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If an amp has a "line out" for an external speaker


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Neither are the proper uses for the line out. The line out gives you a line level signal from the pre-amp of your guitar amp which might be useful to go to the line input on a live sound or recording mixer or a power amp. It will not power a speaker on it's own and will likely be pretty hot to plug into the input of another guitar amp.

 

If you want to use 2 amps at once, the best way to do it is with an AB/Y switch with phase reverse on it. If you're using 2 of the same amp, you could get away with a simple 1/4" Y cable.

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If it's a line out designed for an extension cabinet, plugging it into another amp will surely result in great and glorious destruction. Do not recommend.

 

If it's a line out designed for use with a PA, plugging it into another amp will probably just sound like poo. Also do not recommend.

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If it's a line out designed for an extension cabinet, plugging it into another amp will surely result in great and glorious destruction. Do not recommend.


If it's a line out designed for use with a PA, plugging it into another amp will probably just sound like poo. Also do not recommend.

 

Agreed. Line Out and Speaker Out are NOT the same thing at all.

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So a "line out" and a "speaker out" are two different things. I think I meant to ask if it is OK to plug a second amp into the "speaker out" plug. Is that OK ? Will the second amp act like a seperate speaker cabinet (with its own volume and whatever other things like gain/reverb the second amp is equiped with) ?

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Neither are the proper uses for the line out. The line out gives you a line level signal from the pre-amp of your guitar amp which might be useful to go to the line input on a live sound or recording mixer or a power amp. It will not power a speaker on it's own and will likely be pretty hot to plug into the input of another guitar amp.


If you want to use 2 amps at once, the best way to do it is with an AB/Y switch with phase reverse on it. If you're using 2 of the same amp, you could get away with a simple 1/4" Y cable.

 

I understand that a "line out" will not power a "speaker cabinet". But If I plugged in a second amp into the "line out", would the "line out" signal power the second amp ? Would the "first amps" speaker stop working (kind of like a headphone jack ) ?

 

Can I plug a second amp into the headphone jack ? (I suppose the "first amps" sound would stop working (like if I had plugged in headphones) If I did this ??

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Speaker outs are designed to be run through speakers, and are too powerful (generally) to run safely through an amplifier circuit. Line outs are less powerful and could be run through another amp, but would probably sound like garbage.

 

Why would you want to do this, again?

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If I had a "combo" amp with a "speaker out" but no external speaker cab, and a second amp, could the second amp be used as an external speaker cabinet (through the "speaker out" plug) ?

 

or, if I had a cabinet that also had a "speaker out" to run a second speaker cab, could the "speaker out" on the cabinet drive a second amp as a second "speaker cabinet" ?

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If I had a "combo" amp with a "speaker out" but no external speaker cab, and a second amp, could the second amp be used as an external speaker cabinet (through the "speaker out" plug) ?

 

Yes, providing you can plug directly into the speaker and the ohms all match up.

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You never want to take any sort of output from a guitar amp and run it into the front end of another guitar amp, plain and simple.

 

A "line out" signal is taken after the preamp but before the power amp. It is much hotter than the raw output of the guitar. It will not power a speaker. You could run it into the front end of a guitar amp, but it would probably sound like moist ass because it's so hot. The proper use of a line out would be to run it into a power amp. If you really wanted to run it into a guitar amp, you could run it into the effects return so it only uses the power amp.

 

A "speaker out" signal has a lot of power, and should only be connected to speakers. If you plug it into an amp, you will most likely damage/destroy the amp.

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How would I find out if the second amp has the same "ohmage" as the first amp ? and, what would happen if they didn't ? (second amp of "lower ohmage" or second amp of "higher ohmage" )? Would the amp of "higher ohmage" fry the lower ohmage amp ? would the amp of lower ohmage not fry the "higher ohmage" amp ?

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If you run a speaker output to another amp, you will fry the second amp. Do not do it.

 

You can disconnect the speaker from the second amp and run the speaker out of the first amp directly to the speaker in the second amp. You're basically just using the second amp as a speaker cabinet.

 

You can run the line out to the input of a pa or to a second amp. It may or may not sound very good. It would probably depend on how hot the output is.

 

I have no idea what a "line out designed for a speaker enclosure" is except a contradiction. If it's a line out, it's not designed for a speaker enclosure. If it's designed for a speaker enclosure, it's not a line out. Unfortunately, sometimes manufactures don't understand terminology very well, so I can actually picture an amp being labeled this way.

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If you want to use 2 amps at once, the best way to do it is with an AB/Y switch with phase reverse on it. If you're using 2 of the same amp, you could get away with a simple 1/4" Y cable.

 

You might also be able to "daisy chain" the amps by running a cable out from input 2 of the first amp to the input jack of the second, but only if that doesn't cause ground loop buzz problems or bad sound due to the amps being out of phase.

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So a "line out" and a "speaker out" are two different things. I think I meant to ask if it is OK to plug a second amp into the "speaker out" plug. Is that OK ? Will the second amp act like a seperate speaker cabinet (with its own volume and whatever other things like gain/reverb the second amp is equiped with) ?

 

No. Taking a Speaker out to an Instrument in of another amp will be delivering a powered signal to the pre-amp and amplifer, most likely causing some very serious damage.

 

On a rare occasion, some combo amps may a have Power Amp In, in which you can bypass the Combo Amps front end and just use the speaker cabinet, example is the Fender Deluxe Plus which is an older solid state amp and what is now the Fender Frontman.

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What about if it's a "headphone out"?

 

 

I've sometimes run those into an amplifier, like for example, not from an amp, but from a drum machine's headphone out and then into an amp. BUT! I'll make sure the volume on the drum machine is turned down low and then I'll only run it into an amp in it's high gain input, i.e. the one that reduces the incoming signal strength. I'm still not sure if that's safe, but I've done it from time to time.

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(second amp of "lower ohmage" or second amp of "higher ohmage" )? Would the amp of "higher ohmage" fry the lower ohmage amp ? would the amp of lower ohmage not fry the "higher ohmage" amp ?

 

Two loads in series have the impedance added together, eg: 2x8 Ohm loads in series configuration will have a 16 ohm total load.

 

Two loads in parallel have the impedance reduced, eg: 2x8 Ohm loads in parallel configuration will have a 4 Ohm total load.

 

Since you would be using two speaker outputs it should be a parallel connection. This means if both cabs are 16ohm then you should run them at 8ohms or if they are 8ohm cabs you should run them at 4ohms. If one is an 8 and one is a 16 things get trickier as that would require 5.33 ohms and while you may be able to run that off a 4ohm output (I think) but I really wouldnt recommend it.

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What about if it's a "headphone out"?

 

A headphone out and a line out are exporting the signal from the preamp, so while I've never tried this, I reckon it would be fine to plug these into the effects loop return of a second amp and use the poweramp/cab of a second amp like an extention cabinet. However, a lot of the time these outputs are coloured by speaker simulators so it mightn't sound great. Plugging them into the input of another amp is just plugging a preamp into another preamp which never sounds good imo.

 

As for using it with a drum machine, id be more concered about what it would do to my speaker them my amp.

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A headphone out and a line out are exporting the signal from the preamp, so while I've never tried this, I reckon it would be fine to plug these into the effects loop return of a second amp and use the poweramp/cab of a second amp like an extention cabinet. However, a lot of the time these outputs are coloured by speaker simulators so it mightn't sound great. Plugging them into the input of another amp is just plugging a preamp into another preamp which never sounds good imo.


As for using it with a drum machine, id be more concered about what it would do to my speaker them my amp.

 

If you plug into the loop return you should be bypassing the effects and sims as they are all done prior to the power amp.

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As for using it with a drum machine, id be more concered about what it would do to my speaker them my amp.

 

I usually just do it with my Roland JC 120. I figure that if I don't push it too much, the 2x12s should be able to handle it. I guess the ideal would be a PA system or keyboard amp. :idk:

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  • 10 years later...
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I've seen a simple way to acheive what you are asking to do using another amp as an external speaker.  First find the wires to the speaker and cut the wire if you have enough so you can attach a female 1/4" plug, then with the wires coming from your amp to the speaker, connect a male 1/4" plug.  Then plug them together and you can use the amp as usual.  When you unplug the speaker and connect a male 1/4" plug from the line-out from your main amp, you will bypass the amplifier of the second and use only the speaker.  Simple.

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On 10/10/2020 at 4:06 PM, miktak said:

I've seen a simple way to acheive what you are asking to do using another amp as an external speaker.  First find the wires to the speaker and cut the wire if you have enough so you can attach a female 1/4" plug, then with the wires coming from your amp to the speaker, connect a male 1/4" plug.  Then plug them together and you can use the amp as usual.  When you unplug the speaker and connect a male 1/4" plug from the line-out from your main amp, you will bypass the amplifier of the second and use only the speaker.  Simple.

Did you realize that you were replying to a question from 11 years ago?

Edited by SteinbergerHack
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