I need help understanding Class D heads.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by codycon96, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. I need help understanding class D heads. I play in a very loud, very distortion-bassed (ha.) post-hardcore band, and I've been recently looking at upgrading my rig due to us wanting to start touring within the next 6 months. In these searches I've come across class D heads, and they seem very attractive due to both the light weight and high wattage. Now, this is where I get confused.

    Can a simple class D power say, a 4x10 and a 1x15 cab AND still be used at large venues? What are the pros and cons? Will they last to the rigorous life style of touring? If I can avoid having to lug a 150 pound head, that'd be appreciated.

    - Cody Constantine.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Hardcore Metal or Hardcore Punk?

    Yes, they can power anything a Class A/B amp can.

    If you're a real stickler for the timbre of tubes, you might notice it's not quite as good as tubes, but some of them come pretty close, like Quilter & Aguilar.
  3. Hardcore Punk, but less fast. I.E. Thursday, Fugazi, GlassJaw, Cursive.

    Since I'm running some kind of distortion at all times, I don't think the tube tone means that much to me. I've been looking at some Hartke stuff, and also a couple of the G&K heads.
    AshInAmsterdam likes this.
  4. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    IME, G-K sounds awful with distortion.

    Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) endorses Hartke:

    byoung93888 likes this.
  5. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I’ll jump in here to point out that a 1x15 is not a good match for a 4x10 despite one seeing the pairing everywhere. If you are planning to purchase new boxes, a pair of identical 4x10s will give you far more predictable results in both tone and reliability.

    Yes a Class D amp can drive anything that any other topology is capable of.
  6. I definitely plan on upgrading my cabs to Hartke gear, and in that sense I would do the 4x10/1x15 combo. That's the safe bet.

    I've also been looking at the Bassman 800 (?)
    SLO Surfer likes this.
  7. So do just two 4x10's together? I was also considering that. What my ULTIMATE rig would be is three 4x10's chained together to make a pyramid shape.

    I'm a very active player and I love to stand on top of my stuff. That's why I'm also asking about the durability of their rigs and heads.
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I wouldn't recommend standing on any of those tiny Class D amps.
    If you want three 4x10s you should get a head capable of 2 Ohm loads, like the Mesa Subway.
  9. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    No, the safe bet is two matching 410 cabs, or two matching 115 cabs, but the tens will be louder.
    A single 15 is a terrible match to a cluster of 10's.
  10. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Usually, for a touring band, there is going to be a sound man managing the band’s sound out to the audience. Many acts that have large on stage rigs only have one system actually working, for a monitor function, and the rest either dummies or not connected.

    You should learn about Impedance so as to know what you can connect safely to your amplifier. And lastly don’t fall off your amp and break your fool neck! :D
    TrevorR and smogg like this.
  11. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    How punk/hardcore is it to go lightweight. Aren't there egos involved here? :smug:
  12. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Most any Solid state or class D head ought to be able to take more abuse than a tube head.

    Pretty sure standing on gear is outside of any manufacturers design parameters though.

    One thing to keep in mind is lightweight class D stuff is easier to get pulled or pushed off the top of a speaker, but hits the stage with less force. I recommend strapping them down tight from the sounds of your intentions.
    codycon96 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  13. If you want to stand on your gear get something rack mounted or mounted in travel cases.
    Let the rack/case take that abuse.

    Hook up two of the 4x10, don't hook up the third.
    Just have it on stage for your pyramid and for when you blow a speaker in one of the other cabs.
  14. Now, here's the
    I think it's more punk to break the notion of causing unnecessary stress to your body by having to lift equipment when you know your playing a club or a garage. Haha. Still noted though!
  15. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    Every LOW PRICED class d amplifier I ever saw has a tendency to stay at low distortion as you up then power, and if you can drive the amp into distortion, it completely fails. The distortion curves on them look as if they "fall up a cliff".
    But those are stereo amps. I haven't seen any curves on music instrument class d amps. By completely fails, I mean fails in it's ability to even remotely follow any sort of input signal. They should recover and play normally after turned down, but beware about what that could do to speakers.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
    alesreaper9 likes this.
  16. I'm using a boss ODB-3 for all my distortion business :), I'll keep that in mind though!
    J-Bassomatic likes this.
  17. Lvjoebass

    Lvjoebass In Memoriam

    Jan 19, 2017
    Ogbander nailed it! Use two 4-10 s and a dummy for pyramid! When you hit Vegas p m me, make a deal on dummy hartke v xs, got a couple in garage!
    Munjibunga likes this.
  18. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Lots of cons for class D heads compared to the old stuff.

    1) They cannot replace your space heater to heat your room.
    2) You don't get the good drugs after your hernia surgery from lifting your amp.
    3) Can't fry eggs on top of your amp anymore.
    4) Miss out on spending $75 for new tubes every 3 months.
  19. If you dig Fugazi, imo you'll be fine with a class D head. I've played plenty of Fugazi and fugaziesque stuff with mine.
    codycon96 likes this.
  20. Check out the Darkglass Microtubes 900. Lightweight 900 watt head capable of 2ohm loads. Built in B3K and VMT distortion circuits.

    I play in a post-hardcore band and use the B3K pedal with an Orange AD200. Sounds huge. If I was going Class D (and I am considering it) then I'd go the Darkglass 900.