#1
just wondering what makes it different than a normal guitar amp. I've been looking for a new amp and the bass amps seem cheaper than the normal guitar amps.
Just remember, we all used to be the kid who tried to play metal with a stratocaster and a line 6 spider amp.
#2
Although bass amps are designed for bass guitars, they also work with normal guitars, the only difference is probably more bass response, so a bass amp would sound bassier when used with a guitar.

If im not mistaken the Bassman is based on a bass amp? Correct me if I'm wrong.
Last edited by kacper_j at Aug 25, 2010,
#4
Quote by kacper_j

If im not mistaken the Bassman is based on a bass amp? Correct me if I'm wrong.


The Bassman IS a bass amp? People used them with guitars though.

Seriously though, stop being cheap. Bass amps are made for basses. Guitar amps drive guitars.
#5
Guitar amps generally have more distortion capabilities.
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#6
Bass amps are often more neutral sounding than guitar amps, many are full-range systems that you could also use as keyboard amps. Often, a bass amp is designed to amplify the instrument's signal without colouring it with the EQ flat; the player then uses the comparatively extensive EQ to shape the tone.

Guitar amps are completely different: Simple EQ that doesn't allow for the radical or fine adjustments that bass amps offer - instead it colours the sound from the get go, because the signal a guitar produces is kinda shit, really, and desperately needs some colour. A guitar amp's controls only allow for pretty rough adjustments, comparatively.

There are a few bass amps that are more like guitar amps *cough*bassmann*cough*SVT*cough*, but the neutral high-fidelity ones are more common. And they usually sound like crap for guitar.
#7
can't bring teh brootz or teh djenty djenty stuff with bass amps
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Et tu, br00tz?
#9
Quote by TheQuailman
Bass amps are often more neutral sounding than guitar amps, many are full-range systems that you could also use as keyboard amps. Often, a bass amp is designed to amplify the instrument's signal without colouring it with the EQ flat; the player then uses the comparatively extensive EQ to shape the tone.


sure bass players may have active EQ and LP/HP filters if that is what you are referring to? but then, you have some guitar amps with the same extensive controls (like the marshall vintage modern, or mesa recs).

Quote by TheQuailman
Guitar amps are completely different: Simple EQ that doesn't allow for the radical or fine adjustments that bass amps offer - instead it colours the sound from the get go, because the signal a guitar produces is kinda shit, really, and desperately needs some colour. A guitar amp's controls only allow for pretty rough adjustments, comparatively.


i don't really agree that bass amp are completely different in concept and design. i would particularly like to know what you base the claim that guitar amps have a "Simple EQ that doesn't allow for the radical fine adjustments that bass would offer"? i far as i know tone stacks are placed in similar areas of the circuit, with similar design, but with different values for the RC circuits. and why is a guitar signal 'kinda shitty'? qualitatively, what is shitty about it? and by color do you mean clipping? and why are the adjustment knobs on a guitar more course?

i ask questions about points that i see are quite debatable from another view point.

Quote by TheQuailman
but the neutral high-fidelity ones are more common. And they usually sound like crap for guitar.


alright, this hits closer to home. the issues you hit with the differences between guitar and bass amps were more a stab at describing 'ideal' amplifiers for both (with a bunch on personal conclusion tacked of i guess).

now lets talk about signal sourcing and signal reproduction. signal sourcing is the concept of producing a favorable 'tone' using equipment that distorts and enhances certain characteristics of an instrument. this would be like using guitar amps that soft compress and clip, using a green bullet and small tube amp for a harmonica. once you have your tone where you want it you go onto signal reproduction.

signal reproduction is the concept of reproducing a source signal without any alteration, you want the same sound louder. PA's and hifi equipment fit into this realm. both reproduction and sourcing having their own list of very complex concerns (like reproduction has to take into account how your ear has different freq responses at different volumes, and both source and reproduction have to worry about amplifying unwanted 'noise' along with the original signal).

so why do i mention this? these definitions isolate the concept and adds parity what i am going to say. signal sourcing is a bunch of personal tastes, whether you like clean of distortion, SS or tube, what speakers, what power tubes, etc. guitar amplifiers tend to like to stress certain characteristics of distortions produced by tube amps (tone stacks and preamps have been designed toward these characteristics). bass amps tend to work in a frequency range that doesn't necessarily keep fidelity when distorted like a guitar amp (bass gets muddy with distortion), so most signal sourcing for bass's is more similar to signal reproduction is how it tries to keep fidelity and doesn't want to clip (though compression does sound good with bass).

so that is the view point of sourcing. now, technical differences between guitar and bass amps? tone stacks are different to facilitate the lower frequencies a bass works in, and guitar amps are designed to work in the higher freqs (usually the freq response is geared to a more aggresive sound too, that means more mids in a 'sweet spot'). bass amps tend to have a larger power section because bass freq's are harder for the ear to hear, so bass is playing 'catchup' in the mix so to speaker.

also different speakers are used to bass amps and guitar amps. bass amp speakers tend to be higher power handling, with stiffer elastic components and usually are at a lower impedance (lower impedance speakers work in the low end freq's more efficiently). guitar speakers are generally more responsive (and as a consequence are usually lower wattage) with looser elastic components and are usually 8 or 16 ohms because those speakers attenuate low (and high) freqs a bit more and this places the guitar in the mix more 'properly'.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Aug 25, 2010,
#10
Primarily the first (I think) capacitor in the signal chain. The one that bleeds the low frequencies.
Water which is too pure has no fish - Ts'ai Ken T'an
#11
Quote by gumbilicious
sure bass players may have active EQ and LP/HP filters if that is what you are referring to? but then, you have some guitar amps with the same extensive controls (like the marshall vintage modern, or mesa recs).

Quote by gumbilicious
i don't really agree that bass amp are completely different in concept and design. i would particularly like to know what you base the claim that guitar amps have a "Simple EQ that doesn't allow for the radical fine adjustments that bass would offer"? i far as i know tone stacks are placed in similar areas of the circuit, with similar design, but with different values for the RC circuits.

I'm thinking:
Guitar amp: 3-band EQ (usually).
Bass amp: 4-band EQ and up, with 10-band being a common sight.

As always, there's exceptions. A guitar amp with a complex EQ or a bass amp completely without an adjustable one can be found here and there, but not often enough to include it when making generalisations.


Quote by gumbilicious
and why is a guitar signal 'kinda shitty'? qualitatively, what is shitty about it?

Plug your guitar into something neutral like a recording-preamp and see for yourself. It sounds like crap. I didn't do a frequency-analysis.


Quote by gumbilicious
and by color do you mean clipping?

Nope, talking about attenuating certain frequencies and boosting others, thus changing the tone.


Quote by gumbilicious
and why are the adjustment knobs on a guitar more course?

The knobs aren't. The adjustments you can do with the average 3-band EQ just aren't as precise (and eventually extensive) as what you can do with the average 10-band.


Quote by gumbilicious
alright, this hits closer to home. the issues you hit with the differences between guitar and bass amps were more a stab at describing 'ideal' amplifiers for both (with a bunch on personal conclusion tacked of i guess).

Yes.


Quote by gumbilicious
now lets talk about signal sourcing and signal reproduction. signal sourcing is the concept of producing a favorable 'tone' using equipment that distorts and enhances certain characteristics of an instrument. this would be like using guitar amps that soft compress and clip, using a green bullet and small tube amp for a harmonica. once you have your tone where you want it you go onto signal reproduction.

signal reproduction is the concept of reproducing a source signal without any alteration, you want the same sound louder. PA's and hifi equipment fit into this realm. both reproduction and sourcing having their own list of very complex concerns (like reproduction has to take into account how your ear has different freq responses at different volumes, and both source and reproduction have to worry about amplifying unwanted 'noise' along with the original signal).

so why do i mention this? these definitions isolate the concept and adds parity what i am going to say. signal sourcing is a bunch of personal tastes, whether you like clean of distortion, SS or tube, what speakers, what power tubes, etc. guitar amplifiers tend to like to stress certain characteristics of distortions produced by tube amps (tone stacks and preamps have been designed toward these characteristics). bass amps tend to work in a frequency range that doesn't necessarily keep fidelity when distorted like a guitar amp (bass gets muddy with distortion), so most signal sourcing for bass's is more similar to signal reproduction is how it tries to keep fidelity and doesn't want to clip (though compression does sound good with bass).

so that is the view point of sourcing. now, technical differences between guitar and bass amps? tone stacks are different to facilitate the lower frequencies a bass works in, and guitar amps are designed to work in the higher freqs (usually the freq response is geared to a more aggresive sound too, that means more mids in a 'sweet spot'). bass amps tend to have a larger power section because bass freq's are harder for the ear to hear, so bass is playing 'catchup' in the mix so to speaker.

also different speakers are used to bass amps and guitar amps. bass amp speakers tend to be higher power handling, with stiffer elastic components and usually are at a lower impedance (lower impedance speakers work in the low end freq's more efficiently). guitar speakers are generally more responsive (and as a consequence are usually lower wattage) with looser elastic components and are usually 8 or 16 ohms because those speakers attenuate low (and high) freqs a bit more and this places the guitar in the mix more 'properly'.

That's what I said; or was trying to say.

As to the rest, I don't see what point you are trying to make. Interesting nevertheless, I didn't know the differences between guitar and bass speakers were that big.
#12
The main differences are the speakers and the tone stacks. Both are designed for completely different frequency ranges from guitar.
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#13
i liked my description best
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc
i liked my description best

But aren't those 'djent' bands using bass amps?
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Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#15
i dunno. the bassists might be. if they're djenty enough.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#17
dude can't a guy troll in peace?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#19
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#20
^^ hehe
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#21
been working for past couple days. haven't had time to respond, so
Quote by TheQuailman
I'm thinking:
Guitar amp: 3-band EQ (usually).
Bass amp: 4-band EQ and up, with 10-band being a common sight.


how is one of those more effective than the other? i hope it is not because it has more knobs. Band Pass is Band Pass (esp if it is passive), you can scoop more frequencies at more values, but i know of no qualitative or quantitative way to making an effective claim as to which is more effective. and i feel such a bold claim deserves one, instead of 'that is how i feel'. many misunderstandings are brought about based on 'how someone feels' even though it has no legitimate backup.

i don't like people going around these forums claiming 'bass has a more effective EQ' when there is no way to prove or disprove that claim until performance benchmarks are defined.

Quote by TheQuailman
As always, there's exceptions. A guitar amp with a complex EQ or a bass amp completely without an adjustable one can be found here and there, but not often enough to include it when making generalisations.


once again, most of what you said hit close to the mark, but i was drenched in fallacy, making a blanket statement like 'bass amp EQ's are more effective' without anything to really base that off of does NOT breed healthy learning. but yes, like i mentioned in my post, there are lots of 'exceptions', imo there are too many exceptions for your claim to be vaild.

Quote by TheQuailman
Plug your guitar into something neutral like a recording-preamp and see for yourself. It sounds like crap. I didn't do a frequency-analysis.


i didn't ask for 'proof' (that is not even really proof so much), i know what a 'dry guitar signal sounds like. i asked for qualitative assesment. what i was basically pushing your for is to not just rely on a cop-out, half-assed generalization. guitar signals aren't 'shitty', cuz that is no way to assess how 'bad' a signal is. is it rich in a certain frequency? is it the noise getting amplified with the signal?

really, it is some of that, but the reason a guitar signal is 'shitty' has a lot less to do with the guitar signal than it does with how humans hear. claiming a guitar signal is 'shitty' is incredibly misleading and doesn't really enlighten the reader at all.

Quote by TheQuailman
Nope, talking about attenuating certain frequencies and boosting others, thus changing the tone.


well, then you aren't talking about 'coloring' so much as you are talking about band pass frequency controlling. try to be more specific, try not to use ambiguous words like 'coloring' (cuz coloring could mean all kinds of things to all kinds of people, the idea is to convey an accurate thought)

Quote by TheQuailman
The knobs aren't. The adjustments you can do with the average 3-band EQ just aren't as precise (and eventually extensive) as what you can do with the average 10-band.


this interests me, cuz i can see nothing to base this claim on. how is a guitar amp's EQ less precise? does it cut less dB? does it sometimes cut the wrong frequency? does it have a sharper/exagerated response curve from the tone stack?

the closes thing i can see is a sharper response curve, but i see no way of saying one is more 'precise' than another. these response curves are bassed on voicing the amp and i don't see how one could be more 'precise' than another


Quote by TheQuailman
That's what I said; or was trying to say.


well, if you can't use precise words and actually back up what you are trying to say with concrete information, then you'd be better off not saying it, and a reader would be better off not reading it such unfounded claims.

spreading around how you 'feel' about something is not overly useful for people trying to figure this stuff out. from what i read in of your posts in this thread you seem to have a lot of say about things you don't really know about.

HOW can you make claims about how precise EQ is when you have no idea how a tone stack works or how high/low/band pass works?

Quote by TheQuailman
As to the rest, I don't see what point you are trying to make. Interesting nevertheless, I didn't know the differences between guitar and bass speakers were that big.


as to the rest.... the details are in the rest. it is very hard to talk about the 'differences' in amps before you even define what the amp should do, what it needs to do well, and why it needs to do it well, also what is an 'ideal amp' and why would it not be so preferable in signal sourcing applications. the understanding is in the details.

it is misleading to someone to talk about 'amplification' before one even realizes the fundamental concepts and goals in amplification. ideas like 'signal sourcing' and 'signal reproduction' are some of the lowest fundamentals about actually understanding how your amp works.

if you wanna know why i did this, it is because i can't stand people who just claim a bunch of stuff that is far from accurate and trying to defend it like it is the truth. you need to go back to the basics before you should think about 'helping others'
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Aug 27, 2010,
#22
Quote by TheQuailman
I have said that the common, high-fidelity bass amp does not sound good with guitars. I have not tried all bass amps there are with my guitar, but a few over the years. All of them I found lacking for guitar.


that is fine, most people do. i found more a problem with the flawed reasoning you placed behind a common conclusion. i don't doubt that your stated comments represent your beliefs, but i do think some of your beliefs are not grounded in actual mechanics and are more representations of 'structures' you use to make sense of the situation.

Quote by TheQuailman
I did not claim any expertise. I was talking from my admittedly limited experience. Note that I used words like "often", "generally", "usually" and the like.


that statement right there encapsulates what aggravates me. using terms like 'often', 'generally, and 'usually' is not a[n artistic] license to propagate insubstantial claims like:

Quote by TheQuailman
Guitar amps are completely different: Simple EQ that doesn't allow for the radical or fine adjustments that bass amps offer - instead it colours the sound from the get go, because the signal a guitar produces is kinda shit, really, and desperately needs some colour. A guitar amp's controls only allow for pretty rough adjustments, comparatively.


that statement is poison. there is nothing really accurate or confirmable in that statements. it gonna have me trying to explain to someone how one. i know of no way to explain 'radical or fine' eq, cuz it's all RC/CR circuits with different values. i don't see how one circuit can be more 'radical or fine or rough' than another.

the use of the term 'coloring' is very open to interpretation to be useful. talk about the soft compression, clipping, harmonic order, power section class, attack, decay, sustain, feedback, w/e. but just 'coloring' doesn't describe anything

did you know that guitar tone stacks and bass tone stacks are damn near identical in basic design? there are different things that happen, like bass is more common to have LP/HP/BP capabilities. but the fact remains is that tone stacks were introduced on amplifiers to account the fact that the ear hears differently at different volumes and tone stacks are useful in dealing with that and allow for customization.

imo these topics (below) are important to know when dealing with not just how an amp works, but how we hear. cuz how we hear dictates whats on an amp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_of_human_hearing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness

then applying this knowledge to

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frequency

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equalization

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band-pass_filter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RLC_circuit

http://www.duncanamps.com/tsc/


Quote by TheQuailman
That, and this not being a tech-talk forum, but a gear forum where sound is discussed (instead of how amps work) should have been a tip-off that I'm speaking subjectively and that while I'm making generalisations, I do not imply that they apply in each and every case.


but the problem is, your descriptions are not representative of what is going on. imo, your descriptions are misleading and uninformed and it causes me more work when i try to help someone later. i don't like having to convince people later that there is no such thing as 'fine and course and rough' adjustments of EQ, or that guitar amp EQ's more 'simple' and 'color'. this is far to vague to do anything but muddle the facts.

the truth is that the tone stack and equalization have a place in a preamp, the preamp has multiple gain stages that are designed to do many things. i don't have time to go into it all cuz the topic is huge, i might have a blog that gets into it a bit.

Quote by TheQuailman
I still don't get why we were arguing about EQs. A 10-band EQ allows for more nuanced adjustment than a 3-band. I figured that's why they made 10-bands in the first place. In reference to my first post, "rough" is not necessarily a synomyn for "coarse", it can be used as just the opposite of "nuanced". I must admit that I used the word "imprecise" to describe guitar-EQs in my second post, which was wrong. I meant what I have explained above.


so you were just basing the 'precise' thing on the fact that bass amps come with graphic eq's more? how about a parametric EQ, is that more 'precise' than graphic? i am not arguing about EQ's i have argued about how you are misleading, i have been harping out how you have been misleading but pointing out how your descriptions had no meaning in the context of how EQ works.

Quote by TheQuailman
You criticised me for saying guitar-EQs were not effective, comparatively, but I made no such claim.


i said that you claimed they were not as effective as bass amps, and that is not a 'provable' or 'disprovable' statement without some definition of what that means.

Quote by TheQuailman
"Colouring" is frequently used to describe any change in tone through whatever gear. It may be used differently among recording engineers or amp builders, but on these forums this is how it is understood. My apologies if the textbook says otherwise. I will stick to the textbook next time.


doesn't matter if it's text book, but making the claim something 'colors' the tone is not useful, especially at the level of expertise i believe you were trying to talk at. i don't see how an EQ couldn't 'color' the tone and that is what EQ is for. how can bass amps have more 'dramatic' EQ for more precision, but a guitar amp 'colors' more with a 'course' EQ?

doesn't matter if it is textbook, lets just shoot for talking about what we know.

Quote by TheQuailman
It is important to keep the context in mind. The threadstarter asked whether it was a good idea to use a bass amp for guitar. I replied that according to my experience, it usually is not and posted my thoughts why that might be so. This being about subjective impressions, namely about sound, what I "feel" is exactly what is interesting.


but you should have the restraint to know 'what you don't know'. if you felt that bass amps are too sterile for guitar amps then say so, do not come up with some hokus pokus about EQ's that is not grounded in reality.

Quote by TheQuailman
I did not post this in the thread because the tone is hostile enough already and I only expect it to get worse.


you might think it's hostile, but i just want anyone who comes to this thread to read how i disagree with your descriptions.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae