Do Bass Guitars Need Special Amps? (Things You Should Know)

Bass guitars do not need special amps to amplify their sound, right? Well, this is a very common misconception.

The truth is that the bass guitar needs a bass amplifier for it to produce its best sound output.

So, if you are looking for the best possible music experience from your bass guitar, you should get an amp designed specifically for this instrument.

In this blog post, we will talk about whether bass guitars need special amps and why they give beginner players more information on how to sound better.

Do Bass Guitars Need Special Amps

Do Bass Guitars Need Special Amps?

The answer to do bass guitars needs special amps is a resounding yes. If you are a beginner and do not know much about guitar, then do not worry, as we will discuss everything in detail to understand the benefits of having an amp for your bass at the end of this blog post!

So why do bass guitars need bass amps?

Playing bass guitar through an amplifier for guitars will do nothing apart from producing an average bass sound with little to no pump. Even if you have one of the best bass guitars, your bass output will still sound dull and very average.

This is because most guitar amps are built to amplify guitars, but they do an awful job amplifying bass sounds.

A guitar’s frequency range is usually between 15 Hz to 20kHz, and therefore, a guitar amp is designed to perform best in this frequency range.

But the frequency range of a bass guitar on the other hand is normally between 40 Hz to 400 Hz.

While the lowest normal guitar note E is about 83 Hz, a bass guitar can play down to around 41 Hz. The lower frequency range difference is quite large, and even the best guitar amps do not do a good job at amplifying this frequency properly.

Therefore, in order to have the best possible sound output of a bass. There needs to be a special amp that can handle a low frequency of around 40 Hz.

Differences Between a Bass Amp and a Guitar Amp

The speaker size, the power output, the amp features, and the frequency range are among the most significant distinctions between a bass amplifier and a guitar amplifier.

Bass guitars have a lot of air movement, as they produce low frequencies. When listening to a bass guitar at a concert, you’ll sense the air move more than you hear it.

To do so, the bass guitar amplifier will generally have a larger speaker (for example, 15 inches) and require a lot of power to move.

Guitars have a higher Frequency Range than bass guitars. Therefore guitar amps are built to drive tiny speakers (e.g., 8-12 inches) and apply different signals to those speakers.

When you connect a bass to your guitar amp, there is always the danger of damaging it. Guitar amps aren’t built to drive speakers in the same manner as a bass amplifier is.

If you were to turn on your guitar amp with a bass plugged in, the low frequencies of the bass would quickly overheat the speaker.

Small bass practice amplifiers have little speakers (for example, an 8-inch speaker), yet they are constructed to drive the speaker in diverse ways than a guitar amplifier with the same size speaker.

Can I Use Bass With a Guitar Amp

If you don’t have the budget to buy an additional bass amp, you can still do it if you already have a guitar amp. However, do not expect the same bass sound as you would from a dedicated bass amp.

As the mechanic of a guitar amp is still the same as a bass amp, it will still amplify your bass guitar.

But, do not expect too much of it as guitar amps are designed to amplify guitars and do not have any special features that can handle low frequencies like 40 Hz or below without overheating.

Doing so will just damage your amp in time if you play for an extended period with low-frequency sounds.

If you can’t afford a bass amp and still needs to plug in your bass, you should lower your volume if you want to play your bass guitar. If you raise the volume up, it will quickly blow the speaker as it is not meant to handle those low notes.

So while you can use a guitar amplifier to amplify your bass, doing this is only recommended when there isn’t enough budget to buy separate amps, which means having one amp instead of two!

My Favourite Bass Amp

Fender Rumble 15 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

The Fender Rumble 15 v3 is a remarkably powerful bass amp that’s perfect for any jamming session. With 2 channels, you can plug your MP3 player into the Auxiliary input jack and get instant rocking power without compromising sound quality.

A headphone output lets you practice in peace while simultaneously muting the speaker output if desired.

3 band EQ allows for total tone shaping while an 8″ speaker delivers full-bodied tone with a punchy attack to provide beautifully rich lows with sparkling highs combined, whether it be live on stage or at home.

Legendary Fender quality backed by a 5-Year Transferable Warranty makes this little powerhouse a must-have find!


1) 8″ FENDER SPECIAL DESIGN SPEAKER – The Rumble 15 combo amp’s 8″ Fender Special Design speaker delivers authentic vintage tone and response.

2) CLASSIC FENDER LOOK – The compact, lightweight (16 pounds) sealed enclosure features a removable grille, top-mount control panel with ivory “soft touch radio” control knobs, classic black/silver vinyl covering, and silver grille cloth.

3) THREE BAND EQ – Bass, mid, and treble controls let you dial in the perfect sound for any style of music.

4) TOP MOUNT CONTROL PANEL WITH IVORY “SOFT TOUCH RADIO” CONTROL KNOB – The top-mount control panel puts all the controls you need right at your fingertips, including volume, treble, bass, and a headphone jack for late-night practicing.

Conclusion – Do Bass Guitars Need Special Amps

If you are looking for the best possible music experience from your bass guitar, you should get an amp designed specifically for this instrument.

Bass amps give off a fuller sound and more powerful vibrations than other amplifiers because they have dedicated speakers made to produce low-frequency sounds like those created by the bass guitar.

The truth is that if you want to make your bass guitar shine, it’s important to find an amplifier with enough power and tone control features so as not to overpower its natural sound output.

So whether you’re just starting out or already know what genre of music suits your tastes, you should definitely get yourself a bass amp if you are serious about playing bass guitar.

Jacob Miller

Hi, I'm Jacob Miller, and welcome to AudioOver, a platform designed to help aspiring music producers create music from home. With a musical background inspired by my award-winning father, I've been passionate about music since I was young.

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