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Using Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 for bass setup

MrCrossroads83

Inspired
Hello everyone,

next week I am gonna purchase a used Maruszczyk Jake (precision bass) in fiesta red and as I do not have any bass equipment yet I wanna use parts of my existing set up including my FM 3 to play this bass on stage.
Does anyone know if the Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 has enough juice to amplify the bass?
I have read a lot of times that power for bass amplification is mostly a headroom thing so if I want to use it in a club venue or in the rehearsal room will it have enough power?
Of course I am looking out for special bass cabinet instead of blowing up one of my two guitar cabinets (1x12 and 2x12)

Greetings from Germany

Maik
 
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RoketRdr

Inspired
Hello everyone,

next week I am gonna purchase a used Maruszczyk Jake (precision bass) in fiesta red and as I do not have any bass equipment yet I wanna use parts of my existing set up including my FM 3 to play this bass on stage.
Does anyone know if the Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 has enough juice to amplify the bass?
I have read a lot of times that power for bass amplification is mostly a headroom thing so if I want to use it in a club venue or in the rehearsal room will it have enough power?
Of course I am looking out for special bass cabinet instead of blowing up one of my two guitar cabinets (1x12 and 2x12)

Greetings from Germany

Maik
Power for bass is due to the lower frequency's requiring far more power to reproduce than mids and highs. We all want headroom to keep the amp from clipping and overheating but that has nothing to do with why bass amplification requires more power. The Powerstage 170 isn't going to give you much for bass amplification depending on what you plan to use for a cab. That unit wouldn't even begin to push my 810 cab. The cab and power you choose depends on several factors including....what size venue? Are you using it to fill the venue or will there be a PA? Are you using in-ears? Lots of questions you need to answer first before choosing a cab and amp for bass. And I highly recommend you turn the bass way down if you're going to try and play it through those guitar cabs. Its not going to sound very good to begin with but with cranking the bass tones up you'll more than likely blow the speakers.
 
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MrCrossroads83

Inspired
Power for bass is due to the lower frequency's requiring far more power to reproduce than mids and highs. We all want headroom to keep the amp from clipping and overheating but that has nothing to due with why bass amplification requires more power. The Powerstage 170 isn't going to give you much for bass amplification depending on what you plan to use for a cab. That unit wouldn't even begin to push my 810 cab. The cab and power you choose depends on several factors including....what size venue? Are you using it to fill the venue or will there be a PA? Are you using in-ears? Lots of questions you need to answer first before choosing a cab and amp for bass. And I highly recommend you turn the bass way down if you're going to try and play it through those guitar cabs. Its not going to sound very good to begin with but with cranking the bass tones up you'll more than likely blow the speakers.
That is why I already wrote that I am not gonna use my guitar cabs for bass. I just thought that I could use parts of my existing equipment especially the FM 3 as it does so much so good. But when it comes to bass amplification I should rather look out for a nice Markbass combo or something like that. If I can use the Powerstage with a good bass cab than I would definitely connect the xlr outs to FOH.
 

RoketRdr

Inspired
That is why I already wrote that I am not gonna use my guitar cabs for bass. I just thought that I could use parts of my existing equipment especially the FM 3 as it does so much so good. But when it comes to bass amplification I should rather look out for a nice Markbass combo or something like that. If I can use the Powerstage with a good bass cab than I would definitely connect the xlr outs to FOH.
The FM3 will work just fine for bass. 👍 Since you were looking at the Powerstage 170 I would like to make a suggestion. For the same cost of the 170 you can pick up a Crown XLS 1502 or Peavey IPR2 3000. These are neutral power amps that wont color your tone and you can use them to power a small cab like a 210 or 112 as well as a full 810 rig. Use the FM3 for your tone shaping and color. Also, one of the most critical and overlooked necessities for bass is a HPF. Depending on the venue, low frequency bass will start to get muddy and fill the room with crap overpowering everything else. Using a HPF will allow you to kill off the super low tones that aren't needed and clean the sound up. I'm a 5 string player and typically have my filter set around 60hz and will adjust it up/down 10hz or so depending on how it sounds in the venue. If you're a 4 string player I would start around 80hz and adjust accordingly to the venue.
 

cableguy

Inspired
It really depends on your volume requirements and bass cab efficiency. I can get by with my GK MB200 (200W @ 4 ohm) in a lot of situations. Would it cover a rock band with a 1X12 cab, probably not. I'm assuming you want to use the power stage 170 so you do not have to buy a dedicated bass amp. If that is the case, go ahead and give it a try. I would make sure I have a 4 ohm cab to use all the power it puts out. (2x12, 2x15, or 4x10) As stated above a HPF will ease some of the burden put on the amp. If you look used, power amps (especially older heavier ones) are fairly cheap. For $200 to $400, you can easily get a 1500W and more power amp.
 

RoketRdr

Inspired
It really depends on your volume requirements and bass cab efficiency. I can get by with my GK MB200 (200W @ 4 ohm) in a lot of situations. Would it cover a rock band with a 1X12 cab, probably not. I'm assuming you want to use the power stage 170 so you do not have to buy a dedicated bass amp. If that is the case, go ahead and give it a try. I would make sure I have a 4 ohm cab to use all the power it puts out. (2x12, 2x15, or 4x10) As stated above a HPF will ease some of the burden put on the amp. If you look used, power amps (especially older heavier ones) are fairly cheap. For $200 to $400, you can easily get a 1500W and more power amp.
Yeah that's another benefit of the HPF I didn't mention. Like cableguy said, when you use a HPF and cut out the useless super low frequencies it reduces the burden on your amp which not only makes it run cooler and sound cleaner but will also gain a few dB out of your cab.
 

Budda

Power User
Yeah that's another benefit of the HPF I didn't mention. Like cableguy said, when you use a HPF and cut out the useless super low frequencies it reduces the burden on your amp which not only makes it run cooler and sound cleaner but will also gain a few dB out of your cab.
Great tips!

Quick related question - do you HPF around 80hZ strictly for live use, or use some in studio as well? Which level of reduction per octave do you use?

I learned a lot about live bass tone this evening, always a good time.
 

RoketRdr

Inspired
Great tips!

Quick related question - do you HPF around 80hZ strictly for live use, or use some in studio as well? Which level of reduction per octave do you use?

I learned a lot about live bass tone this evening, always a good time.
Yes it's mostly to tame the low end boominess in a venue and not muddy the place up. The bass sits in the mix far far better in live venues when you use a HPF. You're bandmates and audience will thank you as well. ;) In the studio it depends on if you're playing through a tube amp, SS or neutral power amp as well as mic'd or DI. For me since I stopped playing through tube amps and switched to neutral power amps and modeling, the tone still comes through at lower volumes. There's little to no need for the HPF while recording unless the Engineer feels that it needs it. But this also depends on whether your mic'ing or going DI. If you're going to mic the cab then it depends on the room its in when recording. Mostly likely you will need a bit of filter but you have to play with it some to see how the room reverberates. Smaller rooms are the worst and typically need the filter set a little higher to cut more low end. If you're going DI it really depends on the gear and what you're recording through. Once again it really comes down to what the Engineer wants and how the tone is coming through the recording. Play and record a riff for about 20 seconds on your lowest strings and open E or B to see how its coming through. Tweak the filter a little and do it again until it starts cleaning up the way you want it. For the record most Engineers will add some HPF to the bass tracks. It just depends on the desired end result for the bass tone on the track. As far as the filters I use...the Fractal filters do a really good job, BUT...I have a Broughton Audio H/LPF pedal that is a -12dB/octave (second order) Butterworth response filter. That damn thing is smooth as silk!!! I don't know what it is about it that makes it stand out but its definitely different than any other filter I've played on. The only way I can describe it is that its really smooth and doesn't abruptly hack your signal like a lot of other filters do. If you play soft its smooth...if you play hard its smooth. It just works and you don't even realize that its working until you turn it off, and then you go..."OH HELL NO TURN THAT BACK ON". I also set my LPF between 4-5kHz depending on what I'm hearing in the venue. It kills the string noise and fret buzz quite well.
 
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