Powered Monitor for rig

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by MikeBass, Dec 11, 2013.


  1. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Ferndale MI.
    Disclosures:
    Artist: Xotic Basses/AccuGroove
    Gonna see if maybe anyone else is doing this and if so, maybe we condense it into one thread....



    On a number of gigs recently I've had nice wedge/monitor support, as well as a backlined amp. On a few of them I've had a powered monitor in front of me. The QSC K12 and a new JBL (PRX612 I think).

    I've played through monitors with no amp before. and do it quite often at church. (Although the monitor there is an L'Acoustic co-ax 15- and the most amazing bass sound I think I may have had. But it should be for a $2500 monitor. I even plugged my amp directly into it a few times, and it was equally insanely good sounding).

    Anyway, I haven't seen ay threads recently on this, and the latest crop of powered monitors are pretty badass.

    FYI, my pre-amp/DI is a Radial BassBone in cases like this. My normal rig is a TC Electronics RH750 and a pair of the TC 112 co-ax cabs.

    In the one case, I was asked to turn the backline amp down for a second and play. I only had my bass in the monitor at that point. I never fired the amp back up because I was completely happy with what I was hearing from the monitor (which was the JBL one). Just had them turn the bass up a bit more in the monitor.

    I'm also not one that needs a lot of massive low end from my rig. I like a real tight bass sound as opposed to a big blooming low end one. I've used monitors enough to like what I get if its a nice monitor and not junk.

    I have a few gigs coming up where I'm going to either find a backline rental and see if I can get my hands on a QSC or JBL- or go buy on from Guitar Center and return it if I hate it.
    And it gives me an excuse to try the TwoTone Torpedo C.A.B.

    Plus, I figure two things:
    1) my ears are designed to work from the front and not from the back. My ass doesn't need to hear me unless I have my head up it..... ;)
    2) the sound guys generally like it because I can blow my face off and not really effect the FOH much, if at all.

    Out of the QSC and the JBL, I liked the JBL a bit more. Seemed smoother on the top end and the lows were nice and tight and defined.
    Plus it was loud as hell and clean.

    "My sound" comes more from my bass and me than it ever does from an amp. No matter how hard I try, I still end up sounding like me.

    So, anyone else trying this as of late?
  2. DrumsAndBass

    DrumsAndBass

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I've used a JBL PRX powered sub along with my rig - but a powered monitor for your rig would probably work. That PRX line of products is very robust and clean sounding. Check it out.
  3. jimfist

    jimfist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've been using full range cabinets for a while for bass, and you can do some pretty cool stuff with them, as you already know, utilizing processors that have built in cabinet impulse responses (emulators) like the 2 Notes...or not. It's great to have the option of true full range, or the more heavily filtered tones of cabinet emulations (especially good for taming really crisp top end). My weapons of choice are: (on the high end) the FAS AxeFx and (on the low end) the ZOOM MS60B (for quick grab and go gigs).

    A few months ago, I dove in and grabbed a pair of the Atomic Audio CLR powered wedges (12" coaxial). They are very flat speakers and retain their even response off axis much better than your typical PA wedge. They have been getting rave reviews for their "flat" sonics and very clear and articulate midrange. I personally don't buy into fanboy hype and rather let my own ears be the judge. IMHO, the claims are not hype at all. I've been listening to and using PA speakers for the better part of 30 years, and at their price point (about $100 more than a QSC K12), the difference is truly remarkable. If you have experience listening to top notch studio reference monitors, you'll know what I mean, compared to the un-natural "hyped" EQ curve/processing built into many "pro-sumer" powered speaker systems. The build quality is very solid (wood, no moulded plastics), and they weigh about 43 lbs, and have a pretty small footprint. Check the Atomic Audio website if you want some full specs. 15 day money back guarantee if they don't work out for you.

    I'm personally a bit of a volume freak for some of the larger gigs I do, and so i've added a compact subwoofer to the CLR to cover low subwoofer frequencies below 80hz. YMMV, and many guitarists who also use the CLR for bass have said that they think it works fine on its own. You may find this to be the case, especially if you aren't hung up on predominant subwoofer frequencies. The CLR will produce these frequencies up to a certain volume level before things get a little weird IMO, but they really aren't designed to amplify the subwoofer frequencies that some bassists would want, but more designed for use as an amp solution for guitar modelers (and keyboards, and vocals, etc). All that stated, I do use just a single CLR on many of the gigs I do, and it works well and sounds really good. Just don't plan on destroying a room with dub-step bass using one of these. This is why I added the subwoofer - for those times when I do need to carry a room without PA support. I've also used these as vocal wedges and they sound very good. I bought 2 so that the CLRs can be used as a small FOH PA system, or as stage wedges in addition to my using them on bass.

    There is a highly visible forum moderator on The Gear Page (and also the Fractal Audio forum) named Scott Peterson, who is in the Detriot area, I believe. He gigs a lot and plays guitar and bass using the CLR. He is a very helpful and visible sort of guy, and I'll bet if you contacted him via PM on either of those forums asking about the CLR, he'd be glad to discuss them with you and perhaps even get together.

    http://forum.fractalaudio.com/amps-cabs/63638-first-impressions-atomic-amps-clr.html

    best of luck!
  4. klokker

    klokker

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Steele City, NE
    I've had powered monitors that work well. In a church setting that usually has a fairly large space, a monitor is the only way to go if you have a sound guy etc. That way you can hear yourself the way you like and it doesn't affect the FOH. I play in a pretty big worship space and got rid of the combo they had for me right away. Useless really.

    Monitors in a small bar setting, no sound guy etc. are more problematic in my experience. I want power and volume that a monitor, or even our PA isn't really up to. It's just more sound chaos your trying to control if you also have your amp/cab involved. We have monitors as a part of our PA system, but we tend to just used them for vocals. If I go to a small place to play I leave my monitor at home.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

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    Upstate NY
  6. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Ferndale MI.
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    Artist: Xotic Basses/AccuGroove
    Ha!
    Scott is one of my closest friends.
    We've been in bands for years. Not in the last year or so, but yeah he's up on stuff for sure.
    He was using an RCF monitor a while back.
    I have seen his rig lately, so not sure what he's using these days.

    I'll have to give him a call today.
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    Hey Mike!

    Hope you are well.

    I wouldn't bother with this. Unless you really spend some cash, most powered PA speakers can't handle the transients of a bass guitar. And, often bass preamps don't have the optimum output strength to drive them.

    If you want a wedge shaped monitor (I'm with you that if you always play with good front of house support, backline can be not optimal, especially in small rooms like Casino's or whatever) a wedge shaped bass cab might make sense. I typically put my rig at the side of the stage as a side fill, which works great (and keeps the volume coming off the stage down..

    If you do want a wedge shape, the relatively new fEARless cabs are darn cool, and work great with most bass amps. The F115 is in a wedge configuration, and has three way design, and much better components than all but the best PA monitor cabs. Small, lightweight, and much nicer voiced (less absolute low end and a smoother top end) than the original fEARfuls.

    Nice option if you want a rig that can handle the transients of a bass guitar but still give you a bit of that 'PA firing back at you' tonality. It is designed to use as a typical back-up cab or a monitor wedge. Pretty impressive, and a head like the GKMB800, etc. can drive the livin' you know what out of it.

    Just an idea.
  8. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
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    Ferndale MI.
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    Artist: Xotic Basses/AccuGroove
    I'll def look into it Ken.

    I talked to my buddy Scott. The Atomic stuff is on a tremendously high level. Aproaching the Meyer Sound or L'Acoustic type of gear.
    He's gonna let me borrow one of his in the next week or so.
    I'm not using it to carry the house. Just as a monitor for myself.
    And I'm not a big fan of those massive low end cabs.

    Like I said though, I had very very nice results with the JBL PRX612m that I've used.
    It really pounded.
  9. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

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    Ferndale MI.
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    Artist: Xotic Basses/AccuGroove
    So, i tried the PRX615M today.
    Wow, that thing is CLEAN and clear sounding.
    A full range cab really let's you hear a lot as opposed to a "tuned" bass cab.

    I'm gonna maybe try it on the gig Saturday night.

    I really like the idea of actually hearing my bass from the front.
    I almost someone would make a real nice "bass" cab monitor style.
    As opposed to taking an existing design and just hacking off an angle to the back like Mark Bass and Eden has done in the past.

    I still love my TC rig. But man having it in your face is cool IMO.
  10. jimfist

    jimfist Supporting Member

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    Boston, MA (USA)
    cool. Let us know what you think.
  11. Nephilymbass

    Nephilymbass Supporting Member

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    Feb 7, 2011
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    Fayetteville Ft Bragg NC
    I'm not a big fan of it mainly because you'll have likely spend more than you would on a bass cab to be happy. A local bassist hear uses a community 212 wedge that sounds good but they don't come cheap
  12. jimfist

    jimfist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
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    Boston, MA (USA)
    Ok. And this is a valid point for many. Fortunately, this thread is for bassists who have already accepted that challenge, willingly, for whatever reason.
  13. Tom Cat

    Tom Cat

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Really interested to see how this thread plays out.

    Lately been experimenting With a Radial Bassbone into Two Notes Cab, really impressed with the quality, flexibility and size for live and recording use. Other pedal type pre-amps will likely reveal other sonic opportunities but it's got me thinking about which powered cabs to consider for small to medium venues.

    One or two smallish (manageable) powered cabs used as required would be ideal. The JBL while well regarded is more than my vehicle can accommodate.

    Not wishing to bring the level of the thread down but...
    Doesn't GK make a powered cab?
  14. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
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    Ferndale MI.
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    Artist: Xotic Basses/AccuGroove
    This is a thread not for powered cabs, but powered (or unpowered even) monitor or wedges for bass.

    I have a JBL PRX615M that is gonna be used tonight.
    I'll post up tomorrow on how it goes.
  15. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    I have thought about using a powered wedge as double duty (vocal/bass monitor). I generally play with a FOH system, but we bring our own monitors. Normally I use a bass amp and just have my vocals put through another monitor, but if this worked I could hear my voice better.

    I have a Mackie SRM450 V2, but I always used a powered sub with it when it was used for FOH. In my experience these smaller monitors tend to fart a bit from the bass if the lows are not crossed out. Still, being that I can hear the lows from the FOH subs, it might work.
  16. Jackson171

    Jackson171

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    I have been using an Electro-Voice ELP-112P as a bass monitor for a couple of months. I bought the powered cab used for $350 in brand new condition. I got it to use with my Pre-Sonus Studio-Live mixer, but found it was great as a bass cab. I use active basses, either a Peavey Cirrus Five string or Fender Amirican Deluxe Jazz V. The little EV cab holds up very well in small room playing with a 3 piece blues combo. I just plug straight into the cab and control the tone from my bass, which is usually flat. For such a light weight cab, it is loud, clear and easy to transport.
  17. jimfist

    jimfist Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    the best way to see if it works for you in your situation is to try it for real, and give it a fair shake. In my experience, having FOH supporting bass thru PA subwoofers will make the experience a bit more rewarding due to the radiating of the subs onto the stage area. This is where the clarity of the monitor wedges pays off. YMMV. On a side note, I've spent a few hours playing with a new toy that I got on the cheap - ZOOM B3 preamp pedal - running into a single CLR in my living room. I have to say that it sounded very good....surprisingly good, in fact, to the point that I had not realized 3 hours had passed. (apologies for the hijack)
  18. MarkA

    MarkA Registered Schmoozer. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Hmm. Now that I think about it, when I practice at home, I'm always facing my amp. Seems natural. When I'm playing out, it's always behind me. Only once that I can recall (weird stage setup, PA support, tricky room) did I set up with the cabs in front of me as monitors (in that case it was my little Markbass combo driving its internal speaker and an old 15" Carvin cab set on the floor in front of the stage and angled up with a cinder block!). It was different, but I could hear myself clearly! (The combo is my little/fast rig -- a vertical 212 + mid is my "bigger" rig.)

    Reasons for the cab behind you:
    • "Feel."
    • Not in the way visually.
    • Bandmates can hear you better?
    • You're carrying the room, fully or partially, with your rig, and the audience is in front.
    • You don't trust the FOH sound.
    • Tradition.

    I've started using an Amp Wedge (as its name implies, a simple foam wedge) when playing out with my little combo recently, and it does help me hear myself. I still have to be a couple of feet away (even angled up, it blows at my backside if I'm right on top of it), but I can be closer than before and it carries a small/medium-small room fine that way -- it's clearly heard out in the audience. I've thought about a floor wedge behind me for small rooms (considered building one of BFM's designs awhile back), but wondered how suitable it would be as a bass cab and how well it would be heard out in the audience with being angled upward more...

    So far I've been thinking in terms of the cab being behind me and little-to-no PA support. If you've got PA support you trust (or can live with!), then you only need to worry about you and your bandmates and a wedge in front with good sound and dispersion might be great, even if it would take some getting used to.

    I guess there are potential advantages to more neutral/less "voiced" cab, too, but those have been discussed before -- I don't have anything profound to add, at any rate!

    Anyway, subbed and curious to hear more about this.
  19. Grissle

    Grissle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Another advantage to a good powered monitor is when going DI the sound from the monitor is generally closer to the PA sound. So the sound you dial in gets translated really well to FOH.
  20. MarkA

    MarkA Registered Schmoozer. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    http://www.atomicamps.com/products.htm

    Hmm. I wonder how one of these would work for my guitar playing brother and his assortment of tube amps? A big part of the sound, I think, is the speakers/cabs he uses (he's definitely not coming at things from a "modeler's" perspective, and guitar players are mic-ed more often than bass), but an open sound with nice dispersion (and less need for ear-splitting volume) could be nice. Or it could make his Marshall sound like poo. Dunno.

    Could be interesting for bass, if they're up to the transients and low end. Unclear whether the linked-to reviewer used them mostly with guitar (at least reading the initial post) or put some time in with them on bass. The product page doesn't mention bass (though it does mention keys, which can have plenty of low end) as a possible use.

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