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Post new topic Does a P.A. head make a decent steel amp?
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Author Topic:  Does a P.A. head make a decent steel amp?
Bill Llewellyn


From:
San Jose, CA
Post Posted 22 May 2000 3:51 pm     Reply with quote

I have the opportunity to buy a reasonable quality powered mixer for a good price, which I'd then use with some PA speakers as my steel amp. Has anyone else done this kind of thing? How happy are you with the tone? Any recommendations for speakers/cabinets?

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Bill * MSA Classic U12 * email * homepage
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Al Marcus


From:
Cedar Springs,MI USA * R.I.P.
Post Posted 22 May 2000 4:01 pm     Reply with quote

Bill, a good question. I would like to know the answer to that too. Would a PA mixer work for an amp?>>> good post.....al
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Rich Paton


From:
Santa Maria, CA.,
Post Posted 22 May 2000 4:39 pm     Reply with quote

Bill, what mixer, and how many watts? Stereo?
Also what PA speakers?
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Bill Llewellyn


From:
San Jose, CA
Post Posted 22 May 2000 4:54 pm     Reply with quote

Rich,

It's stereo 200W, or bridged mono 400W. Graphic eq, effects loop (plus internal effects). Phone or XLR inputs. You can see and read all about it at http://www.akaipro.com/products/AMX10.html. I don't know which speakers to buy, and I'm very open for suggestions.

[This message was edited by Bill Llewellyn on 22 May 2000 at 05:55 PM.]

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ROBERT MYERS


From:
HEDGESVILLE, W.VA. USA
Post Posted 22 May 2000 5:12 pm     Reply with quote

Bill, When the band I play with has a outside gig, I use a peavey XR500 PA head and 2 15 inch JBL speakers in separate cabinets. It really give me better sound than my Nashville 400.
Good Luck.
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 22 May 2000 5:14 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Bill,

Interesting ...

I use a Yamaha Pro-Mix 01 .. Dynacord 2x400W
power amp ....AND 2 EV Stage 200's with the EV equaliser. Works great.

Baz

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Basil Henriques
Emmons D-10
and
Emmons D-10

Quote:
Steel players do it without fretting




http://homepage.tinet.ie/~basilh/

http://www.stax-a-trax.com/
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Jerry Hayes


From:
Virginia Beach, Va.
Post Posted 22 May 2000 5:50 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Bill,
A few years back I had a Session 500 which was having problem after problem. I took the power unit to the shop and kept the cabinet which I powered with a Peavy XR-600 PA amp which actually sounded better that the Session 500 ever did. Plus I could hook up a lap steel and my mandolin and still had 3 channels to spare! I finally bought a Nashville 400 but I think that PA head actually might have sounded better than it did! Remember this was a Peavey PA head played through an Open Back cabinet with a a 15" Black Widow speaker.

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Have a good one! JH U-12

[This message was edited by Jerry Hayes on 22 May 2000 at 06:51 PM.]

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Bill Llewellyn


From:
San Jose, CA
Post Posted 22 May 2000 8:10 pm     Reply with quote

Good responses. This is making me think that what I've been suspecting all along may be true.... that what I need is a clean, uncolored amp (PA amps are usually quite clean and pretty flat) and a well-chosen speaker/cabinet combo. Then, most of the "tone" of the overall system (aside from the guitar) is the speaker and its cabinet. PA systems usually have more flexible eq than guitar amps, too.

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Bill * MSA Classic U12 * email * homepage
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Rich Paton


From:
Santa Maria, CA.,
Post Posted 22 May 2000 8:27 pm     Reply with quote

Bill, looks like a good unit. I would avoid the bridged mode.
The nice thing about using such a rig as that on PSG is the versatility you would get in mixing your effects "In parallel" vs. the usual series signal path.
If you use your outboard effects units on a mixer, don't connect them between the board's line-out its and power amp-in stages.
Take the effects output into one (mono) or two (stereo effects) of the input channels, and mix the effects signal into the overall ("dry") mix.
My only concern would be to be sure that the input channel "strips" can handle the high level, fat PSG signal. But if there is such an overload problem, a simple resistive "pad" between the PSG and channel input would easily remedy that.
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Bill Llewellyn


From:
San Jose, CA
Post Posted 23 May 2000 6:22 am     Reply with quote

Ok.... If I do go with the powered mixer, which speaker/cabinet combinations would be good? So far:

* 2 15 inch JBL speakers in separate cabinets
* 2 EV Stage 200's
* A Session 500 cabinet with a 15" Black Widow speaker
* Nashville 115E cabinets, with the 1501-4 shallow basket speakers

Any others? Any comments on Cerwin Vega speakers?

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Bill * MSA Classic U12 * email * homepage

[This message was edited by Bill Llewellyn on 23 May 2000 at 07:35 AM.]

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Bill Nauman


From:
Cresco,Pa,USA
Post Posted 23 May 2000 6:32 am     Reply with quote

Hi Bill...funny you should ask this question...I still use the Nashville 400 with Buddys settings available on his site and line out into a Peavey Stereo 200 watts per side powered mixer with eight channels..two 115h threeway cabnets with black widows,mid horns and high horns...built in effects...use the digital 5/3 setting for the delay...more of a reverse gate reverb and delay...hooked on this sound...spoiled you might say...I place the 400 in front of me facing back like a moniter...and the big cabs are behind me low on the floor...I also use a 10 in riser to set up on ...get bass response under me...hmmm try it you will love the sound...Bill in Vegas

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Bobby Lee


From:
Cloverdale, California, USA
Post Posted 23 May 2000 10:48 am     Reply with quote

PA amps sound too flat for my taste. I always consider the amp to be a part of the instrument I'm playing. I want an amp that has some color and character. PA amps don't have that. Just my opinion...

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Bobby Lee quasar@b0b.com gigs CDs
Sierra Session S-12 (E9), Speedy West D-10 (E9, D6),
Sierra S-8 Laptop (D13), Fender Stringmaster D-8 (D13, A6)
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Sutton Reid


From:
Sebastopol, CA, USA
Post Posted 23 May 2000 11:04 am     Reply with quote

I'm on a Roland GT3 user list. The GT3 is kind of like the Line6 Pod in that it has about 12 amp simulations in it and you select what kind of gear you are playing it through. A number of people use PA systems and keyboard amps with it and really like it. I've tried it through a three differenc PA systems and it sounds great. I also use it through my two combo amps in "stereo". I don't know if anyone here has tried the Pod or the GT3. It's not the same as a real amp, but gets very close. I just don't know if a steel player would like it. I mostly use their emulation of a Twin, "crunch" which is probably a tweed, and other sims that are probably not interesting to a steel player.

The whole thing weighs about 8 pounds and is built like a tank, has foot switches, expression pedal, and the usual multi-effects.

I've tried it with my lap steel and, well, it sounds good to me!
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Bill Llewellyn


From:
San Jose, CA
Post Posted 24 May 2000 5:56 pm     Reply with quote

Well, the quandry I find myself in is that the Akai AMX-10 PA amp I'm considering has my company's product in the power amplification section (I'd like to own and use a product with our company's stuff inside), so I can also get an employee discount as well (good deal). It's a pretty reasonable unit, but probably as flat as yesterday's ginger ale (I see your point, Bob ). All the color would be from the MSA steel and the speakers. But it's also flexible beyond just steel (is there anything besides steel? ). If it weren't for the AMX-10 (plus speaker) arrangement, I'd probably head for the Nashville 1000.

(What on earth makes me think my neophyte playing warrants a Nashville 1000?)

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Bill * MSA Classic U12 * email * homepage

[This message was edited by Bill Llewellyn on 24 May 2000 at 07:02 PM.]

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CrowBear Schmitt


From:
Ariege, - PairO'knees, - France
Post Posted 25 May 2000 12:34 am     Reply with quote

I use a PA for my Bud Pro.
Yamaha MX 12/4 - Crown 460 CSL /
Peavy Eurosys 6: 3 way w: 15" speakers
i agree w: b0b, PAs are flat and lack colour
+ soul! They come in handy nevertheless.
i use 2 Twins w: 12" JBLs. They have SOUL !
One gets better Lows w: 15" speakers though.
it's Hip putting this gear together + X-perimenting Sound ! Keep it Up, Guys+Gals
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rpetersen


From:
Iowa
Post Posted 25 May 2000 4:09 pm     Reply with quote

I used a Peavey Musician head for years - It has two channels so you could use a stereo pedal and run one cord to each channel and run yor effects through one and have a "dry" signal with the other - saves carrying a lot of equipment and still getting a stereo sound!

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Ron Petersen
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Rich Paton


From:
Santa Maria, CA.,
Post Posted 26 May 2000 1:23 pm     Reply with quote

A thought regarding the use of a powered mixer, vs. using an unpowered mixer and external power amp(s):
In the last 25 years I've used both powered
(mainly a Yamaha 12 channel board with 200W RMS output per channel, and also all manner of unpowered mixers and power amps for mixing live sound.
There were several times when problems with the power section of the Yamaha required bench repairs, which would have left me high & dry, had I not kept a bulletproof Hafler DH-220 power amp and trusty old Tapco RA-6000
6 channel mono mixer, for "backup".
This is something to consider, if you are using a powered mixer rig for paying gigs.
I was fortuneately able to repair the Yamaha myself, but the repairs took considerable time, and the board's huge size, extreme weight, and likelyhood of its total destruction by shippers had I needed "factory" service would make me opt for a seperate mixer & power amp(s) in selecting a mixing system for the first and susequent times.
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Van Ertel


From:
Lutherville, MD USA
Post Posted 29 May 2000 2:55 pm     Reply with quote

Twenty-five years background in sound reinforcement only made me too smart by half. When I first started playing I thought a good quality PA mixer and stereo power amplifier and signal processing would be the way to go to amplify any instrument. I had plenty of power amplifiers (Crown, Crest, QSC, Adcom, Yamaha) so I bought a Yamaha 12-4 and a Macke 1202VLZ mixer and gave it a try. These mixers sounded awful. Also, the tone they produce is extremely reactive to Goodrich volume pedals. Other people had told me what Bob has stated on this thread, but I didn't take their advice. I finally bought Gerry Walker's stereo steel preamp and couldn't be happier.

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Van Ertel
Fessenden U12/Williams U12
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Bill Llewellyn


From:
San Jose, CA
Post Posted 30 May 2000 8:56 pm     Reply with quote

Van,

So then, your setup is a PA mixer, power amp, PA speaker cabinets, and the stereo steel preamp you mentioned? I.e, you got the basic PA arrangement to work for you by buffering the guitar through a preamplifier rather than switching to a conventional self-contained steel amp like a Nashville 400?

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Bill * MSA Classic U12 * email * homepage
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Van Ertel


From:
Lutherville, MD USA
Post Posted 31 May 2000 1:16 pm     Reply with quote

Actually, Bill, I abandoned the mixers about a year ago when I got the Stereo Steel preamps. I have two practice rigs, one at home and one at work, and until recently used primarily headphones or some KEF stereo speakers near field. I just got a pair of Peavey 112E speakers that I hope to hook up in the next week or so. One benefit of the mixers in my practice rigs was that I could hook up a CD player, a VCR, and cassette player at the same time. The Stereo Steel preamp has an auxiliary input that you can plug any one of these items into. In the near future I may try the mixers again with the Stereo Steel preamp because I like feeding my effects processors with an aux bus and using mixer channels for effects returns. BTW, the Yamaha 12/4 actually has a pretty good, although simple, digital reverb program. At work I have the opportunity to try out a lot of different PA speaker systems. If I come across anything of interest in the near future, I will let you know.

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Van Ertel
Fessenden U12/Williams U12
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