PA cab as bass cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SpamBot, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. SpamBot

    SpamBot Guest

    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Ok, so in my search for an adequate gigging amp, I picked up a Crate head at my local Music-go-round. I played it through one of their cabs and a bass that was quite similar to mine, and it sounded good, plus it was 220 watts. So, I bought it, for $160.
    Problem is, I have no cab yet.
    The amp puts out 220 at 4 ohms, but the 150 it puts out at 8 ohms could also be useful.
    Now to my question: Do PA cabs work for bass guitar? If they do, I could be in for some great deals. MF's cheapest bass cab is $150, but they have PA cabs with 10'', 12'', and 15'' speakers (Not all in one cab, different models have different sized drivers) for prices ranging from $50 to $80. What's the deal with these? Are they so cheap because they PA cabs are just cheap? Or are they craptastic on league with Behringer?

    I'm thinking of getting two 8ohm 15'' cabs, run them in parallel, and get a stack for cheap cheap cheap. If this is not a good plan of action, LET ME KNOW NOW PLEASE.
  2. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    Let's just get this out of the way first... try the search function, this topic has come up many times

    Now that that is done, here is my opinion

    PA cabs generally aren't made with bass in mind (roll off around 60Hz or higher). They appear to assume some sort of subwoofer will be used to take the heavy lifting. Also, they are often voiced for better vocal projection.

    The nicer (ie. more expensive) PA cabs are sonically neutral and would work well with bass. However, we are talking $800+ USD

    That being said, I have had good luck using Yamaha wedges for monitoring but it is always a compromise. A well designed bass cab is usually gonna do a better job.

    You might consider a used Avatar cab which would likely do a better job in the price range you are looking.
  3. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Supporting Member

    Jun 5, 2005
    NWAR - 72764
    It can be done & without any harm as long as you make sure you ohms & watts are all safe. When I was first playin bass, I gigged a Kustom Groove Bass 1200 head with a Carvin 2x15 PA cab... it wasn't pretty & it wasn't the best tone, but it's what I had & it worked just fine.

    My opinion -- you get what you pay for. If you want a $150 PA cab, that's exactly what you'll have. But, if you do a lil shopping... you might be able to find a much nicer rig for just a tiny bit more money. And as mozar... said -- use the Search function. It's great & with a lil patience you'll find many answers to questions you didn't even know you had yet! Good luck!
  4. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Cheapie PA cabs do a crap job - not enough xmax/excursion in the woofer unless you want to live half broke down in farstville, and horrible crossover choices and horns.

    In fact most midpriced club PA cabs don't do so well either, because they are designed with the assumption that if you are going to pump any real bass through the PA that you will also be using an active crossover in conjunction with subwoofers.

    There is definitely one good midpriced club PA main that works wonderfully with bass guitar though - the Carvin LS[x]1503. And don't even bother at looking at anything that costs less - it'll only be a waste of money.
  5. I use PA cabs, specifically a B52 1X15 with horn (mine) and a Yamaha 1X15 with horn that was an extra at the church/former military movie/playhouse theater I play in; it fires at the drummer's butt. Debuted the Warwick $$ through my Ashdown LG1000, both speakers into one channel for 4 Ohm load, received more compliments with this setup today than I have with the other basses and amps. Same speakers, though.
  6. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Oh, yeah - concerning the Carvin LS1503: there's a 3-part megathread about this cab - many people have bought it and love it, including Tom "the Carpet" Bowlus. In stock form it'll considerably blow any 210 cab away in volume, off-axis response, and cumulative frequency response.
  7. Well -

    I ran across this locally -

    I don't know where you are located, but I have a friend with one...and if it has the same EV 1-15 is BAD ASS!

    Very old school snort and grunt with a good P or J bass.


  8. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    Too the OP I deleted my message I posted earlier because it wasn't helpful. If I was you I would look on craiglist for bass cabs. With the economy as bad as it is I would imagine you would be able to find some good deals. If you buy some cheap PA speakers you will probably regret it and want something else 6 months from now. I have never heard any crate bass amps and by looking at their website it appears they have gotten out of the bass amp market. That is not a good sign. They are also owned by LOUD which has managed to screw up any company that they buy. Good luck.
  9. Watch out for "DJ" level PA gear - it's meant to look the part for parties more than actually perform for real.
    As Greenboy points out - that Carvin LS1503 is very good and will do for 80%+ gigs.
    It's not a bad idea to skip bass gear for good professional PA gear.
    Bass and drums are the most demanding on a good PA.
    Any bass player with a good PA has a gig. :)
  10. SpamBot

    SpamBot Guest

    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    This amp is pre-loud, made in US, so I hope that's a good sign. Anyway, it passed the in-shop audition.
    I am currently keeping an eye on my local CL, and after the feedback here it seems like that'd be the best option. Even if your first post wasn't helpful, this second one was, so thanks for that. But I would agree, if you just posted the first and left it at that, you'd be a wanker.
  11. SpamBot

    SpamBot Guest

    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    ^ ?