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Poweramps....good idea?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassmanUK, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. bassmanUK


    Dec 16, 2005
    Tamworth UK
    Hiya guys,

    Im looking to get a new bass rig. Perhaps a 4x10 cab and around 500w amp working on about £1000 to spend

    Does anyone else run a rig with a poweramp?

    Particularly interesting was just buying a poweramp such as the
    Ashdown ABM APM 1000 EVO II Power Amplifier (http://www.ashdownmusic.co.uk/bass/detail.asp?ID=4)

    Using my bass pod XT pro as a preamp (which I will be using even if I buy a normal amp).

    Any buying something like an ABM 4x10 cab (and keeping my old MAG 1x15)

    That way I instead get 1000w instead of 500w, albeit that I will probably only use the one channel and keep the other channel if I need to do a big gig and rent another enclosure.

    Is this a good idea?

    Other ideas for £1000


    2x 4x10 ABM cabs
    1 500w Warwick ProFet 5.1 head


    1 4x10 (new) Trace Elliot
    1 500w Warwick ProFet 5.1 head


    1 500w ABM EVO head
    1 4x10 ABM cab

    I understand that generally its all about having the best speakers you can afford so perhaps the Warwick head would do?

    Any comments?
  2. Many fellow TBers use a separate preamp with a poweramp. I am one of them. I am not familiar with the equipment you listed but may I suggest that you do not need to get a bass specific poweramp. Any quality PA poweramp will work. Look into QSC, Crown, Crest, Stewart, Peavey, Carvin, and others just to open up the possibilities.
  3. FriscoBassAce


    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    There was a lengthy FAQ on this a while back. I read all the FAQ's from the sticky thread at the top of the "Amps" page. It has all kinds of useful stuff about amps and all things related.

    Here's the link to the thread specifically about running a rack-mount power amp and preamp rig:


    I hope this helps!
  4. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I have a pre/power amp rig (actually two of them, one is a backup/rehearsal rig). It's not as convenient as an all-in-one amp head, but it offers more flexibility, and very large power amps are readily available for reasonable money.

    I agree with MuzikMan; there is no reason to buy a "bass-specific" power amp - most modern power amps are good enough. (Others will disagree. Listen for yourself.) There's nothing wrong with Ashdown, but you may be able to get the same results with another brand for less money.

    Powered speakers are a great idea from a technical point of view - no power loss from long speaker cables, the amp can be optimized specifically for the cabinet, etc.

    From the point of view of a working musician, they mean more power cords that have to be plugged in somewhere. The speaker cabinet, already the heaviest part of your rig, gets heavier. And if the built-in amp fails at a gig, you have to swap out the whole cabinet.

    I'm not dissing powered cabs, just pointing out the tradeoffs no one ever seems to mention. Bergantino's gear is expensive but good. There may be something comparable on your side of the Atlantic.
  5. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    These are all American manufacturers. The original poster is in the UK. There are probably other locally made brands that are cheaper.
  6. bassmanUK


    Dec 16, 2005
    Tamworth UK
    Well I have an 800w studio master poweramp from my old bands PA that I dont use. But two inputs on poweramp, and one output on preamp....... do i just get some sort of splitter?
  7. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Make or buy a 'Y' lead to split the pre output to the two channels of the poweramp. Alternatively, if one channel of the poweramp is enough for your needs, just plug into one channel and use that. Then you have a spare if it fails.

    I use a pre/power combo. The pre is currently a Yamaha PB1, though a custom designed discrete FET unit is under construction to replace it. Then I use a new Yamaha P7000S poweramp, one channel pushing the 15 and the other for the mids and up via a DDA xover.
  8. Check to see if there is a switch somewhere on the back panel that will route a mono input to both channels. If it is a solid state amp you can also run just one channel without any problems.

    Rick B.
  9. bassmanUK


    Dec 16, 2005
    Tamworth UK
    the Ashdown poweramp lets you just turn on one side of the amp, but it does a that it gives 500w only to a 4ohm load, 320w to an 8ohm load.
  10. So if a power amp is 2x500 @8 ohms, can you plug in only one cab and run it at 1000 watts??
  11. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Not on one channel. If the amp is capable of bridging, then you can run one cab across both channels, but they the power output will be twice the four ohm rating - more than 1000w. In effect, each channel sees half of the 8ohm cab as a load . . . .

    - Tim
  12. So if a power amp has 2x750 @4 ohms rating, with one cab being driven in both cahnnels I'll have 1500 Watts right?? But I guess not every power amp is capable of doing so... Thanks for the help Tim:)
  13. With my poweramp (and I'd assume most of them) you can run them 3 ways:

    Stereo: Run something into each channel, independant volume control for each of them.
    Parallel: Input for channel 1 is also routed to channel 2 (no splitter required), independant volume control for each channel.
    Bridge/Mono: Input for channel 1, one volume control, but power from both channels working together.