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Favorite amplifiers for bass

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FWIW I bought mine from seatonsound, it was both cheaper and ships with http://www.neutrik.com/en/audio/powercon/powercon-32-a/nac3fc-hc on the end of the power cable.

 

EDIT: actually now I reread my emails I see he said it normally comes with the powercon but he includes a terminated power cable, not clear from the above whether the connector is the problem or the cable. I suppose not such a big deal for us in the UK anyway.

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Mine came with a 30A powercon and 10/3 with a 30A 250v twistlock plug. Sure yours wasn't 120v Luke?

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Mine came with a 30A powercon and 10/3 with a 30A 250v twistlock plug. Sure yours wasn't 120v Luke?

 

Mine had the 32a PowerCon, just a wimpy 14g cable connected to it.  It was purchased through Seaton.  As far as I can tell, the sp2-12k is only available in 240v.

 

 

 

20141001_110631_zpssko5a9kl.jpg

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Figured I might update the old amp list.

 

Mackie M1400i Repaired still powering JBL compression drivers
Behringer EP4000's  (Sold) Long gone...
Crown CE4000's (Sold) Long ago
Crest 8002's (Still have 4 of these.) Still a great bass amp. PFC! 66lbs, basic black, no light show.
QSC PL9.0's (Sold)
AETechron 7560's (Sold) Sort of wish I'd have kept these now.
Powersoft K10's (Sennheiser KPA2400's) / Sold...And going to a good home

 

Behringer Inuke-6000 non dsp

(Bought this to see what $400 could get these days. it does have a good amount of power but the old Crest 8002's are rated at only 4kw yet seem to be quite a bit more powerful on big subs. Tried it on full range duties and did not like how it sounded in the upper midrange and treble. Tried it on full-range bass guitar in place of an 8002 and thought it did ok but the guy playing bass said it sounded weaker and the tone was different. It's his call so that was swapped back out quickly. Then tried it on a stereo pair of GH's and it abruptly died. It was not being pushed hard at the time. Got it replaced under warranty. Moved it to mid-bass duties covering 70-750Hz wired at 8ohms stereo running 4 very efficient 15's and it has been fine ever since. Overall I was a bit disappointed in the amp. It felt very cheap, was ugly, gaudy lights, blew up once, and didn't seem to sound very good except when used below the mid-band. Plus the fans are really loud. The best thing going for these is the DSP. Still a great bargain for the money but I'd look to other amps if the DSP isn't needed. Sorry if I offend anyone with this but that's my impressions of it. I am a bit spoiled in the amp department though.

 

Dayton PSA-1000/SA-1000

I've reviewed a number of subs using this amp. Offers a pretty good amount of power for the price. Has a nice range of adjustments on board. The built in rumble filter is easily modified or defeatable. I wish they had an XLR input. (I avoid RCA's like the plague, virtually none of my equipment uses them.). Gain is crazy high on these. Can be a bit noisy due to that if care isn't taken with gain structure and grounding. One other thing of note is that it appears that these are allowed to go all of the way into hard clipping rather than employing a clip limiter, which will generate a lot of power but lots of distortion as well. Not really a big deal in the scheme of things just something a bit different from most other comparable amps. Wish list for this one would be a speakon connector on the rack version.

 

Emotiva XPA-5

Class D, SMPS amps have come a long, long way but they still seem to sound a bit harsh in the upper mids and treble to me. The Powersoft K series is about the best sounding I have heard run full range but I still like older school amp technology for full range or upper bandwidth duties. That is why I bought this a few years back. I really like this amp and think the Emo amps are a pretty good bargain for the most part. No fans to worry about, XLR inputs, very well built weighing near 70lbs and it offers plenty of dynamic reserve for most situations. I wish they would dump the silly consumer audio connections like the IEC detachable power cord and go with powercon and add speakon outputs. I also wish there was an adjustable input sensitivity as well, but still for the $800 I paid it's been a nice amp.

 

Speakerpower SP-4000 plate

These are the real deal. Brutal amounts of power in a plate amp. More than most single or even dual drivers will be comfortable with over long periods unless some long term limiting of current is invoked. I know in one case a driver, that many people brag about as being able to handle the biggest amps around without issue, was summarily torched and the coil turned into a burnt slinky in short order on one of these. No it was not by me! Very simple layout too. Only thing I wish it had was a more user friendly DSP interface and system.

 

Speakerpower SP2-12000 see the SP-4000 comments and multiply by 2. This is a very powerful amp no doubt. One of the most powerful on the market. I like that the fans won't turn on until the amp starts to develop some heat which takes a bit. Nice and light weight too. Very efficient. The version I have has the input trims on the front panel thankfully. Having them on the back would have been a bit awkward so I am glad that move was made. Much like the plate version I wish the amp had a more user friendly dsp system. I also wish that there were a few other things such as universal voltage capability and bridge capability (for those times when you really need to let your Danley TH812's loose). Also the amp looks rather pedestrian. I'm not a huge aesthetics guy but this is a $3.5K amplifier. On the amp I have there are grounding wires to the chassis and adhesive that can be seen right through the front grille. This is because there are no air filters?! That seems a bit odd to me because the grille slits on this amp are quite open and it does have fans. I would think that without filters that all manner of dust and debris may easily be pulled into the amp in short order. Maybe they just weren't in place in this loaner amp. Minor gripes aside this thing makes huge power. There is no doubt about that. It seems to handle 2ohms nominal pretty easily so far as well. Also for anyone wondering I measured the response of this amp and it is -3dB down at right about 4Hz. Good enough for the bottom dwelling IB and sealed power users out there me thinks.

 

I also have a few new amps I'm working with or will be working with soon. I've got a Powersoft K20-DSP or 2 on the way, I should have an M-Force module soon and also an IPAL module.

 

Lately I've changed my tune about dsp being built into the amp. I used to not care. I'm starting to realize that the more cables and power cords I have to run the more complicated and messy things get. I'm a fan of condensing things into as few electronic units as possible now. With that said I wish someone was making old school torroidal power supply amplifiers with DSP front ends and large channel counts. Does anyone know of any? I would imagine there aren't because at that point you are blending consumer/ "HiFi" with professional traits. I mean you have Lab Gruppen PLM20000Q's and such or Powersoft's new X8 8 channel amp with DSP but these are $10K amps.

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As for amps with built in DSP, I'm not aware of any class AB/H big iron amps with it built in.

 

I ended up getting the 10x10 miniDSP.  I'm using it for all my subs and mains.  The downside is the stupid phoenix terminals, which makes doing any quick changes on the fly impossible.  I made this for my equipment rack to make all the connections a breeze:

 

20140723_133953_zpslbjlubl5.jpg

 

20140723_215417_zps2axgsief.jpg

 

 

Unlike the cheaper models, this one can handle over 16v in and out before clipping.  Really nice to not have to worry about that.  

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Speakerpower SP-4000 plate

These are the real deal. Brutal amounts of power in a plate amp. More than most single or even dual drivers will be comfortable with over long periods unless some long term limiting of current is invoked. I know in one case a driver, that many people brag about as being able to handle the biggest amps around without issue, was summarily torched and the coil turned into a burnt slinky in short order on one of these. No it was not by me! Very simple layout too. Only thing I wish it had was a more user friendly DSP interface and system.

 

Since Mark posted this in one of my threads on AVS, I don't think he'll care if it's posted here as well.  This comment is in regards to SpeakerPower amps:

 

With a reasonably stiff power line, you won't see any sag all the way to around a 1.5 Ohm minimum impedance. Below there you will see some current limiting and reduced maximum power, but it will still work just fine. When I was testing a dual 2 Ohm HS24 with coils paralleled, I left too little time between test runs with a 12-14Hz sine wave in a smaller sealed box, and the SP4k melted the wire right off the former driving the 1-1.5 Ohm impedance. 

 

 

I know a few guys at a GTG tried to blow a HS24 by wiring each coil of the sub to each channel of a SP2-8k.  They noted the amp went into protection mode before the HS24 gave up, but I'm willing to bet that voltage drop on the AC going to the amp was the cause of that.  Mark smoked the coils with a SP amp that's essentially half of a sp2-8k in plate amp form.   

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Yea that was me, and bosso, paul, popalock (it was his driver), Nick from SI, etc. It was fun. We certainly had some voltage drop but it likely wasn't too terribly much, we just weren't running sine waves :D I had that amp on a dedicated 30a 120v so it was probably chugging along just fine...

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Yea that was me, and bosso, paul, popalock (it was his driver), Nick from SI, etc. It was fun. We certainly had some voltage drop but it likely wasn't too terribly much, we just weren't running sine waves :D I had that amp on a dedicated 30a 120v so it was probably chugging along just fine...

 

What kind of content were you playing when the amp went into protection?  

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I think one of Mark (imagic's) ULF tracks that has some pretty serious content down to the single digits. All I know is the woofer was going absolutely bonkers before we "Hit the lights"

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Haha...Yeah it was Mark that told me that. I didn't even know about it. I don't think the amp was near clipping either.

 

 

 

Content and crest factor is everything. You could run the amp up to clipping on the peaks of something like Metallica And Justice for All for hour and the sub will probably be fine. Other content not so much...Guys like Mark have to assume there is a dumbass out there who will turn the system up to the point the amp is clipping full time with a compressed dub or techno channel and just leave it running like that for 6 hours. If it won't survive that or similar he can assume there will be warranty claims from said dumbass.

 

 

Are you sure the guys were trying to kill the woofer? I don't advocate doing that type of thing but it sounds like the guys might need a lesson or two if they can't get it done with an 8kw amp! B) J/K

 

On the serious was the driver in a box when this took place and how long was it subjected to the music or whatever?  

 

BTW Beast I just received the box for that driver from Nick this week. I think it used to be yours? I've got plans to dig into the guts and see if I can cram 3 or 4 6" ports in there too. Might as well while I have the big woof. It won't be 40 cubes but the modeling does seem to indicate some good gains just in 15ft.

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The 24 was in the exact box that you apparently just received! I would suggest if you are able to, double up on that front baffle if at all possible. I built that out of wood I had left-over from my corinthian buildout and didn't have enough to double up. There is certainly room to stick some ports. likely in each corner. The internal bracing is:

 

1958ad03_2014-04-0120.35.49.jpeg

 

We were definitely not trying to absolutely kill the 24 that day, as Austin had plans to take it and his other one to Qatar with him when he left last fall. We were literally just trying to find the limits of the sub, but not attempt to do permanent damage. We certainly could have easily killed it, but excursion limits in a 15 cuft sealed box with standard dubking content proved to be futile. Austin is actually doing a 35cuft or so ported build as we speak, tuned to near 11hz IIRC. One box will be behind his couch and the other under his TV. Should provide for a pretty fun/intense experience. 

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The 24 was in the exact box that you apparently just received! I would suggest if you are able to, double up on that front baffle if at all possible. I built that out of wood I had left-over from my corinthian buildout and didn't have enough to double up. There is certainly room to stick some ports. likely in each corner. The internal bracing is:

 

1958ad03_2014-04-0120.35.49.jpeg

 

We were definitely not trying to absolutely kill the 24 that day, as Austin had plans to take it and his other one to Qatar with him when he left last fall. We were literally just trying to find the limits of the sub, but not attempt to do permanent damage. We certainly could have easily killed it, but excursion limits in a 15 cuft sealed box with standard dubking content proved to be futile. Austin is actually doing a 35cuft or so ported build as we speak, tuned to near 11hz IIRC. One box will be behind his couch and the other under his TV. Should provide for a pretty fun/intense experience. 

 

 

Thanks for the pic. Might be difficult to get ports in there but I will see what I can do.

 

I see now that you guys were just playing it real loud with some music. It takes a crapola of power to bottom most subs with regular old music. The stuff just isn't low enough. So far the 24 seems real rugged mechanically. I think burning the coils might be a bigger issue with too much power on that woofer.

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Ha! Man, I sourced this other stuff this fall from a landscaper I know and it puts that scott stuff to SHAME. My lawn is still green even after a solid week of below freezing temps. I still have lots of work to do, but it is looking better than it ever has at this point of the winter...

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BTW Beast I just received the box for that driver from Nick this week. I think it used to be yours? I've got plans to dig into the guts and see if I can cram 3 or 4 6" ports in there too. Might as well while I have the big woof. It won't be 40 cubes but the modeling does seem to indicate some good gains just in 15ft.

 

 

40 cubes is just lulz.     That box would be like 4 feet high,  by 4 feet wide,  and 4 feet deep.   Where would someone put that thing.   haha.   

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I read through some of the 24 discussions over at AVS. Speculation city. I'm going to make sure it is my first outdoor test of 2015.

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I've mentioned this a few times, but I now have a little cash with which to buy a new amp.  I haven't kept up with this subject, but I've read and re-read this thread and I'm still coming up with blanks.

 

I need a single amp with:

 

Little/no rolloff

Quiet/Dark/Semi-lightweight

2x2000W @ 4Ohms RMS

Standard plug (no 220V in my house)

 

What are the best options?  If I could swing 2x amps, dual fan-modded EP4Ks would work (which is what I had till one died), but I don't have space for more than one amp after getting an amp for my speakers.

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Any budget.  I'd like to know my options.  :)

 

I've very seriously considered Dave's A14K, but I think the noise and current draws might be a bit much for my living room, sitting 6ft from the amp and running off a 20A circuit.  It's pretty much the toast of the town in its price class, from what I can tell from his specs and the info on customization.

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Well...If you just need power I'd look out for deals on some of the pro sound boards. A QSC PL380 would be great. Those go deep and are rated at 2500w per channel at 4 ohms and 4K at 2 ohms. Class D. Sometimes they come up for sale in the $1200-$1600 range. Crest Pro 9200 is decent too again they go deep. Those come up for sale around $1100-$1400 too. Sometimes you can find a QSC RMX 5050 for around $850 if you look hard. All of those amps are -3dB at about 5Hz or better. I'm just not a fan of the Sanway or other Chinese copycats personally. I would definitely get Dave's vetted and tweaked version if you want the 14000. The others are far too much risk and seem slapped together with whatever parts are on hand for my taste. The bit of extra money for Dave's version is going to be worth it in the long run. IMHO of course. The SpeakerPower amps make big power but the budget is starting to get up there for those. I did verify that the roll off on the 12000 I have on loan is about -3db at 4Hz.

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Any budget.  I'd like to know my options.  :)

 

I've very seriously considered Dave's A14K, but I think the noise and current draws might be a bit much for my living room, sitting 6ft from the amp and running off a 20A circuit.  It's pretty much the toast of the town in its price class, from what I can tell from his specs and the info on customization.

 

As you all know, you'll only be able to draw wattage according to the mains outlet, a dedicated 20A = 2400W and a dedicated 30A = 3600 at 120 Volts, long term.

 

30A is brutal current for any amplifier I've ever tested... except one. B)  Transient requirements to the bottom of the signal chain is what matters with soundtrack reproduction (see Adam's thread re: HTTYD Red Death dragon crash scene, et al, measurements) during which we've measured 33+ amps peak draw from a dedicated 120V-30A home run.

 

I believe it's the secret to accurate playback, assuming the subwoofer at the end of the line can handle the input signal. Others' opinion may vary. C'est la vie.

 

In any case, this amplifier is badass in any book on the subject:

 

ca016227b3d2eeb2d53b21e68873f50d.png

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Just keep in mind that most of what we listen to is very transient in nature and really doesn't amount to anywhere near the average current that you may think. Breakers are rated to trip at a point that approximates an average current draw equal to their rating. They will pass many times their rating for brief periods. An average current draw of even 20A is a ton of power into your subs. If using a 30A 120v breaker, you will have to draw a huge amount of current in one brief peak or a very large amount long term to trip it. Also keep in mind that once breakers trip a few times they will become easier to trip over time. If you have a breaker that trips easily it may be worth replacing with a new one of the same value.

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