Good Clean Power Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Will_White, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    My main tone comes from a Bass Fly Rig and I typically run in to the effects return of my amps. I'm looking to get a more powerful amp so instead of getting a bunch of extra features I don't need I'm looking to get something simple in the 500-1000 watt range, preferably with just a level control.
    zon6c-f likes this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    What's your max budget?

    Max weight?
  3. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    What's wrong with using the effects return of a 500-1000 watt amp?
  4. Tekkers


    Dec 16, 2018
    Caveat - I’ve never actually played through one.

    But I’m also a Fly Rig user and I’ve been interested by the Seymour Duncan Power Stage.
    700watts, stereo, (reasonably) compact and light.
    Not inexpensive though.

    There’s also a 170watt version which is much more portable, but I don’t think it would have enough power to push the lows properly.
    Will_White likes this.
  5. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    I understand the motivation for this. I'm in the same boat, but I went the powered speaker route.

    I may be wrong, but I think that the most standalone power amps that you'll find in this category will be rackmount systems or married to a powered speaker enclosure. If you're okay with either of these, depending on your area there may be a lot of good deals on used, older rackmount power amp gear that's being phased out by smaller, newer Class D stuff. (Look specifically for PA equipment, but you might find bass amplification as well. The tradeoff here is weight and efficiency.)

    Powered speakers are also an option - there are some that are similar to bass cabinets (Wayne Jones, apparently, Phil Jones, and the Barefaced FR800) but many are closer to PA gear, which may or may not be what you want.

    There are some threads around here with similar questions. it seems that current consensus is that it's easier and cheaper to buy a head and use the effects loop. That said, I'm with you - small, standalone, ICE-powered amps would seem to make a lot of sense these days. Curious to see what this yields.
  6. Mainstream manufacturers don't see a dollar in supplying a mini power block.

    The closest to what you seek is probably the Quilter.

    There are a couple of uncertified boxes coming from EU.

    Or you could do the fx return thing with almost any bass amp.

    Or lump a 2U power amp for almost free.
  7. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    I could see the Bass Fly Rig and Powerstage 700 being a great setup. I've used the Powerstage with a guitar Fly Rig, and it was a light, powerful and great sounding rig. Tech 21 does some great work.
    Will_White and Tekkers like this.
  8. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Max budget not sure, max weight not really an issue.

    Nothing really I just don't want to be paying for a bunch of stuff I don't need and I would also like to be able to set the level on the BFR for the direct out and have another volume control on the amp in case I need to use both.
  9. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I experimented with this a year or so ago.
    I think I used an Ampeg tube pre through a variety of MI amps including a GK 1001RB, MB800, and an Ashdown.
    The tone was somewhat different which I assume was due to an impedance mis-match.
    I'm going to try this again this weekend. Any thoughts on how the connection should be made?
    Pretty sure I went pre-amp out into effects return; all unbalanced.
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    QSC Amplifiers
    Two ways to get PLX2 performance
    The 02 models (PLX1802, PLX2502, PLX3102 and PLX3602) are the right choice for users who need to drive up to four loudspeakers from each amplifier channel (2 ohm loading), or when extremely high power bridge mono operation is required. These models feature built-in subwoofer processing, filter switches, and front panel indications of bridge mono status.

    QSC PLX2 Series Features:

    Very light weight (21 pounds/9.5 kg)
    Cooling design exhausts hot air out the front, keeping the rack cool. Flow-through heat sinks require no filters that could become clogged
    Front panel LED power, clip, -10 dB, and signal present indicators for system monitoring and troubleshooting. 02 models also feature bridge and parallel mode LED indicators
    Speakon NL-4 output connectors provide a positive-locking speaker connection. Ch 1 output uses all 4 wires for single-cable connection to bi-amplified speakers
    21-position front-panel gain controls for precise, repeatable amplifier adjustment
    Balanced XLR inputs with parallel TRS connectors accommodate all common input connectors and support loop-through operation
    Patented PowerLight power supply technology with other patents pending
    Speakon NL4 and binding post outputs
    100 Hz high pass and low pass filters for bi-amping subwoofer and satellite systems without the need for an external crossover
    Switchable/defeatable 33 Hz infrasonic filters protect woofers from over-excursion damage
    Switchable/defeatable clip limiters
    Four models with power ratings up to 1800 watts per channel @ 2 ohms, 3600 watts bridged @ 4 ohms

    PLX2 series amplifiers have the refined, rugged good looks usually associated with high performance racing cars, competition bikes, professional power tools, and high power machinery. A solid, cast-aluminum front panel adds professional style to any rack while also acting as an integral I-beam, rigidly tying the chassis together for years of on-the-road reliability.

    Additional mechanical touches such as the side stiffening rails, rear rack ears and cable tie anchor points attest to QSC's years of experience and attention to detail. QSC has even designed the integrated front handles so the amplifier slides into a rack without scraping the installers fingers on the rack sides. The exterior appearance of PLX2 amplifiers conveys what's inside - simply and truly, 21 pounds of the most advanced professional power amp on the planet.

    PowerLight Technology
    PowerLight switchmode technology replaces a large, heavy AC transformer (typically 20 lbs. / 9 kg) with a highly efficient and lighter-weight active design. Conventional AC transformers provide 60 energy pulses per second. The PowerLight supply delivers 100,000 pulses per second. More pulses make it easier to provide on-demand power for the amplifier's output section. The power supply doesn't sag so bass notes stay full and powerful while the high end remains crisp and clean.

    Audio Quality
    PLX2 audio power circuitry achieves performance normally associated with studio reference amplifiers. In order to reduce crossover distortion, precision bias tracking makes minute adjustments as amplifier temperature changes. The benefit is cleaner high-frequency and more consistent sound no matter how hard the amplifier is driven. The higher power models use QSC-exclusive class H output circuitry, a form of audio turbocharging that increases maximum power without affecting the basic audio quality.

    QSC PLX3102 Power Amplifier Specifications

    Stereo Mode (both channels driven)
    • 8 Ohms FTC 20 Hz - 20 kHz 0.05% THD: 550 watts
    • 8 Ohms EIA 1 kHz 0.1% THD: 600 watts
    • 4 Ohms FTC 20 Hz - 20 kHz 0.05% THD: 900 watts
    • 4 Ohms EIA 1 kHz 0.1% THD: 1,000 watts
    • 2 Ohms EIA 1 kHz 1% THD: 1,550 watts
    Bridge Mono Mode
    • 8 Ohms 20 Hz - 20 kHz 0.1% THD: 1,900 watts
    • 8 Ohms EIA 1 kHz 0.1% THD: 2,100 watts
    • 4 Ohms 1 kHz 1% THD: 3,100 watts
    Other Specifications
    • Signal to Noise: > -107 dB (20 Hz - 20 kHz)
    • Input Sensitivity at 8 Ohms: 1.23 Vrms
    • Voltage Gain at 8 Ohms: 35 dB
    • Output Circuitry: 2-Step Class H
    • Power Requirements (1/8 power, pink noise at 4 Ohms): 9.5A/120V
    • Distortion (SMPTE-IM): < 0.02%
    • Distortion (typical):
      • 1/8 Rated Power, 20 Hz - 20 kHz: < 0.02%
      • Full Rated Power, 20 Hz - 20 kHz: < 0.02%
    • Damping Factor: > 500
    • Input Impedance: 10k ohms unbalanced (20k ohms balanced)
    • Input Clipping: 11 Vrms (+21 dBu)
    • Cooling: Variable-speed fan, rear-to-front air flow
    • Input Connectors: 3-pin XLR and 1/4 inch TRS balanced (parallel)
    • Output Connectors: Neutrik NL4 Speakon and touch-proof binding posts (Both channels available on Ch 1 NL4 connector)
    • Amplifier Protection: Full short circuit, open circuit, thermal, infrasonic, ultrasonic, and RF protection. Stable into reactive or mismatched loads
    • Load Protection: On/Off muting, DC-fault power supply shutdown
    Dimensions and Weight
    • Height: 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) - 2 rack units
    • Width: 19 inches (48.3 cm)
    • Depth:
      • Rack mounting surface to rear: 12.8 inches (32.6 cm)
      • Overall: 14.875 inches (37.9 cm)
    • Weight: 21 pounds (9.5 kg)
    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    There may be some differences depending on the intent of the various designers, but I would expect the 2 GK power amps to sound reasonably similar. I am not familiar with the Ashdown however.
    Jim C likes this.
  12. I consider my Genzler Magellan 800 a Good Clean Power Amp that is MUCH smaller all around than a two rack space just power amp, and it just happens to have a free Preamp and DI Box built in. It has also been used for PA use by plugging the mixer into the Aux In, also used a Mesa Subway this way. :thumbsup:

    Many others that have an Effects loop or Aux In do the same.
    GK MB and Legacy, Mesa Subways, Ampeg PF series...
    guitarflinger likes this.
  13. Why lug around what will likely be an unwieldy piece of rackmount gear? There are other options I'm sure, but for instance, the Quilter Bass Bloc is a tidy [email protected] bass amp that also happens to have an input that bypasses the onboard pre-amp.
    What if something happens to your Fly Rig? A power-amp alone would not get you through the gig, but if you have a bass amp masquerading as your "power amp", your'e good.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Demeter Minnie 800D
    Product Code: B-800D-Minnie
    Availability: In Stock
    Price: $1,200.00 Sale $999.00
    - OR -
    DescriptionReviews (2)
    This unit proves once and for all the size doesn't matter. This 3.5 pounder is definitely a lightweight, but packs a mean 800 watt punch. At only 10" x 6" x 2", you can literally fit this amazing sounding power amplifier in a suitcase. Using the latest in Class D amplification, we have created a miniature monster that delivers 800 watts RMS into 4 ohms. This versatile unit can be coupled with any preamp, but we would strongly recommend trying the Minnie out with our VTBP-201 or a Jule Monique Preamp.

    Power Amp Specifications
    • Input (power amp): 1/4" Line Level Input (can be trimmed to match any pre)

    • Outputs (power amp): Speakon (2) & 1/4" Speaker (1)

    • Output impedance (power amp): 4 ohm, 8 ohm, 16 ohm

    • Output Power (power amp): 800 watt RMS @ 4 ohms, 500 watt RMS @ 8 ohms
    lowendrv likes this.
  15. I used to run a QSC PLX 1804 in this application with my VT Bass Deluxe, THDI etc. I sold it and got a Quilter BB800.
    Nothing wrong with using a rack mounted D class power amp though. QSC, Crown, and the Peavey IP series are a good place to start looking.
    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  16. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    For clean oceans of power, I like the Crest ProLITE 3.0. The 2 RU non-DSP version is pretty cheap, light, and amazingly powerful. Handles 2, 4, and 8 ohms, can be bridged into 4 ohms, does stereo, mono, and has input level attenuators, balanced/unbalanced inputs, and speak-on connectors.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  17. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Mount Prospect, IL
    The Quilter will suit your needs and give you a couple extra features/capabilities.

    I really liked mine as a stand-alone amp, but wanted more EQ flexibility.

    As a power-amp solution, that wouldn’t be a limiting factor for you.
  18. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
  19. Dee-man

    Dee-man Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    TBer @radbass makes awesome desktop power amps with ICE or Pascal power modules. A volume control is an upcharge. They show up here in the classifieds sometimes.
    esoxhntr and wave rider like this.
  20. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I used to run a chordelectronics power amp.
    Liked it very much!!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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