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Power Amp as Bass Amp ??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by srj, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Have i got this right ??

    Some bass players are using power amps (as in PA systems ) as Bass Amps ???

    I have come across the QSC RMX 850 for 349 euro and you can get 2 x 300 watt at 4 ohm , which seems to be lots of power for the money ie 600 watt for 350 euro !!,,

    but how does it sound ????

    Does anyone here use a power amp ??
  2. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I believe a great many of us, myself included, use dedicated power amps as part of a modular bass rig.

    It works fine. I prefer it.
  3. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    You'll still need a decent preamp IMO, like Tech 21's VT Bass pedal or a Sansamp BDDI, or something rackmountable, or else it will have crappy tone. But yes, I believe there are several people here doing things that way - check the Classifieds, you often see Power amps for sale there at some pretty attractive prices. This thought has occurred to me also, I have just never acted upon it.
  4. GremlinAndy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Well, to oversimplify, your current amp has two sections inside it... The pre amp, which is the section that shapes the tone, and the power section, which is the output part.

    Many of us have taken to buying these as two seprate units.
    The advantages are obvious really. The pre-amps you can buy are manyfold, and you can find one to siut your tastes, but then you have the ability to put as many watts 'behind' that as you want.
    You can change you power amp without having to but a new pre, if you want to upgrade.
    ...and you could just add a second power amp if you want more power or cabs...
    It's just way more versatile IMO.

    Personally I use a Powersoft 3002 (3000 watts at 2 ohm) with an Aguilar DB680 tube preamp up front. This means I have a great tubey sound, and the watts to drive a volume with *PLENTY* of head-room, so no nasty clipping.
  5. Thanks guys , this is very interesting idea , will start to look at pre amp power amp combinations.

    I had a seach of the forums and the QSC power amps seem to have a very good reputation.

    Will have a look for an intersting pre amp (err intersting in my case we be err good value for money,,,yes cheap)
  6. So do i have this right ??

    Lets say i use a Zoom bass effect unit as the pre amp , it has bass modeling , then i connect this to the chanell one input of the power amp and take (i only have one speaker cab at the moment) the out put 1 from the power amp to the speaker and thats it ?
  7. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Not sure if the Zoom acts as a preamp (anyone else?), but if it does, yes, that's all you do.
  8. bassman_al

    bassman_al Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Fairfax, VA USA
    I am thinking of trying this:
    Sansamp BDDI into QSC RMX 850 into a Hartke 210 and an old Peavey floor monitor with a 12 or 15" speaker, I can't remember offhand. Will this work?
  9. Implosion


    Oct 19, 2007
    Yes, it will work. Just set the output switch on the BDDI to line level.
  10. Hi.

    This was my rig for quite a while.


    Yamaha FX550 + 3RD-generation (H-H) power amp with only one channel working.
    Stand-alone on the smaller and DI-ed to the mains on larger venues.

  11. I used a Samsamp Bass DI though a Bryston 3B bridged for a while and it worked great.
  12. rogueman


    Sep 29, 2006
    Austin, TX.
    The signal from the guitar has to be increased by some form of pre-amp before it gets to the power amp. The QSC is a good power amp, many people use a pre to power amp because they have a clean sound and you can do so many things along the signal chain before the signal reaches it. A high slew rate will handle transients faster, and the newer QSC has a high slew rate.
  13. 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
    I like my Crest CA-6 very much. Sooo much power....the only thing better might be a CA-9. :p

    Oh, some power amps are rather heavy. :ninja:
  14. heatheroo


    May 22, 2008
    Ephrata PA
    I run a Roland SIP-310 preamp into a QSC RMX-850, biamped into a 2-15 cab and a 1-15 cab. It's thunderous.
  15. rovito


    Jun 26, 2005
    The Zoom works pretty well if you get onto it and reset the gain and output settings.
  16. bassninja7


    Mar 1, 2008
    Napoleon, OH
    im really interested in getting a power amp, i have my eye on the QSC GX5...

    600w @ 8ohms mmmmmm :p

    got a sansamp so i know my tone will be saaaweet:bassist:
  17. LP75


    Aug 29, 2006
    About 12 years ago I went to using a system with seperate preamp and power amp in a rack-mount case with some extra spaces. I love the flexibility - for example I put a DBX266XL compressor between the pre and power amp, and got a new level of control over my sound. Since I use a lightweight Stewart power amp, it's not radically heavy (as long as I don't compare it to a Markbass or other micro....) but I have the option of trying out different power amps and preamps.

    Sitting atop multiple cabinets, it makes heap big thunder.

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