Ye olde 'don't put keys through a guitar amp' thing - Gearspace.com
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Ye olde 'don't put keys through a guitar amp' thing
Old 22nd January 2009
Gear Head
🎧 15 years
Ye olde 'don't put keys through a guitar amp' thing

I'm sure everyone's heard that you shouldn't put synths through a guitar amp because it'll explode instantly due to the frequencies/signal level/impedance (delete as appropriate) of the synth. Personally I've run synths and organs through guitar amps a few times for the dirty tone you get from it and just left the volume down low. Nothing exploded. I also have mixed a band that have been running a DX-7 through a solid state guitar amp live for years and had no problems.

What I'm thinking at the moment is that I might get an Orange Tiny Terror combo to run my synths (MEK & V-Synth) through in the studio for dirt and on stage for loudness and fun. Before anyone says it, I know I'll lose the bottom end and a fair chunk of the top, that's one of the reasons I'm doing this. I run through an Eventide Timefactor all the time, this has switches for guitar or line level on the ins and outs, if I leave the input on line and switch the output to guitar it should solve any level and impedance issues yes? Also the Timefactor with the feedback up is capable of putting out some big lows, if it's safe to run this into a guitar amp with a guitar on the input there's no reason it shouldn't be fine with a synth either is there?

Anyway, I'd like to hear from anyone who's actually blown up a guitar amp with a synth or bass (or delay pedal), or if it's just a thing made up by guitar players to explain forces they can't understand. Anyone who knows a lot about amps and might be able to explain how things could go wrong and whether this is just a tube amp thing that would be great too. From what I understand it's due to the amp trying to get the speaker cone to extend further than it's designed to, wht that be a fair summary?

thanks a lot, Morgan
Old 22nd January 2009
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
HI- Sorry I have not blown up an amp.
I do use my TimeFactor the same way
It is a fine reamp box.
Also I run my P5 through a tube amp and like you said as long as you do not turn up the volume you will be fine.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
uhh that's horse feathers...i used to be confused by people plugging in their synths direct when I first started collecting vintage analogs.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
How random - this is my first ever day on here and I see this! I ran my CS 60 and other keys through an Orange head for years (wow - I didn't think anyone would want to do something like that!). No issues, except that it was a very heavy set up! Out of interest I used to get the ?KT88 valves dirt cheap second hand from the military who only run theirs for a limited time before selling on - just when they sound best!

Do whatever you want man - see how it sounds! Running keys through a fender reverb was popular back then too because of it's clean sound. John Lord got his sound by deliberately doing that kind of stuff and everyone runs through guitar effects for some sounds as I'm sure you must do by your suggestion

Wow - blast from the past!

Cheers and good luck with it!
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