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pre/power or combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by heath_the_great, Apr 10, 2005.


  1. well..since im starting to bring in some money from gigs now im gonna upgrade my amp shortly....

    i was going to get a nemesis 210 combo and eventually a nemesis 210 cab...the combo is $1300

    or

    an ampeg svp-pro possibly with a mackie m800, $400 each..

    i already have a 15" and 410"...but im interested in getting 2 acme b2's if i go the ampeg/mackie...pro's? cons?
     
  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    With a combo:

    Pro - everything is in one piece...easier to load in and out, set up, etc.

    Pro - No worry of someone pulling out a speaker cable while you're playing, etc.

    Con - everything is in one piece, you're limited to the inherent amp/speaker combination.

    Con - If you get tired of the sound, you'll have to sell (and take a loss) on the whole thing amp/speakers, etc.

    With a modular setup:

    Pro - You can pick and choose which bits you want to use in every situation. The full rig for big gigs, cabinets on each side of the stage, etc.

    Con - More to set up, move and deal with.

    Con - You'll have to buy more cables, a rack case, probably a power conditioner to plug it all into, etc.

    Bonus section... :D

    With a modular setup with a pro quality power amp and a pair of Acme B2s:

    Pros - Assuming that your preamp has a flexible EQ section, you could very well never need to buy a power amp or cabinets again. :cool: You can change preamps as your needs/tastes change since the rest of the system will accurately reproduce what's coming out of your brain/heart/hands/bass/preamp. :bassist:

    Cons - Don't expect to play really loud with a pair of Acme B2s...even with silly amounts of power (500 to 700 watts per cabinet), they'll only get "so" loud. :(
     
  3. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    If you are thinking about going with the combo amp, be sure to figure out the F.R. (fartage ratio). The formula is: (W) X (UNV>TOF) = (FR). Multiply the weight of the combo amp by the percent of unusable volume over the threshold of farting and you get the fartage ratio. Let's run through a couple of examples. Suppose you have a combo amp that weighs 100 pounds and it reaches the threshold of farting when the volume is turned half way up. Multiply the weight (100) by the percent of unusable volume over the threshold of farting (50) and you get a F.R of (50). Now suppose you bought a real crappy combo amp that weighs 80 pounds and reaches the threshold of farting with the volume turned up 1/4. The weight (80) times the percent of unusable volume (75) equals a fartage ratio of (60). As you can see, the lower the fartage ratio the better. As with most gear, the ones with the lower fartage ratios tend to be the most expensive. But there are exceptions, so figuring out the fartage ratio can be a handy tool for deciding what is right for you. Good Luck. ;)
     
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Just curious: why do you feel that a combo doesn't require a power conditioner, but a rack rig does?
     
  5. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    Why not have both? Or maybe all three? Keep what you have, use it when the situation warrants, buy the big stuff as you need it and mix and match.
    My bigger rigs have eight different cabinet configurations and two different amp configurations. With a small 30 watt combo (eight inch speaker) and a larger 120 watt combo (15 inch speaker) also available.
    variety is the spice of life...!!!
     
  6. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    Why use one at all? I have never heard the difference with or without. Anyone have input on that??
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I just see it as a power strip in a rack and hanging out back. As such, I've never gotten around to paying $80 for a power strip.
     
  8. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I was looking at it from the stand point that you'll have a bunch of stuff to plug in and a power conditioner gives you a bunch of outlets for that purpose.

    Plus, if you get one with lights that pull out, it's pretty handy. Some may not be able to justify the expense, but heck, I'd rather spend some $$ on a power conditioner that will protect my $700+ power amp from surges, plus give me the nifty lights and add a professional look to my rack.

    The first one I bought is a PL8+ with the LED voltmeter so it gets extra points for BLF (blinking light factor).
     
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Well, Heath was talking about a preamp and an amp, that's it. It is a reasonable, if expensive, solution to the need for a power splitter though.

    Some may not be able to justify the expense, but heck, I'd rather spend some $$ on a power conditioner that will protect my $700+ power amp from surges,

    OK, but why not protect your $1000 combo then as well, assuming it actually does provide substantial protection? :eyebrow:

    The first one I bought is a PL8+ with the LED voltmeter so it gets extra points for BLF (blinking light factor

    I'd have a seizure if there were any more blinking lights in my rig, bro. :cool:
     
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    My take:

    A modular system can arguably be considered easier to move, if you agree that two 50 pound boxes are easier to deal with than one 90 pound one.

    If anything breaks in your combo, you may need a whole new rig to be able to gig. If one piece of a modular system breaks, you only need to replace that one piece.

    If your gear's in a rack, generally the only extra cable you have to hook up is your speaker cable, the rest can stay hooked up all the time in the rack.

    If you have a separate head or rack, you can leave one cab at your rehearsal space and use the head at home or on gigs with other cabs.

    As you can see, I'm a bit prejudiced, eh? ;)
     
  11. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    I didn't want to put it bluntly in my previous post, because some people are very sensitive about their combo amps. But one of the CONS of combo amps is that they usually have a higher F.R. (fartage ratio) than a pre/power setup. Use the formula and crunch the numbers for yourself. Compare a combo to a pre/power setup. The combo amp will come up with a higher fartage ratio. :eyebrow:
     
  12. with a head the con about racks and power conditioners doesn't apply i thought?
     
  13. well im going the rack poweramp/preamp....just put a trace elliot ah100 on layby yesterday :hyper:
     
  14. I don't think you'll get Acme's over here without paying a mint for shipping.
     
  15. Nice, now if only Australias Aguilar dealer had moderate pricing :mad: I won't mention any names...
     
  16. $8k for an aggie head IS moderate...
    what?! :D
     
  17. yeh ive met dave..nice fella....let me put my greasy mits on his alembics....more importantly that mark king he has that i plan to steal :D ....oh and the acmes...

    im not interested in agular....TRACE ELLIOT BABY...lol