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Mackie 2600 or QSC PLX3402???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DEVILMAN, Nov 30, 2001.



    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    How's everybody!? I have a question for all you power-mad, trouser-flapping, toupee removing, sub-Hz freaks. I'm looking to up my power amp section with possibly a QSC PLX 3402 or a Mackie 2600 to replace my Carvin 2000. My gear in tow is: Kern & ADA pre-amps through a BBE sonic maximizer(run ADA dirty), 2x18 w/Kern, 2x15 or Acme B4(depending on mood) w/ADA. Currently I'm using a Dingwall 5 dropped to "A". Now I know my rig might be overkill for some but my band will promise you dirty draws(AKA the "BROWN" note) because I'm up against 2 full stacks(VHT & Mesa), keys, & a very angry drummer. I don't wan't an ELF sys, & I just want a little more head-room. Both cabs are 4ohm, the 18's are good for 16K w & the others 12K w. I'm pushing 700 w now. BTW, a lot of the shows I play lack "GOOD" PA's. PS, if you care for a sample go to Mp3.com-EVOKEN. Thanks all!

    "With all this excitement I lost count, did I fire 5 or 6...ya gotta ask yourself this question, do you feel lucky, punk?
  2. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I would go with QSC, just based on the name. By the way, you posted this twice.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Thanks lo-end, I got to excited with my mouse, LOL, anyway, I will attempt to remove one. The QSC seems to be quieter & stronger, but I was wondering about their tonal coloring or character if any at all? Talk Bass rules! Thanks!

  4. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    damn, look at what you made me do. I put a reply in the other damned thread. ah crap. :mad: :p :D

    look at it, you bum.:D
  5. Hey,

    I'm also choosing between the QSC and the Mackie 2600 at this time. This is what I'm pondering.......the QSC is very light, and has more power (I'm also running subs). However, yesterday I was talking with a tech at a speaker company and asked him his thoughts on the subject. He told me a lot of stuff that went way over my head :confused: and all in all it sounded like a toss up. That was until he told me that switching power supplies can be difficult to work on. My concern would be if the amp needed work right before a gig it could be harder to have it repaired quickly :eek:.
    But then again, would the QSC ever really break down? The Mackie is less expensive, and with the money I save I could but a new shark skin suit :cool:

    What to do, what to do.

  6. If I was to consider either of these amps I would choose the QSC. Nothing against Mackie but QSC's record stands for itself. Look at how many pro audio companies use QSC. There's a reason for that. Well designed and well built products. I've used hundreds of QSC amps over the years (the company I work at has around 100 of them) and I've seen exactly one fail. QSC amps are extremely reliable. Their customer service is also top notch. I haven't yet used a Mackie amp. They're probably good sounding amps, but Mackie has only been in the amp business for a couple of years and the amps haven't been out there long enough to establish long term reliability records. That would make me a little nervous about buying the Mackie. Plus other Mackie products have proven to be a bit too unreliable in my experience. (I had an SR 40x8 console go down irretreiveably during a large outdoor show, plus several other instances). The problems with early switchmode power supplies have been generally rectified over the last couple of years. A friend of mine uses a PLX 1202 in his bass rig and it's real loud, clean and doesn't seem to suffer from any lack of low end. You couldn't pay me to buy a Carvin power amp. EDIT: I should give a reason for this. The two Carvin power amps I've seen have both been in many pieces on the repair bench. I saw the same two amps in the service dept. several times. They both seemed to suffer from very poor soldering. This may not be indicative of all Carvins, but it sure scared me off...


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Greetings & Felicitations Children of Technology,

    BigBohn, could ya please re-send your response, I closed the other thread (one too many). I'd like your opinion.

    Andrew, the QSC seems better in one aspect due to its low noise, power + reliability? The Mackie on the other hand has a few more options like low pass filters, high range CD horn EQ & other bells & whistles, but has less power. QSC also makes a few other models but I don't know the differences between them or the specs.

    Space Goat, I hear you about the Carvins but you get what you pay for & truthfully I have never had a problem (knock on wood) with their power amps, and yes I've done alot of shows & pushed it to the limit with no problems. Like I said, I was just looking for some more headroom in my power dept. & these two amps seem to fit the bill for price & quality. Carvin doesn't have an amp in between the 2K & their new 4K model. I'd rather not run two smaller power amps.

    Thanks guys!

    Badges?! We don't need no stinkin' badges!!!
  8. When I was an engineer at IBM, we started using switching power supplies and they were just awful. The reliability went from 100% to regular failures. I did not want that in my bass amp.

    I had a very long conversation with QSC engineering about PLX (switching) vs MX (transformer) type supplies. QSC says they have the same failure rate with the lead-sled amps that they do with the PLX line. Both are very low. As for tough to work on, that is the tech's problem, and not yours. I'll bet you are a damned site better bass player than the tech.

    Personally, I would send mine back to QSC for service, and nowhere else. They work 'em all the time, have all the parts, and all the skill it takes to fix them. My lead-sled has never broken. But, at 69 pounds it is a bitch to haul around. I would love to replace it with a PLX 3402.

    SpaceGoat has the right idea: ask the techs what they think of general product lines. They know which ones come in more frequently, and the quality of the manufacture. I avoided the Ampeg SVP-Pro for this reason. YMMV.
  9. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    What's wrong with the Carvin DCM2000? Just recently, they upgraded it to the 2001 model. A few changes have taken place in efficiency, distortion levels, and amount of actual wattage. You should reconsider them for live use.

    If you're wanting a poweramp that does studio use, get the QSC PLX 3402 because of the small distortion level. The smaller the better because distortion of tracks become very noticeable, yet on stage, not so. The Mackie takes a 20 amp plug. Do you have circuit plugs that do 20 amp? If you do, all the power to you, yet the Mackie still wouldn't be my 1st, or 2nd choice. The QSC is a decent poweramp.

    I still say the Carvin is a great poweramp for live use. It's just incredible for the price it's at.
  10. None of these amps will develop full power on a standard 15A circuit. A 15A circuit can provide 1800W at 120V. In a lot of places, you're lucky if you're getting 110V so say 1650W. So even if the amps were 100% efficient (which they aren't or anything like it) you'd still pop 15A breakers if you were running them at full juice. Just a thought......

    Again QSC has proven reliability going for it, the others don't (yet).
    Carvin has an amazing price point, I can't get a comparably powered PLX or MX for that cheap at cost (The company I work for is a dealer). That makes me a bit concerned and wondering what they skimped on....But I'd be less upset if it cakked. Some of the features on the Mackie are cool, but with a decent preamp who needs HPF's. If you're using it for bass guitar you don't need CD boost:D I suspect you could get away with a less powerful QSC that would still blow the others away. Watts ain't everything. The PLX 3402 is a VERY powerful amp. If you're looking in the Crown direction, I'd avoid K-series and CE series due to serious maintenance issues. However the Macrotech series are among the best amps on the planet as far as I'm concerned. They're real expensive, but maybe you could find a used one. Also have a look at EV's P-series amps. Very powerful, clean sounding and well built.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Thanks SpaceGoat , all that info sounds delicious! I never thought about power supply at the out-let @15a . I guess your chain is as strong as its weakest link.


    "These cans are defective!... No stupid! That guy on the hill is defective and he's gonna ventilate you!"
  12. isn't the qsc 21 lbs? if the sound/power is even
    close, that's all i would need to know :)
  13. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    I went through the same thoughts --many of the posts I read or people I spoke to, said the Mackie sounded compressed or rolled-off to them...

    Since I didn't get the same responses from the QSC folks, and since a couple of music stores recommended it, I went with the PLX 3002, for $875 locally.

    It's sitting at my house -- waiting on my Ag Preamp which will be here Tuesday I hope. Be more than happy to answer any questions you have when I get it all hooked up and pumping.



    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Hey blamkin,
    Congrats on your purchase! I think I spoke to you on another thread about a DB680 pre? It is a beautiful piece(sounded great w/my Zon fretless) very clean/warm sound that doesn't color your bass or cabinet. Please let me know how you make out with the QSC. Im probably going to pick up a 3402 this week because it's strong AND quiet, good for my studio work & gigs also. Talk to you soon, thanks.


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