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Which power amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BAce, Jul 31, 2012.


  1. BAce

    BAce

    Jul 31, 2012
    I'm looking to purchase a power amp, and need to narrow the field--there's lots available!! I already have a homebrew Alembic F-2B Plus that I'm going to use (The "Plus" in this preamp is a cathode follower stage at the output, and it's a single channel, not two like the real thing. Sounds fantastic) My cabs are loaded with an Eminence Kappalite 3015LF in one and a Gamma 12 in the other for a total load of 4 Ohms. I play mostly classic rock with my trusty passive US Jazz Bass, with the occasional country tune and 50's ditty thrown in for good measure. I only play out about every other weekend, so I'm not looking for extreme high end wattage or price. I've earmarked about $300 for the purchase, and I'm considering both used and new poweramps. Lightweight would be nice, cuz I'm not a kid anymore, but I'm concerned about reliability and price. I simply can't justify tons of money spent on the purchase. I've given thought to a used Crest FA901, or something like that or even a new XLS1000. I'd like to stay with Crown, Crest or QSC, unless there's something better and two rack spaces would be better than three (or one). I'm currently using my old Hartke 3500 MosFet head that seems to have enough power, but sounds poopy compared to the F-2B clone fed into a Fender M300 monitor amp that I have kicking around. The M300 sounds nice, but is a little on the lightwatt side with only 220 Watts RMS @ 4 Ohms. I'd really appreciate hearing people's opinions on this--feel free to name Makes and Model Numbers!!
    Thanks!
     
  2. JackTheRipper

    JackTheRipper Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I'm sure you'll get quite a few recommendations soon enough. Here's my input:

    I like Carvin amps for a number of reasons: US made, lightweight, the factory is near where I live, reliability, etc.

    But aside from brands and models, what I did when I was deciding which amp to buy was to create a list of amp features that I was interested in: price, weight, output power, bridging, input sensitivity, speakons, warranty, etc. Perhaps the most overlooked spec is the input sensitivity.

    I created a spreadsheet that listed the features from several brands and models. In the end, I picked a Carvin DCM3000L.

    Good luck,

    --jack
     
  3. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
  4. sonic 7

    sonic 7

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    Carvin
     
  5. popgadget

    popgadget Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 4, 2005
    Eastern, PA USA
    Authorized Greenboy Designs Builder, Scabbey Road
    I'm happy with my Crown XTI 1002, great DSP (I use limiting and HPF).
    It's the baby of the XTI line, but its rated at 1400W @4ohms bridged.
     
  6. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Lots of love goes to the Peavey IPR line.

    I'm using a Crown XTI 1002...really cool :)
     
  7. Mickey Mao

    Mickey Mao

    Jun 7, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I'm very happy with my Crown XLS1000. Why?

    1) Lightweight---only about 9 pounds
    2) Quiet---only one fan
    3) Good wattage for the price--700 ohms bridged at 8 ohms
    4) Stable down to 2 ohms
    5) Sound quality is excellent
    6) It's been dead reliable
     
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    If I were I the market for power, I would look for a used QSC PLX. My old 2402 was basically an audio welder. Just ridiculous power and solid as a rock. Other sexier options out there have driven the prices down. Tough to beat a PLX for a sound quality and reliability standpoint though.
     
  9. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    Love my Crest CD3000! Light-weight, 2 rack spaces, Class D efficiency, pumps out 1500 watts to each of my 2 SVT810's

    Probably more power than most people would consider, but It's better to have more than not enough isn't it?
     
  10. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    If you want light -weight, Class D amps are the way to go. They offer high power levels in small 2 rack spaces and are very efficient, Meaning more output with less input current draw compared to other classes of amps.

    Wattage is sort of subjective, but my opinion is go with the most power you can afford based off cabinet ratings and budget. I would say for your setup a wattage rating of 300-400 watts should be a good starting point.
     
  11. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    My QSC PLX3002 has definitely earned its keep amplifying both PA and bass. That said, I've been reducing the weight of everything I own, and if I were going to be buying a new power amp as part of my bass rig, I'd be looking for something that weighs <10#, like the Peavey IPR or Crown XTI. The SWR Amplite is very appealing on the basis of size and weight, but it's limited to a 4-Ohm load, and it's expensive for what it is.
     

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