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PA speakers for guitar amp speakers ?

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PA speakers deliver a much broader range of frequencies (ear-bleed highs to bowel-loosen lows) than guitar speakers and also should have a relatively flat response compared to guitar speakers. Sure you'll hear the guitar but generally speaking it won't sound great.

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Actually PA speakers have been used in guitar amps for years. When people wanted more headroom and volume out of their Fender amps, they would install JBL PA speakers. This became so popular that Fender added branded JBL's as an option on certain amps. Same thing with EV Force spekers in Mesa Boogies. I use a pair of PAS G1280's in a 2x12 Laney cab. Sounds great.

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Actually PA speakers have been used in guitar amps for years. When people wanted more headroom and volume out of their Fender amps, they would install JBL PA speakers. This became so popular that Fender added branded JBL's as an option on certain amps. Same thing with EV Force spekers in Mesa Boogies. I use a pair of PAS G1280's in a 2x12 Laney cab. Sounds great.

 

They may use the 12 inch drivers, but you don't want to hook an electric guitar amp up to a full range PA cabinet. You really don't want to hear those highs.

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PA speakers deliver a much broader range of frequencies (ear-bleed highs to bowel-loosen lows) than guitar speakers and also should have a relatively flat response compared to guitar speakers. Sure you'll hear the guitar but generally speaking it won't sound great.

 

+1

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I used to have a Kustom 15" as a second 'cab'. Sounded pretty good actually. Also did the same thing with a Peavey 18" Black Widow for a while. That sounded Killer!! :thu:

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Not enough of . . . ?


To much of . . . ?

 

Sort of sounds like headphones if you know what I mean. No colour.

 

I do agree with the guy who said that they work well with digital modellers rather than guitar amps.

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Sort of sounds like headphones if you know what I mean. No colour.


I do agree with the guy who said that they work well with digital modellers rather than guitar amps.

 

Modelers are designed to work best through a system with a flat response. Studio monitors or PAs are ideal.

 

 

Never tried a PA speaker in a guitar amp though. I like to have a little speaker grind in my OD sounds.

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Pa speakers will give you fuller, tighter, more articulate and hifi sound then guitar speakers. However the signal you feed them needs to be your ready for recording tone. Lotsa pros and amatuers are useing house Pa for their bands sound to audiance. Just use whatever processor of choice to get your ready for recording tone and feed that to Pa amps and speakers. Same benefits of better sound result from useing full range bass & keyboard cabs btw.

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The wavelengths sent out by the guitar are far longer than what is meant for a PA system. you could blow out the speakers, same reason why you don't use a guitar on a bass amp

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10 hours ago, Logan Vanek said:

The wavelengths sent out by the guitar are far longer than what is meant for a PA system. you could blow out the speakers, same reason why you don't use a guitar on a bass amp

This isn't quite right.

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13 hours ago, Logan Vanek said:

The wavelengths sent out by the guitar are far longer than what is meant for a PA system. you could blow out the speakers, same reason why you don't use a guitar on a bass amp

You actually have this all backwards.

If that were true, then mic-ing a guitar cabinet would do the same thing...and it doesn't. Guitar amp speakers are designed to reproduce the input in a certain range which is narrower than most PA speakers.  I also know many keyboard players who use powered PA Speakers rather than a traditional amp, and keyboards typically have a wider frequency range than guitars...

I've played guitar through a bass amp before, it works, but is typically muddier sounding; I would certainly hesitate to play a bass through a guitar amp, though, since the bass frequencies are typically well below what a guitar amp's speakers are designed to handle.

Welcome to HC...but coming in ten years later with completely incorrect opinions is not going to get you a following here...

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15 hours ago, Logan Vanek said:

The wavelengths sent out by the guitar are far longer than what is meant for a PA system. you could blow out the speakers, same reason why you don't use a guitar on a bass amp

Sorry, but this has no relationship to the way audio systems work.

A guitar cabinet has a very non-flat response, and this response is part of the overall sound of the amp.

In contrast, PA cabinets are designed to get as close to a perfectly flat response as possible.  A regular old tube amp connected to a good PA cabinet is going to sound very gritty and harsh - nobody is going to like the sound very much.  It won't damage the speaker, though, unless you exceed it's power rating (or if you connect the speaker output of the amp into the line input of a powered cabinet, which will rapidly let the magic smoke out of the electronics).

That said, a modeler or profiler will have a cabinet emulator section that will get very close to the sound of that amp played through a cabinet and mic'd - and that signal will sound very good through a PA cabinet (and won't sound very good through a regular old guitar amp cabinet).

In the end, various kinds of cabinets are designed for specific purposes, and will function best when used as intended.  [Note that the supposed "FRFR" modeler cabinets are really just plain old PA cabinets with a different logo and a higher price tag.  Caveat emptor.]

[FWIW, the "wavelength" of a kick drum or bass guitar signal coming from a PA is far longer than anything a guitar will ever produce.  Wavelength is inversely proportional to frequency.]

Edited by SteinbergerHack
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Gary Moore regularly used EVM 12L speakers in is Marshall 412 cabs.  Claimed that was where some of his tone came from.

 

 I can confirm that its a good speaker choice for guitar

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On 12/15/2019 at 12:14 AM, Logan Vanek said:

The wavelengths sent out by the guitar are far longer than what is meant for a PA system. you could blow out the speakers, same reason why you don't use a guitar on a bass amp

 ya know,  there is  reason why the Fender BASSman amp is called the holy grail of GUITAR amps. 410 tweed , blackface and silverface versions..

 So ya got that whole idea "bass" ackwards

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I've tried various PA speakers 10's and 12's in guitar amp cabs over the years.  The best you can say for most is they make sound, but that's about it. There are a few vintage Altec, EV and JBL's that can sound good in a guitar amp but most new stuff is specialized.    Most are designed to be run as woofers in 2/3 way cabs and produce mostly low frequencies. Many have lower SPL levels and a guitar head will have much lower volume levels using them directly. Most guitar speakers on the other hand will use high efficiency, 95 to 110dB SPL   PA speakers will have a 95 or lower SPL in many cases and are designed for high wattage. 

Second PA woofers will often have heavier paper to produce low frequencies without distorting.  The specs may say it has a top Frequency response that covers guitar frequencies but given the fact most are designed to be run with a crossover and other drivers handle the highs, those upper woofer frequencies aren't very good for a guitar amp.  Overall, they typically sound bassy/muddy run directly from a guitar head. 

Guitar speakers on the other hand specialize in being overdriven, Have high SPL levels, and have lightweight cones that respond quickly and articulate the light guitar strings well. 

As Daddy and Steinberger says, there is no problem running a guitar direct or micing an amp through a PA so long as the raw output of a guitar is properly gain staged colored to sound good through a PA system.  Most amp modelers typically rill off the highs and lows, ad electronic drive and highlight the mids and highs of popular miced amps.  Of course micing and amp is the other way of doing it. 

Many of the new modeling amps also use full frequency amplifiers and full ranged speakers.  I bought a couple of Peavey Blue Marvel speakers which are full frequency and have a flat full range up to 10Khz. Seems like guitar amps have taken the full revolution on this.  Back in the 30/s 40's the goal was to have a full frequency guitar amp to make the hollow jazz guitars sound good.  Now they're back at it again except the coloration comes from the modeling instead of the amp and speaker .  This way the digital modeling can take advantages of the extended frequency response when switching from one amp model to the next. 

 

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