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What power amps should i be looking at?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by WarriorJoe7, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Good price
    Under 60 lbs
    500+ watts with lots of headroom
    2 channels capable of different loads (like 4 ohm and 8 ohm)
    Also want to be able to use it as a pa amp, so i dont want an amp just for bass
    Clean doesnt color sound. Thats what the preamp is for

    What should i be looking at? Crown, Crest Audio, QSC? I am not nearly as knowledgeable on amp brands compared to basses, so what other brands and models should i be looking at?

    I will be pairing it with a variety of preamps such as the swr grand prix, a yamaha p2b, an alembic f2b knockoff, hopefully a peavey spectrum filter, and maybe eventually some other tube pres.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    My Carvin HD2000 does that, it is under 10 pounds. I bought it off a TBer who had it modded at the shop for a 1.0v sensitivity but I really don't know much about matching pre-amps to power-amps.
  3. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    Peavey IPR or Crest Prolite.
  4. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    If a prolite came up for sale in the $250 range i would buy it
  5. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    Really, you should look at everything. And take your time making a choice. Being too hasty and moving too quickly with your purchase can cause you to fall into the trap/cycle of buying and selling until you are really happy. That can be a very expensive process.
    There are many great amps to choose from. Good luck with your search.
  6. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    I'd rather rely on TBers to point me in the right direction with the specs I am asking for. If the amp is loud enough, transparent, and reliable then I will probably keep it til it breaks, even if it is eventually relegated to backup status. I don't want to be shipping amps, and i don't want to be trying a lot of different ones out either. I already have too many basses, which i am slowly getting rid of and diversifying with other music gear.
  7. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Las Vegas
    I've been very happy with three different QSC amps over the last 8 years. I only got rid of the first one to go more powerful, and got rid of the second one to go lighter. All three (RMX and PLX) have been great and fit the specs you gave above.
  8. QSC PLX is the way to go.

    I tried a lot of different ones, and the PLX series seems to have everything I wanted, which was pretty similar to what you need.

    at times, I do actually use one side for bass, the other side will run the stage monitor system. It works damn good and has never let me down.
  9. Good luck finding a brand name power amp that isn't transparent.

    The DSP varies the most, along with price and wattage. For dinkum PA use with subs you want all the bells and whistles to high and low pass your subs and highpass the mid/high cabs. Limiting too.
  10. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    The Crest CA6/9 are top notch in terms of performance, reliability, and construction, and a great value used. The latest QSC PLXs are easier to drive and also top notch though cost a bit more on the used market. I'd take either of these used over a lot of the cheaper new stuff for performance and reliability, especially if you want to keep it for the long haul.
  11. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I strongly recommend that you pay close attention to the input sensitivity spec. Many bass preamps do not put out a pro level signal of +4 dBu nominal. This means that you will not be able to drive some amps to full output. The Crest Audio Pro Lite, Peavey IPR series, some Carvins, and the Crest CA6/9 will go to full output on a much lower input level. Look for +0 dBu, (0.775V) or similar.
  12. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    If you don't mind the weight, the Crest CA is a good value used, as JGR said. I ran a CA4 for several years. The CAs are super reliable, plenty of power, great for bass, IMO.
  13. Check out the Peavey IPR/IPR 2 amps. No input sensitivity issues, more than enough power, under 10 lbs.
  14. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    A used Crest CA6 or CA9 should be available within your price range.
  15. Bim1959


    Apr 15, 2009
    Naples Florida
    Sales and electronic tech/piano tech: England Music Center - Clinton IA - now closed
    Nobody recommending Carvers? I thought the PM-1200 was a good potent musical amp for both pa and bass amplification. Sounded good with my Ampeg SVP-Pro.
  16. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I change amps every two years. Thats about 2400 hours of use before they go to the "just in case" closet.

    The QSC PLX 2402 I have is nice..now. I had to harden it from vibration a good bit/ The top cover rattled so you could hear it over the band. The air duct inside rattled...and the circuit boards rattled. Once I fixed all that, it's been a workhorse champ. The 30 filter is nice. The 50 hz filter has a little bump at the corner to "fatten" it a little. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I kinda like a flat amp. It doesn't bother me as a bass amp but, I would rather it not be there. It has enough power to vaporize your voice coils, weld, start your car and heat your house all at the same time.

    The Crown DriveCore 1500 that I just retired...I love that thing. It short front to back so there plenty of room left in a shallow rack for cords, power strip, whatever to fit. It has never given me any issue what-so-ever. It is LIGHT. You could run it out of power if you where using Acme cabs without bridging. It would thunder using 4 ohm bergantino cabs in stereo. Stupid loud. I've never seen a clip light on that thing even slapping.

    The Crest PowerLite that got delivered and put into my main gig rack about two hours ago...The jury is still out. The top was stupid loose and rattling. When I opened it up there was a piece of air duct in there...just laid in there flat hadn't been folded or attached to anything.

    The on board processing is seriously STRONG. That amp will do anything you want it to do. If you like poking buttons and scrolling through on screen menus, it's gonna be a good day for you.

    Of the three, The Crest is by far the most input sensitive @ .75v so, it was explosively loud instantly. I had to back down the trimmer inside my pre amp and I expect that this will not have the front panel attenuators WFO like the other two.

    Typically use and ampeg SVPCL pre which isn't the hottest pre out there. It would peg both the QSC and the CROWN running bridged but it had to be run WFO to make that happen. Both the QSC and Crown has enough azz that I never got anywhere near having to open it up that much.

    The Demeter HBP1 that I had to back the trimmer down on...I'm pretty sure it's hot enough to drive anything.

    I'm a big fan of the 30-50hz filter for a bass rig. That requires you buy the Crest DSP model and.. that's a little pricey if that's all you want.

    The crown will filter down to 50hz which is low enough for me and my Acmes but if you want to go lower you have the choice of off.

    QSC tried to built the best amp

    Crown actually did build the best amp.

    The Crest..they left duct paper flopping around on the inside and I'm glad the Crown / Avalon rack will be sitting onstage while I burn this Crest either in or out tonight.
  17. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    WarriorJoe7, if you do end up going with a CA-series Crest, I recommend that you put it in a separate rack to make it a bit easier to load in/load out on gigs.

    I currently have my CA9 in a Gator Case rack with my Demeter HBP-1 preamp, and it's a bit of a beast to move.

    Once I fire it up through a pair of cabs, it always makes me smile. I've yet to find any other amp setup like it.
  18. Pastrami


    Feb 21, 2014
    New York, NY
    Peavey 120/120 if your into tubes. Far from transparent though. But can be found for great prices.
  19. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    thanks everyone