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How would you normally connect another speaker to an existing speaker (ie. guitar amp) in order to use it as a stage monitor? Does the speaker need to have some special output like 1/4 trs or xlr, which goes to the other speaker? I am a little out of touch on the requirements involved here.

I am basically looking for a simple solution for small gigs, where I would have my main guitar amp facing the crowd, and a monitor pointing at me (so I can hear myself better).

  • Point your guitar amp at your head and let the crowd hear the better off-axis response. If the gig is small enough that there is no PA, then it's small enough that you shouldn't need a monitor. – Todd Wilcox Feb 3 '18 at 21:27
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As long as you are talking about using an ancillary speaker cabinet as a stage monitor for just your GUITAR amp output, (and not the total band mix including vocals) then it's quite easy;

First, you examine the back of your guitar amp to see if it has a 1/4 jack output for sending the guitar signal to a second speaker. Many amplifiers offer this feature, and the output jack lists the wattage and ohms requirements for that other speaker. It may be labeled OUT, LINE OUT, or EXT SPEAKER.

It's not recommended to use the EFFECTS OUT jack for this purpose, because the output signal is quite low, and plugging a cable into that jack may defeat the amp's main speaker output altogether (anticipating that there will be an EFFECTS IN plugged in in order to complete the loop).

Use a standard guitar cable to chain your amp to that speaker, and take the time to check your stage volume versus monitor volume. Don't forget that the drummer (if you have one) needs to hear your guitar sounds just as much as you do, so speaker placement is paramount.

I have seen players chain to a small ancillary speaker by using standard two-strand speaker wire and two pairs of alligator clips, and connecting the amp speaker tabs (+ and -) to the 2nd speaker's tabs. This is sort of a cheesy solution, but it certainly gets the job done, depending upon your stage requirements and traffic.

Good luck!!

  • Line Out and Ext Speaker are hardly equivalent! – Laurence Payne Feb 3 '18 at 20:23
  • Agreed, but the signal strength of each depends upon the individual amp. The original poster isn't going to hurt anything by trying whatever options he has with the existing amp, and seeing if it'll work. – Sparquelito Feb 3 '18 at 20:46
  • Nope. 'Line Out' is designed to present about 1 volt to an external amp with an input impedence measured in Kilohms, hence minimal current flow. 'Ext Speaker' is designed to send POWER into an external speaker with perhaps 4 or 8 ohms impedence. That's a lot more volts pushing a lot more amps. Quite different. The speaker won't mind being driven by a Line Out, but you won't hear much. We HOPE the LIne Out will be protected against being run into far too low a load. Similarly if an Ext Speaker send is connected to an input expecting Line level. PROBABLY nothing will let smoke out... – Laurence Payne Feb 3 '18 at 21:03
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You've got two ways to do this, with a passive external speaker or a powered one.

In the first way, the guitar amp is driving both speakers directly. If you have a seperate amp and speaker cabinet there may even be a pair of output sockets. There may also be a warning - 'total load not to exceed 4 ohms' or something. Heed the warning! If the second speaker is designed specifically as a passive monitor, it may have a volume control. Otherwise the volume balance between main and monitor speaker will be out of your control.

For this, and other reasons, it's better to use a powered monitor. Feed it from a Line Out socket on the main amp.

Also consider this. Guitarists often position their amps to beam sound straight into the audience's faces, and into the back of their own knees. This actually annoys everyone. Consider pointing the amp more at the person who WANTS to hear a lot of it - you, the player. This will probably make you turn your volume down a bit too, which will please everyone.

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