#1
Hey there! I came across a great deal and ended up buying a cheap triple rectifier that i'll be trading for an axe FX.

Now i have a few questions regarding the power amps I should buy . The amp tech i took my triple rec to recommended me tube power amps all the way. Said they work harder, sit better in a live mix and really push your sound well.

And a lot of others who use the AXE fx or other digital processors seem to want solid state power amps that don't color your tone at all.

Can anyone give me any advice or tell me what i may need to know before buying a power amp ?

If the cab matters at all i play out of an omega 2x12 with eminence swamp thang/eminence wizard. Playing mostly metal on this setup.
#2
Quote by nor.omar.9
The amp tech i took my triple rec to recommended me tube power amps all the way. Said they work harder, sit better in a live mix and really push your sound well.
Your amp tech's a guitarist, and guitarists aren't qualified to give advice about PA matters.

As a general rule at least, and here it definitely applies.
Quote by nor.omar.9
Can anyone give me any advice or tell me what i may need to know before buying a power amp?
A tube PA power amp will not color your sound anyway.

Get a carvin TS100 if you want a tube amp or a yamy P2500S if you don't care.
If you get the P2500S though be careful not to turn up the thing too much or you'll fry stuff.

Also, a consideration - you may (if ya ask me you'd better) use the power amp for reharsals and practice only, and send the AXE out directly to the PA guy.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#3
Quote by nor.omar.9
Hey there! I came across a great deal and ended up buying a cheap triple rectifier that i'll be trading for an axe FX.

Now i have a few questions regarding the power amps I should buy . The amp tech i took my triple rec to recommended me tube power amps all the way. Said they work harder, sit better in a live mix and really push your sound well.


this is not very good advice.

i don't think there is anything wrong with a tube power section, i just don't think it'll do everything this guy is claiming. you'll have to push that tube power amp into high-volume/distortion ranges to get it to 'color' the sound anyway. if you are running it anywhere below it's rated output then it'll sound pretty much just like a solid state power amp.

beyond that, axeFX should emulate a tube power section anyway, so you really won't need a tube power amp anyway.

imo you can get something lighter, more powerful, runs cooler and requires less upkeep that will be every bit as good as tube power section.

Quote by nor.omar.9
And a lot of others who use the AXE fx or other digital processors seem to want solid state power amps that don't color your tone at all.


power amps pretty much are not supposed to color your tone at all, and most will sound pretty similar until they start distorting.

Quote by nor.omar.9
Can anyone give me any advice or tell me what i may need to know before buying a power amp ?


find the power handling rating of your cab and the cab's impedance, find an amp that has about as much output at the impedance of your cab. for example, if you cab is 8 ohms and handles 150 watts then you want a power amp that output about 150 watts at 8 ohms. you can get a bigger one of course, but you won't need anymore than that.

so if you are going to choose between a model that provides 1000 watts at 8 ohms and another that is cheaper and provides 500 watts at 8 ohms then you'll only need the 500 watt one.

also, be careful if you do buy a powerf power amp with a higher output than the cab's power handling then don't drive the cab too hard. you could easily fry your voice coils in your speakers.

Quote by nor.omar.9
If the cab matters at all i play out of an omega 2x12 with eminence swamp thang/eminence wizard. Playing mostly metal on this setup.


you have the option of getting a 'flat response'/PA style speaker cab and you the speaker emulation of the axeFX.

in fact, you could just go with a powered monitor or a pair of them. that way you wouldn't have to worry about matching a amp to the cab and you'd have a personal monitor for when you play live.

Quote by Spambot_2
Your amp tech's a guitarist, and guitarists aren't qualified to give advice about PA matters.


i don't really agree with that at all, there are plenty of guitarists that know there way around a PA system (in fact there is one dude around here that will try to convince you a good PA setup is better than a traditional guitar setup every time he gives advice).

though when someone does get advice from a guitarist about PA gear then you should probe into what he actually knows, else you take advice like: "tube amps... work harder, sit better in a live mix and really push your sound well."

i think this dude did right. got some advice and asked other guitarists what they think. I wouldn't ask PA/sound guys how amplify my guitar, that is for sure.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#4
Thing with small transistor power amps, is that they are usually not made for PA stuff.
Say the rocktron amps, these are marketed as power amps for guitarists and they really aren't good power amps considering how much they cost if ya ask me.

So, if you go for a SS amp, I'd much rather go with something made from somebody who makes PA stuff instead of guitar stuff.

Or if you're on the cheaper, you may as well refrain from PA amps and find yourself a ncie class A or A/B monoblock...
Quote by gumbilicious
i don't really agree with that at all, there are plenty of guitarists that know there way around a PA system
I really yet have to find a real guitarist, who prides himself in being a guitarist, that knows his way around PA stuff.

Last one I've worked with for a week, I told him during a reharsal, it's no big deal if you turn up your amp's volume here, though don't touch any volume knob during any gig after it's been set up.

Guess what he did 20 minutes after the start of the first gig we did?
Quote by gumbilicious
(in fact there is one dude around here that will try to convince you a good PA setup is better than a traditional guitar setup every time he gives advice).
dspellman seems more of a sound tech than a guitarist to me.
And he definitely has some points most of the times.
Quote by gumbilicious
i think this dude did right. got some advice and asked other guitarists what they think.
Definitely the right thing to do, I was talking referring to the tech.
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.
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#5
That triple rectifier power section might do well as power 😁

Honestly though, kudos to the guy that is trading out the Axe fx, he's already recognized that he needs tube to get a good sound.

If you do the trade, I also recommend tube, as it seems to color and add a touch of non linearity to an otherwise stale digital delivery. I'd second the Carvin suggestion, Mesa 2:90 or 2:50
http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_Info/Stereo_Power/Simul_2_Ninety/simul_2_ninety.html

Marshall EL34
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/marshall-el34-100-100-dual-monobloc-amp

Engl: http://medias.audiofanzine.com/images/normal/engl-e840-50-tube-poweramp-128828.jpg

Peavey 50:50 classic is also popular used. Bogner also used to make one so if you can find it used.

During my search for links I also came upon these guys, which might be worth looking into:
http://silverbladeaudio.com/sb_100_guitar_amplifier.html
#6
Quote by diabolical
Honestly though, kudos to the guy that is trading out the Axe fx, he's already recognized that he needs tube to get a good sound.


No wait, were you being serious?
Quote by diabolical
I also recommend tube, as it seems to color and add a touch of non linearity to an otherwise stale digital delivery.
This also is one of those cases in which the rule in my first post applies.

A tube power amp won't make an AXE sound like a JTM45.
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
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#8
^ it seems to me that TS has already decided to trade the heavy, bulky, tube-like-sounding thing for the small, convenient, digital unit.

That considered, my point is that if he thought the AXE didn't sound enough tube-like for him, whatever that means for him, why would have he gone for the AXE in the first place?
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.
#9
Ok forgive me if I'm not understanding, but everyone is making it sound like I can just get away with any cheap power amp that won't distort. Like I can get away with a $150 crown power amp or something. So what makes some power amps so expensive other than wattage?
#10
Also I wouldn't mind sending the axe fx out to the PA in venues where everyone is being mic'd up, but if we're all playing out of our cabs I'd rather not send my axe fx to the PA system
#11
Some power amps do sound better than others.
Cheap class D amps for example are usually less than average sounding.

With PA stuff though it's brand, power and efficiency.
Nothing of that size is designed to sound stellar.
On the other hand having a class H 7k2w power amp sucking no more than 7k5w from the power supply is something important when you're dealing with big quantities of these.

I highly recommend never to play a gig in which any of the non mic'd up guitarists have anything less than a stereo setup and a good sound guy.

Even if you are three and each one of you uses a big 4x12, the audience will get a fairly bad mix as a result, greatly varying in relation to their position.
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.
#12
The price is depending on the components. Class D is not so good like already mentioned.

Let me guess, you're most likely getting the Axe-Fx to do djent, so why don't you lookup the artists you're after and see what they use?
#13
Quote by nor.omar.9
Hey there! I came across a great deal and ended up buying a cheap triple rectifier that i'll be trading for an axe FX.

Now i have a few questions regarding the power amps I should buy . The amp tech i took my triple rec to recommended me tube power amps all the way. Said they work harder, sit better in a live mix and really push your sound well.

And a lot of others who use the AXE fx or other digital processors seem to want solid state power amps that don't color your tone at all.
If the cab matters at all i play out of an omega 2x12 with eminence swamp thang/eminence wizard. Playing mostly metal on this setup.


Several things.

Tube power amps really won't "work harder, sit better in a live mix" or "really push your sound well." Horse crap. Fairy dust and unicorn farts.

I've used, variously, Marshall tube power amps, Mesa tube power amps and a Carvin TS-100 tube power amp (still have it), as well as Atomic Reactor (three of them) tube power amps in speaker cabinets specifically designed (it says here) for modelers. The Marshall and Mesa are legacy items from when I used a Triaxis and Quad-X (tube preamps) as part of the rig.

I'm currently using a 9 lb Carvin HD1500 (well, and a DCM1540L as backup) that doesn't color the tone.

If you're spending $2400 (plus what, $750 for the MIDI foot pedal?) for a new Axe-FX II designed to allow you to tweak your tone right down to the dwarf's toe, why would you want a tube amp (fragile, heavy, limited on power) to add its opinion? I have an Axe-FX Ultra (and a bunch of Pods), if it matters.

And yes, the cab matters. If you're going to get the most out of an Axe-FX, get rid of it. If you're buying that expensive Axe, why use a guitar cabinet that's going to add its own opinion about what you should sound like? Ideally, you want something that will have a full-range flat response extended range. A guitar speaker goes away below 110Hz and above 4000Hz. That doesn't even cover the sounds that a standard 6-string is capable of (your low E string is 82Hz).

There are a LOT of wide-range speaker systems out there that cover a lot more ground than a 2x12 guitar cab and that handle the amount of power required to actually output that full range. I use a three-way cabinet that will handle 900W, and that has a 15" LF driver, a 6" mids driver and a 1" tweeter. It also weighs just under 50 lbs.

The Axe-FX people will recommend that you look at the CLR from Atomic Reactor creator Atomic Amps. But there are tons of options.
#14
^ to a point, I agree.

I though don't see using a guitar cab as a hell of a limitation.
You're gonna emulate one anyway, and using an actual one will not allow you to get a hell of a high volume 'cause guitar speakers aren't meant to handle that much power, but the sound will be about the same as an emulation if not better.

If on the other hand you don't wanna sound like you're playing through a real guitar cab TS, then find some funny settings on the axe cab emulation part.
Quote by diabolical
The price is depending on the components.
Very hardly.
Components there don't cost much, a lot more money goes in design, which is the reason why bigger power amps from the same series don't cost much more than the smaller ones.
Quote by diabolical
Class D is not so good like already mentioned.
No wait, I said cheap class D amps are not good, and that's because you can find class D amps much cheaper than class A/B ones.

Good class D amps are better than class A/B amps for PA applications.

No they aren't digital, if that's the concern.
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
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Last edited by Spambot_2 at Dec 4, 2014,
#15
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun06/articles/loudandlight.htm

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class-d_amplifier

There's an extra filter so not sure if you'll like what it does to the sound, but read up on it.
The reason the expensive amps are heavy is usually the transformer.
#16
So can you guys recommend any power amps for me? I really can't tell which are better unless I hear demos. Matrix seems to be the safe bet. I'd rather not spend another 600 if I don't have to though. Also the isp stealth seems pretty cool and is half of the price. But feel free to throw away recommendations at me
#18
Quote by Spambot_2


I though don't see using a guitar cab as a hell of a limitation.
You're gonna emulate one anyway, and using an actual one will not allow you to get a hell of a high volume 'cause guitar speakers aren't meant to handle that much power, but the sound will be about the same as an emulation if not better.


I've gone through this -- used most of my guitar cabs at one time or another early on in the modeling trials.

Here's the thing. You have, say, twenty or thirty different cab emulations to choose from on most modelers. And you have the ability to tweak them. And you have the ability (on some units) to produce an IR of a particular real cabinet that you like the sound of.

Or you can limit yourself to just one cabinet (that 2x12) and push a third of why you paid the big bucks for that Axe away.

Why would you NOT want to do that?

I have (for example) a huge 1971 closed-back ported cabinet with a pair of 15" Altec Lansing 418-8A's and a horn for mids/highs. It's a guitar cabinet, but from *before* manufacturers began to standardize everything and from *before* guitar players became unquestioning sheep and assumed that a 2x12 or a 4x12 was as good as it got.

That cabinet will go higher *and* lower than your average 2x12, and by a lot. With its 275W amp head, it provides bottom end definition and punch and high end sparkle and clarity that no 4x12 or 2x12 can come close to. But at 4' tall, 2.5' wide and at least a foot deep with some serious weight, it's not a unit you can toss into the back seat of a Honda Civic, and it's not something you want to one-hand up some stairs into a gig for a 45 minute set. So I have an IR for it that lives in my Two-Note Torpedo C.A.B. (this is a footpedal version of electronics that Two-Note normally uses in rack mounts).

Unfortunately, that IR will never reproduce through a 2x12 guitar cabinet because that 2x12 can't go as high or as low as the original cabinet. In this case, it's a "hell of a limitation."

But if I run it through the PA or out through a cabinet (google a fEARful 15/6/1) that WILL reproduce it faithfully, then I'm packin'.
#19
Quote by nor.omar.9
So can you guys recommend any power amps for me? I really can't tell which are better unless I hear demos. Matrix seems to be the safe bet. I'd rather not spend another 600 if I don't have to though. Also the isp stealth seems pretty cool and is half of the price. But feel free to throw away recommendations at me


You're spending too much time on the Axe forum.

And if you have a good-performing power amp, you're not going to hear anything other than what your preamp is putting out, so a demo (particularly some YouTube thing) isn't going tell you anything at all about which is "better." Are you clear on the concept of a power amp?

I'm using, for example, a Carvin HD1500. It weighs 9 lbs, costs $299 (or thereabouts) and will put out a wide range of power depending on how you hook it up and what you hook it up to. You can run it in stereo, hook up your 2x12 to one side of it and it will produce a max power output of 210W RMS. Trust me, you're not going to blow out your 2x12 with a pair of 60W rated speakers with 210W (or you might, if you're incredibly stupid).

Run it bridged, mono, and it will put out 800W RMS into an 8 ohm load. I happen to be using a fEARful 15/6/1 a lot, and that's an 8 ohm cabinet that will handle up to 900W and reproduce anything from around 40Hz to 18Khz, pretty much flat, and it weighs less than your 2x12.

Run it bridged, mono, and it will put out about 1400W RMS into a 4 ohm load. Such as a pair of those same fEARfuls.

The ISP Stealth is a cute little pedalboard amp, but doesn't make sense (to me) when paired with an Axe. I usually try to keep expensive electronics (the Axe or any rack-mount piece) in the backline. If you have a rackmount power amp back there with it (and a wireless, if you have one), then usually the only thing you have out front in the line of fire is your foot controller. The one I use has just an ethernet cable running from the backline to the front of stage, nothing else.

This eliminates a whole lot of random AC power cables, etc. out front, as well as expensive guitar and speaker cables running back and forth across the stage. If you also have a power distribution unit (Furman, Carvin, etc.) in the rack, you have everything in one spot and can turn on everything with a single switch (the Carvin turns on each unit sequentially with a programmable amount of delay, to avoid surges). Setting up and tearing down quickly is a lot easier if there's one spot for most cables, and if most power cables are already plugged in.

If this is just a bedroom or recording activity, then of course it doesn't matter.

The Matrix and the ISP Stealth are just overpriced, but their limited output makes them seem comfortably safe to some guitar players who have no experience with power amps. It's your money.
Last edited by dspellman at Dec 5, 2014,
#20
Quote by diabolical
The price is depending on the components. Class D is not so good like already mentioned.

Let me guess, you're most likely getting the Axe-Fx to do djent, so why don't you lookup the artists you're after and see what they use?


Class D is just fine.

CHEAP Class D can be a bit iffy, but none of the recommendations I've seen on this thread have been those. I've also got a Class A/B that I've been running the legs off for years, and it's excellent as well, but heavier.

An Axe-FX can certainly be set up for djent, but most of the people I know who buy them are after versatility, portability and repeatability.

Last edited by dspellman at Dec 5, 2014,
#21
What this guy up here said.

Apart from axe's not usually set up for djent.
I mean they have kemper's for versatility and sound quality, and among the famous users, two thirds or more use it for djent.

@ Diabolical: I was talking about money, not weight.
Also the filter there is just taming hella high peaks produced by the non instant switching, it's not gonna work nor sound like a low pass filter you would apply with a proper EQ when, say, mixing.
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
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#22
Quote by dspellman




TS. The Carvins are good value for money. If you are using an AxeFX you really want as close to FRFR as you can get. The Carvins are very flat.
Personally I wouldn't use an AxeFX outside of a studio. If you want versatility on a stage I'd rather do what I have done - Randall RM100 and lots of expensive preamp modules. But that's just me. My experience of modelers at gigs has been less than stellar. It is possible that I've never come across anybody that actually knows how to drive them though.
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#23
Quote by Spambot_2
Apart from axe's not usually set up for djent.
I mean they have kemper's for versatility and sound quality, and among the famous users, two thirds or more use it for djent.

Simply not true; look at their artist list: http://www.fractalaudio.com/artists.php

Sure, a number of the non-metal players are using it for effects alone, but there are enough backers behind it to prove it's not just for the "dj" word.
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#24
I stand corrected.

Though, the majority of the people not using it for djent use it for the convenience of not having to carry around and work with bulky and heavy amps.
They use it 'cause it's easier, but I'm guessing they'd rather have the real thing.

On the contrary, people who djent use it 'cause it has the sound for them.

YMMV though.
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
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