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Ashdown RPM-1 into QSC amp question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by todd 4ta, Jul 12, 2003.


  1. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    I'm running my ashdown RPM-1 preamp out of the 1/4" full range into the 1/4" unbalanced channel 1 input on my QSC RMX 850 (bridged). The RPM-1 has a button on the back to control the output level. The options are 0dB or +4dB. I've been using the 0dB setting.

    After looking at the specs, my guess is the +4dB setting may be a better match. Any suggestions or experience on which setting would be the best match for my RMX amp? Any problems with experimenting?

    The specs on the RPM-1 say:

    LEVEL = 0/+4dBU

    IMPEDANCE = 1K Ohms

    The specs on the RMX 850 are:

    INPUT SENSITIVITY, V RMS = 1.15v (+3.4 dBu)
    (full rated power @ 8ohms)

    INPUT IMPEDANCE = 10K Ohms unbalanced

    Thanks
     
  2. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Bob Lee (of QSC) would be the best person to get advice from on this.

    I would try the +4db output and watch the clip lights on the RMX; should be OK.
     
  3. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    I had a big outdoor gig yesterday. I set the output level to +4dB, and switched my filter on the RMX from 30Hz to 50Hz. My rig was noticeably better with those settings. We play through a full PA with strong subs, so I only use my amp for a backline. I don't mind losing anything below 50Hz to get better clear, strong sound.

    I'm very happy with the results of my experiment.

    Bob Lee, any additional comments?
     
  4. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Sounds like it works satisfactorily for you.
     
  5. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hey todd,

    dont wanna hijack your thread, but how does the RPM compare with any other preamps you've tried? i'm really interested in trying one out for my rig.

    what bass, pickups, and cabs do you use with it? what kind of music?
     
  6. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    On the RPM, let's just say I don't plan on looking for any other preamps for a long time. I've just really come to love all things Ashdown.

    I started with a MAG 200 to get hooked, then I moved up to an ABM 300 (that I still have). I love the ABM, just wanted some more power. The RPM also has a built-in crossover.

    Other preamps that I've tried and liked are: SWR Grand Prix, Demeter VTBP-201S and HBP-1, and an Aguilar DB659 (my 2nd favorite preamp). The thing I love about Ashdown is that it just always sounds great, good solid meaty tone no matter how I EQ it.

    My favorite amps/preamps I've had are (in order of preference): Ashdown RPM-1, Ashdown ABM 300, Mesa Boogie M-2000, Aguilar DB659.

    I'm running the RPM full range to the RMX-850 bridged into an Epifani 2x12 (old style w/side-by-side drivers, 4 ohm). I'm playing a Quantum 5 w/EMG's and 2-band EMG preamp, and an EB Stingray 4 (100th anniv w/3-band). My Roscoe LG-3005 is pending a trade deal, so I haven't played it for a couple of weeks.

    I play in the praise band at church, and a couple of rock bands. In the church band, we play everything from jazz to pretty heavy rock. My current amp rig and basses give me everything I need to cover the gamut. I almost never fiddle with the EQ on my amp during a set anymore (I used to quite a bit). All I really do is change my pickup pan (not on the stingray!) from both pickups blended (more full tone) to just the bridge pickup (more cut through).

    Can you tell I like my Ashdowns!?! It is definitely worth the extra rack space I gave up (it's 2-spaces vs. 1-space for most of the other preamps).
     
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Assuming you can get a clean type sound out of the RPM-1, how does it compare to the Dem 201S?
     
  8. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    I'm probably the wrong person to ask about clean tone, I've never really tried to get my RPM clean. It might be entirely possible, I just haven't tried it.

    That is actually the only reason the Demeters weren't at the top of my list. They sound really good for a clean tone, but were a little too clean for me. That's why I liked the Aguilar DB659 more than the Demeters.
     
  9. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    From my limited experience with the Demeter preamps, they are much more transparent than the RPM1. You tend to get what you put into them. The clean thing seems to be what they do best.

    Now I haven't tried to dial in a lot of clean tones with the RPM1 but all of the tones that I have been able to dial in have been more than respectable. It's versatile enough to pull off doing a large variety of musical styles quite well during the same set.

    I said something similar a short while ago. :D ;)
    The RPM1 is on the way and one of the Demeters is on my wish list.
     
  10. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    thx for the comments guys!

    but can you make it sound clean and mean? i like the rougher tone, but i'm mostly a clean kinda guy.
     
  11. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Mine is here joker! :cool:

    In answer to your question, I would say most definitely. I'm borrowing this quote from Todd....

    I tried it in the store combined with various cab configurations from different manufacturers (AccuGroove, Ashdown, Bergantino, EBS, Genz Benz & SWR) using a Stewart World 1.6 for the power and it sounded great with all of them. The RPM1/Stewart/Bergantino combination seemed to be the head turner of the day though. I even got an offer to audition for a group while playing through that setup with the 210 Berg cab. ;)

    I think that you can certainly get vintage sounds out of it. The clean tone is not as clean as the Demeter products but it's still excellent in my opinion. There's enough controls for you to get a wide range of tones out of it. As for sounding clean and mean, trust me Bro. It's in there! And, regardless of how it's EQ'd, it sounds like a bass amp to me. :bassist:
     
  12. I spent some time the last 2 days comparing my RPM-1 and a new Demeter VTBP 201s (single space white) through a PLX 2402 and Bergantino 115 and 210. I also compared the same speakers and a Mesa 400+.

    The Demeter sounded considerably crisper than the Ashdown. The RPM is less distinct and mushier. With the eq set flat, the Demeter has more lows and is about ideal for me, while the RPM-1 need some bass and slight mid boost.

    When pushed, the Demeter has a bit of bloom but stays very clear and punchy, while the RPM-1 has a pleasant tube distortion, which I like a lot. This can be accentuated with the tube mix knob, which thickens it up, and the sub octave function can thicken it some more. With too much thickening, the tone starts to lose it's musicality and becomes a bit sour to my ear.

    The Mesa 400+ gave the best hard driven tone, and when driven the upper mids and highs stay cleaner and crisper than the RPM while the bottom has a more musical grind. The Mesa also sounds great and big with the input gain lowered for a clean tone. It's heavy and delicate, though, and I don't like to carry it around.

    I like the Demeter clean tone better than the Ashdown, and the Mesa distorted tone better than the Ashdown, but overall I prefer the Ashdown because it can sound pretty good either fairly clean and deep or grindy and driven with simple adjustment. Perhaps I really like it because of the cool retro-tech face plate and meter.

    All 3 sound great in their own ways. I could live with any one of them, and I have a Kern on the way to check out soon, as well. Life is good...

    Aloha,

    Jonathan
     
  13. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    I've never had an opportunity to compare the 201s and the RPM1 side by side. I did have a chance, albeit brief, to try the 201s & HBP-1 together. I wish that the 201 had hung around a little longer but it sold before I could get a little more experience with it. :( I'm still interested in the 201s or HBP-1 but I had to pull the trigger on the Ashdown first at the price that I was able to get it for.

    To me the 201 was fatter sounding than it's brother and the RPM1 has more low end than the HBP-1 when set flat. I don't know much about Mesa Boogie products. The delicate description might fit though. A friend of mine purchased a new M-2000 head recently. He had it about two days before it had to be sent back to Boogie for repairs and it's been there for over a month now. :eek:
     
  14. These are all great units, and the differences are pretty subtle and subjective.

    I sold my HBP because it wasn't as big sounding as my old 201 space & a half unit. I prefer the Ashdown to the HBP-1, but the 201's are really fine and I've never needed much tone shaping with them.

    Aloha,

    Jonathan
     
  15. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I like a really tight & punchy low end and mid-bass. That's what I'm getting with my 201S/PLX/HT322.
     
  16. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Very true. I feel pretty confident that when I add the Demeter of my choice, I'll be through preamp shopping for a long while. Once I get the Demeter it will be time to get a few more cabs with the Bergs being at the top of my list list.

    For what I'm doing musically, I don't think more distortion than what the RPM1 will do is needed so I doubt that I'll ever get into Mesa. Although, I do need to try some of their stuff as a point of reference.