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Crest CA-9 vs. QSC PLX2502 (PLX2 Series)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tony G, Aug 2, 2007.


  1. Crest CA-9

    48.4%
  2. QSC PLX2502 (PLX2 Series)

    36.3%
  3. Some other light weight power amp?

    15.4%
  1. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    I've had the Crest CA-9 now for a couple of months, and while I am very happy with the sound, I am very unhappy with the weight and size. The thing just feels heavier every time I pick it up. I have the CA-9 racked in a 2 space anvil style case, and it weighs close to 75lbs. I'm trying to talk myself into keeping the CA-9 based on tone alone, but it is soooooooo heavy. The new PLX2 series PLX2502 only weighs 21lbs, can fit in a gator shallow rack, and has a lot more options. But, and this is a big one, does it sound near as good as the CA-9? I've often thought about getting a Stewart 2.1, but am not crazy about the reviews I've read about them. QSC seems to have a great reputation here, but can it take on the mighty CA-9 for bass reproduction?

    I like using a power amp with my UL502 and UL410 on the gig, as it really seems to get me to push the UL410 a little more to get a fuller response and more punch. While the UL502 works great alone, I do find the CA-9 adds that little bit of girth I was missing. Will the PLX2502 cover that for me?
     
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    I guess what I'm wondering is, would anyone here ever recommend another power amp over the CA-9 based on tone alone?
     
  3. Never heard both, Have a PLX1104 in transit. Hopefully it has the oomph of my Kustom (Which I assume the CA-9 has). That deep down in your belly bass goodness. I'll be very upset if it doesnt. LOL. But 75lb man? I'm here cussin bout the 41lb my Kustom is in the rack. Check out the plx1804. At 13lb.
     
  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
    FWIW, having owned a Kustom Groove Bass 1200 (which is a fine amp for the money, IME/IMHO), the CA9 just kicks it from here to the Moon and back.

    Tom.
     
  5. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Well, I like the 02 models over the 04 models, as I like to bridge down to 4 ohms for some insane headroom.
     
  6. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, I have to do the grueling A/B test to be sure, but I'd put my Phil Jones Bass M-5000 in the running. Of course, it's also the only amp that will ever make a CA9 feel light! :eek: :smug: :p
     
  7. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Wow, that thing is a monster!!!!

    So, I guess what you are saying is that I have to sacrifice tone for weight, or weight for tone?
     
  8. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, I am sure that you are going to get opinions all over the board on this one (or at least at two polar opposite ends :p), and I also believe that there are great sounding units incorporating both the heavier technologies (large conventional transformers and power supplies, ceramic woofers, baltic birch ply, what have you) and the lighter technologies (class D, SMPS, neodymium drivers, Italian poplar, etc.). Depending on what units you compare, what related gear is involved, and upon your personal preferences, I could see you either favoring the tone of the heavier units, or finding a small enough tonal discrepancy so as to favor light weight. Heck, with all the variables involved, you may even find light weight combinations of gear that end up sounding/working the best for you!

    That said, talking power amps only, my experience has been that in general, I have gotten my best results from the heavier, 'lead sled' style of amps. My most notable exception to this is the lightweight (SMPS) amps in the Bergantino IP cabs. But, how would they sound with the DSP and a CA9 crammed inside? ;) :D :bassist:
     
  9. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Yeah, I figured I was opening up a can of worms here...:D
     
  10. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    NJ

    This has been my experience as well.




    [​IMG]
     
  11. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    No.
     
  12. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    X
    I sold mine because the weight and huge size.
    I had mine before many other TB'r and used it pretty much but found myself leaving it a home more until I didn't use it at all.... I'm still greatly endorse this amp for what it can do for the electric bass... "just whoopin!"

    I've elected to hang on to my DB750 for a power amp source of great power and punch for this reason, even though I still love the whole amp too. It' usually stays home too, but if I need more power it's way easier than the CA9 to haul and is a back up too. Not saying the DB750 is a CA9 but it really packs a whallop too.

    Hey Toad... don't you EVER take that moving logo off your profile !!!!!
     
  13. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir... Supporting Member

    May 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    In case you decide to keep the Crest CA9, this may help a little:

    I also have the Crest CA9 in a 6 space SKB rack. It is quite heavy, but I bought this little SKB cart that helps A LOT for rolling the case around. Easy to attach, easy to remove. Locking wheels are great too!

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/SKB-SKB1904-Caster-Kit?sku=544601

    Good luck!
     
  14. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    NJ

    Yes. Sometimes I use this one:

    [​IMG]


    :D :D :D
     
  15. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    I would love to find a lighter 2 space rack that fits the length of the CA-9, but I just haven't. Since I only use the CA-9 for gigs, I keep it in its own rack, and my UL502 sits in a Gator rack bag that I use for everything including gigs and rehearsals, so that I don't have to carry the CA-9 around to rehearsals and such. I got the rack pretty cheap, I think for about $50 here, and it fits the CA-9 great. It is a plywood Anvil ATA style rack, and weighs about 20-25lbs on its own. It is heavy, and makes the CA-9 feel even heavier, but it fits it great.
     
  16. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Thanks. I have a movers dolly that I used to wheel everything into the gig already. The main complaint is getting it in and out of my car, in and out of my house, etc.
     
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I love both the tone and the volume I get from the Stewart World 2.1.

    I have not compared the 2.1 with a CA9. However I purchased a CA9 a couple months ago to satisfy my own curiosity. You're right, it's a HEAVY sucka! I have finally gotten around to having it properly racked. When I put it in a 4 space rack with two tube preamps, the rack was too uncomfortable for me to lift. I've recently put the CA9 by itself in a 3 space rack (lightweight SKB ATA) and the weight is manageable. Obviously I'll keep my preamp(s) in another rack. That setup is both bulkier and clumsier than a typical rack rig, but necessary for me and my bad disks.

    I'll A/B the two amps at rehearsals and gigs and post my thoughts. This won't happen for a week or two, however.
     
  18. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    NJ
    It might be worth trying to borrow or perhaps rent a lightweight amp so you can compare. For me there was a very real difference. Others claim they cannot hear one.
     
  19. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Always wondered what this beauty looked liked from the front. Very Pretty!
    Thank you very much... ah got the cell number... :smug:

    No disrespect to the TB Ladies.
    Were guys... you know the drill.
     
  20. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    NJ
    No disrespect to any ladies, but you know, I think my use of that animated pic is getting a little old. Time for the lovely Alizee to move on.
     

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