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Amp to Cab vs. Amp to PA (DI)

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by songwriter21, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Ok, so I love the tone of my GK1001RB-II through my SWR Son of Bertha. But what I've always wondered about, is if my amp going through my cab sounds similar or the same as the DI from the amp to PA? I'm guessing not the same, due to the insane sound of a good system.

    Would I be better off miking my cab, and then just using another cab to hear myself with volume attenuation? I also have in-ears, but I'm mainly concerned with the great sound I have and putting out to the PA.

    Well, input? Any is appreciated.

  2. DFW_Bass


    Jul 8, 2008
    I play my bass through amp Di to PA system, and i use headphones for my monitors, personally i like the bass to amp to cab, because i like the thump i feel of my cab when i'm playing and it gives me that live feel, i would try both out and determine which is best.

    You can also do both, have the DI from the amp go to PA system and then use the cab as your monitor and mike it as well. So this way, you get the best of both worlds
  3. hockey_head


    Feb 25, 2008
    is it always the same pa? regardless, i think what comes out of the mains from a DI is never the same as what you hear onstage. The deep freqs from the back of some thumpin' subs usually makes me play differently because it sounds so foreign.
    At one of my better regular gigs the sound guy just puts a 58 in front of my cab.
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Almost never the same sound from DI out and speakers. Reason is that your cab sounds much different than a PA cab.

    To demonstrate, plug your PA speaker directly into the speaker out of your bass head - listen how different it is than your cab. Now, plug your bass straight into the mixer, and hear how different the mixer's EQ channel is from your bass head.

    When you go DI out of your amp, that signal is being flavored by the mixer's channel strip preamp, and then further flavored by the characteristics of the PA cabinets.

    Anyone who tells you they get their exact onstage bass sound outfront through a DI is naive.

    I recommend running both DI and a microphone on your speaker and let the soundman blend them, but make CERTAIN he understands phasing issues, because if they're out of phase you'll lose the meat of your tone.
  5. GregShadoan


    Sep 1, 2008
    Depending on where the DI is taken from will determine what it sounds like. Most take the DI right off the bass. Others will used the built in outs, that can (some) be configured for either pre or post pre-amp signal. The former is he more common. I personally always try to get a DI, and a mic in front of the cab. YMMV.
  6. bassninja7


    Mar 1, 2008
    Napoleon, OH
    ITS MIC.......not mike
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Good post. Not too hard to keep phasing at bay, though. You just have to keep the sounds different enough to where they don't phase.

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