Preamp + ???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by blamkin, Nov 28, 2001.

  1. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    Hi folks -- great board -- first post.

    A big pile of money fell into my hands, about the same time I decided to become serious about playing. I've purchased eden speakers, and want to buy separate preamp and amp.

    My cabs are 410XLT (4ohm) and two 115XLTs (8ohm each = 4 ohm together).

    For preamps, I'm going either Eden Navigator, Demeter's new HBP1, or something I haven't heard of yet. But, that's later...

    ... first I want to get an amp and have it so I can audition the preamps with the rest of my rig.

    Some folks are telling me to get bass-specific amps like Carvins or Crests, others are saying it doesn't matter and that I should get QSC or Mackie or some other good-quality PA type amp.

    Anybody have any thoughts on the subject? Suggestions for other amps I should look at?

    I'm thinking $750-$1250 for the amp, plus whatever it costs for the preamp.

    (Geez, and I don't even have a decent bass yet :)

  2. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    i have a mackie 1400 and i think its awesome... i'm using it with a 1200 watt cab and i've never had any problems with it.... i don't have experience with any poweramps other than the fact that i used to have a carvin R1000 bass head... so my opinion is pretty biased, but i'm sold on the Mackie.

    if you can afford it, i'd say don't get carvin... but that's just me. A lot of people on this board swear by it..

    As far as preamps go, it looks like you're looking for a more hi-fi sound... see if you can get your hands on a used swr grand prix to try out with the rest...

    if you want grit.. i'd say try the SWR Interstellar overdrive, or my personal favorite, the Ampeg SVP-Pro..

    goodluck and keep us updated.

    oh, and you should be able to get a very decent solid state poweramp for well under $1000, under 800 even, my mackie was $600 i believe and its more than i need.
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    As much as I hate to say it, in my day job we have been encountering HUGE problems with Crown amps burning up. They're running a 30% failure rate over the last year or so. Ever since they were bought out by Harmon. It's to the point now where we take spares with us whenever we do an install just so we can be sure to get the system up and running. I love Crown, but I don't think I'd buy another right now.
  4. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    Too bad about the Crowns, their K2 looks to be an interesting amp!

    I've got both a Mackie 1400i and a QSC PLX3002. I don't think I've noticed a sonic difference, but the QSC is 21 lbs to the Mackie's 38 (I think), will put out double the power (bridged), and is dead quiet. If you don't mind carrying a little extra weight, and don't need overkill power then the Mackie is great, but the QSC PLX line is the winner in my book.
  5. Minimum of a QSX 2402, preferably a 3002 or 3402 just to have the extra headroom. I have the lead-sled MX-3000a... love the power, hate the weight.
  6. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    I'm another satisfied QSC PLX owner. Big pile O dough? Check this out.

    amp/cabinet builders

  7. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    Thanks everybody -- wouldn't you know I'd step in a classic debate with my very first post. I've been reading the other one here about the SVT head...
  8. I wouldn't worry at all about that. There are lots of smart folks operating here. Learning abounds everywhere, and free for the reading.

    As another QSC happy camper, I doubt you will find many (if any) unhappy QSC owners. My only gripe with my lead-sled is the 69 pounds. Other than the weight, I plug it in, it makes my pants flap. Life is good.

    The QSC for sale on eBay are awfully high priced (PLX models). You can get them brand new from Lord Valve and others for only a few bux more. I avoid used in-production gear that is priced higher than 66% of new discount price. Isn't worth it. There are exceptions like Kern and Demeter preamps, because there are so few being traded. But QSC amps are traded constantly. My spreadsheet in my signature tracks QSC amp prices on eBay.
  9. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    Thanks for the info -- someone else told me about Lord Valve... I guess it's here somewhere in Colorado near me, which is nice.

    The cheapest online price I can find for the PLX 3400 is $920 plus shipping, from some place called It's one of those unadvertised specials you have to call to find out about. Dunno about ordering from them; but what a great price.

  10. mthoople


    Nov 1, 2001
    Denver, CO
    Lord Valve is NBS Electronics, 230 South Broadway, a few doors down from Guitars on Broadway (formerly First Bass). NBS stands for No BullS***. Proprietor is Fat Willie. Great selection of pretested tubes, tube amps, and PA gear. Also repairs equipment, but like all the techs in Denver, has a significant backlog. Get on his email list for tube and QSC prices. A search for Lord Valve on should turn up a few million posts, all with his website.

    I switched from a BGW Performance Series 3 to a QSC PLX1602. Half the weight, all the power, and no noticeable sound difference.

    My favorite shop for used gear is Chris' Music Exchange at 6487 N Federal. However, I'm biased since the owner is a friend!

    I know you didn't list it as one of your preamp choices, but I have an SWR Grand Prix that I'm selling. Since you're local you could try it out if you're interested.

  11. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    Hey Matt, thanks; I'd love to try out your SWR. My cabs should be in on 12/17 or thereabouts, and I'm probably getting the PLX 3002 from Lord Valve. :)

    Thanks again -- I'll hook up with you when I have the rest of my gear.

  12. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    Is it just me, or is there a complete lack of responses from folks who love all-tube bass stuff, or carvin/crest/crown bass- specific amps?

    Does that mean that most people using separates are going QSC or Mackie?

    Wow. I can't believe it.
  13. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    oh people love all tube stuff.. and even more people love bass specific amps such as SWR or Eden or Ampeg... crest and crown don't do bass specific though.. but since you asked for PA type amps in a preamp-poweramp setup, you got answered by people who had what you were looking for.
  14. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Soon as a "big pile of money" falls into my hands ...

  15. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    Wow -- very cool. See, I'm so new to this, I didn't even know Demeter made amps, compressors, crossovers, and all that other stuff in there. Hell, before reading BassPlayer, I'd never heard of Demeter.

    I just want a high-quality amp for about $1K -- I'm more "worried" that buying PA amp is inappropriate and will kill tone...

    I wanted to buy separate preamp so I could take the same unit into the studio later.... so, I just want an amp that kills on stage.
  16. I too am running a QSC PLX2402 obtained from Lord Valve. However, if I had the $$$$, I'd go with the Aguilar, preferably the new 750!

    I'm running a DB659 preamp, and love it! I got rid of an Eden Navigator to get the Aguilar, much smoother, more musical sounding.

    Too bad you've gone with Eden, did you give Bergantino a try? I've got both the 310 and 212 (the 310's for sale at the moment cuz I don't use it ever)....

    I'm down the road in the Springs...
  17. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    Hey, thanks for the input. I think you're the third or fourth person to suggest the aguilar. I think I like the DB680 a lot... I want to experiment with bi-amping and that pre has two separate channels with EQ and crossovers. Nice.

    Looks like the nice all-tube amps are pretty price (... gee, just Monday it _looked_ like a big pile of money to me) but, to get two channels of amplification, I'd be spending $2500 on amps alone... that's more than I have budgeted.

    Right now I'm thinking I'll get the PLX 3002, then in a year or so if things are still swing'n, or if I play a gig and need more beans, I'll go back and look at the 300w all-tube amps.

    I'm almost embarrased to say how I picked the eden cabs. It all started with Tom Barney on the Steely Dan DVD, then I saw a group at a local club playing with a 410XLT, and I just wanted 'em.

    I know I know... I guess I figured that I knew I would like them, even if maybe something better floated to the surface later. I haven't demo'd many cabs, other than the stuff at Guitar Center (which I really didn't care for at all, sorry).

  18. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    Forget about the lightweight and check out the back pannel of the QSC and the Mackie for that matter. Multipal limiting and filter options for each channel, stereo/parallel inputs, bridged, balanced in's, Speakon out's, and gain control on the front panel.

    When I first bought my 2402 I thought that there where a lot of needless bells and whistles. Since I'm running my 2-10" full gain, clip limited, 50Hz filter, and my sub at just over half gain, clip limited, 30Hz filter depending on the room, all balanced. I ended up using all the bells and most of the whistles.

    So while this may not be a bass specific amp it certinly is bass user friendly.
  19. Demeter makes great stuff.

    Also, check out the Kern 777 preamp and Crown K2 amp. That's my set up and I love it.
  20. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Eden cabs are great. Don't let anyone else convince you otherwise.