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Crest CA9 tonality/characteristics?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by arbitrary, Apr 9, 2006.


  1. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    So I'm leaning towards a preamp/power amp combo w/my nv610 (debating between sansamp, gk2001rb pre and aguilar db659, and maybe others).

    But anyway the crest ca-9 seems to be recommended and I'll probably go for that.

    But I'm very curious what it sounds like as far as power amps go.

    Thanks again bretheren.
     
  2. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I'm sure someone hear knows.
    Just a quick bump.
     
  3. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Clear, open and transparent, with a crapload of "punch". Unlike bass amps, power amps tend to not have much "tonality" but rather just make what you put in a buttload louder . . . .

    - Tim
     
  4. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    +1, and I'll add that it has amazing low end, much better than the crest VS650 I had before. But I attribute part of that to the much higher wattage rating.
     
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Some power amps color the sound (either intentionally or through design choices), some don't. The CA9 is one that does not, it just reproduces anything you throw at it with very wide frequency response, unfaulting speed, great clarity, and gobs of power.

    If you don't mind carrying a 50lb amp, I can't imagine why you wouldn't choose a crest CA.
     
  6. Kael

    Kael

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I can. Because you have a Crown MA2402. :bag:
     
  7. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Well, OK. Thats allowed :D But also quite a bit more money.
     
  8. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for the info (again).
    Sonically speaking, how would it differ from a similar model crown power amp?
     
  9. Georges Abitbol

    Georges Abitbol Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    Paris, France
    Hi guys,
    I've asked a lot of questions about poweramps to people working in touring, gigs...
    I've not the opportunity to try CA9 and K1 or K2 and do an A/B comparison.
    But it seems that all people who have tried CA9 and K1 or K2 say that CA9 has a better bass response, or bass tone.
    The advantage of the K series is that they're maintenance-free, with no fan and so, no noise.
     
  10. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ideally, a power amp really should not provide any coloration at all. But, what I hear with my CA9 relative to other amps that I have tried is that the CA9 seems to have more control, punch, and force to its lows. The sound is very fast, from top to bottom, and it has exceptional clarity in the high end. Again, these comments are meant to be taken as "compared to other solid state amplifiers when used with the same bass, preamp, and cabs." I know that I shouldn't hear a difference (when the gains are matched), but nevertheless, I do. YMMV, of course, and if you don't hear a difference, then by all means, there are lighter options out there. But for me, if I am going to be using a solid state rack rig, the CA9 is my amp of choice by a wide margin (though I am sure that I'd be happy with a Crown, too).

    Tom.
     
  11. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    A good part of the punch and low end that folks report is because the CA series (much like the Crown MacroTech) is NOT a switching power suppy. Kinda hard to beat good old fashioned magnetic transformer based power for sheer brute force and transient response. A lot of the newer "switchers" will only sustain full power briefly - relying on the caps in the power supply, where these older supply designs can typically do it all day long . . . .

    - Tim
     
  12. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    NJ

    That has been my experience as well.



    [​IMG]
     
  13. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Switch-mode power supplies also use magnetic transformers, and conventional power supplies also rely on reservoir caps.

    The CA9, like any good power amp, is neutral.
     
  14. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Yes, but a lot of switch mode designs are based on sustaining "average" type of loads, and cannot provide the current necessary to sustain full output for extended periods, rather depending mainly on the caps to handle peaks (not saying that QSC does this - just a genralization.) While non-switch amps can go this way too, generally they are designed for more sustainable output - when weight became an issue, the tendency to "overbuild" power supplies died at a number of amp mfgs. and the issues I described became very real . . . .

    And yes, while switchers do have some transformers in them, the overall design and rating of the transformers is so different that a comparison is almost absurd . . . . high freq/higher voltage versus 60Hz at rail voltage . . . . same thing but totally different. Don't get me wrong - I'm not necessarily bashing switchers, just pointing out the differences and compromises that have been made to get the light weight amps we seen in this generation of equipment.

    - Tim
     
  15. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I have to echo the posts here about the CA-9 being "neutral" tone-wise. When I switched to a CA9 I instantly noticed that I had more volume and a lot less clipping. :cool:
     
  16. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The voltages and ratings aren't necessarily different, but yes, the AC frequencies are.
     

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