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The right amp for the gig man - Part 2


The brazilian dude

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Hi lowdowners. Last week I posted here a topic named "Ampeg SVT-3, GK 700RB-II or SWR 350x?". It was about my search for the right amp for me. And you guys helped a lot, with several opinions and suggestions. But recently something came into my mind...

As my job is to gig about every week, I figured that I should go for the best amp configuration for that matter. And then it came to me: if, instead of buying one of those 3 amps, I go for something like this: one good power amp, a powerfull cabinet and an amp emulator (such as Bass POD or Bass V-Amp)?

The power amp would be a definitive one, to use in the future with some real amp (like those 3 in the top, for example). The cabinet would be powerful enough to handle every situation (A big club with several PAs or a small/medium club that don´t have any PAs). The Amp emulator have a wide variety of sounds and fx for me and would be perfect to send an optimized sound to the club´s mixer.

There is two other advantages in the amp emulator: It´s very good for recording and I will get to know the sounds of the most famous amps...

Of course, the sound I would get from the amp emulator is not as good as the original amp, but...

What do you think? Cool? NOT cool? Please, write down your opinion.

Thanks everyone!

Please, forgive my english, I don´t speak it very well
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Sounds like a good option to consider. A modelling unit, sansamp, or rack mount preamp would work well with a big power amp. IMHO (and some people will probably disagree) a 300-400W amp is barely enough power, especially when you have a gig where you don't know big the place is. On outdoor and big club gigs I push my 400W amp to where the power amp starts to distort and I have to turn the bass eq knob on the amp down a bit. I have an Ampeg SVP-CL rackmount pre on the way that will go with a Carver 900W power amp for the big or unknown gigs.
my band: Mission 5
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Originally posted by silver32012:

I agree with the more power the better concept. However keep in mind that in most settings, you will be going through a DI, even in outdoor events. I have never played a gig where I had to rely on my amplifier alone. Something to think about.

True. The gigs I'm referring to are all DI'd to the mains and I'm talking strictly stage volume.
my band: Mission 5
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SteveC went the same route. Search POD XT for some results (I believe).

 

He, instead of taking an Avalon U5 (I think that's what it's called) decided to go with a POD XT and Steve's pretty picky (just kidding!).

 

If it's good enough for him, it's probably good enough for you.

 

For poweramps, I hear tons of recommendations for the QSC PLX series for lightweight and affordability. Some guys'll chime in about those I'm sure.

 

Good luck with the search man!

In Skynyrd We Trust
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I use an emulator/modeler and the combinations are endless!! BUT, I still use my GK head for power. It is really easy to tweak a knob here and there on my head to get good room tone rather than break into my patches.

It is literally hours upon hours of fun tweaking patches. I highly recommend it!!

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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I use a PODxtPro-->Power Amp combination and it works well. I get some great effected sounds out of it.

 

I don't use it much for straight "clean sound" gigs though. It's too heavy and doesn't sound as "immediate" as my Demeter preamp...so I pop the POD out and replace it with the Demeter.

 

The POD is a good-sounding unit, though...the new XT models are really authentic sounding and there's a lot to play with it. I find I'm more interested in setting it and forgetting it instead of twiddling with the knobs. I just wanna get the sound and play, man. :D

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It seems like a good power amp would surely optimize the pre amp unit (an amp emulator or an real amp). Witch brings me to another question: What is a good power amp for a gig? I mean, is it really necessary to have a 3500 watts amp? The way I figure, if I can have a good stage volume or (in rare cases) have enough power for small places without PAs, I don´t need more. If I can have enough volume with some headroom, thats perfect for me.

But my problem still remains: Here in Brazil its very difficult to get information about some brands like GK, Avalon, Ampeg, SWR... I didn´t know Avalon until this forum.

So I ask for your help once again. Can you guys give me a help about what´s the best in pre/power amp manufacturers?

Please, forgive my english, I don´t speak it very well
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QSC is very good value for the money; a few friends I know use them in their racks. But I always see Crowns in my friends' racks as well, and they seem to last over 20 years; not cheap, but in the long run a better value than the QSCs.

 

I reiterate my advice from before: talk to the people who repair sound equipment for a living. They have nothing to sell, so they'll give you a pretty unbiased answer.

:wave:

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I was getting a nice sound from that set up. I used a PodXT into a QSC PLX 1202 and into a Bergantino HT112. I wanted an all-in-one preamp/effects unit and a small yet portable amp and cab. It was. I liked it, but...

 

...while it sounded great with my electric basses, it didn't do the job with my upright. I loved having those different preamps to choose from, but most of my work is on upright these days so I needed that to sound the best.

 

I went back to an Avalon U5 preamp/DI. Nothing I have tried (and I've tried a few) has made my upright sound as good as the Avalon does. Fortunatly, it makes my other basses sound fantastic as well. Actually, I think I could pass gas (no pun intended) through that thing and it would sound sweet.

 

The only thing it doesn't do is dirty/distorted tone. If I need that again, I'll just run my signal through a SansAmp BDDI before the Avalon.

 

As it turns out I didn't need/use all the effects on the PodXT anyway.

 

Sorry that got a little long. For your use, I think a PodXT into a power amp into a good full range cab would be something worth trying.

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I wouldn't buy a QSC RMX series. But the PLX rules. This is true of any successful brand (ie, any brand that survives) of power amp today. The lower models are made to compete in PRICE with other low-end entry lines and they do not perform as well in several areas - some that are audible and some that are stress-related.

 

In that respect, every brand is the same. One cannot simply shop BY BRAND and be assured it has produced the best results. One has to go a little deeper than that. I've owned a LOT of brands of power amps (including 2 QSC PLX currently) and have worked with quite a few others beyond those. As a smart buyer, one learns what the issues are, and what the specs actually mean, and then they shop for what traits they are looking for in a given price range. Of course, experience is a great aid in determining what is what, and what one's actual needs are ; }

 

EDIT: I HATE THE FRICKIN TEENSY EDIT WINDOW - WHAT GOOD IS A BIG MONITOR IF YOU HVAE TO DO EVERYTHING IN A CONSTRICTED LITTLE 1985-SIZED WINDOW!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Fred the bass player: QSC is very good value for the money; a few friends I know use them in their racks. But I always see Crowns in my friends' racks as well, and they seem to last over 20 years; not cheap, but in the long run a better value than the QSCs.
Fred, most newer technology hasn't been around 20 years. That doesn't make it inferior. Class D is pretty new, as seen in current QSC Powerlite and PLX series. Or anyone else's Class D offering for that matter.

 

I reiterate my advice from before: talk to the people who repair sound equipment for a living. They have nothing to sell, so they'll give you a pretty unbiased answer.
I also think your post has a number of anecdotal and empirical limitations here ; } ...one could ask ten different repair places and depending on the lines they work with, get different answers. One could also look at what touring companies are using. But there again, depending on their budget, the answer may not mean much to someone with a different shopping criteria.

 

Etc.

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TGFB,

 

A generality on separates verus SR-quality power amps: heads in order to be light and considered affordable usually sacrifice in several areas. Those include thermal protection, shorted loads protection, signal-to-noise ratios, total harmonic distortion, linearity, and extended load operation within the specs (which are way more likely to be fudged for heads than they are for power amps).

 

Some companies like Euphonic Audio are using more sophisticated power amp designs IN their combos and/or heads and you can expect to have more dollars invested in those products in R&D as well. Therefore the prices are likely to reflect that. These are usually closer to what SR-style power amps have in terms of honest specs and features.

 

Other brands may be higher priced as well simply because of their Name, which has a certain aura - deserved or not. Heads can be a good value though most of them are not as transparent, or superlative in various parts of performance simply because they have a lot of bang for the buck.

 

Got to decide what you are willing to spend and what your power requirements are before you can adequately attack this subject.

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Originally posted by way2fat:

Brasil- What kind of gear is readily available where you live?

It´s really hard to tell way2fat. There´s the most famous brands that I´m sure I can findvery easely - marshall, fender, ampeg, GK, Peavey - but the rest there´s no way to be sure. I would have to do some searching...

 

That´s why I´m here: to optimize my search, since you guys have way more experience and information about these amps and brands...

Please, forgive my english, I don´t speak it very well
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It's good that you have Peavey. They have some pretty sweet stuff in their lineup usually, and their service network is wide and vast. Usually not needed though; for as much gear as they have out there it's amazing how little of it ends up dead or on the operating table.

 

Marshall has been my least favored bass rig brand - everything I've heard of theirs for bass has seemed like barely disguised guitar gear that is mid heavy and deficient in lows and to a lesser extent highs, with EQ voicing that just doesn't fit. Perhaps they've done something good, but I haven't seen it in front of me or on the page yet.

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