Jump to content
Fjord_monkey

Bass with bass head and guitar cab?

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I was wondering if it's possible to safely run a bass through a guitar cab? I want a 4x12, and i assume it should be possible as there are both octave pedals for guitars and 8 string guitars...

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say almost certainly not - bass drivers (irrespective of size) are constructed to handle bass frequencies, drivers for guitar cabs aren't - also bass cabs are tuned to be efficient in the bass frequency range, guitar cabs for higher frequencies.   Bass cabs will happily handle higher guitar-range frequencies, albeit with less efficiency than a guitar cab.

I think JJ Burnel got his sound partly through using blown 12" drivers, but no idea if it was a bass or guitar cab

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

3 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

I'd say almost certainly not - bass drivers (irrespective of size) are constructed to handle bass frequencies, drivers for guitar cabs aren't - also bass cabs are tuned to be efficient in the bass frequency range, guitar cabs for higher frequencies.   Bass cabs will happily handle higher guitar-range frequencies, albeit with less efficiency than a guitar cab.

I think JJ Burnel got his sound partly through using blown 12" drivers, but no idea if it was a bass or guitar cab

Ait, because i saw that Robert Trujillo plays a 4x12 mesa cab, would this have custom bass drivers then? I also saw some guy attempt blowing out a 15w guitar combo with a bass, max amp vol, max od settings, max bass od, max bass vol etc, and it didnt blow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Fjord_monkey said:

Ait, because i saw that Robert Trujillo plays a 4x12 mesa cab, would this have custom bass drivers then?

Mesa make bass amps & cabs so it’s probably one of those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Bill will give you the full works on the subject.

The issue is the drivers in terms of 'safety'. Guitar drivers usually have lower power handling and excursion which puts them at risk of damage in bass use, and also makes them less effective for making 'normal' bass sounds.

They were used for years though, and have created some classic sounds. If you like that sound and understand the limitations and risks, it can be done.

I have split the difference and have bass drivers in a guitar 4x12. It's great, but the cab colours the sound dramatically. There isn't much sub-bass (about 60hz and down) to speak of, a roaring mid-range, and a roll-off of the higher frequencies. It also beams a lot due to the driver layout. It's great for dirty, classic rock bass sounds, but is not a cab for every situation. It was an experiment, remains a frivolity, but is an awesome thing to drag out when the occasion allows. One day I may find myself a Marshall Super Bass or other lower powered valve head to complete the wonderfully flawed package.

The Mesa 4x12 may not be a guitar cab though- I think they make/made a ported bass cab with 4 12's arranged diagonally from each other, which would be quite a different beast. I'll have a look, but it may be that he was using something like that rather than guitar cabs.

EDIT- CameronJ got in there just before me on that last paragraph!

Edited by Jus Lukin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, CameronJ said:

Mesa make bass amps & cabs so it’s probably one of those.

I know they make bass cabs but i havent seen a mesa 4x12 bass cab before

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out the Mesa Powerhouse 4x12. That's the one I was thinking of! Looks to be discontinued, but images are on the 'net.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been using Marshall 4 x 12" "g-word" cabinets in my youth. Worked really well. Very good rock sound.

It is true that you cannot drive them as hard as bass cabs, but before you reach hazardous levels, you can get pretty much noise. Think one as a bass cabinet that just has less power. It is possible to cut the lowest end and drive the cab harder but is that the sound you are after?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also just glanced at an interview in which he said he was using Ampeg with a Mesa for the midrange, so he may be blending Mesa guitar gear in for a certain tone, but not using it for the whole bass sound.

This reminds me, I haven't run the Rick through the 4x12 yet! Must be done...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to use a guitar 4x12 at practice with one band. It sounded quite decent (it was pretty beaten up to be fair), you just had to be mindful not to push it with the lows or volume, otherwise you'd start to hear the drivers complain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

50 years ago a 4x12 bass cab and 4x12 guitar cab were the same thing. If you run a bass through a 4x12 guitar cab today the result will be the same as running it through a 4x12 bass cab 50 years ago: it won't go as low or as loud as a modern bass 2x12. Next:

Quote

I want a 4x12

Why? It's a form factor that hasn't made sense since 50 years ago. If you need more output than what a modern 2x12 can deliver, which isn't likely but that's a different topic, get a pair of 2x12.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've played in DIY venues and rehearsal spaces that used guitar 4x12 cabs with bass heads as the house rig and got away with it.  Though that was very much on the basis of cobbling together whatever gear was available, not something I'd set out to do. 

So I'd second the "why?", but if you really must, then a 16 ohm, closed back 4x12" has about the best chance of not breaking, out of the common guitar cab configurations. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a 412 is the preferred option the Marshall VBC412 is a great cab, no longer made but they turn up on here & the bay every so often at about £300 - and they are amazingly good cabs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you get a beaten up "g-word" Marshall, just change the elements to bass drivers. Probably the elements cost more than a modern bass cab, but when in need...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, itu said:

If you get a beaten up "g-word" Marshall, just change the elements to bass drivers. Probably the elements cost more than a modern bass cab, but when in need...

For four 12"s it's going to be £200 minimum, and there are a lot of competent bass cabs, large or small, that you could buy used for that amount.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...