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Crest CA9 - First time out - Great Stuff

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Big String, Jun 21, 2004.


  1. Got the CA9 on Friday and did a quick rack job for the gig that night. Yes, it sticks out the back some, but I'm satisfied. I made up some rear supports on Saturday and it's tight and secure. I did manage to keep all the other rack components so all I really did was change the amp. It's heavy though. I weighed it on my bathroom scale at a whopping 72 lbs cords and all. That is a big diff from the 37 total when I had the PLX racked. BUT, I was impressed during the gig. My NV610 opened up like I never heard it before. I Horn Guys complained instantly.. :D I made a few tweaks because I didn't have time to play with it before the gig. All I did at home was plug it in and make sure everything was working. The tone was very thick and solid but tight. I only had my Demeter on 2.5 with the Crest in parallel mode, the channel one gain was all the way up which is how I always run my amps. One thing I definitely noticed was when I moved away from my rig to jam out with the Geetar Man, I was able to hear the rig with all the clarity and volume just like I was standing 3' in front of it where I'm usually at 95% of the time. I felt like I went from a V-6 to a high performance V-8. I was burning rubber! I've got another outside gig on Wed. and will give another report how if fairs at this much bigger venue with a way higher ceiling in this tent. This is a big stage with a big sound system in giant tent with open sides. Friday's gig was a very small tent with open sides so it's liable to sound quite different. This is the real deal test gig for me. I had a rough time last year with the HT322 and the PLX. Just couldn't hear my rig and had to get lots of monitor to get by. So, we will see.
     
  2. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Excellent news!

    ~S~
     
  3. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    72 lbs. huh? Wow. Well, I dunno...my back ain't what it used to be! ;) But I'm intrigued. Tell us more after the next gig, eh? :cool:
     
  4. Ya, that last thread got closed down, yikes that never happened to one of mine. Oh well, somtimes things get a little wild don't they, but there was a lot of information flying wasn't there.

    Yes, I will continue to report my likes and dislikes.

    72 lbs is a lot, but I'm not planning on using this rig most of the time. As I have stated before it's mostly for the bigger venues, plus I have an array of carts and if I need an extra hand it's not a problem. Other than that it's the trusty and very very light Walter Woods Ultra.

    I will say, that the PLX has certain nicer features than the Crest IMO. For example the dip switches on the PLX are to me a little more secure and "definate" if you will. PLX has more options with connections and filters etc. The mode switch on the Crest is as I said not as secure to me. It is indented so you can't accidently swithc the mode to say Bridged, but it's just an up-down-middle selector instead of seperate and definate selection. The Crest dosen't have the selectable filters or Hz choices either. I really like Speakon connector too and that is not an option at this time in the USA for the Crest. I'm fine with the Banana's though. I will adjust. I'm pretty particualr about so many little ditties that I drive myself crazy....

    Bottom line. (without starting a major tech war) (fact or no facts) (factoring in my imagination and taste and how my brain and ears function) With my cab (NV610 by Bergantino) while using the Crest CA9 in comparison to the QSC PLX2402, my sound, tone, presence, punch, DEPTH, solidness, ability to hear myself was all improved and worth the extra expense to me. Of couse, that was just one gig. More to follow. And.... my back doesn't like me anymore, but my ears love me.
     
  5. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    You have me intrigued as well Big String. Between you and inazone I think I need a CA9. Ill get one as soon as I have people to carry my gear around for me! ;) Glad to hear that you like it though.
     
  6. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    I don't doubt it a bit, Big String. Jim Bergantino was very plain in his recommendation of that amp and also went on to tell me that the only switching amp that, in his opinion, "got it right" is the Walter Woods. Obviously, Jim is not the final authority on amplifiers but he's a man whose opinion I value and his cabinets speak for themselves...so to speak! ;)
     
  7. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I recall Jim Bergantino liking the PLX amps, too. They are not switching amps like the Walter Woods amps; the audio circuitry in PLX amps is completely linear, and only the power supply is switching (the best of both worlds, IMHO).
     
  8. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Congratulations on the boost in gain, Big String!
     
  9. Mr. Bergantino has gone far out of his way to please me. I found that speaking with him has helped me make some better choices and I have a better understanding of certain gear and how is all works together with other components of my rig. He is very patient and can explain things well to us non genious folks. Yep, he's been on the mark so far with me. Although I did make the WWU purchase on my own research, I'm glad Jim likes Walter's amps, they are really something.

    Another bottom line. I'm happy.
     
  10. inazone

    inazone

    Apr 20, 2003
    Colorado
    Cool, I had the same experience. I have agree, it is heavy, but most bass cabs are 50lbs and up so a 50lb amp isnt that bad. I do like the features on the plx better but I can get much better tone and volume when using the CA9 in the rig. For smaller shows I'll use the plx. For my use and if I had to pick one, I'd pick the crest. Congrats on getting closer to the tone your after.
     
  11. inazone

    inazone

    Apr 20, 2003
    Colorado
    Just curious how the CA amp will compare with the heavier rmx. My thought would be that there would be less of a difference but I dont know. My first power amp was a crest vs900 and Ive had it for a few years. There was a difference between the vs900 and plx 1602 (about the same power rating) but it wasnt as big as the 3402 and CA9. Let us know how you fair with the CA4.
     
  12. Thanks Bob.
    Yep, it boosted my overall sound and I gained another great piece of gear.
     
  13. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    If you ever want the gain boosted in the PLX, it's not hard or expensive to do.
     
  14. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    There would be slightly less of a difference, but only slightly. The maximum gain of the RMX 2450 is 50×, or 34 dB. The maximum gain of the CA6 is 68× (36.7 dB), and of the CA9 is 86.5× (38.7 dB). If you don't actually match the gains, though, you won't be able to do a true sonic comparison.
     
  15. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    speddling, I never put the Crest amps down. As I've said before, they are fine amps.

    I am not making a pitch. I am offering solutions, which you can accept or ignore, but I figure it's better than not offering solutions, or in your not even knowing about those solutions.

    I do point out that if you perceive one amp as being sonically better than another without matching their gains, you have not made a fair comparison; you've most likely just chosen the one that happens to be set so it sounds louder. That is fact. I have made that point also in situations where people said the QSC amp sounds better. Is that being a pitch man?

    I have many times offered users of other brands advice on hooking up and using their amps because there is no one from those companies here to do so. Is that being a pitch man?

    I'm an applications engineer. If you want to know how to get the most out of your amp, or what you can do to make it work better for the least amount of money, I'll tell you. If you don't want to know, you don't have to pay attention to what I say. But I'm not going to play pitch man.
     
  16. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    How so? I never said or implied such a thing.

    Again, what pitch?

    If you were to mention the results of a race where B crossed the finish line before A, would it matter where their starting positions were? If you let them start from any random position, then the race's results would not be very impressive, especially if B happened to start closer to the finish line than A.

    Likewise, to compare two amps, you start by matching the gains, so they both have the same starting line. Do you think there is something incorrect about this?

    Sorry if you feel that way. If I wanted to make a QSC or other amp come out on top, I'd tell you to turn up that amp so it was louder than anything else, but I don't tell you that because it would be a dishonest way to compare them.
     
  17. inazone

    inazone

    Apr 20, 2003
    Colorado
    Mr Lee, I think you know why the CA9 is giving us the performance that it is you just dont mention it. I dont know all the details but it has to do with the switching rails in the new style amps and the available power reserve in the old stlye amps. Matching gains is important but its not the whole story. A watt is a watt and I dont have a EE degree but I have built a tesla coil, jacobbs ladder and a electric gizmo that crushes cans from magnetic force, I know a little about whats going on. I see were speddling is comming from. I have seen were you have helped TBer's (myself included) on loads of topics and I truly appreciate that but it seems that on this subject your bias is showing through.
     
  18. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I'm sorry, but I offer no bias. I am pointing out that matching gains is essential to comparing amplifiers (or processors, preamps, etc.) sonically. How is that bias? Is that the whole story? No, but that's the starting point. Then you listen to them. But without a starting line, the race isn't real.

    I have several times mentioned why the CA9 is giving you the performance that you report.

    If you see where speddling is coming from, great, but I don't.

    The CA9 has switching rails; it is a class H amp. The PLX 2402, 3002, and 3402 also are class H.
     
  19. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    No, I'm not pointing any "error of their ways" in buying a Crest amp--I'm only pointing out the shortcomings in the comparison they report--the race with a finish line but no starting line. Do you really not see the difference?

    I'm not pitching anything. I never tell people what to buy, but I try to help them make a reasoned decision, including how to make a real comparison. If you're saying that a fair comparison would be biased in favor of QSC, you would be saying that QSC is better. I am not. You're trying to prove that I'm pitching, yet ... you offer no proof.
     
  20. Bob Lee has made many helpful and informative statements and has been nothing less than honest to everybody. Bob is an extraordinary asset to TB. We are fortunate to be able to tap into his resources. I can't believe that a fellow TBer has made an attempt to smear his credibility by hijacking what was an informative thread!

    Good Job guys! You must be proud!