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Another crazy rig question: using a sub with a cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MTBassMania, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. MTBassMania


    Mar 5, 2013
    Anyone ever trying having a dedicated sub as part of their rig? Like, running the Direct Out right into a sub that has it's own amp? I'm sure SOMEONE has tried it... Can you get boom and growl? I don't think it'd work for an outdoor venue, mic'ed to a PA, but for a small (~200 person) venue?

    I've seen subs with their own cutoffs, and I was thinking it'd be neat to have to add more shake to the room. Just set that cutoff to 80Hz'ish, just so you get subs and fundamentals.

    But again, I know very little 'bout amps & rigging...
  2. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    It could work but you have to be careful that the sub lows dont overwhelm the mids and upper mids.
  3. Did this once when I had no other option and I arrived at the convention center 10 minutes before we took the stage. Used a Cerwin-Vega sub. Two problems you will encounter. One, it has a very limited range. If you play the upper strings in the upper frets, not much will be heard. Two, this one weighed in at over 200 pounds. All things considered I didn't sound terrible and waiters in the next hall said they felt my bass just fine.
  4. It's definitely possible, just like a full PA can be put together with odds and ends and wind up sounding fine. The amount of gear to do it properly makes it not such a great idea.
  5. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    If the PA you're gigging thru has subs, you'll run into problems with having your own sub on stage...

    - georgestrings
  6. I once hooked up my small Hartke A-35 combo with the XLR out going to my KRK-10s sub to reenforce the lows...it worked ok i guess, but i definitely wouldn't recommend it as a regular approach...
  7. I used to manage a PA rental business. Once or twice I hooked up a powered Mackie or JBL sub to my bass amp. It always had kind of an undesirable amount of rumble without adding much "heft" or "slam" to the bass. That kind of taught me that bass guitar is not all about sub lows, but rather low mid.

    I suppose if you had a sub crossed over rather higher than normal it might work.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've heard Radiohead's bassist does that along with an SVT and 810.
  9. I played with a backlined Fender Bassman 210 combo, that sat on top of a Cerwin Vega folded horn laying sideways.
    Not sure what the sound guy had in his booth, but how ever he had it set was the right way. That sub came in right were that cab fell short. At the volume we were playing, A good cab that goes low would have given a close enough effect though.

    That combo and sub, is probably over 200 pounds, and over 1000 bucks. A power amp, and 2 Acme cabs would likely be a better set up.
  10. i did an east coast sub gig last weekend, used the band's spare 15'' JBL PA speaker cab (on their insistence and assurance) powered by my GK MB200, and connected to the 18" 1000 watt sub under the stage.
    this was without a doubt one of the best live sounds i've had in 40 years of playing.
    it was a loud, crazy jamband vibe, very high volume and intensity. my low B was throbbing throughout the place in rolling waves, clean and DEEP, and chordal stuff chimed like a piano. after the gig, people were saying how great the bass sounded.
    it was admittedly a jury-rigged rig with the possibility of total gnarliness, but it functioned beautifully.
  11. Foz


    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
    I used to use one of these:



    with various tops including self powered PA tops including this:



    Worked great! But I had to haul a lot of cab plus active xover and sub amp over an above the standard pre-amp / outboard gear.

    I got tired of the schlepage and built a 66... which has proved an easier way to do the same thing - play through a dedicated bass PA - but because its all in one box I get there with a half the pack space and a third the weight of the prior sub/PA-top solution. Anyone who has wrestled an 8x10 fridge to a gig would find a 66 a snap, in fact because of the low weight and tilt-back design I find it easier to move around that a 4x10.



    The above images are from


    Basics specs here:

    http://greenboy.us/cabs/view.php?model=fEARful 1515/66
  12. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I've hooked the direct out of my Acoustic B200 combo into my Carvin powered sub before. It works ok but you gotta use the sub's volume control to balance the two or the sub is way too much. I don't think I'd ever use it like that if I were running into the FOH.
  13. subbasshz


    Aug 11, 2012
    phoenix az
    Im addicted to punishing volume.
    ive done it with crossovers.

    folded horn went up to 80 hz (clean)
    full range into an ampeg 8x12 (clean or dirty)
    80 hz and above into 2 4x12s (dirty)

    its pretty silly loud. but F moving that gig to gig.
  14. Hi.

    I do it every once and a while.

    A HK 115 sub and a Laney 410 out of the internal cross-over of the HK.

    The HK handles about 3 times the power the Laney does on the sub 120Hz region, so a good match since I can cut rather than boost lows on the amp a bit.

    It's all about the other amplification as has been said earlier though, IMHO/IME ONLY do this if You're not in the PA.

  15. You can use a sub or two (I did) as a bi-amp rig with top boxes.
    The reason for bi-amping is using drivers within their designed operating range.
    Bi-amping requires: rack, active crossover, preamp, and two-channel power amp.

    If you play a 4-string bass (41 Hz) it is pointless to have subs flat to 23 Hz (mine).
    To get down this low, large size or low sensitivity is required.
    It is your rig, so you alone must determine how low it has to go.
    Avoid engaging the endless TB prattle over "the fundamental isn't produced", ad nauseum.

    Pick a cab, or driver, with an F3 where you want it.
    Pick a top cab with an F3 at, or below, where you want to cross over.
    I suggest this as >= 80 Hz and <= 250 Hz. This does affect both tone and dispersion.
    A 15" driver is still omni-directional at 250 Hz and below.
    The top box drivers are good for maximum input power above 250 Hz.

    Bi-amping allows use of bass drivers such as the Delta 10 that are unsuitable below 100 Hz.
    These are great bass drivers for mid-bass, but suck badly for low bass.
    Four Delta 10B in parallel give a usable 4-ohm load, and makes a whole lot of noise.
    At a given voltage, the 410P will far outrun most subs, so balance is required. Or more subs.

    We are spending your money, so lets assemble a modular system.
    Two 3015LF, each as a 1x15 woofer box.
    Two Delta 10B or Delta Pro 8B as two 1x top boxes.
    You can take one woofer and one top, or the full rig.

    Crossed at 250 Hz, the top box will accept a full 60 volt input.
    Both drivers are SPL matched at 96 SPL.
    Add +6dB for 102 SPL with the full rig.
  16. coyote1


    Mar 23, 2012
    This. If you are routinely using a low B in your music, or for that matter anything below low D, a sub ought be part of your rig if you really want those low notes to be heard and felt.

    Think on it for a moment. Typically with live sound, the sub is set for about 100hz and lower. That is the fundamental of the G string!! And even the first overtone of a low B is 62hz, which is quite low. If the PA has no sub, lots of your stuff will be lost. The sound man in that scenario is forced to apply the 80hz cutoff even to bass, else your low B could shred his speakers.

    So you could indeed benefit, in the club scene, from having your own sub available if your standard rig doesn't do the whole job.
  17. We've been down this path before. You really do not need the fundamental on those low notes as much as you think you do. The "industry standard" cabs like the Ampeg 8x10, Mesa 2x15 etc run out of steam below 60 hz. But that hasnt stopped thousands of bassists from rocking those cabs. It's the low mid, not the sub low that really carries the "bass".
    If you go after that 30-60 region you just end up shaking the drum riser a lot and causing havoc for the sound guy.
  18. coyote1


    Mar 23, 2012
    I know, I know... But I've played thru such a rig (not mine), and it's awesome
  19. Getting solid bass at 60hz is the trick, only if there is no PA. Until modern 3way cabs with subs in them hit the scene, precious few bass players ever heard strong 60hz.
  20. MTBassMania


    Mar 5, 2013
    Thanks for all the input! I'm pretty busy these days, so I can't get on that much.

    Seems like it's pretty doable. The biggest issue seems to be weight and moving things around.

    But one thing I've noticed with bass amps is that you can a lot of tone and character, but not a lot of that low, room shaking rumble associated with modern bass and subwoofers. At best, I can cut highs and mids, and boost my lows so I get boom & punch, but not a lot of room shaking.

    Honestly, with my bass guitar, I probably wouldn't want it too much - the tone & growl, being more musical than thumpy is what I like with my bass guitar. But sometimes I like to use my Minitaur, and I've just been running it through my Aux In in my Fender Rumble 150, and I've noticed it doesn't have that room rumble. When I record into Ableton, and then play it through someone's sound system with a sub (even a small one), it has it.

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