Thoughts on a new power amp?

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Thoughts on a new power amp?

Postby playingdead » Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:32 pm

I've decided to try out my Trio preamp with my Holy Grail reverb at the next gig for a change of pace, and I am looking at power amps ...

ART makes one called the SLA-2 which seems to get great reviews, the specs are:

Toroidal transformer
200 watts per channel @ 8 ohms
560 watts bridged mono @ 8 ohms
10 Hz -- 40 kHz within +/- .5 dB
Extremely low noise, discrete linear design
Hum and noise: > 100dB below clipping
Total harmonic distortion: > 0.05% (typical)

I'm thinking this should give me plenty of power, a very clean signal and tons of headroom for my two JBL E-120s. I'm after that crystal clear 1982 sort of tone, seems like Jerry got back in that direction in the last few years with the Trio, minus the super-trebly Bolt guitar tone, probably as a result of running it full range without a speaker simulator.

Any thoughts?
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Postby High Peaks » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:13 pm

Sounds like anything around 300w will work
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Postby spacehead333 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:12 pm

What exactly does a power amp do? Never really understood it. Whats wrong with just having an amp?
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Postby playingdead » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:18 pm

Well, in Jerry's case, it allowed him to have massive amounts of clean, solid state power to drive his JBLs with ... no added tube distortion or compression when he was pushing it really hard, plus he could run three or four JBLs off one amp. That's why he didn't use the power section of his Twin Reverb heads, and later moved to the Trio preamp.

His sound is really all about headroom, and a big power amp and very robust speakers that won't break up gave him that big clean sound.
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Postby spacehead333 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:52 pm

So could you just get away with having a power amp, and then connect it just speakers? Or do you need an amp?
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Postby playingdead » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:33 am

You would also need a preamp ...
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Postby Dozin » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:30 am

Vic, try out a $100 dollar Crest. I like mine. Rob Eaton liked his. I think he just switched over to some Ibanez rig. He used the Crest for years.
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Postby playingdead » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:18 am

What's the model # Chris?

I ordered the ART last night, but I have 45 days to try it out.
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Postby Dozin » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:59 am

LA 601. they also make a LA 901 LA1200 which are bigger more power. The rackmount too which is nice.
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Postby jenkins » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:57 am

did you get that ART yet?

Have you considered buying any of the vintage or newer mcintosh power amps?
Im just wondering why you aren't using mcintosh in your jerry rig.
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Postby playingdead » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:29 am

I bought the ART and will try it out at a gig this weekend (and plan to post A/B recordings with the Twin head and the Trio/ART rig into the same cabinet.

I really don't want to haul around another huge heavy piece of equipment ... and I'm also curious how the (inexpensive) solid state technology today (with ultra-low distortion and extended frequency range) will compare with the state-of-the-art from the early 70s.

I have a friend who has offered to bring his McIntosh 2300 to a Playin' Dead gig in May, might take him up on it. But unless we get a road crew, I do all the lifting ;-)
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Postby jenkins » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:33 pm

cool, ill be very interested to hear the a/b recordings of the two preamps.

I think adding a mcintosh to a rig not only give u power but give a warmth to your tone that you probably aren't gonna get from a newer power amp. I just wonder about the brand new mcintosh. they are crazy expensive but they are made in the same factory under the same specs as the vintage mcintosh.

I think the mc2300 is a little ridiculous if your not a pro playing large gigs. I mean 140lbs!! on top of that, if you are playing anythign smaller than large club/theatre it would probably be way to loud.

If I had the option I would definitly try playing through one for a gig, as long as the room isn't too small. That would be a great experiment to run your rig through the mc2300 for a gig. it already sounds great, I think the mc2300 woudl problay be awesome, but it might be just too much power, but maybe not.
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