Amp head into PA - no speaker cab

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Puncles, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Puncles


    Feb 14, 2018
    Hi - new to this and to bass rigs so just finding my way...

    Having spent 30 years of 6 string bashing I've discovered the joy of the bass - I'm starting to put a rig together and have a question about running a head straight into a PA and not using cabs. I have an Ashdown ABM 600 evo iv that I've been told can do this safely (as it has a solid state power amp not tubes) but I'd like to know of peoples experience of doing this? I tried it last night with the band (classic southern rock) and it sounded very big but I've no idea what I'm doing really! I know it would mean less to lug about/pay for but other pros n cons would be helpful if anyone is interested??
  2. thekyle55


    Mar 14, 2012
    I haven't used an amp for years as there are plenty of other people that haven't either. If it sounds good and you can says trust that you'll have adequate PA and monitoring, then go for it.

    Solid state amps don't mind being unplugged from a speaker load. Tube amps MUST be plugged into a load at all times or all sorts of bad things can happen.

    Your Ashdown will work fine, just be sure you never hook the speaker out to the mixer, only the DI. There are lots of options over a huge price range of your are interested in things that save weight and room.
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Having read the manual for this amp, it's not entirely clear if you need to have the speaker outputs loaded (ie. cabinet hooked up to at least one of the outputs).

    If you *can* do that (not run cabs), then you are limited to sending your signal out from the amp (into the PA) via the FX send output on the back of the amp. This seems to be an unbalanced high impedence line output, so you'll need an input on your PA that can handle that signal. Doesn't appear to have a balanced DI out that you could use.

    I use my Ampeg PF500 in a similar manner - but the manual specifically states that the head can be run without plugging to a cab. There's also a functional balanced DI out that I can switch between pre-/post-eq, line/mic level and with a ground lift. Works well.

    But for gigging without an amp, I run a 1U SansAmp RBI into the board. Even more compact and lightweight than a head!
  4. Puncles


    Feb 14, 2018
    Hey thanks for these replies - really helpful! Yep the head does have a pre/post EQ balanced DI so it seems to work fine - seems like I've got a lot of exploring to do!
    DirtDog likes this.
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