Lookin for a good amp for my PA???? What's a good reliable brand and model?? - diyAudio
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Old 16th May 2013, 04:31 PM   #1
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Cool Lookin for a good amp for my PA???? What's a good reliable brand and model??

put together a four piece project in the Orange County area. Need a good power amp to power my PA. I have JBL LOUD SPEAKERS and Yamaha monitors. Think the loud speakers r like 400 watts. Heard Crown makes good amps. Any recommendations on Brands and Models. Gonna probably gig like 3-4 times a months. Have a guitar, bass drum and two vocals. Would appreciate any input. Thanks!!!
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Old 16th May 2013, 05:14 PM   #2
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Peavey CS800s is well protected against the deadly 1/4 phone plugged pulled a quarter inch out. Will protect your speakers. Nutrix speaker connectors are more fool proof but few starter bands will use them.
Good sound, too, I own one. If you buy used, be aware any amp 15 -20 years old need the electrolytic capacitors and fan replaced, and the heat sink cleaned.
Peavey mixer amps are a choice of bands starting out, has a 200-300 w amp built into the mixer. With those inputs, you are going to need a mixer.
Reasons I like Peavey: the part numbers are industry coded so there are no secrets ( or there is an industry cross reference table available for power transistors). The schematics are available. They sell parts over the phone, and will ship to Podunk. The model I've got is not too hard to disassemble, and doesn't use a lot of push in flat cable connections, or surface mount parts. I like my connections crimped gas tight or soldered please, no spring pressure joints to oxidize.
Other brands that sell premium models, Crown & QSC. I don't own them so I am no expert which model is the low price knockoff. Even Peavey has the PV4 PV8 and PV2000 with not much speaker protection and push in connectors inside. (I'm upgrading a PV1.3k with crimp connectors and better speaker protection, now.)
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Last edited by indianajo; 16th May 2013 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 16th May 2013, 05:57 PM   #3
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I'm not going to list any manufactures for the States (and certainly not going to say anything against Peavey) but a question; who's going to hump the gear?

Modern class D and switch mode power supplies are a fraction the weight of older designs. Certainly if an old fashioned power supply blew up, it could generally be mended, often on the road while a modern one? Same goes (to a lesser extent) with output circuits.

Same goes for digital mixers; lots of possibilities for the buck, generally compact when channel numbers increase (irreverent sideline; does the back line actually consist of a guitar and a bass drum, or was that supposed to be "guitar, bass, drums"?)

And sure, Neutrics Speakons nowadays; when they first came out the sort of people who help out at small gigs couldn't understand latching connectors. I've had heavy duty speaker cable torn apart when they tried to haul them out of the cabinets with brute force (While I was preventing them from doing the same thing with XLR cables which are much easier to destroy).

I imagine the JBLs are eight ohm. When you're looking for amps it's better to know what impedance they need to drive the power into (your average 400 Watt stereo amp will deliver that into 4 ohms. and only two hundred into eight. When you're looking at specs of – cheaper amps? Lower range amps? you could easily find something specified at 400 Watts, and when you start looking at the true specifications this is both sides added together, and run into two ohms, making each side 100 watts into eight ohms. I wouldn't buy one of those, even if it's cheap and could be bridged up in mono; if they lie - um, stretch the truth - there, who knows where else they're cutting corners?
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Old 17th May 2013, 08:50 PM   #4
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You cannot go wrong with Crown amps. Got a few myself. They work well and are very reliable. However, check the power ratings carefully. Some amps are rated to 4 Ohms while others are rated into 2 Ohms. This can get very confusing, but here goes:- An amp channel rated at 1000w at 2ohm will deliver +/- 650w at 4ohm and about 350w at 8ohm. Even though some amps are quite happy to run at 2Ohm this does put a lot of stress on power-supplies and output circuitry. READ THE SPECS CAREFULLY before you part with your hard-earned loot. Also, check out Behringer amps for a economic alternative.
Regards.
The SoundMan
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Old 20th May 2013, 12:17 PM   #5
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Budget?

If cost isn't much of an issue, I'd put QSC, Crown and the big Peavey stuff in the same class.
Preferably go for class D or H amps, as they'll tend to be lighter than the slightly old-fashioned (in the PA world) class AB amps, where there's an awful lot of large chunks of iron to get any serious power output.

If price is a concern, head toward Behringer.

The recent iNuke DSP series would be worth a look, but keep a close eye on those power ratings: the DSP1000 won't put out 1000w, but possibly 400 (200w/ch into 4ohm).
The Europower range would also be worth a look. These are simple amplifiers, with options for class H or AB depending on model.

The some of the iNuke models have DSP circuitry that will allow you to add things like infrasonic filters, frequency-dependent limiting, crossovers, etc etc.


IMO, though, there's only one way to go for a starting-out band.
QSC - K Series K12 Active Loudspeaker

I talked to some guys in a rock band that had set off with a huge multi-amp'd PA, loads of subwoofers, mid-high cabs, etc, and replaced the lot with a pair of those QSC speakers, and got consistently better sound, out of two fairly light boxes.
Get a couple of cheap-ish active monitors and a decent mixing desk and you're off.

Add a couple of the QSC subs for more low end if you have a bassist whose rig won't do it.

EV also does some similar active speakers.

Chris
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