Looking for a fanless, small, cheap class D mono power amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Paul Szegedin, Jun 22, 2021.

  1. Paul Szegedin

    Paul Szegedin

    Dec 28, 2020
    I have a preamp I like. I want to stuff it into a box with a small power amp -- not more than 500 watts and probably 300 is fine -- but I don't want a fan, so something small enough to have just a heatsink.

    I don't even know where to begin because it seems like there loads of things like this. Would be interested if anyone can point to something cheap and clean that fulfills that mission, on ebay or wherever.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  2. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    Easier said than done, especially if you believe the eBay/Amazon.Alibaba marketing.

    Do you care about safety and EMC compliance? What kind of power supply do you propose to use?
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    I don't know if it counts as "cheap" but I have used Acoustic Image heads for this exact purpose in the past, and they are the bee's knees. Clarus SL is 650w and only 2.5lbs. You can use it as a power amp by plugging your preamp into the Effects Return.

    If you are okay with a lower wattage, Quilter makes some very nice 200w fanless amps. A little more affordable than the Acoustic Image.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2021
  4. Giraffe

    Giraffe Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    San Diego, California
    I looked into this sort of thing when Parts Express had the ICE modules on sale recently. Crazy cheap, tiny, and proven performers.

    Shielding, ventilating, getting a suitable housing, and fabricating the connectivity were a lot more clumsy than I decided it was worth getting into. It was hard to justify going to the grief and aggravation when the Acoustic Image Clarus SL offered everything I needed, plus many extra features, for such a reasonable price ($599, shipped to the U.S., no sales tax). The Genzler Magellan 350 was another good argument against DIY'ing anything.

    Buy one of the tiny Class D heads and bypass the preamp. Reliable, safe, tiny, reasonably priced, easily flipped if you wish, plus it will have a pre and tone controls if you ever want that.

    Those ICE modules look really attractive, but AI and Genzler have already engineered them into roadworthy and affordable gear.
    DrMole, SJan3, M0ses and 3 others like this.
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Buy a powered PA cabinet
    Most don't have fans

    Or look for Plate Amplifiers but you won't find one cheap.
    Bass Jones and agedhorse like this.
  6. As a bass player, you're probably the last person in the band who should be looking at "cheap" and "fanless" for a power amplifier.

    Instead, save up a little longer and aim a little higher. Treat yourself.
    DrMole, M0ses, BlueTalon and 7 others like this.
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
  8. Paul Szegedin

    Paul Szegedin

    Dec 28, 2020
    Thanks, I'm definitely a DIY'er, and this is for home use and small scale stuff, so those ICE units are a good lead for me. But I don't know if I'd agree they're crazy cheap.

    This is exactly what I did up to now with this amp, but the power amp is a little bit too underpowered and big (class A, huge transformer) - it's an older one.

    I saw one of the Trace Elliot amps at a guitar shop and said, yeah, I need to put together one that small, for less money.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2021
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    Class A???
    DrMole, Jeff Scott, Balog and 4 others like this.
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    My experience is that you can't build even DIY for as cheap as you can buy a used factory built amp. Older, heavier amps are going for pennies on the dollar. I sent a load of misc. power amps and such to the shredder last year because they weren't even worth the cost of shipping.

    Where are you located? PM me and I will look to see what I have available in the used pro audio area of the warehouse.
    Drummerboy2, bignc, Slaymus and 24 others like this.
  11. https://m.thomannmusic.com/harley_benton_block_800b.htm
    seamonkey and dbase like this.
  12. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  13. Paul Szegedin likes this.
  14. bassandboy


    Aug 24, 2018
    Honolulu, HI
    juledude likes this.
  15. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive Suspended

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    Who cares if your amp stays cool... (until it fails)

    This is fine  7532821624224d0ca7745204e904dce3.jpeg
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  16. Bisounourse


    Jun 21, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    The Baby Sumo?

    Looks like it doesn't have a fan, 300 watts @ 8ohm.
  17. braud357


    Jul 1, 2010
    Gonzales, LA
    Crown XLS1000 - not mono, but weighs about 9 lbs. I recently started using one with a BBE BMAX-T preamp - loving it so far !
  18. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Sometimes the heatsink could be bigger than a fan. Why don't you want a fan?
    DrMole and DJ Bebop like this.
  19. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Have you checked out the TC Electronics offerings? I keep one of their 200w amps as a backup: very small, light, inexpensive.
    Jeff Hughes and dbase like this.
  20. mexicanyella


    Feb 16, 2015
    Troy, MO
    The Ganz SA500 “Straight Ahead” power amp is small, stand-alone and mono, and has been discussed favorably here on TB and also on the Steel Guitar Forum...I’ve never used one but exchanged e-mails with the builder once and it sounded like It would come in under $300, I could select 1/4” or Speakon outputs and there was a few weeks’ wait time while he built it and filled the order.
    soulstew and Paul Szegedin like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 27, 2021

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