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Is a QSC PLX 3002 too old to purchase ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jammin Johneboy, Mar 11, 2016.


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  1. Jammin Johneboy

    Jammin Johneboy Guest

    Dec 23, 2011
    Ontario
    Hello I am trying to decide if a QSC PLX3002 is too old to buy. It is my understanding that once capacitors get around 20 years old they have lost a lot of their capacitance (dried up). I don't know exactly how old the units are that I am looking at. But I saw an owners manual online that shows a copyright date of 1998 & 1999. That is approaching 18 years old for some of them.

    Here is the manual I saw, page 5: http://www.qsc.com/resource-files/p...continued/plx/q_amp_plx_series_usermanual.pdf

    How long did they make these ? Is there any way to tell how old a unit is ? Is it possible to tell by the serial number ? When did they stop making these ?

    When is a piece of electronic gear too old to buy without it being refurbished with new capacitors and anything else that might be needed ?

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated .
     
  2. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    The gear tech guys will probably chime in here, maybe even Bob Lee, who is a member and works for QSC. There are many, lighter weight options out there now since the PLX models, some within the QSC line also. I used a PLX 1602 power amp for many years with no problems. Power amps are cheap these days, and easier to schlepp, if that is a factor. I'd pass and spring for a new one.
     
    Jammin Johneboy likes this.
  3. BasturdBlaster

    BasturdBlaster

    Feb 19, 2012
    Crandon WI
    I have an old USA900 which I assume is older than the PLX model. I use it for monitors in the band and its has been working perfectly (knock on wood,hehe) for years. I also prefer it to the Crown XLS I also own when I use it as a bass rig. My brother has an even older USA850 and he has been using that for close to 20 years with no problems what so ever. They are around 40 lbs each so they are heavy but I love them. I did just buy a GX5 but I havent used it yet, apparently its only 26 lbs, I look forward to using it in the PA. I love QSC! Damn good stuff!
     
    Jammin Johneboy likes this.
  4. Jammin Johneboy

    Jammin Johneboy Guest

    Dec 23, 2011
    Ontario
    Thank you for the replies jnewmark and BasturdBlaster.

    For me it is not so much the question of reliability but rather the quality of the sound produced. As capacitors diminish over time I know they can affect electronics resulting in less bass/low end reproduction.

    I had a Roland rack mount digital delay that I bought used from someone. As soon as I brought it home and listened to it, it was obvious it had poor bass/low end response. It did not sound good. I made a list of all of the electrolytic capacitors in it, bought new ones and replaced them all. The difference in bass/low end response was huge. After replacing them all it sounded great.

    So I am wondering about the ability of older amps, approaching 20 years of age, to be able to produce proper bass and low end response. Since I noticed that the PLX 3002 owner's manual had a copyright date of 1998/1999 that means some of them could be 18 years old. This is the reason that I am questioning their bass/low end reproduction .
     
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I have a couple dozen of the 3402's and hsve never had a problem, still sound just fine.

    IMO, the failing (aging) capacitor argument is way overused. While possible, it's nowhere near as common as it would seem to be if you believed everything you see on the Internet.
     
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  6. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Electrolytic cap aging was more of a problem in products built in the 60s, 70s, and into the 80s. Since then, good quality caps used by reputable manufacturers have overall shown excellent longevity as long as they are not abused through overvoltage, excessive temperature, etc. If the amp has not been subjected to such maltreatment, I'd say that the caps probably are fine.
     
    B-string, seamonkey, Sartori and 3 others like this.
  7. Jammin Johneboy

    Jammin Johneboy Guest

    Dec 23, 2011
    Ontario
    Thank you agedhorse and Bob Lee.

    It's great for a low budget guy like me to hear that kind of information.
    I can't afford to buy amps like that new , so you both just made my day !! lol.
    Looks like a QSC PLX 3002 could be on its way to me in the very near future.

    Thanks again
    John
     
    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  8. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden
    I think you will be very pleased!
     
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  9. Jammin Johneboy

    Jammin Johneboy Guest

    Dec 23, 2011
    Ontario
    Thank you AlexanderB. I can't wait to get it ! :hyper:
     
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  10. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I actually own that exact amp. Still works perfectly. I've had it for a long time. It's pretty light... About 20lbs. And cranks out a lot of watts. It does have a fan that isn't whisper quiet, but by no means is it "loud". You'd only hear it if you were playing a bookstore gig or something. Feel free to ask me any questions.
     
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  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    All I ever used in my heavy PAs (now replaced by neo/Class D) were QSC PLX amps. I still have a 3402 and a 1602. No shortage of bottom even as they aged. Hmm ... now I wonder why I still have them - I don't have any passive speakers.
     
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  12. Jammin Johneboy

    Jammin Johneboy Guest

    Dec 23, 2011
    Ontario
    Thank you for the reply Masher88 and Munjibunga I appreciate it.

    I do not have any further questions at the moment, but I may have some questions once I get it. It is 200 miles away in another city and my brother is buying it for me and bringing it down to me when he visits in a few weeks.

    I keep hearing good things about them. I am excited and can't wait to get it. :thumbsup:
     
  13. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Download the manual and check that the dip switch programming switched are set correctly for your application.

    Before bridging, consider the risk of that much power into your speakers.
     
  14. Jammin Johneboy

    Jammin Johneboy Guest

    Dec 23, 2011
    Ontario
    Thank you for the information agedhorse.
    I will definitely download the owners manual and check out those DIP switches. I have no plans to bridge it at all, I am going to run it in stereo. I am using it for a couple of speakers I have in my music room. I have other amps and speaker cabinets for my bass rig.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  15. thanking you for that. All us old amp owners are breathing easy again. Not that I was about to go recapping anything just in case.

    You do tend to hear about the duds more than the non duds but I never heard of a twenty year rule. Phew!
     
  16. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    In general, I have seen more damage than good done to vintage amps by DIY capacitor "upgrades".
     

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