How to run combo amp through PA system?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by szvonek, Jan 3, 2001.

  1. Hey everyone, I have an Ampeg B-100R combo amp, and our band's getting ready to play its first gig at a bar that has its own sound system, PA speakers, etc. I thought I read somewhere that since my amp's plug goes directly into the amp (instead of in a jack i guess?) that it won't be able to connect to the bar's soundboard (like I'd have to cut the wire and replace the end or something??)? How does that work? I've never played a gig before, so I'm pretty clueless on what to do when we start setting up to play. Do I need extra cables, etc.? Any help is appreciated, thanks.
  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    I don't have one, but according to other reviews, specs, etc.,
    the B100R does have a line out. You should be able to run this to the club's board.
    You will need an extra cable to do this (if the club doesn't provide one).
  3. Oh yeah, duh, so that's what the line out jack is for. Boy is my face red. I wonder what it was i read about then. I was panicking that i'd have to buy a new amp or do something radical to mine. Thanks a lot man.
  4. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Another possibility would be to use a DI-box, maybe the club provides one. Just in case they do, here is how it works: plug the bass into the input, run a second instrument cable from the 'parallel in' or however it is called to your amp's input and a mic cable from the 'low Z out' (XLR jack) to the PA.
    Don't panic. Just ASK!! Everyone had his first gig sometime, even the soundman you will be dealing with.
    What I personally like less than being asked how something works is when 'greenhorns' pretend to be super experienced but obviously do not know anything. One who knows more than you will find out very soon how much/little you know anyway...


    BTW: How many extra cables should you have in your bag?
    One for each stupid guitarist, one spare cable for you plus an extra cable -who knows what happens :D :D :D

    [Edited by Matthias on 01-03-2001 at 01:31 PM]
  5. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Matthias: You sure he can't run his amp's 'speaker out' to a mic input on the board? :rolleyes:;):):D:p
  6. How exciting, we've come full circle!
    See Ohmmmmm thread
  7. Something else i don't know: if a small venue doesn't have a PA system, it is ok to just put a mic in front of the amp? I'm talking about mics that singers use...for singing. Not any special mic or anything, just your cheap regular one. Would this sound too bad?
  8. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    I doubt that a vocal mike would work all that well for bass guitar. Generally, the vocal mikes that I've seen don't handle very high SPL's and don't have a low enough frequency response for bass guitar. You'll probably end up overdriving the mike. Try it and see however, you never really know until you do.
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You could try a Shure SM-57. Also, You may want to put a good DI box between your line out and the mixer board.
  10. The old workhorses SM58 and SM57 work just fine for bass. Actually, 58's can handle an incredible SPL, something like 150 dB before they CAK. The SM57 is a better choice, but in a pinch a 58 will work. I've been mixing bands for 10 years and I've only come across one or two mics that I'd rather mic a bass cab with than a 57 (and you could buy like 50 57s for the price of them too!).
  11. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Miking of an amp works fine, but to amplify the mic you need - well - a PA. A PA consists of a mixing console, a power amp and some speaker cabs. Sometimes mixer and amp are packed into one unit, called power mixer.

    So: If there is no Pa at all, a mic won't help. If there is a PA and it is strong enough to handle bass you can use either line out or mic, whatever you prefer.

  12. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    I always prefer using a DI.
  13. I think i worded that wrong. You see, my dad knows this guy that owns a starbucks that was just built about a month ago, no sound system installed yet. He's trying to book some local bands for the while. My band and i were thinking of bringing a couple of old guitar amps (my guitarist has tons of old amps) and plugging vocal mics in those and lead them to our regular guitar and bass amps.
    That was about the dumbest idea i've ever thought of. We had practice last night and tried it but there was alot of feedback, noise, etc. They'll be getting some kind of sound system installed in a month or two, so i think we'll wait. Sorry i make things sound confusing
  14. Bass amps have been used as microphone and work well you have to put the amp well in front of the microphone or on a stand well above the mike. If the microphone is close to the amp it will feedback. If you work with a PA use a direct box and use your amp as a moniter on stage.
  15. Brock385


    Nov 5, 2000
    If i have a 15 watt amp with a line-out, will that sound the same through the PA system as a 100 watt amp plugged in there?
    And is the line out the thing that only a microphone cord will plug in? There's 2 things on my amp, the first is the one i plug my bass in and mic cords will fit into the second thing.
    So is this "mic hole plug in thing" where you plug the cord leading to the PA in?
  16. Yes, but you might have probs hearng a 15 watt amp on stage.

  17. Brock385


    Nov 5, 2000
    So the audience would hear it just fine, it's just that i wouldn't be able to hear it?
    Sorry about all these annoying newbie questions
  18. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Correct. A 15 watt amp simply isn't loud enough to compete with a drum kit. If you have your amp by your ears all the time maybe you will be fine, but I believe (hope) that the other band members would like to hear you as well.

    "Why can't I hear myself with that monstrous PA?" you may think. You see, the usual way to place PA speakers is in front of the stage, i.e. in front of you, facing AWAY from you. They are for the audience, not for the band on stage.

    We have all been newbies, and I sure wish I had TalkBass when I was one.

    [Edited by Oysterman on 01-07-2001 at 03:18 PM]
  19. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    If there is a monitor system then you can get bass through your monitor and you and the audience will be able to hear you. Just be careful not to blow the speaker in yer little amp 'cause with a monitor blasting bass you won't be able to hear if your amp is clipping its internal speaker. The biggest problem with playing through the monitor system though is that often in clubs there are only two mixes and the singers generally don't like a bunch of bass in theirs.
  20. Brock385


    Nov 5, 2000
    Thanks guys, that helped a ton :D
    Now for the amp, my dad and i were looking on ebay for a bigger one and the prices for 80-100 watts are pretty good in his eyes. Like in a general school auditorium or a small club that would hold about 200-300 people, would a 100 watt be enough?