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Can a power amp make that big a differance?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SteveC, Apr 1, 2006.


  1. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    So I was trying an Acoustic Image Focus SA power amp and a SansAmp BDDI into my Bergie HT112. I didn' treally like the sound. Something just didn't work for me. I thought it was the BDDI so I figured I'd go back to an Eden 550 head. I liked the sound, fairly light and portable, etc.

    Well, I sold the Focus and am using a little Peavey CS200X for the time being. I plugged the BDDI in and it sounded better to me than when I used the Focus.

    Is there a noticable differance between a digital and normal amp? Search didn't reveal much - although I didn't look really hard.

    Discuss...
     
  2. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Just in the past couple days there's been at least one thread that applies - though the phrase "digital power amp" really isn't accurate - and lots in the past several months. Maybe you should read more threads (and try to understand them) and buy less gear in a recirculating flushing motion ; }
     
  3. 4runner

    4runner WARNING!"WALL OF DOOM" does "exceed" 140 decibels!

    Feb 11, 2006
    Hackensack NJ,
    Hey SteveC,
    I always seem to find a lot of different opinions on this subject, but I think that that's okay because it makes it more interesting. I've used an "H" class amp, and I've used an "A/B" class amp, or "Grounded Bridge" {a Crown patent},which I'm using now, and I find that they sound totally different than one another, but some say that technically, there's no basis for them to sound different. I've heard others say that they can hear a big difference too. I guess the bottom line is, at the end of the day, after we all put away our spec sheets, what really matters is,"How our instruments sound to us, and to those who are listening to us play"!
    Good luck and , I wish you great tone.:bassist:
     
  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I'm going back to an Eden WT-550 and keeping it. It was the best tone I had. I let the "hype" opf the light weight and stuff get me.

    I posted this as I was curious as I thought there was an audible difference.
     
  5. remo

    remo

    Jan 15, 2005
    I think lot's of people can SEE the difference but put a blindfold on them and they won't have a clue.
     
  6. Rumzini

    Rumzini

    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Amen. I really would like to see a "Pepsi Challenge" type of thing where certain amp/cab configurations are taken into affect and see if anyone can guess what they are. See just how accurate a person's ear is. "Was that an Ampeg, Fender Bassman, or just my lil BDDI?
     
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Probably true. In my defense, I haven't had G.A.S. for a different bass for a long time. My two Yamaha's are doing great!

    I think the Eden will stop the flushing. I did really like it and just fell victim to the hype of a smaller, lighter rig when what I have (will have) is just as nice as anything, sounds good, and fits my needs.
     
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    That sort of thing has been done with hi-fi systems, and probably with PA gear as well. One technique is blind testing. It is probably most valuable in R&D, for finding out what really matters to the ears, so it can be improved. While it is of great value to designers, it has proven to be of considerably less value in settling differences of opinion among listeners and users.

    I used to get all bent out of shape about this, but I have arrived at a compromise, which is that I am personally interested in what makes different amps sound different, and I am happy to chat with others who share this interest, but I won't try to push it on everybody.
     
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Maybe you should have flushed the Focus SA in my direction. :bawl:
     
  10. instigata

    instigata

    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    i bet half the people would mistake say, generic avatar cabs for boutique bergantinos and such. same bass, same amp, different cabs. and people will have no idea. its all in the player, mainly. people could save a few thousand dollars if they leraned that.

    however, you still need DECENT gear.
     
  11. Rumzini

    Rumzini

    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    I have a mix. Lakland 55-01, SAPBDDI, MXR M-80, QSC amp, and Avatar. I thought of trading in the Avatars cuz a lot of people have said they are low scale budget...yeah that's why I bought them...I could try to afford some higher end stuff now, but I've thought, why nother? I'm really happy with the tones I'm getting out of this "budget gear". Seem like for every one person that dosn''t like a, b, or c....you have another saying it's the schiznat! I'll let my ears decide. If my budget rig is sounding great, (which it is lately)...why change?
     
  12. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    What I run into all the time is the scenario where the player somehow figured out how to deal with one rig, getting EQ and gain stucture realtively right so that the power section was actually driven fully and not overdriven, and the tone was decent. Put 'em with any other gear and they can make it sound bad or weak but they just can't seem to switch gears and find what THAT gear asks for in terms of setup.

    And there's the old stereo shop adage that whichever rig is making more dB is almost always the one that the listener will prefer. That's why it's important to understand gain structure, and get the power stage fully happenin'. And if you do blind listening tests you have to have levels equivalent.
     
  13. ibz

    ibz

    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I'll second this very true IMO.
     
  14. Kael

    Kael

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I've used a head that had a "digital" poweramp in it. Actually, I think that it was just a switching power supply. Sounded acceptable solo'd, but got lost live. No booty. Thin sound is the best I can describe it. A/B'd that same head's preamp driving a Crown Macrotech 2402 with same EQ settings. The difference was very dramatic. The boat anchor power amp was more authoritative. I'm not including the brand of that head as it really isn't relevant and I'd rather not come across as brand bashing.

    You can show all the graphs and quote whatever theories you like. The best sounding poweramps that I've ever heard are the lead sleds. I suppose some will think the difference was all in my head. They are entitled to their opinion, even when they are wrong. ;)
     
  15. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    And I'd like to see a few plugins added to the taste test.
    http://ampegsvx.com/
     

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