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Crest VS (V) series vs. CA series

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by J.Wolf, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Can anyone make any comparisons between the Crest VS and CA series? I own a VS650 that I run bridged and I'm thinking about trading up for a CA9, (or, perhaps, but unlikely due to $$, a Demeter VTHF300M). I like the VS but I find myself running out of headroom quite often, and for some reason, they put the volume knobs on the back, which is almost always a real hassle.

    I'm wondering if there is a tonal difference between these two series of Crest amps. Obviously going from a VS650 to a CA9 is a major increase in wattage, and that will have a drastic effect on the tone. I'm curious if there is a tonal difference, wattage difference notwithstanding, given the different architecture of these amps.

    Anybody out there had both of these?

  2. I sure can. I have one of each, a CA9 and a V1100 which is identical your VS series cept on the V the attenuators are on the front where they belong. :)

    I was running the V1100 with a F-1X and an Eden 210T and a 215XLT. Sounded great, lots of headroom and power but I got horny to try out a CA9 since I had heard so much about them. I pulled out the V1100 and slipped in the CA9, Okay...the CA9 weights 53lbs so I didn't slip it in exactly, more like grunted it in. Anyway, the difference was quite remarkable. Even my guitar player noticed the difference immediately and he's the most hopelessly tone deaf human being I've ever met. Same preamp, same cabs, same band, same practice room, same volume levels and the CA9 stomped the V1100 tone wise. You could just tell that CA9 had my 15's by the throat and they were going to do whatever the CA9 said with no arguments. The sound was tighter, fuller and could smack you in the chest like the V1100 couldn't do. It also, I don't know, feels different in your hands when you play through it. I don't know quite how to describe it. The V1100 is like driving a Chevy dualie and the CA9 is like driving a Freightliner. :cool:
  3. kelbrihan

    kelbrihan Banned [Deceiving users with multiple usernames] Banned

    Dec 2, 2004
    what he said
  4. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Been using a CA9 for over a year. It's like opening of a can of Industrial Strength WHooPA$$ compared to my previous PLX2402. I probably wouldn't have changed so many cabs if I would originally had the CA9... In defense of the QSC gear... We have the MXA series amps for our PA system and they are dependable (very heavy) workhorses. From what I understand the "lead sled" or transformer loaded amps usually supply a lot more 'dynamic-headroom', and that is what us bassplayer need. It's like having that reserve of punch all the time even at the loudest most demanding situations. The switching type amps never gave me that. It's like a nitro switch on a Rail (dragster). Thanks to Jim Bergantino for enlightening me about this amp and what it can do. I thank him, but my back does not. :D
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I bought my CA-6 with an Alembic preamp (rack mounted) a few years back. Well, I've been thru a few preamps in the meantime but the Crest remains. The thing lights up by Acme B-4 with power to spare. My only complaint is the cheap plastic air intake filter retainers on the back. They're easy to knock off if not careful.

  6. MODNY

    MODNY Guest

    Nov 9, 2004
    i just wish the ca-9 had like those handles built into the frfont of it for putting it into my rack easier, ,i've pinched my fingers a couple times, and that really sucked balls
  7. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I don't have any experience with Crest's VS-Series amps, but I've been using a CA-9 for almost a year and I couldn't be happier with it's performance. :cool:

    Like Big String I was using a QSC PLX2402 before I bought my CA-9. While the PLX2402 had many features I liked and was very easy to haul, for the life of me I couldn't solve the clipping problems I was having with it. :confused:

    I tried a CA-9 from an online dealer with a 48 hour return policy. It arrived just in time for a Friday and Saturday gig; it's been in my rack ever since. :)
  8. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks guys, thats good info! I have a feeling a CA9 will be just the ticket for me. Perhaps down the road, when I can afford to have both, I'll add a VTHF to the rotation, but for now, a CA9 seems like the ideal poweramp. I'll just be glad when I don't have to reach around to the back of the rack to adjust the poweramp volume. Who thought of that design? :eyebrow:

    I'm sure the CA9 will do some serious justice for the El Whappo. Can't wait to hear that!
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Another good power amp is the Crown MA-2402.

    Should sound fairly similar to the CA9.
  10. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Never used a CA9, but I second that comment about the MA-2402. That sucker kicks.
  11. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC

    I just won an auction for a CA9!!!

    I'm really excited to get it and check it out. Should be here in a few days, I'll try to post my impressions after I gig with it. What I'm really looking forward to is being able to run my El Whappo, AND another cab, either a tri112, or a tri210.

    Up until now, I've only been able to use my el whappo by itself for big gigs, otherwise it seems like the vs650 gets spread way too thin to deliver fully if it's plugged into two cabs. Truthfully, it's usually plenty, but my VS650 clips long before the el whappo has reached it's max potential, and I'm hoping the extra headroom will make some of my softer playing at high volumes and general dynamics more effortless.

    I'm really gassed up to hear the CA9 with the el whappo and the tri210L. Oh daddy.... :hyper:
  12. Fuzzhead


    Sep 26, 2005
    I got a Crown K2 recently and bridged it into my El Whappo, 2500W @ 4 Ohms. Kaboom! The amp didn't even clip until about 80-90% up, and each note was like a cannon shot, headroom for days...it's not hype IMO. I seriously doubt you'll need an extra cab if you bridge your CA-9, I think the EW will love it.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...Ca-9(or ?) & Crown MA...there are no others...

  14. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Just to add... I've never found the need to bridge the CA9 into any of my cabs. In fact I rarely turn up the gain over halfway using one channel in parallel, and it's still has tons of headroom. The one time I did bridge my CA9 it seemed to have just too much power and I realize that could mean that other factors in my signal chain could have added to that outcome. I quickly changed it back to parallel. I was however using a Lakland Joe Osborn passive bass with standard Lindey Fralins that time, which are not extra hot.
  15. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Well, I got my CA9 in th email yesterday!!!! It unfortunately wasn't exactly as described, it was a bit more beat up than they cared to mention in the auction description. two of the rack ear corners were bent in, indicating to me that it has taken a tumble or two in it's time, and the screw holding the transformer in on the botom was quite loose, which is kind of worrysome. But the fans are whisper quiet, and the amp is dead silent.

    I plugged it in and fired it up and WOW, does it sound good. I was only able to check it out for a bit at lower volumes with my el whappo, but you can tell that sucker kicks. It sounds cleaner than my VS650, and the lowend sounds tighter and bigger as well. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to open it up on a gig in a large room.

    The only gripe I have, and really it's not a gripe, is that because it's so deep, it hangs way out the back of my standard SKB case. You have to unplug all the connections, or else the cover won't fit. Oh well, I'd rather have that than an extra rack space.

    Does anyone have their CA9 mounted in a rack bag, and if so, which ones work well with the CA9's extra depth?
  16. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I have my CA-6 mounted in a standard SKB case as well. It hangs its ass-end out a few inches but I live with it. The appropriate size rack case would set me back close to a hundred bucks.

    Things kick ass, don't they? Enjoy the purchase!

  17. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Oh it's on like Donkey Kong now!!!!!! DSCF2896.
  18. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I would like to get a 2 space rack bag for it though, if it's practical and safe. It's plenty heavy by itself, not to mention the Demeter and the SKB. Then I could use my 4 space for a couple of preamps and my echoplex.

    That would be sweet :bassist:
  19. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I have a Crest CA-6 and used to have a Crest VS900. These two are not too far off one another on paper--wattage and weight.

    Bottomlines for me were:

    1. VS900 an incredible value on the used market. Very high level of build quality. A great budget option, even if old--still kicks newer amps aside.

    2. CA-6 the ultimate driving experience. Nothing else I've ever tried jumps up, flies across the room, and knocks the taste OUT YO MOUTH like a CA-6 into a GS410. Yeah, it's got the edge in the tone department.
  20. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I would not recommend a bag for this beast. Stick with the SKB. I made my own rear mount out of angle bracketts from Ace Hardware... works great. Your right about the hassle with the plugs. I only disconnect my speaker cable. I have the bannana stuck in the posts and screwed down. I have a 90 deg. cable from the preamp to the ca9. I've adapted but still wish it has speakons.