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OK, What's the Final Verdict on Class D?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bongolation, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    They're remarkably light and the manufacturers must be saving a fortune on production costs relative to retail, but now that the novelty is wearing off some and the amp mavens have had a chance to mess with them for a couple of years...has Class D really replaced the "conventional" bass amps we've all been playing for years? Are those forty-pound heads just boat anchors?

    I've searched around and haven't really found anyone address this question head-on.

    Thanks for any serious analysis.
  2. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I buy based on tone, not on hype or even weight. I like the sound of my 20+ lb Eden Nemesis NA320 heads, and I love the sound of my WTX-500, at much less weight. The weight is/was inconsequential in deciding to purchase it. The tones are different, but in some ways I prefer the NA320 amps better!
  3. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    RH450 = yes, and it's light. Personally I would not haul a heavy amp around at this point in time regardless of minor perceived differences in tone.
  4. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Me Too!:D
  5. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    RH450 (9lbs)
    MB LMTube (7lbs - not class D but certainly small/light)

    Heavier head? Never again...
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i actually like the smaller amps better than the bigger solid state and hybrids. never really did get used to the sound of solid state amps. but the small class ab's and d's rock tonally as well as sizewise for me.
  7. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    They are very good at what they do.
  8. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    The technology has proven itself valid, but each manufacturer must prove valid its own implementation of the technology a) under sustained, severe-duty conditions and b) for the long term. I think they're in the middle of that process. Some are much further along than others who appear still to be learning. Maybe I'm over-cautious, but I'd never bring a switcher to a paid gig without having a proven non-switcher sitting in the truck as a standby. (But then again, I always have a standby along anyway, so maybe it doesn't matter after all.)
  9. GK800RB
    Mesa Walkabout

    The above covers it for me - with any one of them the job gets done real good!
  10. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    So the answer is "yes and yes"?
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I'm one of the guys buying up the "old iron". More and more is showing up on my local CL for cheap as the musico-types upgrade to the lighter-weight hardware. Weight is not a problem as most of the stuff is either racked (with wheels) or carted with a hand truck.

    Performance....its all good, baby!

  12. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    The final verdict is that there are many of them out there and they all sound different.
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Deja Vu.
  14. nealw


    Sep 9, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Just played my 1st gig with my 3 lb EA Doubler. Sold an 86 lb SVT to get it-mostly for the coNvenience of switching between electric & upright without settig up extra crap to make the upright work. I expected to miss the SVT tone on the electric but...it was awesome! Punchy and warm and I came out $450 ahead on the switch. AND...no longer have to carry the 86 lb SVT.
  15. I've been using class D exclusively since Feb 09' and have had very good success with it. I'm sold.:smug:
  16. will33


    May 22, 2006
    These things haven't been around long enough to have any proven long-term reliability. They've been around PA/sound re-enforcement circles longer than all-in-one bass heads but it still hasn't been that long.

    Not dissing them, may be the next big thing but to me something the size and weight of a briefcase stuffed full of crap is a light amp (read 20-40lbs.)

    Folks can argue all day long about the subjective subject of tone but truth is, A/B them all behind a curtain and a lot of us either couldn't tell the difference or could tell there is a difference but couldn't pick which is which when washed into an entire band mix. Expand that from bass player out to the whole audience in general and you're talking 99% don't know the difference. You could put a 4lb. switching power supply amp in a SVT headcase and it's the same to them.
  17. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    That's what I was wondering about. I had figured by now they'd been gigged hard for a couple of years by a lot of people and any shortcomings would have become apparent.
  18. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    This is one of those cases where I could care less if the audience can tell a difference or not. They don't have to know the difference either, they're not the ones paying for our gear. All they have to do is like what they hear regardless of what gear's being used.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    +1. it's not the audience's job to care what we're using. it's ours.
  20. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Clearly they are a success, the market does not lie. Class D is not just a "flash in the pan", it is here to stay and continues to get better it seems.

    For me it's important to note that the "lead sled" technology is also improving in terms of weight. I've settled into a QSC PLX3102, 3100W bridged at 4ohms and 21lbs gives it a pretty slick weight to power ratio IMO.

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