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Self powered PA speaker options

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Hoyt, Apr 4, 2021.


  1. Hoyt

    Hoyt

    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Last night I plugged my new EBS Stanley Clarke Preamp directly into my Crest Prolite 2.0 to feed my Greenboy F212 and was thrilled with the results.
    I also plugged it into my friends small PA and was equally as pleased.
    This got me thinking. I’ve been looking for a smaller bass combo for smaller gigs, but many of the options I’ve been looking at are either expensive or come with the manufacturers own “baked in” tone.

    I know some people have had some success using powered monitors as their bass combo.

    I was looking at the Mackie Thump 15A or 12A. With 1300 watts they should both have more than enough headroom, and the weight seems manageable.

    Does anyone have any recommendations as to what worked well for them?
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
  2. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Self powered? You mean batteries?

    If you're talking about "powered speakers," the QSC "K" series (8, 10, 12) are widely highly-regarded. Mackies, not so much. I've had good results with a QSC K8 (in a small room). The 10 or 12 should be as good or better. I would stay away from a 15.
     
  3. Hoyt

    Hoyt

    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Yes, powered loudspeakers. I haven’t had nearly enough coffee yet this morning ;)
     
    AGCurry likes this.
  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Oregon
    My last Mackie powered speaker (SRM350v2) was THE most unreliable piece of junk I have ever owned. Their service department just prolonged the ordeal and wasted more of my money. Mackie used to be great, but that brand is dead to me, now.
    Those QSC "K" units seem pretty solid. I use a couple of 10s for various PA tasks. Nice size & weight and they can really crank!
     
    mark286 and Hoyt like this.
  5. mark286

    mark286 Proud to be a Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Central New Jersey
    I have QSC K12s and K10s that I use for both mains and monitors for the band PA depending on the venue.

    The QSCs also work well as a personal monitor for electric bass, but if I have to carry the room with my bass rig (e.g., the bass is not in the PA and/or the PA does not have subs), I'd much prefer to have a regular bass amp. A single 10 or 12 can only do so much.

    For upright, the QSCs work very well as an amp substitute when needed. I'm able to go straight from the pickup (currently using a Realist Lifeline) to the QSC without needing a preamp. However, I do use one of Fdeck's high pass filters which I understand can add a couple dBs of gain.

    The QSCs provide plenty of volume for my various upright gigs (bluegrass, singer/songwriter, folk, jazz trio with vocalist), but these gigs generally are not very loud. The PA is used for vocals only for the most part and the drummer in the trio plays with a light touch.
     
    Ryan in PDX, Jefenator and Hoyt like this.
  6. bassmanbrent

    bassmanbrent Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I used a QSC K10 for a couple years. I was experimenting with a bunch of different gear at the time so my thoughts on it may be a little skewed. I never got it to sound the way I hoped it would. I felt like I couldn't get it to punch through in a full band context. To me it felt like it sounded better at 30 feet than it did right in front of me, which wasn't what I needed. Lots of folks seem to like them though...
     
    mark286 and Hoyt like this.
  7. Seanto

    Seanto

    Dec 29, 2005
    USA
    If you just want a cheap beater option to get your feet wet, check out Alto. I've had pretty good results with a 12 inch powered speaker from them, although i kinda wish i got the 10 inch instead for transport reasons.
     
    Cheez and Hoyt like this.
  8. Hoyt

    Hoyt

    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Anyone have any luck with any of Yamaha’s offerings? Their quality control has always been really great in my experience, and their products seem to really last.
     
  9. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Electro-Voice ZLX series for a more economical option than QSC. Better than Mackie, IME. I’ve owned, used/played through all three. EV is the happy medium. I opted for the ZLX 15P to be able to reproduce the fundamental lows.
     
    DrMole and Hoyt like this.
  10. Hoyt

    Hoyt

    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    This would definitely be for smaller settings. We’re starting a drummerless trio (mostly roots, country, adaptations of rock & reggae) for quiet local bar/coffee shop gigs. The EBS SCBP has a lovely HPF on it, so I should be able to eek out a few more db’s as well.
     
  11. mark286

    mark286 Proud to be a Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Central New Jersey
    A powered 10 like the QSC 10.2 I have could really work well for you then. It is compact and light and has all kinds of digital signal processing (DSP) options if you want to use them (I don't so much, but the DSP is easy to use through LCD display on the back).

    Lots of options these days -- JBL, EV, etc. I've personally had really good luck with QSC over the years. Not cheap, but super reliable with a lot of features, and excellent sound.
     
    lrhbass, Hoyt and Jefenator like this.
  12. mark286

    mark286 Proud to be a Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Central New Jersey
    For sure -- they get surprisingly loud for their size. The original K series were advertised at 1,000 watts, and the .2 series at 2,000 watts. Everyone who hears them always remarks how clean and crisp they sound. Lots of headroom, even when used outdoors IME.
     
    dhergert, Hoyt and Jefenator like this.
  13. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I -layer lots of gigs with a QSC K8 and a Grace Designs Felix, It sounded pretty great until I got my first powered MAS 1/8. The difference between them is
    like night and day. That’s a pretty expensive option, so I realize it’s out of reach for many other players. Just my take the QSC’s are a very viable option.
     
    DrMole and Hoyt like this.
  14. Hoyt

    Hoyt

    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    I think if I was to spend that kind of money, I’d get a Greenboy F112 and just use my Crest power amp to be honest. For a power amp it’s incredibly clean, lightweight, and dependable.

    Nothing against Mike’s designs, and I understand that they (MAS) have a powered option, but I’ve been so happy with my Greenboy that I don’t think I’d take a chance or spend that kind of money on anything else.
     
    Ric Vice likes this.
  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Well, I, think that you have to like the cabinets you use. Mike’s powered cabinets are not cheap, but his new unpowered MAS 1/8 is something I’d look into even if
    you decide to go with the Greenboy. Their great cabinets, so to each their own. Mike makes incredibly lightweight, compact, and sound amazing.
     
    Hoyt likes this.
  16. bassically_eli

    bassically_eli Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2010
    Mebane, NC
    The RCF Art 3xx series, Art 7xx, and HD series might be something to consider. I don't have any first hand experience, but I've been eyeballing them for a long time. The reviews I've read are very positive, and they are priced very reasonably. Check Reverb for steeply discounted B-stock units. The consensus seems to be that RCF makes some very hi-fi speakers that compete well against much more expensive brands.
     
    Hoyt likes this.
  17. bassically_eli

    bassically_eli Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2010
    Mebane, NC
    Is Mike still making any 8"s? I think he went to all 5" and 6.5" based designs. His website is out of date, and he only seems to post occasional updates on FB nowadays.
     
    Hoyt likes this.
  18. Hoyt

    Hoyt

    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Thank you everyone for the fantastic suggestions. Seems like the QSC options might be the best option. Now to try and convince my better half to let me spend some of our stimmy;)

    Thanks again! :)
     
  19. brisonic

    brisonic

    Jan 1, 2006
    san diego
    I have used a PA setup for a bass amp and I do like it much for its fuller range sound. Especially if you like mids it can be good. My intro to doing this was with a Peavey powered mixer, 2 of their SP-2 cabs, a pair of smaller 2 way Toa 1x12 cabs, and a crown amp with it when I needed real loudness. It was quite good.
     
    Hoyt likes this.
  20. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    When, I spoke with Mike in late February, he was still building the 1/8 with a new Ciare 8. He’s been banned from Talkbass.
     
    bassically_eli and Hoyt like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 18, 2021

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