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Interesting FRFR story..

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I find this FRFR craze a bit bizarre. It makes perfect sense though!

I suggested doing this through my DXR12s about 6 months ago and no one really got it. Made sense to me as most bass goes through PA anyway. I was considering retiring from djing and looking for a way to keep my speakers.

Anywho, since then, i bought a barefaced and markbass rig and retired from djing so that idea is no use to me for bass playing now, and the dxrs are surplus to requirements, but i'll list the DXRs on here if its an option for bass players as well as djs, pa etc. 

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5 minutes ago, la bam said:

I find this FRFR craze a bit bizarre. It makes perfect sense though!

I suggested doing this through my DXR12s about 6 months ago and no one really got it. Made sense to me as most bass goes through PA anyway. I was considering retiring from djing and looking for a way to keep my speakers.

Anywho, since then, i bought a barefaced and markbass rig and retired from djing so that idea is no use to me for bass playing now, and the dxrs are surplus to requirements, but i'll list the DXRs on here if its an option for bass players as well as djs, pa etc. 

It's pretty big in the guitar world what with Helix, FX8 etc. But it's just as relevant for bass players where FOH is DI and you want some dedicated monitoring that you can control directly

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Fascinated by all this, but not convinced it would make much difference at The Dog And Duck.

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57 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

Fascinated by all this, but not convinced it would make much difference at The Dog And Duck.

It makes loads of difference! You don't have to carry an amp for one, the stage is quieter for two and you get to hear exactly (well, as close as possible) how your bass sounds in FOH. 

 

Subjectively, I find that it's a lot more consistent for me now, I spend less time fighting boomy rooms or awkward resonances.

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17 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

Fascinated by all this, but not convinced it would make much difference at The Dog And Duck.

It actually makes loads of sense, you've got much more control over the band mix out front and more control over the volume, as soon as the bass player turns up with his 2000 Watt Matamp you're screwed and inevitably it turns into a volume war and a pub too loud. Small amps, wedges or in ears behind the FOH, full range pa system out front for the win regardless of the venue size,  these rock stars running around in front of six Marshall stacks whilst wearing in ears aren't fooling me. ☺

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24 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

It actually makes loads of sense, you've got much more control over the band mix out front and more control over the volume ...

I get that Pete, but only if you put the entire band through the PA.

In my limited experience, that's a Functions Band thing, not a Pub Band thing.

I've never yet been in a pub band where for example the lead guitarist was content to abandon his boutique valve amp or his Fender Bluesman in favour of a pedal and an amp sim. As for volume, well obviously he must have the volume in order to get his tone.

If you don't have the entire band going through the PA, then there's little point in having any one of you going through the PA. You may attain a balanced sound at the soundcheck, but as soon as the 'independent one' turns up his amp, you're screwed.

 

 

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19 hours ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

The smaller the gig the bigger the amp appears the norm now!

True to a degree, although there is a basic logic to it. At a big enough gig your amp just won't do the job so you'll be through a very powerful PA anyway. With a decent monitor engineer and soundcheck, there isn't much benefit to an amp onstage, unless you're micing something with a particular character. However at smaller gigs the PA is also much smaller and without anyone front of house to mix, so putting anything beyond vocals through can become problematic. Hence at the smaller gigs it makes sense to have a rig which can fill a decent sized space alongside a drummer. Guitarists don't need particularly big amps to make a lot of racket, but bass being what it is there will probably always be a degree of 'bigness' required.

I was fairly recently playing in a pub function room above a band with an Ampeg 8x10 and two 8x12 Marshall stacks set up just off the end of the bar, so that's not to say that people aren't still going way overboard!

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1 hour ago, Happy Jack said:

I get that Pete, but only if you put the entire band through the PA.

In my limited experience, that's a Functions Band thing, not a Pub Band thing.

I've never yet been in a pub band where for example the lead guitarist was content to abandon his boutique valve amp or his Fender Bluesman in favour of a pedal and an amp sim. As for volume, well obviously he must have the volume in order to get his tone.

If you don't have the entire band going through the PA, then there's little point in having any one of you going through the PA. You may attain a balanced sound at the soundcheck, but as soon as the 'independent one' turns up his amp, you're screwed.

 

 

The secret is to use a smaller boutique amp then crank that to stage monitoring volume, micd up at head height spread across the room sounds lovely compared to a massive amp blaring at everyone's ankles, which is also why the guitarist can't hear it and turns it up as the gig goes on. 

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Much as the big cab and more watts thing is interesting - my FRFR choice mostly came down to weight and portability. It really isn't very big or very heavy, and I don't need a head for it either..

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6 hours ago, Bridgehouse said:

Much as the big cab and more watts thing is interesting - my FRFR choice mostly came down to weight and portability. It really isn't very big or very heavy, and I don't need a head for it either..

+1! to that. Portability is very much a key consideration for me being both one of the older members of my two bands and having some of the heaviest gear to cart around already in the shape of my bass amp, bass and general gubbins AND somehow also being responsible for the PA (oh yes, booking gigs, rehearsals, general admin etc...you know the story! I guess it's called being "the bass player", right? :D)

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There's a lot of pub bands with a great guitar amp, bass amp, drum kit and great vocalists who then put the vocals through a Tandy PA because it's "just for vocals", if you were starting from scratch a good pa and modern desk complete with good wedges facing the players instead of backline would be perfect. 

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1 hour ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

There's a lot of pub bands with a great guitar amp, bass amp, drum kit and great vocalists who then put the vocals through a Tandy PA because it's "just for vocals", if you were starting from scratch a good pa and modern desk complete with good wedges facing the players instead of backline would be perfect. 

I think it's crazy that folk will go drop £1k on a wonder cab to go with their £1k amp ... but then IEM or good wedges are too much... 
I almost went that way last time but if I ever change my amp again I think something like the setup the OP has is the way I will go. 

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37 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

I'd seriously consider selling my Genz 2x12 and Shuttlemax 9.2 to fund a nice wedge, I rarely use them anyway these days. 

Ooh! Does that mean we going shopping?

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1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

I think it's crazy that folk will go drop £1k on a wonder cab to go with their £1k amp ... 

Hey - why crazy Luke? If our fellow bassists want to spend their money on an excellent amp and cab (or a £1,500 bass), which brings on that smile and gets appreciative nods from band-mates and audience, surely that's entirely their choice and their priorities? I certainly don't begrudge them! Other people will blow the same amount on a car, a foreign holiday, or a packet of 20 cigarettes a day...

2 hours ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

There's a lot of pub bands with a great guitar amp, bass amp, drum kit and great vocalists who then put the vocals through a Tandy PA because it's "just for vocals", if you were starting from scratch a good pa and modern desk complete with good wedges facing the players instead of backline would be perfect. 

Our pair of RCF 310As plus small Allen & Heath mixer handles vocals and acoustic guitar really well, but no way will it be able to handle bass, even for a pub gig, as well as my 500W Markbass combo which takes no time to set up. 

I suspect that a PA that can handle the full sonic spectrum from top end lead guitar and female vocals down to a low end B string on a bass is not going to be particularly portable and likely to involve £££s? I just don't think a most single PA speakers are going to be voiced to do that? 

Turning it around, when we were packing up the PA from Saturday night's function gig we played some Spotify tracks though a guitar amp (which had sounded great with a lead guitar). The guitar amp sounded crap for vocal tracks and nowhere near as good as when it went through the RCFs.

Horses for courses?

Edited by Al Krow

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Just to show I'm not completely mad, I've started a discussion with a very well respected amp maker about a small valve head with DI as a sort of B15 clone...

 

:D

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41 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Hey - why crazy Luke? If our fellow bassists want to spend their money on an excellent amp and cab (or a £1,500 bass), which brings on that smile and gets appreciative nods from band-mates and audience, surely that's entirely their choice and their priorities? I certainly don't begrudge them! Other people will blow the same amount on a car, a foreign holiday, or a packet of 20 cigarettes a day...

by all means everyone go and spend on nice stuff... but I'm no longer convinced that for much of what we do as bass players, the technology that is commonly used is the best for the job.... and I think I've seen too many bands pink torpedo up their own sound cos they don't know what they are doing.... YMMV

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8 minutes ago, Bridgehouse said:

Just to show I'm not completely mad, I've started a discussion with a very well respected amp maker about a small valve head with DI as a sort of B15 clone...

 

:D

if you need a stopgap while it's being made the Ciatlinbread SFT is worth a look.... 

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Just now, LukeFRC said:

if you need a stopgap while it's being made the Ciatlinbread SFT is worth a look.... 

I'm waiting this one out.. it'll be a one off.. most excited. Stuff the b15n heritage.. :biggrin:

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55 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Depends... a RCF 735/745, Yamaha DX15... they'll quite happily put out a shed load of bass...

True but...I think the whole point of this is an improvement in portability whilst maintaining sound quality and I'm not sure that going for a PA that can handle bass well gets us there?

I think the suggestions you've come up are very helpful in illustrating the point I'm making. So, comparing like with like:

2 RCF 735As new cost £1,600 and weigh 96lbs;

2 RCF 310As plus a top-of-the-range Markbass Combo e.g. the AC 121 Lite (500W) also cost, altogether, new £1,600 but weigh in less at 92 lbs combined.

So I'm not convinced that swapping the 310As for the 735As just so that I can drop the Markbass combo has actually helped?

And to be honest, as a bass player I'd rather have my own amp and cab that I've chosen as part of 'my sound' (even if no one else on the planet gives a flying f*** about 'my sound' :)) over an RCF 735A every day of the week! That would be even more true if the PA is a 'band' piece of gear and kept / owned by someone other than the bass player. Wouldn't you?

Edited by Al Krow

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It depends what line of thought you have when trying to make your point though.

I know there's people that don't get it and that's fine... but you need to see the PA speakers as a replacement for a bass amp, a keys amp, a guitar amp (or 2) and the means to make a tiny portable drum kit sound huge. Oh yeah... and that's before you get to the vocalists. That's a huge weight and size saving across the whole band. And in terms of volume, you aren't deafening everybody onstage and outfront, your decent PA speakers are not going to run out of steam before your combo. Meanwhile, your band is going to project properly... e.g. So unlike those guys that are standing off axis to a guitar amp, those guys that are hearing the whole band through the PA are going to hear a balanced mix wherever they are standing.

With regard to band ownership of PA, I own it all anyway... because I'd rather take a pair of tops and some in ears to a gig and know the band is going to sound great. If I'm playing with another band, I can just take a top or two to use as my rig.

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For me, playing in a band is more than just "my sound"

It's also about portability and not having setup and tear down being a massive hassle.

It's about the other band members hearing me and me hearing them in a good mix

It's about having fun and sounding as good as we possibly can

It's about being able to adapt to any venue and any stage

Sometimes the gear can get in the way of the main reason we go out there to play..

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