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P A SPEAKERS AS CABS??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bizzaro, Dec 21, 2003.


  1. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    So my amp broke down and I had to go direct through the board for practice. I got the best sound I have ever had through a pair of cheap(I think they are cheap) Nady P A speakers. They are really made for D J use I believe, but the tone was awesome. The speakers had a 15 with a horn. I don't have much to compare it to but it was definatly the best sound in my limited experiece, and the band all agreed that the sound was great. I was wondering if anyone uses P A speakers as cabs, and what they are if you use them. After that tone I heard I am seriously considering buying a pair of P A speakers to use as a cab.
    Thoughts.........Comments........:confused: :bassist:
     
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Bikehorn used his Laney 50-watt all tube guitar amp through some extremely efficient Traynor PA bins and it worked great.
     
  3. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    What is your usual rig? You had the board in your 'new' circuit for signal also. Maybe your amp was sounding bad because it was on it's way out. If you have the money to spend check out some new bass stuff at the same time as the PA stuff. Maybe you'll make some new discoveries.
     
  4. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    Yea, I thought about that. I am getting a new P A Amp. I will be using a Sansamp Bass Driver DI as a preamp. I will try playing through the speakers direct from the amp and with the D I in line. But everyone in the band, including myself, really liked the sound. It was full and clear as a bell. The speakers were also on tripods which may have had an aural effect. I was just curious if anyone had experimented with P A speakers,(it makes sense because they are designed to reproduce the whole spectrum of sound),and what they where using for speakers.
     
  5. i used one for a little bit no problems with it, should work fine for you.
     
  6. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I used a 1x15+horn plus a front loaded 18 PA cab (all Cerwin-Vega) biamped for quite a while. I have two of each, but I only use them for PA duty nowadays. Worked fine, sounded great, but it's a pretty big rig - stacked, the cabs are about 6 feet tall. Heavy, too.
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I use a Yamaha 115 for a jamming in my room. From what I'm able to tell, if you've got a 4 string, you're set as all heck. The response is a tad weaker on the E, but some bass boost would probably fix that right up.

    It seriously, seriously wimps out on the B string untill the 12 fret or so.

    If I ever went with a 4 string, I wouldn't hesitate to get PA cabs for it. A 5er... get a "real" bass cab, for sure.
     
  8. I used a yorkville 2x18 under my eden metro a few times. It sounded sweet.
     
  9. CoachLinz

    CoachLinz

    Dec 22, 2003
    I run my head into a 15+horn Yamaha 350 watt monitor cab every Sunday for church (large stage, 1000 seat auditorium) so that I don't have to haul my cabinet back and forth. Sounds fine. Little light on the low end, but EQ fixes that. Not my first choice but it beats lugging my cab.
     
  10. There's a guy on here that just uses a SansAmp BDDI into two powered Behringer PA Cabinets. That setup rules.

    As for why the PA speakers sounded better than your old rig, were they on stands? Having the sound coming right at your ears will definitely make you sound bigger, better, and out in front of the mix.
     
  11. junglebike

    junglebike Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I've done it a few times. I have a set of Yorkville NX520s, which work great with my BDDI for a light, compact rig. Not good for high volume, though, as there's just not enough low end.

    I've also played through a 1x15 Carvin PA system, which was also okay. I've thought a lot about using a PA as my main rig -- here's what I've concluded:

    1. If you just want a light, low-volume setup, a powered cab and a BDDI/pre will be fine.

    2. If you need a "serious" rig, anything in the PA world that can handle the low end will be heavier, bulkier, and more expensive than dedicated bass gear.

    3. Nothing in the PA world sounds like an Ampeg 8x10, or my Epifani 2x12. They just sound better. Period.
     
  12. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i've used my band's PA speakers, JBL EON1500's (15" w/ horn), once during a rehearsal, and they did sound great. but IMHO, they didnt have any of the punch my usual bass cabs have.

    PA speakers just dont have the "Oomph" and sound rather loose and soft. might be ok for listening to your bass for yourself, but in a band context i felt like i wasnt authoritative enough.

    if you want that uncolored PA like sound, but wanna hold onto the punch of a great bass cab with 10" speakers, get an Acme 2x10 or 4x10. IMHO, they're the closest thing you could get, yet still have something that slams with authority.

    www.acmebass.com
     
  13. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    i do it sometimes when i don't feel like packing my gear to practice, our singer always brings his gear...sounds fine, but i would never use them in a live situation.

    -Mike
     
  14. bigbajo60

    bigbajo60

    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    I used to use an Avalon U5 direct into a self-powered "Mackie Stack": a 600 watt SRS-1500 subwoofer under a 400 watt SRM-450.

    Sounded like my bass did through really good studio monitors... but super-duper-extra-LOUD!!!
    :D
     
  15. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland

    That'd be Jazz Ad!
     
  16. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    I am getting the picture and think that pretty much sums it up.

    I had to play again through the P A last practice and for some reason it wasn't as exciting. We were louder and I got lost in the mix. And yes the speakers were on tripods which originally made the bass clearer and cleaner, but with the volume up it wasn't working.
    Thanks Guys.

    I am saving up for a Acme Low B2 and Low B4, both at 8 ohms. I think it will give me the versatility to play anything from a quiet folky gig to a hard rock gig with loud band in a hall. I can use the B2 alone for the quieter stuff and I can bridge the amp into both cabs for the louder stuff.(4ohms@6x10). I will be driving them with a Carvin DCM 2000 and Sansamp RBI Bass Driver for a pre amp. Any Opinions on this set up and theory? :bassist:
     
  17. bigbajo60

    bigbajo60

    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    One of my rigs previous to the Avalon/Mackie setup I mentioned above was an early Acme Low B4 (8 ohms) pushed by 700 watts from a GK RB2000. I sometimes long to have that rig back. Bassists in the audience used to come to the gigs just to get their intestines "jiggled".

    :D

    Everyone knows that bassists like getting their intestines "jiggled" by powerful amps!

    ;)
     
  18. mgood

    mgood

    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Best bass rig I ever played on, by far, was a PA, not bass guitar gear.

    But, I like the sound of my bass. I don't want the amp or the cabs to color the sound. What goes in is what I want to come out. Most bass amp rigs are built to color the sound in their particular way. There's an ampeg sound, a Trace Elliot sound, an SWR sound and a Hartke sound. I don't want any of that. I want the sound of my bass.

    In my former life as a sound engineer, I had the oportunity to play with a lot of high-end gear that I could not afford, and that you will not find in guitar stores.

    When I ran my bass through a Countryman direct box into the board, out of the board into the Electro Voice Delta Max system I was blown away. This was a tri-amped system. I had two mid-high cabs that each had a horn and a 15. The sub had two 18's. The crossovers were the dedicated Delta Max controller units. Power was Crest Proffessional series. I've played quite a few high-end bass rigs, but I've never heard a sound to aproach, let alone challenge, that sound. The sound of my bass, from top to bottom, without any amp manufacturer's prefered sound shaping in there.

    But there are reasons I don't run that as my amp rig. For one thing, it was about $10K worth of speakers, crossovers, and amps, for a little system that I could stuff into a large car or go easily into a pickup. That's not counting the mixer. (But a little, dinky mixer would have done fine. It was just being used for level matching, not actually "mixing" a thing.) The other thing is that most PA cabs are very directional. They are meant to hit the back wall with a tight beam of sound. If you want to cover a wider area, then you need more speakers. They would sound great standing right in front of them. But move two feet off-axis and you would lose all but the bottom end. So, I would be limited to standing directly in front of my amp all evening if I wanted to hear myself. Some sort of wide-despersion PA speakers might work better, but a little over 90 degrees dispersion is about as wide as I see. Dedicated bass guitar cabs scatter the sound over a much wider area. They will not bean the guy in the back of the room, but you can hear them everywhere.

    Now, if the ampeg sound or some other amp line's sound is what you like, if your amp is an integral part of your sound, then the PA cab aproach is not for you.

    But if you really want to hear the sound of your bass, the PA has possibilities. But there are obstacles that I don't have a good solution for.
     
  19. That setup will kick ass. The Carvin power amp brings a smile to my face, because that's the best piece of gear they make. You'll like the RBI...a lot. If you can find a used QSC PLX-series power amp (2402), you'll save about 20 lbs of weight.