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Best power amp for live rig?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cephas45, Jun 16, 2001.


  1. In my rig right now I've got an old Alembic F-2B preamp, an old Ashly power amp, and and Eden 410 (not the xlt). I'm planning on picking up a new or used Eden 210, but my power amp definately won't cut it when I make this change. My question is: What is are your opinions on amps such as the Crown MacroTech series, Mackie, QSC, Stewart, Hafler, etc. What do you think would match best for raw, clean, unadulterated power? (Yes, I know I should trust my own ears, but this is a forum and I'm asking you) =). I've played through a Crown Macrotech 1202 and a Mackie 1400i thus far....
     
  2. Crest, Crown, and QSC are the big three. It is my understanding the QSC and Crest sound the most similar, where the Crown has more midrange coloration. This is subjective, and your mileage may vary. Search on eBay for used amps, as they are plentiful. However, if you know where to look, new QSC is often very little more than used eBay QSC.

    Next, decide on how much power you actually need. None of these big amps are going to deliver full rated power from a standard 120 Vac 15-amp wall outlet. The most you can typically expect to get is 1800 watts, steady state. You would have to be the only device on that circuit breaker, so this is the very best-case scenario. Since you only have 1 cabinet, it sure isn't going to take 1800 watts sustained RMS power, so this will help you narrow it down.

    Bridged Mono is very attractive, but deceptive. This mode is where the amp works hardest. This has been beaten to death in topics still active here. Suffice to say, an 8-ohm load is the least you want to use in B/M mode *if* you want to keep the amp from operating at its most extreme.

    Parallel Input is very important. This allows a single Channel 1 input (your bass) to be output from both channels of the power amp. Otherwise you have to use a Wye cable which is messy. This will let you run two cabinets, one on each sterero amp channel.
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Whatever it is, go for one with a large transformer and large capacitor bank to store more power. That's how you get sternum-cracking sound, if that's what you want.

    Models within the same brand sometimes differ.
     
  4. I use a Carver PM1400 with my almebic f-1x and it hits rather hard. I used the Crown Mirco techs in the past, and while id think the are the most reliable amp on the market, they colored my sound in a bad way. I also have heard from a lot of techs the mackie's are crap. But im sure you can find folks here to refute that.
     
  5. thanks for the info... bgavin, i'm planning on adding another cab.. that's what all the hubbub is about =)
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    cephas - Where's the action in Boca these days? Is the Wildflower still there?

    I used to live off of Palmetto Parkway, about a block from the last drawbridge before the ocean.
     
  7. well, it depends on what you play and what you're into i suppose. the hotspots for jazz/blues seem to be atlantic ave east in delray, las olas in ft. laud., a couple places in hollywood, lincoln rd in miami, etc. one band i'm working with is all original and plays original type venues, but other than that i have no clue what's goin on in the rock world...