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Is There a Need For Anything More Than A Preamp?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Angel Switch, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. If I'm just going to be playing small gigs around town, would it be safe to assume most venues will have a PA I could go direct into with a Sansamp BDDI? I'm looking to upgrade my amp, but I'm low on funds at the moment and can't really afford an amp and cab. Should the BDDI work for now?
  2. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Play it safe and never assume the venue has its own PA.

    Do you have no friend close by that would let you borrow something?
  3. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Monitor or no monitors?

    Quality of system and monitors?

    Volume, especially stage volume of band.

    My advice---

    Collect cans so you can at least afford a small combo.
  4. All the ones who would let me borrow it can't because they use them regularly :/
  5. how would it work with the small combo, then? I have one (see signature), it just barely keeps up during practices, and is surely going to struggle at a show.
  6. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    It would need to be either miked or DI to the board (whomever supplies it).
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I would not assume that small venues have their own PA. In our area there is exactly 1 venue that has it's own PA. If they did have a PA you'd need to make sure that is was enough to support the bass. A lot of venues only use their PA for vocal duties. You'd also need something for monitoring so you can still hear yourself.

    As for running an Ampeg BA108? If it barely keeps up at practice it's not going to work so well live. If you're playing without a drummer it may be adequate but anything else you'd get buried without PA support. If you put it on a chair and pointed it towards your head it may work as a stage monitor.
  8. which brings us back to the original point, where I can't assume they'll have a DI, so I need an amp upgrade...? like undoubtedly?
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains

    If you're playing at venues where you know they have a PA, and you know they run bass through it, and you'll be able to hear yourself...just bringing a DI would be fine. Otherwise you're going to want an amp, whether it simply be for staging monitoring or carrying the entire venue.
  10. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Yes, now or later you'll have to upgrade your rig. Regardless, unless you have very deep pockets, you're not going to get a rig that will fill all the live requirements you may run into. Someone (the venue, the band, a hired third party) will have to supply a PA. In those situations you'll either need to mike the amp or go out of the amp's DI output to the FOH.

    Give us an idea of what you're looking at as far as venue size.

    A corner stage in a coffee klatch?

    Small room of up to say 50 people?

    Larger? Say 300+?
  11. cv115505


    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    Get on GCs used inventory and find a Carvin BR515 or BR510... it'll prob be about
    $250-300 but it will likely be up for the task... if you need more headroom, find a used extension cab and you got 500 watts which is more than enough for most small-medium venues
  12. cv115505


    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    I'm actually to the point of where I bring everything even if the venue says they have a PA because, half the time, they really don't know what they're talking about (really through no fault of their own)... I had a club owner tell me that they had all the PA stuff we would ever need and we didnt need to bring anything... they had 1 microphone and the host of the event we were playing was using it... we literally played through jazz standards while our keyboardist ran back to get our mic bag... their PA was literally just mains and one power amp... So now, we bring everything and we just scope the place out before we unload it.
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Around here, maybe 40% of venues supply PA.
    Of those that do, there's only one club I can think of where stage monitors would work well putting your bass into them so you could hear yourself.

    In my opinion, this is a bad plan.
  14. sketch


    Oct 16, 2013
    Tacoma, WA, USA
    I've never played a gig that didn't either have a PA in house or had rented a "soundguy" and his PA. Granted, sometimes that means just two speaker cabs at the audience & no monitors, but part of being professional is dealing with it (and double checking things beforehand).

    I've not used an amp in 3 years, VT Bass preamp w speaker sim all the way. No interest in carting my own amps & cabs anymore.
  15. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    This thread could fit in a few different forums, but it's definitely not about a bass so I'm moving it. Let's try Live Sound.
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
  17. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    Also you dont have much control over your sound even with an on board pre. Most soundmen will run a before preamp "dry"signal from my amp and then either a "wet" post preamp(an eq'd how I like the bass to sound) or mic of the amp to 2 separate channels on the board and mix them for FOH sound. That way youve got his and your take on how the bass should sound. Going direct its solely up to his ears....and who says you like what he likes.
  18. Small bars, 50 people at the very most
    Smallish indoor venues, 100-ish people
    Larger outdoor venues, 100-200 people
  19. my bad XP
  20. aggrokragg


    Dec 18, 2013
    In past years I lugged my head/cab to every gig, and 95% of the time I ended up using the MXR M-80 in my equipment bag or the DI on the head.

    I think my bass cab was only mic'd once or twice and this was in clubs all over the northeast. Even outdoor shows I got DI'd into a crappy PA system.

    That said, now that I'm starting back over and looking to start a hobby band, I snagged a Genz Benz 300 watt combo for cheap on inventory clearance. It has more power than I'll probably ever need in a small footprint, and if/when I begin gigging again I suspect it'll be direct from the GB or the M-80, but I'll probably still bring the amp to gigs just in case.

    The pedals are nice because they let you "control" your sound a bit live. I found the extent of my live sound shaping capabilities at most gigs were the EQ in the M-80 and the on-board pre-amp EQ in my Ibanez.