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Whats your fav. pre. for your Crest CA-__

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FunkyFrosty, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. FunkyFrosty


    May 28, 2006
    OK Dudes with CA series amps.....

    Whats your favourate pre. and why.

    Tell me your genre, style and general deets in your justification.....

    So what is it? Demeter, Kern, Ampeg, Read????

  2. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    All PA style amps sound the same when run in their linear range, and the CAs are sensitive enough to work with pretty much any preamp ... so theres no reason to single out the amp when discussing pres.

    The trace V-type, alembic F1-X, Ampeg SVP-CL and SVP-Pro, and Eden Navigator are my favorites. All different, all wonderful. They all offer some real guts and fatness that I've missed in other pres.
  3. FunkyFrosty


    May 28, 2006
    MMmmmm....but I know that the CA9 is a Bass players fave and so that's why I singled it out - so whats your favourate Pickles??
  4. Hey frosty

    Favorite pre of all time is the ole Intersound ivp pre(clean side with the hi-z switch, eq to taste{full parametric eq!})
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The CA has a lot more gain than some other amps, so when people A/B by setting the attenuators in the same place the CA is much louder and most will declare it superior as a result. I did a bunch of A/B tests where I even adjusted the volumes to be "really close" that still showed that a CA sounded better than a QSC PLX (search and you'll see me railing on the people who disagreed :scowl:), but they were all informal/uncontrolled tests . I then decided to gain match the amps (set the attenuators so that they both put out the same voltage into a dummy load when the same input signal was applied) ... then they sounded identical. I have very sensitive ears and could not detect even the most subtle difference. If the amps are driven toward clipping, all bets are off, but when they are operating in the range they're designed for ... the specs are right, the things are totally flat! Its just input signal times 40 (or 32). If you ever see a clip light flash on your PA style amp, you've misconfigured your rig.

    I have both a CA6 and a PLX2402, both amps sound exactly the same. The CA is much heavier, but in some applications that doesn't matter, and they are known as an extremely reliable, simple amp. The PLX is much lighter weight, has speakon outputs, has really useful low frequency filters (the 30hz filter is great for a nice tight rumble-free bass guitar sound) ... for a gigging bass rig I think its an ideal choice.

    I also have an Eden WT1000, which is a different animal. It makes no claim about being flat, but rather is voiced like Eden's bass heads. Mid punchy, furry, fat, and wonderful. With certain cabs (Edens, SWRs) it really sounds much better than a PA amp. Other cabs (most notably the Aguilar GS410 and any Bergantino) sound much better with the Crest or QSC.

    And then there's preamp choice ... phew! Thats why I was recommending separating the discussions. I choose my power amp based on what cab I want to drive, then the preamp based on the overall tone I'm going for.
  6. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Some higher end power amps have a tighter low end than others.
    They are not created equal. But in that price range , you're right , they'll all behave about the same

    I used to use a Bryston 4B , wich IMHO is the best bass amp ever.

    But it is VERY expensive and VERY heavy. :eek:

    Do an A/B test with a good reference , you'll see it....
  7. FunkyFrosty


    May 28, 2006
    So for running a Berg NV610 powered with a CA-9 for good old solid rock tunes - what pre's are you using??
  8. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The Trace or SVP-CL would be my picks. Or The SVP-Pro if you want dirt.
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I like my ART Tube Channel. It has 3 12-AX7s, a flexible compressor, and defeat for the EQ and compressor. I have a CA-6, and usually drive an Epifani NYC 210, or a SWR Goliath II. I also have BBE Bmax in my rack, though the tube channel is usually what I use. I am playing Jazz, Bluegrass, Rock and Country, and use an upright, my Sadowsky, or my Skyline. Wish I had more chances to use my Valenti fretless 5er, but generally people ask for upright in the situations where the fretless would work, too.

    BTW, I often add a Sansamp ParaDI to the chain if I am using upright because it handles piezo pickups well.

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