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What small amp to use as DI and stage monitor ?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Bass301, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Bass301


    Jul 13, 2008
    I am looking for a combo amp to use as a stage monitor and to DI to the PA system . I prefer to not send the bass through the stage monitors.

    My tone is a traditional P-Bass tone as in 1970s rock and 1960s R&B.

    My priority is to send a good tone to the PA system.
    Amp volume only needs to be loud enough for the stage to hear.

    The size of speaker does not seem to be an issue because the DI will bypass the speaker , and as a stage monitor the tone is not a big concern for me. I am more concerned about a great tone for the audience than for me.

    What equipment would you recommend ?
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    If the PA is loud and your band is loud, you'll still need a good sized amp to hear it on stage.
  3. RikiTiki2


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    the Bassman 100 has DI, weighs only 25 pounds, and has tilt-back
  4. hockey_head


    Feb 25, 2008
    those small kickback GKs are really sweet.
  5. The Tech21 Landmark amps have their SansAmp DI built in. I've played around on the 60, and I think it would suit you really well.
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T combo. Nice DI and plenty of stage volume for monitoring...unless your bands stage volume is out of control...
  7. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    The amp is just for you to hear yourself. I sometimes mic the amp, but that is secondary to a DI (Pro48 or J48) off the bass, as I've yet to find the mic useful indoors, as the amp has always been more than loud enough :mad:

    There's a little SWR single 12" that sounds pretty good - I forget the model - it has a blue front panel.

    The Phil Jones amps are said to be very good - and loud - for their size.
  8. Bass301


    Jul 13, 2008
    Thanks to everyone for the replies.

    How about the Line 6 Lowdown series ?
    Studio 110 ...... 75 watts and 10 inch speaker.
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Not a good amp - IMO. I played it and there was no comparison between it and my Genz Benz for exmple.
  10. Ben-Jammin


    Oct 29, 2008
    I've now ditched any heads/amps for in-ears.

    As for DI -- most amp DI's are noisy/distorted, even on high end heads. I had both an Eden that produced noise and a hartke which provided distortion. There have been many-a-time where I've had to get bass players to run through an external DI because of this running FOH for big gigs.

    If you're in a situation where good DI's aren't supplied for you, I would pick up a decent DI for travelling with you.
    A Cable Factory DI-Pro(Lundahl Transformer) is a great choice or Radial(Jensen Transformer).
  11. guylewis

    guylewis Commercial User

    Nov 23, 2007
    owner, bassguitarthumbrests.com & classicguitarboxes.com
    Roland Bass Cube 100 for me.

    Its loud enough for stage monitoring/rehearsals, small and light, sounds great and has good post/pre options for DI out.

    A very "musical" choice if you take a little time to find your sound . . . forget the effects though!

    Its also cheaper than most of the previous suggestions!
  12. cwhitaker


    Nov 11, 2008
    A nice Direct box and use in-ears, you hear better (much better) with your own mix and you can add what ever else you need and seperate volumes. A bass amp is really just a monitor on stage and sound professionals want a clean sound anyway. Lots of times at smaller clubs the sound guy ends up taking the bass out of the mix due to the fact the stage volume is too high any way.

    That's my thought and experience of over 15 years of professional playing live.
  13. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    I'm going to second the Roland Cube. It's got a very good DI on it, wide range of tones, and is loud enough for what you're looking for.
  14. Bass301


    Jul 13, 2008
    Original poster checking in and resurrecting my own thread from a few years ago.

    Also being a guitarist as well as a bassist, how about the idea of installing a 12 inch bass speaker in a 1x12 guitar combo amp instead of using a separate amp when playing
    bass ?

    As a guitarist I have always been advised to use a bass amp when playing bass , rather than playing bass through a guitar amp, because a bass speaker is voiced and manufactured for bass.

    But what if using a bass speaker and the electronics of a good sounding tube guitar amp ?
  15. CElton

    CElton I'm a new note finder...

    My son plays guitar thru a Mesa Walkabout 12. Sounds great. The WA is also a great combo for DI and filling the stage for bass.
  16. Wow, yeah this is an old thread. I recommend either a Contryman 85 or Radial J48 DI box to feed the FOH - and you didn't say which combo you ending up getting 6 years ago (if any)? But I like the new GK MB series bass combo amps and probably a 15-30W guitar amp for guitar would be better - but you could use an MB too.
  17. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Remember, it's not just the speaker, but the cabinet as well. An open back cabinet that many guitar cabs use will probably not provide the excursion protection a sealed or even ported cab will have.

    Two suggestions: Audition several styles and configurations of bass cabs, some actually are quite lively, responsive, and effective guitar amps believe it or not, and of course some sound like just playing through a sterile and lifeless PA.

    The second, find your guitar "tone" with pedals or effect rack and run into a powered speaker, such as a QSC K12 or similar.

    I personally have found MY solution for a bass and guitar amp, a small Ampeg BA112 combo. It's only 50 watts, but it's very sufficient for bass for my smaller gigs. However, it's a tone monster and it's a surprisingly fantastic blues guitar amp. Very crispy, shimmery, and bright highs, very responsive, and a good amount of built in grit for digging in.

    Anyway, audition several solutions, what you are asking about can be done, but it's the path less travelled.

    Remember, trust your ears and if it sounds good, it is good. :bassist:

    Good luck.
  18. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    A big part of the voicing of a bass cab has to do with the box it's in. This is true much more than with guitar cabs. That said, my fist amp was an open-back(!) Gorilla combo (only open-back bass amp I've ever seen). About 70 watts, I think, and no tuning of the box, there. Not much going on in the way of actual bass but didn't sound half-bad from the low-mids on up. Played some shows in high school with it to raucous applause. :)

    If I read your post right, you're planning on using the same amp to switch between guitar and bass? Don't know how your guitar will sound through a bass speaker -- I've heard some sound pretty decent -- but I see other issues:
    • EQ/tone settings will likely be substantially different between guitar and bass.
    • You need a lot more power to drive a bass to the same volume as a guitar.
    The have been some very sweet bass tones achieved with old, low-wattage, tube PA and guitar heads, but they're also usually at low volume.

    The Walkabout has a WONDERFUL DI. Really clean, toneful, and preserves some of that tubey "bounce" you can get with the WA. It is post-EQ (not a bad thing in the Walkabout's case) AND, unusually, is affected by the master volume, if I recall correctly, along with the DI level. Kinda weird, but the sound is amazing, especially for the 60s-70s P-bass stuff you're talking about.

    Genz Benz amps have a very high quality DI, too -- nice clean signal -- though you won't get the tubey feel of the Walkabout's DI.

    The GK and Markbass amps I've owned have had decent DIs -- certainly useable live -- but not as clean as the above two.

    For the record, I own a Walkabout head, but I've never played the combo.

    There are some little VOX guitar amps selling for $100 new now that sound better and go louder than I'd have expected. Plenty for stage monitoring. As for bass amps/cabs for monitoring only, I like the idea of a small tilt-able cab. Lots and lots of options depending on how much dough you want to lay out, how loud your band is on-stage, whether the monitor's for you only or it needs to take care of the rest of the band, and how complicated you're willing to get.

    One interesting option, a Bill Fitzmaurice Wedgehorn 10. (Never built one, but I have played through his "Jack" cabs -- most efficient cabs I've ever heard. I would not use the piezo array option in the jacks for the kind of bass tone you describe, though.)
  19. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Great minds -- or even yours and mine, in this case ;) -- think alike. I think you posted while I was up getting a pop-tart. (Note to self: Stop eating those things.)

    Now that I think about it, I've played through an Ampeg combo at a local jam. Not sure of the model -- has a tilt-back and makes for a chunky one-handed schlep -- but it's loaded with a 12" or a 15" and I'm pretty sure it's more than 50 watts. A fun and capable P-bass/Motown amp up to moderate/maybe moderately-loud volumes (this in the context of people who play too loud) and I could see it being good with guitar, too.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    So 6 years later you still haven't got it figured out? ;)

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