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Using PA monitor as Bass Cab???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    So the other night I brought my Yorkville YX 1-12 to band rehearsal (in a small space). Man, it sounded great and I could hear myself so clearly with the cab placed tilted back horizontally in front of me.

    So this got me thinking... maybe I could use both my Yorkville YX 1-12s at my smaller gigs. Place one infront of me in the standard monitor position and one behind me for the audience. Pretty sure I will hear myself clear as a bell.

    So what are the drawbacks of using these monitors as bass cabs?

  2. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    I have thought about doing this many times. I have an Avalon U5 on the way for a preamp/DI. Most of my gigs are PA supported and all I need is a monitor. Makes sense - especially is you aren't one of those "I need my amp for my tone" guys. For stand alone gigs I don't need a lot of bottom or volume - jazz background stuff - so a "PA" type of cab would probably sound as good or better as my current combo.
  3. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    As long as you HPF the lows to match the cab's low end limit, and apply common sense re volume and distortion, then using these should be the same as using any other cab.
  4. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    I've wondered about a VT Bass Deluxe or Para Driver DI --> an NX55P (for E tuned bass) or an NX750P (B tuned bass) which could double as a vocal monitor or be used as a hi-fi back line in conjunction with an NX720S.
  5. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
  6. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    Is it because of the horn?
    Maybe it "feels/sounds" clear because you're hearing the high end of the horn..and you like the horn. maybe...
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    Low end response and X-Max I suppose.

    I think the new Yamaha DSR112 (available in November) would be a nice option. That and an Avalon U5 seem like a nice little rig.
  8. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    You will want an electronic high pass filter before your amplifier at around 60-70hz at least (I'd even go up to whatever the crossover frequency of your subwoofer mains is). But it's a great idea for stage monitoring if you're willing to let the subs do your low end.
  9. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Possibly, but I think its more about the angle of the wedge style placement.
  10. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    There are no subs. This would be for small venues. Vocals only in PA.
  11. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Why not just add horns to your 3012HO cabs? Don's getting them back anyway. Chances are good a nice horn could fit in there, and be crossed over around 2khz or so. Well worth it and will be way cleaner than the PA monitor -- more bass extension and louder as well.
  12. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    That's a great suggestion. I'll think it over.
  13. tekhedd

    tekhedd Tone chaser Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Colorado, USA
    Owner/operator of BYTE HEAVEN
    I like the yorkville speakers. Heavy but compact and sweet sounding.

    I've been thinking about doing something similar. The problem is that monitors are designed with the expectation that you won't be pushing much sub-100Hz energy at all... so the high-pass recommendation is a good one. I was also considering that you could add a small powered sub (and micro crossover or something?) and pretty much be ready for anything. The problem is finding a monitor that can stand on its own for small to mid-sized gigs.

    Of course, a good hi-fi bass cabinet is basically a stage monitor with enhanced low frequency power handling, but... you'd think some of these beefier powered wedges would be perfect, no?
  14. hensonbass

    hensonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I just ordered one of these:


    Notice the horn driver in this puppy. I think this could be an interesting alternative for players who want high fidelity with good bass response.

    As someone who plays a lot of upright bass, I find that I play better when I can hear the mid to high frequencies of the bass clearly. I've also become accustomed to in-ear monitors so I'm attuned to hearing my bass more like you would in a studio setting.

    Most gigs these days have some type of PA support so why not have a cab that really serves as a true bass monitor for you? I get bummed out when my amp has to be the sole sound source for a room. I find myself over emphasizing a particular frequency range to accommodate what the audience hears and then it sounds like crap for standing next to it. Or visa versa.
  15. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I've always been against doing this sort of thing because I've seen too many LF drivers blown in tiny reflex cabs because too much was demanded of them -- i.e. EQ'ing the crap out of the low end to compensate for poor cab response down there. However, two points have already been mentioned and I think they're good ones. First, high-passing the signal chain using a steep filter is a great safety measure. Second, any cab with too high a cutoff (or driver-unload) frequency will have the same problem of potential LF driver damage. There are lots of cabs like that out there masquerading as bass cabs. So I think it comes down to this: best practices. Understand what your instrument, tone, playing style, music style, and audience size will demand of the cab at the bottom end, make plans for all that, and execute them. Especially crucial with drop tuning, five-strings, or a bass-heavy tone. And above all, pay attention to what the LF drivers are doing -- visually as well as audibly. Oftentimes you can spot distress visually long before it shows up audibly, when it's often too late.

    Finally, I think if you're going to use PA kit for BG, you should consider your midrange requirements as well as your low-end requirements. Fifteens and horns -- even twelves and horns -- have always made me cringe. In many cases I think bass players are better served by cabs that cross over low to large-ish cone midranges than by cabs that cross over high to compression drivers+horns. Most players I've seen using LF+horn cabs have an epiphany the first time they play through a cab with LF+midrange cone(s). Things suddenly open way up, and clarity and definition replace grate and sizzle. Problem is, you don't find many monitors built this way, for various reasons.

    I'm still struggling mightily with the idea of $700 for a tiny cab with a twelve and a horn. But then I'm also struggling with the idea of $5,000 for a bass head+18" FH. So... eh. :meh:
  16. I own huge amps.. the reality is that I commonly gig kickback amps due to this.

    Sheesh I find that I can effectively DI to a FOH using a small 1-10 kickback.
  17. bassdaddyfive


    Feb 12, 2009
    Kenosha Wi.
    I have seen other threads about some bassplayers using Carvin P.A. cabs for bass with good results. I think it was one of the 3 way cabs with a 15" bass driver. I have used a Mackie SM450 with a Radial Tone Bone from time to time. You just have to watch the low end volume, that's what subs are for.
  18. I gig with a upright using just a pa. We are using jbl mrx 15's as mains and a single mrx 12' as a monitor. It's a 3 piece bluegrass band playing at small bars and outdoor patio bars on waterfronts. I have been really happy with the tone i get with a fishman pro platinum preamp to our powered mixer which is a peavey x8600. The monitor does not have alot of oomph but i can usually hear some bass coming off the mains and it's been enough.

    I have not had as much success using a bass guitar with the same set up. I have tried a fender p-bass and it was just lacking. I have been considering adding a sub. I just can't seem to wrap my mind around how to set this up with a powered mixer.

    Do i get a powered sub and use the crossover in the sub to biamp to the mains?

    Do i get a passive subwoofer and run it with our 1 monitor to drive the power amp down to 4 ohms. On the monitor side, we are already at 4ohms on the mains.

    Or do i get a seperate crossover and hook it up to our powered mixer somehow.

    It would seem to me getting a powered sub would be ideal. Would i run a line out of the poweredmixer to the sub and then hook the mains to the sub? I don't want to comprimise the rest of the bands sound just so i could have a sub woofer.

    But to the op question i have had success using my upright with just a pa cab but not so much with my electric bass.
  19. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Another option...

    Just use of my 112s wedge style with this (which I already own):


    Then use the other 112 for the audience.

    Money spent = zero.

    If I had an amp that could 2.67 ohms I could use one of my 8 ohm 112s as the wedge monitor and my 1212BMF for the audience (as long as they played nice).

    Is there no concern of phase cancelleation or anything like that? I know many say its best to stack your cabs one on top of the other.
  20. Govier966


    Apr 28, 2009
    New York
    i use a peavy pr5 as my bass cab and i prefer it over both my old gk glx 2x10 and an old mesa 1x15 i used recently.
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