#1
I recently bought a EHX Pitch Fork, and was just wondering if it was possible to do damage to my amp or cab when playing an octave or two lower (effectively playing a bass) for a long period of time. Is this an issue that people have come across with any other pitch shifters? Running a Fender Super Sonic 22 through a Super Sonic 412 cabinet.
#2
I've been wondering this for a long time. There seems to be an unspoken law that playing a bass through a guitar amp will somehow destroy it, and yet pitch shifters and 8-string guitars seem to work just fine.

I'd assume most pitch shifting devices are designed to be safe to use with guitar amps. Considering how common they are, if they caused serious damage, you'd probably hear a lot of stories about it. Personally I've never heard of such an incident, so I think you should be fine.
#3
Yeah I kind of call bullshit. The cab would most likely just cut out those frequencies.
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#4
I use my Whammy V for faux-bass all the time, that even has a 3 octave down setting. It won't hurt it, if you hear "burps" in the sound it's because the speaker can't generate that particular frequency. Digitech and other companies wouldn't make these pedals if they could damage your amps, FCC regulations and all.
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#5
Quote by entropicxdisson
I use my Whammy V for faux-bass all the time, that even has a 3 octave down setting. It won't hurt it, if you hear "burps" in the sound it's because the speaker can't generate that particular frequency. Digitech and other companies wouldn't make these pedals if they could damage your amps, FCC regulations and all.


FCC wouldn't have any kind of regulation that would be involved, and these pedals have no warranty expressed for suitability in any case.

And yes, those pedals can definitely damage your speakers (not your amp) if you have the volume on the lows up too high. Guitar voice coils really can't handle a lot of excursion, and bass run through guitar speakers has absolutely blown speakers in the past. You can use these things in moderation, however, and you shouldn't have major issues.
#6
Quote by Clay-man
Yeah I kind of call bullshit. The cab would most likely just cut out those frequencies.


Cabinets can't cut out frequencies. Crossovers can, high pass filters can, EQ can, etc..

But that sort of begs a question; if your gear isn't going to reproduce those frequencies, then why would you use the pedal in the first place? And if it DOES reproduce those frequencies, then the cabinet isn't cutting out much and running those frequencies through the cabinet can be dangerous.
#7
Bass guitar can be run through a guitar amp with no problems. However, the speakers have to be able to handle bass frequencies. Most guitar speakers are not designed to handle bass, which produces much lower frequencies, and that means the voice coil has to be able to travel a lot further than guitar speakers are generally designed for.

I've let a bass player use my Peavey MX when his amp was in the shop, didn't worry about it at all, but he had a good bass cabinet. The guitar speakers will handle it up to a point, but bass puts them through a lot more stress than guitar does, so you'll eventually blow speakers.

So if you want to use a guitar amp for bass, that shouldn't be a problem, they can reproduce the notes, but the guitar speakers probably can't hold up to the pounding of a bass, so use a bass speaker.

Running a guitar effect might be a different story, I know the amp and speakers can reproduce the notes, that's what I do when I use my Super Reverb and jump on the whammy bar...but doing it constantly, I'd be kind of worried unless I know the speakers are capable of handling the frequencies I'd be putting through them on a regular basis.

As far as cutting out notes, no, the speakers simply don't reproduce them below certain frequencies, depending on the specs of the speaker. I don't think that would do any damage but I guess it's possible...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Dec 14, 2014,
#8
It is not effectively playing bass at all. Guitar doesn't have the same attack. It isn't the frequency that kills speakers, it's the attack. You'll be fine.
Gilchrist custom
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Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
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Fender 5F1 Champ clone
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#9
Quote by Cathbard
It is not effectively playing bass at all. Guitar doesn't have the same attack. It isn't the frequency that kills speakers, it's the attack. You'll be fine.


It's not just attack -- it's the volume. The same thing will happen with bass notes that have NO particular attack (think low notes from a keyboard). A speaker needs to move four times the air to produce a note an octave down at the same volume as the original note. You need to use your head -- and your ears.
#10
Well yeah, there's that too but not really an issue in this case.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#11
Thanks for all the insight guys. Seems the general consensus is I'll be alright as long as I don't crank the volume, which although is no fun, is entirely doable lol