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Power amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KingRazor, Sep 24, 2010.


  1. What should I look for in a decent power amp? Good brands to look for? Average price? Can someone explain how I can tell the difference between a power amp that will work for a bass as opposed to one that...won't?
     
  2. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    My only suggestion is to get one that's light. Some of them are stupid heavy.
     
  3. I'm in the same boat you are man. I'd love to hear some of these anwers.

    Subscribed! (sorry I couldn't help)
     
  4. Yeah I'd prefer something light.
     
  5. keep it up top.... I recently came across a head that can be used as a preamp in combo w/ a power amp. After a little reading I found out that even though it has a power amp in jack......that it would be foolish to plug something into it....I'm supposed to use the one next to it that says pre amp out..... glad I don't already own a power amp I would have blown that one. Tried search found next to nothing.......... anybody out there know the in's and out's.....
     
  6. What I'm planning on using requires a power amp in order to use it the way I want to. Don't think I'll be blowing anything any time soon :D
     
  7. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Sound wise they are all the same for the major brands, QSC, Peavey, Crown, Crest, ...
    Just features are different. Features like DSP can make the amp sound different but it's really signal processing and not the power amp part. Lightweight is a great feature to have.

    The ones with the longest and easy to exchange warranties are the best. You shouldn't have to pay anything or have to ship it off for service without a replacement in hand for several years at least.
     
  8. What does DSP do?
     
  9. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    There are many people who swear by their old workhorse (yamaha, carvin crown, etc.), but those are old school (heavy). So if you are looking for a lightweight modern amp, you will find the new Crowns and QSC are pretty highly regarded.

    One thing I have read and has been confirmed by a number of smarty pants, (but don't ask me to explain), is that you want a high "damping factor". This is supposed to help the amp handle low frequencies better. I had a Crown XLS 202, only about 200 watts a side, but plenty for me. And I thought it sounded great. Damping factor below 200 IIRC. Then I got a great deal on a used QSC PLX 1604(?). More power, and a damping factor over 300. It also sounds great.
     
  10. Cool. Now I just need to make sure everything is compatible. The QSC GX3 looks pretty good. Looks like it'll have more than enough watts. Now I just need a decent cab as well as a floor monitor to go with it (the cab would be small and quiet, something I could use in my practice room, the floor monitor would be used for live performances).
     
  11. craig.p

    craig.p

    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I like the comment about warranty length. It's one reason I went with QSC, though honestly I wouldn't have squawked all that loud if I'd had to go with any other utility brand, 'cause there really is no junk out there sporting well-respected name tags. Another reason I decided on this particular unit is that it has a switchable-frequency subsonic filter, so that's one more line-level bit of kit I don't have to build or buy. Also has a "parallel the two channels off channel A input" switch, as do some other amps; again, one less box & set of connectors in the chain. Also pushes air the direction I want it to go. (You should have everything in the same rack pushing air the same direction, so you gotta plan before you start buying stuff.)
     
  12. craig.p

    craig.p

    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Ugh... forgot to mention this: Read the fine print in the manual for whatever unit you've got your eye on for maximum full-power duration. Some of the lightweights derate their power in this regard, but they don't exactly shout it from the rooftops, if you know what I mean, so sometimes you have to ferret around for it. I'm not saying this is good or bad, just recommending that you be a fully-informed buyer in all regards. (Of course you will have to understand, beforehand, the workload you plan on throwing at the amp.)

    Sorry for forgetting this.
     
  13. I've had great service from my Carvin DCM series power amps. I have no experience with their "light" amps apart from my BX1500 which is a great amp.
     
  14. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I think the BX1500 has the same power amp as the " light " series of power amps.
     
  15. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    CT
    I'm not an expert...but im hearin lots of goodness about the crown "drivecore" amps.
    If I do decide to go the pre/poweramp route...that WILL be my choice.

    I'm pretty sure a few folks here have them..they'd be able to give more input.
     
  16. I think I have my setup figured out:

    QSC GX3 Power Amplifier -$299.99
    Yamaha CM10V Floor Monitor -$289.99
    Behringer Bass V-AMP PRO -$169.99
    Yamaha YDP2006 Parametric Equalizer ~$350
     

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