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Power Amp Choice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Count Bassie, Apr 28, 2009.


  1. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    I'm tormenting (just kidding) between a Crown XLS602 and an SWR Power 750. The Crown is stereo, the SWR mono. The Crown is 2 spaces, the SWR three. The Crown is 2/3 the price of the SWR.

    Is the SWR a good pick because they only make bass amps? I'm referring to the damping abilities of a power amp in a bass rig.

    I'm not concerned about stereo particularly. I have a Crest FA901 stereo amp in case such use- or more general use- should come up. But this one I'm decidiing about is just for use with a bass rig. I'm looking for clean solid tone from my bass and preamp, headroom and reliability. It'll be my last amp-type purchase for at least a year.

    Any other considerations? What would you do, and why?
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    To the best of my knowledge there is nothing in any SWR amp that causes or emulates the sort of quality you describe, which is typically associated with all-tube amps, but may be (uncommonly) designed in all solid-state.

    The only reasons to buy an SWR power amp would be if you have an SWR pre and you want your whole rig to match, or if you can get the SWR for very cheap.

    I would strongly recommend a Carvin DCM power amp, which Carvin has at blowout prices presently.
     
  3. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    There's no quality I'm meaning to describe- just that the damping properties of an amp are, I'm under the impression, meaningful. Anyway that's a pretty qualified answer I guess. No reason to go SWR for power then- no advantage.

    The Crown is available for under $300. But you still recommend the Carvin?
     
  4. Rog.

    I'm probably a bit different than the other nuts here.

    My tube stuff is for warmth.. my solid state is for clarity.

    Instead of models, I'd back up to qualities

    1-Resale
    2-Other Uses
    3-Reliability
    4-Flexibility
    5-Weight

    1-Resale.. not sure what to suggest.. bass amps do plummet in value and have very few other uses.

    2-Other uses.. since this will depreciate so fast (unless buying used) consider a Power amp

    3-Reliability... I think many of the mfs have done a better job on this. When they were trying to down weight from CS-800 era amps they had dickens of a time geting something that wouldn't torch power transistors

    4-Flexiblity - why not get something that can be used for a PA? The stereo and internal cross over (subs and mains) is a cool function - you can normally bridge to mono

    5-My biggest issue with my rack is weight.. love the way it all works... my wife can not pick it p.

    I know most bass players would hate my rack setup - it has zero tone - sounds EXACTLY like the bass.. I push 400 watts biamped (not huge) with a cross over and switched chorus above 2000

    I recently converted (downsized) to a bag setup (vs full rack) now have a all the stuff and a drawer in one luggable bag.

    This is a great time to buy used heads - especially rackmounts... I've seen somegreat 500w ones go for under $100

    I VERY RARELY now use my power amp setup since going to a RollsPM351 personal monitor/direct setup... seems as if it's a 75W practice amp or the full tilt ( then use the 75 watt practice amp as a powered monitor)

    This all said from a nut who keeps reminding folks that the ellusive "tone" can not be heard by 90% of people.. most people can feel/hear when the bass drops out - not appreciate it while it's in...... the other 10% are who can say they either love "their tone" or "can't find their tone"

    If it were an option (and budget wasn't a consideration) I'd suggest a Crown with internal crossover.. plus fries with that.




     
  5. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Hey Tim,

    Resale is not a consideration, since yep, it's just not a consideration as far as getting much back! I'm buying used anyhow.

    Other uses is reasonable- I have a Crest FA901, but want something a notch-up. Also the Crest can handle any of the low-duty PA uses I might have.

    Weight, though an issue, is something I'm used to. I haven't getten away from the 'big-rig' syndrome for bass players. Don't mind that much- I'm not in the bracket to spend the dough for mini-stuff now anyway.

    Good replies, sensible, as I feared... :D

    Giving myself a few days or so to work it out. Thanks for the thoughtful responses Bongo, Tim.
     
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I haven't used the Crown, so I can't give a meaningful comparison. But I've been using the Carvin for a few years now and am continually impressed by the solid construction and performance, and it also is less huge and heavy than most similarly-powered traditional-design power amps.
     
  7. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    I am aware of the consistent good reviews of Carvin's stuff. It does reek of 'winner', I'm just having a couple other considerations. For one thing, I don't know if it'll still be 'on sale' by the time I have $400!

    Also- and this is a real confession here- I have an SWR cab, an 8x8. The brutal truth is I'm sort of into the fact that the SWR Power 750 will make a nice little match for it. Yes, this is a superficial consideration, but you see, I've been using varied bits and pieces of used gear for so long, that a matched set of items is kind of appealing in it's own tacky way! Also I've become a little more aware of the presentation of myself lately (not as bad as it sounds! :p) and I'd like to put a little 'polish' on my bass 'accoutremont'.

    I am using a Yamaha PB-1 pre though, so it's not really a complete SWR rig... anyway...

    The reviews on the 750 are very favorable, and I can take the time I need (a few weeks) to get it paid off.

    Anyway I'm not in frantic mode, I have the FA901 to use until I make a move. Thanks for the solid recommendation, I will keep all under advisement.
     
  8. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Carvin's power amps are quality for sho.

    If I were to do pre-power again I think I'd go with QSC - those PLX's are mighty awesome.
     
  9. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    A friend of mine has a QSC 1450 he'd offered, but I passed on it for the prospect of the Crown... I think it's the RMX. There are just so many, it's pretty confusing, but I've let it get that way. It's just not like picking a regular integrated head...
     
  10. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    The only power amps I've ever used are SWR Power 750s. Yes, they are expensive on a per watt basis and they weigh 33 lbs. (I think) but they are worth it to me. Utterly reliable. If you're patient you can find them used and I bought both of mine used.

    According to SWR they were designed with bass in mind as opposed to PA work (whatever that means). I can't imagine a situation where the 750 wouldn't cut it and if it wouldn't you probably ought to going through the FOH anyway.

    I've used them with an F1-X, a Demeter 201, an SVP Pro and a DB659 without any problems. I don't plan on ever selling mine because it's a great power amp. Just my opinion...
     
  11. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Do you find they color your sound at all?
     
  12. jastacey

    jastacey Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    I've got the Crown XTi 1000 and XTi 2000 power amps ... I use the for the mains on the bands P.A. and the Crown's have a definable sound to them ... haven't used them for a bass power amp but using the XTI 2000 to power the Subs ...well .... they will do the trick ... and have a tight powerfull sound to them ... IMHO
     
  13. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I'd say no, but as I posted I've not used any other power amps to compare it with. Having said that, the tone seemed very clean with both the Demeter and the Alembic. The SWR seems to put out only what goes into it. Hope that helps.
     
  14. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    I wonder if there's a power amp comparison thread. Going to doa search, and if there is I'm going to link to it from here.

    Thanks you guys, for the responses.
     

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