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Sort of like the going ampless topic

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Bassmansc, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Bassmansc


    Nov 30, 2012
    I was wondering what the pros/cons are of using a combo amp with a line out are. I'm mainly a living room player and just joined a band. Ive always just plugged in and played. What effects do I need? How big of a combo do I need? Etc. we are doing country-southern and classic rock tunes. I'm new here and really like this site.
  2. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Welcome to TalkBass.

    I am a "weekend warrior" who has averaged about 70-80 dates a year the last three years. New country, classic country and classic rock genres primarily. On all but a handful of those gigs I used nothing more than my Line6 Lowdown amp which is a single 12-inch speaker and 150 watts, running the balanced out through a P.A. Absolutely no problems hearing myself in the house or onstage, ever.

    The remainder of my gigs have been truly ampless, i.e., bass to SansAmp to board. Those work best with in-ear monitoring however I did do one such gig with wedge monitors and it went fine.
  3. Its fine... All an amp functions as a stage monitor.
  4. Bassmansc


    Nov 30, 2012
    I was wondering if a 150 or so would be strong enough. I'm just playin thru a fender rumble15 on the living room stage and was thinking about a bigger version of that although I've seen an ampeg in the same range used at a good deal. Is there any must have effects needed with a set up such as this? I was looking at a zoom bx1 multi effects because of the budget I'm on. Thanks for the info folks. Much needed.
  5. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    Effects are not necessary, just a good D.I. maybe. If your combo has one built in, you should do just fine with something in the 150 watt range.
  6. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    i've been playing in a cover band for 5 years now. play every friday and saturday night for the most part. pretty much cover every genre of music except bluegrass. i usually DI from my pedal board and run in-ears. im the few occasions i cant use my in-ears i still DI to the PA and bring my Ampeg BA115 for a personal monitor. 100 watts. 115. never had an issue hearing myself.
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    A loud combo amp with a DI can carry a lot of stages, as long as the PA support is reliable and robust. Whether that's enough depends in part on the particular amp you've got and even moreso on the venues in the circuit you'll be playing.

    If your band is all on in-ear monitors and you have PA support, the stage bass amp can be redundant. OTOH, if your bandmates are relying on your amp to supply the onstage bass pulse, you'll need enough amp to cover the gig if the venue's monitor system isn't designed to carry bass. And sometimes, the even the FOH PA in a ratty small venue won't be designed with bass in mind, so a robust stage rig can save the day.

    Best to get the advice of a country player who knows the local/regional circuit. Or, you could start with a combo and move to something bigger only when you know you need it.

    The only downsides of this approach are that you might develop a habit of digging in too much with your right hand, and you'll probably have at least one gig in which you won't be able to hear yourself well. (An amp stand is some insurance. Raising your cab closer to your ears won't help your bandmates lock in with the bass, but at least you'll be able to hear what you're doing.)
  8. Bassmansc


    Nov 30, 2012
    Thank you folks alot. Now if you'll teach me to play flawless I'll be happy! Thanks again y'all.
  9. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    It very much depends on how loud your band plays. I think the right amp into a 15 or a 210 could cover your needs, assuming your band manages their volume and doesn't enter a "I'll go a little louder than you" tit for tat kinda war. If they play loud or you want to play real "thuddy" bass or distorted bass, get that second matching cab up front.

    I used to gig with my SWR Workingman's Pro 15 which is 150 watts into a 15" speaker. It did fine, usually. But usually gets you when it doesn't, right? We'd get to flailing away at a string of rocking songs and "somehow" everyone would inch louder, and I ran out of "louder" before everyone else. I fixed it with two solutions. Solution one was to have the band agree to more responsibly manage our volume levels. Solution two was I got a different combo with more wattage and less total speaker area (Markbass CBD102P which is 300 watts into two 10" speakers). I also put it on a box and stand it on it's side so I can hear it better, and I turn down the lower frequencies so I can cut thru the mix better (and cutting the bass lets you go louder, but shh! on that).

    I could get another 2x10 cab which would make me louder, but I haven't needed that yet.

    Also, we've been getting asked to return to club more often since turning down; bar owners like bands that play great music at a volume that lets the staff hear the food and drink orders from the paying customers.
  10. Opinions -

    Amp --- something with a tilt back cabinet and useable di.... Harte makes some proven amps in this category.... I also have others

    Effects --- save some $$$$ and pick up a zoom b2.1u. The tuner is fast and accurate .... Has a programmable pedal... The di has ground lift --- you can find them for about $65.... I own other $$$$$! Units - the zoom was the best grouping of features and budget
  11. Oh yea -for simplicity combos are useful ...... I can't remember the last time I took out my huge amp
  12. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Been over 3 years for me... and that includes gigs on multiple outdoor stages and some big indoor ones as well.
  13. I'm guessing 4-5 years here

    Even loud players.... Outdoors.... No pa support
  14. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    I kinda have to agree on all points. Before reading this, I only considered myself as the person listening to my amp, but it's true, your bandmates (especially the drummer) need to hear you.

    I play in a rock band with two guitars, Hammond organ, strong drummer. Some places don't run bass through the monitors. I have a 750 watt hybrid tube amp. I have two 1x12s, but playing with bigger cabs has helped my stage volume and tone a lot. Plus you have to consider whether the amp contributes to your tone at all. My amp is definitely part of my overall sound, down to it's built in tube D.I. I never use effects with this amp, the tuner is not even in the chain.
  15. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
  16. +2
  17. hoketus


    Nov 5, 2012
    Toronto, ON, CA
    The biggest con imo is having to lug your gear. I prefer to go without amp when possible. Though this has it's own downsides - I would never do this without knowing the venue (you will need a good sound system and a good tech running it to make it work).
  18. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    My SVT backbreaker hasn't left the house in 10 years.