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Thread: Decent SS power amp?

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    SDUGF Riffologist Supremö B2D's Avatar
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    Default Decent SS power amp?

    I'm thinking about returning that Flextone II I have and using the money to buy a POD 2.0 Pro (the rackmount one) and a decent power amp to run it by. I was considering the Carvin DCM150, which will provide 150W at 8 ohms when bridged.

    I'm mainly looking for this to serve as a recording rig, and with the power amp kicked in, a giggable backup amp. 150W solid state ought to be plenty. I remember gigging with a 100W SS Marshall rig once and it was JUST enough.

    I actually heard this exact setup rig being played a few years ago through a Marshall cab and it sounded pretty good.

    Can anyone else suggest some power amps that are similarly priced (within reason), and have the same wattage, but might sound better?

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    Heel Whacker tone4days's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    i have a dcm 600 and like it just fine ... given that it is ss, it has to be 100% clean (no power amp distortion invited to the tone party) .. and given that you are using a pod, you want the power amp and speakers to be transparent ... of course, for live re-creation of the pod's cab modelling, it would sound best through a full range speaker, as opposed to a guitar cab .. i guess you could turn off the pod's cab modelling and run it through a guitar cab just as well ...

    my 600 is plenty loud ... each side drives a boogie 1x12" cab with 90 W celestion ... i entertained the idea of the 150, mostly for its size ... but i decided that i wanted more headroom and 'oomph' to spare for my primary live rig .. if you play loud live, you might want to check into more power ...

    also worth considering, the new crate power block amps are getting pretty favorable field reports from guys who use them ... just send the pod into the 'power amp in' and it is supposedly a small, cool-running, loud little beast

    good luck
    t4d
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    "no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"

    Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14

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    25's Nemesis Benjy_26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    Why not get a valve power section and turn that POD into your main rig. I use a Boss GT-8 into a Mesa power section and get plenty of power and always get compliments on my tones.
    Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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    SDUGF Riffologist Supremö B2D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy_26
    Why not get a valve power section and turn that POD into your main rig. I use a Boss GT-8 into a Mesa power section and get plenty of power and always get compliments on my tones.
    Two reasons:
    1) Valve power amps cost money that I do not have right now.
    2) I would prefer the minimal tonal coloration of an SS rig.

    Quote Originally Posted by tone4days
    i have a dcm 600 and like it just fine ... given that it is ss, it has to be 100% clean (no power amp distortion invited to the tone party) .. and given that you are using a pod, you want the power amp and speakers to be transparent ... of course, for live re-creation of the pod's cab modelling, it would sound best through a full range speaker, as opposed to a guitar cab .. i guess you could turn off the pod's cab modelling and run it through a guitar cab just as well ...

    my 600 is plenty loud ... each side drives a boogie 1x12" cab with 90 W celestion ... i entertained the idea of the 150, mostly for its size ... but i decided that i wanted more headroom and 'oomph' to spare for my primary live rig .. if you play loud live, you might want to check into more power ...

    also worth considering, the new crate power block amps are getting pretty favorable field reports from guys who use them ... just send the pod into the 'power amp in' and it is supposedly a small, cool-running, loud little beast

    good luck
    t4d
    I'd be using this with an 8 ohm, 2x12 cab with Eminence M12's in it (speakers that are designed to work with modeling amps) so the cab wont be an issue. And yes I know that I need as clean a sound as possible, thus the SS power amp.

    The DCM600 will give up 125W RMS at 8 ohms on one mono channel. The DCM150 will do 150W bridged at the same ohm rating... Is 150 enough to be comfortably on par with a 50W tube amp for volume? Its been so long since i used an SS amp.

    I would prefer not to use a Power Block simply because I would prefer not to stuble over the extra tone controls. I want to get all my sounds from the POD. If options become limited I won't rule it out, though.



    Anyone else have any suggestions for amps?

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    Super Toneologist Willis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    I'd suggest a Carvin FET series power amp. I was going to get one of those, and the only reason I didn't is because I found a Peavey tube power amp for cheaper. They're discontinued, but you can find them for around $200 on ebay.
    formerly n00b

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    CheapGuitarologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    I'm in the process of doing something similar to you. I've already got the Johnson J-Station, and I want to build a dedicated cab/amp to go with it. The Eminence M12's are rated at 120Wrms each. If you use two, thats 240 watts, and the general rule with SS is you want minimum of 3db headroom. Thats double the power. So you would want around 480 watts total. Thats really not that much. As you said - you never want the amp to clip.

    I was thinking of using either the M12's (2x12), the Copperheads (4x10), or the Alpha 8's (4x8). Not sure which direction I'm going yet, but in any case, I'll be using Crown power. I have an old DC150A now, and its a rock-solid workhorse. For my new system, I'll be using one of the XLS series. Either the 202/402/602, just depending on how much power I ultimately go with. They're a great value, with the 202 starting at $269 and the 402 just slightly more at $329. Thats fairly inexpensive for 400W/ch @ 4 ohms.

    Crown XLS series

    Artie

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    id look into the crate power block, you can go direct in and bypass the preamp 150w at 8 ohms

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    DeadSkinSlayer3
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy
    id look into the crate power block, you can go direct in and bypass the preamp 150w at 8 ohms

    Most definitely!


    Also, Brendan, my guitarists setup (my v-amp through his B52 halfstacks poweramp) competes fine with my XXX and 2x12.

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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy
    id look into the crate power block, you can go direct in and bypass the preamp 150w at 8 ohms
    I have to agree here. I tried it out with a PODxt and a custom 2x12. Quite impressive and plenty powerful. What a rig. Throw the preamp (POD) and power amp (Power Block) in to a backpack and all that's left to really lug is the cab. The only 150 watt setup that would fit in the back seat of a Mini Cooper.

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    DyzaBoyzologist That90'sGuy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    From what I've gathered, a lot of guys have really been digging the Crate as a back up amp. I wouldn't hesitate to use it as a power amp myself. As others have mentioned, 150W should be enough to get you through most gigs.
    Quote Originally Posted by kevlar3000 View Post
    I learned a long time ago that the only thing that mattered regarding tone was what my ears thought.
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    SDUGF Riffologist Supremö B2D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    Mkay... at your suggestions I shall look into the Crate unit. I would prefer that it be rackmounted but I supposes I can always fit it into a velcro'd shelf.

    I think I'm being a little unclear as to what I'd want and what my setup I'm thinkign of will be, amp-wise.

    The DCM150 set to put out 150W mono/bridged -> 2x12 Cab loaded with M12's that can handle 240 watts.

    Anything wrong with that? Is there some principle I'm missing here? I know it's bad to underpower PA speakers, does that principle apply here?

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    CheapGuitarologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    I hope I don't sound like I'm pushing this, but as I said before, the generally accepted "rule" is to have at least 3db of headroom with SS. If you wire those two speakers in parallel, then use the XLS 202 in bridged-mono mode, you'll be right where you want to be. (M12's@240W / XLS202@500W)

    The Crown will run a bit more money at $269, but its one of the most well respected amp lines.

    Artie

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    Toneologist rinse_master's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    Not exactly what you asked for but a bean shaped pod into an atomic is a good alternative.
    "What frequency are you getting? Is it noise or sweet, sweet music?"

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    Heel Whacker tone4days's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    artie, re: headroom ... i am not convinced that i understand your point ... are you cautioning against using an underpowered amp for higher-rated speakers?

    if a speaker is rated at 240W, is it problematic to use an amp that puts out 150? ...

    or are you saying that one shold use an 'over powered' SS amp accompanied by the discipline to not turn it up so high as to blow out the speakers? ... i mean, 500W of output into 240 W rated speakers (in addition to being deafening) could also tend to fry voice coils, ... right?

    or are you cautioning against something else altogether?

    also, re: the crown's ... are the models you mentioned chinese made 'low cost' line? or are they the same models that have earned crown their well-deserved reputation for high quality?

    cheers
    t4d
    Last edited by tone4days; 09-05-2005 at 07:25 AM.
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    "no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"

    Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14

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    CheapGuitarologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by tone4days
    also, re: the crown's ... are the models you mentioned chinese made 'low cost' line? or are they the same models that have earned crown their well-deserved reputation for high quality?
    To the best of my knowledge, all Crown amps are American made. I don't think they farm out any construction overseas. This would be a good question for the Crown forum. I'll ask, just to be sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by tone4days
    artie, re: headroom ... i am not convinced that i understand your point ... are you cautioning against using an underpowered amp for higher-rated speakers?

    if a speaker is rated at 240W, is it problematic to use an amp that puts out 150? ...

    or are you saying that one shold use an 'over powered' SS amp accompanied by the discipline to not turn it up so high as to blow out the speakers? ... i mean, 500W of output into 240 W rated speakers (in addition to being deafening) could also tend to fry voice coils, ... right?

    or are you cautioning against something else altogether?

    cheers
    t4d
    I should qualify this by saying that all my experience in power amps is in Pro sound re-inforcement. Not so much guitar amps per se. But still, basically I'm cautioning against "underpowering". Take those M12's for example. They're rated for 240 watts RMS. (Assuming using a pair.) Their peak rating is double that. But you never want the amp to clip. So it should be able to supply clean power all the way up to the speakers peak rating. SS power is so inexpensive as compared to tube power that there's no reason not to.

    Granted, you could certainly underpower them, and not turn them up all the way, but I got the impression that B2D wants to use this to gig with also. Just to keep this in perspective, I use an older Crown D150A for my home studio/"bedroom" amp, and at those rare times when I have the house to myself . . . I spank it bad. (Those little IOC lights aren't supposed to on all the time, right?)

    I'm in the process now myself, of designing the same thing B2D is, to use with my J-Station, and I'll be using 4 10's with the XLS 402. That will be a total of 800 watts RMS in a home situation. (I like lotsa headroom.)

    One last point - my opinion here should be taken more as casual chat, rather than as "the last word". Guitar amps is clearly not my area of expertise.
    Just my 2-cents worth.

    Artie

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    Heel Whacker tone4days's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    thanks artie
    gear list in profile

    "no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"

    Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14

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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    OK, well I think with each M12 being able to handle 120W each and two of them making for a 240W cab, then they should handle a 150W power amp just fine. And my other guitarist has a 150W amp that he uses all the time and its plenty loud enough.

    I think I'll be good. Thanks for the info!

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    CheapGuitarologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    re: Crown made in China.

    Son-of-a-gun . . . T4D, you were right. I stand corrected. The XLS line, and two others, are in fact, made in China.
    Here's the thread:

    http://www.crownaudio.com/forums/ind...?showtopic=587

    I'm gonna buy one anyway.

    Artie

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    for audio and bass guitar applications, overpowering your cabs is what you want to do. you want to be able to hit the speakers with as much clean power as they can handle, youll hear the speaker start to break up if you are hitting it too hard. turn the volume down until the noise goes away and you should be fine.
    if you underpower the speakers then the amp will distort before the speakers and thats not a good thing for the speakers. hitting speakers with a distorted audio signal can kill your speakers.

    for guitar it is quite common to underpower the speakers, a 50w head into a 300w cab. so the speakers can handle the purposefully distorted tone. i dont know much about speaker construction but ive been told that guitar speakers are built to withstand more distortion.
    if youre using a 100w head into a 100w cab youll hear the speakers break up when pushed hard, some people like this and its part of their sound. push em too hard and they will blow up

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    CheapGuitarologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent SS power amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy
    for guitar it is quite common to underpower the speakers, a 50w head into a 300w cab. so the speakers can handle the purposefully distorted tone.
    Jeremy, I agree with this completely, but would you include SS in that? If you clip an SS amp, you're hitting the speaker with moments of DC. I don't know. I'm just asking.

    Artie

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