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Can you use a guitar amp as a computer speaker? Answered

Ye I want to use my guitar amp on my pc and use it as a speaker. I know how to do it I'm just wondering if its ok to do so because I've heard people talking about amps blowing when you pass certain sounds through it so just wanna check if its ok. I want to use my pc as a distortion pedal (connect guitar to pc, get certain software, and then output the sound through the amp) Thanks



5 years ago

Should have read the question thouraly.
it generally shouldn't matter. the guitar amp is designed to withstand the high frequency, but if you pass a Low Frequency that's when you may BLOW your amp.
Never play a BASS GUITAR on a GUITAR AMP.

No bro, i use my amp for the base, i'm not dead yet. The base has the last 4 strings of the guitar. So it's pretty much the same.

Even though it is the last four strings, it's an octave or 2 lower. I play bass and guitar, and you cannot play a bass on a guitar amp forever. I promise it will blow out at some point. They are not the same and should not be mixed.

Just did it to see if it works, yeah I plugged in my normal headphones cable into the amp an it worked!


4 years ago

Yes it works.
I have done this just now. I used a normal 3.5 size jack from laptop to amp and adapter piece from 3.5 to right size!

if you have a cheap quality cable it may not work as i experienced with a cable from Indonesia


5 years ago

It doesn't matter what amp you use.
what matters is what you are going to play through it.
Using a guitar amp with a bass guitar = NO
using a bass with a bass amp = YES
using a guitar with a bass amp = OK
and you can use either amp with a computer depending on what you are playing.
You need the correct adapter for your leed for the computers 3.5mm female.
Good Luck
its very easy.

Ok... right

- It might work, but nothing is certain
- if you follow my instructions it could go smoothly for you

1 - connect guitar amplification device and computer via cable (one meter approx.)
That should generate a sound through the amplification device, But it should most certainly be a guitar amplifier, i am uncertain as to whether you could use a bass amplifier, i highly doubt it, but maybe possible.

- Be careful when inserting a cable in to the computer, the hole should be on the left hand side.
- To be truthful, this isn't a process i've carried out before, i was dubious at first and even laughted... :p but, having considered and researched the matter, i just realised the trick is really to ensure the 1 meter of cable is accurate and make sure the metal thing on the end of the cable merges fully with any socet you intend to use.

it's really just a matter of experimentation, see how you go. I don't know why it wouldnt work.

Good luck all and happy bidding on those cables ;p

It should, in theory. you might want to check what your amp's gain factor, or input max is. and be sure to turn your computers volume down, and very slowly bring it up, with your amp at medium volume. pickups detect very small voltages, your computer puts out alot more. just keep that in mind. Also, you might want to get two amps, or set your computers output to MONO, or else you'll hear only one "side" of the music. I learned that when i tried that and played a VH song, and you could barley hear the guitar riffs.

Welder, ham radio operator, electrician.

 The answer is, yes, but don't bother.

You have much more you need to understand before you choose this path.

If you use your PC for "tone", you are not going to want to input the guitar through an analog input for the PC.

First, the amp itself is used for 2 roles, 1 is to elevate the volume, but secondly is does modify the signal or "tone" character. 

If you want the PC to emulate other "rigs" (a "rig" is jargon for the entire chain of gear to get your end result), you definitely want an input to the PC that is designed for line-in of that type. Skimping here makes all the difference in the world.

But there is still a problem. Most if not all of the software that will emulate a rig (and if you thought just running it through your computer alone would give you what you want, you have been deluded) is not going to prepare a signal that will be optimal for amp input.

It might sound ok, but you need to experiment with the volume as others have said.

The key point here is that you need an input designed for pickups (and some mics also have compatible requirements). 

I've seen basic USB devices that have input only, like the Snakelite (or snakelight?) for as low as $25. Berhinger makes tons of products that are just fine for their price. 

Without a proper input, you won't be happy with the results.

OTOH, virtually all of the tone results that we hear today all have their origins in improvised overload of various devices. Who's to say you won't hit on the next cool tone?

Just don't expect it to sound too familiar, if you know what I mean.


8 years ago

It should


9 years ago

Yes, simply plug it in :P I once put a headphone splitter in, with another splitter in it, had a heatset playing the high treble, a regular guitar amp for the mid ranges, and a bass amp for the bass. it worked great!... The only problem was that it took up the entire room and was a mess of cables :P

Yes you definitely can! All you need is a guitar cable 1/4" to 1/4" and a 1/8" male to 1/4" female plug... connect the guitar cable to the input jack and connect the other end to the receiver on the 1/8" to 1/4" cable, plug the 1/8" (headphone size) to the headphone jack on your computer and it should work just be sure to remember to turn down the volume or you run the risk of not hearing anything! I actually use my amp to serve as my computer speakers! Good Luck, Mike

Phil B

9 years ago

Years ago we tried to play a phonograph through a guitar amplifier. The amplifier was not designed for the same range of sound required for general music reproduction.

You'd probably want to run the guitar in through line-in on one of the channels. This may mean hacking a guitar lead to connect to a stereo-jack. Ditto for line-out to the amp.

Like GuardianFox turn the volumes down on everything, and gradually work them up.


Turn the volume DOWN on your computer's sound card. Mine works ok at around 25% (master) volume. Yours may need to be set slightly lower or higher, depending on what hardware or software you have. To find the right level, connect your equipment and gradually increase the volume until it sounds about the same as your guitar plugged in directly. If you get distrortion or crackling when it should be clean, turn the pc down. Yes, the whole idea works. If you play with common sense and keep the computer's volume low. You only need some basic cables and adapters for the job. I use cables and adapters that I bought at the dollar store. Some considerations: 1. There can be considerable delay, even with "real time" effects software, especially when you're mixing multiple effects. 2. You will have to experiment with your line-in and mic jacks. Start with the line-in, and if you find you're not getting enough volume try the mic. 3. The best "free" software isn't all that hot. The best pay software will cost you much more than a cheap pedal at the music store. Your choice.