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Power amp for home studio

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by thudfromafar, Nov 17, 2010.


  1. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Chicago
    Posted this in the recording equipment forum but this one might be better...

    I'm looking for a poweramp in the $300 range just for music playback and monitoring. I'm going to be using it with a preamp and high quality cabinet(s).

    It seems my best options are:
    -Crown XLS1000
    -Peavey IPR1600
    -QSC GX5


    By far, the biggest considerations are 1) sound quality and 2) fan noise.

    How will the sound quality be compared to, say, my QSC PLX1804? Will it be noticable in a quiet environment compared to a higher priced poweramp?

    Also I'm wondering about the fan noise on the crown and peavey units, I read the GX5 is really loud.... The others are class D so maybe that answers the question...
     
  2. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    One trick for studio is to line a closet with some absorptives/damping and put amps in there or build an "isolation box". Then you don't have to care about fan noise.
     
  3. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Chicago
    Thanks for the tip, I will keep that in mind. Greenboy do you have anything to say about the sound quality factor?
     
  4. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Not really. People often hear what they want to hear when brand names are involved. But everybody whose been in the game for ages is building pretty good stuff generally. So it's easier to buy for featureset you want.
     
  5. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Chicago
    gotcha...
     
  6. yamaha

    yamaha

    Apr 7, 2006
    Montreal
    GX5's fan is quite loud, IPR1600 is great (I own one). I also have a PLX1804. I'm pretty damn impressed by that Peavey. Too bad is so damn ugly, lol. I use it for DJ gigs, and, as poweramp for monitors at rehearsal, and I am 100% satisfied.
     
  7. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Chicago
    how would you compare the peavey to that 1804? :smug:
     
  8. Podgorny

    Podgorny

    May 1, 2009
    Nashville, TN
    Visit Audiogon and look for a used Adcom. Will be better than anything else in your price range, and as an added bonus, no fans.
     
  9. srxplayer

    srxplayer

    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I use a GX5 with my live rig. It's a great amp for the money but the fan noise is a bit loud for studio use.
     
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The GX fan is relatively loud. Especially if you're used to a PLX. ;)
     
  11. OldogNewTrick

    OldogNewTrick

    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    None of the above !


    For this, you need a fanless, convection cooled unit. Not sure what is all available in the US, but theis would fill your bill in all respects... there are also several smaller versions available, just google "monitor amps, convection cooled"

    http://www.alesis.com/ra500

    [​IMG]
     
  12. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    Fellow TBer jnewark has this amp for sale in AMPS classifieds here for well under $300, IIRC. Don't think he's owned it for long.

    I just bought a new DriveCore XLS1500 for my live rig. About 8lbs, class D, very quiet fan so far, I've not heard it come on yet or its that quiet that I can't tell its on. His should be lighter. Nice amps.
     
  13. Podgorny

    Podgorny

    May 1, 2009
    Nashville, TN
    A used Adcom will beat the shorts off any Alesis amp, sonically-speaking.
     
  14. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Chicago
    I appreciate the suggestions folks, I'm looking into everything, naturally. :)

    Feel free to keep the thread alive with more discussion...
     
  15. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    A used Hafler will also be a good bet. I use a McIntosh 2105 which sounds great, but tends to be a bit above your budget. However, you can sometimes find an old Mac for cheap and they really do the job nicely.

    I've put the Mac up against PA amps with many times the power and the sound quality is just not there with the PA amps. They are powerful and durable but don't manage the finesse of sound that a good hifi amp will have.

    Oh, yeah, if you find a Bryston at a yard sale, jump on it! :)
     
  16. IntrepidCellist

    IntrepidCellist

    Sep 10, 2009
    Manhattan
    Just pick up a used NAD. I have a 7100 and it's convection cooled, sounds fantastic, and is plenty loud to drive a pair of monitors to earsplitting levels. A lot of the live sound stuff is built for durability and loudness, and can be a little harsh, as well as seriously overkill.

    It was also $100!
     
  17. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The older (>20 years) live sound stuff, maybe. There are a lot of exceptionally good live sound amps from the late 80s on.
     
  18. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Yep. I have a P3000 kicking around just for those times when no fan noise is acceptable. Then I can just obsess on transformer noise instead...;)
     
  19. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I run an NAD 2140. It has pleny of power and being fanless - it's dead quiet. Personally I wouldn't be looking at PA related stuff for my studio. I don't need the power, the size, the fan ... the NAD's sound quality is outstanding. Hafler would certainly get nmy attention as well.

    I would shy away from the low end import stuff (Alesis, Samson, etc...)

    Then you can start looking for a Koolance Tower to house that monster hot motherboard and 10K rpm drives you'll end up with :D Other than the fact that it's a pita to top off the coolant yearly, I sure do like that for noise reduction...
     
  20. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Yeah, Mal, but some guys are doing the "spread thin home project studio", where they use part of their PA there when they aren't out playing.

    And I'd say ever since one of the serious studio mags (or was it a home system mag? - man I am fuzzy brained) ran a detailed favorable review complete with their own independent measurements, on one of the QSC PLX (not PLXII, but the original version) amps, it's got bona fides, I'd say it's legit to consider this.
     

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