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Power amp life

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassmodder, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. What is the average life you get out of a decent power amp before a repair? Looking at stuff like Crown, QSC, Crest, and others in their "league"

    Lets assume that you never leave it in the car, clip it constantly, turn it on and off all the time, leave it on all the time, over heat it, or abuse it.

    But DO use it regularly - like once a day. One on and off cycle or so and maybe 3 hrs of playing.

    I got 15 out of a Crown once.
    Only 5 on the QSC I have now... Still ticking..
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I bought a QSC MX1500a in 1994, and used it to power mains and subs for over 10 years, then sold it to a friend, and he's been using it for the same thing for the last 4 years. It is built like a tank, and has never had a glitch.
  3. My RMX850 came with a full 6 year warranty... so I am guessing quite a long time!

  4. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    If you get through the warranty plus 3-4 years, you're doing very well. There are many people who have never had to do a repair at all. But all electronic items break once in a while. Just stick with reputable names and you should be fine.
  5. Hi.

    IME the average in non PA use would probably be 10 or so years.

    That is, if the internals and the cooling channels are dusted every once and a while and the working environment is somewhat normal, regarding temperature and humidity.

    The dust prevents heat dissipation and can cause shorts. The main component prone to failure are the caps, the hotter the environment, the worse.

    IMO/IME the quality amps all have all sorts of protective circuitry that the cheaper ones don't have so in the event of a component failure for example, the amp shuts itself before anything major can happen. The downside is that in order to diagnose the amp, the protective systems usually have to be disabled and that's rather difficult if there's no schematics.

    But in the end, replacing a few passive components is WAY cheaper and easier than replacing a bank of FETs or transistors.

    Quality is the way to go IMO/IME.

  6. AfroMan Skeeter

    AfroMan Skeeter

    Dec 12, 2007
    Not to steal the thread, but does leaving a power amp out in the cold [car] shorten the life span of it?
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Define cold. Unless it's like 20 below, probably not a problem.
  8. Agreed with quality! Was also wanting to know just in case someone throws one of them "too good to be true" offers and the thing takes a dump after a week.

    Thanks for all the replies, lets keep this going.
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I have typically had gear last more than 10 years. Looking at the condition of my GK amp, which is 10 years old, I would predict at least another 10 years.

    But the greatest threat to gear is GAS caused by the introduction of new technologies, such as (in my case) neo drivers and lightweight amps.
  10. AfroMan Skeeter

    AfroMan Skeeter

    Dec 12, 2007
    Lately it's been around 10 or less. So I should definitely bring that in.
  11. That's why I did not not the 15 year old boat anchor Crown repaired. 40 lbs for 200 watts. My QSC is 1200 at 21 lbs!
  12. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    ive had a crown macrotech for about 16 years .. no problems... just dust it out...

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