#1
Hi,

I would like to know if there are any major downsides to using my Orange TH30 combo amp for practicing with a bass guitar at indoor living room levels. Will/Can it cause damage to the amp? Will it sound completely crap etc?

I am a proficient guitar player but I am considering taking up the Bass guitar as well but I do not have the budget at the moment to get a reasonable bass guitar and bass amp. I also know that some guitar amps work well with bass guitars and the other way around. I will in future look into getting a proper bass amp as budget allows so this will also be a temporary solution.

Any input would be appreciated
#2
Mmmmm if you google a bit on the internet or read the stickies here, it clearly says DO NOT USE your guitar amp for playing bass.

But I do have a TH-30 Combo, and lately i've been playing a lot (and very loud) of guitar with an Octave Effect, so i can 'simulate' having a bass when i'm creating riffs (octave down 50% output).

The tone is AMAZING.

1 week ago it got me thinking if i keep playing with the octave pedal, the speaker would blow in the long run, as i'm clearly sending bass notes to the amp.

I'm very interested in this thread, as i have the same amp, and i also have a bass, that I play trough interface.

Let's see what the experts in bass forums have to say about our issues.
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Last edited by tiky at Apr 23, 2015,
#3
I have heard the DO NOT USE warning before but I have also heard people say that it might be fine considering you can use an octave pedal as you mentioned. Also if it does damage the combo, would it damage the amp or the speaker or both?
#4
It's always been my understanding that you won't do any serious harm running a bass through a guitar amp, if you keep the volume low. Really pushing it, you will almost certainly destroy your speakers, if they're not made for bass frequencies. But also that, in general, it's not a good practice. Would be better even to just get a super small bass practice amp, like one of those little $80 15w Fender Rumbles.

That said, there are probably more specific things you can look for to determine whether or not you're going to really hurt anything. Things which, hopefully, will be pointed out by one of the experts around here. Not me.

Also, you should re-post this thread on the Guitar Gear and Accessories board. It'll fit in there, and that board gets way more traffic than the bass board. You'll get more responses.
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Last edited by the_bi99man at Apr 24, 2015,
#5
Just get a cheap practice amp. If it's just for practice, it doesn't need to be that great. I would guess an amp designed for bass will pretty much always work better than a guitar amp, and then you don't need to worry about your speakers.
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#6
If your at a living-room level, you should have no issues. it is when the amp is pushed and the guitar speaker cone moves excessively it can ruin the speaker. But at low volumes you will have no issues
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#7
It's the speaker that will be at risk.
In order to produce the same volume an octave down, a speaker has to move four times as much air. Since it can't increase its own cone area, it needs to do this by moving the speaker back and forth that much more. Usually what happens is that the "excursion" levels are far too high for the speaker, the voice coil warps or jumps the track and that's it until you replace or repair the speaker.

Guitar speakers just aren't designed to move forward or back all that much. Bass speakers, even the little 8" guys you find in recording monitors, ARE designed to do that. Worth noting that a set of powered recording monitors (I'll use my Rokit 8's as an example) might have 100W each of internal power each, but that will often be divided 80/20 (bi-amped) with the majority going to the woofer. The speakers that I use in my bass cabinets are 15" speakers with nearly 6" of overall voice coil travel, where a guitar speaker of the same size might only move half an inch or so.

In short, using your guitar amp for bass practice is not recommended, but if you keep the volume WAY down, you might get away with it for a bit. I use a Line 6 Bass Pod XT and a set of headphones.
#8
It's not the frequencies that destroys speakers, it's the attack. 8-string guitars, Bass VIs, tremolos, and octave pedals all go into bass territory and you almost never hear of destroyed speakers regarding them. If you play quietly and refrain from slapping, you should be fine. Using a bass with a guitar amp is not uncommon in recording. You don't even need a proper bass amp. You can just get a bass cab and use that instead of the combo speaker. There's very little difference between tube bass and guitar amps.
#9
Quote by tiky
But I do have a TH-30 Combo, and lately i've been playing a lot (and very loud) of guitar with an Octave Effect, so i can 'simulate' having a bass when i'm creating riffs (octave down 50% output).

The tone is AMAZING.

1 week ago it got me thinking if i keep playing with the octave pedal, the speaker would blow in the long run, as i'm clearly sending bass notes to the amp.


A guitar with an octave pedal still doesn't have the same low frequency content as a bass guitar. Not close, actually.

On topic, you really won't have a problem. An eight inch speaker is a big speaker, bigger than any in your hi-fi, which routinely replicates the sound of a bass guitar. You only risk damaging your speaker when you try and compete with drummer or other loud instruments. For bedroom jamming levels, you're fine.
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#10
Quote by dspellman
It's the speaker that will be at risk.
In order to produce the same volume an octave down, a speaker has to move four times as much air. Since it can't increase its own cone area, it needs to do this by moving the speaker back and forth that much more. Usually what happens is that the "excursion" levels are far too high for the speaker, the voice coil warps or jumps the track and that's it until you replace or repair the speaker.

Guitar speakers just aren't designed to move forward or back all that much. Bass speakers, even the little 8" guys you find in recording monitors, ARE designed to do that. Worth noting that a set of powered recording monitors (I'll use my Rokit 8's as an example) might have 100W each of internal power each, but that will often be divided 80/20 (bi-amped) with the majority going to the woofer. The speakers that I use in my bass cabinets are 15" speakers with nearly 6" of overall voice coil travel, where a guitar speaker of the same size might only move half an inch or so.

In short, using your guitar amp for bass practice is not recommended, but if you keep the volume WAY down, you might get away with it for a bit. I use a Line 6 Bass Pod XT and a set of headphones.


Thanks for the explanation.

Also thanks everyone for the replies. Basically what I am getting is that there is a risk to the speaker, at really low volume it might be be fine but it is not difficult to stuff up my speaker when using it with a bass guitar if I am not careful.

I think I will just wait a bit until I can afford a small bass practice amp to go with the bass guitar. Even if I would not have caused damage to the Orange using a bass with it at low volumes I will have more peace of mind this way.

Cheers