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Whats Wrong with This Thought?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikarre, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    I was just looking at Carvins website and they have 350 and 425 watt powered full range PA cabinets for not a ton of cash. Why couldn't a bassist just use one of these with a Sans Amp Bass Driver or similar DI device as a pre-amp? Wouldn't it be the same as using a rack mount pre amp, power amp, and several cabs...except more self contained, and way easier to carry.

    Or, use one of these powered speakers as like an extension cab, and run it from the line out of a smaller combo.

    When I was looking at these systems I saw in my mind what I think is missing from the bass world...affordable, high powered, combo amps. All that you'd need is some kind of pre-amp, which would be solved by using the Sans Amp.

    I must be missing something or else everyone would do this. What piece of the puzzle am I not considering?
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Nothing is missing. It would work fine. I'm not sure how happy you'd be with your tone, but it would certainly amplify the bass guitar to usable levels.

    The biggest issue would be in the clarity of the lows. "Full range" is a tricky term. I've never heard a "full range" PA speaker. If you want the bass and kick drum to have some guts through the PA, you need subs.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    PA cabs typically are full-range cabs with less bass response than a bass cab. The speakers in bass cabs have greater excursion capability than the woofers in most PA cabs, enabling them to reproduce those deep bass notes we crave without disintegrating. So, about the first or second time you crank up the bottom and hit the poor thing with something on your B string, rrrrrrrip! There goes your speaker.

    That said, I've played through my Avalon U5 directly into a Mackie SR-1530 powered 3-way PA column, and it sounded bitchen. You just have to be careful not to put too much bottom into it.

    In short, your idea's not so hot. If you want good, cheap bass cabinets, look at Avatar.
  4. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I beleive Carvin's 2x10 bass cab and their 2x10 PA cab are the same thing, so depending on which models you're thinking about your plan might work.
  5. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Why then doesn't the same thing happen when a bass is run through a house system? If I plug my 5 string into my amp, and then run the XLR to the board, isn't the PA system going to be hit with low frequencies too? Why doesn't it damage it?
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You got me there. I guess I was wrong.
    Either that, or the level isn't too high for the house system. Or perhaps the system is running a crossover and sending most of the bottom to the subs (like in my PA). Then again, I'm probably wrong.
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I don't think that PA speakers are quite that subject to exploding, but Munj is right on that bass specific cabs handle the lows better.

    But as mentioned, a house setup intended to carry a decent room, will have subs. The crossovers are sending the bottom to them, not the mains.

    If a house only has mains and no subs, they might put you in the house to help fill, but most of the bottom will come from your amp. They'll likely trim down anything below 80-100hz to keep from muddying up the mix.
  8. I was flipping through the Carvin catalog and had the same question. Then I noticed tht the frequency response plots show the bass frequencies drop off at a higher freq. I'm guessing they would be in a cabinet tuned for higher frequencies. Why? Size and weight, maybe. But my cynical answer is: Because they can sellmore sub-woofers that way.

    They pretty much use the same woofers in all of their PA and bass cabs. BTW, their 2x10 has a pretty poor low end extension. So it goes to show you that what we perceive as bass has a great deal to do with harmonics, not just the fundamental.

    To answer your question, youcould do it, and it would work, but you may not be happy with the tone. And the 10 day return policy will still ocst you shipping both ways, IIRC.

    Stay Low,

  9. As they say...you get what you pay for! I been lucky enough to play through some of the finest equipment in the world...and quite frankly, I have yet to see ANY of the popular commercially made bass systems (cabinets)compete with either EAW or Meyer Bros. for just flat out, in your face, insane volume and tone. And guess what...? I'm just talking about their floor monitors!!! Let alone their PA gear. This summer I did a show in Nashville flanked by two Meyer Bros floor monitors...and they each were loaded with 1 12" speaker. Powered. 1500 watts each. I made the mistake of asking for a little more bass in the monitor...and he let me have it...I literally got weak in the knees from torent of clear, rich, fat, clean volume that nailed me right in the chest!
    I've got Accugroove and Phil Jones cabinets and they're not even close to being in the same league! (Of course those cabinets don't cost $7,000 a piece either!)

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