SWR solution to problem.....
I guess we all know that SWR is circling the drain right now, but I have been at a cross roads with my amplifier situation and it seems that maybe the SWR Amplite is the answer to my needs.
I have two cabinets right now and will have a third shortly. The two I currently have are Acme Low B2 2x10's and they are both 4 ohm cabs.
For the longest time, I have never needed to use both cabs at the same time, and so using my Acoustic Image Clarus Series II (300 watts at 2 ohms) has always worked out.
I am now in a situation where I need to use both cabs. I don't want to push the AI that hard... its like me, getting old.
This presents me with a problem, since no one makes a micro head that will push 2 ohms, with the exception of AI and the Genz 12.0. Not sure the Genz 12 even qualifies as a micro and it is far more money than I want to spend.
I refuse to go to a rack/power amp setup.
So, I ordered an Amplite. I will use it as a slave for the AI head, and may end up using it on its own with my Tone Hammer DI in front of it.
Just wanted to put this out there. Been curious about the Amplite for a long time, and have not really seen any reviews on it that meant much.
Once it comes in, I will update. Anyone else using an Amplite?
I too run with 4Ω Acme B2s but I always use a pair in a vertical stack. The way I look at it is that two take up the same stage area as one and I like being conservative with my equipment. ALL of my amps are 2Ω capable so I don't have any problems with impedance.
Both my main and backup amplifiers are Class D. One is a head, Carvin BX1500, and the other a tube pre-amp driving a Carvin DCM1000L. I run one B2 from each channel with either amp. This is essentially what you will be doing with the AI and the Amplite. I have zero experience with SWR products so I have no input on the Amplite.
Why the refusal to go with a pre/power system? Mine is my goto amp and, even in a rack case, is almost as light as a feather.
Carvin BX 500
The refusal to go to the rack/poweramp setup is for a couple of reasons.
If I buy a rack power amp, I know myself well enough to know that I am going to want to go back to a rack preamp like an older Demeter 201. Then I will want Telefunkens in it. I can easily see myself spending six to seven hundred dollars on a dedicated preamp, NOS tubes, and a rack for it to go in. I have to remind myself that I am happy with the AI sound and that the Amplite will go in a gig bag.
Also, I am very lazy. Even though I will be using a dolly when I am using both cabs, I like not having a 4 space rack case to tote. Also, Sometimes, I am thinking using the Tone Hammer and Amplite with one cab will be nice and light.
I forgot to mention, the other cab I have on order is a Acme Low B1. I plan on using it with the upright on jazz gigs by itself, and possibly sometimes using it with a Low B2 when I want to get louder, but not have to carry both Low B2's.
Rewire your 4ohm cabs to 16ohms
and then run the pair at 8ohms
If the AI amp is good down to 2 ohms, I don't really see what the problem is. If it's designed to do that, it's not much different than running it at 4 ohms or 8 ohms really.
Honestly, 100w RMS through 4 10s should be crazy loud. And just by doubling your cabs, you're going to gain 3+ db of volume. If you were pushing 200w now at 4 ohms with a single cab to get the volume you want, adding the other cab is going to bring you down to about 100w, and should bring you FURTHER from the amp's "threshold of pain" rather than closer to it. As far as an amp being "old" there are still old Acoustic amps out there that people crank at 2 ohms for 40 years that are still rocking out. SO I doubt it would be an issue. SS stuff should last basically forever unless you take it outside it's operating parameters or unless a component somehow fails.
I mean, I love SWR and I'm all about you giving them a bunch of money, I'm just not sure it's necessary in this case. Do you actually have specific concerns about the AI, or are you just really trying to baby it?
So... SWR Amplite showed up today!
For now, just a quickie impression.... I love it. It sounds GREAT with a Tone Hammer pushing it into my Low B2. Compared to the Aguilar TH500 which I have on hand, it sounds a little more open, but they are very close.
It will get LOUD.
I will post more impressions later, along with some pics. I will give it a good workout Saturday evening at a corporate gig.
SWR is circling the drain??
If so, it is because their modernizations are yielding inferior amplification. Some time ago I was trying out amps at a local shop, and while the SWR heads had good sound they lacked output. That was compared to virtually every other amp in the place. Given how great their older gear is, it's a disappointment.
Hope they figure it out. It would be a drag if that brand were to disappear.
Those Amplite power amps are great and really compact. I tried the Headlight and I'm not sure if it was the voicing of the front end or the poweramp but the amp struggled to deliver the headroom/volume I expected and have experienced from similar class D amps, plus those ACME cabs are power hungry, I personally think that while the Amplite will certainly do the job you require of it, it could probably be done better by something else
I have a ton of SWR pro-end gear, more or less by accident (and pretty much useless to me since this 2011 accident) but have no really strong opinion about it other than the old homebuilt-looking stuff is insanely overrated. It's really surprisingly crude product.
I think the FMIC-era US stuff is underrated. Maybe.
But yeah, SWR's probably not long for this world except as a specialty Fender product. The good stuff is just too expensive and nobody wants to carry it.
Has the production of the pro stuff been farmed out to Mexico or China, or is it still made in Corona? I haven't been keeping up.
The Amplite I purchased was made in Mexico.
So far, it seems like a real champ, and I am even considering purchasing a second one when the inevitable closet outs occur. The thought of dropping 800 watts into the bag i use to carry a laptop in is a little irresistible.
I have zero experience with SWR products so I have no input on the Amplite.
You never said why you were so worried about the AI amp to begin with. If an amp is rated to 2 ohms it should be fine running it that way, and if anything, SS amps don't usually fail because of use, but because of disuse and components deteriorating over time.
And like I said, using the AI with 2 cabs, you'd probably be driving it LESS hard, not more, because you'd be getting 3db more volume with the same amount of watts.
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