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Need help choosing a power amp for a Peavey Max Bass Preamp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by thebrainless59, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. thebrainless59


    Mar 29, 2013
    Hi guys!
    I'm about to change my rig from an Ampeg SVT 3 Pro to a pre+poweramp setup.
    I've put my eyes on a Peavey Max Bass Preamp, so for the preamp section I'm ok, but I really don't know which power amp could do the job...
    Any suggestion?
    By the way I only got an Ashdown 414 MAG cabinet that's a 4x10'' 450W @ 4 Ohm so I think I don't really need an extremely powerful PA...or do I?
    What about getting an extra 1x15'' cab to give my rig more power?
  2. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
  3. Foz


    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
  4. If I was in the market for another power amp it would be a Peavey IPR DPS or a Crest ProLite DPS.
  5. The Carvin Light series power amps are nice too.
  6. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    Congrats. Lots of people swear by that pre, so you've got a good one. Since that thing went on the market, power amps have gotten lighter and cheaper. The article linked above is excellent. Pay special attention to what the author says at the end of the article about overpowering. Again, the article linked above is excellent on this point: bigger is not always better.

    We have a pair of Peavey IPR3000 power amps in our PA rig, and they are workhorses. A Peavey power amp would be a good choice for you with one large problem: even the IPR1600 has too much juice for your cab (530W per side @ 4 ohms). So look for something smaller. Peavey makes smaller power amps in their PV line, but I have no experience with those (the PV900 looks like it does 300W per side @ 4 ohms). The Crown XLS 1000, QSC GX3, and Yamaha PS2500S look like they would fit the bill, but I have no experience with these.

    Search this site for advice on mixing cabs. While some do it (I confess--I do it) you're better off getting another identical cabinet. The good thing for you about using a pre/power amp is that you can have separate amps driving the cabs. If you were lucky enough to find an exact match for your Ashdown, you could run each one off a separate channel, which means you would not be at 2 ohms (because each cabinet would be running off a separate amp at 4 ohms). This is one of the main reasons I love my Peavey MegaBass, which has two separate 200w amps inside.

    Best of luck, and hang on to that Max--it's a great unit.

  7. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    And to add another opinion & option: Crown XLS Drivecore. My newest ones are the XLS 1500 (I own two of them). Like many versatile power amps, you can tie one input to both channels to use the two amps to drive two cabinets, or you can bridge the two amps to drive a single cabinet with both amps. It has some built-in high- and low-pass filter capability (which I don't use) and built-in clip protection, not just thermal shut-down. My experience with several Crown amps is that they are all hella rugged and hella reliable. I have run them at 2 ohms per channel and also 4 ohms bridged at high output levels all night with exactly zero problems.

    OP asks: "...so I think I don't really need an extremely powerful PA...or do I?"

    Answer: Why not? More headroom is always good - stay as far away from distortion as possible. Even powerful amps like the Crown XLS 1500 are relatively inexpensive - I got mine for less than $300. Sure, there's enough power there to tear your speakers apart, but it's even easier to ruin your speakers with a lower-powered amp driven to distortion levels.
  8. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.


    Although, I find DPS unnecessary.

    I own a Crest ProLite 2.0, and it is a beast. Almost 2000w (bridged) and light..... And under $400 new.
  9. thebrainless59


    Mar 29, 2013
    Thank you all for your precious suggestions!
    So, let me see if I got it right: I don't need a PA matching my cab's watts but I don't have to get one too much over it, so I can keep the output at acceptable levels without getting any distortion or blowing the speakers, right?
    BTW my budget is somewhere around 250 euros and the only PAs you mentioned I could find for that price are Peavey's and Crown's, so I think I'll try one of those first.
    About the extra cab here's my (evil) plans:
    I wanna split my bass signal (any suggestion on a good signal splitter?) creating 2 different chains with different effects (distortions and choruses mainly, no clean :D I told you my plans are evil...), each chain will go through its dedicated channel on the pre, then on the PA and finally to its cab. The 2 signals will be processed by the crossover on the Peavey pre so that the lows/mid-lows will go to the 1x15'' and the mids/highs to the 4x10'', creating (at least I hope/think so) 2 different sounds that mixed together will probably give a big growl distortion on the lows (thanks to my Boss ODB-3 and something else I still have to choose) and a punchy-crunchy-arse-kickin'-disto-chorus on the high (thanks to a Boss DS-1 plus a CH-1)...or most probably will suck hard....who knows?
    Am I insane for trying this? SURE!
  10. the 15 has better dispersion of mids and highs than the 4x10 and the 4x10 probably has more lows. Intuitively you wouldn't think that, but you'd be wrong.

    Your plan isn't so bad, just the wrong cabs. Look at a fearful cab, hoofy subwoofer crossed over to a 6" for all the mids and highs or a tweeter on top for extra zingy highs.

    You can cross over the 4x10 at 250hz and use a 2x10 vertically on top for your evil midhighs. Maybe it'll be what you want, it won't suck anyway.

    There is a pricey instrument level pedal for splitting high and low made by FEA Labs.

    Effects running on line level are relativley rare and expensive. You could possibly take split line signals from the peavey pre through a small mixer with line inputs, drop them down via aux sends to not overload regular fx pedals and then boost them back up for your power amp. Evil, cunning and fraught with possible noise issues, extended setting up time and probably a real silly idea.
  11. thebrainless59


    Mar 29, 2013
    Mmmmmh....so this means "NO" :D
  12. Not with 4x10 for effected sounds and 15 for clean bottom. It's not that it won't work, it's just a heap of cabinet hauling for not much more output than you would get from the 15 by itself.

    Realise if you get on the bill with a few other bands you won't have time to futz about setting it all up to go through the PA.

    You can still do highpassed effecting without biamping the output to run dual full range cabs.
  13. thebrainless59


    Mar 29, 2013
    I see...I just don't get the "not much more output" thing...if I add another (let's say) 300W cab how can the output be "not much more"? (BTW the 15 would not be just the "clean" bottom, it would be the "overdriven" bottom :D)
    Anyway this is gonna be just a tone experiment that 99% I'll use in rehearsal/studio only (if will sound good), unless I'm playing in a small venue with no mic/direct out on my rig...
    So, let's ignore that tone experiment and assume that I just want an extra cab to have more watts and low definition (without changing my 4x10), what should it be? Should it be a 2x10 getting the high so that the 4x10 will give biga** lows, as Downunderwonder said? Any other suggestions?
    I think I'm going a little bit OT with this...
  14. You were talking about sending the mids and highs to one cab and the lows to the other. This a a proper biamp. Nearly all the power in the bass resides with the low end. That's how a fearful works with a 6" handling mids and highs and a hoofy great subwoofer doing the lows and low mids. Any properly biamped cab set is only as loud as the sub section.

    Now I'm not sure if you are looking for a full range cab to add to your 4x10? The only cab to recommend then is an identical 4x10. 1+1 always sounds da bomb. You can try any other number of cabs but a 15 would likely suffer overpowering and die without adding much to your sound.

    A single 15 doesn't have the sensitivity and power handling of a typical 4x10, say what you like about the tone blending of any one particular combo but they usually put out less lows than 4x10's thanks to the power handling and sensitivity deficit.
  15. Oobly


    Jun 19, 2008
    Be cautious with this one (I own one) for 2 reasons:
    1. Input sensitivity is very low on the XLS, the XTi is better.
    2. The crossover / highpass and lowpass filters only go down to 50Hz, not low enough to be useful for bass if you want to use it as a higpass.

    That said, the Peavey IPR is a good option, as are most Crest, QSC, Carvin and Crown power amps. They're all designed to be as "uncoloured" as possible, so there are very little differences between how they sound. Just find one that fits your preferences for features, weight, price and looks best.
  16. frits51

    frits51 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    Heath, Texas
    Crown website says the XLS and XTi have identical input sensitivities - 1.4Vrms, full power @ 4 ohms.
  17. thebrainless59


    Mar 29, 2013
    Hi guys!
    Finally I made my choice: I decided to buy a Peavey PV 900.
    I've tested it yesterday, damn it's powerfull!!!
    Best decision ever!!!
    The Max Bass preamp is really amazing even by itself, but with this PA to give him "voice"...
    I went from 450 Watts (@ 4 ohms) of the Ampeg SVT-3 Pro to 300 Watts (@ 4 ohms) of this Peavey PV 900, so I thought "ok, 150 watts less, that's a lot! I wonder if this thing will be able to at least go near to the Ampeg's wall-shaking output"...well....now I think "Peavey, where have you been all this years????"
    Thanks guys for all the precious comments and suggestions
  18. Fun times. Does that pre do a biamp?
  19. thebrainless59


    Mar 29, 2013
    Yep! But I got only one cab now, so... :meh:
    I'm looking forward to buy another Ashdown MAG 414, as soon as I got the money (maybe in another life :D), we'll see :)
  20. Bonus! You have a stereo power amp and a biamping preamp. If you're playing smaller gigs without PA support you can get some great value out of a small mid high cab and put the 4x10 to work as woofer only.

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