Yet another newb question (I'll compile a book one day!):

If I play my bass through a guitar overdrive pedal could it actually damage it (the pedal that is, i assume the bass and amp would be ok) or would I just lose all my bottom end? Just a little idea I'm toying with, I could afford to lose my lows but I don't really want to smoke a pedal if I can help it, especially as I haven't bought it yet!

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IMHO i dont think you would, but you would certainly lose the bottom end,
you wouldnt damage a guitar amp by playing through it would you??
might blow the speaker to buggery.
i think the reason there are guitar and bass effects is to do with frequency response rather than input voltage variations.

Take it away Bass. :lol:

Cheers Lee, as I say losing the bottom end isn't a prob, and it'll be a bass-amp, so hopefully ok.

Forgot to mention, its safe to assume this won't be a valve pedal!

Thanks, Tim.

Take it away Bass.

Translation: "Fascinate everyone to tears, Bass" :lol:

An OD pedal is really just another pre-amp, with the gain stage heading off into distortion territory. No, Tim, you won't damage a guitar OD pedal by playing bass through it. You lose the bottom end for two reasons.
1) Any "tone" control is set up for a guitar's higher frequencies
2) Bass response of most guitar OD pedals is cut prior to the OD stage. It makes the pedal designer's life easier. They don't boost it back up, either.

Any damage/harm further down the line depends on the style of the OD and how hard the amp is pushed. An OD pedal "clips" your signal and the "harder" the clipping, the more your sine wave is being turned into a square wave. As a very rough guide (OK, very physicsy types with IEEE qualis will rightly flame me) the clipping gets harder as you go valve < germanium diodes < silicon diodes. The circuit design is also important, of course.

The thing to bear in mind is that a bass note is a rather boring sine wave compared with a guitar chord, so hard clipping can be just a fuzzy, nasty square wave. Correct me if I'm wrong, people, but a speaker driver really dislikes a low frequency square wave and can show its displeasure by ripping the cone away from the bracket.

I'd choose the OD with care ("uber metal screamer death fang" is probably unnecessary and potentially damaging) and keep a weather ear on your speaker.

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