Bass on guitar amp...

Live sound reinforcement, running PA's and general amplifier/amplification questions and discussion.
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Bass on guitar amp...

Post by DarkDragon » July 9th, 2003, 5:05 pm

Ok, so I've got both a bass (from my high school days) and a guitar (more recent purchase), both electric, but I only had money to buy 1 amp. I bought a guitar amp because my primary interest lies there but I still enjoy playing bass from time to time. Anyway my question is, is it dangerous to play bass on a guitar amp at low volume (mostly for practice)? Sorry if this is a stupid question but I'm a total newbie when it comes to amps. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Bass on guitar amp...

Post by Ricochet » July 25th, 2003, 3:11 pm

It can't hurt the amp, but some guitar speakers can be damaged by playing low frequencies at high volume. The cone excursion is greater for those low frequencies. It could stretch the cone surround, potentially crack the cone, and slam the voice coil/spider assembly into the magnet assembly on the backstroke. Many speakers will be fine; guitar speakers by definition are woofers, but they're not all made to go down to 40 Hz as a bass guitar does. Many simply won't reproduce lower frequencies (below the speaker's resonant frequency of usually 70-100 Hz) well enough to cause any danger. Bottom line is, you don't know about the speakers you've got. The maker might be able to tell you.

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Re: Bass on guitar amp...

Post by corbind » July 30th, 2003, 4:33 pm

Take Ricochet's advice.  Yet my brother has been playing his bass through a guitar amp (not bass) for a decade.  Granted he plays seldom but I know he has turned it up and whacked at it and it still works.  But it makes sense most guitar amps would be designed to go just below 82 hertz (bass string 2, fret 2 E note).  If you play the open low E on a bass you'll drop the frequency to 41 hertz and for sure they don't make guitar amps to go that low.  They are made for six string guitar.

Right now I play my six string through my old bass amp and it works.  A bit bassy (closed back cabinet) but works.  
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