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Old 01-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
willop
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Amp head for both bass and guitar?

I've got a too small practice combo amp (20w) and figure 100w would be a nice size and would work for accompanying accoustic guitar. Should I get into 'real' gigging I figure I'd need 300w.

My son plays guitar and for him his 20w combo is more than loud enough for now, but he's more likely to 'work' than me in the future and I figure 100w will be great for his needs.

I'd get diff cabs for each use and haven't begun looking that far ahead yet.

So can a 100w head work for both guitar and bass (at separate times duh!)?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:38 AM   #2
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Any 100W power amp + an appropriate preamp (Behringer BDI21 or Sansamp BDDI for bass, don't have a clue for guitar but any nice distortion or amp modeller should do)
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:58 AM   #3
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In all honestly he wont need 100 watts for live play...
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:01 PM   #4
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Technically, yes it would work....but one (or both) of them would probably sound terrible. A guitarist won't get the required tone from a bass amp & a bassist won't get the required tone from a guitar amp.

Do yourself a favour and focus on getting yourself a decent bass amp for now, then look into getting a decent guitar amp for your son later on when he's at a stage where he needs it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:30 PM   #5
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By and large bass amps are designed to be more or less flat in response and guitar amps aren't. The tone controls won't be in the right frequencies for both either. There are people gigging with 15W tube guitar amps that are quite loud enough and 100W is overkill in most circumstances. For bass most people would choose 200W plus. Of course you can turn the bass amp down whenit is playing guitar but you still have the voicing problems. The only way of sensibly doing this would be to have two amp modellers, one for guitar and one for bass. this would take up less space at home but probably wouldn't save you very much.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:21 PM   #6
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First, you have to figure out what kind of amp your going to get, solid state or tube. By and large most people agree that tube amps sound better, or warmer, and they don't require nearly as much wattage to reach the over the top volumes.

Second, picking an amp for you and your son is going to rely a lot on your personal opinion and what kind of sound you're shooting for. As far as picking out ONE amp for both of you to use, I suggest picking out a higher quality bass guitar amp.

Like previous posters mentioned, guitar amps are not designed to carry the frequencies of a bass guitar - running a bass through a guitar amp has the potential to do damage HOWEVER running a guitar through a bass amp does not.

Its not terribly uncommon for black metal guitar players to play through bass rigs, they aren't really designed for guitars but there isn't much potential for damage.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:55 PM   #7
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There weren't too many dedicated Bass amps in the past.
Orange didn't make a bass amp although I used one for Bass in the 70s, arguably the best amp I've had for bass, Hiwatt was the same.
The Fender Dual Showman with Bass speakers in their 2x15 was more popular for Bass than their Bassman 100.
Sound City, Marshall, Carlsbro were all dual purpose.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:56 PM   #8
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how bout the bassman 70 head? would a bass through one be heard over a drummer?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:57 PM   #9
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I'm a solid state fan. I'm old enough that my first job was in a TV repair shop (but not as a repair tech)- back when such places existed. I grew up with tube TVs and radios and such and have no interest in tubes. Sound / tone be damned. While I admire Hendrix et al i'm not interested in watching BW TV or listening to mono radios or making antique sounding music.

Besides, you'll never duplicate what someone else did - it's unlikley you've got that guitar, those pickups, those strings, that pedal, amp, speakers, producer and whatever other variables were present at that time. And I'm sure you don't play that them either (maybe better, maybe not, but certainly not the same). And all you have to do is see a DVD/performance or read about a recording to realize many times it's multitracked with many guitars by the same artist, or that he feels his '59 gibson sounds different than his 72 or that when it was refinished it was different or he liked the sound of the blown speaker...

While I admire and respect those that have gone before and yes, I'd be tempted to sell me soul at the crossroads if the offer arose, I've no interest in mimicking some else's sound.

So amp modeling in the digital world is fine with me. And yes, an MP3 can sound as good as vinyl (but satelite radio does not).

Call me a heretic if you wish, I've been called worse.

I'm new to amp shopping and newer yet to the bass world. I've had stereos for long time and they all put out the whole range of sound, it was the speakers that made all the difference and perhaps where you set your crossover points.

I don't quite understand why amps or pedals (or in some cases, speakers) are so specific to the instrument. Perhaps a recent thing or a marketing thing.

Especially when I know a number of working musicians that 'make do' I guess you'd say, with a PA system for the reason it fits in their car (as opposed to a full stack).
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:08 AM   #10
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I've been in a similar predicament lately. Finding an amp for guitar and bass that suits needs for both. I've been doing a lot of research and asking a lot of questions but I'm pretty sure the answer is that bass has evolved more than guitar. Some very popular guitar amps make excellent bass amps and some of the best quitar amps were originally made for bass. In addition to that some companies have guitar and bass amps that are virtually identical. They just changed name. The thing that most of these amps have in common is they were made in the 50s through 70s.

After that, bass technology advanced and guitar technology didn't. Over the years, guitar amps haven't really changed. The only thing that has changed is that they have higher gain preamps now. And now, we have bass speakers. They didn't have specialty bass speakers back then. And most bass speakers now don't actually have more bass, they just have a dropoff in the high and some mid frequencies. So you need more power to compensate for that since it takes more power to amplify lows. Amps now have increased power and speakers have increased the amount of power they can handle. The newer speakers have lower sensitivities so they're quieter and less efficient. But that's ok because you might be running a 500W SS amp. Back then, the bass amps worked with the bass cabinets as they do now but the relationship is different.

Also a good bass amp today wouldn't be a good bass amp 50 years ago and vice versa. As someone stated earlier, modern bass amps are about a flat frequency response. Guitar amps aren't. That's why SS amps are so common in the bass world while tube amps are popular in the guitar world. But bass amps were practically the same as guitar amps 50 years ago. An amp that can be used for guitar and bass might work for you but it also might not. It won't work if you're looking for a modern bass tone. The role of a bass in the mix has changed over the years

Vintage voiced guitar amps best for this application since they tend to have cleans that work well for bass. For the cabinet, I'm not sure about specific cabs but I wouldn't go for one with modern speakers. There are guitar and PA speakers that can handle a bass but don't have the shortcomings of bass speakers. They sound good for bass and guitar so you won't need separate cabs unless you want to. But the fact that they don't have the shortcomings of bass speakers is a huge plus since those shortcomings will affect you more by using a lower powered amp.

I've heard plenty of stories of bassists who are amazed with what happens when they plug a bass into a tube guitar amp but I've never heard a guitarist who was amazed when they plugged a guitar into a SS bass amp. But keep in mind that this is only good if you it's what you want for both. Don't get an amp just because it can be used for both. Do it if the amp has what you want in a bass amp and what you want in a guitar amp. With the advancements in bass gear, some people highly prefer the newer things. Some people prefer the older ways. It might not work for you or it might not. You first need to find what you want in a guitar tone and what you want in a bass tone. If you don't get both in one amp, you should just get 2 amps.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:12 AM   #11
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Amps are specific for guitar/bass because they want different things out of their amps (other than the obvious "make it louder"). I honestly think your best choice is either a power amp + bass cab/passive PA speaker, or a powered PA speaker. Then just put an appropriate preamp in front for amp modelling. For bass I'd look at the Behringer BDI21, which is a clone of the Sansamp BDDI, a very popular pedal among rock/metal bassists. And don't shy away because it's Behringer either, there's only one issue I know of with that pedal and that's that its plastic casing isn't the sturdiest, but if you're using it as a preamp (always on) that should be a non-issue.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:10 PM   #12
willop
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At this time I play for fun. So I can't say I want to play "X" kind of music and I know that makes it hard to make suggestions.

I like the sound of a double bass in jazz...don't know how/if that can be replicated in a bass guitar.
I also like primus but how much of what I hear is him, a $10k bass or the amp I can't say.

I also don't have the space/money/interest in having 5 different gear setups to match each artist/song/era.

I can say my 15 or 20w practice amp isn't loud enough for anythying other than me alone.

I can say playing around in the stores a $1000 bass and $500 amp sounds a whole lot nicer than what I"ve got now ($99 used gsr200, whatever strings came on it, a $100 amp(new)).

Even if I fell into three grand tomorrow I'd not know what to buy (other than maybe the guitar and 10 sets of different strings).

I assume a 300w ampeg setup would be 'good enough' but I"m also assuming its expensive and that there may be something more , um, practical, for my use.

I feel like a teenager in an all boys school that can see girls out the window and know I want one - but know nothing about them.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:42 PM   #13
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Peavey Vypyr VIP when its released? It can run electric, bass or acoustic,' has amp models for each and I think the 100 watt combo is $399? Might be worth checking the peavey site and some namm videos for a better explanation
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:10 PM   #14
John Swift
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JELIFISH19
. And now, we have bass speakers. They didn't have specialty bass speakers back then. And most bass speakers now don't actually have more bass, they just have a dropoff in the high and some mid frequencies.

Don't know where you've got your information from but I know for a fact that they did have bass speakers back then.
My 1963 Vox AC30 for Bass had different speakers to those fitted in the guitar model.

The Marshall 4x12s were loaded with different speakers for bass & guitar use.

Bass speakers are designed to reproduce low frequencies more efficiently for a sustainable period than guitar speakers due to the different materials used in the manufacturing process that is why it is common sense and common knowledge that you will run the risk of soon damaging the speakers in a guitar cab by playing Bass through them at performance level for any length of time.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ihartfood
how bout the bassman 70 head? would a bass through one be heard over a drummer?

Probably not these days, a few years back (70s) Fender made a 440 watt monster of a Bass head into an 18" speakered folded horn cab.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:05 PM   #16
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You could also go POD(X3 Live came with Bass Models, the HD ones i think you have to buy them as a expansion pack etc) + FRFR powered speaker and just go Direct.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by willop
I can say playing around in the stores a $1000 bass and $500 amp sounds a whole lot nicer than what I"ve got now ($99 used gsr200, whatever strings came on it, a $100 amp(new)).

Get a good amp set up first, an inexpensive Bass i.e. Squier Affinity will sound quite good through decent amp and speaker. Whereas a decent $2k bass through a tatty low wattage amp set up will never sound anywhere decent.
I currently have a G&L L2500 and a Squier Affinity 5 and to be quite honest there isn't an amazing amount in them other than the beautiful fingerboard on the G&L.
For my mind the important part of my gear is my Ashdown RPM1 preamp into of all thing an Ashdown Little Giant 1000 with the EQ turned off.
This then goes into 1x15 cab loaded with an Eminence 450 watt Neo Kappalite along with a 2x10 for larger gigs.
At this moment in time Neos are very expensive.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:57 PM   #18
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I'm keeping an eye on CL and just listed a few things for sale to raise some cash.

There's a yamaha rbx375 5 string for 175...not an amp but I want a 5 string and with humbuckers and the same 34" scale as my GSR it seems like a good fit - assuming it feels good and plays well.

Bass amps are rare on CL other than low end ones, small ones which I've got now.

I don't fear buying a used guitar as much as i do buying a used amp/cab/combo so I may just go new for that.

Seeing a Spider 3 100w guitar amp with pedal for $100 is distracting though.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:29 PM   #19
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Digitech BP355 has all the Bass and Guitar Modeling from what I heard before.

Get a Powered Speaker that is a Flat as possible that will not color what You are modeling.

That wil then do both instruments, even together some time when you get a simple mixer.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:35 PM   #20
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Bugera 1960 gets a pretty decent rep for being a decent guitar amp, and a decent bass amp as well. And, if you pickup one of the Infinium models, you also get a master volume, so you'll be able to keep the volume in check.
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