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Can you plug a Bass into a guitar amp?

#1 User is offline   Economy_Picker 

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 01:23 AM

I was wondering if plugging a bass guitar into a guitar amp would be okay. Would it wreck it?

I'm not talking about a fancy, boutique tube amp. More like a $150 solid-state practice amp.
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#2 User is offline   Vercingetorix 

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 03:18 AM

View PostEconomy_Picker, on May 2 2009, 11:23 AM, said:

I was wondering if plugging a bass guitar into a guitar amp would be okay. Would it wreck it?

I'm not talking about a fancy, boutique tube amp. More like a $150 solid-state practice amp.

Well, I don't know myself about whether it's a good idea, but, I have heard about a magazine editor in Australia called Stu Marshall - a metal-shred guitarist and ESP endorser - with the band called Dungeon and apparently - and I can't vouch for the claim - for a time he was using a a fairly cheap 150W bass amp as his main amp :blink:.

Like I said I don't know if it's true, but, that is what I heard from a pretty reliable source.
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#3 User is offline   Adji 

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 11:10 AM

you CAN plug a guitar into a bass amp and get pretty good tone, every heard of the Fender Bassman, it started out as a bass amp.

As for plugging a bass into a guitar mp, i wouldnt really reccommend it. I not 100 per cetn sure but the speakers in a guitar amp are not built to handle the extreme low frequencies that a bass can offer, the amp itself will probably be fine, but you will probably blow the speakers at louder volumes.
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#4 User is offline   Vercingetorix 

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 03:34 PM

View PostAdji, on May 2 2009, 09:10 PM, said:

you CAN plug a guitar into a bass amp and get pretty good tone, every heard of the Fender Bassman, it started out as a bass amp.

I completely misread the topic I thought it was about plugging a guitar into a bass amp. Perhaps I should get checked for dyslexia :blink:.

Anyway, I had no idea that the Fender Bassman was a guitar amp.

As for plugging a bass into a guitar amp I don't think the speaker cone is built to withstand the lower frequecies as Adji said. So I wouldn't trust the amp if played at higher volumes.
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#5 User is offline   Adji 

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 04:58 PM

Yeah, the Fender Bassman was used by many blue players, right now I cant think of any examples, typical haha.
There are a few others amps from Fender I think that began life as a bassamp, but have been taken on by guitarists.
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#6 User is offline   Kain {IRL} 

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 11:14 PM

DON'T do it it man
i know you might think that it cant be that damaging to an amp
but it is, i had an guitar amp i plugged my bass into a good bit and it fucked it up completely
im not sure entirely the reason
i think its because the speakers vibrate far more they should due to the frequencies being too low
either way, i really wouldnt recommend it man
- Mark
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#7 User is offline   Economy_Picker 

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 01:26 AM

If you play it at low volume, is it okay? Like, at a practicing volume?

Or should I forget about the whole thing? :P
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#8 User is offline   Steeler 

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 03:03 AM

View PostEconomy_Picker, on May 3 2009, 08:26 PM, said:

If you play it at low volume, is it okay? Like, at a practicing volume?

Or should I forget about the whole thing? :P

I know of someone who plugged headphones into his guitar amp to do this. There's bass in most songs, so the headphones are probably even designed to handle those frequencies. If you're just practicing, that should work. (Plus, if he did blow out any speakers it wouldn't be the expensive amp one(s), but I'm not sure he thought of that perk himself).

I don't really think you would blow anything out if you only played at 1 or 2 with the regular speakers, but I don't really have any experience with doing this. It just seems to me that if a guitar amp can handle guitar frequencies up near 7 without blowing out, it can handle lower frequencies at a low volume.
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#9 User is offline   Adji 

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 12:30 PM

View PostEconomy_Picker, on May 4 2009, 02:26 AM, said:

If you play it at low volume, is it okay? Like, at a practicing volume?

Or should I forget about the whole thing? :P


I just really wouldnt reccommend it mate. If you wanting to learn bass, you can get a cheapo practice amp for like 20 quid, thats all I have and it does the job.
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#10 User is offline   Economy_Picker 

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 07:34 PM

View PostAdji, on May 4 2009, 05:30 AM, said:

I just really wouldnt reccommend it mate. If you wanting to learn bass, you can get a cheapo practice amp for like 20 quid, thats all I have and it does the job.

Alright, you convinced me. :D
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#11 User is offline   hubeydoobie 

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:42 AM

Well, yes you can of course plug any bass into a guitar amp and have it work at LOW volumes! The speaker is simply not made for the big wavelengths basses produce. Guitars produce much thinner, smaller wavelengths that make the speaker cone move less to reproduce the tones. For practice, ...no problem at low volumes. But please do not turn it up too loud, or go crazy with poppin' and slappin' as the cone in your guitar amp is just not made for it.
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#12 User is offline   Steeler 

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 03:31 PM

View Posthubeydoobie, on May 7 2009, 07:42 PM, said:

Well, yes you can of course plug any bass into a guitar amp and have it work at LOW volumes! The speaker is simply not made for the big wavelengths basses produce. Guitars produce much thinner, smaller wavelengths that make the speaker cone move less to reproduce the tones. For practice, ...no problem at low volumes. But please do not turn it up too loud, or go crazy with poppin' and slappin' as the cone in your guitar amp is just not made for it.

Now wait a second... guitars don't have thinner waves (amplitude), just shorter ones (wavelength) (I'm almost sure about this... unless they have to boost the amplitude, because the wave gets quieter at the longer wavelength). I would think that a bass guitar would move the speaker *less* with a longer wavelength.
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#13 User is offline   Vercingetorix 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 02:25 AM

View PostSteeler, on May 11 2009, 01:31 AM, said:

Now wait a second... guitars don't have thinner waves (amplitude), just shorter ones (wavelength) (I'm almost sure about this... unless they have to boost the amplitude, because the wave gets quieter at the longer wavelength). I would think that a bass guitar would move the speaker *less* with a longer wavelength.

You are correct in saying that bass frequencies have a larger wavelength. So there are fewer waves - a lower frequency of waves. A guitar on the other hand creates a thinner wave, so it has a higher frequency of waves - therefore it creates a higher sond.

So to me, just trying to think logically here - and, yes my brain is hurting - to create an audible sound through a guitar speaker - you are going to need to make the speaker vibrate more violently than it nomally would to make that larger wavelenth, then the smaller waves it would normally create. So playing a bass thru a guitar speaker doesn't seem like a great idea.

So, if I were inclined to take up bass I would just go and get an el cheapo second hand amp like Adji said.

But then again what do I know I'm just a guitarist and not a good one at that :lol:.
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#14 User is offline   G-Black 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 10:37 AM

The frequencies of a bass guitar are much lower than the regular guitar's.

Guitar amplification is designed for a big frequency range, but not for such low ones as created by a bass.

I'm certain that plugging a bass into your guitar amp isn't gonna wreck your amp,
but it may cause some minor damage to circuitry or the speaker.
I suggest that you buy a cheap bass amp or a guitar amp which you won't cry for if it stops working.

Good luck!
Among God's creatures two, the dog and the guitar, have taken all the sizes and all the shapes, in order not be separated from the man” - Andre Segovia

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