I have a simple home studio setup where I have a Steinberg UR242 audio interface and a pair of M-Audio BX5s. I recently got myself a Les Paul Humbucker and I was wondering whether playing the guitar through this setup instead of an amp would hurt the monitors, especially if you're playing distorted at a fairly high volume?

I'm assuming instrument amps can take the pounding of an instrument without blowing up and are probably designed to overdrive in the preamp/power amp stages safely. I'm not sure if this would apply to studio monitors as well. Then again, I'm sure many are playing/recording guitars through similar setups.

How do you ensure the safety of the monitors in such a case? I'd like to be informed before potentially ruining my monitors :-)

Thanks for your time!

  • You're not risking more than listening to heavy guitars albums ;-) Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 13:09
  • Music is not going to damage audio equipment. How do you think they record those albums?
    – heatsink
    Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 23:36

1 Answer 1


I've recorded entire albums using virtual amps… where else are you going to listen to them but over the studio monitors?
So long as you don't run a guitar amp speaker output straight into them, & instead just run it "from the desk" the same as any other sound you're playing/recording, then all is fine.

Your monitors will attempt to 'cleanly play' whatever you send to them - so they won't add speaker colouration, you'll have to get your virtual amp to get the right sound for amp/speaker discolouration; but after that, it's no different from playing records loud over your monitors.
That's what they're for.

  • 1
    Thank you! That does make sense. I guess I needed to hear that :-)
    – Ekin
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 19:03

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