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Building Rackmount Rig without using Cabinet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by christiaan_01, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. christiaan_01


    May 6, 2007
    Hey TB-ers!

    I'm not great in amplification systems but have read all the Faq's that I could find on TB, but still have a few questions unanswered.

    I want to compose a new rackmount rig, but first let me explain my situation.

    I play weekly in a church, and have been strugling with my sound for years. The main problem is that I play on a hollow stage, which is really bad when I play through a cab. I've tried everything you can imagine but it just doesn't work.

    So now I'm thinking of composing a nice rackmount rig, and using a headphone (Not sure though, if I want the sound of the bandmates on it too).

    What do I need now?

    - I am thinking of sansamp or BBE preamp, not sure which one.
    - Can I use the DI-output on the preamp without using a poweramp to connect with the PA?
    - Do I need a poweramp, or is it possible without? (I've got an active bass)
    - I'm aware of the other stuff, like powerconditioners and effects :)

    How can I get the bass signal directly on my headphone, preferably before the signal goes to the PA.
    I'm not sure if this system is possible, but I just want to get rid of my cab and all excessive stage sound I produce, and use a nice headphone instead. :) And the reason to make a rackmount rig, is to have the possibility of upgrading and adding some nice stuff later on.

    By the way, I've got about 1000$ to spend, incl. the money for headphone (thinking of AKG).

    Please help me.

  2. wizay


    Mar 5, 2008
  3. christiaan_01


    May 6, 2007
    No bad idea.

    Is it possible to use it together with another preamp? If I want some more expensive stuff, and only use it as a headphone output?

    Bass --> Other Preamp --> Phil Jones --> Headphone + DI at the same time

    Are poweramps only used to 'feed' a cabinet, or also to give the PA a strong signal?
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Most PA systems are quite happy with a good signal from a preamp, because the PA has it's own poweramp to feed the PA speakers. So, you are correct, a poweramp is only useful for powering a speaker cab.
  5. I just found this video on tube. I am now looking into getting one for band practice.

    PJB Bass Buddy Preamp - P/J sound test

  6. christiaan_01


    May 6, 2007
    Thanks, but is it possible to make this type of setup?

    Bass --> Other Preamp --> Phil Jones --> Headphone + DI at the same time
  7. christiaan_01


    May 6, 2007
    And other suggestions are also welcome :)
    Other preamps, maybe just one expensive one with a headphone out?
  8. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Having the option of "the sound of the bandmates on it too" would be a very good idea when wearing headphones or using earbuds.

    Assuming your soundmans mixer (and the snake) has an extra send available, he may be able to supply you with a personalised headphone/earbud mix of anything ran through his mixer.

    You could purchase a preamp or DI box to get your basses signal to the soundman, but as long as your current amp is solid state powered, you could simply skip using a bass cab and send the soundman your basses signal right from your current amps DI output. (If it doesn't have a DI-out jack, you could also connect its preamp-out or effects-send jack to the input of an external DI box)
  9. jarrod cunningham

    jarrod cunningham

    Apr 24, 2007
    sylacauga alabama
    spector basses
    if you went with something like a line6 pod or podxt(rackmount) then went into a shure psm system you could get an aux send mix from the f.o.h. mixer and have control over your volume and the aux mix volume seperate from each other . the ones we use to use had two inputs , two volumes and a line in input on the body pack itself . so actually you could have 3 different things going at once .
  10. christiaan_01


    May 6, 2007
    Might this be the sollution to my problem? Or does a stompbox not provide the same functions and features as a rack-system?

    The reason to buy an entire new system is that I am using an Ashdown Mag 300 with the 410 cabinet from the same line. And I guess that if I would sell it and buy a nice preamp, I'll get some better tones than I could ever imagine :hyper::eyebrow:
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have a Microbass and I love it, but it may be a little on the overkill side for what you're doing. It's more for people who need to use two different sounding basses and have a little tonal flexibility for each. I don't know if you can do both DI and headphones at the same time with it, but I imagine you could. Still, even though it may be overkill, it's one of the nicest and most deluxe stompbox pres out there. It'll do transparency, and the amp and speaker sims are reasonable, and it's got a nifty overdrive built-in. I especially love its options for powering...9v adapter, 9v battery, and phantom power. Just don't leave the battery in it if you use an adapter or phantom because it defaults to the battery and makes really nasty sounds once it wears out.

    Even though stompbox pres are smaller and may not have as many deluxe features as rack pres, they can drive a power amp or send a strong DI signal to the board as well as any of them.
  12. christiaan_01


    May 6, 2007
    I think I've figured it out now :)

    I'll plug my bass into a preamp, maybe still the Ashdown Mag300 I'mm currently using, than I use the onboard DI, and send my signal to the main PA, as I have been doing for the last few years. Than I'll buy a small mixing console (few channels), and send the signal of the 'line out' to an external DI, and send it to my own mixing console. Than I ask the sound engineer to provide me with the sound signal of the bandmates (excluding my own sound), and plug that signal into my console. Than I'll plug a headphone into the mixer, and mix it until I like it.

    • Bass -> Preamp -> Onboard DI -> PA -> signal from bandmates -> own mixer --> Headphone
    • Preamp-> Line out -> Outboard DI -> own mixing console ----------> Headphone​

    Does that make sense?
  13. christiaan_01


    May 6, 2007

    Anyone idea about last post?

  14. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    That should work fine.
    With the short wire run length like this, you could probably skip the external DI box between your amps line-out and your personal on-stage mixer.
  15. The Avalon U5 has a mic level DI out, a line level out, a headphone out, and a straight passthrough. That and a mixer and you're ready for anything.

    BTW the U5 sounds like heaven :cool:
  16. John123z


    Jul 7, 2006
    Hershey, PA
    Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't it more important to hear what your sound engineer and the audience is hearing rather than you own personal mix? I would think this method would leave you oblivious to what your band actually sounds like.
  17. christiaan_01


    May 6, 2007
    Well, I do get the same sound as the audience is hearing, except that I hear my bass sound directly, without PA, because the bass is the most important for me. And its nice to have complete control over my bass sound, so if I once get a good sound from the PA from the band members, I'll can totally focus on my bass.

    But I'm still not 100% sure if I'm going for this setup, because always wearing a headphone isn't as nice as playing through a normal cab...

    So still thinking about it...

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