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Powered/Active Speaker vs Amp

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Mikey3, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Mikey3

    Mikey3 Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Been searching the forums and seems to be quite a bit of different opinions regarding ditching an amp and going direct.
    What I would like to do is as follows. Have one setup for my Double Bass, Electric bass and acoustic guitar. I am hoping to run the electric bass to a powered speaker through my eden wtdi and hoping to get an acoustic preamp that could run double duty with the double bass and acoustic guitar. I would like to run these into something like the EV ZLX-P12 or the TS Also TS-112A.

    Any thoughts on to whether this is a terrible idea? anyone here doing something similar? Will I be losing that much by doing this vs using something like an MB150 and then having another dedicated acoustic amp for my guitar?

    All thoughts are appreciated and thanks for any input
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    If the powered speaker sounds good to you, then no you aren't losing anything sonically compared to a small combo amp.

    Depending on where you place your preamps you might find it fussier to adjust their controls compared to the front panel of an amp...or maybe not.
  3. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    I would eliminate all the fuss. Get one great small amp and be done with it. I've tried everything and find that a good versatile amp is most practical.
  4. I am going to get flamed for saying this, but my guitarist has just gotten himself a new Peavey VYPYR combo that has electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and bass guitar modeling built in a 1-12" 100 watt combo. Before you scoff go hear it. I was amazed. It copied my SVT nicely and with a flick of a switch it was a Marshall guitar amp... Worth looking into IMO and I use mostly Ampeg bass amps.

    Several years back I was with a group that I played acoustic guitar and bass. I hauled a separate Fender Acoustisonic plus an Ampeg BA-115 to that gig, and the stage volume of that band would have allowed me to use one amp for bass and acoustic guitar (had I had something like the new Peavey VYPYR).
  5. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia

    I have the VYPYR VIP 100. Terrific electric guitar amp and great onstage with my Takamine Pro 12 string. It's a useful bass amp for home practice and I convinced myself it was sounding good for double bass. Took it (and my Raven Labs preamp) to a quiet concert with a jazz quartet at a very fancy retirement home. [The input impedance is too low to use a piezo without a preamp.] It was dreadful. I could not for the life of me coax out a respectable stage sound. It was a three hour gig and the drummer made me promise to never show up without an actual bass amp again. For the record, my usual upright rigs are: (i) an Acoustic Image Contra with extension speaker, or (ii) a GK MB500 with an Avatar SB112.
  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I just came back from trying out an EV ZLX-12P in a music store. I went to try the BG250-208, which I did. I then asked to try the active EV cab with an Aguilar Tone Hammer 350 as a preamp. The guy in the PA department thought it was unusual to try this cab for bass, as did the salesman in the bass department. The store is quite large and has a stage where they have guest musicians and seminars. I asked to try it on stage. They gave me a new Musicman Sabre to use. I kick myself for not bringing my Sadowsky, but I figured an active bass would do.

    The tone, volume, girth of this thing surprised all of us. The sales guy from the bass department has a Mesa head on a Markbass 410 cab as his main rig. The PA department guy is a drummer. All of us play in bands. We are all seriously impressed by the sound. I handed the bass to the sales guy and got him to play, while the PA guy tried the different presets on the EV. I walked away from the stage, stood 20 feet directly in front, off to the left, off to the right. Very musical sounding speaker. I then walked up on stage and laid the cab down as a monitor and again walked out in front of the stage. The sound filled the room even more. The sales guy from the bass department was seriously impressed with this set up. The true test, as we all know, is to use it in a band setting.

    I am still leaning towards the QSC K12, although I have not tried one. The EV ZLX-12P is half the price. But, the QSC gets really good reviews. The closest QSC dealer is a ways away.

    I know, for a fact, that this will do me just fine. I can consolidate all of my needs into one small, portable, loud set up with a good frequency range. Before leaving the store, I asked about other preamps and the guy handed me the Eden WTDI. I didnt have time to try it out. I suspect it will sound just fine.

    After 40 plus years of playing, this is the first time I have played through a PA speaker and was impressed with it as a bass amp. One other benefit to either of these speakers is the multiple input. I play a weekly gig in a small pub where, today, I am using a Schertler Jam 150 amp for bass. 150 watts into an 8 inch and it sounds warm, full and round. The EV and QSC have separate inputs for mic or line in. I can run my vocal mic through my TC Helicon vocal harmonizer, which has EQ presets for mic, which sound great. That with the Eden should be fine for that gig. I am also putting a three piece rock-blues band together and the guitarist has a full PA, so I should be well covered.

    So, to the OP, after what I heard this morning, I do not think you are crazy at all. In fact, try to find a Schertler Jam 150. They sell it as an acoustic guitar amp. But, prior to Schertler taking over SR Technology that designed and still builds the amp, it was once also marketed as a keyboard amp, which makes it more than adequate for bass. For the right size room and eq, it sounds very nice. I strongly believe your upright will sound nice through this. Plus, since it has a six channel mixer on top, you can run your acoustic through it and a vocl mic. The amp has Alesis effects. This, to many, is regarded as one of the top acoustic guitar amps. Plus, it can be pole mounted.

    Another cheaper alternative is the Carvin AG100. I have used one for bass, guitar and vocals. It has three channels voiced for each of those instruments, puts out 100 watts into a 12 inch speaker. My duo partner has one. I turned him onto the Schertler and he uses that most of the time.

    I think I will be going down this road towards the active PA cab..
    Last edited: May 13, 2014