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Amp or Direct

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by betch23, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. betch23


    Sep 17, 2004
    Recently I thought about just buying a Preamp oppose to using a bass amp. I would connect the preamp directly to the PA and just utilize the PA monitors for my play back. Could anyone tell me what would be the benefit and problems?

    Thank you
    Tired of hauling equipment
  2. Problems: You don't have volume control. You're at the mercy of the soundman. Even though you've got volume control at your preamp, his monitors aren't entirely devoted to you. He can mix you up or down as he sees fit.

    Also, you're at the mercy of the gear the venue has. If it's okay, then that's okay. If it sucks, you're going to sound like a$$.

    Another possible solution would be to get a pre and small power amp with a 2x10 monitor just for yourself. That way, if the monitor mix is just terrible or the soundguy has his cranium embedded in his rectum, then at least you have one reliable thing spewing out tasty bassness.

    Also, good combos can be had. Great Pre's in tight packages. You're still looking at a 50 lb. box, but I think the weight problem outweighs the potential disaster of letting a soundguy who's 50' away determine your sound.
  3. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I don't think there are any issues with it - there are all types of outboard preamps available as well as the typical rackmount pre you might see in a stack. Pros - Obviously you won't have to carry much to the gig; less on your end that could fail. Cons - bass cabinets\speakers add their own thing to the sound, which is why you see lots of bass cabinets mic'ed (if that isn't important to you, that is fine); also you have less control over your stage volume, which again, there are workarounds for...
  4. I once had a nasty nightmare that involved me playing a show with only a bass and a Countryman. I mean a literal nightmare/dream. When I woke up in the middle of the night I had to groggily feel around in the dark to make sure that I still had an SVT. The dream was that real.

    To me, what you describe is essentially like showing up with only a DI. And with the Preamp you certainly will be tempted to screw around with the Gain or volume or EQ at least some which is gonna PO the FOH and you.

    PA-wise, the vast majority leave a lot to be desired. And of those that are nice guess what they do the least well? Yep, low-freq.

    Seems like a bad idea IMO.
  5. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    The only way I'd ever advise that would be if you had your own in-ear monitoring system and a good mixer to blend everything else with your bass. And that you could control your bass' tone and volume/gain post house-send.

    And then supply every other player on stage with a good dedicated in-ear monitor so they could hear you too.

    Note: that costs more than most amp rigs.
  6. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    as long as you have a decent pa all the time its no prob -
    but smash is right, you should have something as a backup if only for stage monitoring
    the smallest rig i have now is an swr electric blue head and aguilar 112 - both very light - even then if i was to use that and the house pa i'd still probably want to put it up on an amp stand or chair or something just to get it up to ear level

    King - the 1st gig i ever played i had no amp, fortunately the place had a good pa and monitors so it worked ok, but you had me laughing with that nightmare - :p

  7. As stated above...THIS is ultimately the thing to work towards. Well made 'in-ears' (and the system required for proper individual adjustment for vol, etc) are like manna from heaven! I know, when we're required to fly off to some destination unknown, with no idea of what to expect...it sure eases my mind that I know the band is gonna hear themselves exactly like we sounded last night and the night before. They protect you from excessive sound pressures...sound the same (obviously) on one side of the stage to the other and the quality is unmatched in ANY PA or Bass Cab system. Great for any large venue!
  8. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Not Even A TUBE DI?????? :eek:

  9. I'm gonna echo the in-ear monitor idea. Get yourself a great pre with a great D.I. Go from the out of the pre to the in-ear transmitter, mount all that in a 2 space rack, and you'll get great hi-quality sound without having to to drag an amp. Have the soundguy run you through the system monitors for benefit of the band, but if you're anything like me, if you sound better, you play better.

  10. Right on the money!
  11. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    That's a great way to go deaf. Never never never use in-ear monitors unless there is a very good brick wall limiter that has been correctly set to prevent you from getting blasts of feedback or huge volume jumps directly in your ear.

    Many in-ear systems sold today claim to have limiting built in, but you can't trust the $10 circuit in those with your hearing.

    And don't think you can use a cheap rack compressor (Alesis 3630, dbx 266, etc) for this, just cause the manual says "limiter." It's not the same thing, and you can easily go deaf with in-ear mishaps.

  12. I think it goes without saying, but there are differences in quality in the slough of choices available...
    Personally, in our setup; I have full control over levels w/ my own box - and everyone else has their own box (its an integrated system) to get whatever mix they desire. Since inception, no one has had their in-ears 'blast off'. Conversely, there were a lot more of those kinds of incidences when using floor monitors.
    But if you want to do it on a very basic level...just like Mo illustrated, it's easily accomplished WITHOUT going deaf...unless, maybe...if you're one of those that normally throws on a set of headphones before checking the output level.