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Crown MA2402, Crest CA9 vs. newer Crest CC 4000

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by netefx, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. I've been rethinking my power amp setup based on input from Jim Bergantino (thanks!) and others. I'm powering two channels of 4 ohms each: Epifani NYC 212 and Bergantino HT115/HT210s (8 ohms each). There seems to be a consensus the analog linear power supplies do go where switching power supplies currently cannot. Scotty, I need more power! ;-) Here are the 3 I'm considering:

    Crown MA2402: Seems to have a solid rep. Rather expensive new but can be had used in the $600-800 range. Seems to have a higher damping factor. Seem very comparable to the others. Any compelling reason to choose this one?

    Crest CA9/CA12: The CA9 seems to be the standard. Seems like a solid choice by all accounts. What about the CA12, since you can find them for not alot more? I like the greater watts over the CA9 but 67 lbs net is a beast. Also CA12 can draw more than 15 amps, and I wonder if it could be a problem.

    Crest CC 4000: This is the unknown since it's new. Anyone tried one of these? It has the analog linear PS but has more power than the CA9 (1350 watts stereo at 4 ohms) and weighs 43 lbs net. Seems like the latest but is it the greatest?

    What do you guys like and why? I'm especially interested in those that have done careful A/B tests between any of them. Thanks!

    ... Mark
  2. DaveMcLain


    Jun 19, 2005
    Cuba MO
    I've got a Crown Macro Tech 1200 in my bass rig and I think it sounds great. I got this one used on E-Bay it had been the property of Clair Brothers Audio and from time to time they sell off their old stuff through various channels. I bought it because it wasn't very expensive and they are very reliable, sound good and it only takes up 3 rack spaces and weighs 44 lbs. I'm happy, it's a no frills amp that does it's job.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...Crown MA2402, haven't looked back since...'cept MAYBE a Crown Reference...

  4. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Woo hoo jumping on the bandwagon!

    I love my 2402, more juice than you can shake a stick at with tight control.

    Of course I don't know how valid my opinion is seeing as how I've never tried the CA9 or CC 4000...... :eyebrow:
  5. 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 the Crest CC4000, but I do power my Bergantino HT210/HT115 cabs with a Crest CA-9; I'm really happy with it's volume and headroom. IMO the CA-9 would be all the amp you'll need for your Bergies.

    I'm a big admirer of Crown's Macro Tech amps. I've been looking at the MA2400 and the MA2402, one day I hope to buy a used one. I may go with a MA2400; it's quite a bit cheaper.

    Or may just buy a used CA-9; IMHO they're a fantastic power amp.

    My reason for buying another power amp is:

    1. My band sometimes needs an amp to power our subs; my CA-9 always gets "nominated" :mad:

    2. I want to have my Read Purity preamp in one rack with a power amp and my Demeter HBP-1 preamp in another rack with a power amp. I'm a big believer in having a spare.

    My one question about the MA2402 is that many seller's on ebay state they "removed the 17 amp plug and replaced it with a 15 amp plug." Why would someone do this??? :confused:

    - Art


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    The reason for the plug mod is that in most situations, you're not gonna have a 20amp 110/120V outlet available(that's what style plug is on the MA2402). Crown engineered this amp for severe industrial usage with corresponding power supplies on hand. There are different ways around it & honestly, using it for a bass pwr amp, you'll never need to have its full demand/potential on tap from a 15A wall socket that are the norm in clubs/venues that everyone typically plays. I made an adapter box(very cheap) & have never tripped a 15A breaker at full power with both channels wide open EVER...

  7. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Thanks for the answer! :)

    - Art
  8. Arthur:

    Thanks for the input. One clarification and one question. I'm planning on running the Bergies on one channel. I'm going to run my Epifani NYC T-212 on the other channel sometimes. So do you think the CA9 has enough power in one channel to run the Bergie combo?

    So why do you want to buy an MA2402? Is it for a spare or to replace your CA9? If to replace, what does the MA2402 offer that the CA9 doesn't provide?

    Lastly, which preamp do you prefer? I'm considering the Read Purity in addition to my HBP-1. There is a harshness in the highs I don't like in my current setup. Do you think the Purity would help? Thanks.

    ... Mark

  9. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    That's exactly why I picked up a second CA9! Well, that and the fact that Music-Go-Round didn't realize what it was worth... ;)
  10. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Excuse me for the silly question, but

    Do you play stadium-sized gigs everytime?

    How many roadies do you have?

    A 212, a 115 and a 210, with over 1kW per side... Isn't it a bit overkill?

    Sorry for being a smartass, but IMO you could do very well with half the rig, and half the weight - not to mention you'd also save a few bucks.
  11. Frank:

    Stadium gigs? Don't I wish. Roadies? Usually 0. I consider it part of my exercise program.

    With the 212 and the 210 (I don't have the 115 yet), I run out of gas on outdoor parties. Happened last weekend. Out in the middle of the field with nothing behind, I didn't have the headroom I wanted. No help from the PA (those 15"s sound lame). Ran everything flat out and it wasn't enough. People wanted more bass (love that) so I boosted the mids and they quit complaining. No headroom. I hope the additional 115 and a better amp will help.

    ... Mark

  12. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Oh with an outdoor gig and no pa it's understandable.

    I wouldn't write off switching power supply amps so easily. maybe analogs are a bit better, but I don't think it would as noticeable as the weight difference. With a good-quality (Crest/Crown/Lab Gruppen/QSC/etc) higher-power class D power amp, your back will thank you.

    (Again not much to contribute, just some thoughts)
  13. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004


    You will not be disappointed!
  14. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Mark, I pm'd you on my thoughts about the HBP-1 and Purity; Sorry, but I ramble a bit.

    To answer your question on the CA-9 powering your HT210/HT115 though one channel: Yes, I've done it before and it works fine. No problems.

  15. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I've got the CA9 and with one cab or at least a 4ohm load I only use one side... it's plenty even for outdoor venues. I have not experienced the other two mentioned. It's heavy but other amps I've tried "choke" when I need to project and be louder i.e. outside venues. Other amps I've tried like the PLX amps have a few features that I prefer over the USA version of the Crest, like Speakon connectors and filtering options with easy dip-switches. These features are nice but when it comes to the "juice" the CA9 clobbers the other brands I've tried.
  16. So I appreciate all the input -- Very helpful. Also, thanks to Juan at Basses Electric Acoustic in Rancho Cordova (Sacramento). He is so helpful in doing these comparisions!

    So I set up these 3 power amps and did my comparision. During the tests, the signal chain to the amp, and the speaker load from the amp remains constant. Only the power amp was changed. I didn't even change the level going into the power amp. I set it for what works for the QSC PLX 3402 and it seemed to work fine for the Crests as well.

    I was playing my Dingwall Z1 into a Demeter HBP-1 preamp, into Kurzweil Rumour (chorus disabled), into a DBX Quantum (multiband compression and EQ). The speakers were Bergantino HT210S and HT115 combo providing a 4 ohm load together. I used just one side of each amp to power this combination. (Did not compare bridged setups as I'm not big on pain.)

    QSC PLX 3402: I've been using this for a while now but wasn't totally satisfied. Jim Bergantino started me re-evaluating. I recently learned about how to drive this thing better. I set the amp on max and increased the input until the clip light started to flicker. This technique helped me drive the PLX much better. I can see why other might complain if they are not driving it properly. So it's better but still not as good sounding as these below. Of course, here is the weight trade-off. The PLX is 21 lbs, while the others are heavier.

    Crest CC 4000: So I thought I was gonna really like this but I didn't. I sounded marginally better than my PLX. Sounded a little better in the low end. Seemed about as loud as the PLX.

    Crest CA9: Surprising improvement. Sounded louder. And the bass was much fuller and authoritive. (Jim was right!) And there was a cleaner texture to the tone. Didn't have the edge of the PLX and seemed smoother.

    So on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), I rate these 3 as such:

    QSC PLX 3402: 5 (loud but not as good bass and has and edge)
    Crest CC 4000: 6 (little better than PLX)
    Crest CA9: 8 (very nice -- I'm buying one)

    So there you have it. I'm going to buy a CA9 and carry 47 lbs around with me. To me, it's worth it.

    ... Mark
  17. Excellent choice. I'm lovin mine.
  18. I've seen more CA-series amps fail than any other type of amp plus I found them to be pretty anemic compared to the Crest Professional series, the Crown MA series, the EV P-series or the QSC MX series.

    Personally, I'd buy the Crown.
  19. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Your results are similar to mine. Good choice, IMHO!

  20. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Quick question for you 'preamp/poweramp' guys.

    - Many years ago I used an Alembic/Furmin/BGW (remember those!) rig into JBL's and BagEnds. It was very clean, and seemed to be pretty loud, but never seemed to really punch through the mix.

    - In all the many, many concerts, video's, club gigs, bass player articles, etc. that I have seen/read, there are very, very few pro bassists using these component systems (I may be wrong about that... so please chime in).

    - I've never had much problem wumping out a lot of sound, even outside, with a good head (400-800 watts).

    So.... why do you guys use these component systems versus a light, relatively inexpensive high powered head like an Eden800, and iAmp800, a WW Ultra, SWR900, Thunderfunk, etc. etc.?

    I'm literally just curious. I consider myself a tone freak, but just haven't come across a component system that seems worth the weight versus a good head in a typical gig situation.

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