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Best Bass Rig Power Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kernpre, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. Stewart

    29 vote(s)
  2. Mackie

    9 vote(s)
  3. Crest

    19 vote(s)
  4. Crown

    15 vote(s)
  5. Instrument (SWR, EDEN, AMPEG)

    41 vote(s)
  6. Other

    71 vote(s)
  1. kernpre


    Sep 12, 2002
    Instrument (SWR, EDEN, AMPEG)
  2. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO

    Lightweight, reliable, and tight.
  3. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Most people around here seem to like the QSC´s, so you might want to ad that to your poll.
  4. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I don't know about the best but I'm happy with my QSC PLX 2402 and lots of people use them.
  5. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Don't forget Carvin!
  6. peavey actually makes some really nice power amps, that aren't expensive, are light, and obviously reliable, I'm sure somebody has a story about dropping one out the back of there truck or something. They also have an anti clip feature that can be turned off, DDT compression, that works rather well at preventing speaker damage.
  7. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    I've had a Mackie 1400i, then a stewart 2.1, then a QSC 3002, and now a Peavey DPC 1400X. The one I like the best is the Peavey. Although the QSC had more power, it was never matched properly with the power capacity of my cabs. It was either too little in Stereo with an 8 ohm cab (550 W) or too much in bridge/mono with the same 8 ohm cab (2000 W!). A QSC PLX 3402 would have been better, but oh well, I got the QSC for $600, and that was a STEAL. Sold the Stew for $550 which I only paid $500 for, and oh well, you see where I'm going.

    The Peavey DPC is my favorite because of it's size (1RU), weight and the power it delivers. The sound is no different from the QSC, And I pereferred the QSC to the Mackie.

    The older you get, the more you tend to go for the smallest, lightest, and most powerful (for headroom) that you can find. The PV fits the bill perfectly. I've got 1400W at 4 ohms and a pre in a 2 space rack. It's light and it'll cave your chest in. I really think switching amps are the way to go. I'd love a Walter Woods in another lifetime. Just can't justify the cost and wait.

    Carvin's are better than decent, with a great warranty, but HEAVY in the rack!! At least the ones with the power specs that I want and need are heavy. Never tried Crown or Crest, although a friend of mine had a Crown Powerbase 3 that he SWORE by. And another friend has the K series with no fan that he says puts out a sweet tone, is quiet as a church mouse, but weighs about as much as the three fat ladies on the front row of the church.

    The Mackie is a GREAT value. You can find them used for as little as $300-$375.

    For the ones you listed, I'll pick the Stew for power and weight. But if the PV DPC were there, I'd pick it.
  8. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Aguilar DB728 baby! more amp than your momma can handle!!!

    it definitely moves my ... umm... pants.

    seriously, clear, warm, fat - i just plugged my bass into it without a preamp and it STILL sounds AMAZING!!!

    yeah baby!

    (thats how exciting it is)

  9. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    All things considered, I'll take a dual-mono Stewart World 2.1. 17 lbs. Reliable. Does everything right. And enough watts to push even power-hungry cabs like Bergies and Epis.
  10. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Still lovin' my new SWR Power 750. It's reasonably light, sounds great, and looks great, too...especially matched up with my new SWR Interstellar Overdrive.

    But of course, what I'd really like is a Trace Elliot V8 split into rack-mountable pre and power sections. Mmmm...8xKT88 power...kind of like squishing both of my V-Type heads into one box.

    A Demeter tube power amp would be nice, too...especially loaded with KT88's.

    Can you tell I've got a KT88 fixation?
  11. MF is selling QSC PLX 1202s for $400, factory reconditioned.

    The 2402 & up are the best, but the 1202 does 1200 watts at 4 ohms bridged.

    MF PLX 1202


  12. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    You know. I voted other because QSC does make a mean amp, but too be honest if money and size weren't an issue, I'd go with an Ampeg SVT classic.
  13. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I voted "other". My PLX's have been serving me well.
  14. It all depends on your power needs. For me I probably only need about 300 watts but I'm happier with 6 or 700. I know this because right now I'm using a PLX 1202 which usually peaks at the -10 db light. I've never seen or heard it clip. It's rated at 700 watts into my 8 ohm 4.5XL and that means it us putting out about 100 watts or so at -10 db. I've also used a Carvin DCM1000 which is also a 2 rack space amp and weighs about 4 lbs more than the QSC and costs about $150 less. I really can't hear any difference between the 2 amps. But, until just this past yr, I was using a small single rack EV Dynacord power amp that was rated at 250 watts into 8 ohms bridged. It had enough power to do the job, was lighter, and never gave me an ounce of trouble. It also sounded just as good as the Carvin and QSC. So why did I ever stop using the EV? I got a wild GAS attack about 6 mo ago and started going nuts. I bought 2 basses, a Line6 POD Pro a SWR Triad(4 ohm) with road case. The Triad being 4 ohm wouldn't work with the EV which will only bridge into 8 ohms. Thus I got the Carvin. I bought the QSC when I needed a monitor amp for my band. Turns out that the QSC only has banana or speakon outputs and the Carvin has 1/4, banana, and speakons including a dedicated bridged speakon that will work with a standard 2 connector speakon. All the monitor speaker cords were 1/4 so guess which amp got moved to monitor duty? The Carvin. My Bass rig now uses the PLX. My point is: Unless your cab is a real POWER PIG just about any decent power amp will more than do the job. Buy a good reliable brand that fits you power needs and that you can get serviced. jmho
  15. kernpre


    Sep 12, 2002
    Great input fellas. THx.

    I have been using the Stewart 2.1 for over a year (with Kern 777). I opened to forum to get other takes, as I'm not completely sold on the 2.1.

    I have a Berg 310 and Berg 212, both 4 ohm, and the only way to run them together is in stereo as the 2.1 can't handle a 2ohm load in bridged mono. Stereo puts out 650 a side into 4ohm. Decent, but the Bergs could take more. The 212 loves the whole 2100 watts bridged mono.

    I just played with a REAL LOUD rock band..two marshall/les paul players peggin it, and I brought both cabs (almost never do) and ran stereo. I was at clip too much for my liking, yet still could have used more volume....

    I know...they should turn down. I don't even want to start with that...I want ENDLESS headroom regardless!

    Thanks again guys for the input...
  16. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    you know, come to think of it i've had similar experience with the Stew 2.1 - running into 2 BE 15"s, i always expected "unlimited headroom" but the difference between 12 o'clock and all the way up really isn't that big - probably due to the added distortion or something?

    anyway, my point is that with 2 power-hungry cabs, to have more headroom than you'd ever need, you'll want at least 1000 watts each.

    but then again, i use a 400 watt amp and i'm doggone blessed happy :)
  17. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    Dude, I've seen your site and your rig. You forgot the disclaimer that you're using 400 W of TUBE power. Those of us "in the know" are well aware that there's a difference.

    A young man such as yourself can haul that behemoth around. I can't. More power (literally) to ya!!
  18. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    oh yeah, oops sorry. 400w of tube beautificatliciousgoodness!

    One thing of note, the local tube guru round these parts told me yesterday that the REAL reason why tubes amps are percieved to be louder is because ALL the harmonics are there, filling up the notes & making our brains think its louder. SS amps have less harmonics - and that's why some (especially the poorly designed ones) can be sterile - and even the good ones are lots tighter & cleaner.

    any thoughts?

    i'm sure the day will come where the tone doesn't justify the weight - but for now, i'm a happy camper that doesn't need to go to the gym!

    aren't you just 7 years older than me??

  19. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    I've heard the same thing. That tube power isn't really louder as opposed to more true. Whatever works.... All I know is that if I didn't have to haul it around, I'd go tube. But with the kind of luck I have, all my gigs would be on the 5th floor!! And the elevators would be out, and the union wouldn't let the crane operator work past 5:15. So I'll keep my sterile SS amps.

    And while I may be only 7 years older, that's 7 more years of late nights changing diapers, working OT, cuttin' the grass, fixin everything that breaks (starters, sinks, toys, lamps yadda yadda yadda) and general livin'! That stuff compounds like interest!!
  20. Endless headroom? Marshalls / Les Pauls pegged?



    ...and a crossover of somesuch.

    Set your two Bergantinos on two JBL SR4719x Dual 18" subs, use the Crest Pro 10004 to send 1200 watts to each of the four boxes (4800 watts total).

    "Endless headroom, regardless"

    :D :bassist:

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