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Do all class D heads really lose their thud at volume?

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1 hour ago, Mudpup said:

Can you get a class D head that uses a Powersoft module? The OP is going to be restricted by what is currently available in head format. 

Nope - but the market is driven a lot around the B&O module. Small, affordable - enables for teeny tiny, lightweight - but oh so powerful heads... and that means that any amp that uses that module, is likely to exhibit similar behaviours. It's just whether you are willing to take that compromise. But the compromises are more about the module choice rather than the technology choice.

Edited by EBS_freak

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3 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Nope - but the market is driven a lot around the B&O module. Small, affordable - enables for teeny tiny, lightweight - but oh so powerful heads... and that means that any amp that uses that module, is likely to exhibit similar behaviours. It's just whether you are willing to take that compromise. But the compromises are more about the module choice rather than the technology choice.

Hence my comment earlier re: Gamechanger. The car radio amps aren’t doing it for me.

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10 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

Hence my comment earlier re: Gamechanger. The car radio amps aren’t doing it for me.

One of the biggest problems is that the ICE system is great with programme music that has been through the studio, mixed and mastered - and had all the transients associated with live music taken out.

It's why testing a PA with CD isn't really a representative test of how your band is going to sound. Similarly, that 12 inch sub you are potentially eyeing up may bring a lot to the table with CD playback... but goes into fart city when you try and put a live band through it (with no processing on the desk either) 

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On 13/09/2020 at 12:58, Mudpup said:

Class D amps i have tried in loud band scenarios and subsequently sold on mainly because i felt they lost the whoomph when pushed - 

...
Genzler Magellan 800 (800w) (much better than the previous 3 though - maybe because of newer power module design?)
 

Interesting. I have the Magellan 800 and have gigged it many times and never found it lacked anything. Most of my gigs are pub & club type so they're loud but not deafening. I only played one gig where I really had to push it, a large hall for a wedding in a room that just seemed to absorb the bass frequencies, but the louder the Magellan went the bigger and fatter it sounded. I favour a flat-ish bass sound with no major cuts or boosts across the frequency range. The lows are big and deep without being subby or booming, the mids thick and the highs defined without getting brittle. My cab is a Tecamp M212, a 600 watt neo 2x12 cab which will throw out what you put into it. I don't use any effects either, other than some multi-band compression. They're just a great match and I can't see any reason to change this rig. But obviously what works for me doesn't work for everyone. 

For balance, by far the biggest turd of an amp I have ever used was the Trace Elliot SMX. I think they're class A/B or whatever, I don't know nor do I particularly care other than to avoid another one like it at all costs. To say it was gutless would be a compliment. It was a one trick pony, but that pony had been sent to the knackers yard decades before. I bought one new in the early 90's a 1x15 combo with the matching 1x15 cab. At the time I was still relatively new to bass and the Trace was the rig to be seem with. As I matured and began to understand what I wanted from an amp I came to realise that the Trace could not deliver it. It was all highs and nothing else. With a 12 band EQ, a valve pre, and a million other bells and whistles you'd have thought you would have just about every sound you ever wanted, but no, it just wanted to make me sound like Mark King using some 15 year old kids mobile as backline. It was just a thin clank. No depth, no mids, just a a ton of treble. A breath takingly awful amp. They seemed to be the holy grail of  bass amps for a lot of folks. Ah well, each to their own. 

Just a thought @alexa3020 how do you have your current amp EQ'd? Are you scooping all the mids out? If you are, I suspect this may be part of your problem. I see and hear a lot of guys scooping the mids out, and yes, it does sound good. But quite often, depending on what other instruments you are playing with, the frequencies you are cutting are the ones that you need for the bass to fit into the mix. Yes, the bass sound isn't as sexy as with a big scoop, but the bass works better in the mix with those mids present. 

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Whenever this topic comes up, I read it with interest but in a detached sort of way.

I invariably find myself thinking, "These guys must play some bloody LOUD gigs".

I appreciate that there's much more to gig-life than the pubs and social clubs that I play, but I'm also aware that at the really big gigs all that backline is essentially there for personal monitoring ... the real action is the great stacks of Powersoft S/S amps driving the house PA.

I continue to struggle (and I don't doubt that it's a failure of imagination on my part) to understand how any modern Class D head can't deliver what's needed. I have an utterly beautiful Matamp valve amp in perfect working order sitting on a shelving unit in my studio. It's been sitting there for several years because I can't bring myself to sell it, and I keep telling myself that one day I'll find a gig that will really benefit from me carrying an enormous and heavy lump of amplifier rather than a 4lb Class D head.

I'll be sure to tell you all if it ever happens.

 

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I used to scoop the mids when I was using my Hartke ha5500, until I realised the effect it was having in the mix. Now I have my mids boosted a little.

The purpose of this thread was not me saying class d heads are rubbish - I honestly don’t know. I’m just doing my research before making a purchase.

ultimately, it could be that I just don’t like the tc head. From the sounds of it a lot of people are more than happy with class D so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be if I get the right head.

That said, I’m now thinking a lot about an ABM.

many thanks to everyone who participated.

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In regard to the TC, I suspect it's not the power amp that is the question - more the sum total and that weird compression thing they implemented.

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2 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

In regard to the TC, I suspect it's not the power amp that is the question - more the sum total and that weird compression thing they implemented.

I am starting to wonder if that’s the case, as I’ve said a few times, the notes sound like they sustain for too long, meaning you lose some dynamics.

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Bingo. It's about hitting those hard transients... and the amp reacting appropriately.

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4 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

Nope - but the market is driven a lot around the B&O module. Small, affordable - enables for teeny tiny, lightweight - but oh so powerful heads... and that means that any amp that uses that module, is likely to exhibit similar behaviours. It's just whether you are willing to take that compromise. But the compromises are more about the module choice rather than the technology choice.

B&O sold out their share in ICEPower in 2016, FWIW.

Beyond that, popcorn. The market has voted and most people apparently actually prefer the new direction, for sound quality as well as convenience. Plenty of old gear around for those who prefer that play feel, and that gear is getting cheaper all the time IME.

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18 minutes ago, Passinwind said:

B&O sold out their share in ICEPower in 2016, FWIW.

Beyond that, popcorn. The market has voted and most people apparently actually prefer the new direction, for sound quality as well as convenience. Plenty of old gear around for those who prefer that play feel, and that gear is getting cheaper all the time IME.

Ah I did know that actually! I just still refer to it as the B&O module I guess.

Oh totally - the small form factor has done wonders for the industry. Any perception in losses is offset against the convenience for sure. I'm also most people would be none the wiser to the sound as I'm convinced most people see with their eyes anyway.

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28 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Ah I did know that actually! I just still refer to it as the B&O module I guess.

Oh totally - the small form factor has done wonders for the industry. Any perception in losses is offset against the convenience for sure. I'm also most people would be none the wiser to the sound as I'm convinced most people see with their eyes anyway.

FWIW, several years ago I built a rack mounted Class D amp as a DIY project and took it down to the local ace repair shop to try out an EUB they had for sale. The owner was quite convinced it was a tube amp, which I found hilarious -- it surely must have been down to the visual cues. I'd put money on the tube one I'm doing right now being able to pass for a modern solid state build in an unsighted test right now too, although I'm probably going to take it in a more traditional direction since that was my raison d'etre for doing this build in the first place.

But as I've said many times, play feel is quite another thing and I always looked at that as a very important aspect of my tech work when I was still doing that for my livelihood. Arguing with people about what they feel seems like a real fool's errand to me. 😎

Edited by Passinwind
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4 minutes ago, Passinwind said:

FWIW, several years ago I built a rack mounted Class D amp as a DIY project and took it down to the local ace repair shop to try out an EUB they had for sale. The owner was quite convinced it was a tube amp, which I found hilarious -- it surely must have been down to the visual cues. I'd put money on the tube one I'm doing right now being able to pass for a modern solid state build in an unsighted test right now too, although I'm probably going to take it in a more traditional direction since that was my raison d'etre for doing this build in the first place.

But as I've said many times, play feel is quite another thing and I always looked at that as a very important aspect of my tech work when I was still doing that for my livelihood. Arguing with people about what they feel seems like a real fool's errand to me. 😎

It's like all those pedals that illuminate a tube but the audio path doesn't actually pass through it. Quite hilarious - when you find forum posts where people are swapping out the tube and commenting on the subsequent tone changes. I love it.

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7 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

It's like all those pedals that illuminate a tube but the audio path doesn't actually pass through it.

Now I need to know which pedals those are!

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Many low voltage effects pedals that use a tube use it in cold cathode format which means there is no glow from the valve. As any fool knows, the sound of a valve that doesn't have an orange glow is nowhere near as nice as the sound of a valve that has an orange glow, so they tend to put an orange LED underneath it to make the sound right :D

 

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3 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

Whenever this topic comes up, I read it with interest but in a detached sort of way.

I invariably find myself thinking, "These guys must play some bloody LOUD gigs".

I appreciate that there's much more to gig-life than the pubs and social clubs that I play, but I'm also aware that at the really big gigs all that backline is essentially there for personal monitoring ... the real action is the great stacks of Powersoft S/S amps driving the house PA.

I continue to struggle (and I don't doubt that it's a failure of imagination on my part) to understand how any modern Class D head can't deliver what's needed. I have an utterly beautiful Matamp valve amp in perfect working order sitting on a shelving unit in my studio. It's been sitting there for several years because I can't bring myself to sell it, and I keep telling myself that one day I'll find a gig that will really benefit from me carrying an enormous and heavy lump of amplifier rather than a 4lb Class D head.

I'll be sure to tell you all if it ever happens.

 

I get where you’re coming from Jack, and to be honest even on the big stages where you’re 25 odd feet away from your amp a Class D amp will - in my experience - be loud enough, it’s just that A/B or valve amps just seem to have a greater solidity & presence to the sound. Of course if you know you can get good sound checks then monitoring will cover hearing yourself but all too often it’s line checks, and one of my pet peeves is bands continually going “I want this upped/lowered in the monitors” between each song. So on a big stage knowing your amp will have a depth and presence is a bit of reassurance. And to be honest, I preferred having the sound of a good amp behind me and no bass in my monitors anyway. Ah, those were the days.

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IME the bigger the venue, the less relevant the backline (IME).

It's the clubs and bars where this is especially important to me. I want that tactile feedback.

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Just a quick question which I’m sure you guys will be able to answer quickly and loosely relates to this thread.

I’m gonna test my bf cab 210s with the Abm 1200 head at rehearsal. I’m ok to run that cab and head together if I set the cab to 12ohms right? It’s a 500w cab

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Should be fine, I’d expect the ABM to put out around 600-800 at 8ohms so connected to a 12ohm cab I wouldn’t expect it to overpower it - as with anything though, don’t boost low-end too much and use your ears to determine if the cab struggles.

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4 hours ago, wateroftyne said:

IME the bigger the venue, the less relevant the backline (IME).

It's the clubs and bars where this is especially important to me. I want that tactile feedback.

Agreed, the bigger the stage, the less important the rig.

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20 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

Most of this comes down to one commonly used, particular model of power amp.

Go use some Powersoft amps and then state that class D is lacking.

You are probably refering to ICEPower and if so that is an unfair jibe. The real problem is manufacturers overstating the power output of various ICEPower modules.

 

 

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I'd say the amp is only half the story in a rig providing what we're looking for (and that can be many different things), some amps work better with some cabs, and vice versa. I've had a lot of amps and cabs (probably 20 amps, and maybe a dozen cabs), and settled on what I like. I loved the Magellan through three Berg 112s, but they totalled 96lbs, which wasn't practical for me, and I've ended up with very efficient, light cabs (BF, and I've had a few of those, too), and I've also ended up with a Walkabout, because I like the sound it makes. As far as volume is concerned, again, the cabs are a huge part of that; the Walkabout's nominally 300w (possibly 400 into 2.67 ohms), and through one or two BF cabs it's deafeningly loud - I used it in an ear-bleedingly loud (yes, I have ACS earplugs) rock band (2 x 100w Marshall 412 guitarists) into one 4 ohm BF cab (a Super Twin), and it never broke a sweat. When we played bigger clubs, I took two cabs along, but it was just overkill, because the PA did all the heavy lifting anyway. It looked good, though...

FWIW, I've had Class ABs that I thought didn't thud properly at high volumes, and Class Ds, too (oddly, the Tonehammer 500 I thought was really anaemic, though it's a very popular amp), but then again I've used in-ears which didn't half thud, and they're tiiiiny... 😁

And of course the steel-spined valve amp chaps are rolling their eyes at this hair-splitting between AB and D, because of course nothing beats tubes... 😉

Edited by Muzz

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3 minutes ago, Muzz said:

And of course the steel-spined valve amp chaps are rolling their eyes at this hair-splitting between AB and D, because of course nothing beats tubes... 😉

Depends if the tubes are working as class a or class b.

Tricky to do a class d valve, but not impossible

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