QSC K12 - PA setup for Bass... Sensible? Sacrilege?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jasondb, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. jasondb


    Jul 26, 2013

    I started playing in a 3-piece cover band, and we have a couple QSC K12s and KSub for our live sound. For the first couple gigs I tried running directly through the PA without my rig, and was really surprised at how good the bass sounded.

    I've been really happy with my setup (SVT-4 Pro with PR 410 HLF), but I have been considering moving to a K12 with a Tech 21 V Bass (they have a fancy website that talks about this type of setup). I would have to sell my current rig in order to make that happen.

    Part of my reasoning is that I now live on the 3rd floor with no elevator, and the cab takes 2 people to carry downstairs. I'm not ready to relegate it to the garage (I live in Florida...), so it is not practical to lug around.

    I haven't been in the market to change things up for the time I've had my rig, and it appears that a lot has changed. I'm told (by "them") that more and more bassists are migrating to the kind of setup I'm talking about, but I'm not completely sold...

    I would truly appreciate any thoughts or opinions, as I am truly stuck on this decision.
  2. I am inches away from going that route. I love my MB212 - it's light and powerful, but I get a better sound going through the PA with A Zoom MS60B. I think with the right pre / emulator, this could be a better way to go.
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    A friend of mine was in a band that had all QSC and NO AMPS allowed. Everyone (even the electronic drums) ran through the PA. That band had one of the most balanced sounds of any I've heard. However, if the soundman was in a particular mood, he could reduce the bass to almost nothing (and he did that a couple of times). My friend ended up leaving the band. But, when it was done properly, the band sounded great.
  4. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    With the stellar quality of preamp pedals and modelers I'm convinced this is a viable option for live sound!
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Powered FOH cabs are better than ever. This is a win.
  6. Mehve


    Jun 2, 2012
    Kitchener, ON
    I tried the k12 route myself. I can see where some people might like it, but I found the unit hit below its weight, making a sub pretty much mandatory for gig volumes. And at that price/weight, you have lots of other proper bass options. For PA use they're quite nice though.
  7. +1

    I used to jam with a band that used one of these for electronic drums. Could never dial in the sound I wanted, and it wasnt that loud. We also found that after running it for a few hours there was a noticable amount of thermal compression from the rig.

  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I hear those QSC K rigs are the bees knees! I would not give up my stage rig though. Would require a stage full of 'good' monitors. I just can't get used to the IEM's! I would downsize the rig to maybe a 1x12 cab.
  9. gmarcus

    gmarcus Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    I'm using Electro Voice PA speakers and sub for my rig. It works well. I stand right in front of it so it feels like a bass amp. We played a no amps allowed gig and the club had big suspended speakers and these little JBL monitors mounted on either side of the stage. That was a disaster. I could hear myself but the sound was so far away that it was hard to lock in with the drummer.

    If you go the PA route, you probably want to consider a small monitor for your own sound that you control. The EV ELX112P has been working for me. I run a small pedal board in front of it which includes a fdeck HPF VT Bass and Pork Loin. Those three give me a big beefy sound and I know that what I hear coming out of my monitor is pretty much what the front of house is getting. The high pass filter (fdeck HPF) is essential for tightening up the low end when you are using subs.


    He is some info on my experiments


    I added a small sub woofer for when we have no PA support, but the elx 112p is plenty if you are plugged into a PA with Subs.

    Another option is to make sure that you are standing right next to the PA speakers if possible so you can hear yourself.

    My band is not super loud, but we do have a full drum set and electric guitar.
  10. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    My friend's band didn't use IEM's. They had all monitors. No matter where I stood (in front, to the side, on the side) the band sounded good. They had a lot of those QSC's and subs.
  11. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    The Bergantino CN212 weighs in at 46 lbs. I can one hand it up two flights of stairs. FWIW
  12. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    It's a snap to add a powered sub to a powered cab. And a single sub can support multiple tops. Still fairly lightweight. Powered PA cabs are a strong force.
  13. I use the K-series PA, and it does sound great. All instruments sound great through them period. Plug and play for the most part.

    I also play bass and have a separate rig for that specifically-- because I want a certain tone on stage.

    If your band already has the QSC PA, there's really no need for you to add more PA gear, unless you want your own. I am thinking that you may actually need a smaller bass cab or two smaller cabs for easier handling.
  14. nostatic


    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I've gigged K8 and K10s. They are ok but pale in comparison to my regular rig wrt how they handle transient peaks and the way the mids speak. I love them for PA use and I don't have a sub. If you have to carry a K12 and a QSC sub, my rig is way less weight and will sound way better (the sub ain't light).

    Totally depends on your gigs though - the style of music, the rooms you play, along with other factors.
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    If the "soundman" was there for the band's benefit, why the mood thing? :scowl:
  16. It's not crazy talk if you're getting good tone and volume. There is a problem if your band PA is one sub and two k12. You don't want to have full range bass rig pumping out lows or it'll screw up FOH.

    You could hpf a k12 onstage for bass monitor or go whole band IEM.
  17. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio!

    Jul 3, 2001
    Chester, Connecticut
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    If you don't want to add a sub, you can set the K12 to "DEEP," which extends the low-frequency response through EQ boost in the DSP. There is a trade-off, though: that boost comes at the expense of power amp headroom.
  18. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The deep helps but I don't think the K12 will do it alone without a sub no matter how you set it. They're great speakers, but they just don't cut it on bass reproduction when used alone. My cover band had a set and without subs we had to run a separate bass rig or there was a very clear lack of lows.
  19. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio!

    Jul 3, 2001
    Chester, Connecticut
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Did you try it with the deep setting?
  20. musicman7722


    Feb 12, 2007
    Hampton NH
    I use 2 x K12 subs and either 12" tops or two K10's. I use the panning method from the board and only send bass, kick and keys into the sub. All instruments go through the tops. The tops are set with the hpf. Man the bass and drums are killer that way.

Share This Page