Can a multi-effects/amp sim pedal power a cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by domportera, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. domportera


    Mar 2, 2011
    I have the Zoom B3n, and I'm looking to upgrade from my combo amp to a cab. I figured since the Zoom has amp and cab sims, it'd be a good idea to find something as flat as possible to run it through. First thought for me was to throw it into a cab, no amp. Would that work?

    How would you achieve a live rig with a multi-effects/amp sim pedal being the centerpiece of your sound? Are there any semi-flat response options so as not to dilute the sound of the pedal? I run it through a Fender Rumble 350 right now and it sounds like buns.
  2. No. It won't drive a cab directly.
    You need a power amp to drive a cab.
    ThePresident777 and HolmeBass like this.
  3. domportera


    Mar 2, 2011
    Ok thanks! I figured as much but it was worth a shot.
  4. You may be able to use a powered PA cab, which sounds like what you want anyway (relatively neutral sounding).
    Munjibunga likes this.
  5. I have a Zoom B1on that I run direct into a Crown XLS 1002 poweramp on its 0.775 volt input sensitivity setting, and the Zoom is just loud enough. If I boosted the Zoom's signal with an EQ pedal, I'm sure it would be more than enough.
    domportera likes this.
  6. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Barrackville WV
    Look at the QSC K.2, Maybe K12.2 , 2000 watt powered 12. gets a lot of good reviews, is relatively small and light and should work with your pedal.
  7. domportera


    Mar 2, 2011
    Would the pedal have enough output to plug straight into a power amp?
  8. ghostinthemach

    ghostinthemach Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    Riverside CA
    (I should start by saying this a truly alternative methodology, as I'm somewhat of an experimental type by nature. Now your question)

    Yes, most do. I've done quite a bit of playing with similar setups. I've used a Crown xls 2500. Clean, powerful and lightweight.

    Also, Most powered cabs have both mic and line level capability. One of the two should work fine. Also the 'modeling preamp' usually has a decent level and output adjustments separate from a rocker pedal volume.

    My fave is a Fender Mustang floor, although most of the amp models are too over-driven for a good clean tone, I found enough useful tones to use it live. The effects (the useful ones) were a plus. The smallest setup I used it with was a Mackie RMS350 powered speaker.
    It also worked well direct into the p.a. and had specific voicing for input into a combo amp, a stack or p.a.

    I have also powered it by sending its output into the effect return of various bass amp heads. Worked fine. The variations offered me tons of flexibility.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
    domportera likes this.
  9. domportera


    Mar 2, 2011
    Thanks so much for your help, everyone! This is honestly the best forum community ever, I've never been let down

    Does anyone have any experience or advice regarding sub-$200 power amps? Specifically concerned about flat response and noise levels. I might pick up an old GK Backline 410BLX 4 x 10 Bass Cab to pair it with.
  10. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    Here is a nice cheap power amp I have. I haven't tried my Zoom MS-60B, but I did try a regular preamp pedal with no XLR, and it worked just fine... it's on sale right now too for $90

    300-Watt (150w RMS x2) Studio Audio Amplifier -

    Run it in bridged mode and it produces about the same power as other 500W bass amps: @300W at 8ohm and [email protected] at 4ohm

    Here is a video of me driving it with a different preamp:
    SOUTH PAW likes this.
  11. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    I did a few gigs with a Zoom B3 pedal into a mackie m800 power amp. Worked fine, and I could hear myself over a drummer playing through an 8 ohm 2x10.
  12. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If the zoom doesn't have enough voltage to drive the amp to full output, and the amp doesn't have any sensitivity adjustments, a small mixer, or buffer pedal would do it.

    Walk over the PA/FOH section of the store and try some powered cabinets. You'll be amazed at how far they have come, and how versatile they are.
  13. Quilter Bass Block 800 is perfect for this application. Set its filter controls flat and let it rip.
  14. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    You're concerned about flat response and noise, but you're going to buy a total pile of trash for a cab? Great plan.
  15. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    If your combo has an FX Return (FX Loop) or an amp direct input, you can plug into there and bypass all the combo's preamp and EQ sections, basically using just the power amp.
    domportera likes this.
  16. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    You will need to decide on which route you want to go,
    a full range, flat response system (FRFR), where the cab sim in the pedal is used to make the system sound like a bass cabinet.
    Use a bass cabinet (limited frequency range) and switch off the pedal cabinet sim.
  17. deathness


    Jan 19, 2015
    Beyond specific powered PA cabs, there are a few more bass-centric cabs that have an integrated power amp for running with a preamp (pedal or rackmount). Bag End makes a few:

    Just 15s:

    15s with coaxial tweeter:



    I believe Bergantino used to make one, a 1x12 IIRC, but probably hard to track down. May be others, but it's a small market.
    Strung_Low, domportera and seamonkey like this.
  18. domportera


    Mar 2, 2011
    I'm definitely on a budget here. But to me it seems like gumtown's got a great idea - I'm going to try the FX loop and see how it turns out. I'll report back if that doesn't work. That being said, I'll be checking out those integrated cabs for when I'm ready to upgrade. This is some awesome info, thanks guys! :)
  19. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    I don't even own a bass amp anymore, except a small Peavey one that I use to teach students. I use preamp pedals into powered pa speakers (works great). I add as many speakers as needed...just chain them together. Never run out of power or speakers. Usually 1 is enough, if there is pa support. I'm a multi-instrumentalist....I got tired of separate amps for each instrument.
    Powered pa speakers are the easiest/cheapest/lightest option. But even a keyboard amp works, if you want something that looks more like a traditional amp. I use cheap pa speakers which still sound really good with a preamp...the high end ones sound phenomenal.
  20. Go to the Effects forum and search "Zoom B3 as a Pre-amp" - couple of threads there with lots of information. I've used a Zoom B3 into a power amp (both a QSC GX5 and a Peavey IPR 3000) with good results. If you want to take advantage of the amp/speaker sims on the B3 or B3n, you want full-range speakers as most bass cabs will add some coloration to the tone (which when combined with an amp/speaker sim may not give you the tone you were looking for).


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