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Amp or Ampless. That is the Question!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheBogart, Jan 8, 2012.


  1. Amp - I like the old school way

    80.2%
  2. Ampless - I like the new 21st century way

    19.8%
  1. TheBogart

    TheBogart

    Oct 1, 2008
    Let's face it. We are getting older. And our backs are aching in pain when we take our cabs and amps to every gig. One after another. And the cruel truth is that we are not arena-rock-stars, and we do not have a bunch of roadies to set everything up. So we have to carry our own rig around. I'm the average bassist next door. I have a day job, and i play bass for fun.

    But in the new era, we have good DI's and near perfect amp emulators. So micing a cab is a choice for the purist at heart, or we can surrender our souls to pedals like VT Bass, Sadowsky or Tonehammer preamps, Multi-fx's and other gizmos?

    I have a GT-10B that can give good amp simulators of Ampegs SVT and B-15, Bassman, Acoustic 360, Trace Elliot, etc.. with the bonus of two channels (one wet and the other dry) so the FOH can be happy with me, and i can be happy with my sound. And i can keep my tone like i want to. Even when i'm recording some stuff i use my GT-10B.

    This is just my POV, but i want to know what do you guys think about this. I know it's cool to have a 8x10 blasting in our way, but that is a huge amount of weight as well to carry to every gig!

    So the question is. Going Amp or Ampless. Which is the future? And the Pro's and Con's of each choice.

    Let the games begin!
     
  2. Hmmm getting to be a question these days. If you own and control the PA you can build in the FOH and stage monitor and get enjoyment from the sound produced.

    Having the bass go through some 12" mains not designed for low end use and a 5" personal stage monitor would not let me enjoy my playing much.

    In the days of sub 5lb amps and sub 50lb cabs, I'll continue to supply my stage volume and fill the house if necessary.
     
  3. OriginalSnub

    OriginalSnub

    Aug 19, 2009
    Dayton, OH
    well you don't have to take an 8x10. I usually gig with my 4x10 or schroeder 2x15 which isn't too bad to carry. Most venues around here have a PA capable of handling bass for FOH but not for monitoring on stage.
     
  4. randysmojo

    randysmojo

    Jan 14, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I guess that would depend on you situations, but I prefer to have an amp because for one reason, usually I am filling in with a band that doesn't have separate monitor mixes so I can't put much bass in the monitors, and a lot of the time it is either a smaller room, so they don't bring enough mains to handle bass chores, or just don't want to run bass into the board at all. With the neo speakers and class D amps coming out now, I'm not too worried about weight being too much anymore. I have a cab that is just over 50lbs. that is plenty of speaker, and working on getting a Genz Benz Shuttle, so no weight to worry about there either!
     
  5. blackba

    blackba

    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    I still prefer an amp. That said these days with a nice PA, just using one as a stage monitor works great. I have an Ampeg BXT210M that tilts back like a monitor, works great if you all you need is your amp as a monitor.
     
  6. 1954bassman

    1954bassman

    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    Actually, I like both. Most of my playing is ampless, but not with fancy processors, just direct. At church I run through a Mark Bass Compressore > Radial JDI. In my Acoustic Gospel Band I play fretless into a BBE DI100X. both of these bands use IEMs.

    I also play in a CCM band and use either my Eden rig or a GK stack.

    so I voted for no amp. But both actually.
     
  7. I still need an amp for most of my gigs, but occasionally I'll support a singer/songwriter and just bring my bass and pedalboard.
     
  8. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    + 1

    I couldn't count on all my appendages how many shows I've played where the monitors just flat out sucked and I had no clue how good or bad I sounded that night. I can bring my 5lb BX500 and avatar neo 2x10 to a show without much hassle...so until that's too heavy for me (or I get roadies :D ), I'll keep taking it with me
     
  9. FreshTrooperXBL

    FreshTrooperXBL

    Jul 24, 2011
    Riverside
    Bring a smaller amp. I bring a 200w 15" combo and it does justice to my bass sound. I really have to feel it and if the stage monitors are underpowered for bass its not going to happen. 8x10s are pretty much only needed for huge rooms or large festivals. I'm always surprised by how many indie bands (the genre my band plays) have trouble getting onstage. The bassists almost always swamp the stage with an 8x10 leaving the rest of the band to pack in. I mean if I had one I'd leave it because if you have a 5 piece even 4 piece its a waste of energy/time/people's space.

    If the pedal does it for you though good, but I'd still a "neutral" sounding amp so you can feel what your doing.
     
  10. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    This topic has been debated numerous times, and the answer is always the same. It works in some situations, and not in others. There is no blanket answer that will cover everyone, and it's not "old school" vs "21st century" either, as bassists have been recorded direct for decades, as well as going direct on stage. It's simply a matter of what works for a particular bassist, in a particular situation. Period.
     
  11. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    If there is adequate monitoring I'll go ampless, otherwise I need an amp. I'd love to go with an in-ear setup but that's just not in my budget.

    With that said, I have yet to play a place that has adequate monitoring with a full band. If it's just my singer/guitarist and me, then I can go ampless.
     
  12. Dallyd31

    Dallyd31 Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2005
    Peterborough, Ontario
    The issue for me is sound on stage. Bass through monitors sounds horrible. So although the bass through the house is handled well by the PA, I need an amp/cab to use as a monitor and for the rest of the band to hear me properly. I don't think you get a good vibe and a good groove unless you (and the band) have good sound on stage and you can hear yourself and one another properly and at proper volumes.
     
  13. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    So, you get the FX out for yourself, right? How do you listen to that? With an amp? IEM? Perhaps I missed that part of your post? :meh:
     
  14. bertbass666

    bertbass666

    Mar 6, 2009
    I have difficulty understanding why people think an 8x10 takes up too much room on a stage as the footprint of an 8x10 is no bigger than a 4x10 and usually smaller than a combo capable of handling a gig.
     
  15. IngerAlb

    IngerAlb

    May 11, 2007
    I still prefer using a full rig; but If I had to downsize a lot I'd get a D class amp and a good 2X10 neo cab that can be tilted and used as a monitor.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Nowadays you can get insanely loud combos that don't weigh much at all. Not that you should play insanely loud out of your amp, but if you can't handle lugging 40 lbs of gear short distances, how can you handle holding an 8 or 9 lb. bass on your shoulder for 4 hours a night?
     
  17. Billnc

    Billnc

    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Amp. I hate cans and in ear monitors. To me, the amp and bass form an acoustic instrument.
     
  18. Bijoux

    Bijoux

    Aug 13, 2001
    Denver-CO-USA
    I think of amps as being very fancy monitors that are made for my own enjoyment.
    If i am playing a big concert, there is always a PA and monitors on stage, and I have no control over those.
    Maybe I get a great sound out of my amp, but if I walk 3 feet in any direction, i feel that the sound I was hearing has already changed a bit.
    Then i walk over to hear what the drummer is hearing in his monitor, and my bass sounds thin with no beef to it.
    Also i don't want to fill the room with my stage volume because I think the bad has to be in balance on stage first. So I think that the whole idea that I will turn up "so the guy in the back of the room will hear me" is just a recipe for bad sound. I do think that if the band sounds good as a unit on stage, the guy in the back of the room will hear the music just fine.
    with that in mind, not long ago, my amp failed and I had to use a powered monitor that the club had. I got a great sound out of the monitor. the band volume was low, which helped a lot. But anyway, that powered speaker cost a fraction of what my amp costs!
    Anyway, I still bring an amp, because I like to hear myself better, and it makes me play better. But besides that I have no illusion that the audience can hear me better, or even that my bass sounds great up front.
     
  19. pudgychef

    pudgychef Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    I roll either way - to be honest for very short gigs (like a single 10 song set on a multi-band bill) I am just as happy to bring my sansamp and go direct - also when playing multiple venues in a night it is great to just throw on the gig bag and go from bar to bar.....

    If we have all night and are going to have a sound check etc....happy to bring a rig.

    If time is tight I find the more parts going direct, the faster the band is set up with a good usable sound. But that could simply be ime, imho, ymmv, etc etc.....
     
  20. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    And that is precisely the way that I feel. My amp and speakers are as much a part of my instrument as the bass itself. Through the PA it comes out as a generic bass tone that doesn't sound like me.
     

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