Which Power Amps Would You Choose?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ebozzz, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. Peavey GPS series

    4 vote(s)
  2. Mackie (suggest model)

    18 vote(s)
  3. Sampson (suggest model)

    0 vote(s)
  4. QSC PLX series

    94 vote(s)
  5. Stewart (suggest model)

    24 vote(s)
  6. Crest (suggest model)

    26 vote(s)
  7. Crown (suggest model)

    25 vote(s)
  8. Peavey DPC series

    11 vote(s)
  9. Carvin DCM series

    43 vote(s)
  10. Other, Please list.

    31 vote(s)
  1. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    If you were putting together a pre/power amp setup, what would be your power amp choices. Minimum power ratings of 700 x 2 @ 2 ohms or 1400 watts bridged at 4 ohms are the standard. Anything SLIGHTLY less than that can be suggested. Try to give me your reasons for choosing. Thanks.
  2. I know I'm hoping santa brings me a PLX2402. A PLX1602 would be cool also.

    Truth be told, I'll prolly get one after the beginning of the year.
  3. I'd like to have a PLX 3402 for my lows, and a 1202 or 1602 for my highs... I'd still be 27 pounds lighter than I am right now, plus I'd have a spare amp...
  4. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    I voted mackie because i have one and i love it... doesn't use any new switching technology, so it's heavy as anything... but it works.. nice features, nice sound... nice price... i like it

    the 1400 is my mackie of choice
  5. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Count me in with the PLX 2402. Enough power to drive most any cab and oh so light weight. Much lighter than the Crest CA9 I was looking at. I've got the neither of the low freq filters on so I can get the thunder out that glorious Sadowsky B string. It sure doesn't seem to be shy on the low frequencies. I'm very happy with that amp.

    The only grip that I might offer is that even though the fan is fairly quiet it is on all the time. The odd thing is that I don't seem to hear it when I'm playing at a normal sound level or with drums and several guitars around. ;)
  6. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    QSC is a very popular and reliable poweramp everywhere, from personal bass systems to pro recording studios, worldwide. I recommend.

    Mackies are popular in the PA biz and has been around for a short while, but their reputation is that of a good one. Building a quality amp for the average consumer is their game. Good stuff there. I recommend, again.

    Crown, one of the oldest of the bunch, has been in the poweramp amp business since, well, dinosaurs started playing bass. This stuff is built to last, especially the Macro and Microtech series amps. Grade A equipment. The recent purchase of Crown by Harmon has resulted in defective K2 series amps, steer away from them. I recommend then, too.

    Carvin, oh Carvin Carvin Carvin. Words cannot describe Carvins, and not curse words. These amps are as high quality as all the other high end brands, just that they are 300 bucks less, have good warranties, and are totally modular inside, meaning if 1 component of the signal chain inside the poweramp breaks, that part can be replaced without having to desolder, etc. Very good. I just ordered a Carvin DCM2000, and should be here soon. I've heard many reports that back then when Carvin started out in the amp business, they had shotty construction, fragile components, and lousy sounding toroids. The total opposite is apparent now. With recent reviews of the Carvin poweramps turning for the better, even being compared to the quality and tone of Crest and Crown, Carvins are on the verge of making a good reputation in the field. They are very worthy of checking out. I HIGHLY recommend them, not because they are better than the other poweramps, but because they are a little less in price, which does make a difference.
  7. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks for the replies. I've been giving some serious consideration to the Peavey GPS series power amps.

    Peavey GPS Series Amps

    I've also given thought to the Peavey DPC 1400X.

    DPC 1400X

    My feelings are that Peavey is in a similar situation as Carvin. They make some quality goods at great prices but they don't get much respect. Keep it going! :)
  8. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Its my understanding that Crest are the best power amps out there right now. Crown was the best back in the day, but their reliability isnt what it used to be. I dont know anything about Crest's models, but I gotta say that I would use one if I went preamp/poweramp.
  9. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I was looking at buying a used CS800 and ended up chatting with someone else that owned one. He told me they were built like tanks, but that if they did go to hell, they were cheap and easy to fix. That's one thing I always hear when discussing Peavey's stuff -- they're definately built to last.

    I like the DPC1400X and someone else beat me to the CS. :(
  10. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    My first choice would be the crest, preferbly the VL and CA series.Very close second would be carvin for their low price and quality.
  11. moweezil


    Dec 2, 2001
    I love Peavey stuff. I don't own any of their power amps but the CS and PV series power amps are great amps as well as the DPC and GPS. Our church is full of CS's (our music minister owns a Music store... Mostly Peavey stuff) and it sounds great. Haven't heard them in a Bass stack yet...
  12. I work in pro audio (Arena Sized PA and stuff) and the most common amps I see are Crown Macrotechs; QSC MX series (my company uses these) and I'm starting to see a lot of PLX, too; Crest '001 series; and EV P series (X Array). There's a reason for that. They're good amps an reliable. Amps don't survive long in touring systems unless they're practically indestructible. These models have proven themselves. I'm mostly partial to QSC and Crown. Of course these are all flagship models with a price point to match. I'd avoid Crest CA series (break down a lot, don't seem to have much guts), Crown's K series (they were unreliable before Harmon took over;)). I'd avoid Mackie until some long term repair stats are known. That being said, they seem like good amps. Again the only two Carvins I've come across spent more time on the bench than on the job and this may not be indicative of the whole line, but it scared me away. As for Peavey, they don't sound the best, and I don't dig the DDT thing, but they are solidly built and will last forever at a very good price. I owned a dozen CS 800/1200s for a couple of years, and punished them. Not one failure. The company I work at now has about 100 QSC MX series amps. I've seen exactly one fail in two years of abuse. The company I worked at before had about 200 Crown Macrotechs and I saw exactly two fail over 3 years. I'd call that good reliability. They get abused a lot more in pro audio than they will in a bass rig.
  13. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I have been using a Hafler Pro5000 in my rig since the Early '90s. It has never let me down. No unwanted noise. I am very satisfied with it's sound and reliability.
  14. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Wow, thanks for all that great info. I dont even want a power amp, but that would really help me if I was shopping for one. Great reviews, Spacegoat! :)
  15. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Alright Goat,

    First of all, thanks for your post! Can you tell me what Peavey amps you used other than the CS series? Also, elaborate a little more regarding the Peavey's tone if you can. Does any of your experience with Peavey include the GPS or DPC series? I have to be honest with you, my ears have not been able to detect that much of a difference between any of the amps that I have been able to try. I guess those years of working around aircrafts in the military is getting to me finally! ;)
  16. I'm partial to the Aguilar amps, though I currently don't have one.... I've had good luck with QSC PLX series, I'm currently running a 2402, upgraded from a 1602. No trouble with either one.

    We use Mackies at church, no problems there either.

    I really like the Aguilar tube amps, though. I'm running their DB659 pre, and it's great!!


    mark s.
  17. ebozzz,
    I've only had a lot of hands on experience with the CS series and the PV series. They are certainly reliable. Soundwise, they seem to lack a bit of clarity to me. They seem to muffle the sibilance band a bit I guess. Compared to a Crown Macrotech 1200 on the same speaker the CS800 definately didn't have the same clarity. The Crown sounded much more transparent, for lack of a better word. There was definately more colouration of the reference signal with the Peavey. I find that the DDT circuit tends to add to the top end smear. The amps sound considerably better with the DDT disengaged. Of course, a lot of this stuff is fairly subtle, but very noticeable when AB-ed with other amps. As for the digital amps. I'm still a little scared of them from a reliability point of view. I know they've made leaps and bounds in sonic quality in digital amps. The first ones (not just Peavey) sounded bloody awful. Peavey has generally great reliability and good service, though. I think Peavey power amps are a good value for the cash.
  18. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks Goat! The GPS is solid state and of course the DPC is digital. You probably already knew that though. The GPS stuff appears to be in direct competition with the QSC PLX and other amps in that category. The problem that I have in my area is that most of the places that I can find Peavey gear doesn't have a lot of the other amps to try. On the flip side, the other dealers don't have Peavey. I really wish that I could try them side by side. Maybe then the different tonal qualities would be a little more apparent. I've actually communicated with a few people who are using either a DPC 1000 or DPC 1400. They seemed very pleased with it. Thanks again for your input.
  19. Jeff Corallo

    Jeff Corallo

    May 30, 2000
    Anyone have experience with a Crest VS900?
  20. I use a Crest V900 and have been extremely satisfied. I run it with an Alembic F1-X preamp and into a pair of Eden 210-T cabs. It is a very quick responding amp. It has a damping factor of <1000:1 which I understand is very tight.
    BassPlayer magazine compared amps a number of years ago and the Crest V1100 received an extremely good review. Other good reviews were the Carvin and SWR.