Power amp seems quiet, what am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Abaddon9112, Feb 13, 2014.


  1. Abaddon9112

    Abaddon9112

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Location:
    Vineland, NJ
    I am using a Crown XLS1000 power amp in my rig. I've had several people on forums tell me that this amp is fine for bass when I brought the subject up. I run it in bridge mode and it supposedly will put out 700 watts at 8 ohms, 1100 at 4. I'm using one 8 ohm Seismic Audio 4x10 cab which will handle 800 watts RMS.

    But it seems like I don't get any significant volume until turning it up past 12 o'clock. Anything below 9 o'clock is pretty much bedroom levels, when I've played amps before where as soon as you push knob up a little, it practically explodes with volume. I mean, it's loud enough for playing against drums, but I feel like I should be getting so loud that its uncomfortable to be around given the wattage on this thing, and its nowhere near that. I'm worried about the potential for hard clipping running the levels as high as I am. And I want to get stupid loud, as I play stoner doom metal.

    Granted, I'm using a Line 6 Pod 2.0 which is meant for guitar (I'm a recent convert to bass), and that's probably part of the problem. I max the master volume on the Pod, but it doesn't seem like its putting out the kind of signal that a preamp should to really drive a power amp. I'm going to get a different preamp soon, but I just wanted to make sure there's not something wrong with the power amp, or that I'm not doing something totally wrong on my end. Does anybody use this particular power amp? Anybody have any ideas as to the issue?
  2. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    Aug 26, 2009
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    Input sensitivity on Crown amps is low, ie a high number, meaning you need a proper line level output preamp. Don't stress about turning up the amp gain until your speakers complain.
  3. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

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    Power amps are different than bass amps. Turn it all the way up, and control your volume from the POD.
  4. mrmills

    mrmills

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    Have you got the cabling correct for bridge mode? from the manual:

    If using a Speakon® connector, connect the positive terminal of the speaker to 1+ and the negative terminal to 2+.

    Plug the connector into the Channel 1 output only.

    The amp requires a 1.4Vrms input signal to drive it to full volume into a 8ohm load. The Pod should be more than capable of outputting that.

    P.S Seismic state the power handling for the SA-410 is 400W RMS, 800W peak.
  5. Abaddon9112

    Abaddon9112

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    Vineland, NJ
    I'm using a banana plug cable, but everything seems to be hooked up properly for bridge mode.

    And that's weird, I just went downstairs and checked the cab, and the label definitely says 800 watts RMS, 8 ohms. I bought it about a year ago. So I guess its either labelled incorrectly or they changed the speakers on their current cabs. I suppose I could pull a speaker out and check the wattage to verify, but I'll do it tomorrow.
  6. vbchaos

    vbchaos

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    I always wondered what works "better". I currently control the volume with the attenuators on my IPR1600 and keep volume on the pre-amps the same all the time.
    Afaik the "volume" knobs on a power-amp control the input, not the output, right?
  7. mrmills

    mrmills

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    Kent, UK
    Peace of mind is always a good thing :)

    How is the Pod plugged into the amp? I only ask as the inputs are balanced.

    Do you get the 'Signal Prescence' lights illuminate when playing?
  8. Abaddon9112

    Abaddon9112

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    I'm using a standard guitar cable out of the left output of the Pod, which is supposed to be the "mono" output. Maybe I need a balanced cable?

    Yeah the lights come on when playing
  9. mrmills

    mrmills

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    Bass amp = power amp + pre amp.

    The volume controls the level of the signal going into the circuit.
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    A power amp can produce its full power even at low settings on the "volume" knob (sometimes called the input attenuator). The knob actually adjusts the level of signal required to drive the amp to full power. So don't be afraid to turn the knob up high enough to get the volume you want. It may be necessary to turn it all the way up, depending on the preamp you're using.

    I would set my preamp volume knob somewhere past noon, then adjust the power amp to produce the maximum volume you would ever want. Then back off the preamp to your usual volume.
  11. mrmills

    mrmills

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    The amp should be fine with that signal, you would only get problems putting a stereo signal into a balanced input.

    Kind of run out of ideas why (except for the amp being faulty) you don't get the volume you expect.
  12. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    this.
    AFAIK a poweramp such as yours can only clip if the input signal gets too hot.
  13. Abaddon9112

    Abaddon9112

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    Vineland, NJ
    I think what I'm going to do is
    1. verify the wattage of my cab just to make sure its within safe parameters
    2. try running it like others have suggested with the volume on the amp raised and controlling the volume from the pod
    3. double check all my connections, maybe try a Speakon cable and
    4. get a real bass preamp eventually
  14. vbchaos

    vbchaos

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    Munji & el_murdoque:
    Thanks - gonna try out that approach next time I am in the bunker.

    Sorry for hi-jacking that thread, btw :)
  15. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

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    I use an XLS1000 for a single sub in my PA, bridged, and I have to turn the send up a lot higher than my intuition says it should. That amp just wants to see a pretty hot signal.
  16. Abaddon9112

    Abaddon9112

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    Feb 10, 2014
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    Vineland, NJ
    This is what I was thinking. I have heard people say that the Pod 2.0 has kind of a weak output. Thanks
  17. Grissle

    Grissle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Yup, Crowns require a lot hotter signal than say a Crest or Peavey or Carvin. I believe Crowns Input Sensitivity is at 1.4v while the others at .75v-1.11v. So I'm no expert but it looks like the Crown needs about double the signal than some others. I would guess that something like an in-expensive mic pre like an ART inline would get you sorted out nicely.
  18. Foz

    Foz

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    Jax FL USA
    Are you using a balanced TRS phone plug to male XLR to get +4dBu from the Pod to the Crown? If you use a regular TS plug I think you only get -10 dBV out of the Pod.

    Also - got AIR mode switched to direct?

    http://line6.com/pod20/ins_outs.html
  19. Foz

    Foz

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    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    Jax FL USA
    If the Pod does +4 dBu as stated in their specs then it oughta work just fine pushing the 1.4v sensitivity of the Crown amp [1.4V in this context corresponds to a +4 dBu level and is exactly as God intended all such connections to be]. :hyper:

    +1 on an ART mic pre as a bass pre - that Pro Channel II thingy is an awesome bang for the buck IMO.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=ART Pro Channel II
  20. vbchaos

    vbchaos

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    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    +1

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