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Power Amp recommendations?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MichaelSmalley, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Hey all- I'm changing up my rig again and I think I'm going for separate preamp/power amp.

    A guy in my area has a Demeter preamp and a Stewart World 1.2 power amp going into an Epifani 310 cab. It is the sweetest sound for slap I've ever heard. How much does the power amp have to do with the final tone?

    What should I look for in a power amp aside for power?
    Any recommendations? I like the stewart world 1.2 but it is out of production and doesn't come up all that often on ebay...

    Just looking for opinions. I'm sure there are plenty of them here.:bag:
  2. firmlybassed


    Mar 6, 2008
    Hickory NC
    I use carvin power amps in all my rigs. Very reliable. My oldest one is 10 yrs old. I used it up until just 2 years ago at practice and all show. Now I just use it at practice and use my other rig with a new light weight Carvin Power amp for shows. The old heavy one stays at the practice facility never moves. Saves my back. Hope this helps.
  3. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Of the components of the sound you're trying to emulate, I'd expect the power amp contributes least to the tone (after the player, the cab, the strings, the pre-amp, and the bass).

    I ran a Stewart 2.1 rig for a while. It's a nice amp (and for its time offered impressive horsepower per pound), but not magical. The 1.2 would be attractive for its 1ru form factor, except that it needs an open space for ventilation.
  4. I figured that the power amp had the least to do with tone of all the factors, but I've never run a rig with separate pre and power amps.

    I don't have a ton of technical knowledge about power amps (although I am trying to learn), so I just don't necessarily know how to make the best choice.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Buy used and locally. Best buys can be had on lead-sleds like the QSC RMX series. Given the competitive pricing on the new lightweight stuff (Peavey IPR, Drivecore, etc), I'd be hard-pressed to spend top dollar on older technology. One exception is the Crest CA-6 or 9 which are quite desirable.

  6. I have back problems so I would definitely prefer not to buy a lead sled type model unless they sound A LOT better.

    Looking around, the Crown XLS Drivecore 1500 looks like it suits my needs. I'll have to search the threads to see if people have had generally positive experiences with these amps.
  7. I use a Peavey IPR. It is a killer amp. I highly recommend it.
  8. LowEZ

    LowEZ Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Central NJ
    +1 As do I, I agree, and so do I. You can find deals on new IPR's (with 5-year warranty) that are comparable, price per watt, to used lead sleds.
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yes, reports have been generally favorable. I forgot to mention that I've seen some stellar deals on power amps, and I mean the new gear, over in the classifieds. Shipping is a whole lot cheaper when you're talking 10-13 lbs.

  10. projectapollo

    projectapollo Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Take a look at the newly relesed Crest Pro-lite 2.0. The Crest version of the Drivecore 1500, i think. But the Crest has a lower input sensitivity allowing preamps to drive it better. I just got one new on ebay.
  11. I've been running a peavey ipr 3000 dsp for a couple months now into two 4x10 cabs off of a Marcus Miller preamp and the results have been fully stellar!!

  12. I have a Stewart 1.2 that I'm not using and would sell to you for a good price. PM me if you are interested.
  13. esa372


    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA

    Make sure the amp you get has the features you need:
    • 1/4" and/or banana plugs?
    • Bridging capabilities?
    • 2-Ohm stable?
    • Built-in DSP?
    • High-pass filtering?

    I recently purchased a QSC PLX-1804 because it gave me the power I need, with none of the features I listed above. Some folks use those features (especially bridging), but I knew that I would not need them. The 1804 gives me just what I need, and nothing more.

    Also, check out how much the amp weighs (some of these things are pretty hefty!), and make sure it has a cooling system that will work with your rack, as well as some sort of protection set (i.e., short circuit, open circuit, thermal, infrasonic, ultrasonic, and RF protection).

    That's all that comes to mind right now...

  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    A power amp should produce the sound you put into it, but louder. What you're paying for beyond that, is features and/or build quality. Fer instance, the Peavey IPR is a great power amp...7 pounds for a ton of wattage, bridgeable. But at the same time, it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, you have to make a bridging cable, the onboard HP/LP is limited, etc.

    What you need to pay attention to is input sensitivity matching to make sure that your preamp will drive the power amp correctly.
  15. esa372


    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
  16. I have had very good experiences with the XLS1500 Drivecore

    and I hear good things about the Peavey IPR as well
  17. sonic 7

    sonic 7

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    My Carvin DCM 1000L works fantastic with all my Trace and Ashdown pre amps, its light as a feather and was relatively inexpensive around $350 i think.
  18. XLS Drivecore: Sensitivity (for full rated power at 4 ohms) 1.4 Vrms (vrooms? sorry, I know that was lame.)

    I don't see sensitivity listed on the Demeter preamp specs.

    The Marcus Miller preamp says
    Sensitivity: +4 dBu preamp output with 12mV 1kHz input, Gain and Volume at MAX, tone controls flat, Aural Enhancer at mid position, Effects Blend at DRY, Bass Intensifier, Compression, and Boost OFF

    How do I know if they are compatible?
    (sorry if this is a dumb question... just not sure what I should be looking for. )
  19. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    Sensitivity relates to equipment's (e.g. a power amp) input. You need to look for a preamp's output level to find out if it's compatible with a power amp input.
  20. The difference in tone between various solid state power amps is undetectable in my experience. Volume with punch requires a bigger amp or an amp with more punch.

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