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Buying amp and cab - confused


KikkyMonk

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My grandma gave me $2000 for a bass amp in her will. I was planning on buying 2 acme cabs (2x10) and then a power amp to power them both. I was looking at the stewart world amps and crown ones and QSC... I really dont know anything about amps and dont really want to know.. What should I get? or rather what would YOU get. I have searched and read up on eveything having to do with acmes on this forum.

 

Should I run 2 8 ohm cabs in parallel and then use a bridged mono 4 ohm amp? Or should I run stereo 4ohm amp with 2 4 ohm acmes. I dunno...

 

I want tight bass response... really tight - if that helps

 

Dave

 

Thanks!

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Kikky -

 

This past weekend I spent a morning at an el-huge-o music store, quizzing a surprisingly helpful live sound guy. He A/B'd a bunch of power amps for me. I was SHOCKED at how different they sounded. Best I can describe it is the way you feel when you get an eye test, and the opto-Doctor throws a bunch of different diopters on the machine to test out ... things are fuzzy, nope, still not right, still fuzzy - then BANG it's clear.

 

I was really disappointed by QSC, because I'd heard so much about them, but while good, the sound was nowhere near as sweet and clean as ...

 

the Crown Macrotech. And the sound guy couldn't wire the Mackie amp into his A/B/C switcher, but he said that the guy who designed the Crown amps moved over to Mackie last year, and that the Mackie amps are comparable in sound.

 

I'm planning on testing out that last claim ... but the thing I took away from the whole thing was that the stand-alone power amps really do vary greatly in quality, transparency, and coloration.

 

Still haven't tried the Stewart ... but BenLoy should be wandering in soon.

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I think I agree with cornbread about getting two 4-ohm cabs, allowing you to take only one cab to smaller gigs.

 

I'm assuming that you already have a preamp or head that you would run into the power amp? Don't you already have an Ashdown pre? Two Acme Low B2s will run you about $950 w/out covers. That leaves you with about $1000 for a power amp -- a nice chunk of change to get a power amp. But, if you need to buy both a power amp and a preamp, $1000 might cut it close in terms of the quality or the power you can get.

 

Stewarts are nice. You'd probably be looking at a Stewart 1.6 (550W RMS per channel at 4 ohms; 16 lbs.; 2 rackspaces). However, if you thought you'd use both cabs all the time, you could get 2 8-ohm cabs, run 'em parallel, and get 1600W RMS into the resulting 4-ohm load. However, at that point, maybe you'd just want to get an Acme Low B4! A Peavey DPC-1400X might also work for you as well -- and it's a single rackspace! The Peavey power amp is 500W RMS per side into 4-ohms.

 

Happy shopping!

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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when dealing with power amps, go solid state. yeah, that's right, mr. ampeg/lately enjoying aguilar said go solid state. and speaking from a sound reinforcement point of view, nothing beats a crown. nothing.

 

but i would take all that wonderful inheritance, pour it into one kick ass amp and worry about the speakers later. you won't need to use that huge amp in your bedroom and most venues will have at least backline speakers. this is my opinion, and as we all know, it is law! :P

Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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Oops. Sorry - may have missed the question ... so this may be closer to the mark:

 

As to bridged-mono vs. stereo. Mr. sound guy at the store and I were trying to come up with reasons to go stereo ... and couldn't. Unless you split out your cabinets and do some kooky effects (not kikky effects) or do some serious biamping (for which you'd want a really good crossover), there's no need. Run bridged mono.

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yeah, QSC makes very inexpensive amps that sell well. their manufacturing processes are very impressive, admriable. unfortunately, there is something lacking in their sound. you can do well with QSC, but they don't sound as good as a crown. and MAs are fairly nice, but if you play bass, try a K1 or a K2. i have a K2, from when i worked for crown.

 

we listened to the K2, the MA3600, and the CE4000 in the listening room (think recording studio control room) while developing the CT2 amps that were released last april. the K2 sounded better by far, with tighter bass, sweeter highs (not as harsh as the MA), and more refined, liquid mids. the test was blind.

 

i don't work for crown any longer, but i also have kept in touch with most of the people there, and i haven't heard anything about "the guy who designed the crown amps" leaving for mackie. the real braintrust at crown is Gerald Stanley. there is no way he'd leave after over thirty years there. the next in line is Jim Wordinger, who grew up near Elkhart, and is similarly not disposed to leave. these are the guys who headed up all three amps i just discussed -- the K2, the MA3600, and the CE4000. those are crown's three best amplifiers, too.

 

so there may have been a guy who designed some amps for crown (although all designs are a team effort there), who left for mackie, but he's not from the inner circle.

 

so your guy at megalo-mart/guitar is probably misinformed.

 

so sorry to open up the can about that, because really what's important is that there is a huge difference among different power amps, and i'm glad people are starting to realize that. the key is understanding what your objectives are. QSCs are great amps when given their size and weight, but i wouldn't trust them to output rated power or sound the best. but at 24 lbs. and 2U for 2400W, it's hard to beat, especially at that price. i think QSC offers a lot of value -- i'd rather buy a QSC than a carvin, which also offers a lot of value. but if you're going for pure tone and don't care about weight, look into a crown. (you also have to be able to afford it.)

 

i'd also probably be remiss if i didn't mention peavey, but they're my current employer. i am intrigued by the DPC1400X, being 1400W and only 1U, but i haven't listened to it, so i can't really comment.

 

robb.

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Bastid E- What amp(s) are you talking about? I have looked extensivly at QSC and stewart world, but need to do some research on crown (I guess from this thread I should take a look at them)

 

Yeah I do have an ashdown pre and once this is all setup I'm either going to keep it (if I like the way it sounds) or get mebbe a kern or demeter.

 

I was wanting to get 2 2x10s so that I could carry the rig myself and only use one speaker if need be.

 

Well I'm not planning on using kooky effects so unless anyone else can come up with a reason to go stereo then I'll go for bridged mono with the cabs in parallel. Except it would make for a kick ass bedroom stereo!!! :D

 

Another Q - I know that 8 ohm speakers (in general) have tigher bass at the expense of lower power (out of the amp) now If I had 2 8 ohm acmes and ran them parallel the amp is putting out more juice (at 4 ohms) but would i still get the increased bass response? I ask this because it seems that running bridged mono would be better than stereo.

 

And maybe a clarification on my goals (I was running to dinner last post so I didnt get in depth) I really want an amp and cab that are transparent so that I can swap the pre and bass out for different sounds. I dont want a cab that sounds the same regardless of what bass/pre I use. Acmes seem nice because they are hi-fi full range speakers. To me they seem versitile enough and with the mula I have I dont mind having to get extra power.

 

Boy this amp stuff gives me headaches.

 

Anywho thanks for your guys killer input.

 

Dave

 

One more thing - I know someone on this board use to work for crown.. whats his name? I heard (read) him say something about crowns high damping factor and as im looking for tight bass mebbe I will end up with a crown

 

Plus the chrome crowns will look sweet with my ashdown (like it matters... :rolleyes: )

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HI ROBB!!! you beat me to it. :D

 

Whats crowns high end amp? They got so many ones I dont know which one to look at. ( I just read your post robb thanks!)

 

Anywho I really need to leave my house otherwise Ill keep posting Qs and annoying you guys :freak::rolleyes:

 

Word

Dave

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I'll change my tune -- 8-ohm cabs may be just dandy run parallel with your power amp bridged mono. For example, the Peavey DPC-1400X will put 1000W RMS bridged mono into 8 ohms (plenty of headroom for one 8-ohm Acme B2 cab!) and 1400W RMS bridged mono into 4 ohms (plenty for two 8-ohm Acme B2 cabs in parallel).

 

I use the Peavey power amp as only an example. It's worth taking a look at, but there are a host of solid power amps out there (like Crown and Stewart and others already discussed). My experience (not my own rig, unfortunately) is with a Kern IP-777 pre into the Peavey DPC-1400X into an Epifani 2x12 -- totally fantastic set-up, great tone, and, of course, "BOOM! Shake, shake, shake, shake the room!"

 

Remember, if portability is a factor, those Acme B2s are relatively light as 2x10 cabs go and there are more and more low-weight options for powerful power amps. BenLoy has specifically been working on putting together a lightweight, powerful rig of recent.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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one thing crown is not is lightweight. if you're going compact, don't go crown. i mean, there've been rumors since the K2 came out that the macrotech (MA) line will be redesigned to be lightweight, but that hasn't happened yet. that is the amp i would want if i were buying another power amp.

 

crown amps are well known for their high damping factors, which is linked to tight, deep bass, and they are well known for their sound quality. i am partial to the K series: i own a K2 (500W x 2 @ 8 ohms, 38 lbs.), and the K1 is also great (350W x 2 @ 8 ohms, 32 lbs.).

 

what i like about my K2 is that i can put one channel on a 300W 8 ohm cabinet, and if i want more power, put another cabinet on another channel. i don't have to worry about running bridged-mono, which is something i don't like to do. i just don't think it's as accurate.

 

but i'm odd. a K1 would be more than enough in almost any situation (1100W bridged @ 8 ohms, 550W x 2 @ 4 ohms). the reason i suggest the K series is that i think they sound better, primarily, but they're also easier for club use in that they are more efficient and they are completely sealed -- no fans and no way for spilled beer or cigarette smoke to get into the amp and cause damage. the only down side is that the K series only has banana outputs, so you probably couldn't roll into any music store anywhere and get exactly the speaker cable you want whenever you want.

 

my current rig is either a peavey max or ampeg svp-bsp into my K2 into a carvin 1x15 with a horn. i want an 8 ohm 1x12 (bergantino or aguilar), or perhaps an 8 ohm acme low B2. very clean, very tight, very controlled and very controlable. i love it.

 

so that's my sales pitch on crown. they're great amps built like tanks (and they weigh as much, too!).

 

robb.

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I think I have gone through just about every combination of combo/preamp/amp/cab/rack that you can. Bottom line is flexability.

 

You never know what kind of gig or what type of venue you will have from gig to gig. I have gone to a nice little combo for rehearsals and small venues, an extension cab for medium rooms, and a DI into our PA for the big gigs.

 

Just my two cents.

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Try and get about 700W RMS per Low-B2 of the best power you can afford. You want a high slew rate and high damping factor and as little distortion as possible. Also, feature-wise, a low-cut filter is very valuable both to protect the speakers and give you more headroom, and a limiter for those moments when even 700W/ch isn't enough.

 

Unfortunately specs don't tell the whole story, so if you can buy the Acmes first and then go to a PA equipment supplier and try out various amps that would be best. And remember, poweramps vary in input sensitivity and louder always sounds better, so don't be fooled by more sensitive amps.

 

I'd go for two 4 ohm cabs because you can use them as a PA at small gigs and still have them running at full power.

 

Alex

 

P.S. And if you can afford it, look into amps with switchmode supplies - you'll really appreciate the weight saving, especially as the Acme's make oneself particularly intolerant of heavy rack cases (and I should know).

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RE: Crown Amps

 

Crown Amps. I use exclusively in my PA rack.

 

2 MA-2400's

2 MA-1200's

 

Extremely reliable. Very Sound under even extreme loads.

 

However..... they pull a decent amount of AC draw from the wall, and the MA 2400 has a 20a connector that will not fit into most wall sockets.

Even the 1200 will pull very near 15 amps alone if pushed hard.

 

The K2 is much more 'AC' friendly and energy efficient. I had one for a brief time in my pa rack....but it couldn't compare IMO to the Macros.

 

As far as using a MA as your bass amp...I would suggest Crown....but nothing larger than a MA1200.

 

I use a MA1200 in my backup rig ...pushing an Eden 2-12xlt. I use only one side of the amp.....and could easily pop both woofers across the room if not careful !!!

Now...that's a 400w rated cab......and the one side of the MA1200 is about 325 watts.....real watts !!!

 

PJR

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I haven't A/B'd the Stewart with a Crown...but I've had lots of experience with crowns for PA application. They're workhorses. And there's certainly a reason you see them in most professional PA setups.

 

I just did some preliminary testing with my Stewart. I ran my bass into a DI, and then directly into the stewart with no preamp...and it sounded really, really good!

 

Full, transparent, and detailed. Very nice.

 

You certainly couldn't go wrong with a Crown, though. They're a bit heavy for my purposes, but you can't argue with their pedigree.

 

Just make sure you pick the right model. I've heard some funny things about the cheaper Crown models.

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One bass player, store employee who seemed to know his stuff told me once that he had tried all kinds of power amps and was completely sold on Crest power amps. No one mentioned those in this thread, so anyone have any experience with them? He did say I would have to pay for the sweetness though.
"Don't Ask Me I'm Just The Bassplayer" UBP
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I'm with BenL, I like the sound of my Stewart 1.2 a lot, it replaced a QSC PLX1602.

 

A 1.2 is enough for my uses, but given funds I would probably go for a 1.6 or a 2.1, especially for driving Acmes.

 

My whole small rack - Stewart, Avalon U5, 3 space rack bag - weighs 33 lbs, complete with spare cables. Light weight is important to me.

 

Kikky, if you can, listen to Bergantino, Epifani, and EA cabs before you decide. Personally I love the Bergantino and Epifani 112s, used singly or in pairs. Light weight, again, for easy transport.

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Originally posted by Ben:

I'm with BenL, I like the sound of my Stewart 1.2 a lot, it replaced a QSC PLX1602.

 

A 1.2 is enough for my uses, but given funds I would probably go for a 1.6 or a 2.1, especially for driving Acmes.

 

My whole small rack - Stewart, Avalon U5, 3 space rack bag - weighs 33 lbs, complete with spare cables. Light weight is important to me.

 

Kikky, if you can, listen to Bergantino, Epifani, and EA cabs before you decide. Personally I love the Bergantino and Epifani 112s, used singly or in pairs. Light weight, again, for easy transport.

Along with those twelves you should give Accugroove a listen. I'm headed in the same direction and agree that the Stewart 1.6 or 2.1 is the way to go.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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I'm stuck between the stewart world (either 1.6 or 2.1) and a crown (either k1 or k2) Weight is not really an issue as I am young and have help :D

 

Which would sound better? Or rather which would be more transparent. I dunno I want an amp but dont wanna make a choice!!

 

Hehe... thanks for your help so far

Dave

 

BTW I JUST ordered the acmes (2 4 ohm b-2's)

WHEEEEEEEE!!!

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Sometimes, you have to make a choice. Since there are many recommendations for both, it probably doesn't matter that much. I have wondered about various basses that feel great, play great, are well made, and have great reputations. As hard as it is to make a choice, you pretty much can't go wrong...

 

Of course, you could solve this by buying one of each. You could switch off each month, and always have a backup (for you or anyone else in the band). :love:

 

Congrats on the speakers.

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Go me!

 

I'd like to thank the little people for making this possible. :cry: I'd like to thank my shrink, my dog, my shrink's dog, and my dog's shrink.

 

But seriously thanks to everyone who helped me and put up with my Qs. Well I have 2 acme b-2s on the way and this power amp.

 

life is good

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

A Yorkville AP4040 would drive two 8 ohm Acme 2x10s with 750 RMS wpc running either stereo or parallel mono in a two space 42 lb unit. Slew rate and damping factors are nice too. Excellent value, about $900.

 

I, too, try to avoid running bridged mono at all costs.

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