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Power amp question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Flatwound, Dec 9, 2000.


  1. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I'm thinking about going to a pre-amp/power amp set up, but there are a few things about power amps I don't understand, since I've used "ordinary" bass amps all these years.

    First: On a modern, solid-state stereo power amp that's rated for 8, 4, and 2 ohms, can I run one channel at 8 ohms and one channel at 4?

    Second: Can I use just one channel, if I'm using just one cab?

    Third, I don't really need much power at this point, so I was thinking of something in the 600-watt (at 4 ohms bridged or 250 - 300 per channel) range, just to have lots of headroom and room for louder settings. In this category, Carvin and Peavey seem pretty inexpensive, followed by Crest, Mackie and others. Since I don't expect to go anywhere near the limits of the amps, is one brand preferable to another?

    Also, there seem to be plenty of used 300 watt and up power amps available from the above listed companies and others; is there something I need to avoid or look out for?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Max -

    >First: On a modern, solid-state stereo power amp that's rated for 8, 4, and 2 ohms, can I run one channel at 8 ohms and one channel at 4?

    Yes but you will have more power going to the 4 ohm side.

    >Second: Can I use just one channel, if I'm using just one
    cab?

    Yes again. Just turn the master knob to 0 on the unused hcannel.

    >Third, I don't really need much power at this point, so I was thinking of something in the 600-watt (at 4 ohms bridged or 250 - 300 per channel) range, just to have lots of headroom and room for louder settings.

    You're better off getting more power than you need because a) the prices of more powerful amps aren't that outragoeus (i.e. you can upgrade to twice the power for way less than twice the price) and b) gear depreciates dramatically. If you decide to get a louder amp a year from now, you won't get a whole lot on a trade-in.

    I would suggest looking at 800 watts or more.

    >In this category, Carvin and Peavey seem pretty inexpensive, followed by Crest, Mackie and others. Since I don't expect to go anywhere near the limits of the amps, is one brand preferable to another?

    That's open to debate. I haven't personally found so, but other people on this forum have different views. My old amp was a Peavey 260 (130 w per side) - I recently upgraded to a Mackie 1400i - way more power than I need, but I'm basically set.

    John
     
  3. VicDamone

    VicDamone

    Jun 25, 2000
    Re: Max Power

    Get as much power as you can aford. Some of the newer offerings from companies like QSC and Crest are using high speed switching power supplies which alow the amp to be built much lighter in weight.
     
  4. virtual.ray

    virtual.ray

    Oct 25, 2000
    Sam Ash still sells the Crown Power Base 3 for $799. 720 watts x2@4 Ohms or 1500 bridged.But most of all,it's a Crown!
     
  5. To chime in here, you can pick up a brand new Mackie 1400i for about $500.

    John
     
  6. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Thanks, guys! :) I appreciate all your advice.