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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lowphatbass, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Lately I have been craving a bit more simplicity so I fished my Demeter VTBP-201 out of dry dock and am needing a power amp to rack it up with. I am looking for clean reliable power, weight/size is an issue but not important enough to make any major sacrafices in consistancy, quality or reliability. My equipment and I really like excessive headroom so lots of wattage is mandatory.

    It seems like QSC and Stewart are the two popular choices around TB.
    Is there anyone out there who has used both that can contrast and compare the two?

    Anyone out there been using something different?

  2. I'm very happy with the Crown K1, it will bridge into a 4 ohm load. 1500W @ 4 ohms is enough power for my needs... The K2 is more powerful, don't remember exactly how much more. I think you could possibly run K2 in stereo with 2 cabs with similar power to K1 bridged. I figured rather save the money, get the cheaper K1, run the amp bridged, take chance on reliability running it at 4 ohms bridged=2 ohms/channel. Its been years of flawless running, so it was good gamble.

    Cool thing: class D, so its pretty light, doesn't require cooling fan, so no fan noise.

    I do have an older QSC, I liked it, but not as well as the K1. Similar wattage, QSC was 2000, K1 was 1500 (bridged 4 ohm) K1 sounded a little better. Barely, so might be psychological, I just thought the K1 was cooler. The K1 has ridiculously high damping factor, maybe that was why it sounded better? Or may be that was the cooler part that triggered the placebo effect? I ended up using K1 for me, QSC for PA.

  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    In short, my top recommendation (weight not being an issue) is the Crest CA9 for solid state, and the Aguilar DB 728 if you feel like going tubes. My top recommendation if weight is an issue is the Stewart World 2.1.

    For more information, see posts from myself and others on this thread.

  4. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    The Crown Macro Techs are very good amps as well.
  5. So far, I have learned that solid power delivery is a important ingredient in developing great bass tone. And frankly, some of the power amps on the market are plain old cheap.

    Carver and Crown make some excellent power amps and also offer some midrange priced pwoer amps if I remember correctly.I don't believe that QSC makes anything that can compete with these two companies

    Also, consider the Mackie 1400 and its bigger brother. I havenm't heard anything bad about the Mackie power amps yet and generally find Mackie quality to be close to excellent.
  6. seaKamp


    Jun 30, 2005
    I'll agree with Tom here. The Crest CA9 kicks!

  7. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Hi Paul, FYI: QSC does make midrange priced power amps, too.
  8. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    Funny, I thought QSC was the standard.

    QSC, Crown, Crest; the big three (not in any order).

  9. It's possible I am wrong. i don't have the experience with High Power PA/ Bass power amps that I do with guitar related power amps but I have formed some opinions based on knowing some very cool studio / sound engineers and regular giging folks.

    THe best thing is to hear alot of opinions and then test the gear yourself. But without naming names, there are some noisey, underpowered , unreliable power amps out there. And there are some stellar ones.
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    There is no "standard." :) Some companies have been designing and manufacturing power amps for many years and have gotten pretty good at it.
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've used several QSC products over the years, and have always had good luck with them as PA gear. I recently bought a qsc plx series amp after spending some time talking to Bob Lee. Nice guy, and he helped steer me to an amp that is working out very well for me. I running and eden navigator in front of the plx 1602. !600 watts bridged into 4 ohms has been plenty of power so far. Light compact package, and there are two other plx's rated higher if you need more. Very reasonably priced.
  12. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Thanks for the suggestions so far!
    Tom, thanks for the previous thread's link, lot's of good info.
    Bob, I am going to check some specs and I may PM you with ?'s if you have time.
    (TB is great!!)
    As far as Mackie power amps go I had a 1400i(?) and half of it stroked-out on me after a year and a half, the other half is still kicking though, bieng used to power a kick drum/MPC monitor.

    As far as price goes the LESS the better, but I really don't have a problem spending $1200-$2200 for a nice piece. I have way too much money and time invested elsewhere to not get the best power amp I can afford, luckily I am in a position where I can save up for a while, no rush on this one.

    Meanwhile to become familiar again I have put my Demeter atop a couple of powered reference monitors that accept both balanced and unbalanced signals...it's the best practice amp I have ever heard!!!!!
  13. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    The Crown Macro Tech are so bullet-proof, I would not hesitate to buy one 2nd hand (as long as it was from a reputable source).

    Saving some hard-earned cash is always worth considering.

    My second choice would be a Stewart World 2.1.
  14. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City