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Author Topic: Question for all your Bass Players!  (Read 4563 times)

Austin

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Question for all your Bass Players!
« on: September 04, 2012, 07:20:24 AM »
I have always wondered this, but I have never came up with the answer! Can anyone describe to me in a few sentences what is the difference between a Guitar Amplifier and a Bass Amplifier?



Offline Mick

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Re: Question for all your Bass Players!
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 07:25:55 AM »
Often wondered about this myself. 

Not sure about the actual amp, but I'm guessing the Speaker needs to be of a good spec to handle bass.  Using a normal speaker cabinet on a bass setup, would soon result in failure. :)
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Austin

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Re: Question for all your Bass Players!
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 07:39:57 AM »
Maybe I can do my research and post a little about the difference between the two are :)

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Question for all your Bass Players!
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 08:45:52 AM »
The audio response curves are completely different. The slope on a bass amplifier is much lower than on a guitar amplifier, as it needs to handle much lower root notes and harmonics.

Likewise a decent bass speaker/enclosure will have a lower resonance than a guitar system, but will still need to be able to handle some relatively high harmonics to give a good tone, but clearly not as high as a guitar.

Play a guitar through a bass system and it will sound flat and bass heavy, play a bass guitar through a six string system and blow the cones . .

A 4 string bass guitar is one octave lower than a standard six string, a double bass is two octaves lower, so the amplifiers for them are even more specialized.


Offline Mick

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Re: Question for all your Bass Players!
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 08:52:16 AM »
Howard.  Thanks for that fine explanation.   :tup:

Have you been playing your bass lately?  You should get back into it if not.   ;) 
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Offline Guitarglasgow

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Re: Question for all your Bass Players!
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 09:28:11 PM »
The audio response curves are completely different. The slope on a bass amplifier is much lower than on a guitar amplifier, as it needs to handle much lower root notes and harmonics.

Likewise a decent bass speaker/enclosure will have a lower resonance than a guitar system, but will still need to be able to handle some relatively high harmonics to give a good tone, but clearly not as high as a guitar.

Play a guitar through a bass system and it will sound flat and bass heavy, play a bass guitar through a six string system and blow the cones . .

A 4 string bass guitar is one octave lower than a standard six string, a double bass is two octaves lower, so the amplifiers for them are even more specialized.

Great answer. What he said!

Offline PLRS Technical Crew

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Re: Question for all your Bass Players!
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 04:06:56 PM »
Their is another answer, but in itself it creates a problem ..... Technically the answer is correct, but as the amplifier and the cab handle frequency's lower than normal acceptable volume levels, and the octaves are lower, the Bass is almost always driven at four / six times the power of other instruments.  Somewhat overpowering to all members of the band, as well as the "listeners" resulting in the overall sound becoming "Muddy" due to the overpowering Bass notes.  therefore you need a bass cab that is extremely well made to stop it vibrating itself to destruction and a decent driver to accomplish an acceptable sound at lower levels. Few band's accomplish this which makes a performance difficult for the entire band to be happy with the result.

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Re: Question for all your Bass Players!
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 04:34:15 PM »

Their is another answer, but in itself it creates a problem .....


Hi PLRS Technical Crew, and welcome to GG.  You answer makes perfect sense to me, thanks for posting.

Don't forget to give your site a plug, Start a new topic, and give us some info add a link etc.
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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Question for all your Bass Players!
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 09:59:15 AM »
Their is another answer, but in itself it creates a problem ..... Technically the answer is correct, but as the amplifier and the cab handle frequency's lower than normal acceptable volume levels, and the octaves are lower, the Bass is almost always driven at four / six times the power of other instruments.  Somewhat overpowering to all members of the band, as well as the "listeners" resulting in the overall sound becoming "Muddy" due to the overpowering Bass notes.  therefore you need a bass cab that is extremely well made to stop it vibrating itself to destruction and a decent driver to accomplish an acceptable sound at lower levels. Few band's accomplish this which makes a performance difficult for the entire band to be happy with the result.

A basic response: the reason that bass requires more power is two fold - firstly the drivers need to physically move a lot more air requiring a much larger voice coil, and secondly the human ear is far more sensitive to mid range sounds. In the most recent band I played in, two 100w Marshall rigs and one of the world's loudest drummers were pretty successfully balanced in smaller venues by a 200w Trace and a Peavey 4x10 or 2x Sidewinder 1x15 cabs, although I usually used a Peavey 400w (with addition Peavey 2x10) or Trace 500w (with the Sidewinders) for larger venues below 'get bigger a PA' size. At every venue the bass and snare drums as well as the two guitars were fed through the 400w PA to aid sound distribution and guitar stereo effects. Obv the vocals to ;)

If you are finding that the bass (I assume guitar) that you are amplifying is making the live sound muddy then you are doing one or possibly up three basic things wrong. Firstly the bass drivers could be PA drivers, which have no dynamic range above 150-200hz and so higher frequencies (anything above the A string on bass guitar) and essential harmonics are not being reproduced, as well as only producing the bass harmonics on higher strings. Some bass guitar enclosures have HF drivers for slap players or heavy growling rock sounds. Secondly the equalisation on the bass could be way too flat creating essentially the same problem, and thirdly bass tends to be omni directional, whereas the sounds from midrange/high instruments (guitars, brass etc) are highly directional. Make sure that there is sufficient direct coverage of the audience with midrange and HF drivers.

 

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