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Which micro heads will best serve the role of a power amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bongomania, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Of course almost any modern micro head could be used as a power amp, but the most recent "1RU power amps" thread had me thinking... which micro would be "best" at that job? Examples of parameters would include:

    --Fits in 1RU, or is only 1/2 rack width?
    --Has an input jack (like an fx loop return) that 100% bypasses the preamp stage?
    --Has enough wattage to bother thinking of it in "power amp" terms?
    --Will not overheat if racked in a tight-fitting space?

    I'd be interested in other peoples' ideas about parameters too. I'm only asking this out of idle curiosity--I'm not myself shopping for one. But I get the impression that many people here would find the info useful. So which one(s) do you think would best fit the bill?
  2. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    If not for the 2RU requirement, an AI Focus or Clarus+ would probably be ideal.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I mentioned my experiments with the U5 and mb2-500. If then 300 into 8 ohms isn't a limitation it would have to be a contender given the clarity and price point.
  4. Keep in mind that all these micro heads have a limiter to protect the poweramp. Sometimes the limiter is good, sometimes not.
    I think this is another important point on your list. Especially on YOUR list :)
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    ;) True!
  6. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Both my Shuttle 9.0 and my AI Focus I work very well as a power amp only, as does my old GK800rb. Sometimes I use a Sansamp Paradriver as a preamp with these amps. It always sounds good.
    The Markbass LMII is not usable for this purpose.
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I am currently trying a friends Avalon U5 into the Effects Return of my Shuttle 6.0-12T combo. Sounds nice. As always with these experiments, I am not convinced it sounds that much better than the head itself - especially in my gigging situation - and especially considering the size and weight of the U5. I get pretty close if I just dial up the 800hz mid on my bass about 1/2 way between center click and full. I suppose I could dial that in on the amp, but for some reason, it seems to sound better if I dial it in on the bass. I'd also like to keep amp eq for dealing with rooms, not "my sound" as it were.

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