Amps, Mixers, and PA's: How Do They Work?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by MarcTheRogue, Jun 25, 2013.


  1. MarcTheRogue

    MarcTheRogue

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Hello, thousands of virtual friends on the internet to help regulate my appetite for bass. I have one inquiry involving live sound, and it involves three very complicated (to me) worlds colliding: Amps, mixers, and PA systems.

    I was wondering how the three are related, and how you can connect all three to have one conglomerative, simultaneous boom of delicious low-end goodness? I recently just purchased a 200 watt Kustom bass speaker and head, and soon I will be purchasing a mixer and a PA system. There is a Kustom PA system that doubles as a mixer, so I guess that should fit nicely with my amp, no?

    Any answers that could help are appreciated greatly.

    Best regards,
    -Marcus.
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Can't answer your question about the Kustom other than to say that modern Kustom gear is not what I would consider, well, let's just say I wouldn't consider it at all.

    As far as PA systems go, you will not learn what you need to know from one answer ( or even 40 answers) on any internet forum. You will need to do a lot of research and try different things with your gear and your band.

    That said, basically: Mixer> power amp> speakers.
    Mixer> powered speakers.

    As far as getting your bass into the PA, the type of PA compared to the type of bass amp you have is irrelevant. You will either use a DI or a mic to get your bass into the PA.
  3. MarcTheRogue

    MarcTheRogue

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Thanks for the reply! Seems a little less complicated now on how to get a good live sound. I might go with the mic solution, since it's less chords to worry about.

    Also, the Kustom bass amp I have is "vintage." Dates from probably 1985. It's a discontinued model and sounds great! Haven't heard many good things about their newer line of equipment.. :(
  4. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    Newport News, VA via NYC
    Disclosures:
    Kohlman Bassworks
    What type of band is yours? I have a Kustom PA I picked up off a craigslist ad for cheap but I mainly use it for backyard shindigs! Not bad if your band is small, acoustic or a bit louder than acoustic. It's not a bad piece of gear. Just not a lot of power (2x200w). Yamaha has a nice one with 2x500w. If your band is a big one and needs a full PA, than forget these small cheap low powered mixer/amp rigs.
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  6. FuturePrimitive

    FuturePrimitive

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Don't buy anything until you know what it is you need. In other words, what do you need your PA to do? How many channels do you need? How much power? Monitors? Etc....
  7. longfinger

    longfinger

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    To find out how to operate a piece of gear, read the owner's manual.

    Most all of these manuals are now available online, so you can read them before buying a unit. The details and specs provided in the manuals can also be very helpful in your decision making process, of choosing what to buy.
  8. pflash4001

    pflash4001

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    I really recommend you go check out Mackies manuals. They're written in a way that won't overwhelm the novice, give good real world application diagrams, and good informative glossaries. Plus, they're written in not-so-dry language. Check them out. As mentioned, look at the types of gigs you'll have, the things you want running through the pa, and your budget. I REALLY RECOMMEND buying the best you can rather than buying something cheap to start with and either having it crap out on you quickly or finding that it doesn't meet your needs and you need to upgrade right off the bat. Good luck. It's a never ending learning process.

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