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Powered mixer with three power amps

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by tgriley62, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    Need to ask about using the two separate power amps on my mixer to run two mains and a sub (three 8ohm cabs) The third power amp I will use for a couple monitors. I know powered mixers are not expandable but, you gig with what you got. That being said here is my question. If the mixer has two completely separate power amps that are rated for 400w @ 4ohms each. Can I run a line to a 8 ohm main cab and daisy chain that into a 8 ohm sub & then run a line from the second power amp into another 8 ohm main and then back into the same 8 ohm sub
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    short answer: no. two amps into the same speaker is a short road to trouble. what are you trying to accomplish by powering the sub twice, daisy-chained from both tops?

    a better solution is probably to use one amp to drive both tops, and drive the sub with another amp—but best plausible routing depends on where you can place the crossover.

    also, be braced for the likelihood that the mixer's other available channel of power amp doesn't have enough ponies to properly push your sub.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    not just no but hell no :eek:

    besides, @tgriley62 how are you gonna run a top and a sub off the same side of a power amp anyway? tops and subs are supposed to be getting different frequencies, lows only to the sub and mids&highs to the top.

    (these are passive boxes right, not powered?)
    Frankjohnson and s0c9 like this.
  4. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    Thanks guys. That is why I come here to learn how not to screw things up
  5. John Hobson

    John Hobson

    Dec 13, 2016
    I have a Carvin Power mixer PA1200. It has three power amps 330W @ 4 ohm, 200W @ 8 ohm.

    I gigged it as a bass amp for a year. I think you should try two mains out of first power amp for a 4 ohm load, and then run the sub on a separate power mixer for an 8 ohm load. You can then use the third amp for monitors.

    FWIW, I only ever needed one main PA speaker (Carvin 832) and it was fine for most gigs. A couple of gigs I brought two Carvin 832s and it was very loud. So maybe ask your band or audience if it really sounds better with both mains and a sub.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Don't know about many powered mixers with 3 power amps. Outside of Carvin, I haven't seen any. Anyway...with those options.........

    Power amp 1: A set of mains.
    Power amp 2: A set of monitors.
    Power amp 3: A second set of monitors. If you need to run a sub, use the sub out (if there is one) or main out along with a crossover (The Carvin seems to have a crossover switch so one may not be necessary) and use a separate power amp to power up a set of passive subs. Skip the power amp if using powered subs.

    Edit: Looks like the Carvin has 4 amps. Read the manual.....LOL!
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  7. Which Carvin do you have? I have (not currently using) a RX1200L. I used it A LOT - and used external power amps for subs - used a crossover, because the sub out is crossed over, but the mains wouldn't be and you are sending lows to the mains. It has an insert on the back you can use for that, or out of the mains out on the front, again if going to external amps. This one had four internal amps - and actually still works fine. I used it a lot, but moved on to newer stuff. you need a lot more to the subs than that puts out - trust me, especially if its an 8 ohm sub.

    That said - have you been to BB's Lawnside lately?
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Can't you use the channel eq to control the lows to the mains? Does the eq affect the signal sent to the sub out? If so, that sucks.
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    If you are talking about the Carvin's they have three amps: main right, main left, and monitors. You could run all the mains off, say main right, and the subs off main left. Then you would pan everything hard right except things you wanted to go through the subs. But the channel EQ and the main EQ would affect both mains and sub :atoz: So you would have to compromise.

    Anything trickier would require outboard gear, which sorta defeats the purpose of powered mixers being "all in one and simple".
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    No...I was asking about the sub out jack.....would the onboard eq affect that jack? I would assume it's fixed or crossed over.
  11. If it is like the one I had - yes effects on it...... I used mine way beyond what it was designed for - and did ok - in its own realm it was great - but expecting it to be as good as a mixwiz or similar? No.

    use a powered sub - the onboard amps are not enough to make it work favorably. My experience. YMMV -
  12. monkeyland

    monkeyland Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    List every piece of a equipment, brand and model number, that you are trying to make work together and we can tell you the best way.

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