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What makes a PA different than a regular amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Youngspanion, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Thats it.
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    1. "Voicing" of the preamp, i.e., how it sounds when the EQ knobs are centered.

    2. PA has microphone inputs

    3. PA speakers are typically intended to be more full range

    4. Bass amps tend to be more intelligently operated. :D

    5. Some bass amps are designed to distort in a musically useful way

    6. Consider relative size, weight, cost, etc.

    If you have PA gear at your disposal, it's worth trying it out for bass use before buying a bass amp.
  3. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    What exactly are you looking for. I own our PA, I DI into the PA through my amp, using my cab like a stage monitor.
    What are you looking to do?
  4. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    PA speakers are not designed for the heavy excursion delivered by a bass. They'll often be ruined when used as a bass speaker.
  5. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    I want to have my Little mark 2 head work for vocals. Just plug a mic into the input and have vocals.
  6. cooldude_832


    Sep 28, 2008
    I think you can plug it right in with a few exceptions

    I was told the inputs on most heads are "unbalanced" and a mic is a balanced signal. So you may have issues here

    Secondly most mics have XLR inputs and amps are TRS 1/4

    Thirdly you have no mixing console intermediate in what you said so you have a very limited control over the mic.

    If u want to do it for cheap get a small 6 channel mixer and mix into your amp's inputs it'll probably be better for you.
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    A good pa will have a lot more channels, a lot more power for overhead and it should reproduce the sound cleanly.

    My favorite way to gig is the have a small or medium sized bass amp miked with an sm57 into a big honking pa with subwoofers, midrange, and tweeters ...
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    A good pa can handle the bass easily.

    a cheap pa is for vocals only.

    a good pa handles the whole band. A good pa gives the bass drum a 20hz thud that can be felt. A good pa can clearly reproduce the sound of you licking your lips in front of the mike.

    The modern approach is to mike everything into the pa. The old school approach is the pa only does vocals.
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I use PA speakers in my bass Rig. I use eminence 10s that are designed for PA useage. They have a wonderful tone that punches through with great mids, and plenty of low end and plenty of high end.
  10. cooldude_832


    Sep 28, 2008

    Your are using the term "PA" too widely here

    a Good monitor gives a bass drumer the 20hz thud he wants when its driven through an amp that is hooked through a crossover that is into a compressor that is into an eq that goes back to the mixer which has the basss ran into it via a sm57 in front of the full stack on stage.

    That being said and back to the OP

    an Amp in a bass amp sense is a way to make noise
    a PA is more of a complex unity of equipment to make your noises and everyone Else's noise.
  11. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006
    For a really killer bass tone through the PA, DI AND mic your bass cab, then blend the two at the board.
  12. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Why you can't or shouldn't bother plugging a mic into an instrument amp input (some copied from earlier posts):

    1. Mic XLR plug won't fit 1/4" guitar-style jack.

    2. Balanced mic line will lost 6dB if you convert it to 1/4" with a simple adapter. If you use a transformer adapter, level is maintained but quality may suffer.

    3. Output of a mic is considerably less than an instrument. There may not be sufficient input gain in the instrument amp.

    4. An instrument amp's voicing and EQ are designed for the instrument, not for vocals.

    5. An instrument speaker cabinet isn't designed to reproduce vocals.
  13. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006
    Drums; through the board, inserts out to compression and gate, then back to the board. The monitors (in a typical bar type PA) don't go through the crossover, only the subs and mid highs for FOH, and are usually driven by dedicated power amps (1 channel for vocal mix, 1 channel for the drummers mix) Also, when you say through the EQ you're being a little misleading. The only thing you use the 31 band EQ's for is to isolate the frequencies causing feedback. Everything gets EQ'd at the board.
  14. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    what everyone else said...
  15. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    i dont think your mind realizes the ridiculousness your fingers just finished typing.

    and how many monitors do you know can deliver 20Hz???
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Most bass amps have TS inputs.
  17. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    this is an intelligent answer...
  18. cooldude_832


    Sep 28, 2008
    I was simply stating the obviousness that a PA rig usually contains lot more items to process a signal than a simple instrument into an amp.

    and yeah I know usually a monitor mix is pretty dry.

    and I do use an EQ on the front of house mix for more than feedback reduction. I have a box that listens to white noise out of my FOH setup and from there I adjust for hot spots in the room to give a more even tone from left to right.

    I think we've beaten the thread into the ground though
  19. Got me. The DeltatliteII 2512s are "PA Speakers," but that's what Avatar puts in their SB112 and 212 cabs...
  20. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004

    did anyone here notice that the OP is using a MarkBass LMII????

    this amp HAS a balanced XLR input that will accept a microphone!

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