Can A Bass Amp Power A Mixer?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by john nam, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. This is a dumb question, but can a bass amp power a mixer, either pre or post the bass amp's EQ? By the way, I have a Markbass CMD 121p and a GK MB2-500.
  2. Hi.

    Yes, in a way that it'll make an audible sound.

    Whether it sounds good or not, depends of numerous variables.

    No harm will be done to either pieces of gear if You keep the levels reasonable, so why not try it with the gear you have.

    I'd go first in on the "power amp in" in a case like this.

  3. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    "Power" a mixer??? You do not want to send the power output (speaker output) directly into a mixer, as that will fry the mixer. What you can usually do, what I think T-Bird is suggesting, is take the line level output of the amp (usually labeled "line out", "preamp out", or "recording out") and send that to the mixer.

    Additionally, most amp heads have an XLR jack labeled "DI", and it is specifically for the purpose of connecting to a mixer. If there's a pre/post DI switch, that sets whether the signal to the mixer is from before or after the amp's EQ section.
  4. Let me be more specific: Instead of a regular power amp, like a Crown, can you use a bass amp as a power amp instead, in conjunction with a mixer so that you can plug in various instruments into the mixer and have their sounds get amplified through the speakers?
  5. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005

    Sure you can - as long as the bass amp has either a power amp in jack, or effects loop(use the return jack in this case)... Most mixers will have XLR jacks for their Main Out - so, you'd have to use an adapter or cable to go from XLR to 1/4" - unless you used an Aux out like a monitor send... You would just power up the speakers from the bass amp's normal speaker jacks - with a good bass amp, it'll work surprisingly well...

    Basically, you're using the bass amp as a slave, and using the mixer as a preamp to drive the slave amp...

    - georgestrings
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Oh, OK, I understand now. Yes, you can use a bass amp as a power amp, using the mixer as a preamp. In addition to the recommended "power amp in" and "effects loop return" jacks, you can even use the regular instrument input on the amp. But if you do that, you'll have to turn the output level of the mixer down low, and the overall mix may suffer tonally from going thorough the bass amp's EQ and other preamp voicing.
  7. Thanks georgestrings.
  8. Thanks bongomania, too.
  9. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    For rehearsals, we just plug a cheap mixer into a bass head that I am not currently using. We use the front inputs of the bass amp and have to watch how we set the volumes on the mixer output and the amp input to avoid distortion. This works fine for rehearsals, but it is of limited use beyond this.
  10. What he said. I used to do the same thing with a Nemesis 1x8 combo when we rehearsed in my apartment - have everybody run into the board via DI, then I set all the levels.

    There were many advantages to such a setup - not least, being able to turn the gui**** down!
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