Generally audio interface line out is connected to studio monitor speakers. Since i don't have any i was wondering i could use my Marshall 15 W guitar amp as speakers.

If I connect audio interface line out to guitar amplifier guitar input ( 1/4" ), can it damage the audio interface?

Audio interface part:

Audio interface part

Guitar amp part:

Guitar amp part

4 Answers 4


I would say the one that can be damaged is the Amp. The signal coming out of the Focusrite is stronger signal than the guitar normally output, so the Marshal Amp might receive a signal that is too strong.

If you are careful starting with low volumes you will not have problems, still give low signal from Audio Interface and always check the volume is not distorted or too strong.

The Focusrite has a output Impedance under 10Ω, check the input impedance of your Marshal.

Anyway you are listening in mono, I would suggest headphones instead if you cannot afford studio monitors. The AKG 240 are known studio headphones.

  • thanks, and like i asked to above answer. will any other cheaper substitute like speaker woofer etc. work ?
    – silverkid
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 8:09
  • @silverkid, It's always good to have different listening in a studio. I have Genelec 3040, plus 2 different headphones, plus a 2.1 "typical computer speakers" because I know my music will be heard in different speakers. I think a 2.1 cheaper system is good to have, start there! It's anyway better than a mono signal in a Marshal amp.
    – Sergio
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 8:20

You're almost bound to make distorted noise. Going through a guitar amp. will give you mono, not stereo, so sound quality will not be as good.

Using a decent pair of headphones is the pro. way to go anyway.

Plugging into the 'aux' of a decent hi-fi set up will give a good sound, if you can attenuate the input signal.

You're more likely to damage the speaker of the guitar amp by pushing an overloaded signal through it.

You could maybe plug into the 'return' socket of a guitar amp.


It is more likely to damage the amplifier. The amplifier is designed to take instrument level signals, which are much lower in power than line level.

However solid state amps are pretty hardy. If you turn the volume right down on the PC, it should work. You won't get the greatest sound quality.

  • thanks, How to get great sound quality then without studio monitor speakers ? Do home music systems or 2.1 ( 2 speaker 1 woofer ) kind of stuff help me get a good sound quality ? Basically I am asking this because i have found studio monitor speakers are expensive compared to these alternatives
    – silverkid
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 8:00
  • Without getting too technical -- "studio monitor speakers" are just a fancy expensive version of a home hi-fi.
    – slim
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 15:38

It would probably be a good idea to use a DI. Neither guitar nor computer are likely to be potential free do a degree where you won't be getting issues, with noise being the most common one. Apart from operating noise, you want to keep volume at 0 while plugging one into the other. Preferably with the input switched off when the option is available.

Busting the audio output on a computer is a real nuisance. Again, a DI will help you avoid transients stemming from artifacts of the separate power supplies.

  • Are you thinking of a passive DI run in reverse or a re-amping box? Most DIs convert 1/4" to XLR, whereas this would have to convert XLR or TRS to 1/4". Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 19:47

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