I could hear what I was doing. If I needed a quiet amp for home practice I would probably still use it. I don't have a bass practice amp yet, although an ex-girlfriend gave me some horrid Korean brand one that didn't sound good at all so I gave that to the other guitarist in my band for his horrible old bass that he uses sometimes for writing. Most of the time I just wait until the neighbours are out and use my Mark VIII and 410 TX
 

eS.G.

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I have always been very please with Hartke and Peavey bass amps.
If you want a cheap low watt practice bass amp VOX PB10 is really good tone for little $
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/det..._pb10&creative=236280299&device=c&matchtype=e

Running a bass for a short time through a guitar amp at "bedroom" levels is not a big deal I have done it for years and to test a bass or what not.....but it doesn't give the full rich deep boom of a bass amp.

Another good amp I have played recently is the Fender Rumble series of bass amps. I like d the ones I played on very much.
 

Sweetums

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Thanks all. The reason I was asking was because I've got a guitar amp and bass speakers and just wanted to double check before I put it all together. This is really one of the most helpful and attitude-free forums I've ever come across for guitars & such. Cheers!
 

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Dave_Death

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The other thing I forgot to mention is that if you are using something with a lot of gain into a bass cab it is best if you can turn the tweeter off it has one. The drive can damage tweeters
 

Biddlin

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5921_57_Bassman_1.jpg
102_0413.jpg
fender-57bandmaster-top-630-80.jpg

'57 Bassman. problem solved!:rofl:
;>)/
 

Col Mustard

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Righty-oh!... but $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

and how 'bout these two items, for playing stadium size gigs:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SupBassManHD

Amp $1900
and the $1500 cabinet:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Bassman810N

Me, I don't need to play that loud, so I make do with my little Roland Cube Bass CB-60XL.
I don't have to stand next to a drummer, so mines more like a stage monitor.

And I think what Beate said was so interesting... In my whole career I may never have played through a "good tube amp" ...I've been SS since the mid 80s. *shrugs
Earlier than that, I used tube amps and NO pedals, just plug straight in. I had an old Traynor 1/15 that went everywhere with me, but I was playing bars then. I likely would not have been able to tell if it sounded good or not in some of the dodgy dives I worked with that old tube amp.

The cool part about my new little amp is the XLR out, so I just run a line to the Sound man and let them haul the big boxes in and out of the venue. I can pick that little Roland up in one hand and walk out with my bass in the other. And that
amp seems to need no pedals, so mine are parked right now and I'm back to plugging straight in.
Acorn Theatre 09-14-12@100.jpg
 
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