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Picking the right power amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by brogandutcher, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. brogandutcher

    brogandutcher Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Alexandria KY
    I am looking at power amps to power my new bass rig. More preferably a Crest Power amp. I have an SWR Goliath II 410 and a Son of Bertha 115. Ive been doing tons of research and not getting the right results. Some websites say to power the cabs in stereo but there is a 150w difference between the 2 cabs. Please HELP! much appreciated.
  2. Mixing a 1X15 with a 4X10 is not a very optimal rig.

    If you are going to run them together, it should be one cab on each channel (dual mono) so that you can balance the power levels.
  3. brogandutcher

    brogandutcher Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Alexandria KY
    1 cab is 350 watts and 1 is 500 watts. Should I use the bridge method and get a power amp rated at 800 or 900 watts or get a stereo power amp that puts out 500 watts each side and keep the level down for the 350 watt cab?
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    As mentioned, I'd go with a stereo set-up pushing ~400-450 watts per side / 8 ohm. While this is not my ideal cab combination, you at least have a fighting chance of balancing out the pair.

    What's your budget and do you have your heart set on a Crest product?


  5. If you must use these cabs together it seems like a very good idea to power them with separate amp channels so the weaker one isn't damaged.

    Beware of the 15 farting out whilst the 410 is just cruising along... This set-up is known for blowing the 15 as it cannot keep up with the 410.

  6. +1 to protect the 115 from destruction.
  7. brogandutcher

    brogandutcher Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Alexandria KY
    the 115 is rated at 350 watts. People say the combination of a 15 and 410 is bad but Ive seen so many touring bass players use this setup Im not convinced its a faulty pairing
  8. brogandutcher

    brogandutcher Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Alexandria KY
    All bass players Ive seen who use power amps in their racks use CREST power amps. I know QSC makes nice power amps too
  9. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings
    I ran a Carvin BX1200 head into a multitude of cabs paired together and that head made almost all of them sound great. Have you tried Carvins new power amps VERY clean and punchy....just a thought.
  10. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Crown, QSC, Crest. All make good amps. I would be more likely to choose my power amp based on whatever preamp I was using as opposed to what cabs. I also agree that the cab pairing is less than optimal.
  11. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    I would check out a peavey IPR. Same parent company as crest, but you can pick one up a bit cheaper. seven pounds, 1600 watts if you need it.
  12. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    You might want to consider a Stewart World 2.1. I think each side of the amp could drive your speakers quite well.

  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    I would say there is more Crown, Carvin and QSC out there than Crest.

    In any case, I did a ton of research a couple of months ago and bought a Crest ProLite 2.0 over a Peavey IPR and a Carvin.

    Crest is made/owned by Peavey, but I have heard a few stories of components rattling loose in the IPR. Apparently an easy fix, but I have no interest in opening up a new power amp to properly attach parts.

    I didn't buy Carvin as I gave up getting a live person on the phone and it took forever to get even an email reply from them.

    In any case, the Crown has only been gigged 10 or so times so far, but it it has worked flawlessly in both mono and bridged modes. Up to 2000W, light (under 10lbs), cheap ($359) and sounds great with every amp, pre, bass and cab I own.

    I think it would work fine with both of your cabs - one on each channel.
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Okay, fair enough...I'm one who used a Crest CA-6 for years but recently scaled down weightwise to Crown XLS 2500's and 1500's (I also own / run the PA). Both can be had for well-under $500 new with warranty. Crest, Peavey, QSC, etc. all have attractive offerings but a lot rides on your budget and (fingers crossed) what's available on the secondhand market for addt'l savings.

    I like how you're thinking this through which is more than I can say for some others!

  15. jsbarber


    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    I'm not sure this cabinet combination makes a whole lot of sense. I was not able to quickly find the spec's on your cabinets, but I checked another brand - the difference in sensitivity was 5 dB between a 115 and a 410. This means that in order to produce the same SPL from the 115 you need to give it almost 4 times the power of the 410. So if for some reason you like the tonal combination of these cabinets, then you would want to run the 115 at about 350 watts, and the 410 at about 100 watts. i.e. really not using the 410 to its potential. However if you're adding the 115 to the 410 for increased SPL, then if each cabinet was being driven at its rated maximum power you would produce about 6-7 dB less SPL with the 115. i.e. it is not contributing much at all to what you're hearing.

    It makes much more sense to combine cabinets that have similar SPL. I would say if you need more volume than what the 410 provides, then forget the 115 and get another 410.


  16. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Lots of touring players do heroin too