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Cheap way to get a big amp, will it work?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by metdistortion, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    Hi, I am in need of a new, bigger bass amp, but I am very tight on funds. Luckily, fellow TBer Uncle Fluffy gave me a really cheap idea, and I want to know what the rest of you think of it.

    Basically, I build one of these:
    Very cheap 200w power amp

    And then use my 15 watt Marshall practice amp as a pre-amp, connecting the power amp to the line-out or headphones out.

    Then would I be able to connect the power amp up to a cab and then have a very cheap, usable rig? If so, how bad would it sound, and how reliable would it be?

    btw, my bass has active electronics, if that helps.

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hi metdistortion.

    Are you experienced with electronics and electronics safety?
  3. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    lol I'm not that experienced with electronics, but my Dad certainly is (hes been a technical manager for places like the BBC for over 20years), so if I did it, I would get him to help me with it.
  4. I imagine it would pretty much sound like the marshall combo, but I would hate doing it.
  5. well, it looks like a good idea, but my experience of maplin gear is that it'll sound horrid, won't put out anywere near 200w in reality, and will break after the 5th time you turn it on.

    Also, where are the ins and outs on that amp??

    EDIT: this is the cheapest poweramp I've been able to find:


    It's only 120w RMS, but it might do the job, if you're on an extreme budget.

    unless you want to buy used maybe?
  6. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Good lad! :)

    Then this amp kit may be a great father & son project which will allow you to learn how amps work as well as gaining you more bass amp power for your current needs. Plus + plus! :D
  7. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    Hmmm thats a very good point, I cant see any inputs or outputs on the picture of the amp. EDIT: You have to wire in all the inputs outputs and power connections yourself.

    The thing is, I dont actually own a cab yet, but I was thinking that it is cheaper to buy the cheap power amp and a Cab, then to buy a decent sized combo. But it seems it would be just as expensive to buy a high quality amp and cab, as it would be to buy a combo.

    I am thinking of getting the cheap power amp and testing it out before buying a cab to go with it.
  8. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
  9. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    I would use this module instead, its far more complete and far better engineered, its also far more genuinely powerful:
    They are also very reliable.
  10. Well, it looks like it might do the job, it says you need a heatsink...I would listen to that advice. :p

    I say, at the end of the day, if it is a complete failure, it's not as if you've chucked your life savings away. :p
  11. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    So would I need a cab with 4ohms impendance to be able to get the most watts out of the amp?
  12. Yes.
  13. How much is the required, but not included power supply gonna cost?

    My guess: Possibly good as a learning experience.

    For cost savings, look at used gear.
  14. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    You have to wire in your own power supply, I think
  15. Yes possibly a good learning experience. You will have to assemble a suitable power supply, again not a difficult job. You will be working with very dangerous mains voltages. If the point is getting a 200W RMS output you won't get it from that kit. You may get 100W or a bit more but not 200 with any reliability. Two plastic devices are not enough for that, you'll need four.

  16. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    I would actually be quite happy if I got 100w out of it :)
  17. Then go right ahead. Expect to spend in the region of 100 quid on parts

    Suitable ventilated box
    Bridge rectifier
    2 filter caps
    Fuse holders
    Power switch
    Indicator lamp - can be combined with the power switch
    Power cable + 15A IEC socket
    Input jacks
    Output jacks or speakcons
    volume control and knob
    Suitable heatsink(s) possibly with a fan

    There's more but that's the main parts list

  18. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    Hmmm I guess you are right, a transformer would be especially expensive. Well there goes that idea :(. I'm surprised noone pointed this out before
  19. The reality of small scale purchasing power. It's never CHEAPER to roll your own amplifier. If you do the job right it can cost way more than you could purchase one for. I did at one time build all my own equipment. I no longer do so as I could not build a power amp like my Carvin DCM1000 for the $300 it would cost me to buy it new. I do still make my own full tube pre-amps because I can design into them exactly what I want. Most of my build efforts go into my tube guitar amps because they are unique.

  20. gerryjazzman

    gerryjazzman Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    +1 Found this out a while ago myself. The best way to get a cheap power amp is to buy something used. Some of the older lower power amps (100 - 200 watts per channel) can be had pretty cheap.

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