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Power amp question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lookjojoisplaid, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    So I’m thinking about changing my rig to a hybrid with a tube pre and SS power. I have several pre amps in mind but I don’t know a whole lot about power amps. I have read just about everything talkbass has to offer and you have given me enough models to look at but one thing that is picking at my brain is that most of you, it seems, are using what I think of as typical PA power amps (QSC, E&W, Crown, Crest, Carvin), which seem to work fine for bass but there are power amps out there like the ampeg svp1600 and the fender MB-1200 that seem to be geared more toward bass players but also cost a bit more.

    So my question is, is it really worth the money to buy a power amp that's geared more towards bass players like the Ampeg and Fender or will PA style power amps like Crown, Crest, and QSC work just as well? Is there a difference sonically? Advantages and disadvantages of the two?

    Also is it worth the money to spend on a MOSFET power amp? Or is this just something I have to A/B to see which I like better?
  2. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    PA amps are fine. Big name brands with good warranties and reputations are best. You don't really care about the output devices. Go by features, power, and weight.

    When you A/B amps, keep in mind that each may have slightly different sensitivity and so you may have to tweak the levels a bit on one versus another. And any amp specified as a "Bass Power Amplifier" may be weighted in the EQ - i.e. it boosts the bass.

    The Fender has a good price here:
    If you're looking to drive 1200w into 2ohms it doesn't look bad.

    PA power amps generally require higher impedance's when you bridge them - for example if each channel can drive 600w@4ohms then the amp bridge can drive 1200w@8ohms
  3. joegeezer


    Mar 9, 2005
    Northern Wisconsin
    Avatar Club#12 Eden Club Lucky# 13--USA Peavey Club#37 Carvin Club#5
    No difference sonically. They are all made to just amplify the incoming signal. You will hear guys on here who swear by the Behringer EP2500, and have run them for years, you will also hear of guys buying only the latest and greatest, such as the Stewart World digital power amps, for their light weight. I think it all depends on how much power you want, and in how much space, and what it weighs. I think they have been on the market long enough now, that enough companies have copied their competiors designs, that most all of them are quite reliable, at any price point, within reason. Just don't bridge one at 4 ohms, if it's only made to bridge at 8 ohms, and they all seem to last well. I like, and use Carvin's, just because they are only 10 inches deep, and easier to set on top my cabs, as a rack 'head'. If I was richer, I think I would get Peavey DPC1400X digital model. However, someone just posted that he thinks the digitals are a little slower to react than the heavy models. Others have said that there is no substitute for a big heavy transformer, when you want to deliver the big power. That may all change soon with technology, but till then, I carry the heavy ones. Good Luck in your quest.
  4. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    OKay so basically pick a power amp bassed on how much power it can deliver and and other features it might have.

    But what about my second question is it really worth the money to buy a MOSFET power amp of is this just something i need to try?
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Personal preference. Mosfets are typically advertised in instrument amps to "sound like tubes". Maybe they do or don't, but the idea is not that they are "better" than other designs, but they sound colored in a way some people like.

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