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Using an Amp without a Cabinet?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Grrface, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Grrface


    Jun 26, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    Surely I'm missing something here, maybe I just need some explanation.

    I currently play bass for my church, in a couple of different bands there. We use (I believe) a GK210 on stage, and Avioms for our monitoring. Since we have the Avioms, the sound tech prefers I turn the output off on the amp and run straight through the built-in DI. However, I'm not quite satisfied with my sound. If I were to buy a new amp, perhaps a MarkBass LMII, etc., could I just run the amp without buying cabinets? Theoretically, it's the same as what we're doing now.

    Or is it worth it to look into a proper DI, like an MXR M-80 or a SansAmp?
  2. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    sounds like in your situation you'd get more result out of a tone-shaping preamp with a DI, like the Sansamp or M-80. the amp WILL give you tone-shaping, but you're going to be paying a lot more for the power section that you might not be using.

    hope that helps.
  3. Grrface


    Jun 26, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    That answers my question quite well. Thanks for the help!
  4. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I did that for a little while actually. Had an SWR 350x or something.

    The best thing I ever got while using the IEM/Aviom setup for my old church gig was the Avalon U5 or my Demeter bass preamp. Gives you a lot of flexibility but no need for the whole shebang. Also look at the Aguilar Tone Hammer and the new Eden DI. Both are pretty slick.
  5. Barcza

    Barcza Supporting Member

    May 1, 2005
    If the amp's DI has post EQ option, It must be works.
  6. get a sans amp vt-bass deluxe, or at least try one out
  7. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    yeppers. the reason people are suggesting other DI/Preamp's is because a head like the Mark Bass is really two sections, a preamp section and a power section. when you buy something like the Aguilar Tone Hammer, the Eden DI, or the Sansamp series you're buying JUST the preamp section. which would be run to your house board and amplified by the sound tech's power amps.

    so, if you have no need for the power section then it's kinda a waste of money to buy a full head in your situation i think.

    lol.... there are a LOT of preamp pedals out there tho! and so many wonderful choices. but.... it is the "gateway drug" of effects pedals. so be careful. pretty soon you'll have 19 fuzz pedals that have marginal differences.
  8. However ..... if you buy a Markbass (or whatever) amp based on it's tone, that same sound will be there when you need to use the power amp section in the future.
  9. James Simonson

    James Simonson

    Feb 2, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    Endorsing Artist : Ernie Ball and Ampeg
    Walkabout scout 12' if you want speaker or a REDDI d.i. box to go direct
  10. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    lol.... so, OBVIOUSLY by the 7 different suggestions there is one perfect preamp/DI for everybody. so, like most effects, it's probably best to just take note of the suggestions and find a place that will let you try them out so you can find the one that has the tone for you.

    some of them, like the Deluxe stuff from Sansamp (Bass Drive Deluxe and the much better VT Bass Deluxe) give you extra options like save spots. so you can go between tones and dirty/clean sounds on the fly with a footswitch.

    there are a LOT of options out there, i'm sure you'll be able to find one that suits you.

    ...... just.... stay away from fuzz pedals. that's a painful, expensive, obsessive road to start down.
  11. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    if you still intend to use the amp elsewhere with cabinets, for other gigs/jams/whatever, than something like a LMII will work with the master volume off and no cabinet attached.

    but if thats all your doing, just get a DI- thats what they're made for.
  12. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    While you're out Checking out different units, don't plug 'em into bass amps. Plug 'em into PAs or keyboard amps if you have to. You don't want a bass amp's coloration to give you a false impression.
  13. Grrface


    Jun 26, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    Thanks for all of the recommendations. Looks like I've got some shopping around to do. The challenge is staying under the $200 mark, since that's about all the pursestrings will allow at the moment.

    At the moment, tossing the SansAmp Para Driver pedal and the MXR M-80 around. Like the idea of the M-80, just for the fun of having a distortion pedal built in, and it seems fairly well reviewed around here.
  14. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    see if you can find an Aguilar Tone Hammer. it's like the M-80 where it has an overdrive switch as well. and i think it has a much more usable range of tones. lol, but again, that's all subjective stuff. i've found them online for around $200.

    happy hunting!

    -- also, where are you at? there might be some TB'ers near you that you could hook up with and try out their stuff.
  15. Grrface


    Jun 26, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    Dallas, TX area.

    Tone Hammer? Hadn't considered it, but I'll definitely take a look.
  16. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    well, i'm in Cali, so that leaves me out.

    the Tone Hammer a pretty beastly pedal. i lovd my VT Deluxe, but i'm a huge Aguilar fanboy. if i didn't use a couple different basses with very different tones i'd really consider a Tone Hammer. it's good stuff.
  17. atlboriqua


    Nov 13, 2007
    Alot of it depends on the bass you are using as well. For my church I run through an SVT-CL head into the system because I like the tube warmth it gives my Fender Deluxe. The head also gives me the option of running a cabinet for special events which is a plus as well. However for my Sadowsky, I could plug it straight into a DI and it would still sound amazing. I still plug it into the head to get the tuby feel which is nice, but since we are possibly going to be making some changes, I am looking into a Tube DI instead of the head.
  18. Malachi71


    Oct 11, 2007
    I play through a Sansamp RPM at my church and have been pleased with the tone. I don't use a power amp or cab either although I do have them if needed.

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