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mytilini

Featherweight amp head - advice much appreciated please!

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Hi - I'm seeking your help and suggestions for a lightweight-type amp head please.  I'm looking for something kicking out between 500-800 Watts continuous (R.M.S.) power rating at specifically 8 Ohms impedance. Just to drive any one  of my three cabs at a time; each of those is 8 Ohm and has a continuous power rating of between 350-400 Watts.  Small size light weight and portability is everything here - can you help?  Thanks.

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Eich T900 - that will do 600W at 8ohms - 1.7kg

Phil Jones BP800 - 400W at 8 ohms (not that you'd really notice the difference between that and 500W)

Darkglass MT900 v2 - 2.9kg

Darkglass Alpha Omega 900 - 2.9kg

Mark Bass Little Marcus 1000

 

 

Seriously - there's dozens of choices now. Do you have a weight limit in mind? Or a sound? The above list is tiny but they all sound very different.

Edited by fretmeister

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16 minutes ago, mytilini said:

Just to drive any one  of my three cabs at a time; each of those is 8 Ohm and has a continuous power rating of between 350-400 Watts.

Out of interest, what are the three cabs?

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Hi - they are (all about to be put For Sale too!):

Peavey 410 TX (350W.)

Ashdown ABM 410H & an unknown JBL "deep" cab fitted with an Eminence Kappa-15LFA.

P.S. - my mistake as the latter two are each 600 Watts continuous!  I've downsized to a TC Electronic BG250-210 for all my gigging work, but feel I should look at a light amp for the Peavey 410 TX, as a back up.  I put castors on that cab so it is more manageable.  I remember now I used to use a Cerwin-Vega CV-2800 to drive the Ashdown + JBL as a ridiculous 1200 Watt @ 4 Ohm stack.  Various tonal preamps used.  Am getting old, love the new technology and simply can't lift those big boxes any more LOL!

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28 minutes ago, mytilini said:

I've downsized to a TC Electronic BG250-210 for all my gigging work, but feel I should look at a light amp for the Peavey 410 TX, as a back up.  I put castors on that cab so it is more manageable. 

Perhaps I have misunderstood the situation - but why not get a second BG250-210 as a backup?  It will be about half the price of an 800W head, and (as I'm sure you know) it will weigh about half as much as the Peavey 410TX.

Or if you mean you occasionally need a louder setup - you could use both BG250s at the same time.

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There's an Ashdown 800 on ebay at the moment for £215 - not mine but I posted the details in the "Weird & Wonderful" thread. I used one in a local studio - very impressed.

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Eich T900 or Tecamp Puma 900 all day long. The Tecamp is just the earlier version of the Eich - they’re designed by the same guy.

The power to weight ratio is the best I’ve personally come across.

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I wouldn't recommend 600 watts RMS continuous through a Kappa 15LFA, not if you want a long service life. 

The "maximum rated power" for most manufacturers (including Eminence) is based on a 2 hour survival rate. My experience through testing of many drivers for calculating warranty exposure purposes suggests that a ~20% reduction minimum is necessary in order to increase this value to 200 hours. I typically use 25% unless testing shows otherwise.

Powering with 400-450 Watts (rms) is about ideal for that driver IME.

 

Edited by agedhorse
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4 hours ago, agedhorse said:

I wouldn't recommend 600 watts RMS continuous through a Kappa 15LFA, not if you want a long service life. 

The "maximum rated power" for most manufacturers (including Eminence) is based on a 2 hour survival rate. My experience through testing of many drivers for calculating warranty exposure purposes suggests that a ~20% reduction minimum is necessary in order to increase this value to 200 hours. I typically use 25% unless testing shows otherwise.

Powering with 400-450 Watts (rms) is about ideal for that driver IME.

 

Yes the power rating is a thermal rating 25% would be my maximum.

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AG700. Not truly featherweight, but very light/easily carried. 700 into 4 or 2 ohms. I think a true featherweight that puts out 500w+ into 8 ohms may not exist.

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1 hour ago, Dan Dare said:

AG700. Not truly featherweight, but very light/easily carried. 700 into 4 or 2 ohms. I think a true featherweight that puts out 500w+ into 8 ohms may not exist.

Not true, sorry.

 

The amps I can think of that are lightweight and push out 500w+ at 8 Ohms.

Trickfish 1k

Quilter Bass Block 800 ("only" 450w, but very robust power delivery)

Darkglass 900 watt heads (MT / Omega / Alpha Omega)

all Markbass 800w/1000w heads

Eich T900/T1000

Peavey Minimega

Numerous GK heads

 

 

I went with a Quilter BB800, because I only use it as a backup amp, and it fits nicely into my gig bag with all my cables etc.  When I have used it live, I've always been impressed how clear and loud it is.  Maybe not the most sophisticated sound in the world, but that's why I've got the Ampeg SVT-7 Pro.  It also delivers 600w at 8 ohms and sounds mega.  Somewhat heavier than the previously mentioned amps, but at 7kg it doesn't exactly break the back!

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Jazzjames said:

Not true, sorry.

I would assume "featherweight" to mean something the size of a TE Elf. Nothing like that puts out 500+ into 8 ohms to my knowledge. Sure, the ones you list will (if manufacturers' figures can be believed, of course), but they're not really featherweights.

You also need to ask for how long and at which frequencies an amp will deliver its claimed power output. Something that delivers 500w for 20 milliseconds at 1khz into a 2 ohm resistive load in a test lab' won't do the same at all frequencies into a reactive load like a speaker, so it says little about how well it will work in the 'real world'.

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21 hours ago, Jazzjames said:

Not true, sorry.

 

The amps I can think of that are lightweight and push out 500w+ at 8 Ohms.

Trickfish 1k

Quilter Bass Block 800 ("only" 450w, but very robust power delivery)

Darkglass 900 watt heads (MT / Omega / Alpha Omega)

all Markbass 800w/1000w heads

Eich T900/T1000

Peavey Minimega

Numerous GK heads

All fairly lightweight considering, wouldn't call any of those 'featherwieght', so yes, it is true.

 

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Alright, you got me.  But as a boxing fan, when I think of featherweight, I know there are 7 weight classes below featherweight...

But semantics aside, any bass amp that can go in the gig-bag is small enough for practical purposes.  I don't even notice the extra weight of the Quilter.  Whilst an Aguilar AG700 isn't heavy, it's for sure physically quite a bit larger than a lot of the heads I listed.

500 class D continuous/RMS/peak/lead-sled/tube watts have been debated to death...  Pick the one that sounds right to you.  I like the Quilter for the robust power delivery and the fact it doesn't get all shouty when pushed.  But then again, I still use my Ampeg SVt-7 Pro when big volume is required, as it has 'that' Ampeg sound.

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I do like the Quilter a lot. If I didn't have my AG700, I'd get one. I may still do so if one pops up used at a decent price.

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On 14/09/2020 at 19:14, Dan Dare said:

I do like the Quilter a lot. If I didn't have my AG700, I'd get one. I may still do so if one pops up used at a decent price.

I haven’t tried the Aguilar, but I know the old AG500 and had a TH500 for years. Nice gear. I would have bought the AG700 if it had a little more power at 8 ohms... My Greenboy F112 is pretty power hungry!

 

The Quilter is amazing for the size, and I think it has an amazing power delivery. Very clear and powerful.  Streets ahead of the TH500 in that regard.

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55 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

I reckon a Quilter plus F112 would be pretty spectacular.

It certainly gets the job done. The SVT-7 pro has even more punch and warmth though. Both sound great and I can happily gig with either.  The Ampeg has a smoothness to it, whereas the Quilter is more grainy. I like both and they serve different purposes for me. For flights the Quilter’s the amp coming with me in my carry-on.  But for the Ampeg has ultimately the more sophisticated sound.
 

I don’t shut up about the Quilter because the bang for your buck is just insane, even at the 2020 price!

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On 14/09/2020 at 18:14, Dan Dare said:

I do like the Quilter a lot. If I didn't have my AG700, I'd get one. I may still do so if one pops up used at a decent price.

I've been using an AG700 for 3 or so years now. Last year I bought a BB800 and tested them together. The AG700 came out ahead IMO.

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If you have a TC Electronic combo, and you like the sound, why not get a TC Electronic head for the Peavey cab? You'll get a similar sound from both setups that way, plus can use the same tone print settings. 😀

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On 16/09/2020 at 12:04, chris_b said:

I've been using an AG700 for 3 or so years now. Last year I bought a BB800 and tested them together. The AG700 came out ahead IMO.

Thanks. You may have just saved me some money 👍

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On 15/09/2020 at 20:31, Jazzjames said:

I haven’t tried the Aguilar, but I know the old AG500 and had a TH500 for years. Nice gear. I would have bought the AG700 if it had a little more power at 8 ohms... My Greenboy F112 is pretty power hungry!

 

The Quilter is amazing for the size, and I think it has an amazing power delivery. Very clear and powerful.  Streets ahead of the TH500 in that regard.

The power amps in the Quilter and TH500. The TH500 uses the ICEPower 250ASX2 module that outputs 500W into 8R. Slightly more  but 50W is neither here or there. Any difference you hear is likely due to the Pre-Amp implementation. 

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