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Crest, QSC, etc.... How are they different than GK, Ampeg, etc.?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Baird6869, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I am having difficulty understanding what Crest, QSC and other boutique-y (non traditional?) power amps can do that a "normal" amp like a GK, Ampeg or Mesa cannot.

    I have always been an Ampeg guy, but recently bought a SansAmp RBI and can really see the benefits of a seperate preamp and since my Ampeg is only being used as a power amp currently, I would be interested in knowing what the fuss is all about regarding these power amps as they are totally foreign to me.

    BTW, are these Crests and QSCs built for bass specifically?

  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    They're basically just the power supply of little use without something strong enough to drive them on the front end: no pre or bell whistles like the line in's/out's, effects, di/whatever. Just some swithching for modes, filters, whatever. They're as commonly used (perhaps more so) for DJ stuff as bass amps and can be used for a stereo system. They aren't specifically designed for bass but typically cover 20Hz -20kHz so bass is no issue. Just a clean transparent power source.
  3. The power amps you mention are not made specifically for bass, they are made for sound reinforcment like FOH applications. So what you have is a stereo amp (2 amps) that can be used independently of each other (one side for bass, the other for monitors) or you can bridge the 2 into one big mono amp and use it for a bass rig. What do they have to offer over a traditional bass head? It all depends, some of things I can think of off hand are 1) more headroom and 2) possibly cleaner sound. Your Ampeg puts out 450 at 4 ohms, QSC's entry level power amp (RMX 830) will put out almost double that in bridge mono mode. Will you like the sound from a Crest or QSC more than you power section from you Ampeg? Borrow a power amp and try it out.
  4. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    The only reason I own a power amp is because I can't find an amp that sounds like my F-2B.

    P.S. if you really want something "boutiquey" check this out:


    20 year warranty yo.
  5. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Inactive

    Dec 20, 2006
    A power amp doesn't have to use internal space for a preamp circuit or an EQ-ing circuit or DI outs or effects loops... it's just straight power in a 2U rack space. That means, in that amount of space, they can fit far larger power transformers to create tons of juice.

    But depending on the kind and quality of the power amp, you may not like the sound. Yes all power amps are designed to replicate sound from 20Hz to 20kHz. But not all amps can do the 20Hz-100Hz range with as clean and accurate tone and fidelity as a bass amp dedicated to produce that low end. Yes, you can get a power amp that does that low end perfectly, but it'll cost ya. Do the research, there's threads here covering thos better quality amps.
  6. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    Actually, Crest, QSC and Crown are NOT boutique equipement, and is much more available than top of the line GK, Mesa, or Ampeg. In general, a power-amp will reproduce more volume (of course, these past years have seen a few very powerful heads), and 2 channels, instead of the past standard of 300 watts or so for most heads. There is also, for me anyway, the versatility of the preamp and power-amp setup. I can use 2 8 ohm channels of the power amp to power one cab with effects, and another without. Or bridge and get a 4 ohm 1200 watt power signal, etc...
  7. StoBro


    Jun 2, 2007
    Sometimes the specs published by bass amp manufacturers don't tell the complete story about the amp's power. They may state "400 watts into 4 ohms" with no mention of frequency and distortion. It may be 400W at 1000Hz with 5% distortion! What's the clean power output at 40Hz? Who knows?

    Most pro-sound power amp manufacturers will publish complete specs including rated power output from 20 to 20kHz at a low distortion value, typically less than 1%.
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Ya know .. you can get rudely powerful integrated heads and you can get moderately powerful amps to pair with pre-amps that have the feature set that is just dialed for you. Maybe more knob's like my Navigator (jeeze you could land an airplane using all those LED's...) or fewer knows for the U5 crowd.

    A real advantage to the integrated head is the available size and weight to power ratio. Something like an Eden WT-550 or GK 1001 RB II will provide enough power for most gigging bassists - and they go on & off with 1 switch, need no interconnect cable, carry in a shallow rack or bag ... For a quick in and out, easy carry for the working bassist - not a bad choice.

    I like my Eden Navigator/PLX 2402 rig - a lot. It's the feature set of the Eden Pre and the flexibility of having 2 channels of power amp. One for my bass rig and one for a PA sub ? more vocal monitors ? or ?

    It does require a full sized 4 space rack, an interconnect cable and has 2 on/off switches*. I know the switches thing seems silly but there is a real nicety to a simple plug in your cab, your bass and flip a switch.

    I recently sold my small / medium room rig. An Eden WT-400 and Bag End 2x10. Really a sweet system that could do anything I asked of it up to a point. I actually used that system more than the large room rig when I ran both. When my budget recovers from my latest home studio update, I'll snag another head, probably a GK 1001 RB II and a custom (read home brew) 2x10 to use in those small to medium rooms where the convenience factors out weigh the power & flexibility factor's. For now the Nav / PLX & Schroe setup will just have to do the small room work as well...

    *switches being mechanical are potential failure points - as well as things to forget - or to get out of sequence ...

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