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Guitar amp combo as a head with bass cab?

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Hi.

Having been on the lookout for a cheap practice amp for playing bass at home I just had a thought and maybe someone here would have tried something similar.

I use a Peavey Classic 30 as my main guitar amp at home, the volume is actually fairly manageable, even in an apartment. The Classic 30 is modded with a 1983 Celestion G12-65 speaker and it sounds unbelievably good.

Don’t want to blow my vintage speaker by playing bass through it so could I disconnect that speaker and get a bass cab and run it from the speaker out on the Classic 30? This would save money and space and keep the wife happy. 
 

Cheers

Pete 
 

 

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34 minutes ago, Downunderwonder said:

Only concern is providing the proper cab impedance to the amp.

That’s what’s I figured. Thank you.

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You may be fine with the combo speaker. Guitar speakers will distort long before their power limits are even approached, let alone exceeded. If you don't play loud enough to cause distortion you're good.

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Worth trying what Bill suggests. You are unlikely to get a lot of low end from an open backed combo, but for quiet living room playing, it could well suffice. As far as I know, the Classic, unlike some combos, does not allow you to disconnect the onboard speaker so you can use only an extension cab (for which there is a jack socket). You would have to rig something up. 

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Ever heard of 'The Beach Boys'? Most of their bass tracks were played by Carol Kaye. Her main amps were Fender Concerts and Fender Super Reverbs. Bass can sound quite good through open back guitar cabs, provided the volume isn't too high.

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I sometimes run the fx loop out on the Classic 30 into the fx in on an old 80s solid state I have. I might try that as the classic 30 has pretty saggy tone. Thanks for all the insights. 

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14 hours ago, Bill Fitzmaurice said:

Ever heard of 'The Beach Boys'? Most of their bass tracks were played by Carol Kaye. Her main amps were Fender Concerts and Fender Super Reverbs. Bass can sound quite good through open back guitar cabs, provided the volume isn't too high.

Agree, in an old band I used our guitarists Roland Jazz/Chorus amp to record with, it sounded great. 

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18 hours ago, Bill Fitzmaurice said:

Ever heard of 'The Beach Boys'? Most of their bass tracks were played by Carol Kaye. Her main amps were Fender Concerts and Fender Super Reverbs. Bass can sound quite good through open back guitar cabs, provided the volume isn't too high.

Yep. I used to use my old Fender Deluxe for low volume bass - recording and practice. Tonally, it was lovely, but had relatively little low end in the room (which didn't matter with a mic' six inches from the cone).

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Carol Kaye probably played on as many records as James Jamerson and Duck Dunn combined. She was originally a guitar player who got pressed into playing some bass tracks with a borrowed PBass through her own Fender Concert, and that became her standard rig. She was paid homage to last year in Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, by the Carole Keen character playing bass in the fictional Shy Baldwin's band. Kaye never actually toured in the 60"s when the show was set, so I guess one of the writers wanted to come up with a female member of the band that bore some resemblance to a real person, as do most of the characters in the show.

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Guess I don’t really need a bass amp then as I don’t gig. You read stuff online about the lower frequencies destroying guitar speakers, but not at low volume. And as pointed out all the old bass players were  using guitar amps, which was sort of how I figured it. I can use the mid cut on my Sr800 to dial out some of the classic 30 honk,  great with a strat or les Paul the honk is. 

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I would have thought you would have plugged in a bass and gone ''dang this thing can't satisfy'' before posting the thread.

Ime of guitar amp bass I tried the guitarist's 50w Marshall with his 412, at his insistence. We turned it up until it distorted, at which point it was making 1 mousepower. Ymmv.

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9 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

I would have thought you would have plugged in a bass and gone ''dang this thing can't satisfy'' before posting the thread.

Ime of guitar amp bass I tried the guitarist's 50w Marshall with his 412, at his insistence. We turned it up until it distorted, at which point it was making 1 mousepower. Ymmv.

Getting a bass amp with a 15 inch speaker appeals for sure. Not to the better half though.

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12 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

I would have thought you would have plugged in a bass and gone ''dang this thing can't satisfy'' before posting the thread.

He had a valid question, whether playing bass through a guitar driver would damage it. In fact you're less likely to damage a guitar driver with bass than with guitar, because it will sound horrid at power levels well below the voice coil thermal capacity. As for excursion, exceeding xmax doesn't hurt drivers, reaching xlim does. Guitar drivers tend to have xlim to xmax ratios in the vicinity of 4:1, because they're intended to be pushed past xmax. Bass driver xlim to xmax ratios run around 2:1, so you're more likely to mechanically damage a bass driver by creasing a cone. One manufacturer was well known for their drivers creasing, because the driver xlim to xmax ratio was only 1: 0.6.

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16 minutes ago, Bill Fitzmaurice said:

He had a valid question, whether playing bass through a guitar driver would damage it. In fact you're less likely to damage a guitar driver with bass than with guitar, because it will sound horrid at power levels well below the voice coil thermal capacity. As for excursion, exceeding xmax doesn't hurt drivers, reaching xlim does. Guitar drivers tend to have xlim to xmax ratios in the vicinity of 4:1, because they're intended to be pushed past xmax. Bass driver xlim to xmax ratios run around 2:1, so you're more likely to mechanically damage a bass driver by creasing a cone. One manufacturer was well known for their drivers creasing, because the driver xlim to xmax ratio was only 1: 0.6.

That’s some good info, thanks so much. Going to google all of those terms now. 

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