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Looking for a good power amp.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kiljoy, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. What can anyone recommend in the way of good solid state power amps? I'd like something that's not too heavy and it doesn't need to have oodles of power either, 400 to 500 watts should do it. I'll probably be running it in conjunction with an ampeg SVP Pro or CL preamp.

  2. you'll always need more power- i use the QSC RMX 2450, 1200w/side! Hey, no one said you have to turn it up all the way ;)

    The mackie 1400i (i think it's called) is pretty good, i think it's 700w/side @ 4 ohms. Decent on weight too.

    Get something heavy compared to others in its class- bigger transformers and caps=more punch, bass, and headroom. Whatever you do don't get a Samson, i made that mistake. It sure was light- light in tone too.
  3. godspeed68

    godspeed68 i'm here for the sound Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    the only good experience i've had with behringer products has been from their europower poweramps.

    I used the EP2500 and it was a fantastic poweramp for the price. I suggest checking that one out.

  4. QSC PLX series! Then again, I'm partial to QSC...I have 5.

    The older PLX weigh 21 pounds and put out from 1200W @ 2 ohms bridged to 3600W at 2 ohms bridged.

    The newer PLX2's weigh in about 13 pounds and put out about the same wattage.

    There was a 1202 here for sale a week or so ago for $275. Wish I'd had the money..or rather I wish I'd spent the money. What a great deal.

    The RMX seies of QSC amps are cheaper by and large, but they weigh at least 2x as much or more. The RMX1850 that I have (1800W bridged) weighs about 45-50 pounds -- twice as much as my 1602 for about the same watts. Likewise, the PLX2-1804 in my bass rig only weighs 13 pounds, but puts out 900W/ch @ 4 ohms.

    Whichever you pick, the QSCs are hard to beat.

    And Stewart amps are great too! Just a touch harder to find used.

  5. Check out the DCM series from Carvin. My favourite is the DCM1000 at a bit over $300.

  6. Do you reckon the DCM600 would be grunty enough? It bridges to 450w into 8 ohms.
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    "Enough" always depends on context- the room, the crowd, the mix, your speaker cabs, etc.

    But +1 for the DCM's, I like them.
  8. Tomass


    Nov 1, 2005
    +1 on the new QSC PLX2 range, i use one with my ampeg pre, works a charm, sooo light. Plus they have a nice input voltage sensitivity, which is great for the older preamps without much output power.
  9. Well 'enough' for me is 'just a wee bit more than the 100 watts I get out of my V4BH'. I just need it to be a touch louder for me on stage.
  10. I've been using QSC power amps for my bass and PA for the past 20 yrs. I don't think you can beat them. I have some old USA series (850 and 1320)as well as a PLX 1202 and a RMX 830. None of it has ever given me any trouble.
  11. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    May 29, 2005
    Allways go with more power than you need. If you get just what you think you need, you will not have as much as you need. If that makes any sense.

    Believe em when they say that.

    The QSC RMX series are good amps but heavy. The PLX2's and PLXs are much much lighter.

    I just picked up a Yamaha P5000S and it is a nice "meet things in the middle" kind of power amp. Plenty of power and not too heavy at 26 pounds.

    I also own a QSC RMX 2450 AND RMX 850. I use those in my PA and they do get the job done.

    There are some guys around here that swear by the Crest CA9's but they are heavy as well.

    The QSC PLX2 1804 is the lightest at 13 pounds but it does not bridge and not many bells and whistles. It puts out 900 watts a side at 4 ohms. This is ther amp I thought I wanted but I have figured out with my 800 watt cab it takes a lot of power to have the headroom I need. The PLX2 1802 is more like 22 pounds IIRC.

    My Yamaha is pushing 2600 watts Bridged Mono into 4 ohms and it takes every bit of that headroom. I dont run the Level wide open but I need the arse behind it. I run the level at about 5/8th's the way up. The Yamaha has lots of bells and whistles too. That Funky Switch that affects the Lows is very nice. It has a built in Crossover too.
  12. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    May 29, 2005

    The PLX2 1104 and 1804 are 13 pounds the other PLX2's are in the 21 pounds (just looked).
  13. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Yes, they are "grunty".

    I currently have a DCM600, and previously had the DCM1500. If you have efficient speakers, the DCM600 has a lot of headroom and gets VERY loud. I cut about 15 pounds by going to the 600. The 1500 was amazing, but it's a bit heavy in a rack. The 600 sounds identical. The 1500 was insanely loud though. I could never run that beast out of power with the limiters engaged. The 600 is the same power in a lower, but still usable range.

    The Carvin DCM line is not state of the art, but they are affordable, sound great, and VERY nice for bass guitar use. Plus, they're made in the United States! They are both much less inexpensive than the QSC PLX2 line, and widely available used.
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    OT wisecrack: A barely noticeable difference would probably be obtained by adding another 100 watts. :smug: :D :bag:

    But back on topic, the QSC PLX2 series recommended by others above is a good bet, as is the Carvin.

    As an Crest CA6 user, I can verify that the moniker "lead sled" is perfectly accurate. My rack has two light once space pre-amps and the CA6 in it. It weighs about 75 lbs.

    However, IMHO, it sounds great.
  15. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I liked the way my Stewart sounded but the World 1.2 was an awkward power rating for bass IMHO. (Not enough in stereo, way too much bridged.)

    I'm pretty happy with the QSC PLX 2402. 450/750/1200 per side, only a crazy man would try bridging. Spend the extra $70 or whatever and get the headroom - trust me, you won't regret it!

    I wish there were more mono power amps available for our app. Be nice to not lug around a seldom-used second power amp channel in my head rack.
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    If you have been cranking that V4BH, then your signal was heavily compressed and probably also had some high-end emphasis from overdrive, both of which can make it seem a lot louder than a solid state power amp of similar wattage being run clean (undistorted).

    IOW if you're looking for a solid-state replacement you may need a lot more wattage than you think, and/or a compressor, to get the "loudness" you're looking for.

    Also it's commonly said here that you'll often get more loudness by adding another speaker cab than you can by just upping your wattage.
  17. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    If you're unsure about the Carvin DCM600, then consider the 1000 or the 1500. I've been using the DCM1500 for about 3-4 years and its a great amp. If your cabs are not high sensitivity, the 1500 has the reserve to handle that. I've run Eden and Avatar cabs and cabs with JBL D and E series 15" (the E145 is my favorite JBL driver), Cerwin Vega, and Eminence drivers with this amp. Definitely a good-sounding workhorse of an amp. Don't sell yourself short on the output power side. Although MichaelVee said he saved 15 lbs downsizing from a 1500 to a 600, the actual amp weights are 32 and 23 respectively, just 9 lbs (at least for the current versions). The Carvin DCM1500 amp is a well-built, reliable amp. You could do a lot worse.

    Lloyd Howard
  18. I ended up getting a Carvin DCM 1000 to power my SVP and it's perfect! :)

    Thanks to all who helped.

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