Could use some guidance and advice on using direct boxes and smaller amps for gigs....

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by FortyEight, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    I've been asked to play for a country western band that plays mostly old school stuff. They gig once or twice a month and get paid. They have a decent following and usually draw 75-150 people a time and so they all get a bit of money.

    It's not really my favorite style of music but at the same time my wife loves country. And I've had a time in my life where I'd listen to it and enjoyed it.

    Anyways... My dilemma and goal is to forsake my wonderful sounding but super heavy Fender Rumble 100 for something smaller. They have a sound guy and I can go direct. But they practice once a week and there's no way I'm dragging that rumble 100 all over creation and really, I'll never need that much power. I was recording with it yesterday in the garage and on 2-3 volume the garage door was shaking and rattling a lot and I wouldn't have been able to hear my click track that well in my headphones. I had to go back down to 1. The thing has major power. It's a 2-10" cab on rollers. The sound of it is great I think. But it's freaking heavy.

    So... I would like to find a single 10" amp or even smaller if such a thing has a big and bassy enough sound. I would use it for practice and then hopefully just use it as a monitor at a gig and use a direct box.

    My only thing is I don't know if you need an XLR out to use a direct box. Mine has an XLR out and at church we ran that directly into the system. But I'm thinking that's what the direct box does if you DON'T have an XLR out on your amp, right?

    So, to summarize my questions are:

    1. Does a direct box work with an amp with no xlr out?
    2. What brand or direct box would that be and can you get one for not a lot of money.
    3. What amps have smaller speakers that are light and still have good bassy sound. 8-10" speaker.
    4. Should I neuter my Rumble 100 and take out a speaker. Seems like a bad idea. Probably wouldn't be that light and the cabinet would still be a pain to haul around.
    5. Who's ready for pumpkin pie?

    Thanks guys. I appreciate the tips and input.
     
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  2. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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  3. ZenGuitarist

    ZenGuitarist Tele-Afflicted

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    I think a Fender Rumble 40 might be just the thing you're looking for - sounds good, decent loudness, 10" speaker, XLR out, etc. and it only weighs 18 lbs. I have one and it's great. I also have a Rumble 500 Combo w/ a 2x10 extension cab but it's really overkill for me. I use the Rumble 40 more than the 500 combo.
     
  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Some have used a Joyo American Sound pedal as a cabinet simulator direct to a powered speaker, house PA, or recording.
    It's a $35 Tech21 Blonde clone.
    Otherwise you would have the traditional small heavy amp to a mic to the PA.




    Joyo makes these little amps, which when compared with a pine speaker cabinet can make for a light weight carry.
    Orange micro amps are similar size/weight/performance.


    .
     
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  5. fidopunk

    fidopunk Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yes to all the above? I obsess over bass tone and I have been hauling around an Ampeg fridge stack for years. I hate to admit this but the best I ever sounded was when I showed up to a bar gig with just my bass, a tuner, and a Tech21 VTBASSDI. It's an Ampeg clone and is supposed to do everything from Flip Top to SVT. I gave my XLR with cab sim out to the sound guy and went through the PA. I wish I hadn't hauled that rig all these years.
     
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  6. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, might be best to just go direct for gigs. But I also need something smaller for practices and then I can always have the option to use the amp. I guess I need to ask them if they haul monitors or not. Cuz I don't see how you can hear yourself well without either a monitor or an amp. I do think they don't play super loud. But they are playing with a drummer. So.......

    So the rumble 40 has an XLR out eh? I forgot to say I would like to use something smaller for recording my own stuff. Cuz I really think the 100 is overkill. I can't even imagine how loud a 500 watt solid state bass amp would be like... yowza. I mean I think you could play a basketball stadium and not even be in they system and people would hear you. LOL. Although everyone on stage would lose their fillings.

    I like that the Rumble 40 has an XLR out. I wonder how many smaller amps have such a thing... Cuz usually the smaller stuff forsakes that. Possibly. I know ampeg was making some smaller amps lately too.
     
  7. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    You could send your signal from your amp to the house via the XLR output and use the amp as a monitor at the same time. You wouldn't need a really big amp in this instance if you wanted to get something for recording at home and use as a monitor onstage.
     
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  8. ZenGuitarist

    ZenGuitarist Tele-Afflicted

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  9. LucasT

    LucasT TDPRI Member

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    There’s Rumble 40 “Studio”, I think that caught my eye recently — touted as lightweight, loud enough for home/practice/very small gigs and XLR out to send to the board or recording device. Has an effects loop too, I think. 18lbs blew my mind. I put it out of my mind, but you have me thinking about it again now! Hmmmm
     
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  10. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    Last question first- Yes to pumpkin pie...

    As for the light amp with great sound and XLR to board- Yes on Rumble 40. Very good EQ section and tone shaping- 40 watts enough for practice and smaller gigs- Our band does have a drummer, but he’s tasteful- our music goes from bluegrass, C&W, Rock (REM, Journey, Rush, Mudcrutch).
    As mentioned, it’s light, you can use it as a monitor while XLR goes to board- I’ve had it for six years and really love it.
    For DI box, another great thing that can get you to PA with Ampeg sound- great for tight stages etc, and if your amp dies... I have two- both about $30- you really can’t go wrong with ‘em.
    Behringer BDI 21, and the Caline Wine Cellar- here they are- both just SansAmp 21 clones at 1/6 the cost!

    image.jpg

    I also have a small Ampeg Micro CL mini stack that is great when you need a bit more “oomph”. Has a 100watt head, and a 2x10” cab, doesn’t weigh that much (30lb for cab, I think?). It only has an unbalanced 1/4” output that you can run to a PA, but you can put the DI box in front of it, and go XLR out of that, or even just mic up the cab. I think it’s great- here is a shot of that one- It’s cute, AND an Ampeg!
    34C1E1B3-18E4-4E9B-8E5A-225036DF96DF.jpeg
    Hope this helps!!
    OBTW- Rumble 40 only $200. Maybe less if you can find used- Ampeg a bit more ($325?? I got a deal using “loyalty bucks” at MF...)
    Carl (C-Note :cool:)
     
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  11. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    Mark Bass 12" amp hands down!!!

    IS small, sounds amazing, weights nothing, built in DI, sturdy and even nice

    We had a 80's Fender BXR300 and our bass player came with a Markbass Mini, I believe is the Mini CMD 121P

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    My bassplayer dropped his MiniMark bass head loading after practice, dislodged the fan board. Common issue with them.

    That weekend's gig, it started thermalling out halfway through first set. I took a line out of his preamp straight into the board. Pulled back the bass/mid/treb controls to about 10 o'ckock at this bar gig we did. Two Altec TS210 speakers. Sounded great the rest of the night.
     
  13. jscud

    jscud TDPRI Member

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    For a direct box you can use when your amp doesn't have XLR out, I used a Radial JDX:

    https://www.radialeng.com/product/jdx-48

    It sits between the amp (head) and speaker, so if your amp supports external speakers this might be an option. Worked well for me for several years. When I switched to a new amp it was no longer necessary, since that one had XLR output.
     
  14. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    Per my recommendation my bass player has a Rumble 40 and a Rumble 200. We do classic country and these amps fit the tone. The 40 covers 80% of our gigs. The 40 is super extra extremely lightweight. The 200 has covered our outdoor gigs and get loud in a bar stuff.
     
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  15. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    OK, great advice all I appreciate it. I'm going to try and pick up a direct box for the practice. Apparently they have a PA they use at the practice spot. I assumed it wasn't cuz it's at a person's house.

    I like the idea of having my own amp and going into the board for gigs. In case the nearest monitor isn't all that near. I don't know how many they have. I guess I will find out this tuesday. I also like the idea of having a smaller recording amp. The one I got is just overkill for what I need.

    That being said, I like the sound of it and I know trading it at a store wont get me what I want money wise. But I may start looking to unload it to fund a rumble 40. It would take up less room.

    That small ampeg head and cab is freaking sweat. Nice set up 68 Telebass.

    Sorry I don't have any current pics of my bass. It's kind of an interesting looking thing. Real vanilla but sort of purdy. It's just normal looking red with a white pickguard. Mexican P bass.
     

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  16. brianbivens

    brianbivens TDPRI Member

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    Why not pick up the rumble 40? That is what our church uses for about the same size venue (160 or so). It has a DI out to tie into the PA and it weighs about as much one of my guitar pedals...
     
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  17. Tim G

    Tim G Tele-Meister

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    just about every sound person I ever worked with, and when I ran sound, hated when bass players would use the direct XLR out on their amp. I preferred, and the sound person also, to use a a DI between the bass and the amp. Every bass player I ever worked with would go change the controls on his amp several times trough the job, using the Direct out of the amp also changed the front of house mix that would then have to be fixed. The bass player usually changed his amp due to ear fatigue.
     
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  18. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    OP, you didn’t state whether you were using this for bass or guitar. I’m assuming bass, as have most of the respondents.

    Presumably, your Rumble 100 is one of the v.1 or v.2 earlier models. The v.3 Rumble 100 is under 20 pounds, and has a post-EQ XLR line out plus an effects loop. When I auditioned it fo Church use, I found the new Rumble 100 very muddy in its basic tone. I chose the Rumble 40 instead. It has the same EQ controls in the preamp, and it also had the post-EQ XLR line out. I preferred the tone of the 40 - more open and clear than the 100, and the lack of an effects loop is a non-issue for me. The 40 was a couple of pounds lighter, a bit more compact, and $100 USD cheaper.

    We also have moved toward a silent stage at my Church (pre-Covid-19), and prior to the pandemic had very good results using the Behringer BDI21 mentioned earlier. Build quality is quite sufficient for my needs.

    I recommend looking into the version 3 Rumble 40. Three years down the line, it’s been a great piece of gear. The XLR out will probably be all you need, and at 18 pounds, it’s an easy load-in/load out. Use whatever you need to prop it up facing you as your on-stage monitor facing your ears, and it’s likely to be all you need. Proper EQ settings will allow it to handle a 5-string bass for newer country tunes, if that’s a requirement.

    Double gig bag with two basses + two instrument cables and two XLR mic cables in the gig bag pocket, plus an 18 pound Rumble 40 and something to put it on is an enviable one-trip-to-the-car load out after the gig. Stick a BDI21 in the gig bag pocket, and you’re covered in case of an amp failure. Dirt cheap insurance.
     
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  19. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    This certainly could happen, but the XLR out on the Rumble 40 actually sounds pretty good. I carry a passive Whirlwind DI and a Behringer GI100 with a switchable 4x12 cab sim “just in case”, and I’ve only been called out by a sound man once, for not using a Countryman.

    Everyone has their own prejudices.
     
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  20. Tim G

    Tim G Tele-Meister

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    This certainly could happen, but the XLR out on the Rumble 40 actually sounds pretty good. I carry a passive Whirlwind DI and a Behringer GI100 with a switchable 4x12 cab sim “just in case”, and I’ve only been called out by a sound man once, for not using a Countryman.



    A lot of the XLR outs on bass amps sound good. The problem comes when the XLR is post eq and any change on the amp changes the signal going to the front of house.
     
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