Using PA Cab As A Bass Cab?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by john nam, Feb 4, 2013.


  1. john nam

    john nam

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    Has anyone used a "really decent" PA cab, like a JBL, as a bass cab? Volume-wise, did you find that the PA cab farted out sooner than a "really decent" bass cab (Ampeg, GK?) would have, assuming all else is very similar (ex: same speaker size, wattage handling, sensitivity, freq response, etc)?

    I know a lot of people are going to ask why I'm asking this, but it's a long story that I wouldn't want to bore you guys with :)
  2. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    All else equal means all is equal. If a different cab farts out sooner it isn't the same tuning, or it isn't the same woofer.
  3. iualum

    iualum

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    A P.A. cab will work, but, yeah, everything else isn't going to be equal. A "really good" P.A. cab will still very likely be less sensitive (maybe much less) than a "really good" bass cab. The "really good" bass cab will probably move more air, have better frequency response, & be tuned better for bass guitar.

    A "really good" P.A. cab isn't going to be cheap. If you put that same kinda dough into a bass cab with a Faital Pro 15PR400 or Eminence Kappa Lite 3015 (or 3015LF), which would be a really good bass cab, then there's no contest at all imho. And that bass cab will be probably be smaller & it certainly will be lighter or much lighter. And likely less bucks.

    So, can a P.A. be substituted? Yeah, sure. Is it the best idea? No. If you get a super deal on the P.A. cab, though, & you want to give it a twirl, have at it. Still think the bass cab is the right way to go.
  4. Arjank

    Arjank

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    Why move more air? explain.
    Better frequency response? don't think so.
    Tuned for bassguitar? the variety in tunings is as big with basscabs as with PA cabs.....

    Reasons IMO why there are basscabs:
    -cheaper to build
    -easier concept(because it had to be cheap)

    I did build my basscab with studiomonitor/PA qualities in mind, straight frequencyresponse and low distortion. Let the bassguitar and the pre-amp do the "talking" if you understand what I mean.
    One of the reasons I don't use a (quality)PA cab is because it's dispersion(and summation of the drivers) isn't quit good up close, that's why I chose an 8" coaxial driver for mids and highs.
  5. oerk

    oerk

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    PA cabs are mostly divided between subs and tops these days, meaning the tops are built with a PA mid driver and don't go very deep without support from a subwoofer - whereas subs aren't good for anything above a few hundred Hertz. It's a design tradeoff.

    The only thing I would want to use is an old style 3-way cab (15/6/1). These are meant for use without a subwoofer. And intentionally, it's pretty close to the fEarful concept.
  6. nutdog

    nutdog Supporting Member

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  7. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    +1

    With out subs/cross over and such you do not gain anything by running a PA main by its self.
  8. Arjank

    Arjank

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    I think that the OP means the "classic" PA cab (JBL, Electro Voice, Cerwin Vega, etc) not the newer systems with active subs and (line array)tops.
  9. DJ Bebop

    DJ Bebop

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    Didn't Phil Lesh and Anthony Jackson use Meyer Sound PA speakers? :meh: :)
  10. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Perhaps. The devil in in the details with a question like the OP's. The only real answer is, "It depends on the implementation of the cab and your tonal expectations."
  11. Aaronbeale

    Aaronbeale

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    Jan 12, 2013
    I recently tried out a JBL powered speaker with 2x15 and a tweeter I believe compared to a Genz Benz neo 2x12 passive powered by an crown xti1002.

    The JBL had a flatter response but the bass cab just had a thicker low end/low mid too it. You could feel it more.
  12. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    I suspect that is because you did not have it paired with subs. With that addition you would have a very full and loud rig.
  13. Arjank

    Arjank

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    With a little eq you can get that out of the JBL to0, send that post-preamp signal to the PA and your sound will sound thicker through the PA too.....
    Thats the reason I want a cab with a flat response, more control over my sound.
  14. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    +1

    That is what I strive for as well. I do end up EQ'ing some low mids into my sound. The major benefit to a cab with a flat response is that they take EQ much better than one with a baked in tone. If one is willing to turn some knobs, they can get some great sounds.
  15. Arjank

    Arjank

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    +1

    When I play through a non-flat cab I have to turn knobs a lot more! I remember when I compared my cab to an Eden 210, we had to adjust the tones controls on the Eden traveler a lot to get a sound near that of my 210.....The owner of the Eden 210 couldn't believe that my cab sounded so good without eq-ing anything, hahah.
    My cab is flat(+/-1.5dB) from 55-15.000hz and when I play with a band I don't even need to use the 9-band eq on the BVP5500, maybe fiddle around with the bassknob a little to compensate for the cabinet placement in that particular venue. If I want less highs I just cut it on my bass(Ibanez SR1200 VNF).
    Thats it, total control!:bassist:
  16. modulusman

    modulusman

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    Just because it has a JBL badge doesn't mean it is any good. The JRX cabs are budget junk. I have messed around in my livingroom with a couple of powered JBL PRX cabs. They sounded pretty good with just plugging a bass into the cabs. One was a prx512m and it would start to bottom out if I pushed it with a 5 string bass. The other was PRX 535 3 way cab that didn't fart out even at a fairly loud volume. I have did low volume gigs running a 4 string into a Eden WTDI using a pair of 512ms as PA speakers. It wasn't great sounding but it worked.
  17. iualum

    iualum

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    Serious bucks.

    A 2x15 (Eminence 3015LFs) / 2x6.5 (18Sound 6ND410s) is a mighty, mighty box that can be had for under $2k (maybe ~$1750). I'll put it up against Meyer or anything else.
  18. iualum

    iualum

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    Greater displacement.

    And we'll have to agree to disagree on freq. response & tuning.

    And which drivers did you use in your box?
  19. troy mcclure

    troy mcclure Supporting Member

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    I have used the Carvin LS1503, the older one and other than blowing the horn, it worked pretty well paired with a Markbass F1. One of the advantages was I could pole mount it and get it up at ear level and play at lower volumes as I play with PA support. I did find I had to tighten all the screws up on it as everything rattled a bit.
  20. Arjank

    Arjank

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    Greater displacement depends on the woofer's size and xmax and has(IMO) nothing to do if the loudspeaker is a basscab or PA speaker.

    The drivers in my cab are the Oberton 10B200 and 8NCX.

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