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Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 261
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 1:19 am:   Edit Post

Hey everyone,

For years I've been a happy Ashdown user as my main amp.
Lately I've been considering the preamp, poweramp method. I would love a McIntosh, but can't afford the cost, monetary or physical. Do any of you have thoughts on a good, reliable, reasonably priced, not huge poweramp?
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4226
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 1:57 am:   Edit Post

I used a Mesa boogie walkabout for a few years but after reading a lot on here of the benefits of a pre/poweramp setup I bought myself a used QSC PLX2402 and use it with an Alembic F1-x and it is a superb combination that a number of members here also use.

I think the QSC is a pretty flat in terms of it's frequency response which to me gives me more scope for getting my own sound rather than competing with the voiced sound of an amp head. Plus the headroom in there gives me a really thick clean articulate sound.

Only downside for me is the weight of it in a rack with the pre-amps is no joke.
I've been checking out Class D power amplifiers on-line lately as I want a lightweight pre/power amp setup as a backup. So you might want to check those out as they are apparently very good.


(Message edited by jazzyvee on September 17, 2014)
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 262
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 2:27 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the response Jazzyvee.

Many years ago I had an F1X and a Stewart 2.1 (I think). Is that what's called a Class D power amp? The Stewart had massive power, but would shut down sometimes. Never good on a gig! It was also very long/deep which was a bit inconvenient. I went to Ashdown when they gave me an endorsement, which was nice but I miss the F1X
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3608
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 2:55 am:   Edit Post

What are your weight restrictions in "Not huge " ? A nice used Crest CA6 or CA9 can be found ; it is "good, reliable, reasonably priced".
Somewhere on this site I wrote a list of parameters to consider for power amps . Here are a few links to prior threads on this topic that I have contributed to;



Advanced Member
Username: stout71

Post Number: 222
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 3:18 am:   Edit Post

+1 on the QSC. I had a PLX series (1600 watt, I think) at one time and the weight was not a consideration. That thing was light! I believe I bought it around 2006/7. It wasn't cheap then, but you could find a used one and I bet it would be pretty reasonable.
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3583
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 5:43 am:   Edit Post

Another QSC recommendation. I sometimes use a 2402 with my fender TBP-1 pre and it weighs about half the Mesa Mpulse in my other rack.
As jazzy says, the response is pretty flat so you're only going to hear the bass and pre-amp but it puts out a lot of power - 425 watts per channel at 8 ohms, 700watts per channel at 4ohms and it'll go down to 2 ohms where it puts out 1200 watts per channel. Can also be bridged to produce 2400watts into a 4 ohm load. You can also use it in either Parallel or Stereo mode, the latter meaning you can run patch leads from both hi and lo outputs on your pre-amp to drive seperate speaker cabinets (although I found most of the time I'd run a single lead and use parallel mode, sending the same signal to both cabs). All-in-all, it's a pretty versatile piece of equipment

Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 2082
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 7:08 am:   Edit Post

I use QSC PLX and PLX2 power amps for my rig and PA. They are solid and don't color the sound. In the bass rig I use an Eden Navigator with a PLX3002. In the PA I use bridged PLX2 2502's for each sub. Neither have any problems driving the low end and I've never had a thermal shutdown (knock on wood).

What I did to reduce the weight of my rack was split it between 4 high and 3 high cases. I figure an extra trip is worth the reduced weight.

Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 382
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 7:35 am:   Edit Post

If you´re not needing huge wattage, I would also recommend the GX series from QSC. I own a GX5 which is relatively small for a power amp (I can use it in a preamps/effects mid-depth rack), it´s lightweight and gives me 700w/ch@4Ohm, which is usually enough to drive my 2x15" + 2x10"+Tweeter rig cleanly and evenly. It also accepts XLR, Plug and RCA inputs, and Speakon, Plug, Binding post/banana outputs, so I can hook it up to almost anything - I use it alternatively for a small PA or either the bass rig along with an ol´trusty Yamaha PB-1 preamp, a DBX163x comp and a Digitech RDS1900 DDL set up for the eventual chorus effect-.
Senior Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 571
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 8:56 am:   Edit Post

The QSC power amps are great and so is the Stewart 2.1 though I've always seen it referred to as a Class H design with 2 separate mono amps.

You should also check out Yamaha. I'm currently using a Yamaha XP7000 which I purchased used for less than $400. It puts out a bit less than 650 watts per channel at 8 ohms, can also be bridged, and is extremely clean/neutral. It does weigh 30 lbs which is about twice the weight of their Class D amps but is a tad (as in $$$$$$$$) more affordable. Paired with an F-1X and SF-2 it provides me with just about any tone I desire.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2244
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 5:54 pm:   Edit Post

Come on, just skip that Fred Flintstone stuff:


And just think, the plutonium core only needs to be refueled every 50 years.

J o e y
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 661
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 6:12 pm:   Edit Post

I don't know Joey, there's no Flux Capacitor :-(

I use a QSC PLX1804 (2RU) with a F-2B.
The fan noise bothers me a little and it will cannot bi-amp, apart from that light and loud.

Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3585
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2014 - 1:34 am:   Edit Post

That's some price though Joey. You could buy 3 QSC amps for that.


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