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pros or cons of cabs vs. going direct

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fleabee, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. What are some of the pros/cons sonically of playing through head/cabs vs. a direct box to the board/pa system?
  2. both is best

    MIC the cab, AND go DI, that way you can get some of the tone coming from your cabinet.

    cabs can be used as monitors for onstage.. they LOOK cool on stage too which IS important and don't let anybody tell you otherwise!
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Most sound guys prefer you use a direct box, because it makes it easier for them to get a clean, punchy sound that doesn't "bleed" with the other instruments. The downside is if your amp and cab are an important part of "your sound." Hope that helps!
  4. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    Pros are no gear to haul other than your bass, tuner, and DI. Cons are that you have to have decent monitoring from the PA to get the vibe and stage volume that you and your bandmates require. Lots of headaches when you can't hear the bass. If you don't wish to haul heavy heads and cabinets, I would suggest a good pre-amp, as most people prefer some sort of coloration as opposed to a straight bass signal.
  5. sgfender85


    Sep 10, 2005
    PA support is always a plus but you need an amp and cab for stage volume becuase you dont want to have to rely on the venue to have sufficient monitors. So you want to have both, a cab to cover your needs on stage while having a line out for the DI.
  6. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    It is an eye-opener to have an adequate PA system and soundman. I recently played a medium sized bar with my classic rock band. I used a homebuilt 1x10 with the volume knob my 400 watt amp on FAR LESS THAN HALF the volume i use in rehearsal. I went direct as well.

    EXCELENT sound and many compliments from the crowd. Juxtaposed to the gigs that I have to rely on my gear alone to get enough oooomph and its no comparison.

    Enough PA is FAR better than enough backline imo.

    IMO more time effort and money should be spent collaborating for better band PA's and less on individual stuff.

    (provided the band is established and reliable to stay together.)
  7. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    I like to have cabs because they make me look better.
  8. thanks for the replies
  9. um...tone is definitely an important part of my playing...so I never go into a DI box...when I played all the time I carried my own mic so they couldn't have any excuses
  10. bassman639


    Dec 23, 2006
    northeast ,pa
    i just want a head and cab behind me,for watt ever reason
  11. If the sound guy didn't want me to use my cabinet (the least I would take is a direct out of my amp), I would insist on running my guitarist DI, and putting coffee cans in the back instead of the drum kit....and instead of playing bass..I would pull out my kazoo....
  12. i VERY much prefer both. what i do is use my rig to 1. be the floor shaking monitor, 2. look better.

    and then i go to the PA through my sansamp so the signal isn't completely dead.
    honestly, when it comes to my tone, i'd prefer the audiance hears the amp more than the line out, but that's a fantasy.

    [EDIT] MICING THE AMP= best solution
  13. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    I agree with the points above. In our church we generally have very good soundmen/gear. I go direct in those situations and have been able to tweak my tone via my preamps (namely only the bass or via a pedal EQ). The soundman of course, has ultimate control but generally either adds or subtracts bass. However, I have a good relationship with them and they have grown to trust me (they let me eq and do my own compression before I send the DI)

    When I know I have an inexperienced soundman that is when I bring a practice amp or a sansamp. If I have no PA support, I bring the backline.

    The PA system in church is MUCH better than what I can afford - two 18" subs, plenty of 12" cabs, 2000W... I can't complain. There is no compelling reason to bring an amp imho for those situations.
  14. 3506string


    Nov 18, 2004
    Lawton, OK
    If you are like me and MUST be able to hear yourself to play well, I would definitetly use a cabinet set up and use the PA for reinforcment. You will run into Sound techs who always think the bass is too loud. As a general rule of thumb I never want to depend on someone else for any necessary equipment.

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