Punch-in-the-Gut Power Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rickbass, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    One day next week, someone in a brown uniform driving a dark brown truck will show up at my door with an Aguilar preamp.

    Of course, I don't want to pair it with a mediocre power amp. I'm after that slug-in-the-gut punch that I haven't really had in spades since I had a back-breaking Crest 100 years ago.

    Aside from getting 1000W+, a former roadie told me to get this type of performance the power amp should have a BIIIIGGGG capacitor bank and and a BIIIIGGGG transformer. However, I don't recall seeing these two factors mentioned in the spec's for the power amps I looked at.
    Plus, like bass head spec's, I guess makers can manipulate power amp spec's to tell whatever story they want, like "Transient Recovery."

    So, what's a kid to do??? Just go by brand???.....(QSC/Mackie/Stewart/Crest/maybe Crown).
  2. ivanthetrble


    Sep 9, 2002
    Well, I can give you a little input on two of those amps. The Mackie has "huge" stuff in it and it has the weight to prove it. Sounds good enough but is heavy! I mostly use a Stewart World 2.1 for my bass rig. Love it to death! No compression to squash your tone. Tones of power and it's only 17 lbs (vs. nearly 40lbs for the Mackie). Think BassNW has a used Stewart World 1.6 on their website. Also a very nice, powerful, light amp.

  3. DBasica


    Jan 6, 2003
    I've had great results with a QSC PLX2402 power amp. I've used it with all kinds of preamps (Aguilar, SWR, Joe Meek) and a variety of cabinets (EA, Ampeg). They all sounded great driven with this amp.

    I'm currently downsizing my rig but probably won't part with the QSC. It's a great piece of gear to have, even if it doesn't get much use.

    I should add that it is 2 rack spaces, about 14" deep, and ONLY 21 pounds.

  4. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Not true anymore, rick. The QSC Powerlight and PLX lines are proof. That's an old myth from the days before switching power supplies were as advanced as they are now. I suggest you go try some Powerlights. Or PLX's for that matter. Since you've got that Aggie though you might as well go for the flagship Powerlight!
  5. i have a carver pm 1400 and I love it to death. I have tried the Crest CA-9 (ok) and a Crown microtech 1200(too compressed feeling) in the past
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I can be fickle about gear, but the Stewart World 2.1 is THE amp for me. "It doesn't make the tone*, it makes the tone louder... MUCH louder!" :eek: :cool:

    *doesn't change the tone, either
  7. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I'm a 5 and 6 string player with Acme Low B-2 cabs, so deep bass in a power amp is important to me.

    The PLX 2402 I just acquired seems to have a more solid bottom end than the RMX 1850HD it's replacing. (The RMX is now my practice amp. :cool: ) It could be the difference in the high-pass filter or the clip limiter; I have always left the limiters on and the filters active at 30 Hz on both power amps.

    I am now a believer in the PLX for bass. This thing kicks butt big time!
  8. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I agree with Ivan and Fuzzy. I use the Stewart 2.1 and it's a winner given its power and light weight. I also have a 1.6 on order for another smaller rig. The Mackie 1400i sounds fine (don't believe nay-sayers: a clean power amp doesn't add significant "tone") but is rather heavy. QSC PLX's are quite good also and in between in weight.
  9. Does your PLX have enough juice for your ACME 2x10's? DO you run bridged or a cab to each side?
  10. LJW


    Feb 8, 2002
    northeastern pa.
    I am very happy with my PLX 2402.
  11. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas

  12. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Ditto with my E&W PS series amp.
  13. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I haven't used it in a gig yet, but I am sure it has enough juice. My old RMX 1850HD did, and the PLX 2402 is even more powerful.

    My cabs are 4 ohms each, and I run one cab per channel, parallel mono mode.
  14. I've used the Crown K-2 and PLX in a PA application and I think the K-2 is a cut above the PLX and others. It has no fan and the entire unit is sealed. No dirt inside. I've seen them both pushed hard into 4ohms bridged. The PLX will shut down from time to time. The K-2 has never over heated. It isn't the smallest or the lightest. I think it's about 25 lbs (i'm not sure) but it isn't a led sled either.
  15. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Yep, I fully believe that Ineal. When I mentioned "a former roadie" who told me about the massive capacitor bank/transformer, I was mentioning a guy our manager hired to put together our tour stage rigs in the late 70's. The guy was really into Crests because they were pretty new at that time.

    At least you all seem to be making this easy, as I had hoped --- forget the spec's and go with the brand & model.
    Some of my favorite TB tone freaks like Jeff Rader and Jerry J use QSC's, (although they have PLX's and I may be financially forced to go with the lowly RMX if I can't find a used one).
  16. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    PLX for me. So good I've got two!;)

    And I'll tell ya...guys like Bob Lee hangin' around here to support us tone junkies with out crazy ideas sure makes me feel good about the company.

    Rick, check the prices at Lord Valve. I seem to remember that they were pretty dang cheap.

    Aggie, eh? You will have fun with that.:D
  17. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Yep.......another "Senor Gard/B. Central transaction." They had this one left from when Aguilar prices were just painful and before they became ridiculous.

    Thanks for the Lord Valve tip, Jerry. I emailed the Lord for his e-catalog as a result of your advice. Maybe I can get a PLX like the big kids!!!


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Hey Power Freaks,

    I had a Carvin DCM2000 that worked great (should have kept it) but replaced it with a QSC3402 & with my rig + 18" spks, it blows off unsuspecting victims toupee's at 20yds or better! Pitch quiet & tons of headroom & reliability...

  19. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    As the King of power here, I personally use 2 Crown Powerbase 3's and 2 Mackie 1400i's. Cant say enough good things about both. The Crowns run my 2 18 cabs flawlessly, picked them up on Ebay for a song and have had 0 problems...and I push them hard. The mackies are very good as well, they run the 410 cabs, great tone and neg. coloration. Either one of those would more than suite your needs and wallet.Just be thankful you dont have to carry my rack around.

  20. Have you had any experience with the single space Peavey power amp? DPC1400(i think) It's a single space with a built in fan....