Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

Josh Ricci

Freshman
Apr 27, 2012
32
2
8
I'm not as current on the amp market as I used to be a few years back so I'm hoping maybe someone can give me some advice. I'm looking to buy a couple of amps to add to the collection and eventually replace some older models. They will be intended for bass duties mostly. I am hoping to keep it at or around $1k each. I also want the amp to be able to drive 2 parallel cabs or rated into a nominal 2 ohm load at least. The other thing is I need reliability. I don't want to have to send the darn thing in every other year. I usually consider pfc a must. All of my bass amps have had this for years and they just seem to perform better not to mention I like the efficiency advantages and easing of the load on the ac line. Currently I have for bass: 4 Crest 8002's and 2 Powersoft K10's. I've also owned QSC PL9.0's , Crown CE4000's, etc. I'd like to try something smaller, more efficient and lighter in place of the 8002's which are 3 rack space and weigh close to 60lbs each, without sacking any power. If possible I'd like to gain some.

Are there any reliable, 1500w+ per ch @4ohm, class D/smps amps,rated for 2ohm loads, with pfc in this price range? New or used? I do not need any system link, built in DSP or any of that. Just power. I haven't found anything that fits the bill yet without blowing the budget way out.

I was considering trying the Crest cc5500 as those are available under $1k new with warranty. Has anyone used those? The other consideration was breaking the budget somewhat and going for second hand pro9200's if I can find a good deal. Anything else I should be looking at for an efficient bass amp that doesn't weigh 75lbs?

Thanks
 

TJ Cornish

Graduate
Jan 13, 2011
1,263
0
0
St. Paul, MN
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

That sounds like a lot to ask for for $1000, even used. PFC is particularly rare at all but the highest price levels - ITech, Powersoft, etc.
 

Josh Ricci

Freshman
Apr 27, 2012
32
2
8
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

That sounds like a lot to ask for for $1000, even used. PFC is particularly rare at all but the highest price levels - ITech, Powersoft, etc.

It certainly seems that way. The CE4000's and 8002's both have it and they were not that expensive back in the day when they were new. QSC nor Crest seem to employ it at all anymore and Crown only on their most expensive models. I can live without it since as you say it doesn't seem to be in this price bracket. So I guess it boils down to what lightweight smps amps are available.
 

Avi Goldberg

Freshman
May 10, 2012
7
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ISRAEL
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Art Welter

Senior
Jan 11, 2011
833
20
18
Florida
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

Anything else I should be looking at for an efficient bass amp that doesn't weigh 75lbs?

Thanks
Josh,

The SpeakerPower SP1-4000 is is rated 4000W/2 ohm, 2400W/4, 1300W/8, it weighs only 7 lbs.
Although it is a plate amp, it is so light and small I have rack mounted it behind other amps in a rack.

SpeakerPower - Home

I found the SP1-4000 makes a lot less heat at the same output level as the Crest, Crown and QSC amps I tested it against, and it sounds very good loaded even below 2 ohms (four ported Lab 12 in parralel, < 1.5 ohms).

I cannot attest to the longevity, but it is very well made, and since heat breaks down electrical components, and this amp runs cool while the QSC felt like a hair drier, I think it will have a long happy life.

Art
 

Ivan Beaver

Graduate Student
Jan 11, 2011
2,300
10
0
Atlanta GA area
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

You might want to look at the Crest Pro lite 7.5. A bit more power than you asked for-but very affordable-and stupid light weight.

We have been playing around with some-and are impressed so far.
 

Tim Perry

Sophomore
Jan 11, 2011
200
0
0
Utica, NY
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

If 'PFC" stands for power factor correction there is no reason on gods green earth you should be concerned about it.

PFC is strictly for factory sized buildings and utility company use.
 

John Roberts

Graduate Student
Jan 12, 2011
2,309
3
38
MS
www.resotune.com
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

If 'PFC" stands for power factor correction there is no reason on gods green earth you should be concerned about it.

PFC is strictly for factory sized buildings and utility company use.

While PFC is a premium option in power amplifiers, it can make a difference in how much power you can pull from undersized mains distribution wiring. Since PFC spreads the current draw over the entire mains voltage waveform, the peak current and therefore the maximum I x R wire voltage drop is noticeably less. So all things equal the PFC amp will deliver more power from the same mains outlet.

I can imagine this making a difference at gigs with less than optimal mains power.

JR

PS: Indeed PFC is a major concern for large scale utility power distribution and many consumer products are already PFC. Europe which has been dealing with marginal distribution infrastructure for years is stricter about PFC. In the US there was a concern about large scale replacement of incandescent lamps with CFL, as the former look more resistive than the later. But his can be dismissed as a concern in the short term since the CFL lamps draw so much less total current.
 
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

If 'PFC" stands for power factor correction there is no reason on gods green earth you should be concerned about it.

PFC is strictly for factory sized buildings and utility company use.

Nope, it matters for any application concerned about voltage drop. Consider that a device with a power factor of 1 will draw less current (at the same voltage) than a device with a power factor less than 1. Less current means less voltage drop and less power wasted in the wiring. If your power source is finite, this means more power available at the device.
 

John Roberts

Graduate Student
Jan 12, 2011
2,309
3
38
MS
www.resotune.com
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

Nope, it matters for any application concerned about voltage drop. Consider that a device with a power factor of 1 will draw less current (at the same voltage) than a device with a power factor less than 1. Less current means less voltage drop and less power wasted in the wiring. If your power source is finite, this means more power available at the device.

The power output drop is even more insidious than just wire power losses. In a standard diode bridge amplifier power supply, the reservoir caps are charged only at the peaks of the mains waveform. Since this charging moment is coincident with the peak current draw for a standard amp, the IxR losses will deliver the worst case voltage drop at the worst case moment for charging the reservoir PS caps.

With the current draw and charging spread over the entire waveform the average voltage delivered is higher. So it's more a matter of mains wire "voltage" drop than wire power dissipation, while that is helped too (power = I^2 x R). Voltage delivered to the amp is higher so the amp gets more total current and power from the same mains.

JR
 

Tim Perry

Sophomore
Jan 11, 2011
200
0
0
Utica, NY
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

Switching supplies, and even traditional rectifier power supplies present a non linear load to the AC mains. Simply correcting the PF does not alter that fact.

I have a large 'amplifier' that draws aprox. 60,000 watts from the AC mains (3 phase 208 V). All is fine until it switches to a 130 kW generator (160 V-A) fifth and 7th harmonics reflect back to the voltage regulator and cause a bit of instability. Solutions that were proposed to remedy this are deemed to costly, therefore power is reduced by 50% when running on generator and all is well.

I guess my belief is that in the case of one single little bitty power amp for a bass rig if PF is a problem due to poor power source you got way bigger problems then PFC is gonna remedy.
 

John Roberts

Graduate Student
Jan 12, 2011
2,309
3
38
MS
www.resotune.com
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

Switching supplies, and even traditional rectifier power supplies present a non linear load to the AC mains. Simply correcting the PF does not alter that fact.
Indeed, conventional rectifier power supplies are the most difficult load with smallest dwell time.

Switchers vary as there are a number of different approaches. Many just use a rectifier and cap on the mains side, so similar issues.
I have a large 'amplifier' that draws aprox. 60,000 watts from the AC mains (3 phase 208 V). All is fine until it switches to a 130 kW generator (160 V-A) fifth and 7th harmonics reflect back to the voltage regulator and cause a bit of instability. Solutions that were proposed to remedy this are deemed to costly, therefore power is reduced by 50% when running on generator and all is well.
That seems like a "varsity" level problem.
I guess my belief is that in the case of one single little bitty power amp for a bass rig if PF is a problem due to poor power source you got way bigger problems then PFC is gonna remedy.

Bitty is relative,,,, several KWatts from a puny old mains service needs all the help it can get.

JR
 

Josh Ricci

Freshman
Apr 27, 2012
32
2
8
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

Bitty is relative,,,, several KWatts from a puny old mains service needs all the help it can get.

JR

Agreed. You never know what crap power you might be walking into at small gigs.

....and seeing how the IPR7500 is still vaporware how is it even remotely possible that Crest has them?

+1 These and the IPR's have been held up forever with some problems not related to parts supply issues from what I have heard. Maybe these have been worked out. Ivan do you have beta test mules or something? How are they?
 

Tim Perry

Sophomore
Jan 11, 2011
200
0
0
Utica, NY
Re: Looking for budget bass amplifier advice

Indeed, conventional rectifier power supplies are the most difficult load with smallest dwell time.

Switchers vary as there are a number of different approaches. Many just use a rectifier and cap on the mains side, so similar issues.

That seems like a "varsity" level problem.

I brought it up as an example of scale.



Bitty is relative,,,, several KWatts from a puny old mains service needs all the help it can get.

JR

But the question is what constitutes effective help? And what constitutes puny mains service? I feel that my area on NY has some of the oldest infrastructure in the nation yet on an indoor bar show I can get a full band on one or 2 20A circuits (LED lights). Of course I prefer having more but as a practical measure it can and does work.
Most of us I guess have suffered through shows with some form of power issue. Certainty I have several time this year. But all the issues can be traced back to insufficient wiring in some way or another.

If you assume the smallest likely service is a 200 amp 220 V single phase panel that can provide 44,000 watts (approx) that means the pole transformer is sized for that or greater. The power companies and codes enforcement are very strict on this.

I understand the benefits of maximum power transfer I just don't feel it has any real useful benefit in the stated problem: "which amp for my bass rig"

Being QSC fan i suggest something in the PLX line. The 3602 will maybe cost just over $1K new.