Some people wonder if it is possible to use a guitar amp for electric drums. The answer is yes, but it comes with certain risks. When using a guitar amp for drumming, the volume will most like be high. This will cause problems to the amp, even if you are careful. It’s better to stick with something that has been build for the job at hand.
How Can Electric Drums Damage A Guitar Amp?
A guitar amp is specially built for a guitar which is usually within the frequency range of 80Hz – 5kHz. But a drum kit has a much wider frequency range. So, when you play your electronic drums, you create an extremely wide range of sound, from very low end to very high end.
This will overload the amp almost immediately. The first thing that will happen is the amp will start to “clip,” which means it will distort the sound of your kit.
This will cause the bass drum to lose its punch and the cymbals to sound thin and muted. In time, the clipping will get so bad that the amp will stop working altogether.
What you need to do is keep the volume on your kit down (as much as possible) and use a DI box or good quality, high-output PA speaker to send the signal to the amp. The next thing that will happen is the amp will start to “boom.”
This is where things get really bad. Boom is where the power tubes in the amp start to burn out. What happens is, the amp will start to get extremely hot, and the sound will get very muddy and bloated. In time, the boominess of your sound will grow to such an extreme that the amp will literally explode.
What Can I Use For Listening To My Electronic Drums?
There are many options available for listening to your electronic drums or even acoustic drums. Here are some suggestions:
1) If you want to listen to your electronic drums while practicing, there are two main choices; either buy yourself a pair of headphones or invest in a decent set of speakers.
Headphones can work well because they isolate you from outside noise. However, this does mean that you won’t hear what anyone else around you hears.
On the other hand, speakers allow you to hear everything around you, including any ambient noises. However, they may not be ideal for practice sessions since you’ll probably find them too loud.
2) Another option is to plug into a mixer/recorder. These devices let you record all sorts of sounds simultaneously. Some mixers even include headphone jacks allowing you to monitor your recording without having to wear headphones. There are lots of different models available, ranging from simple USB-based ones to more expensive professional units.
3) You can even use a keyboard amp if you can’t afford a drums amp. Keyboard amps can withstand a greater frequency range than a guitar amp. So, some drummers used keyboard amps for their electronic drums.
4) Some people used a bass amp as well. But this will not work well as bass amps can’t handle high frequency, just like a guitar amp does not have a wide frequency range. You will not get a good sound quality from a bass amp.
5) The best option for plugging in your electronic drums would be an amp specially made for Drums. Drum amplifiers or drum monitors are designed specifically for playing drums.
This way, you don’t have to worry about blowing up your speakers. And most importantly, these amps come with preamps that ensure that your drum signals stay clean and clear.
Using a drum amplifier/drum monitor is very easy. You just need to connect your electric drum module directly to your drum amplifier, and that’s about it.
6) Finally, if you have an acoustic drum, you could always try using a microphone instead. Mics are great at picking up small details and making them audible. It also allows you to hear how your kick hits the floor.
My Top 3 Drum Amplifiers
I’ve been working on my list of top three drum amplifiers. This is by no means a definitive guide—instead, it’s meant to give you guys ideas on which type of equipment you should consider buying.
1. Carlsbro CEDA50XXX Electronic Drum Amplifier
Carlsbro is a brand known to produce affordable instrument amplifiers.
These include e-drum amps such as the EDA 50, a 50W combo amplifier with 10″ woofers and 2″ tweeters, and are specially voiced to suit electronic drum kits.
With two mono/stereo inputs, two aux inputs, a three-band equalizer, a headphone jack, and a 1/8″ output, this amp is designed for drummers who want to practice quietly at home.
It has a wedge shape that allows you to set it up on the floor. It has a built-in speaker cabinet that can be removed for transport.
– Powerful 50-watt amp with a clean sound
– High power output for live performances
– Compact and portable
– Easy to use
– Ideal for home practice
2. Roland PM-100
An electronic drum monitor designed to match Roland’s V-Drums, the Roland PM-100 features a full-range speaker setup and rugged cabinet for clean, full-range reproduction of your electronic drum set.
With its angled design, this monitor provides direct sound coverage for seated players, while its bar handle is designed for carrying around and easy adjustment.
• Premium all-in-one display
• Full-range audio system
• Ideal for seated players
• Angled design provides optimal sound coverage
• Dedicated V-Drum input
• Includes integrated mixer with volume controls and global EQ
• Connects to electronic percussion products via 1/4-inch (6.35mm) and 1/8- inch (3.5mm) jacks
3. Alesis Strike Amp 12
At publication time, this was the highest-rated drum amplifier.
I find it surprising that it took Alesi until the summer of 2019 to release a serious drum amplifier, particularly given Alesis’s success with electronic drum sets. But once they finally got their acts together, they came in with a big bang!
It has been such a success that several drummers report that they’ve bought a second unit. One interesting feature is the XLR output which allows you to daisy chain two together for stereo imaging.
These are built more like a powered speaker than a drum amp, and this extends to them also being able to be pole-mounted in addition to using them for a floor wedge.
– Play louder than ever before.
– Superb sound reproduction.
– High-quality construction.
– Built-in microphone.
– Computer-optimized waveguide.
– Heavy-duty 12 inch low-frequency driver.
– High-frequency compression driver.
Conclusion – Can You Use A Guitar Amp For Electric Drums
In this blog post, I have outlined a few things to take into consideration if you want to buy a guitar amp. Firstly, how it is for use with drums.
It is not explicitly made for drum equipment, but it could work if you find the right model.
In the end, trying to get a drum monitor or headphones will save your limited budget and can be less damaging to the guitar amp.