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Power Amp suggestions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by matt holt, Jan 18, 2017.


  1. matt holt

    matt holt Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Cincinnati OH
    So, as much as I love my class D head (AI Clarus II) I have read enough of people saying they don't sound as good as traditional A/B etc builds that I have decided it is worth picking up a "lead sled" power amp, preferably used, possibly vintage. thought I'd ask here for suggestions. Here would be my Ideal specs (I understand I probably can't get these exactly, the closer to the specs the better):

    Watts/channel stereo:
    125 @ 8ohms
    250@ 4
    500-600 @ 2

    Bridged
    800-1000W @ 4 or 8 ohms

    Under 30lbs would be awesome.

    Right now the QSC RMX 850 is my top pick, although it's a little heavier than I would like. All the other specs are pretty close, and I could with live with the extra weight if I needed to, especially since it has a built in HPF. The reality is this thing will probably only get used a couple times a year, on those very rare gigs when I need to play really loud and don't have PA support.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. BasturdBlaster

    BasturdBlaster Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    Crandon WI
    I love my QSC GX5 (class H):)
     
    quickfix likes this.
  3. Class H for the win. I've got an old Peavey PV 2600, class H that works great.
    Weighs 37.9 lbs though. Just weighed it this morning.
     
  4. BasturdBlaster

    BasturdBlaster Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    Crandon WI
    I'm pretty sure the GX5 weighs 25 or 26 lbs.

    It can't be bridged but it has enough juice so that it's unlikely it would need to, hehehe.:laugh:
     
  5. Matt, you are listening to the wrong people. There have always been detractors whenever a new, not that Class D is new, innovation comes along. A lot of folk think that as a Class D amp is so physically light it cannot possibly be as capable as a unit that has more weight. A lot of weight savings come not from the Class D amplifier section per se but the power supply. By using a SMPS to power the amp it’s weight is vastly reduced. SMPS design is past mature as just about every computer on the planet uses one.

    If you love what your AI is doing for you then to hell with anyone else's opinions!

    Edit: Just to add that I have been going through the process of replacing my lead sled amps with Class D units. I can not feel any difference between my bass amp before and after the switch. The “feel” of the system is exactly the same. That is until I have to pick the amp up and load it into my Jeep! :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  6. matt holt

    matt holt Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Cincinnati OH
    I am in agreement with you, and generally don't put too much stock in anyone's insistence that they can tell a difference between A and B (or in this case A/B and D;-) without a double-blind study.

    That being said, there is an alterior motive here: I also recently lucked into a pair of free Yamaha PA speakers, and will be needing something to power them in the rare circumstance that I need to provide a PA for something (this happens rarely enough that in the past I just borrowed stuff when I needed to provide PA). While I am all about easier when it comes to frequently schleped items, I'm going to be pulling this amp out rarely enough that I'm OK with it being heavy; especially if I can get something used and cheap. I hate having a lot of capital tied up in things I'm not using very often. Also, the PA cabs are 115, 60lbs beasts, and if I'm ever using this amp on a gig for bass, it means I'm bringing at least 60lbs worth of cabs, both of which mean the idea of an easy, light load-in is already shot.

    Edit: for 95% of my gigs, my 3lbs AI just dandy, and I definitely intend to continue to use it as my main rig:)
     
  7. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    You might want to try before you commit to a purchase based on Internet "opinion". You might be surprised....
     
  8. matt holt

    matt holt Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Cincinnati OH
    Duly noted; words of wisdom as always. This is just some additional research. Just trying to get some opinions...
     
  9. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    I've ran class D amps for the last few years, and they in my opinion are only shortcoming in the weight department. They are as clean and reliable as any other amps I've used in my past, and I have no desire to go back to lugging a rack full of Peavey CS-800's around.

    While I am no expert I can attest they will do everything the heavier amps will regarding power, and at a fraction of the weight. The experts have spoken here already, so take my word with a grain of salt, but do listen to them.
     
  10. matt holt

    matt holt Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Cincinnati OH
    something I realized I probably didn't emphasize enough in my original post was that I'm looking for something that I can get relatively cheap; Hence the used, vintage lead sled idea.

    I guess what I'm really hoping for is for someone to know of some old PV or Carvin (or some such) power amp from the 80s or 90s it's built like a tank but can be had for not a whole lot of bread.

    My bad, I didn't make that clear in the original post.
     
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Used lead sled power amps are available everywhere. The world is awash in those products. If you don't have to move it then there is no real disadvantage.
     
    Jim Carr likes this.
  12. KJMO

    KJMO

    Feb 6, 2015
    I don't even think lead-sleds are that cheap.
     
  13. matt holt

    matt holt Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Cincinnati OH
    That is a big part of why I'm posting about it-there are so many options out there for these things, I'm hoping to narrow it down some:cool:

    Used ones can be had for relatively low cost. For instance, the QSC RMX 850 I mentioned in the OP have sold on eBay for like $120 (with shipping) and frequent go for $150-$200; and that is a current model. Unless you want wanna go bargain-brand, used 1000w class Ds generally seem to go for at least $300, and that would be a real score.
     
  14. "Cheap" is why I picked up a Peavey PV 2600 just the other day. $100 CDN which is $73 USD.
    Works a treat with my VT Bass DI as preamp. Great backup system.
     
  15. MVE

    MVE

    Aug 8, 2010
    Its always good to have a big amp lying around, especially if you have a set of unpowered PA speakers.
    "...I hate having a lot of capital tied up in things I'm not using very often."
    The hoarder in me is absolutely appalled at this statement. ;)
    + I really don't consider a couple hundred bucks "capital".
     
  16. The Deep End

    The Deep End Supporting Member

    Jul 24, 2013
    New York City
    I haven't found a Class D (yet) that sounds as good as the Crown PowerTech3 I've been using with an Aguilar DB680 preamp.
     
    FieldingMellish likes this.
  17. JJR58

    JJR58 Dirty Bird Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY.
    Stewart World power amps, not heavy and sound great.
     
    funkinbottom likes this.
  18. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    I absolutely love my Carvin. Specs are pretty close to what you're looking for and only $279 right now. All that and only 9lbs. No affiliation, just like the Carvin amps.

    DCM1000L Ultra Light Linear 1000W Power Amp

    OUTPUT POWER
    1 CHANNEL RMS continuous
    - 8 ohms: 210 watts
    - 4 ohms: 325 watts
    - 2 ohms: 520 watts
    BOTH CH RMS continuous
    - 8 ohms: 200/200 watts
    - 4 ohms: 325/325 watts
    - 2 ohms: 500/500 watts
    BRIDGED RMS continuous
    - 8 ohms bridged: 650 watts
    - 4 ohms bridged: 1000 watts
     
    static0verdrive likes this.
  19. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    reminds me of my mackie m800. 28 lbs, 800 watts bridged at 4 ohms.
    you need a really strong signal going in, but other than that its nice. even has an adjustable HPF and a constant directivity switch that functions basically like a sweepable treble boost.
     
    matt holt likes this.
  20. matt holt

    matt holt Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Cincinnati OH
    The reason I hate having stuff that I don't use around is because I'm a recovering hoarder myself...I have to avoid having extra stuff the way an alcoholic has to avoid bars
     
    MVE likes this.

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