Jump to content
alexa3020

Do all class D heads really lose their thud at volume?

Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

I appreciate that there's much more to gig-life than the pubs and social clubs that I play, but I'm also aware that at the really big gigs all that backline is essentially there for personal monitoring ... the real action is the great stacks of Powersoft S/S amps driving the house PA.

The gigs don't even have to be that big. Here in Nottingham if you play at The Bodega - I couldn't find a capacity number, but given that the considerably larger Rescue Rooms is 450, I'd be amazed if it is any more than 150 - the only people hearing your amp will be you (if you are stood directly in front of it) and a few people at the front of the audience directly in the "firing line" of the cabs. Everyone else will hear you via the PA whose feed for the bass guitar, at best, will be taken DI output of your amp. 

IME playing originals only the very smallest of gigs - venues well under 100 capacity - are vocals only in the PA, so for 99% of the gigs I play my bass rig was essentially a personal monitor, and often I was being asked to turn down so much, so as not to affect the FoH sound, that I could hear more bass guitar from the guitarist's wedge on the other side of the stage then I could from my own cabs directly behind me.

IMO it has got to the point now where the traditional bass rig is just for pub covers bands where the PA is primarily for vocals and as stage dressing for bands whose whose image demands it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

You are probably refering to ICEPower and if so that is an unfair jibe. The real problem is manufacturers overstating the power output of various ICEPower modules.

 

 

I don't think so. If there is a common component, it's a fair statement - would the statement of true power output actually make it sound or perform any different?

For the B2B element, ICEPower won't care - as long as they are still shifting units. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

The gigs don't even have to be that big. Here in Nottingham if you play at The Bodega - I couldn't find a capacity number, but given that the considerably larger Rescue Rooms is 450, I'd be amazed if it is any more than 150 - the only people hearing your amp will be you (if you are stood directly in front of it) and a few people at the front of the audience directly in the "firing line" of the cabs. Everyone else will hear you via the PA whose feed for the bass guitar, at best, will be taken DI output of your amp. 

IME playing originals only the very smallest of gigs - venues well under 100 capacity - are vocals only in the PA, so for 99% of the gigs I play my bass rig was essentially a personal monitor, and often I was being asked to turn down so much, so as not to affect the FoH sound, that I could hear more bass guitar from the guitarist's wedge on the other side of the stage then I could from my own cabs directly behind me.

IMO it has got to the point now where the traditional bass rig is just for pub covers bands where the PA is primarily for vocals and as stage dressing for bands whose whose image demands it.

Mostly agreed.

 

But so many venues still have shocking PA systems, and bands never spend enough money on them either. Probably because joint purchases end up causing fights.

My old band had a different approach. We all bought distinct parts of the PA. I bought the powered desk, another bought the subs etc etc. Everyone stored and transported their own bit, and if anyone left the band they took their bit with them. Took a bit of effort to balance the spending close enough but it meant zero arguments - well, about that limited issue anyway!

 

It does surprise me that people will spend £3000 or more on a bass and then get upset about buying the thing that will allow the punters to hear it properly.

 

I am in 2 minds about selling my Marshall valve amp though. It's basically obsolete for pub gigs. Way too loud when it's cranked to sounding as it should, and even if it isn't really too loud it's still very directional and spills into the mics. But it does sound amazing and I love using it. I just don't get that chance very often.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On stage monitors are fine providing you get a decent enough sound check to get the levels right, and a sound engineer who will work on said levels as required. Get neither, well can you then hear yourself, and more importantly, can the rest of the band (especially important if you start songs). I’d have no problem playing just through my Tech21 Para Driver or VTDI if I could guarantee proper sound check and able/willing sound engineer, much easier and delivers the same sound where needed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

My old band had a different approach. We all bought distinct parts of the PA. I bought the powered desk, another bought the subs etc etc. Everyone stored and transported their own bit, and if anyone left the band they took their bit with them.

 

Good Lord, really?

My first decent covers band, the lead guitarist made exactly that suggestion before our first gig. We were a 5-piece, and four of us owned some or all of a PA system.

I vetoed the idea flat. The very idea of relying on three other people to bring vital components and all associated leads etc., plus the grim reality of someone having to take responsibility for plugging everything together into a functional system, was more than I could accept.

As a direct result, I (and for the last seven years @Silvia Bluejay and I) have brought the entire PA to every gig. We own every single piece, we know exactly how everything works, and NOBODY touches the PA at a gig except the two of us.

Not everyone's idea of having a good time, but it works for us.

And as a beautiful side-effect, Silvie is now a very competent sound engineer ...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

But so many venues still have shocking PA systems, and bands never spend enough money on them either. Probably because joint purchases end up causing fights.

And even if they have decent FoH, the monitors are still usually garbage.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, unless the venue has a dedicated pa sound tech and only they touch any of it,

you can very quickly be in the same situation as many rehearsal spaces,

where the kit simply gets abused and uncared for.

😎

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can only speak from my own personal experience which is:

40+ years of playing in originals bands, none of the bands I have been in have owned their own PA that was used for gigs (I've been in a few that had their own rehearsal rooms with a vocal PA but we would have never consider using it for a gig). In the early days the PA was hired in and this cost was covered by the money we got from the venue/promoter. Apart from a few very small pubs that I played in the 80s, the bass always went into the PA. From the mid-90s onwards the PA was generally permanently installed in the venues I played. The few times that my bands had to hire one in was because we were playing somewhere that didn't have live music on a regular basis.

I also think that a lot of the time musician's a overly precious about their sound. Yes we should strive for the best sound possible at all time, but unless you a regularly playing decent venues with a really good PAs, you also need to accept the fact that it's not always going to happen, and when it doesn't you should make the best of what you have. That means: can you hear enough on stage in order to be able to play in time and in tune as a band? and: FoH is it the required volume for the type of venue without it sounding harsh, and if the band has singers, are they audible?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my plans has been to put together a pedal board with everything I need to run into a powered monitor myself, so at PA only gigs I can have my own bass monitor with the minimum of fuss. My requirements for a mix of the band are usually minimal, too (not least because I can usually get all the cues I needs from other peoples monitors!).

I can't say that the main gig I'd be using that for will come back after lockdown, but it will remain a long term plan, as it would be very handy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That makes perfect sense for an originals band who plays music venues, not a band that plays almost exclusively pubs and non-dedicated music venues.

Edit: in reply to BigRedX

Edited by Silvia Bluejay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to gig in venues where PA's and proper facilities were laid on, but I usually play in pubs, clubs and functions where little is provided by the organisers. Many times no lighting or even a stage. The stage area is my "office" and "organisers" can be very flaky, so I aim to make the stage sound the same on every gig without having to rely on anyone else. I am also prepared to provide the room with bass. That's why my rig is a modular system that can go very loud.

I have used D class amps for the last 10 years and the generalization in the thread title and the prejudice in many posts is plainly not true. In my experience and in the experiences of many others, D class amps do the job as successfully as any other type of bass amp. If that wasn't true, D class wouldn't have outsold every other type of amp, on a world wide basis, for many years. In my experience the good players do not "buy with their eyes".

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is an answer or scenario that would appease all bass players.

We all play various types of venues and different genre's as well as having our own preference of how much we want to hear ourselves.

I know what I like and it works for me, but I am sure someone somewhere will have an opinion on it and that's cool.

Anything like this i would say go out and find what best works for you, I like loud, I like power kicking me in the back.

I would love to play a gig where the monitors we're perfect, or I'd be comfortable to get away with going straight into the desk, although it very rarely happens.

Just work out what you need for your performance to work 🙂

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fretmeister said:

My old band had a different approach. We all bought distinct parts of the PA. I bought the powered desk, another bought the subs etc etc. Everyone stored and transported their own bit, and if anyone left the band they took their bit with them. Took a bit of effort to balance the spending close enough but it meant zero arguments - well, about that limited issue anyway!

Bands I've been in have done the same. It makes sense, in that the remaining members don't have to buy out anyone who leaves, or worse, sell the PA, split the proceeds and start again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

That makes perfect sense for an originals band who plays music venues, not a band that plays almost exclusively pubs and non-dedicated music venues.

Yep, that is where we are. One in every 10 or so gigs that we do is on a truck or in a place that has a PA, the rest of the time it is my PA. The PA does the vocals / sax and a bit of the other instruments. My bass goes through my amp, the guitar goes through its amp (and I have tried to put it through in ears but he doesn't get on with them the one time he tried). We don't currently have any monitors because the singers one died, I use in ears, as does the drummer, so I am not buying one, and no-one else has bothered to buy one so obviously they don't care either. I was going to buy a sub before lockdown, but obviously we haven't played since march so I haven't (and I didn't have a way of transporting it, or storing it). Singer wears an in ear on one ear sometimes, but he is an 'in audience' guy so he needs the interaction.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

Bands I've been in have done the same. It makes sense, in that the remaining members don't have to buy out anyone who leaves, or worse, sell the PA, split the proceeds and start again.

So you are left without part of a pa, or someone that comes in to replace that person has to buy that bit of the PA?

I don't trust people in the group I am in to turn up with a strap for their guitar half the time, let alone part of the PA!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

That makes perfect sense for an originals band who plays music venues, not a band that plays almost exclusively pubs and non-dedicated music venues.

Edit: in reply to BigRedX

As I said my experience was from playing originals music at a variety of venues over the last 40 years.

The fact that my "rig" can now be a Helix (and occasionally an FRFR for those venues where the monitoring isn't suitable for anything other than vocals) instead a traditional amp and cab set up is one of the many practical reasons why I don't play in covers bands anymore, and nor am I likely to start doing so again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me (and I have a class d, class a/b and valve here) I find that if you're the note being played.....

1. Class D. is like opening a door and walking through it to the road. Nice, clear and steady. No problems.

2. Class A/B. is like opening a door a running through it to the road. A bit more exciting and more air being pushed through. More energetic.

3. Valve. Is like opening a door a 3 wrestlers throwing you onto the street and the end of the road. Much more exciting and more air pushed than both others, and more area covered rather than just a straight linear line.

All have their purposes, you get to the road.  But the feel and journey getting there is completely different. I supposed it just matters if you, or anyone else cares how you get there.

 

**** I think that's why no one has ever emulated a big heavy valve amp in a small package properly - no one can give a good description of what to emulate! - certainly not me! :)

 

Edited by la bam
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose the best way to find out the answer is to ask - if class d, a/b and valve were all the same size and weight which one would you use?

Thatd take out all other form factors and just concentrate on feel and sound for the OP question.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, la bam said:

I suppose the best way to find out the answer is to ask - if class d, a/b and valve were all the same size and weight which one would you use?

Thatd take out all other form factors and just concentrate on feel and sound for the OP question.

I sold my last full valve amp, Mesa 400+, 20 years ago and for the next 10 years or so used an SS amp with valve pre, then SS amps and for 10 years D class. I can categorically say that my sound has not been getting worse for the last 20 years. IMO it is an indication of the evolution of all amps and D class amps in particular. Weight isn't a problem between a 5lb amp and 26lb amp. So my use of D class is based on the tone and volume. As we said on Page 1, if someone doesn't like the sound of an amp being pushed to the limit, get a bigger amp, because that particular problem is a User Error.

My point here is that everyone has preferences but preferences aren't fact. That people with less experience may be reading this thread and thinking they are is the problem.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, chris_b said:

So my use of D class is based on the tone and volume.

So was mine, and I came to a different conclusion. They didn't ring my bell even when they weren't being pushed to the limit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, la bam said:

For me (and I have a class d, class a/b and valve here) I find that if you're the note being played.....

1. Class D. is like opening a door and walking through it to the road. Nice, clear and steady. No problems.

2. Class A/B. is like opening a door a running through it to the road. A bit more exciting and more air being pushed through. More energetic.

3. Valve. Is like opening a door a 3 wrestlers throwing you onto the street and the end of the road. Much more exciting and more air pushed than both others, and more area covered rather than just a straight linear line.

All have their purposes, you get to the road.  But the feel and journey getting there is completely different. I supposed it just matters if you, or anyone else cares how you get there.

 

**** I think that's why no one has ever emulated a big heavy valve amp in a small package properly - no one can give a good description of what to emulate! - certainly not me! :)

 

What you describe in 3 I think is down to saturation. SS amps can do that, although people tend to stray away from the idea of adding inaudible distortion - or lots of additional harmonic content which valves do out the box (it's always why they are described as sounding fatter or more authoritative - they aren't really, it's the additional harmonic content in the distortion that makes you thk that). Sag and valve compression is what is really the key difference.

IMHO opinion of course.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, la bam said:

I suppose the best way to find out the answer is to ask - if class d, a/b and valve were all the same size and weight which one would you use?

Thatd take out all other form factors and just concentrate on feel and sound for the OP question.

We did a poll like that on Talkbass a few months ago. Class D won by quite a substantial margin, and then of course the other factors would presumably  skew the market even more. But online polls often tend to be very unreliable, and many of us don't really care what others think when it comes to such a subjective thing anyway.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, la bam said:

For me (and I have a class d, class a/b and valve here) I find that if you're the note being played.....

1. Class D. is like opening a door and walking through it to the road. Nice, clear and steady. No problems.

2. Class A/B. is like opening a door a running through it to the road. A bit more exciting and more air being pushed through. More energetic.

3. Valve. Is like opening a door a 3 wrestlers throwing you onto the street and the end of the road. Much more exciting and more air pushed than both others, and more area covered rather than just a straight linear line.

Valve what? Class A/B what?

I mean a class A/B mosfet is going to be very similar to an all valve (apart from maybe one with a valve power supply regulation too, which is less common). A class A amplifier is going to always sound better than a class B or a class A/B regardless of power delivery. A class A mosfet will clearly sound better than a class B valve and when you are overdriving they will both sound better than a transistor (regardless of class). When you are not overdriving they are basically down to the power supply.

Often class D (which is very different) is going to fail because of a lack of power supply. So a class D with a big power supply (of the sort of the sort of power of any class A) will probably be very good, but you don't get them really in small heads (as its kind of not really the point).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, BigRedX said:

The fact that my "rig" can now be a Helix (and occasionally an FRFR for those venues where the monitoring isn't suitable for anything other than vocals) instead a traditional amp and cab set up is one of the many practical reasons why I don't play in covers bands anymore, and nor am I likely to start doing so again.

I would have thought having a helix makes it much easier to play in a covers band. Not saying whether you want to or not, but helixes are pretty common in covers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

I would have thought having a helix makes it much easier to play in a covers band. Not saying whether you want to or not, but helixes are pretty common in covers.

Because almost everywhere I play with originals bands the venue has full PA support for all the instruments, I don't need to bring any bass specific amplification to the gigs I play. The PA gets a DI from the Helix and I only bring my FRFR cab if I don't know for sure that the foldback will be up to the job of giving me a bass sound that allows me to tell if I'm playing in time and in tune. 

IME all the covers bands I have been in or seen in the last 10 years have their own vocal only PAs which would require me to still own a conventional bass rig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...