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Monitors vs Combo - feel the sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Boogie Woogie, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Boogie Woogie

    Boogie Woogie

    Aug 9, 2017
    Hi to all
    I know these days almost everyone has some kind of home-studio with lots o possibilites for recording or just playing along, but what interests me is (as far as the sound quality is concerned) what you prefer - to play bass guitar trough monitor speakers, or trough one combo amp?

    I'm asking this because I can hear the bass trough studio monitors all right, especially if I play some jam tracks to play along, and it all sound fine "in the mix", but I wonder if it would be better to have a small bass combo, and to hear the sound more separately?

    It's a small room, and If there wouldn't be any difference, then I'll be ok with this setup (and will save some space too..)

    But, being a guitar player at first place (from my expirience) the guitar sounds better to me when goes trough the combo, and it's more enjoyable to play, then trough studio monitors.

    What do you recommend better? To just buy some preamp bass pedal, or amp head and connect it to the interace and play it like that trough the monitors, or to get small combo?

    Thank you
  2. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    That depends on the components.

    Good monitors vs. a $200 combo? The monitors.

    Mediocre monitors vs. a good tube amp with a high end cabinet ? Tube amp.
    TrevorG and smogg like this.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    At home, I just use headphones. This is a "do what you think is best" question.
    el murdoque, fhm555, smogg and 5 others like this.
  4. Boogie Woogie

    Boogie Woogie

    Aug 9, 2017
    txs Jimmy, me too, but I'm especially interested in monitors vs combo matter
    JimmyM likes this.
  5. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    Its gotta depend...
    My Jazz bass sounds great to me DI to a desk, I don't use FX, and I hunt for an uncoloured amplification system, so for me monitors are just fine.
  6. Jeff Scott

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

    Apr 11, 2006
    Headphones FTW.
    smogg likes this.
  7. dralionux


    Feb 3, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    Jimmy, what headphone are you using? I used the AKG 240 Monitor (1999), but it has stopped working.
    JimmyM likes this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    AKG K141's that still work, but they do tend to distort when playing bass (not on playback for some reason), so I don't recommend them too highly.
    dralionux likes this.
  9. Boundary Effect

    Boundary Effect Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    For bass, I run it through a small combo (GK MB200) even though I have high quality studio monitors, Genelec 8040As. Even at moderate level, the bass without compression is going to be demanding on the monitors. The combo is going to react more like my live rig and force me to stylize my playing for it. If my intention is to learn and/or write a part for recording, then I'd play through the monitors.
    Boogie Woogie likes this.
  10. Boogie Woogie

    Boogie Woogie

    Aug 9, 2017
    Somehow, combo amp seems more "alive" to me, when playing guitar, that's why I thought maybe with the bass guitar would be the same thing..

    Btw, headphones are fine, but I was tihniking about "moving the air" here..
    JimmyM likes this.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If it makes you feel better, I'll take listening to bass out of a combo than a monitor any day of the week.
    quickfix and Boogie Woogie like this.
  12. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    It “works” vs you play bass like you mean it, favors the combo.
  13. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    I have some nice speakers and a good amp as well as a good set of headphones. Have also done good studio monitors. I prefer good stereo speakers over studio monitors for listening to music. Just personal preference. Either way you go a high pass filter can help the sound a lot as well as protect your speakers and headphones ( i know, I blew both with my SG).

    I've done the combo thing but prefer to practice with all the sound, including my bass coming at me.
    Boogie Woogie likes this.
  14. Option 3: Stack
  15. Boogie Woogie

    Boogie Woogie

    Aug 9, 2017
    I've been thinking to get an little amp head first (maybe Elf, or GK, Pfx..) and try it with monitors, to see how that's going to be. And then, if I don't feel much difference from as it is now, then to get some small cab..I don't know
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    Jokei likes this.
  16. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    I have tried monitors on an amateur stage (church, no lows before distortion) and a pro stage (just hard to hear what I was used to with everything else going on). I prefer a small combo, except where some millionaire prohibits it.
  17. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    You can still get those new.
  18. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Both: combo as my own personal monitor, monitors for proper stage dispersion.
    Boogie Woogie likes this.
  19. I would think if you are recording, the goal is to get an accurate representation of how your instrument sounds in the mix rather than sounding over the top awesome.

    eg. People who record using massive bass subs tend to produce mixes which are bass shy to compensate. The end result is exactly the opposite of what they were trying to achieve.

    My 2c. Use the monitors for recording, use a bass amp for playing.
    Boogie Woogie likes this.
  20. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    Well... I formerly used a "Big Jam Box" by JawBone and Blue Toothed my IPhone through it, with "Bass Reducer" selected in phone settings. Worked okay I guess. Played bass through a 112 MarkBass combo. Sounded okay.
    Then, I picked up recently a GK MB212 combo with an Aux input jack...
    Connected th IPhone via 1/8 jack, bass reducer selected...BLAMMO!
    SSounds great!
    Several small amps out there with Aux inputs which I would suspect sounds great through a "normal" stack etc.
    I do NOT have a "studio" at home though, just a small room which we call "The Music Room." No monitors/mixers etc.
    Combo with Aux jack, a smart phone, and "Drum Loops HD" application works GREAT even just to jam/practice technique etc.
    Good luck.
    Boogie Woogie likes this.

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