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pa cabinet instead of a traditional bass cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cassanova, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I was wondering if using a 1x15 pa cab instead of a 1x15 bass cab would be a wise idea. I was looking at some gear and noticed the pa cab had a lower frequency responce and a greater usable low frequencey (whatever that means) and was also able to handle more power.

    I would imagine that I would be able to use it as a stand alone bass cab and achive better tone from it since the bass is run through pa cabs in the mix.
  2. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I've seen it done... and it sounded sexay... then again, it was a stingray 5 with some beefy ampeg head... that would never not sound good... try it and see.
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    phil lesh uses a pair of Meyer Sound 1x12 cabs, and people seem to dig the tones he gets from running an Eden head thru 'em.
  4. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Ask JT, I think he uses one.

  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    It can be done, but check out the specs first....

    If this 15 has a horn, chances are it was designed for vocals, so they're definition of "extended bass response" may be that it goes down to 70 Hz (ie not low enough for a bass cab). But there's plenty of ways to design a PA cab so there must be some out there that will work as a bass rig.
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  7. Saetia


    Mar 27, 2003
    Have you thought of the PA cabs that are powered and use a nice pre amp to dial in your tone????
    I cant rember who it was on here like a couple of days ago posted pics of thiers, and said it sounded great, something like a 2 12 PA cabs if im not mistaken, sorry i cannot be more help.
  8. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I've done that. Of course, your results are going to depend on the quality of the PA cabinet. JBL is probably going to sound a lot better than Peavey. And a good PA cab is not going to be a lot cheaper than a good bass cab. You will almost certainly get a better tone from a bass cab than a PA cab; not to say that you cannot get a very useful tone from a PA cab, just that, in my experience, they seem a bit stiffer, less warm, and the tweeters are more dominant in the sound. Probably because most PA cabs have a more robust tweeter in a larger horn, and it's usually crossed over at a lower frequency (i.e., the tweeter in a PA cab handles more of the frequency range than in a typical bass cab). You can fix this to a large extent with eq, but you're probably not going to get the sound of a Bergantino no matter what. PA cabs tend to be more directional, which can be good or bad. You'll be able to hear them easily all the way across the stage IF you are within their coverage angle. In other words, if you're planning on being on the far side of the stage from your rig, you'd best set it up to point across the stage from the side rather than the typical backline facing the audience set up. Although a lot of PA cabs say they have a 70 or 90 degree coverage angle, it usually seems a lot narrower in real life.

    "Useable low frequency" usually refers to the frequency response that is correctable with eq, i.e. -10db, so in plain english, it's a pretty useless spec. Cranking your eq +10db at 40hz will burn up so much headroom you'll probably be clipping your power amp at any useable kind of volume level.
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    thank you foir all the details Bruce.
  10. Whappo Grande

    Whappo Grande

    Feb 9, 2002
    Santa Clara, CA.
    Manager: AccuGroove Speakers
    I agree with Bruce, "...our results are going to depend on the quality of the PA cabinet."

    In addition, many PA cabs are meant for long throw applications & are not suited for playing bass in clubs.
  11. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Yes I already knew the quality of the cabinet would be a big factor.

    I was just looking for the input of anyone who's gone this route before is all since I was considering it.