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Hooking up amp to PA system

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jaymeister99, Aug 9, 2005.


  1. jaymeister99

    jaymeister99

    Aug 2, 2005
    Ive got a small 15w amp I just got. I am planning on doing gigs in the near future. Can a small 25-100w amp be hooked up to a PA system? If so how does it sound/work. Thanks.
     
  2. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Any size amp can be hooked up to a PA, but...

    I think that you will most likely want something with more wattage. Most monitors don't do a stellar job of reproducing bass, and 15 watts just won't be enough to let you hear yourself on stage.

    But hey, good luck with it.
     
  3. You'd need a DI out, or a preamp out on the back of the amp. You can't connect any speaker level output to the PA. And I doubt most 15 watt amps are made for anything but practice, so it may not have a preamp out.

    And if it did, you wouldn't likely be able to hear your amp on stage. They'd hear you in the audience through the PA, but your stage volume would be drowned out by the high hat.

    Randy
     
  4. jaymeister99

    jaymeister99

    Aug 2, 2005
    What if I got a 100w amp, the Fender Rumble 100 has outputs to a mixer/PA.

    Would this be able to work well with a PA system? Or would I need to go to a 300-400w+ amp to do this the right way?

    Wouldnt the PA amplify the signal from the Bass amp anyway?
     
  5. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    Well you can put a microphone in front of anything and it will go thru the pa. You need to consider what the stage environment (how many players, what sort of music etc) will be like to determine how loud an amp you'll need to hear yourself. You can't count on the pa for this.
     
  6. mwig

    mwig

    Aug 6, 2005
    fresno, ca
    please dont show up to a gig with a 15watt amp and expect anybody to do anything but laugh. Hook it up to the PA? I think not. I think you got the right idea with the Fender. Rememer you have to hear yourself. You wont if the house speakers are in front of you and everyone else has hogged the monitors. You need something that will at least cut through the mix so you know what the hell your playing. Practice amps are just that - practice amps.
     
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    In the pro ranks even if an amp has line level outs they're seldom used. Most of the time direct boxes are employed, sometimes the cab is miked, and on occasion a direct box and mic are simultaneously employed.
     
  8. jaymeister99

    jaymeister99

    Aug 2, 2005
    So what would be the ideal amp to have for gigging? Small gigs, looking to pair it with a 500-600w PA setup eventually.

    Im thinking a 100w amp might make the cut, connected through the PA setup. But more like a 350w+ amp would be the better.

    Do most of the pros doing smaller gigs set up like this?
     
  9. Not a 15 watt amp.... LOL, you'll get more drums and sax from that mike than bass. The bleed through will overwhelm the feed through.... something like that...

    Randy
     
  10. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The most popular setup I see the pro's using is a 4x10 powered by 200 to 400 watt amps. This is at a 6500 seat venue. All your amp has to cover is the stage, more specifically the spot on it where you're standing. The PA is what delivers to the audience.
     
  11. mwig

    mwig

    Aug 6, 2005
    fresno, ca
    i agree the most important thing is for you to hear yourself. I doubt your ready for the arena set yet, so a moderately powered combo would be ok. I suggest a 210 with 200 to 400 watts. You can always throw a 115 underneath to increase the low end if you have enough watts. I have a SWR workingmans 210 combo that sounds great and at 400 watts it powers a 115 or a 410 without much difficulty underneath.
     
  12. jaymeister99

    jaymeister99

    Aug 2, 2005
    I just got back into playing. Stopped about 12 years ago due to nerve damage in my left hand, I now am trying to play lefty. Its like starting all over again, even though Im left handed. I now have a 15w Fender Rumble. My next amp will be something I can gig with, but this will be at least another year before I need to worry about it.

    The band is already together, except for me, got to get back to the quality of play I used to have 12 years ago. But in the mean time we will be jamming together, so would like to set up (or make it easier to set up) some kind of system.

    Looked at a 1000w Yamaha PA setup. Has mikes, cables, speakers, mixer/amp, everything for $1,400. Yes I know we dont need this kind of set up yet, but I would rather pay more now, than have to upgrade later and pay more in the long run.
     
  13. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    If you've had nerve damage I would suggest you go overkill on watts and speakers. That way you could play with a lighter touch and gank the volume a tad. Most people have a tendency to dig in too much when they can't hear themselves. Don't know if your previous nerve damage was caused by playing, but it would suck to have it flare up on you again.
     
  14. jaymeister99

    jaymeister99

    Aug 2, 2005
    I previously had a tendency to hit really hard on the strings, but this had nothing to do with the nerve damage. I played a lot of thrash, speed metal, Industrial, heavy stuff. So I smacked the hell out of the strings quite a bit. This time around Im making a conscious effort to play very lightly.

    The nerve damage cant flare up, I still have it, even worse now. I first noticed it when I was in middle school. It gradually got worse and worse, to the point now that you can actually see my hand shake when Im just sittin around. I can still function with it, even write with it. Just dont have any dexterity left in it, shakes too much, fingers cant move right.

    But my right hand is perfect, just got to figure out how to use it now!
     
  15. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Dec 23, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    small solution...buy a DI (like MXR or Sansamp) and go directly into the PA...then hope that your venue has monitors and have the sound guy put yourself through those.

    You could use a 15 watt amp as a monitor, but it would have to be elevated almost beside your ear. You could run your amp from the DI to do this. Sounds like an odd solution, but in a small venue, when I didn't feel like carting around my big cabs, I did exactly this. With the drummer using a small kit and brushes, the 15 watt did fine as a monitor (sound quality in my ear was crap, but I COULD hear myself and it sounded good in the crowd through the PA).

    You can pick up a good used MXR or Sansamp DI for $120.
     
  16. Actually the cheapo behringer DI boxes can take a speaker signal and put it in to the console apparently.
     
  17. TL5

    TL5

    Jun 27, 2005
    Nashville
    If you can hear yourself with that amp and your statisfied with the sound/tone, then with a DI to the PA you could play anywhere.

    You don't 'need' any watts or even an amp for that matter to run DI, provided the PA and monitors are adequate.

    Depending on the venue, the music style, audience expectations, stage volume, etc. there are some instances where a small amp or no amp is actually better than bringing the house. IMHO YMMV.
     
  18. In reading through all this, I think that this is the point that needs to be made clear to you. Your amplifier is NOT pushing more watts through the board, (or, at least it better NOT be).
    Your signal is, at the most, pre-amp only. Some amps have direct-out that also includes the effects loop in the mix if you're using any pedals.

    The board is it's own system and the amps of the PA do the rest. All you need is the preamp signal to send to it and the PA does the rest. That's where the Direct Box comes into play. You can plug your bass into it and split your signal; one to the bass amp and one to the PA board through the "snake". The size of your bass amp is totally up to you and how much you (and any of your band-mates), want to hear yourself on stage. So think about what type of music you'll be doing and how loud the drummer and guitarist(s) will be on stage and then go from there. I would think that 100 watts would do you pretty well.

    Worst case scenario; you have to use the direct box, and then push some bass through the monitors via the board to help hear yourself because your amp isn't loud enough. What you DON'T want to do is to run 300 watts and crank it! If you do that, then your stage volume will be louder than the PA and the mix will be worthless out in the audience, since they'll be hearing the band through the PA and then more bass coming from the stage drowning thing out. :eek:

    I've done stuff with a blues trio, through a PA and also up to the size of a Big Band without a PA with a 75 watt, and it worked out okay. I've upgraded because I didn't want to keep pushing the volume to the limit, but it worked. Think about the 100, but if you go up to 300, (which is where I'm at now), just keep in mind that you don't have to use it all. It's just really nice to have the "head-room" just in case. :D

    That's my couple'a'cents, IMHO. Hope it helps.