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List of Powered Bass Appropriate Cabs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by honestjohnny, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    A little background: I have been obsessed with powered cabs, since I first heard and played through my Dad's Acoustic Control Corp. 360 setup. If he wanted to be louder, he just connected another cab. Conversely, if he wanted to be quieter. The things weighed a ton, though. But the basic premise was there. All he had to do was plug things in, dial in a sound, and go. So when he got me my first gear in Christmas of '93 (yeah I'm young)--a Zoom 506 and a bass combo, I immediately bypassed the combo's pre and went into the effects return. I did the same thing the following Christmas when I got a Crate 2X12 GX series amp and a Zoom 505.

    Now I'm mostly an adult, and I've gotten both rigs down to one with a Carvin LSx1503A. I still have and occasionally use the Zoom 50X series and have found that, as old as they are, they give me the sound and more importantly, the output to properly drive the LSx1503A.

    I think powered cabs present the best option for budding electronic musicians to bridge from the bedroom to gigging. Especially, if they already have a multi-FX box, an active bass (don't see many active eGuitars anymore), or a small practice amp with a headphone or line out jack. This way they can take their time learning about impedance, watts, etc. while still being able to gig, without worrying about that stuff. Plug and play. And with the power amps becoming increasingly smaller as power ratings simultaneously increase, I see this as being the way of the future.

    Anyway, I'm starting this list, to help them out. I promise nothing about whether or not these things WILL work for bass, only that they SEEM like they would. It is up to individuals to seek these out at the local shops or wherever and try them out. Only your ears can tell you what will work. That said, here's the list, please feel free to add to it or remark whether or not you KNOW, preferably from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, if these things will work for bass.

    Three-way PA Cabs:
    Carvin LS1503A
    Carvin LS1523A
    JBL PRX535
    JBL SRX738
    Mackie SA1530z
    QSC HPR153i
    RCF 4PRO4001-A

    Three-way Bass Specific Cabs:
    Forge AXB2105
    Forge AXB4108

    Two-way PA Cabs:
    Most of these are designed with the idea that subwoofers will handle everything below ~100 Hz and the market is full of 2-way powered cabs and subwoofers, so I'll let others who have more experience fill this area out. Try some, if they work for you, use them.
    Barbetta Sona SE32
    JBL EON Series

    RCF ART310A--the guy who uses this, fokof, doesn't carry a sub, but does rely on the house PA to provide sub 60Hz.
    Cerwin-Vega CVA series--looks interesting for multi-instrumentalists or those interested in a modular system.
    Yamaha MSR 100 (8" and CD) and MSR 800 (15" sub)--the MSR100's tweet is crossed over to the 8" @ 4kHz, so distortions, etc. would sound pretty good, but you might need two to keep up with the sub.
    Meyer Sound CQ-1--Anthony Jackson uses them.
    Vocopro is largely a karaoke company, but they have a few PA products, one of which is a not very sensitive (90 dB 1w/1m) 3-way with a 10" or a more sensitive (100 dB) 3-way 8" and a couple of low-powered (200 watts or lower RMS) subwoofers, that would be nice for bass and/or multi-instrumentalists. Fairly inexpensive, too.
    Yorkville NX Series

    Two-way Bass Cabs:

    Roland DB115X
    ISP Technologies Bass Vector and Bass Vector PRO
    Bergantino IP Series
    Uncontained Sound
    has a range of cabs, in various flavors, all powered.

    Single Driver Cabs:
    Euphonic Audio Wizzy 12 Extension

    Bag End make several cabs in various configurations for various uses. They will place their Minima One amp into almost any of their cabs.
    Carvin Stagemate S400--technically a 2-way PA cab, it's battery powered which gives it it's own special place in the list. There's also a passive extension cab.
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    You forgot the many Meyer Sound Labs powered cabinets that would kill for bass applications.
  3. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    Do you have a specific model in mind? Active or powered cabs, only please.
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
  5. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    From what I saw, they only have one powered speaker and it's designed for industrial application. They do have some very nice things, but non-powered.
  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I just counted at least 18 self-powered models on their website...;)
  7. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    I stand corrected. What models do you recommend for bass?
  8. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    My Barbetta Sona sounds great even without a pre. The one I have is most similar to their current model 32.
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    It turns out that many more of their models are powered as well.

    My budget has never allowed me to even consider buying any Meyer cabs, and I've only heard any of them used for PA applications, but here's an interesting link to one high profile bass player famous for using 'em.

    Edit: The EAW cab you listed is not powered IIRC.
  10. bonosurf


    Nov 24, 2007
    I think you're on the right track but I don't believe you need the extended frequency response of most of these pro enclosures. The Bass Vector line has a 5kHz upper frequency limit, that makes more sense, though these are heavy cabinets to schlep around.

    You might want to research building your own system. Believe it or not these guys make excellent amplifiers for the type of system you are looking at - http://www.icepower.bang-olufsen.com/en/technology/

    I would go with NEO (NIB) magnets on the loudspeakers and forget the horns.

    You could build a preamp with a tube section, all discrete (transistor) section and/or a high end OP-amp section. Stuff in a DSP from Analog Devices and you can do anything you want.
  11. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    EA used to make a powered wizzy cab. I have never used the powered version, but love the regular version.
  12. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    I use my Carvin LS1503A for bass and guitar, so I don't mind the tweeter, since it probably doesn't see much when I play bass anyway. The idea here is that beginners, who are ready to start gigging, or guys like me, who don't want to mess with it, won't have to wade through the technical aspects of matching components. My personal solution has been reached, more or less ;)
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Many of the horns dip down in to the mids with great dispersion. They give you a cut through the mix at wider angles. It's not that much more to lug around.

    You have to be an OEM to buy Icepower modules with support, but there are plenty of DIY supported modules and SMPS to be had.

    The Mackie powered speakers have an automatic contour. At lower volumes they turn up the bass and treble, and turn down at higher levels.

    I've played through Mackies, JBL EON G2, home built powered, on gigs and they all do the job. It depends at what volume level, if you get to very high then it's as you say, just plug in another, or plug in a sub.

    Any bass player should walk over to the pro-sound department and see what's going on there. The typical discipline in pro sound cabs is much higher than the typical in bass cabinets.
  14. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I've played through active Behringer cabs, 15" with a tweeter, 400 watts. They actually sounded alright. They were my guitarist's, he bought them for monitors. One or two had to be re-refurbed though.
  15. pgk


    Aug 19, 2007
    bag end has a powered series too, check them out as well
  16. This thread is right up my alley, currently looking to go this route, using my PODxt as a pre...
  17. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Let us know if this works. I would be impressed if the POD can drive a power amp.
  18. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I'm thinking some of the real pluses of good commercial implementations are assured power supplies with plenty of safety factor, better cooling schemes for hard use, thermal and AC protection of a more durable nature, and maybe some robust limiting. I don't think you get all this pre-installed when you buy the modules ; }
  19. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Keep reminding me to inquire to Carvin about the their plate tri-amp for my LS1503. Seems like the way to go now, definitely the most bang for the buck and what a great sounding cab for bass!
  20. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    Hey, GB...call Carvin ;) Then tell me how difficult it is to retrofit the Eminence and 18Sound!

    BTW, we had a discussion awhile back about preamp output levels. You're going to laugh or be disgusted, but I've gone back to my original Zoom 506 and am planning to unload the other things. The Zoom has all the output power I need and less noise. Go figure.

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