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Benefits of a stack?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 5stringFanatic, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. 5stringFanatic


    Mar 3, 2004
    NY, USA

    I am very confused lately, and need some advice from the pros out there. For a long time now ive been wanting an Ampeg rig, consisting of an SVT 4 pro, and a 8x10, or a 6x10 cabinet.

    But lately, because 2 of my band mates are sound engineers ive been learning a lot about sound and all different things that have to do with amps.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, i was speaking with my singer, one of the sound engineers , and he has this huge PA system with like 4 18" subwoofers, 500W per side of the stage, with 2 large mains. Its a huge PA system, and it sounds awesome.

    The problem comes in when i told him about me wanting to purchase the stack. He said, that in his opinion, i dont need a stack because all i need is a combo amp to produce the sound i want, keep it at a medium volume level and he amplifies it through the PA.

    I just dont know what i want to do. I went to guitar center and i was playing through my dream rig, and it sounded so good. Money is also an issue. My singer suggests that i just buy a really nice combo amp as an upgrade and that will run through the PA system.

    I need some advice on what to do. Thanks guys.
  2. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Well, the first thing that comes to mind is.... is this the last band you'll ever be in? :confused:

    Really. Not kidding. If these guys decide to stop playing (especially the one with the huge PA), and you end up with a different band, chances are you'll need something more than a "really nice combo amp".

    What they tell you is correct..... as long as that huge PA is available to you.....
  3. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Your friend might be right in your current playing situation. Like bigbeefdog said, things can change. What if the PA takes a dump?

    I want a rig loud enough for any stage I play. That way I know I will have the stage volume I desire. Sometimes I'm not real loud but at an outdoor gig I need some serious power. Stage monitors just don't cut it for me outdoors.

    Thats my opinion. :D
  4. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    FOH is important, but how well do you want to hear/feel yourself? How good are the monitors? As Kelly points out - they're rarely good enough outside.

    If you guitarist has a 20 watt amp and your drummer plays pretty quietly, then stage volume is less important.

    Personally, I like my sound big onstage.
  5. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Go modular and you can do either......
  6. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    You could always get something in the middle....

    Eden Metro perhaps?

    Hell, if your willing to drop that much cash on something you can hardly lift up, you might as well forget about it and get a Schroeder. A friggon 410 would be so easy to haul around, and probably louder and Ampeg's 810.

    Also... there's the option of Avatars. You can get the 4Pro and a B210 Pro and just use that when you have lots of monitor support. It's not much speaker surface, but its still a lot of power. If you dont have as much speaker support, buy yourself a B410 Pro to back it up, and stack em when you need em. :)
  7. rockindoc

    rockindoc Daily Lama

    Jan 26, 2002
    Bonham, Tx
    Your singer/soundman makes a good point. With that much PA support, you dont need to rely on ANY of your stage volume to supply the audience. Your stage volume can be your monitor, for you alone +/- your drummer, if he needs it. The other members can add your bass to their monitors if they wish.

    Get a rig that's just loud enough for YOU to hear, and you'll have a happier band. You'll also very likely be able to hear some of your bass in the FOH, so you could get by with even less stage volume. As Kael suggested, think ahead and make your rig expandable if your situation changes. Be thankful that for now, at least, you don't have to haul a massive amount of bass gear.
  8. 1. 2 of my band mates are sound engineers

    2. i was speaking with my singer, one of the sound engineers , and he has this huge PA

    3. The problem comes in when i told him about me wanting to purchase the stack.

    4. He said, that in his opinion, i dont need a stack

    5. My singer suggests that i just buy a really nice combo amp

    Hmmmmmm....does anyone else see a pattern here?.........Oh Jeeeze......sorry it's just me....
  9. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Yep, the timeless story that most of us bassist know all to well!
  10. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    One advantage of seperate amp/cab(s) is the ability to upgrade without selling or trading-in equipment, provided you can make the initial investment in a reasonably large head. You can always get a 1x12, or a 2x10 cab and add a 4x10 or 1x15 at a later date. Eventually having two cabs, you would in theory have three different sized rigs. This will end up costing more, but in the long run you won't have to push your equipment, or your lower-back, any farther than you need to!!
    WWLPBD? I would tell the bandmate/engineer that it isn't more volume you are looking for, it's better tone quality. If he doesn't but that then suggest that he monitor his vocals with one of those mini "hot spot" clock radio monitors and assure him that it will sound really fat in the house..
  11. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    You know, if they have that large of a PA system, they probably have a decent DI box they are going to use on you anyway, so your amp may not matter that much for the tone out front. If they don't, you might want to consider one. Some heads don't like phantom power and all it would take is some incompetent boob turning it on while your head is hooked up to fry its electronics. On the other hand some heads/pre's could care less if phantom power is being pumped into the DI out. Anyway, there are DI's out there that will drive a power amp. You could conceivably start a rack system this way.

    One possible route:

    1) a DI that can double as a preamp. The SABDDI is supposed to have been beefed up so that it can do this. That and the Avalon U5 seem to get a lot of praise (though the Avalon is pricey). I personally use a Fishman Platinum Pro EQ (not an excessive amount of coloration, plenty of EQ control, plus compression and a depth knob in a DI box ;) ) like this, works fine.

    2) a good power amp. You can overbuy a bit here a turn the sucker down. By getting larger than needed you won't need to trade in when expanding later, just keep it turned down some to save you small initial cab.

    3) one cabinet to use as your stage monitor. For single cab uses I usually like to go with larger speakers like 12" or 15", but a 2x10" would also be very feasible.

    This way you can buy another cab to complete your "stack". You might want to buy another preamp at some point. Even if you do, I think it's is a great idea for every bassist to have their own DI to use when using any PA. That is what the audience hears, and having your own DI prevents nasty surprises when using unknown equipment. The DI out's on most preamps/heads aren't as good as stand alone units.

    just an idea....
  12. I think a good question is what is your guitarist(s) using? Are they just using a little combo like you were told to? What are you using now?
  13. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Touche' :D
  14. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Everything's relative, but 500 watts a side for PA is NOTHING for some gigs, the norm around my parts. I use 1500 watts for my bass rig alone. The PA's we rent usually go around 5000 watts per side.

    500 watts a side, except for smaller rooms, would result in distorted bass through the mains. Fine for just vocals, though . . .
  15. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    that's what I was thinking.... maybe 500 per side monitor system, not mains with 4x18"
  16. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I didn't pay attention to the wattage either. I can't think that any 18" subs would sound that great without 500 watts to drive it on its own.
  17. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I realize I'm going to get flamed for this one but..

    Having been on the drum side and the bass side of things, I have to ultimately agree with your singer. Stage volume can easily get way out of hand and cause problems for everyone onstage, as well as the sound guy. It's nice to be able to bring a kilowatt and an 8x10 in and guarantee that you will be heard, but honestly you don't need large hall filling power most of the time. Get a Schroeder or something similar along with a decent head and it'll be easy to carry and will do well for most of your situations.

    Oh, and there's nothing that says you can't get a nice combo or small modular rig now and then upgrade when the PA goes away.
  18. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    I say if he liked the 4pro and 8x10's tone, then he should buy it, nothing says he can't get that tone at a low volume. On the other side, if he buys a combo that he doesn't like the tone of, hes stuck with bad tone and low volume.

    Maybe you should look into the svt 3pro, its a little bit quieter and may work better for your needs.
  19. 5stringFanatic


    Mar 3, 2004
    NY, USA
    Thanks a lot to all of you for your suggestions.

    I am trying to consider things from all points of view. On the one hand, i dont want to overpower the stage, and in the long run want whats best for myself as well as my band.

    I think im going to buy the 6x10 cabinet in any case because i love that thing. It really does sound amazing. I was playing it with an SVT 4 pro, and it was perfect. My dream tone.

    I think ive established that im going to go with the stack option. Now i need some suggestions on what to get. I mean, if im going to compromise, do i really need the 4 pro? 3 pro is definetly an option. I dont know much about amps.. i really dont, so i could use all the info i can get.. lol.. I love the sound from the 4 pro, and if the 3 pro can deliver an equivilent sound just less powerful, that sounds dandy to me.

    Im open to suggestions as far as if i should get a 6x10 or maybe break it up and get like a 4x10, or a 4x12 and then upgrade in the future.

    Thank you agian to everyone.
    Kind Regards,
  20. A lot of good points have been raised here, but everyone has so far overlooked the greatest benefit of having a stack.

    Chicks don't rip their clothes off and throw them on the stage for a guy with a combo.