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Iamp 800...noisy?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matt Morgan, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I'm betting on the iAMP! Can't wait to hear the outcome.
  2. `ash


    Feb 26, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    im very close to to buying an iAmp 800 so id love to hear the comparison as well.
  3. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Plano, TX
    I did receive the Iamp 800 and did a couple days of testing. I'll post an extended review tonight when I have a little more time.
  4. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Plano, TX
    Since I found a little more time, I thought I'd put up my review now.
    Test instruments: Peavey Cirrus 6 string, fretted and fretless, fresh strings, set ups, and batteries. EQ flat, pickups centered
    Test Cabinets: EA CXL112s (2), both systems were tested with both cabs together and individually with one cab. The tweeters were set at about 30%
    Test Room: 20x20 foot, carpeted floor
    Test Volume: low volume to (my wife's voice from upstairs) WHAT ARE YOU DOING DOWN THERE!! WE HAVE NEIGHBORS!
    Test rigs: as described in previous postings
    Tester experience: 27 years playing instruments, 18 years bass guitar, Bachelor of Arts in Music
    Test expectations: I was clearly predisposed to the Iamp. I was really looking to ditch the big rack system and go with something smaller and lighter.

    Iamp 800 comments: Very light weight, solidly built, great manual (which I did fully read). Set up was very quick. Upon powering up the amp, I had some significant issues with the Iamp. There was a very distinct percussive POP! in both speakers every time I turned the amp on or off. This happened regardless of volume settings and even with the speaker mute switch engaged. The first time it happened I jumped halfway across the room it was so loud and scared the living &^#$ out of me. Then adjusting the master volume there was a loud crackle in the volume knob. Also there were loud crackles adjusting the "low" and "low mid" eq controls.
    With any type of treble boost there was a significant "hiss" in the tweeters in the CXL 112s. There was also a significant metalic "grating" sound inserting and extracting from the headphone jack.
    The tone of the Iamp was very, full, rich and dark (too much so for me) with the eq off. I brightened up the sound to my liking by engaging both Contour buttons and boosting the high mids at 2K and highs at 4k by 5db. This was the best sound (to my ears) that I achieved on the Iamp. The Iamp clearly had a darker voice than the Demeter pre and lacked the definitive "cut" of the Demeter.
    Volume: The Iamp is clearly packing all of its advertised 800 watts. Plenty Loud!

    Demeter/Crest comments: Although my rack system is clearly heavier; the reliability, ease of operation, quietness of operation, and tone won out. The Demeter, set absolutely flat, does not have the full low end of the Iamp. However, with a slight boost of the lows and everything else set flat, the Demeter has a clearer, more defined tone that projects extremely well. The Demeter is also much quieter than the Iamp when not playing, virtually no hiss or hum.

    I repacked the Iamp and returned it after two days of testing. I am certain that some of the issues I discussed may only be related to that one particular Iamp and that EA's customer service would have resolved any issues. I may give it another chance someday but for now, I'm going to look for a lighter poweramp.

    All of these comments are, of course, based on my opinion and personal preferences.

  5. wneff

    wneff Supporting Member

    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA

    I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience with the amp.

    My iAMP800 has a very slight "pop" when you turn it on and off, nothing scary. In fact, my Gallien 200MB pops louder. I also don't have any crackles in any of my controls. The hiss is not more than I get with the Gallien or the SWR grand prix. In fact, the loudest source of noise are my humbucker! pickups.

  6. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Just a great amp. No noise, great tone and that other noise, volume. And yes their customer service is second to none.
  7. Humabass

    Humabass Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    I don't know how "qualified" a reviewer I am but I've owned 40 basses,23 amps,and 26 cabinets in 28 years of playing. I was attracted to the iamp800 by it's specs and read all the reviews and gave one a try. I didn't have any functional issues such as pops or crackles but did get a fair amount of hiss I wasn't expecting. I absolutely could not stand the sound of this amp. I never got the much talked about "amazing warmth for a solid state amp". The transients were sterile when popping. I now know that this amp is the ultimate representation of the current trend of "reproducing the TRUE sound of your instrument without coloration" which I think is load of crap. My sound comes from a marriage of my bass,type and gauge of strings,touch,ampifier,and cabinet. Selecting an amp that colors my sound is not a bad thing. Basses all play and sound different, why shouldn't amps? One might challenge me and ask how I get "my sound" in the studio or when running through the PA since my amp and cab is not a factor. I work with the engineer or soundman to reproduce it and usually get excellent results. My current rig is a DB680/PLX3402 on top of two Epi 210ULs. I sounds great BUT....I have to say that of all the amps I've owned or played I can't help but lean to the Edens as being my favorites. Edens sound great flat and have a wonderfully voiced EQ and although it's sem-parametric versus fully parametric on my Aguilar it's actually more flexible in the low-low/mid range since the Aguilar won't boost/cut frequencies below 180. The Aguilar has a little more refined character than the Eden overall but DAMN..everytime I plug into an Eden I go aaahhhh...yes....there it is...my sound. I'm sure all the EA guys will think I'm just too stupid to understand how to EQ the iamp to make it sound right and maybe they're right. Now that I've recently turned 45 I do seem to want all my bass stuff to be lighter and easier to use. In keeping with that philosophy I'm getting ready to sell my rack setup and get an Eden WT550.

  8. I don't think you're stupid. I'd be the first to tell you that an iAmp's tone isn't for everyone. It's just whatever sounds good to ya
  9. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Completely agree. "Color" is not bad in and of itself. "Bad color" is a bad thing, "good color" is a great thing.
  10. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    My only problem with color is that the room contributes as much to the sound as anything else. Sometimes a heavily colored amp's color doesn't mix well with the room's color and there isn't much you can do. With an uncolored amp and a flexible EQ you can dial in whatever color you want.
  11. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Oh yeah, my Iamp 500 isn't noisy at all.
  12. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Have you tried the headphone out?
  13. Humabass

    Humabass Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Excellent point. Don't get me wrong,I'm not in favor of heavily colored amps maybe just some different shades :cool: I guess I don't want to start with a blank sheet of white paper,I'm not that creative. Wow...I think my senses are starting to merge I'm hearing colors and listening to pieces of paper...wait..I think I just saw a C# come out of my speaker.
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Then again, if you happen to like the sound of your instrument as it is...Maybe this is why the iamp is popular with DBers.

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