Posted by Carol Kaye on October 11, 2000 at 12:28:25:
In Reply to: Amps posted by Dan on October 10, 2000 at 02:43:17:
Dan, normally you need a separate amp for the elec. bass, but when you're using the guitar amp in a low-powered situation like playing at home, that is fine. You'll get a decent sound by turning up the bass a little, the mid-ranges too a little and turning down the treble some, right. Just keep the volume down as you don't want to blow out the speaker with the bass. Don't ever use a 5-string bass tho' through a guitar amp, you can only do this with a 4-string bass most of the time, just keep the volume very low.
I buy Polytone lightweight fine jazz amps (32 lbs approx.), bass amps and still use the bass amps for the jazz guitar playing I do also...it works good the other way (yes, I do use a little echo, so I get the ones with that built-in, I never use fuzz-tone at all, but is possible to use on the bass OK if you want....just don't use echo on the bass as part of the band -- if you have a foot-switch, it's OK to put echo on your soloing at times tho'). But it doesn't work the other way around -- using guitar amps for elec. bass, not on-stage at all.
To play bass live, you need a good bass amplifier. You don't need the power as much as you think...the Polytones I use are low-powered but baffled so well, I only need one amp (they can be hooked up in tandem) for all the live-nightclub work I do, even the huge 500-person places....it's in the circuitry, the baffling, and the speaker, the way they're set up. More amps doesn't guarantee you more "power"...and be careful, don't buy amps with their EQ's permanently on (no matter if you set the EQ flat), you'll always have false sounds. If that's what you like fine, but your sounds are dictated by something then over which you have no control.
Best to have an amp you can set at "0" and it means zero. BTW, those kinds of amps do not record well either...you can hear my Polytone on my website (live sounds on "Thumbs Up" jazz CD) as well as the Matthew Sweet "In Reverse" which was recorded miked also, important to not have EQ on your amp you can't shut off. There are other good amps out there too, you just have to try them out.
You can use a guitar amp for practice at home just fine.
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