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Power amps??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by monroe55, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    I've officially given up on finding the perfect amplifier head. Im starting my new journey into the world of power amp/preamp set ups. My main problem has always been not enuff clean tone when I turn up. This power/preamp setup seems to provide the most flexibility. Ive read some threads here and found that most power amps provide at least@ 1000 watts ( be it bridged, seperate channels, 4ohms, 8ohms, 50000ohms or whatever you got). I own @ 4 cabinets to choose from whenever I play out so I dont want to worry whether or not I have the power to drive any or all of them. My questions:
    1. Give me the name of some descent power amps to look at. Is the CarvinDCM1500 good? QSC? CROWN?
    2. Can I use my Hartke7000a amp as a preamp for whatever power amp I buy ( until I can buy a real preamp)?
    3. With a power amp, why cant I just use one of those cool foot pedal preamps like Sansamp or Aguilar makes???
  2. Mingo Sanders

    Mingo Sanders

    Mar 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    1. Some people on here like the Carvin amps. QSC and Crown both make amps in widespread use, including working bass players. Another maker is Crest.

    2. I think so, driving the power amp with the direct out on the Hartke.

    3. Sorry, I don't know.

    Some people report hearing differences between power amps with different types of power supplies. In the end, you have to listen to some and decide what you like. Good luck.
  3. Carvin DCM series of power amps are excellent value for money. I've never had a problem with any of mine.

  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    You can do this.
    You can even run some active bases straight to a power amp.

    A crown Xti with the build in DSP will give all kinds of extra tone control if you need it.
  5. You can. I have both a Hartke VXL Bass Attack and a BDDI, and have used both as a preamp. I'm favoring the tone I get out of the Hartke (I know, flame on), but it's not a true line-level preamp, so I had to stick an MXR Micro-Amp after it to drive the power amp. The BDDI can switch between line-level and instrument-level output, and it has *plenty* of oomph to drive a power amp.


  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Check out the "preamps explained" link in my sig. Some onboard or pedal preamps can drive some power amps, but many units are not quite compatible that way. Check the specs of each individual unit you're considering.
  7. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    What do you mean by line-level preamp? I know that preamps are all about tone control but why do I need something to "drive" the power amp? I thought the power amp is what "drives". :help:
    Ive also looked into Carvin power amps. I didnt see any DCM1500s on their webpage. Are their DCMlites good amps? Why are these things all so cheap at Carvin? It makes me nervous.
  8. Jeff A

    Jeff A

    Oct 22, 2005
  9. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Are you 100% sure it not the speakers that are distorting?
    Back when I was you and stupid (currently just stupid) I bought and sold a perfectly good SVT cabinet only because the Acoustic head I was using was underpowered; at the time thought it was the cabinet.
  10. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    BONGOMANIA!!!! Thanks for that link. Thats just what I needed :hyper:
  11. What he said.

  12. Charles Fields

    Charles Fields

    Mar 30, 2009
    bang for buck qsc GX5 and a san's amp driver maybe a little compression for the b.
  13. If you want as clean as you can get. Get a good quality power amp and a microphone preamp.
  14. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    Just a small point... you say you want the option to run all of your 4 cabs from your power amp. You only list two cabs in your profile, and I know at least one of them is available as a 4 Ohm version. Can you list your 4 cabs? You will need to set your sights somewhat high to get high output from 4 4 ohm cabs (i.e. a stereo power amp driving 2 ohms per channel), for instance. How big of a venue do you expect to play, and will you be playing outdoors without a PA?

    I second the previous gentlman's comments that if you are really after a clean sound, a cheap(ish) mic pre might be for you. And if it doesn't work out live with your bass, it is a somewhat useful thing to have in your studio area.
  15. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    The cabs in my profile are the ones I use. Both 8 ohm. I have a 4x10 that i dont use any more but would bring out if I ever had to. I play clubs and bars inside and out. I have 2 gutard players who are pretty loud, but tastefully so. Ive been using a Hartke700a and it just doesnt cut it. I want a more powerful amp to really drive those speakers and I want lots of headroom. I was looking at WT800s which are 1100watts bridged into 4ohms, but for 1700bux, I thought that a poweramp/preamp set up was a better bargain. The CarvinDCM1500 is like 300$ right now. I could spend like 1000$ on a preamp and still have better options than the WT800. Why the hell would anyone use an amphead?
  16. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Because most of us only need 200 - 400 watts for gigs and like the tone of a standard amp; also the only sane way to have an all tube rig IMO.
  17. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    200watts for a gig!!! What instruments do you play bass behind? A triangle and a slide whistle? :confused: I dont play metal or hard rock but my 350 watt head just suffers behind two gui****ists and a drummer.
  18. seedokebass


    Mar 21, 2009
    I've been doing allright with a Markbass SD 800 with a Sansamp RBI into a 4x10 and 2x12... but my Aguilar 4x10 sits unused because its 4 ohm, and that's as low as the MB goes!

    I'm strongly considering a QSC amp of some sort, and using the MB for a "smaller" rig. That way, I could use the Aguilar on one side, and get an Aguilar 2x12 for the other side of the poweramp :)
  19. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    Now that sounds like itll be a sweet setup. :bassist: Which QSC you considering??
  20. seedokebass


    Mar 21, 2009
    I haven't tried any yet, but I've been window shopping. I like the PLX1804 and RMX 1850HD for my budget and what they put out.

    The Crown XTi 2000 also really appeals to me, but the DSP makes me wonder if it's just something that can crap out down the road!

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