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Should a good bass amplifier, also sound good on music/PA ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jsa0100, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. jsa0100


    Apr 6, 2005
    When i have bought PA amplifiers i have always tested them with a hi end Yamaha CD player
    and our PA main speakers Peavey Hi-SYS4 (2x15" and Horn), and a pair of older JBL studio monitor
    with a 15", and some times against my Hi-Fi speakers (Scanspeak).

    Well i have tested some of my bass amps the same way.
    Perhaps i am way of, but shouldn't a good bass head also be able to play music
    with high quality through one of the speakers ?

    Well i did so and tested (Hartke 7000, MusicMan 65, Peavey Classic head, Peavey DPB 300 and some others)
    I also tested PA power amplifiers against the same heads (Ramsa 2x300watt and QSC 1300).

    They all sound a bit different.

    The MusicMan and Peavey Head sounds a bit the same, and it takes 1/2 hour before they sound
    good. The Peavey amp however sounds a lot nicer when driven harder, while the MusicMan becomes a bit fuzzy.
    However the mid range down to mid bass has a pleasing tone.

    Some has claimed the Digital amp DPB 300 to be sounding hard, but it did not.
    It was a surprise, however driven very hard hard it became a bit grainy, but not in the bass area.

    Hartke 700, Sounds good, but at the higher volumes the treble is a bit grainy.
    Sounds closer to a PA amp.

    Peavey MAX 160, i bought this as a backup amp. And a lower volumes it has a nice tone,
    But as i increases the volume this 160 watt doesn't have the deeper punch that the
    DBP 300, and hartke heads have. Still a surprise.

    So i then tried the two PA amps, and they overall sounds nicer. Also in the bass area.
    Both deeper and more powerful.But the midrange of the two tube amps are nice, after
    proper warm up.

    I know that this bass heads are not high end amplifiers.
    But this leads me towards the ide that using a Preamp/DI box etc against a PA amplifier
    can be the best solution, for mid range equipment ?
    Specially if the preamp can give you a bit softer sound like a tube amp. ?
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Bass amps and speakers are not intended to deliver flat response, so they will not work well for PA. There are some exceptions, but not many.
  3. jsa0100


    Apr 6, 2005
    Yes i know they are nonlinear.
    However shouldn't the sound the sound be formed by the bass and the preamp section ?
    If a power amp sounds deep and have good control of the bass, while an other
    power amp sounds thin in the lower bass area would the last one ever sound as good
    as the first by using EQ ?

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