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Backbraking experience: CA9

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mola, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. mola


    Nov 24, 2006
    Started a thread about what power amp to use in combination with a Alembic F1-X. Out of the answers I tried a Crest CA9. Sounded good, but the weight.....
    Doing mainly "Bred and Butter" gigs I´m going for a less weight
    This time I have to ask you TB´rs to give input on light weight Power Amps. I know that some of you will recomend Stewart, but they are not not avaliable to the swedish market.
    Any one that have some experience and input on this?
  2. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Locate a used Crest CA9 for me and I'll sell you my Stewart 2.1

  3. mola


    Nov 24, 2006
    Yes, QSC is avaliable and I´ve checked the QSC PLX series, but not tried any of them.
    Stewart Power Amps surely are interesting but they dont run on 230 v
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    While my personal fave from a tonal/performance perspective is the CA9, my favorite of the light weight amps is the Stewart World 2.1, and I think that you would be quite happy with one.

  5. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    I'd say the Eden WT1250. Three reasons:

    1 - 230 voltage compatible

    2 - Lightweight

    3 - It's an amp designed for the really low frequencies, and I've heard power amps that just can't do it cleanly and clearly. I'd rather get a bass-designed amplifier before a full-frequency amp, same reason I wouldn't use my bass amp through PA speakers.
  6. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I'd say a PLX is good if you can't get a Stewart, but I'd get a 2402 or higher if you were looking at a Stewart 2.1.

    If you were looking at a CA9...... I'd keep looking at a CA9! Sure they're heavy, but the tone man, the tone!!!!!
  7. mola


    Nov 24, 2006
    I cant denie that the CA9 sounds good, if it was a question of for tone I´would go for it. Is it a dead end looking for a light weight power amp that have a resemblence of that powerfull tone?
  8. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I dunno, I haven't heard a lightweight amp do what the lead sleds do at the same volume. Many, many people find them just fine though, so I'm sure if you got a good quality amp you wouldn't be disappointed.

    Its more a matter of preference, or in my case, getting to hear a CA9. After that it was all over.
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I use a QSC/PLX 1602 with my Eden Navigator, running all 1600 watts into a Schroeder 410.
    It sounds huuuuge!
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I feel your pain... my back also requires lightweight gear. I love my Stewarts, but if that wasn't an option I'd go with QSC PLX.
  11. Ale


    Jul 5, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: IGiG Cases
    Acoustic image Focus SA...
    Less then 5 lbs ...
  12. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I'm using a QSC PLX1602 (driven by an Avalon U5 and a Rane DC24) and it definitely delivers the goods. I've not played through a CA9, but I've heard nothing but similar reviews... great tone, bad weight. So in that regard I can't really offer a direct comparison, but I will say that my QSC PLX has never let me down and always delivers the goods... especially once I realized how to re-wire my speakon cable :p
  13. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I'm running a PLX 2402 off an Alembic F2B and I find that I need an additional gain stage to get the QSC to open up. In my case I get it from a parametric EQ. Often the EQ portion is bypassed and I just use a few extra db of gain. That seems to work well.

    My pre dates from the 70's. I have heard that the F1X has a hotter output though ...
  14. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    What about a Lab Gruppen? They're in your own backyard and only weigh about 8kg.

  15. Mark Reccord

    Mark Reccord Supporting Member

    ...And don't give up an ounce of performance to heavier amps.

    But the price might be a deterrent.
  16. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

    Mar 9, 2003
  17. The weight of the CA9 certainly wins it the right to be called "lead sled", if not the crown (no pun :) ) for #1 arm-stretcher.

    I wouldn't call the lightweight amps I own/have owned anemic by comparison. The lightweights do seem to miss something of that instantaneous transient punch (best description I can come up with) that amps with big iron transformers, like the CA9, deliver. It's important to note that we're splitting pretty fine hairs here however.

    Balancing a rig to personal taste (price, weight, size, power, frequency response etc.) always seems to become an exercise in compromise, in one form or another.
  18. My first amp was a QSC MX-3000a that weighed 69 pounds bare. It would run 2 ohm loads all day in the Sacramento heat without getting warm. Great amp, but too heavy.

    I went to multiple PLX (3002, 3002, 1202), which all weigh 21 pounds. Big improvement.

    IMO, the reported lack of bass response in light weight (switching) amps such as the PLX, is urban legend. I have none of these problems with any of my PLX.

    For me, the Stewart was interesting, but scared me off due to no fan cooling. That is OK indoors, but IMO not acceptable playing outdoors in the Sacramento heat. The older ones had failure problems; I expect the new models have that corrected.
  19. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    +1. I have the CA9 and it delivers in spades, but it is a lead sled. I used to own the F1-X and used it at the time with a QSC PLX1602 and PLX3002. It sounded pretty good. It didn't have the girthy sound that the CA9 does, but it wasn't "too" far off in terms of performance. If i didn't A/B them next to each other, I probably would have been very happy with either PLX series amp. Just being a gearaphile, I've gone through my fair share of amps (like everyone here)

    If you are looking for an alternative, it'll boil down slightly to what impedence you are running in cab combinations etc.

    The New PLX2 1804 Looks really great. Definitely looks like an improvement over the 1st Gen PLX amps. It doesn't do 2-ohms on each channel (however the 02 series does) but you'll have 2 channels that can do 550-900 Watts(again depending on impedence), which should be more than enough for most cabs. It only weighs 13lbs too and it isn't really that expensive for how much you are getting.
  20. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Use a QSC 2402 = 700 watts/ch @ 4 ohms into 2 ACME B2's. Works nicely. 21 pounds. IF you can, find the PLX series on blowout(i.e. $649 for the 2402 with 6 year warranty!) as the PLX2 series in now replacing it.

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