Bass Guitar Thru Powered Subwoofer?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Shane Morales, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Would it work? I'm talking about just plugging right into the amp.
     
  2. Tom McGary

    Tom McGary Auditioning

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    DO NOT DO IT. The drivers used in Hi-Fi/home audio are constructed quite differently than those intended for pro sound/sound reinforcement. It may seem like a good idea now, but it is not.

    Tom
     
  3. James~P

    James~P Stunt Coordinator

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    depends on the volume.


    the main thing that screws up speakers when bass guitars are used is the poping.. it totally messes with tweeters and kills woofers.



    live instruments have massivly powerful transients... you're best off getting a bass amp but at very low volume it shouldnt damage anything.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    James is right – keep the volume low. However, I can tell you that you probably wont like the way it sounds.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Henry_W

    Henry_W Stunt Coordinator

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    A good sub is generally tuned to those long wave really low stuff. Maby subs aren't used for freqs much above 80 - 100 hz and alot of your guitar stuff is well above that range.

    I wouldn't do it either.
     
  6. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Why not? It works fine, and it won't kill anything *that* easily. Set the gain keeping in mind what the peak signal level will be, though... and besides, any properly designed powered subwoofer should be almost incapable of damaging itself. If you have a passive sub driven by some massive PA amp... watch out.

    (My friends have tried it with a Tempest and 250 watt plate amp.)
     
  7. Henry_W

    Henry_W Stunt Coordinator

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    I wasn't, and can't, talk about volume and speaker damage.

    You have tried this you can prove me wrong, however - a good bass speaker needs to have a broad frequency range - some thing that many woofers used in subs don't do exceptionally well. Getting the good SPL for a band environment might als be an issue with most commercial sub designs.

    My point was that I did not think it would sound right - But not having heard it I really don't know.
     
  8. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    You have to defeat the crossover (160Hz filter is still too low) and drive the amplifier directly with the guitar's signal. Yeah, it doesn't sound 'normal' - not enough distortion. [​IMG] It is true that the max SPL isn't as high as that of a serious bass amp... but it's still pretty impressive, and you can easily build a DIY system that would be better suited. Just take a 1400 watt amp and a couple JBL 2226's... or make a horn.
     
  9. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Mike,

    Gaithersburg, eh? You're just down the street from me.

    Building a sub for the bass guitar was actually what I was thinking about. I don't want to buy a bass amp. At least I could use another sub for something else, but a bass amp is mucho $ and I really don't play bass that often.

    What's a horn?
     
  10. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Oh, hi! I guess it depends on how big a box you're willing to tolerate and how much you want to spend... and how much output you need. (PA driver, home driver, what tuning frequency, etc.)

    When I mentioned horns, I was thinking of the LAB subwoofer. The drivers are placed at the throat of an exponentially expanding pathway that amplifies the sound relative to what the drivers alone would produce... just like a horn tweeter you might see on Klipsch or any PA speaker, except bigger. Humongous sound, great for a band, but at 2x4x4'... a little impractical for the home. (Difficult to build, too.)
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Bass guitar amplification is not comparable in any way to hi-fi bass frequency amplification. It will sound like ass. If you're not playing with a band a small practice amp should be sufficient for bass guitar. Try a Peavey Microbass, I've read that they are fabulous. www.rondomusic.com .
     
  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Most subwoofers have specs from about 20 or 30 Hz to 150 Hz (and often are not used even that high, as Henry mentions). I would suggest that bass guitars do not go nearly so low and significantly higher than a typical subwoofer.

    Also what Phillip wrote
     
  13. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    I guess I disagree with the thought that it would sound bad... you just need a woofer with extension to 300Hz or higher, and no crossover. It sounds different because there's a little less distortion I think, but the output especially on the lower notes with a good hi-fi sub can be impressive. It's just like regular speakers as guitar amps. My friend brought his guitar over and played it through one of my Kit281s (with a distortion pedal/preamp)... it sounded like a normal electric guitar, just way cleaner.
     
  14. James~P

    James~P Stunt Coordinator

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    you can blow out speakers tweeters by playing guitars into them, careful.



    guitar speakers roll off around 6khz..
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  16. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  17. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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  18. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    I think most rock bands' normal usage of the bass guitar only extends to 40Hz (IIRC the lowest note on a 'standard' tuned 4 string). A few songs have different parts hitting 28 or 35Hz, but usually it's 40 and up. But I would guess that the average low-cost PA bass amp wouldn't even have a lot of clean output at 40Hz.
     
  19. Edwin_C

    Edwin_C Stunt Coordinator

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    No, you can't. Bass guitar hits higher then subwoofers are designed to handle. If you try, you'll get an incredibly unsmooth curve. Just hook it up to your receiver, first hook it up to a pre-amp though. If you connect it directly, you'll get all the unwanted noise. Especially if you're using passive pickups. By pre-amp I mean an equipment preamp. Lexicon makes decent ones, digitech is up there with the best, and Behringer makes a nice rack mount one for a low price.
     
  20. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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