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Powered speakers with electric bass (4,5,6 strings)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Silent Fly, May 8, 2006.


  1. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    Hi,

    First post... :bag:

    ...and as the majority of first posts, I would like to ask for your advice/comments.

    I have been playing bass for more than 20 yeas, so I have more or less clear what I like and what I don’t (in a nutshell I like clean but not super-treble-rich sounds).

    My system consists in:

    (bass) -->
    EBS MultiComp -->
    Aphex Xciter -->
    SWR SM400 -->
    SWR Goliath Junior (10”x2)

    I didn’t like the sound of the preamp section of the SM400 so recently I started to bypass the preamp section and use a Tech21 Para Driver instead:

    (bass) -->
    EBS MultiComp -->
    Aphex Xciter -->
    Tech21 Para Driver -->
    SWR SM400 (as power amp) -->
    SWR Goliath Junior (10”x2)

    As bass guitar I use a Fender Jaco Pastorius (fretted), a Status fretless 6 strings and a Sei Bass 6 strings fretted.

    I’d like to rationalize my amplification reducing the number of elements. I was thinking to something like this:

    (bass) -->
    Presonus Eureka <-{send/return}-> Aphex Xciter
    Mackie SRM450

    or alternatively a JBL EON15 instead of the SRM450.

    I searched in this forum for comments about the use of powered speakers and I understand that it is not unusual for double bass but I haven't managed to find any comment about electric bass (4, 5 and 6 strings).

    Before starting to go in PA/DJ shops asking to try amplified speakers with my bass :bassist:, does anybody here have some direct experience with this type of configuration?

    Thanks for your help! :help:
     
  2. doctec

    doctec

    Mar 22, 2005
    Beaverton, Oregon
    I tried this for a while. My setup was Yamaha TRB-5P 5-string bass into a SWR Interstellar OD preamp driving a Mackie SRM450. I also had a direct out to the PA.

    I found that as a personal monitor, it worked ok -- Certainly not a "chest-thumping" bottom end, but if I stood in the right spot, I could hear myself ok.

    The problem I had was that the other guys on stage wanted to hear the bass and our regular montior system wouldn't handle it. So I'd crank the SRM450 to try and fill up the stage. It would almost make it, but I had it go into thermal shutdown a couple times.

    Bottom line for me was that in a situation where it's only me that needs to hear the bass on stage and keeping the stage sound out of the house PA is a goal, the SRM450 would work ok. But as a "regular" bass rig, it wasn't quite adequate for my needs.
     
  3. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    Thanks doctec for sharing your experience.

    May I ask what your current setup is? I am trying to understand what do you use as comparison for the SRM450 - i.e. what you reckon is adequate for your needs. I have the feeling that, for instance, compared to my SWR 10"x2 (250watt), the SRM450 wouldn't be much better ;)
     
  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I've kicked this around a lot. I think those are nice speakers. I have been thinking (posting) a lot lately about how for many of us, we are heard through a PA system. Our stage rigs are really monitors for us, and maybe the rest of the band depending on your monitor situation.

    It seems logical, then, that we should try to have a cab that is similar to a PA speaker so that we can accurately monitor our sound on stage. Bass cabs will color your sound. PA cabs are generally more flat.

    I was again amazed at how my bass sounded at church on Sunday. DI to PA system. I hear myself through a Yamaha 12" driver/horn floor wedge monitor. It sounds great. The FOH is 18" subs and some 3 way's for mids/highs. Again, it sounds great.

    Maybe I should just get a nice DI, a wedge or powered wedge and call it good. It would make a great monitor for PA supported gigs and work as well as my current 12"/tweeter cab for stand alone gigs.

    The problem with the Mackie/JBL is they are pretty heavy.
     
  5. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    I never thought about bass amplification in these terms... interesting.

    This is exacly my situation. I actually play only in small gigs. The SRM450 (or JBL EON15) would be the only source for the sound of my bass. Ever have you tried to play in small gigs with just the SRM450?

    It is not a major problem in my case. The SRM45 wouldn't be much heavier than Goliath Junior + SM400.
     
  6. doctec

    doctec

    Mar 22, 2005
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Prior to the SRM450 experiments I was using the SWR IOD preamp driving a Carver pm1.5 power amp (~1500 W) into two JBL d-140 speakers in homebuilt boxes. The JBLs are 8 ohm so the actual power was ~350W rms per speaker. We play small to medium sized clubs and normally just run vocals and kick drum through the PA, so all the bass comes from the stage amp.

    The Carver died (after about 20 years of service!) and I tried the SRM450 as a replacement rig for a while. When I decided that wasn't going to work out for me, I wound up buying a QSC PLX3402 to replace the Carver. And later swapped out the SWR IOD with a BBE BMax-T.
     
  7. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    If you're looking at the JBL Eon's make sure they are the JBL EON G2.

    http://www.jblpro.com/eong2/eon15g2.htm

    Good specs, matches what they sound like. Rugged, nothing fragile exposed. Weird shape, doesn't let itself to a cart well.

    The LF is actually a Neodymium - doesn't really matter but it's one of the first in wide production.

    Tilt back to use as a monitor if you go through the house mix.
    You can actually use the DI out of this to the house.

    rmcaudio.com has great prices.
     
  8. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i went the PA speaker route for a while, but found that 12" or even 15" speakers didnt quite give me enough punch. and its rare you'd find a 2x10 stand alone PA speaker.

    with that said, lots of raves about Bergantino's powered line, the IP series of cabs. more neutral'ish flat response like a PA speaker and yet the IP310 makes me drool like no other.
     
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    The IP's are quite pricey. This thread is tempting me to try a monitor wedge for a while with my Eden 550 head.
     
  10. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    You are absolute right seamonkey. I was refering to the JBL EON15 G2. I forgot to type "G2". :)
     
  11. MacGroove

    MacGroove Brother of the Groove with a 'Pocket Full of Funk'

    Oct 5, 2005
    Calif.
    Yeah the IP's are quite pricey, but it you want a good quality spk cab and amp, you're gonna pay about the same.
     
  12. SWR made a 1x12 bass wedge for a while. If you can find one in decent shape, that might be a good solution. Eden made (I think they still do) a 2x10 wedge as well. I used to have one and loved it. Needed money and sold it to help pay bills once. I've regreted it ever since.
     
  13. Bennet Pullen

    Bennet Pullen

    Aug 31, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I used to use an SRM450 for smaller gigs because we always had them in van anyway (part of the bands PA). For me it was really hard, I never had enough volume or punch. The low end was quite boomy, I just could never get it to tighten up. That could just be that it has a 15 (I'm used to 8s), as opposed to 10s or even 12s. Bottom line, try it out because it may work for you, but I was never impressed with the sound I got.
     
  14. tthor

    tthor

    May 11, 2005
    Lynchburg, VA
    I'm not real familiar with the SRM450's but you have to remember that as P.A. cabs, they are designed to throw much further than a typical bass cab. Like many of the P.A. cabs in the SRM450's price range, they can sound very different depending on how far away you stand from them. Just a thought!


     
  15. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    I wish that IP, and all powered speakers didn't publish "watts" but instead published actual measurements.
     
  16. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    Thanks for your suggestions and ideas so far!

    It looks like that the SRM450 (or the JBL EON15 G2) compared to my current setup (SWR 10x2) is like to be a little bit of a disappointment. This in spite the fact that the SRM450 is more powerful.

    In a nutshell, if I'm not completely wrong, it would appear that none of you guys had a positive experience in using the SRM450/EON15 as a bass amp. :eyebrow:
     
  17. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I am currently experimenting with a simple Yamaha 12"/horn wedge. I like the sound. It's more even and "flat" than my Begie HT112. I thing it would be fine for monitoing with a PA. I think it sounds good stand alone, too. I have a gig tomorrow so I can get some real world experience.
     
  18. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    I have a positive experience with the G2's
    They are loud and transparent.
    Only basic eq is included so you'll need to tweak the eq on the input signal.
     
  19. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    I would be very interested to know your feedbacks. Please keep us informed!
     

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