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Powered PA speaker instead of amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pitris, May 3, 2015.

  1. pitris


    Dec 4, 2013
    i have a simple question. Is it possible to use powered PA speaker instead of regular bass amp? Like from my bass to hartke vxl, and then from hartke to speaker?
    Thanks for replies
  2. The typical powered PA speaker is intended to take a line-level signal (roughly 1 volt) into its input. If the Hartke VXL gives a line-level output (I'm not familiar with it but I think it does) then yes this should work. Whether it sounds good depends on the quality of the powered PA speaker!
  3. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
  4. pitris


    Dec 4, 2013
    Well that speaker have line level input and mic level input, and hartke have line output and balanced XLR output, so i think it can work.
  5. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    If it's a money-saving thing-- you need a cab and already have the PA speaker-- it'll be okay and nothing should be immediately destroyed. If you're putting together a rig and don't already have this PA cab, it isn't the BEST way to go, but isn't the WORST, either (read using a guitar cab). It may work better than some random cheapo bass cab. Just keep in mind your tone preferences may make it a bad choice; like if you use much overdrive.
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Many PA cabinets don't have low-end drivers that handle electric bass transients and lows well. If you have a high-pass filter and a compressor, your results might be better. Be careful.
    old spice likes this.
  7. pitris


    Dec 4, 2013
    Well,i tried it and it worked. It is only temporary solution for rehersals. I am starting to dislike Hartke VXL anyway (no mids control).
  8. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Of course it works, it work great with many brands of powered PA speakers.
    Not all of them though, just like not all bass cabinets work so good.

    Every bass owes it to themselves to walk of the the PA department of the store and try out some gear there. Some of the new PA gear is killer.
    bmc and honestjohnny like this.
  9. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    Are you using a preamp? Even something like a multi FX unit or EQ pedal can improve the sound. I use Carvin's LSx1503A with a basic Mfx pedal (I really only use the EQ, tuner, and Ampeg model). It works great and if I need more, I split the signal to the PA after the pedal.
  10. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    ShoMeMusic.com; Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Darkglass, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Quilter, Blackstar, Cort, Traynor, and other
    I think a lot of people who try this idea try one of the inexpensive powered cabs and think it doesn't sound so good. Well, this is just like comparing an inexpensive bass amp to a quality stage bass amp. A quality PA cab can sound good as a bass rig. Ever heard bass run through a Yorkville Sound PS-12P? And that is a 12.
  11. kegtujosh


    Nov 8, 2013
    I play in a church choir. The amp i'm using is a p.a. powered amp. For me p.a. amps delivers a full range sound, which is a plus. I use a sansamp pedal to add color to my tone.
  12. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    I own a rig that I like a lot (Markbass Big Bang, Barefaced Big baby 2), but 80 % of my shows are now accomplished using a powered little PA cab, with an 8 inch driver (!) and DSP. Usually I run a HPF and a compressor (in this order) before the mixer input. At first, when the band leader told me to try to not use my amp, I was skeptical (and I wanted my amp to roar so badly), but he was right, at least in some situations.

    For medium and big outdoors I bring my bass rig and it can deliver without doubt with deepness and power, but in a multitude of tiny pubs and coffee shops I just plug with everyone else into the mini PA, and it sings. The native lower bass roll off of that little cab just performs so well with bad room acoustics (pre-treated with HPF at 32 Hz and comp).

    I can made my bass puch relatively hard but, most of all, with an awesome tone, no joke. It's not your exact situation, and I must say that I play with low to medium volumes in an amplified acoustic ensemble (bass, 3 voices, violin, cello, acoustic guitar, percussions, no distorted metal guitars), but I think that even a medium quality PA cab can deliver acceptable results with bass if driven properly and using a bit of experience. If someone wants a big "whoop" with a PA cab there is always the possibility to add more speakers or a powered sub to extend the tonal spectrum.

    Just my limited esperience, IMO.
  13. The big thing is, most powered PA mains are not up to the task of providing real bass output. They need to be paired with a sub and cross over of some kind.
  14. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Take a powered QSC powered speaker, the EV ZLX12 for a test drive. I tried them both with an Eden preamp pedal. The music I tried them in had a stage and seating for 40 for clinics and such. I tried them and then got a salesman to give them a work while I walked around the room. Beautiful full range sound. I can recall if both or just one of them as a setting on it to compensate for not using a sub.
    10cc likes this.
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    For rehearsal, it should be fine. I have an old Kustom PA cab I keep where we rehearse. I wouldn't want to gig a loud band with it, but it puts out a reasonable tone, and this way I only have to carry a bass and my six pound head there.
  16. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    ShoMeMusic.com; Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Darkglass, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Quilter, Blackstar, Cort, Traynor, and other
    You are probably correct in the word "most" but I would change it to "some" as there are tops with extended response. Again, anyone who is not a believer go play through a Yorkville Sound PS12P or better yet a PS15P.
    And then there is the full range RCF Evox 8 that has a 12.
    But of course all of the PA cabs sound better with a sub.
  17. I have never seen a Yorkville product new in a store in my neck of the woods. Do you have any technical info on the woofer they use in that cab?
  18. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    Right, but the question that very few bass players ask themselves is: do I really need that low bass extension?
    I mean, as an example I heard many folks interested in a system capable of a ruler flat response down to 20 hz...how many bassists actually know the sound and/or feel of these frequencies and their contribution or effect in real music? I think not too many.
    For my needs, the answer is NO, and you can give me 50-60 hz and above and I'm totally happy, unless I have to carry a medium to large outdoor gig. In this situation, PA with subs or well executed bass rig (s).
    If the answer is a big yes, you'll have some trouble and expenses to get there, but, if you want, you can.
  19. My experience is that the powered PA speakers I have used have a roll off a lot higher than 50-60hz. More like 100-120.
  20. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Got a keyboardist in the band he uses the QSC K12 (two of them) and those things can get REAL low. Like wow! Especially when the Moog is in motion. I'd be willing to bet a bass guitar would sound great through it.
    seamonkey likes this.

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