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iAmp: 500 vs 800

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Geoff St. Germaine, Nov 11, 2003.


  1. Well, in my purchasing of a new amp there has been another twist thrown my way. My intention was to get an iAmp 800 to replace my 350 for the added power. There is now a new iAmp 500 coming out to replace the 350. 350W into 8 ohms, 500W into 4 or 2 ohms. The same setup otherwise as the 800 is, minus the tuner. Now, with this amp I will be wanting to drive a CXL-112 and CXL-210. Probably not always both. This amp seems ideally suited to running a single CXL-112. I am wondering what your thoughts are on the power gain versus cost thing. The 800 is about $400 CDN more, which isn't too big of a deal to me. The Sabine tuner is of questionable value to me. Plus the 500 is only 14lbs.

    What are your thought on the 300W power trade off that I would see running the amps into a 4 ohm load?

    Oh, you can check out the new iAmp 500 at Club Bass. It isn't yet on the EA website.

    Thanks.

    Geoff
     
  2. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    You just gave me major GAS.;)
     
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Interesting, and it's dimensions / weight are different too:

    500: Size: 3.5"H x 14"W x 9"D / 14lbs
    800: Size: 3.5"H x 17"W x 10"D / 19lbs

    Sounds like a great rig for small shows - I use a single CXL112L for all my gigs, it does me fine in the NY clubs/bars.
     
  4. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    More power is better IMO, given that you can swing the $$ and that the size and features aren't very different.

    Extra headroom can't be bad. I'd go for the 800 in a heartbeat. In fact, I may do that in a few months! I can see no real advantage to the 500 aside from saving the bucks. Unless the difference between 14 lb and 19 lb is significant to you.
     
  5. Yeah, the tuner accounts for the width difference. I assume that the depth difference is due to the different power section.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that it would be a mistake to get the 500 and then possibly wind up needing more power later.

    Geoff
     
  6. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I agree with your assessment.

    Power is one of bassists best friends.
     
  7. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Geoff,

    I've been using an 800 for about 9 months. I run a CXL 12L for soft to medium volume gigs, and for the louder gigs I use two Eden 2-10XLT cabs. This combination works for me on my R & B, top 40, funk, blues gigs.

    I must say that I like the smaller footprint and the lighter weight of the 500. I noticed that you play in a jazz band. The 500 might be better for you, provided you don't see yourself yearning for more power later on.

    On the other hand, I see that you also play Christian rock. If your band tends to get loud, you might want to just spend the bucks now in order to have the power if you need it.
     
  8. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    The difference between 500 and 800 watts is noticable but not huge. It seems to me that the 800 is meant to be mounted in a rack and might be a little awkward thrown over your shoulder in a gig bag (although still doable). The 500 would be perfect for the gig bag.
     
  9. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    The cat is out of the bag. The 500 should be shipping within the next few weeks. I really want one. The difference as I see it(and after talking to Gary):

    1. Smaller. I can carry it in a gig bag as opposed to a 3 space rack. This makes the overeall dimensions of it considerably smaller. It is a bit lighter as well.

    2. There is a significant difference in power. I think that for most of my performance situations, the difference will not matter that much.

    3. The tuner. I really have become very used to the onboard tuner of the 800 and will miss not having it

    There are only a few real differences between the two amps. Power,weight and size. Power and weight relate directly to the weight of the transformer. The size issue means that the tuner has been removed. The preamp section, DI, etc are all the same that are on the 800.

    Mike
     
  10. Thanks for the response Mike!

    The decision seems to have gotten harder now. Oh, well, I have some time yet to decide. The 800's added power is definitely a plus. We'll see when the time comes. I'll probably try to A/B them and see if I can see a significant volume difference that will sway me one way or the other.

    Geoff
     
  11. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    GAS!!!

    shoot, just when my Clarus, which unfortunately, went up in a literal cloud of smoke. :(

    but yea, something that you can just stuff into a bag would be handy. didnt really dig the Eden sound with my Acme / Epifani

    hopefully, the guys at EA will find a way to stuff 1,000 watts @ 2ohms into the rackmount version. that IMHO, would really justify having a rack mountable EA head. just me. *shrug*
     
  12. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    The 800 is 1,000 watts into 2 ohms comes with rack ears. Mine is in one of those SKB Roto -X shallow rack. Works well!

    Mike
     
  13. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Ok, I just ordered a 500 with a gig bag -PLEASE don't tell my wife. The nice thing about the 500 is that you can hide it almost anywhere. ;)

    Mike
     
  14. "Honey, what's this under your 'art' magazines?"
     
  15. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    nice!

    count me corrected. but all the more reason, they should name it the "iAMP-1K". ;)
     
  16. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Geoff, I think I would go for the iAMP800. You will never have to worry about power. You wouldn't risk second guessing the 500.

    Joker...I have now had 2 Claruses blow up on me! Both are gone. I now have an iAMP350 and couldn't be happier. You should get the iAMP800;)
     
  17. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Damn, I just picked up an iAMP 800, and I REALLY wanted something that I could fit in a gig bag. Bummer. However, I do like the extra headroom. The iAMP 800 is enough juice for about any gig, but I can think of scenarios where the 500 might not be.

    Oh well. I guess I will just continue to use my Walkabout for those "gig bag" gigs...

    Either unit (iAMP 500 or iAMP 800) is going to be a quality piece, that's for sure. And of course, you get EA's phenomenal customer service.

    Tom.
     
  18. Bad_Boy

    Bad_Boy

    Sep 16, 2002
    Luton in UK
    'Scuse me for asking a stupid question but how do the i-amp & the clarus compare sound wise?

    Should I take it that the clarus has some reliability problems if driven at 2 ohm?
     
  19. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Once Vanselus gets the iAMP 800 up on Basstasters.com, we should have a good idea of how the preamp sections compare! ;)

    Tom.

    P.S.
    Van, If no one else will do it, I may have to just send you my Walkabout!
     
  20. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    well, i've had an EA iAMP350, and btwn my old Clarus, the EA was mucho clearer and more versatile. the Clarus had a darker, smokier voice.

    these days, i'm really wary of using the Clarus with my active basses, especially after watching my Clarus literally go up in smoke (no pun ;)) from being "overexposed" to the slammin' low end of my Sadowsky's active pre. :(

    but with my Eminence Upright and a friend's K&K installed Czech upright, the Clarus sounds soooooo good. that dark flavor sounds gorgeous with anything upright.

    for electric stuff, i'd just stick with the EA gear.