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2.1 active speakers for beginners

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by eaman, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. eaman


    Jan 24, 2012
    Hello guys,
    last week I got my first bass guitar and now I need to get a proper amplification. In these days I've been using a guitar amp (I got many of them and I'd prefer not to get an other amp) at low volume, but as I'm starting to have fun with the low freqs it's time to get something adequate.

    I'm in the learning stage, so I'm watching video and guides in front of my PC with a drum machine and a recorder: that's why I'm considering a 2.1 speaker system instead of a classical amp.

    To my understanding a small amp is not going to have a 'good' sound (...), a 'medium amp' (I was thinking of a peavy max 115) with a 15' inch speaker probably won't perform well at bedroom volume.
    And stereo + effects is fun.

    I've got a AD/DC interface (zoom), I'm staying in front of a monitor, what about a 30 / 50W 2.1 "PC like" speaker setup with a ~30W subwoofer and a VST like guitar rig for bass?
  2. greencow


    Feb 7, 2008
    In short: I wouldn't use either guitar amps or computer speakers for bass practice. As the frequencies get lower the amplitude the speaker needs to move to produce the sound at the same audible volume gets bigger. The small woofers used in pc sspeaker sets usally make some random noise in the 200Hz freq range. If you want to know why they do that, read up on "Missing fundamental" and "Psychoacoustics"

    If you keep the volume low, your guitar cabs and possibly the computer speakers will survive without any permanent damage. If you are lookng for actual bass amplification then I would suggest a bass amp. If it is just for practice at home then I would use a pair of decent headphones.

    Small amps can sound good but will usually cost some money. Medium amps are quite nice for bedroom practice.
  3. eaman


    Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks for your reply.
    Should I consider the Peavy Max 115 (15" speaker 60w) a good 'medium' amp for low volumes? Or is that to big?

    In order to provide some reference I'll try to refer to my electric guitar experience: the best amp for home use I have is a Laney VC15 15W, or a Blakstar HT-5 (which goes in a 2x12 because I ain't got any smaller), but the Lanley even if more powerful has the best sound even at low volumes.

    I do enjoy modelling amps (a valvetronix) but they are terrible to develop touch, which I guess is even more important on bass guitar as a more 'percussive' instrument.

    I hear good things about the Cube RX by Roland. Actually it looks like a toy to me and it's not that cheap for a 5w gadget, hard to find 2nd hand too.

    An other option I could have is a Orange CRUSH 35B: 12" inch @35W (It would cost me as much as the Peavy, but it's lighter at least!).
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Even a 100 watt 1x15 bass combo can work, they do have volume knobs, and do not need to be cranked up loud in order to sound good.
  5. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses
    A proper 1x15 combo will give you a good, useable bass tone even at low volumes.

    2.1 computer speakers will not, under any circumstance, sound as good.

    The peavey 1x15 is a good choice.
  6. eaman


    Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks for your kind replies.
    So it's going to be Peavy Max 115, I'll keep digital amp modelling for headphones.

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