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BASS GUITAR--?--COMBO AMP. What goes in between?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by benchpress11782, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. benchpress11782

    benchpress11782 Supporting Member

    May 23, 2007
    Ok I give up. I play a zon vb4 and a hartke combo amp. I plug direct into amp, and I don't play out. What are some things I can use to benefit a better live sound? Di box? Etc. thanks a lot.
  2. Most combo amps aren't loud enough for live gigs - so yes, a DI box for PA support would help. That only really works if your amp has a DI out socket though.

    If you're wondering how to fix your tone, well I can't help.
  3. benchpress11782

    benchpress11782 Supporting Member

    May 23, 2007
    No I am just wondering what else if anything are commonly used. Soo I only need direct box for gigs? Maybe I need to shop around for different amp then, hmm.
  4. dlb1001


    Jan 30, 2007
    I have used a MXR Bass DI box, in front of a Markbass combo. This pedal has a distortion ckt in it so I can mix with the clean to get the right mix. Also, I can send out a DI signal to the house PA.
    You can try to add another cabinet to the combo, if the amp will support 4 ohm load.
    Might be time to upgrade your amp...time to get a separate amp and cabinet.
  5. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    The primary function of a stage amp is so the band members can hear each other. If you are playing in a club without the benefit of having everything run through a PA you will need more power. Combo amps are plenty loud enough as long as you are running through a PA and the rest of the band does not have their amps cranked up. I just saw a show at TD Garden in Boston which seats about 17,000 people. The band consisted of guitar, keys, drums, a string section and a horn section. The bass player was using an SWR combo.
  6. There's a pretty good chance he had PA support though.

    When I think combo amp I'm not really thinking of anything high-end, I'm thinking of the little 50 watt amp you use to practice in your basement. So, my bad :)
  7. A drummer, singer and guitarist are the usual first things to get. Then you will know if your combo has enough power. Bands vary in stage volume by staggering amounts.

    More than likely your combo is the practice amp variety though? Better clear that up before getting into too much gear advice.
  8. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    I have a bass that someone found in a skip, and a Hartke combo, and I do play out.
  9. A good DI would be a good start as stated before by some guys. Sansamp, MXR, Darkglass if you have the extra cash. I use my bass through an MXR M-80.
    Very useful pedal, I send an XLR out to the PA support and the normal output for my Hartke HA100 amp, paralel output to tuner. I've found an eq setting I really like how it sounds through PA, and i tend to roll off the low bass on the amp, to reduce boominess on stage. That way i can crank the amp a little without amp farting out or disturbing the rest of the band, and listen to my bass really clear which I find most important for consistent playing.
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    +1 on the M80. You get EQ, DI, and distortion all in one, plus that sweet little "color" button.

    I'm confused, though - does the OP gig or not? He asks about live sound but says he doesn't play out. Or is he about to make the jump? DI is only relevant if he's running through FoH. I've get one, but for bar gigs never actually ran it through the PA. Even then, there's always the option to mic the amp rather than use a DI.

    Anyway, also, a lot depends on WHAT Hartke combo he's talking about. If it's a little A25, he's going to need a bigger amp more than he needs any pedals or DI boxes. If it's a Hydrive 112c, he's got 250 watts plus built-in overdrive and a DI on his amp. Then I'd say he only needed pedals if there was an effect he was going to use for a particular song.
  11. thekyle55


    Mar 14, 2012
    So you're just wanting things to play with. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    Get a Zoom B3 or MS-60B. Tons of effects and distortions and noisemakers to mess around with, and they sound good. They have pretty decent built it tuners also.
  12. SuperK


    Sep 12, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    And the Zoom B3 has DI too so that would also solve the problem of getting his sound to the PA.

    I have a B3 and don't use many of the effects. But it's nice to have all those options if you need them.
  13. Bass > Tuner Pedal > DI > Amp, with a few cords in between.

    I can't tell any difference between a $12 cord and a $100 guitar cord except durability, I use a Planet Waves True-Strobe (on PSU) in my "home studio" and a Boss TU-3 stays in my gig-bag because it gets a lot better battery life.

    I use one of two small Markbass amps as a personal monitor when playing live, listening to house and sidefills mostly.

    The one thing I would strongly urge against is a cheap DI. I use a Radial JDI as my go-to and also occasionally a Countryman Type 85. It really makes an audible difference.

    IMO, Cheap DIs should have sonic-torture warning labels on them. Making an audience endure them is surely more sadistic than animal-testing of cosmetics.

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