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Cabs vs just di?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by DarkAscentBass, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. DarkAscentBass


    Oct 18, 2013
    I am just curious to know the pros and cons of not using a cab on stage. I have seen a few rundowns of bass player's rigs where they do not have a cab on stage and just run to the pa from a pre amp with a di.
  2. Some players are more picky than others - personally, with a good monitoring soundman and equipment either way I'm happy.
  3. To me bypassing my amp & running a di. Kills my desired tone as im running a marshall superbass. So I see being d.i.ed as a con to my tone.
  4. shaft311

    shaft311 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Mt. Juliet, TN
    I like to have cabs. Sucks to haul cabs, but sometimes you just want to make sure you can hear.

    OTOH, if it's a venue you know has good equipment and monitors, you can get away with no cabs. It's 100% personal preference, venue rules notwithstanding.
  5. Hi.

    Like said, it's all about monitoring.

    NOT just for You as the bassplayer, but everyone in the band who wants/needs to hear the bass.

    Any succesful way You do it, going "ampless" will cost at least double, but in reality more like quadruple the amount a decent bass rig costs.

    Technically easier for guitarists, but their mental capacity isn't usually high enough to understand the concept ;).

    Going straight in has its undisputable benefits, but the cost of that benefit is often not feasible with bass.

    Once You get the possibility to try it, or to hear a full backline (fighting the PA) vs. going direct done right, that will be the experience you will crave for.

  6. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    I run sound for the band so I have complete control over my monitor feed. I go ampless often. Easy setup and tear down. Better have subs though. Eventually I will go to high end IEM. I don't need "huge amps" to get my tone. To each their own
  7. Depends on the quality of the monitoring. Once you've done it hearing more from the FOH than the monitors, you want to to never do that again.
  8. Stangconv


    Mar 3, 2013
    What!? Double? Quadruple? Why? How?

    In my band everyone has a monitor if I play direct or with an amp so going direct cost me $200 for the zoom b3 pedal. That's it.
  9. shaft311

    shaft311 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Mt. Juliet, TN
    I think he just means that good monitors cost money.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    right; no cabs just means you need monitors to be your cabs, and monitor wedges that can really do bass are not cheap.
  11. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    Honestly it's a huge pro not having to bring much more than a gigbag(Zoom B3 in pocket). But like just about everyone else mentioned you have to trust the venue/sound guy(s). I usually go just DI at my church and a small pub gig(have good relationships with sound guys at both locations) and plan on going just DI at at least one of the larger venues I play at. The main reason is every time I've played there the mix on stage has been adequate and to the point I don't even notice my cab anyways(there are 2 sound guys and a board dedicated to the stage mix just to the side of the stage and probably a literal ton of monitors).

    The Zoom B3 is a big plus for going straight to the board too just because it gives you a little more to control your sound with. I've done it with the generic DI to the board before but sometimes you want some compression or a certain tone. I guess it helps me consider doing it more often than if I were to play just my bass DI(which my basses sound great but it can get old/dull).
  12. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    And this is why I keep the cabs, just in case they don't have these. And I'm not going to buy them for the venue lol.
  13. I usually always go without my rig in smaller clubs. Which is pretty easy to do when your constantly playing through a P.A. that's overkill :D.
    Hell, back in the 80's I could even do without a rig. I mean, who needed a rig when you were using Perkins Cabs on each side of a good-sized stage for side washes? Crazy.
  14. Hi.

    Yes, even (semi-)decent monitors tend to cost more than a bass cab.
    If just the rummer and You want to hear the bass a similar way as it would come from a backline amp, the price (and the footprint & weight) of the equipment doubles. Obviously

    The cost is IME about the same whether the monitors are powered or not, but passive monitors require a separate amp+EQ rack(s). The actives just require a EQ rack (unless there's a digital console with EQ's on all monitor feeds).

    Then You have to have a mixing console with enough AUX feeds for all the monitor groups, and someone able to run that damn thing.

    The same goes for IEM's.

    So, as beneficial it is to reduce the low frequency clutter onstage, it comes with a hefty price (and resource) tag.
    A price tag people aren't willing to accept and try the approach anyway with resources that have nowhere near the capability of even slightest of success.
    Then their "logical" conclusion is that the idea of going ampless itself is flawed.

    I do like my two EV TL505's and ~200W tube amp blasting behind me, but from the audiences POV, the bassplayer going "ampless" is the single most beneficial thing a band can do in order to make their sound better (indoors).
    IME/IMO anyway.

  15. rstellar13

    rstellar13 Sarcastic Panda

    Sep 2, 2012
    Allentown, PA
    or DI box with eq and what not into a single active aka Bagend, that is my future plan...
  16. DarkAscentBass


    Oct 18, 2013
    Thanks a lot for all the info!!! I am thinking of setting up a rack system to try this in the future but it sounds like I will be shopping for in ears first lol. Thank again!!!
  17. DarkAscentBass


    Oct 18, 2013
    Any info of good rack gear or some must haves please feel free to share
  18. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Don't forget the fact that you would also need subs. With a bass rig you could get by with Speakers on a stick.
  19. Yep, as the sound crew guy's say - if you can easily move it by yourself, its not a real monitor - and good wireless in ear monitoring isn't cheap either. It all starts with a good monitoring console.
  20. Stangconv


    Mar 3, 2013
    I dunno I guess I'm spoiled. My bands pa always has subs if I'm direct or not. I need a monitor too even if I'm not direct. My at m2 wireless system was $300 used then I bought shure 215 buds. So $400 for monitor. We use a DL1608 mixer so I control my own mix.

    Even when I'm not using in ears I'm using a $300 b212 that works just fine for a monitor.. I get enough rumble from the FOH subs. The only time I've used a bass cab is when back line was provided.