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Username: maartena

Post Number: 1
Registered: 3-2013
Posted on Saturday, March 09, 2013 - 8:36 am:   Edit Post

Hello Alembic forum members,
I'm a new member at this forum, but i'm a relatively frequent reader over the last years (I bought my first Alembic (Essence) about 8 years ago and my Rogue 3 years ago.
Last mont I bought an F-1X. I always used an Eden Metro (2x10) with an extern 1x15. I liked it, but thought the sound was somewhat to clean. Now I put the F-1X in the aux. so I can use the Metro just as a poweramp (the aux input passes the Metro preamp). I like the sound of the F-1X MUCH better than the Eden preamp. It has a real nice warm growly tubesound. But now I'm in a doubt. I want to buy an poweramp because the Metro misses some headroom; its 400 W in 4 ohm, and I just use it as a poweramp. And I want to get rid of alle the unused knobs from te Metro preamp. Nevertheless I like the sound of the Eden as I use it as a poweramp.
O.k. , so I want to use the F-1X with a poweramp and the 1x10 and 1x15 Eden cabs. At the forum I see that most F-1X users have an QSC PLX, or a classic Cres CA. But I see few people using a Powersoft Digam LD 1404. Now I'm in a doubt: should I go for the Powersoft with the Swithmode powersupply (I can buy it for about 700 Euro's here in the Netherlands), or is it better to go for a QSC or Crest with a classical heavy powersupply? I prefer the idea of te Powersoft because it's small (1U) and not heavy (8 kilo's). But I also heard some people who prefer the old-fashioned heavy poweramps because they have somthing against switch-mode powersupply's. In Holland we say "I cant't make chocolate of it" , what in your opinion sounds like we're completely nuts over here, but it means that it's not clear what's best. Is there anybody who experience with a F-1X with a Powersoft poweramp?
Intermediate Member
Username: alembickoa

Post Number: 130
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 09, 2013 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post

Back when I had the 81 koa series 1, I used an F-1X with a Stewart World 2.1. Handled every gig I ever played. My buddy had one of those equally enormous QSC monsters. Great tone. Both sounded fantastic. I mostly used an old SWR 4x10 and would occasionally add a 1x15. And, any bass I played through it sounded great. Tone forever. Best of luck in your search.

(Message edited by alembickoa on March 09, 2013)
Advanced Member
Username: charles_holmes

Post Number: 238
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Saturday, March 09, 2013 - 2:08 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Maartena, I believe that it really comes down to your "personal Choice." So with that being said, Ask yourself what kind of power do you want? Do you mind carrying the heavier type of power amp?. And maybe, what bassist that you have heard live and uses close to what you are going for and did you like what you heard? And then research what that particular bassist uses. For my own choice it QSC and I was exposed to it by a friend of mine. Ok...So fast forward 10 years...The QSC I bought from my friend went kaput so I researched and chose the QSC 2450, it has plenty of every thing that I was looking for but it is a heavy beast weighing 44 pounds!! So for my rig I had the 2450, two F-1X's a lexicon MPX1 effect module,a DS-5 to power my bass and a Furman power conditioner and all of those things equaled HEAVY! So I ended up buying a QSC 1804 Power amp which weighs 13 pounds, now it does not have all of the bells and whistles so-to-speak that the 2450 has but the 1804 does have the power I need and it can power my two 8 ohm Bag Ends (1 per channel. QSC advises not to use two 8 ohm cabinets per channel if using the 1804)and my rig is a dream to lift! But you have to ask yourself...what kind of power are you looking for? and what are you willing to carry? It's really a personal choice!! Good Luck in your sonic quest!!!And may the Low Frequencies be with you!!!
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1430
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 09, 2013 - 2:56 pm:   Edit Post

Good to see a Dutchlander joining the club again :-)
Sorry I can't be helpful here, I'm more into the heavy excessive tube power amp setups...
Advanced Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 322
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Saturday, March 09, 2013 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post

If your after clean sound, I've always been pleased with my Yamaha XP 7000 which provides 700 watts x 2 @ 8 ohms. I use a Phil Jones 6T/9B cabinet combo and personally love the sound and the way it cuts through other instruments. Now I don't play in large venues and the amp is not a 14 pounder (it's about 30 lbs ) but for the money, and reliability the Yamaha has been great.
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1456
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 12:33 am:   Edit Post

Welcome, Maarten!

I think it really depends on what your priorities are. There are some that argue that all amps sound essentially the same when you compare amps of the same power rating at the same gain settings. I'm not one of those people. I think amps do sound different, but I don't think it matters as much what kind of power supply the amp uses or the class designation as much as the design and quality of the build of the individual amplifier. My experience is that amps marketed as bass amplifiers tend to run out of steam faster than amps marketed as PA amps. So, the big brands, Crest, QSC, Crown and a bunch of others, all make very good amps that are very lightweight, but the good ones tend to be expensive. They also make very lightweight amps that are inexpensive, but they're probably more likely to fail sooner and not have the low end power that the more expensive ones have. The brands I have mentioned are all American (although probably manufactured in Asia), so it's worth looking into Powersoft and others that are made closer to you. Powersoft does seem to fare well on internet reviews. Lab.gruppen has also a good reputation. However, see if you can rent one to try it out and find out for yourself. At the end of the day, that's the only way to make sure it's going to work for your purposes. Sorry that there are no easy answers! Powerful, cheap, light. Pick two!
Intermediate Member
Username: tncaveman

Post Number: 168
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 7:05 am:   Edit Post

I recently bought an older EV power amp (model 3700) and used my GK Microbass as a preamp. It sounded wonderful. Tons of power and I think it's rated at around 200w per channel into 8 ohms. It's heavy (about 39 pounds - 18 kg) but it was $100 used. One thing I really like about it is the attenuators (volume knobs) for each channel. With the attenuators, you can match the speaker cabs. When I use my GK amp, the 1-15 is slightly louder than my 4x10. This allowed me to bump the 4x10 up a little.

See what's used - as you can always sell it for about what you paid. I never thought rental - but it's also a great idea. Or possibly borrow something?

Good luck.

Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3361
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 9:31 am:   Edit Post

I went for QSC to go with my F1-x and SF-2 mainly out of the good reviews and comments made by members of the forum. I narrowed a list down to the PLX series or the newer GX series and called a friend of mine who is a professional sound engineer and asked his opinion as to which one would be more suited to using in a bass rig. Once I'd got him to understand I was after quality of sound and not a stupidly loud bass rig, he advised me to go for the older PLX as he said it had a better sound, was a better made amp and better specified than the GX. So I took his advice and apart from the weight I can't say I've ever had a problem with it.

Username: maartena

Post Number: 2
Registered: 3-2013
Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 2:53 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks so far, everybody!!
That's quite a lot of helpfull and wise reactions in one day. It teaches me at least three things: 1. The choice depends on my own priorities an taste of sound. 2. It depends on what I see on the market. 3. DonŽt buy a cheap lightweight poweramp !!
And what Edwin says about amps that are marketed as bass amplifiers run out of steam faster : I dindn't know that. Is that also with an Eden WT 1000 or 1250? (I've seen one second hand).
I agree that different poweramps also sound different, but I have no experience with lightweigt amps. So, eventually I have to think it over again and, indeed, the best ideas are mostly quite simple : try some amps.
Thanks again. In a while IŽll upload some photo`s of my basses.
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1459
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 4:47 pm:   Edit Post

I guess I should qualify my statement about purpose built bass amps. For the most part, my experience is that they tend to be less power for the money than PA amps. I am referring to the power amp section of all in one heads. It might be that there are some power section only purpose built bass amps that have a fair amount of power.

I have an Eden WT1205, which is apparently the most powerful amp head they've made. It's still only 325 watts per channel into 8 ohms and they don't say at what amount of THD or at what frequency. My QSC is 700wpc at .05%THD at full bandwidth. It doesn't hold a candle to the Crown, Crest or QSC amps I've owned when it comes to headroom and oomph. For sheer audio performance, it's more cost effective to get an Eden Navigator preamp and then a PA power amp than it is to get the WT1205. On the other hand, the convenience of having it all in one package does factor into it if that's what you are looking for. I think that the fact that Alembic has brought two market two preamps but no heads speaks to the situation that there are plenty of power amps out there that do the job better than something that's all in one.

Another aspect is that if the power amp goes down, you can still use the preamp with a different amp. This affects routing options as well as recovering from failure. The WT1205 cannot access each power amp separately, so I can't use it to run stereo effects or a stereo bass all the way through. I was told I could. Major fail. My WT1205 blew up at its very first gig and I was without it for 17 months while trying to get it repaired (long story, they replaced it and I just took it out on a gig for the first time last night). So, if you can get a second hand Eden for a great price, it might be the thing to do, but don't assume that because it's discounted from the Eden retail price that it's the most economic option. Also, from my experience, Eden has a pretty serious reliability problem. Their customer service has restored a certain amount of my faith, but pretty much every piece of gear I've gotten from them has broken down. My Navigator is sitting broken as we speak. It can sound good while it works, but I wouldn't go to a gig without a backup. So far the warranty replacements I've gotten for the WXT 500 and WT1205 seem solid. The Navigator was a warranty replacement but it has failed twice now. I don't want to speak ill of them completely because I've heard that they were very reliable up until about 2005 or so.

Also consider that bass amps are a smaller market so fewer are made, which results in a worse economy of scale and also the fact that PA power amp companies make a ton of them gives them a lot more experience and opportunity to experiment with design and manufacture. If Eden hadn't rushed the WT1205 to market and had been in a position to sell thousands of them, it would probably have been a better design without the manufacturing issues. It only takes one bad batch of parts to mess up a manufacturing run and then you've got a much higher percentage of your product on the street failing and your reputation goes down, sales go down and then it gets worse from there.

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