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Power Amp Suggestions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikemulcahy, Sep 19, 2000.

  1. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Now that i have been educated through these threads, i am now ready to buy a power amp. How much power? I will be drivin 2 Eden 410XL cabs and 2 Peavey 118 cabs with 1000w JBL speakers in them. Any thoughts guys?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    My personal recommendation:

    Just get a good P.A. power amp in the kilowatt range (2x500W @ 4 Ohms) or higher - they're usually more rugged and have better security ciruits than bass power amps - usually at a better price. You won't notice any difference in sound - unless you compare it to a tube power amp.
  3. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    I'm happy with the QSC PLX 2402. Very light weight, unique power supply, ample setup/switching, the fans are noticable though.
    In your case I would definetly use two stereo amplifiers giving each cabinet its own amp. Assuming the two 4-10's are 4ohms and the two 1-18's are 8ohms, two amps makes even more sence.
    There are many other ways to power this rig. I belive this would yield the safest and cleanest sound.
    Keep in mind power amplifiers all have there own sound so try to listen to as many as possible through your cabinets. Don't be concerned with watts ratings the sound is the ultimant goal.
  4. oh boy... this is an involved question. lets look at the speakers first. you have 2 Eden 410s and 2 Peavey 118s. The edens are rated 350wts RMS @8ohms (I think) and the Peaveys would be about 500wts RMS @4ohms (with the new JBLs). that means if you were running all the speakers off the same power amp, you would be droping the resistance WAY down. If you want to run all the speakers at once, I would recomend a bi-amp system. You would need 2 power amps and a cross over. This gets a little exsesive. If you are just looking for good low end, run one of each with a Peavey PV-1200. You might still ad a cross over to the mix to seperate the highs and the lows into each cab (410 gets the highs & mids, 118 gets only the lows). The reson for recomending the Peavey is that it puts 600w a side @2ohms. so at 4ohms (the guessed rating of the JBLs, most 18s I've seen are 4ohms)you would be about 450w, and at 8ohms (for the Edens) you would be puting 300w. It also has DDT technology in it (Distortion Detection Technology. This basicly saves your power amp and speakers from blowing.
    I know that is a kind of lengthy explination for a short answer. I'm just used to explaining it out for people so the know the reasoning. E-mail me if you need a further technical explination...

  5. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Whats your thoughts on the digital amps to conserve rack space and keep weight down?
  6. Mike-
    I recently started using a Peavey CS800s digital amp for my bass power and am completly stoked on it. I am using it to power a Peavey 410 and a Peavey 412 (both 4 ohm) cabinets. This amp wieghs in at 23 lbs and is only 2 rack spaces tall. The controls are on the front which is a nice feature. In the past I used a Peavey PV-1200 that logicman talked about earlier and retired it to power the electric drums through 2 18" Eden bass bins. The CS800s is silent and super light and is a true 1200 watt amp. I highly recommend it... :D

    Hope I helped...

  7. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000

    hmm...someone here suggested using a PA...I was told you are always better off with a power amp made espicealy for bass because otherwise you loose headroom. is that true when connecting to PA too, and is it true anyway?
    what about a non bass power amp runing a bass preamp and cab???

    I used to think SWR and Eden were just making them (power amps "for bass") just because they tought bassists would prefer a power amp made by so called "bass companies" over a power made by carvin for multi role purposes or by peavey or whatever. is that the case or there really is a difference?

  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Bass transistor power amps are basically the same as P.A. power amps in terms of technology.
    It's mainly a marketing thing and usually bass power amps are inferior in terms of construction, power rating and security circuits. A bass transistor power amp usually isn't designed to get more headroom or a specific sound - that's just marketing. They use the same technologies and you won't hear big differences in sound.
  9. CL had a great recomendation with the CS800. Those are great amps. They are loud, efficiant, and save on space. The biggest difference in my mind was the cost factor. PV1200 goes about $540 and the CS800s is about $750. There are others on the market. Namely the Makie 1400i (about $550, 1400 watts) and the Peavey Deca. Stay away from the Decas. I've seen alot of these come in broken. They seemed promising, but I haven't seen a good one yet.
    I will coment on something Vic said earlier. He said not to be concerned over wattage. I dissagree. this is a main concern. I blew an Eden set-up of myown because I didn't look at the wattage rating. I ended up underpowering the cabs and ruining a $1000 speaker set up.

  10. If the CS800S is $750, it doesn't seem like such a wonderful value to me. You can pick up a QSC-PLX2402 from Lord Valve for $879 including shipping. The 2402 is 700wRMS/ch into 4 ohms, and the CS800S is only 420wRMS/ch into 4 ohms. The QSC weighs a tad less too (21# versus 23#), not that it's all that significant.

    And QSC has a FAR better reliability reputation than Peavey.
    I'd spend the extra $129 and get the QSC. Wait, I already did!

  11. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    Depending on your budget consider Crown power amps. I bought the K2 which is quite powerful and has no fan; it is convection cooled. It is without vents and the insides are not exposed to the environment like QSC or Crown Macro- or Microtech series. The K series amps are very efficient and have a high damping factor. ...Two rack spaces and the K2 weighs around 35 lbs.

    Stewart World 2.1 is supposed to be good; I've read encouraging things about QSC too.

    I've only read negative things about Mackie power amps for
    bass; I've heard they are fine for straight PA applications.

  12. Just for the record, I picked up my Peavey CS800s for $610 at my local music store- not a huge chain... buck for buck, its the best power amp I've ever owned- and I've gone through lots of equipment over the years. Last week I purchased a PV-1200 to help out our PA and spent $525. The CS800s is in a totally different league than this amp.
  13. michealn, is Lord Valve on the WWW?
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  15. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I used to have a Mackie 1400i and while the sound was just a bit brittle, the weight was what broke my back!! 35lbs!

    now I use a Stewart 2.1 (with a demeter pre) and it sounds incredible! really warm and natural compared to the mackie, and TONS of power.

    http://www.bassnw.com - they have stewart 1.2, 1.6, and 2.1 - for reasonable prices.

    - t
  16. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member


    Did you ever compare the Stewart to Crown or QSC? I know Bass NW is big on Stewart but they don't sell Crown or QSC.

  17. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I've compared the Crown to the Stewart power amps. They both sounded great with a Demeter preamp but the Stewart is much lighter and sounds a bit smoother to me. If I had a Crown, I'd not sell it to get a Stewart unless weight is an issue.

    I have a bad back so I've been using Carver and Stewart power amps. The Carver amps also sound good but the Stewart is my favorite. I have a PA-100 in a rack with Demeter and Alembic preamps. The tone is there for sure and that has been more power than I have needed.

    I bought a Mackie when they first came out and the bass sounded very compressed and lifeless through the Mackie. Too heavy for me anyway.

  18. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    The experience you had with your Eden set-up is interesting. First off I want to be perfectly clear that I in no way doubt you had problems with your set-up and I'm in no way challenging your remarks. So often, on these posts, the desire to question comes off the wrong way. We can all learn from your experiences.

    I can understand blowing drivers by overpowering or sending them a DC signal. Underpowering? Where you constantly clipping the amplifier in an effort to be louder? What kind of amplifier was this. Where you running two >4ohm cabinets?

    Before I purchaced the QSC 2402 I currently use, I drove my Bag End 2x10" cabinet to very satisfactory levels using a Marantz 8B 35watt tube power amplifier with no problems.
    Most speaker systems are measured using one watt.

    I can safely stand by my suggestion that he check out amplifiers reguardless of power ratings. There are plenty of us using 200-400 watt tubed and solid state amplifiers in conjunction with cabinets rated at 300-1000 watts.

    Yet what happened to you did happen. With the exception of prolonged clipping, I don't understand how low wattage could damage a driver. Maybe someone here can shed some light on this issue.
  19. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Some people already did - check the 'underpowering the cabinet' thread.
  20. Michaeln said:

    >And QSC has a FAR better reliability reputation than Peavey.

    I don't think so. Peavey gear is very tough to beat in reliability and ruggedness. You may not like Peavey, which is fine, but your reasons should not have to do with reliability. Peavey has earned its stripes in that regard

    That being said, I recently replaced my PV 260 power amp (great amp, but not enough power) with a Mackie 1400i on which I got a great deal. The Mackie is also a very good amp so I would encourage anyone contemplating a power amp purchase to check out the Mackie specs.



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