Could a bass cab be used as a subwoofer?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bushy, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. bushy


    Mar 8, 2018
    My bass cab is a gk neo 212. My amp is a Peavey minimax. I have a pair of active pa speakers by Electro-Voice (ZLX-12P). My guitar synth pedal (BOSS SY300) has a pair of outputs and a dedicated subwoofer output. Could all these integrate well or am I better off using a dedicated active subwoofer instead of the GK NEO 212?
  2. Kro


    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I just skimmed through the sy-300 manual, and it seems like rather than providing a "sub" signal - something that is low-passed at a certain frequency, that option seems more like a way to control the signal that goes to the "sub". You can choose where in the signal path it outputs, and how wet/dry it is independent from the main signal.

    If that's the case, and unless I'm mistaken, you could likely use your cab with that signal through the Peavey without issue. As I noted in your other thread, you'll still need to try it just to make sure you like the way it sounds though. Regardless, there doesn't seem to be any inherent risk of harm running it that way.
  3. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    It's not clear to me what you're trying to do. Are you wanting to use your bass rig as a subwoofer for your PA cabs when you're not using it as a bass rig? Or are you somehow hoping to use your bass rig as a sub WHILE you're playing your bass?
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  4. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    I’m a bit confused. Are you trying to use your 212 as a subwoofer? If so, then I don’t think you’ll be happy with the results. That cab does not have the correct tuning or adequate drivers to push sub-low frequencies at any kind of a usable volume. Trying it at high or even moderate volume could damage the drivers.
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  5. Kro


    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I looked at the manual, I don't think that's what the sub output does. I think it's only called that because it can take a feed at various points in the signal path, including in positions that would keep it clean while the main outs are dirty.

    Seems like they labeled it based on its most likely use case, as opposed to it being a sub-specific signal.

    The use here seems more like a clean/dirty multi-amp rig, with the dirty side being the powered PA speakers, and the clean the Peavey/212.

    All depends on what the OP is really trying to accomplish beyond putting his current gear to use. If the desire is for a true sub, then as noted, that 212 won't cut it.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  6. bushy


    Mar 8, 2018
    I see. Used simultaneously or what (clean/dirty)? If the sub outs are not for subwoofer outs then what is it for? The picture on the manual looks like a mixer of some sort was connected instead of actual subwoofer speakers. I guess I don't need a subwoofer then if that's the case.

    Another related question I have is; can a subwoofer be used as a bass cab then? The minimax as the amp.

  7. bushy


    Mar 8, 2018
    Yeah what you said. The first idea.

  8. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    A PA-type sub is not a good choice for a bass speaker system...they're typically optimized for use up to only about 100-150 Hz and have virtually no high-end response. As such, they would sound way too dark and muddy.

    Any even if you could kludge your bass rig up to serve as a sort-of sub for the PA speakers, I think you'll find that they're a long way from 'integrating well'. The bass system could provide some 'boom-boom' to the PA, but it probably wouldn't be smooth or especially musical sounding. If you want to enhance the low end performance of the PA, you would be far better off using a dedicated PA sub for that.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  9. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    With some bass cabinets using them as a subwoofer is feasible. My Acme cabinets are great for this. Typically cabinets intended for bass guitar do not go low enough and loud enough at sub frequencies to function well.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  10. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Square peg, round hole.
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  11. Kro


    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Yeah, this isn't that unusual. A dirty or wet affected signal (that sometimes can lose lows) is mixed with a dry signal - sometimes low-passed, that keeps the bottom end clean.

    Right, it has to go to something - in your case it'd be a full amp, but when run to a PA it would have its own channel with independent levels and EQ. That signal could then be sent to a sub if desired.

    Not unless you feel like you're really missing low-end. A lot of those lower frequencies primarily contribute to mud, and aren't always used when it comes to typical bass signals. They are more frequently used with synth setups though - probably why it's included in your synth unit.

    You likely wouldn't like the way it sounds on its own. Bass, despite the name, relies on a healthy amount of mids to sound good for most uses. I actually do have an amp and cab capable of outputting silly low end if I wanted to. And I high-pass my signal (removing the sub lows) for tonal reasons.
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  12. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    could my bass cab be used as a sub-woofer for my Home Theatre system?
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  13. Rick James

    Rick James Inactive

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    A bass cab would lose between one and two octaves of content compared to a good home theater sub. They don't even make good stereo system woofers.
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  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    Could a bass cab be used as a subwoofer?

    Most bass cabs do not really reproduce the low end sub sonic frequencies well enough to be a true sub woofer
  15. hbabels


    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    I’ve tried to use a bass cab as a subwoofer for a PA before and the results were disappointing. They’re just voiced and designed too differently for it to be a good match.
  16. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I checked the SY-300 manual and the use of the term "Sub" definitely does not stand for subwoofer. It's basically an alternate output that you can patch different ways. It flows from the term "Sub Mix," which can be found in the manual.

    Regarding whether a GK NEO212 would work as a subwoofer. Yes, but you need to have realistic expectations with regards to how low and how loud it can play. There are plenty of small subs on the market that I suspect a properly powered and processed NEO212 would probably out perform. Consider Electro Voice SB122, ZX1 Sub, and ELX200-12S. Also consider Bose B1 and B2.

    Now that's not saying I think you should use a NEO 212 as a sub, or that there would be any benefit to using a subwoofer in your application.
  17. You know how you go to gigs and there's all that thumping low end and mushed up rumble to the bass? That's subwoofers.
  18. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Most bass cabinets are designed to be reasonably sized and loud. To get a speaker that works well as a sub (goes low) you need to give up one or both of those. You’re hoping to use a sports car as a dump truck.
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  19. JdoubleH

    JdoubleH Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Ellerslie, Georgia
    I occasionally run a kick drum mic through my fEarful 15/6 (mic > small mixer as the mic pre and eq > aux in on my head) in tandem with my bass signal. It works fine for lower volume stuff when we're packing light for PA. But the fEARful cabs are designed like a full range PA cabinet using capable high powered high xmax subwoofer drivers. I'm not so sure that it would work as well with something like the GK 212. The amps I've done this with are fairly stout, including a Genz shuttlemax 9.2 and Mesa Subway D800. Like I said it works, but only up to a point where dynamics and headroom begin to suffer.
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  20. Anemic_SluG


    Dec 1, 2009
    Ok as sy-300 user, the sub output is just an another output where you can split the signal. It is not a sub bass output unless you program it as such.
    Here is the 2 methods I use for the SY.
    1) inline bass to pedal board to sy-300 and then output to amp. You can use the internal blender to have more or less clean signal pass through the unit. But all of the clean and effected sound goes to the amp. Completely non reliant on the pa.

    2) I use the sub output and have programmed the patches I use, mostly. B3 organ or synth bass to have only the effected synth tone go to the PA and the clean output is just the bass which goes to my amp. That way it is mimicking having a keyboard player in the band to fill that spot, but the bass amp is just bass.

    The reason for using the sub output is that I have the sub output programmed to be all effected signal with no clean bass, but when I switch the cable to the regular inline output the same patches will have both signals so I do not have to rely on having a pa, let’s say for at hone practice.

    And to answer the question a bass amp is not a sub, but will handle almost anything the SY can throw at it as long as you program it appropriately.

    Hope that helps.
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