iAmp 800 vs pre/power setup

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pedroferreira, May 23, 2004.

  1. pedroferreira


    Feb 10, 2003
    I want to buy a new setup.
    The cab will be the Euphonic Audio Cxl 112 L and from what I read the iAmp will be a perfect match.
    But I'm also considering buying a pre/power setup. I'm a very good friend from the local dealer of QSC, so the problem is picking the right preamp (or amp) without hearing it before.
    I play a lot of styles: funk, rock, pop, jazz, R&B, latin...
    The only problem with the iAmp is the assistance. I live in Europe so if the amp gets broke I have to send it to US for repair :confused: , as I heard that only Euphonic Audio can fix them, because of the class D design.
    For the pre/power setup i was thinking of Demeter
    HBP-1; I have a '78 Jazz Bass and i think that the VTBP-201S is not very versatile.
    I waited for the Purity review on basstasters, but to me it sounds a bit "nasal" (which is a characteristic common to all tube preamps that I've heard), and the samples of the iAmp are awesome.
    What do you think?

    Another thing:
    A use a warwick setup with a 4x10 plus horn cab. What can I expect from a EA 1x12. I enjoyed play with the 4x10 for the last years but I'm a bit tired of that "punchy" sound. I want a very "round" defined sound.
    With this cab I can get a good tone from where I'm standing playing, but when I start to move forward apart from the cab it becomes thiny :crying:

    What do you think?
  2. wneff

    wneff Supporting Member

    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA

    I am using the iAMP 800 and the CXL112 for a couple of months.

    I had exactly the same questions you had.
    1) I also considered QSC as a power amp with my SWR grand prix pre-amp.
    In the end I decided to go with the EA for the following reasons:
    a) The Grand prix sounded good, but did not give me all the flexibility I wanted.
    b) The setup with QSC and Grand prix in rack would be heavier and bigger (I carry the EA around in a small padded Husky toolbox!!!)
    c) Power ourput of PLX1602 into my existing speakers would be less than the EA unless I bridge, in which case the THD goes up.
    d) QSC is manufactured in China, EA in the country where I work (support local economy).

    2) Service: The class D would only be a probem if the power amp has a problem. For all other probles (pre-amp) anyone can fix it. Also, contact EA if they have someone in Europe wo can help you. Or - ask if you can have a set of schematics so you can go to someone and get it fixed. (Or ask Beringer if they have the schematics reverse engineered......)

    3) Sound: The CXL112 is hard and punchy. Really COOOL hard and punchy.
    I would not describe my system as particularly warm, I would say my system is really clean and accurate without being sterile. If you are looking for a warm sound there may be better options out there. Listen to the equipment before you buy it!

    That the sound gets thinner when you move away is something all my cabs are doing.

    For me the system of iAMP800 and CXL112 is the perfect solution or all but extremely loud setting. In these I put a 115 EV under the CXL and all my problems are solved. Check them out and make sure the sound is warm enough! In my experience where are always trade-offs:
    When the sound gets warmer is gets muddier and looses clarity and is less agressive.

    Hope it helps.

  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i highly doubt you'd be unhappy with the iAMP.

    its sooooooooo much more convenient to gig around with, and sounds great.

    if you want a more tube like character, then try putting an SIB FatDrive, or a Sansamp Bass DI in the effects loop for a bit of that grind.

    works for me!
  4. pedroferreira


    Feb 10, 2003
    Thanks for your answers. :hyper:

    Now I'm more convinced that I'm going with the iAmp than with the Cxl :meh:

    Wneff: What do you think that are better options for me. Do you think I can get that with a 1x12?
    I had a swr basic black combo (1x15 + tweeter) and i loved it.
    Now I have a warwick rig (4x10+horn) which is fine but I want something uncolored and versatile.

    Thanks in advance?

  5. Had the Iamp 800 for a little while. Great amp but underpowered. I doubt that it brings 1000 Watts @ 2 ohm. Anyway, If you have doubts about the weight of a power amp, chose the Stewart world 1.2, very light, 1 rack space and a lot more guts and balls than the Iamp. Use a demeter or kern as preamp and you'll have a killer rig. I A/B ed my Iamp with my pro/preamp confiuration, same cabs, 4 ohm each, the pre/power was definitely ballsier.

  6. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I had the same question, eventually decided to go with a pre/power setup.

    I wanted the most versatile rig possible, so I decided to go with two pre's (Rocktron Blue Thunder + Ampeg SVP-PRO with QSC PL1.8). Going that route is a bit more expensive than the iAmp would be, but now I can get pretty much any sound I want. Granted the rack weighs about 40-50 lbs, but it's worth it IMO.
  7. pedroferreira


    Feb 10, 2003
    What's the difference of a series effects loop (iAmp) and a parallel effects loop?
  8. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    the amp wasnt powerful enough? sheesh, hope you have protection. :meh:


    just means, in series, your whole signal is effected, while in parallel, the signal is split into a dry "uneffected" signal and an "effected" signal, where its then summed back together when it hits the power section. in the parallel way, you have a more distinct and clearer original signal.

    both are great, and depend wholly on the player.

    also, the iAMP has a "tone/flat" switch which flips in the EQ section or leaves it out. you want versatile, you'll have it in the iAMP.

    but if you have the cash, and you'd like a more options in tones with different preamps, then the pre/power setup is the way to go.
  9. Humabass

    Humabass Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Gee, since you live in Europe what about EBS?
  10. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I own an iAMP 800, as well as a preamp/power amp rack rig. From what you have described, I strongly suspect that the iAMP 800 would serve your needs quite well. That said, a preamp/power amp setup can be great as well. I have a QSC PLX 3002 in my rack, and it is headroom galore! From what you have described, though, I would suggest that if you go this route, try to find a flexible preamp that can cover a range of tones well. I have an Eden Navigator, and from the preamps that I tried, it seemed the one able to cop the widest range of usable tones.


    For anyone who doesn't feel like they are getting as much volume as they would like out of their iAMP 800, if it is because the overload protection circuitry appears to be kicking in too soon, this is a fixable dilemma. I have a very early 800, and it suffered from this problem. However, a few e-mails with Gary, less than one week's wait later, and now it goes significantly louder and had not cut out (which is protection kicking in) yet.
  11. `ash


    Feb 26, 2004
    couldnt one get an iamp, and then if more power is an issue, go from the tuner out to a 3002?
  12. Not a stupid question.

    Interesting point......the new iAmp 800's no longer have the built-in tuner. Instead they have a Parallel loop, in addition to the Series loop.....or so I've been told. I haven't gotten any of the new ones in stock yet, but that's what EA told me.
    Has anyone seen the new one yet?

  13. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"

    The Parallel Effects Loop replaces the tuner. So now there is both the series and parallel effects loops. Other changes to the iamp 800 are: a new shielded power transformer for even a quieter ride, new upgraded headphone circuit and all the input and outputs on the front panel (except the DI) are gold plated for better conductivity.


    BTW, the new EA newsletter just went out a few minutes ago. If anyone would like one sent to them (to hear some VERY cool news) than please take a moment to email me at mike@euphonicaudio.com
  14. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've been running an 800 with a CXL 12L for over a year now, and I've been very happy with this compact and versatile rig. Yes, you can put some pre/power amp combo together and maybe get a better sound and more volume, but then it very likely will cost a lot more $, be heavier, and take up more space. There are tradeoffs.

    I put my 800 into a light weight SKB two space rack. So, the total rig is very light weight and easy to carry. I really appreciate it.
  15. I concure 100% with my friend JS. I wrote earier in another post today about running 2 CxL 112's and though they were nice sounding boxes (the only one's IMO that EA has ever produced) with the iAmp 800. Not enough...and when I used a Crowm MT1200...they just couldn't handle the juice. And we're not talking excessive volume here...seriously.
    If weight is an issue JS just gave the best rig going...a Kern ip77 w/ a Stewart 1.2 (I personally use a Burriss) but the Kern is a GREAT preamp! If you like the EA cabinets tone...get (4) of them. (They're really not that bulky and fairly light...and I do love the hardcoat they put on them...very durable.)
  16. emilebass


    May 7, 2004
    I had an iamp 800 for a little while it sounded good if i wanted
    no colouring at all.
    I couldnt quite get the top end snap i like to get out of it and the eq didnt respond the way most eqs i had used previously.
    Also the presets did not work well in a gig environment .Also the tuner was innacurate.Its close but not close enough. I sold it and purchased a plx2402 it has a higher dampening factor than than PL series.I also purchased an avalon di
    which works ok in the studio but lacks flexability live so i now have a lovely pre made here in Australia.gloriuos clean power and lots of it with a very warm and flexible pre.
    This is definately the best way to go
    Sydney Australia
  17. `ash


    Feb 26, 2004
    I know you used to own one! ;)
    Im loving it :bassist:

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    If you are looking for more of a round defined sound, you should look into getting an Alembic preamp. The CXL112L is a very punchy cab. It has a lot of high end, and a tight low end. The Alembic is a great match. It is round and warm with a lot of low end. Paired together, I really think that the Alembic warms up the cab.