#1
Ok, the title is very self-explanatory. What power amp to go with the PSA 1.1? Some people say tube, others say solid-state, as the preamp itself already compresses the signal a great deal. One thing to have in mind: i need CLEAN HEADROOM. The other guitarist uses a Mesa that screams like a mudafocah, so I'll have to keep up with the monster!

I play in a heavy metal band. Serious heavy distortion with plenty of power and definition is the aim here.

Opinions are most welcome!
#3
[Wall of Text Warning]

I have three power amps, all Carvins (probably not quite as accessible to the EU types, but the brand isn't as relevant as the specs).

One is the Carvin TS-100, an all-tube stereo (50W/50W) EL34 or 6L6 (you can use either) power amp that can be bridged to 100W mono. Outstanding specs and the 100W rating is at a very low THD rating (much lower than most guitar amps). $599, two rack spaces, 25 pounds.

Another is my older Carvin DCM1540L. 1500W stereo solid state Class A/B amp, can be run bridged, mono, at 1500W@8ohms. $429, two rack spaces, 14 pounds.

Another is the Carvin HD1500. Nominally, it's also a 1500W stereo solid state Class D amp that can be run bridged, mono. Here's where it gets tricky. This amp, run bridged/mono at 8 ohms, puts out about 800W (compare that to the DCM1540L). Run bridged/mono at 4 ohms, it puts out 1400W. $299, two rack spaces, 9 lbs.

I used to run a pair of 2x12s (with a piezo tweeter that could be shelved), each cabinet with a pair of Eminence Delta ProA speakers. Each speaker will handle up to 400W, so each cabinet could handle 800W of power. Two 16 ohm speakers wired in series, 8 ohm cabinet.

My current speakers are fEARless F115s and fEARful 15/6/1. A pair of each, though I never use more than a pair. Each cabinet has an Eminence Kappalite 3015LF (15" pro audio woofer), a 6" mids driver and a 1" tweeter with wave guide. They're extremely wide range (great, extremely powerful bass cabs, but flat response right up through 18Khz, which makes them usable as PA cabs or monitors) and have great power handling (800-900W). I use them for bass, keys and modeled guitar. They're 8 ohm cabinets, so the HD1500 will provide a single cabinet with a solid 800W (in most cases, one's all I need). If I take two cabinets, the impedance drops to 4 ohms, and now the HD1500 is supplying 1400W (700w each) in a bridged, mono configuration.

Here's where you have to understand the specs on a power amp. In stereo mode, the HD1500 will only put out 210W to each 8 ohm cabinet. It would put out 400W per cabinet if each was a 4 ohm cabinet. And it will actually handle 2 ohm cabinets and push 700W to each of them.

The DCM 1540L is still a nominal 1500W power amp, mind you, but it's a different animal. In stereo mode, it will push out 425W to each 8 ohm speaker cab, and 750W to each 4 ohm speaker cab.

The short of it is, you start with the cabinets you're going to be running, and then go backwards to determine what kind of power amp you're going to want. The Sansamp is immaterial.

Note that you're unlikely to blow out your speaker cabinets even if there's a mismatch in the amount of power your speaker cabinet is rated at compared to the power amp. Guitar doesn't represent continuous music input; it's generally got a lot more transient nature. You're unlikely to warp voice coils.
Last edited by dspellman at May 15, 2014,
#4
I see. Well I just made a new thread talking precisely about my cab

It's a Marshall 1960 with two Celestion V30s and two Eminence Swamp Thangs. Maybe you could help me with something. I'll copy/paste the other thread:

"Here's the deal: I bought a Marshall 1960, which usually can be set to 8ohms mono or 4/16 ohms stereo (correct me if I'm wrong). The thing is: the guy who sold me had swapped the T75s (16 ohms each) for 8 ohms V30s. Now the cab can only be run on 8 ohms mono while on stereo mode is 2 ohms.
Here's the problem now - I am about to build a rack system to play live with my band, but as you guys know, most tube power amps are better suited for stereo operation. It'd be folly to spend hundreds of dollars on a tube power amp and then use only one channel.

The question: is there any way to set my cab's wiring so that I could, with four 8 ohms speakers, have a 4, 8 or 16 ohms impedance in stereo mode? If not, I'll probably buy a Velocity 300 or a Matrix GT800FX to pair with my SansAmp PSA 1.1, sice those can be bridged... But I think I want a tube power amp... but not with a 2 ohms cabinet"


The TS-100 would be a perfect fit in my rig, but it's a little out of my budget... And unfortunately I could never buy one from America, as your electrical system runs on 120 volts and we europeans have 230 volts...
#5
The only tube power amps of that kind I can think of are made for guitar applications, and the only not that much overpriced one I can think of is the Carvin TS100.

If you don't have the money to get that, I'd go for a yamaha P2500S or an XP2500.
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#6
Quote by Kivenkantaja


The TS-100 would be a perfect fit in my rig, but it's a little out of my budget... And unfortunately I could never buy one from America, as your electrical system runs on 120 volts and we europeans have 230 volts...


Can't help with the budget, but Carvin has an international outlet and several Uk dealers, so the power requirements aren't a concern. (Even if they were, that's what transformers were made for...)

http://www.carvinworld.com/products/ts100

Might be worth it to save up a bit if it's exactly what you want, no?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#7
Yeah, the Carvin looks pretty sweet, but it's a bit out of budget... and I've no job at the moment. Things around here are ugly, it's not easy to get a job, and almost impossible to get a decent one.

Do you think a Velocity 300 might do the trick? Will it have the needed headroom?
#8
Quote by Kivenkantaja
Yeah, the Carvin looks pretty sweet, but it's a bit out of budget... and I've no job at the moment. Things around here are ugly, it's not easy to get a job, and almost impossible to get a decent one.

Do you think a Velocity 300 might do the trick? Will it have the needed headroom?



I have no experience with them, and this is probably dspellman's ballpark more than mine anyway. I'm sure he'll be along shortly and although we disagree about certain aspects of gigging gear, he's quite knowledgeable about decent solid state gear.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#9
Yeah it would, but I'm not fond of rocktron stuff.
For that money, if you don't wanna wait and save up for a TS100, I'd rather get a yamaha P2500S.
Thomann has them for €13 more new, and €41 less it you go for a unit that was returned.

Any will most likely have enough headroom, and with that cab even 300w will be more than the nominal max RMS power the speakers can handle, but again, I'm not fond of rocktron's stuff and the P2500S is hella bigger - 300w vs 620w mono @ 8ohm, and I can't find anything suggesting that the velocity can work with a 2ohm load.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#10
The cab is 8 ohms mono, and the Velocity works with that load on bridge mode, delivering full 300 watts. About those Yamaha, I don't know... it's kinda strange having a PA amplifier in a guitar rig :P but I'll check it out! That Carvin really looks cool... Maybe I can find one cheaper than usual, but here in Europe amps made in the US tend to retain a rather high value...