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XLR out on a reasonably priced combo amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zZippy, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. zZippy


    Oct 13, 2018
    British Columbia
    I’m looking for a reasonably priced combo amp with an XLR out to hook up to a PA. So far the best price/quality combos I can find are the Fender Rumble 40 and the 100.

    What are others’ experiences with these?

    How useful is the XLR?

    Are there other brands/models that I should consider?

    I use a Fender Rumble 25 for practice at home. When I play at church I use the 25 as a monitor and use a DI to link everything to the PA. It’s adequate, but I think an XLR hookup would be more efficient and would perhaps sound better.
  2. Go buy the GK MB 112 and be a happy camper.
  3. zZippy


    Oct 13, 2018
    British Columbia
    Noice! Thanks! Good suggestion.

    Seems only slightly physically larger than the Rumble 100. Would love to plug in and hear the sound.
  4. IMHO. Blows the rumble out of the water. But! Lots of peeps like the rumble. If you can, try both. Then decide.
  5. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    probably the best advice you will get.
    any number of the low/med priced combos like the GK or Fenders that are mentioned will have reasonably ok DI (what you are calling XLR's) built in.
    the real question to answer is which amp fits your tone expectations better.
    plenty of partisans around TB for any given amp ... go out and try as many as you can.
    if the OP can say more about the musical styles, budget, volume levels, types of gigs he is playing etc, he might also get some more specific replies as well.

    good luck!
    zZippy likes this.
  6. In my opinion, you should be looking for a D.I. that has a Pre/Post switch.
    This gives you the option of sending either pre EQ, or post EQ to the house.
    Not all do this. Some combos like the Rumble series are post only.
    The Bassman 500/800 has Pre/Post and a level control. But that’s getting away from your question.
    zZippy and rocu like this.
  7. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I own the Rumble 40 and my understanding is that it doesn't have a true DI. It's a line out jack that happens to use an XLR connector but the signal isn't balanced so it's technically not a DI. Not sure if that matters for your application.
    zZippy likes this.
  8. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Even some expensive amps, like my moderately pricey (gotten for a bargain) Quilter Bass Block 800, don't have a true DI, for what it's worth. It can be worked around, though if you know you have engagements that need true DI/master bypass/signal straight from the bass, that's just what it is.

    I'm personally a fan of the GK sound and think the MB-112 is a lot of good amp, among current suggestions. If you're willing to go head/cab at any point, it's not hard to find heads that have not only DI, but for many class D ones, DI without speaker load for essentially preamp pedal functionality.
    zZippy likes this.
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Yep, GK. It would be quite a step up from the Rumble. TC Electronic as well.
    zZippy likes this.
  10. I have a TC Electronic BG-250 210 and the XLR out is switchable pre-post EQ and effects. I haven't used the XLR for live gig feed to PA but I use it all the time for recording and it works great for that.

    It also has an AUX in and headphone out so you can plug your mp3 player or drum machine into the AUX in and get the backing track plus your bass (with or without EQ/effects) in your headphones and practice in the middle of the night without disturbing anyone.
  11. Relsom


    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    I love the Rumbles, have a 100-12 for personal practice, but the DI is lacking. Note that the Rumbles don't have a mute function, is line level only, post everything. Those make it a no go on a gig for me.
    Some class D heads have excellent DI's. I haven't had a single complaint from a sound tech about what I give them out of a Shuttle. I've gone ampless so I don't see a need to light up the tube in the Shuttle if I'm only running the pre-eq DI so now I'm using a Radial StageDirect. Great DI. Phantom powered, mute, HPF, phase correction.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
    zZippy likes this.
  12. B Dax

    B Dax

    Sep 8, 2018
    The pre/post out option is definitely something I would look for in a modern combo.
    The Fender Studio 40 has stereo xlr outs along with a lot of neat features & tones, but does cost more.
    zZippy likes this.
  13. Straight from the manual...

    “LINE OUT — Balanced output to connect to external
    devices such as PA systems and recording consoles.”

    There is more than one way to create a balanced signal.
    So someone who doesn’t understand that may have mistakenly thought it wasn’t balanced.
    Consider this... There is balanced and unbalanced, no in between. If it isn’t balanced it must be unbalanced.

    A balanced output carries signal on two pins (2 & 3 for XLR) and has a third pin which is the shield ( pin 1 on XLRs).
    The ground lift switch on your Rumble disconnects the shield from pin one to eliminate ground loop hum.
    So obviously disconnecting the shield at pin 1 does not disrupt the signal carried on pins 2 & 3.

    An unbalanced output carries the signal on two pins also, but in this case it is a center conductor and the shield, which acts as the ground return completing the signal path. If the ground lift switch in your Rumble interrupted the shield on an unbalanced output, it would also disrupt the signal.

    In spite of the different ways that a balanced output can be achieved, the fact that you can lift the ground and not disrupt the signal tells you something about your XLR output. If you were to look at the Rumble schematic, not the line drawing that comes with the manual, you would see that there is signal carried on pins two and three and neither one is grounded. I have a Rumble 200 and I have the actual schematic. Granted it’s my least favorite way to balance an output, but it is balanced as opposed to being unbalanced.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
    zZippy, JRA and Fun Size Nick like this.
  14. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    +1 on TC Electronic's combos. They've got the XLR output the OP is looking for, plus they're a great value for everything they pack.
    zZippy likes this.
  15. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    The issue of the Rumble Line Out is not that it is balanced or unbalanced. The issue is that it is a line out, not a true DI. The rumble line out is post everything so if you change you ettings it affects the FOH. I have a Rumble 150 v2 head and a Bronco 40 and have used both of them for years and yes, have used the xlr line out to go FOH many times. Having it as a line out as opposed to a DI is not really a problem as long as you understand this difference. Don't crank up your volume for the third set without thinking of how it will affect the FOH.

    Otherwise very good amp for the money, just have to understand your equipment.
    zZippy and matante like this.
  16. I’ll get raked over the coals for this. (I’ve dissed the Rumble D.I. in the past and got ripped a new one) But this is one of the places where Fender really dropped the ball on this amp. I’ve looked at the Rumble schematic with thoughts of seeing if it is practical to do a pre/post mod. It’s not.
    To that end, I just completed building a home brew version of the Wolf Box D.I.
    So if it ever comes up, I’m covered. :thumbsup:
    MAXSPINRUN and zZippy like this.
  17. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I stand corrected that the output is balanced. Fender never refers to it as a DI, and I recall reading here that it's not technically a DI output, though I don't know the reason why. Perhaps it's because it's a line level signal? I don't know.
    zZippy likes this.
  18. My friend has a MB112 and loves it.
    I have 2 MB115s and love them.
    packhowitzer and zZippy like this.
  19. D.I. can be line level output as long as the mixer takes line level at the input, which most do.
    Put in my opinion, the similarities to a real D.I. in the sense that most of us think of one stops there.

    Fender did it better with the Bassman 500/800.
    Has Pre and Post and a level adjust that I assume will let the output be anywhere from mic to line level.
    Still probably doesn’t use a transformer, which I feel is the best way to implement a balanced signal.
    Hardly anyone does that anymore. Good iron is too expensive.
    zZippy likes this.
  20. zZippy


    Oct 13, 2018
    British Columbia
    Ampeg SCR-DIFirst off, thanks so much for all of the gracious advice here. Very much appreciated.

    Right now my "to-look-at-and-try" list seems to include:
    • GK MB 112
    • Fender Rumble 40 or 100
    • Fender Rumble 40 Studio
    • TC Electronics
    • Various DIs
    So when I'm noodling around practicing, I tend towards bluesy stuff, etc. That, along with funk, tends to be where my lessons go as well.

    In my "real life" playing, my main gig is at church. Mostly contemporary Christian music, which is very much pop-sounding stuff as you likely know.

    And then I sometimes jam with friends, tending towards classic rock... which gets me back to a blues feel.

    At home I don't want major volume as it's just practice. At church I'd like to be heard through the mix. The mix usually includes a drummer, piano and/or keys, a guitar (acoustic or electric, depending on who's on), and two or three mic-ed singers.

    Right now I generally use my Rumble 25 as a bit of a monitor behind me and next to the drummer. I use the church- supplied DI (forget what it is... I'll look today) to run my J bass through a tuning/mute (Boss) pedal to the PA and split off the the Rumble.

    This tends to give the drummer and me a decent monitor, plus a bit of that sound goes to the audience (but not much as it's a fairly large room and a fairly small combo). The rest of the sound I rely on the sound person via the DI.

    I'm after a bit more of my own personal sound shaping, to be honest. So maybe a better DI would be the thing. In any case, my budget is maybe up to about $500 or so. A good DI would definitely fit in there, as would most of the combos recommended above.

    Any other thoughts on this would be appreciated, and thanks for all you've helped me with so far.

    As far as DIs go, I have found this page. Just reading it and online reviews of the various options, I'd lean toward the Ampeg SCR-DI as people seem to like it, it has some nice tone shaping possibilities, and it has that cool practice + iPod input option.
    pfschim likes this.
  21. Primary

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