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Electric guitar harmful on bass amp? yes, no, what? Answered

I'm a bassist (who started the Bassists of Instructables group) who is considering buying a electric guitar. but i don't want to buy another amp. would playing a guitar out a bass amp damage it, as a bass does to a guitar amp?


I have an acoustic 104 speake cabinet and I was wondering can i connect a guitar amplifier on it for the head

It's totally fine, see SYBPRS comment below. HOWEVER, it's important to separate the "amp" (power head) from the "speaker" (cabinet). The bass amp will be able to provide plenty of amplification with no trouble. Of course, there will be no distortion whatsoever and no built-in reverb. Just clean, pure, dry sound.

Now, if you use bass "speakers" (cabinet), the sound will be terrible. Bass speakers are not simply designed to reproduce the highs of the guitar. The tone will be muddy and bassy.

However, a bass head through a real guitar speaker cabinet can sound great. Again, all your distortion will have to come out of a pedal or multi-effects unit, and there will be no reverb.

Make you match the impedance and wattage of the bass head to the guitar cabinet, or you will absolutely blow the speaker cab and/or damage the bass head.

If you do use a bass guitar amp combo (the kind of amp where the speakers are in one unit), it will sound bad for guitar -- but that's mostly because of the bass speakers, not the amplifier itself.

Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stoneage started out playing guitar through a bass amp when when trying to find 'his' sound, needless to say he now plays through a guitar amp. You can pick up a 15w Fender Squire amp for about £20 on Gumtree (like Craigslist in the US) so it's probably worth grabbing something like that to learn on, if you bust your bass amp you can't play anything!

I'm still wary to try an electric guitar through a bass amp. My first amp, a Samick Bass Amp was killed by a guy I knew plugging in his Ibanez guitar into it. The amp was fine for the 2-ish years I'd owned and used it before then, and after he used it, I couldn't get a clean sound to save my life...nothing but snaps, crackles, and pops...like something blew in the circuit; not a distortion type noise, but 'dirty'...

The speakers in a guitar amp are made for
higher frequencies (like guitars), not the low rumbling of a bass. Even
at moderate volume, a guitar amp will sound like a fart in the mud if
you put a bass through it. But if you're just playing at home or even
jamming with a friend, a guitar amp is fine for a bass. Depending on
the amp (you didn't mention the wattage), you can go as loud as your
home stereo and you'll still be ok. For any writing help you can use this custom essay writing service( http://american-writers.org/ ) for better help.


3 years ago

Okay I am going weigh in my five pence. Of course you can play a guitar through a bass amp. Bass Amps are used to all frequencies (such as when people tune their bases higher, play the high notes on the bass or even use pedals to create high pitch sounds) the speakers are just specially designed to cope with low bass notes. Of course its not going to be best guitar amp (and some of the built in effect may not latch on to the high notes from your guitar ) but if it makes the sounds you want with the guitar then its the best for you. Case in point fender bassman's originally bass amps now widely used as guitar. Further proof plug in a cd player in and play music , see no explosions. As everyone has rightly pointed it is not advised to plug a bass into a guitar amp.


8 years ago

Well guess i am a REBEL. i play my custom kramer strat with dual rail pickups thru my Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue sounds great, Now the Rebel part i play My Ibanez SRX650 Bass with flatwounds thru the same amp and sounds good too , but the Vol is set to 4 max.

I bought the bass to do some music history, i think some of the late 50 and 60 i think the guitar leads were done on electric bass.

Now will try to do steel slide on the bass.

Ok some of My persons i admire. Cliff Gallop and gene and the blue caps, the beatles, u know when i see last year the beatles drop in Sweeden oh my gosh all four are great and i never know how good Ringo was, nor the rest.
Oh Speedy West .


Your success in no damage lies in the volume you have it set as.....

Lead into a bass amp is fine, the threshhold is almost double that of a lead amp. However, the opposite is not true dont play your bass through a lead amp.


8 years ago

No, not a problem.

The "blackface" Fender Bassman, one of the most famous (and desired) guitar amps, was actually designed to be a bass amp (obviously... ;-).

Re: Raven2K360's comment--if you use a guitar and pump up the signal (with fuzz / distortion / boosting effects) on small solid state amps, you can push the amp to failure. I suspect that's the case. But that's true for any amp, bass or guitar.

As noted, you're much more likely to damage a guitar amp with a bass, than the other way around...

Y-E-S the high pitched sounds from your guitar will destroy the amps pickups for the lower bass sounds

no its fine i think i sounds better for some styles like jazz, blues, and funk but the opposite a bass in a guitar amp would kill the amp

it will be less in quality on highs and mids as its designed to be a bass woofer. some people do this for the warm unique sound it brings. it shouldnt cause harm cause the magnet wont heat up as much with a guitar as with a bass in theory. then as caitlinsdad said. when you use a bass in a guitar amp. its more a midrange speaker such as a 6x9 would be in your car. just enough bass and crisp clear highs and mids. and as you push those lower frequency which it will have trouble handling it will cause the magnet to heat up more. which would cause more wear to your equipment and deteriorate your sound quality significantly more. thats all in theory and most of this i had to go back to my books from first year in college. so i hope this little bit of information helps.

Actually, many bass amps cover a wider frequency range than most guitar amps do (Weird, I know.) In all honesty, most bass amps are closer to being full-range than guitar amps. Many bass amps do have tweeters, and even without a tweeter, bass amps with ten inch speakers can reproduce high frequencies just fine. Guitars through bass amps sound great, depending on the models. One of the first electric bass amps, the Fender Bassman, is still used by many electric guitarists. I think Stevie Ray Vaughan actually used a Bassman regularly.

i play my guitar on my bass amp all the time, sounds great, just dont play a bass on a guitar amp.

I don't think an electric guitar coming out a bass amp would sound as well. Bass amps are optimized for the lower frequencies and boom. The higher range of the guitar would get muddled through a bass amp, kinda like killing the treble or high end on your stereo. Bass amps have a bigger speaker and may not have the tweeters/midrange speakers to project the high end. It would work but not as well. And the opposite happens with a bass in a guitar amp as the sound gets distorted and you try to crank it up to compensate to get the low end sound.