Power Amp Alternatives

Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby mgbills » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:34 am

The last 2 points have been covered extensively. I'll pull the topics later today, but you could also search under "John K." Brad knows him very well & they've debated Jerry rig strategies for many years.

The stuff on Jerry's 2300 is in the treads too.

Unfortunately, I'm actually going to have to work at work this morning.
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M

p.s - I just did a quick search. It's worth reading the Jerry Tone section extensively as time permits. I wasn't able to pull the specific threads on a short timeline, but John's transitions are well documented. I remember reading a whole bunch of material on the topic.
Last edited by mgbills on Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby tcsned » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:46 am

I'm glad I got the 2100 because I don't think half of a 250 would cut it for me. I have yet to need the 2100 run in mono but I turn it up past halfway pretty consistently. If the volume increments are linear then I would probably struggle with 50w. It's nice to have a backup with the other half of the amp. Does the 2505 have a mono option? Looking at the back of the 2105 it doesn't look like it will give 210w in a single channel. 100w is plenty for almost any occasion, 50w would probably suffice for small clubs but might struggle outdoors or larger spaces.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby NSP » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:51 am

jenkins wrote:Awesome señorpesca, your gonna love that shit!
Do you guys really think the 250's are loud enough?


I've got absolutely no problem getting enough volume out of my mc250, and that's only using one side not bridged. I have a 1x12 (E120) for smaller rooms and a 2x12 (K120's) for larger and I've never had the Mac much more than half way. This is with the gain on my SMS at about 11 o'clock and the rear pad all the way up. We almost always mic everything except for the smallest of rooms so it doesn't need to be blazing loud. In some cases I also like to have a touch of guitar in my monitor.

You may want to get yours checked out to see if it's performing at original specs.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby Smolder » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:09 am

NSP wrote:
jenkins wrote:Awesome señorpesca, your gonna love that shit!
Do you guys really think the 250's are loud enough?


I've got absolutely no problem getting enough volume out of my mc250, and that's only using one side not bridged. I have a 1x12 (E120) for smaller rooms and a 2x12 (K120's) for larger and I've never had the Mac much more than half way. This is with the gain on my SMS at about 11 o'clock and the rear pad all the way up. We almost always mic everything except for the smallest of rooms so it doesn't need to be blazing loud. In some cases I also like to have a touch of guitar in my monitor.

You may want to get yours checked out to see if it's performing at original specs.



Agreed... I have an mc50 with a single D120 or D130. The Mac is typically at 11 o'clock with the output pad of the SMS full on. I rarely get the volume above 10:00 in my practice space... and over the last 4-5 years have needed less output for stage volume that I typically use in rehearsals. The largest gigs I've played recently are way high ceiling concrete warehouse spaces that hold a couple hundred people.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby jenkins » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:12 am

Thanks NSP, honestly I've always felt my 2505 wasn't quite as loud as it should be, judging from your post I think it should be checked out by a service tech. At this point I have only used it for home listening for a little while but at some point I'm gonna have to bring it to a tech. It's got scratchy pots and the on off switch acts funny too.

I got lucky on my 2120 as it has been recently gone thru and tested by a tech to be at or exceed factory specs.
Internally the thing is mint and I got a whole list of things that were tested.
The thing sounds beautiful.


I've often wondering why JK doesn't use a Mac. Did he use a Mac with the DSO? Seems strange that he uses a QSC. idk but I know his tone would be more jerry like if he did use one. It's interesting because comparing his tone to Jerry's his tone is definitely more sterile, sounds more processed than jerry. Jerry's guitar just sounded so natural, so warm, something JK's definitely lacks IMO. Jerry sounded like a guitar through an amp, the nicest amp in the world. JK's sounds like a guitar through a bunch of processing and then amplified. Don't get me wrong, I think JK's tone is killer, but it lacks something that jerry had, which is what I think we are all chasing.

When I saw dso last year in Northampton I was blown away by the new guys tone. I thought it sounded way more jerry than JK did. He is using a Mac, I think a 200 but maybe a 2120. They did an early '78 show and I was just so impressed with the guys tone, one of the first times I ever thought someone actually sounded like Jerry from the 70's. Most people get closer to Jerry's late 80's-early 90's tones. I feel JK sounds more like 89-91 Jerry. But I always like Jerry's 70's tone way more and that's the tone I'm after, that natural, best guitar amp in the world kinda tone.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby vwjodyme » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:11 am

So as a cheaper alternative I should be looking for:

Mc 50 - 70w

Mc 100 - 150w

Mc 250

Mc 2100 - 2 100w

And all should be roughly $300-600? An I missing any?
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby Jerry1996x » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:21 pm

Check out the 2120. I, and some others on here, have one. I love the thing. Great clear tone. They run for about, if not a little less then the price of a 2100 (400-600) and its 120 watts. I have my Mac at 12:00 and my Twin around 4-5, and thats loud, but not ear-splitting.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby vwjodyme » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:11 pm

Anyone use a new Mac? They are still making different ones. On their site they show Weirs home studio with a bunch of new looking ones. Anyone know the models?


Edit*** wow they are a tad more expensive
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby strummingturtle » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:55 pm

Was wondering if any one has any experience with a mc240m? and does it work as a jerry style power amp?
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby strummingturtle » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:58 pm

I have only seen them as car amps so I am doubting they will work just thought I ask.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby jenkins » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:54 pm

I think the 2120 is perfect amount of power and they seemed to be a little cheaper because they aren't quite as popular.
That was my experience a few years ago when I bought mine.
I got mine mint condition with full service records for 550$ iirc.
Worth every penny.
I was considering other amps but when I realized any other quality brand new power amp is in the 400 range I figured it'd be worth plunking down the few extra bucks on a Mac and boy was I not dissapointed.
I ended up buying the Mc2505 just for the hell of it.
Got a good price on it and it looks cool with the glass and the meters n shit.
I figured at the very least it was a good investment, which it was.
From what I can tell macs don't really lose value. Certainly not like a normal power amp that you buy new for 400 and the next day if you wanted to sell it used its only worth like 250.


Why can't any other companies make an amp tha sounds like a mac? Would other audiophile amps sound similar?
What is it about a Mac? Is it the sentry monitor?
Why can't any company today make a mcintosh like power amp for guitars?
Is anybody attempting anything like that?
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby jenkins » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:01 pm

What about the crest 8001?
Did Jerry ever actually use it in his real rig in the late 80's or was it only for his midi rig?
'93 he was using it to power his in ear monitor.

The crest 8001 is the second best power amp I've used, has some warmth/character to it as well.
For 100$ it was one of the best deals on dank gear I ever got.
These were the Amps the dead used for its PA through most of the 80's, if I understand it correctly.

I thought my old crest sounded better than the new crown and QSC amps that I've tried.
Both of those amps sounded sterile to me, although I kno people are gettin great tone out of them. JK comes to mind, but his tone does not have that natural warmth jerry had IMO.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby jenkins » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:05 pm

I don't think the mac car amps would work right for guitar.
Besides, they're DC powered instead of AC and I don't think they're exactly the same thing as a home Mac.

But I'm telling you, throw one of those bitches in your car with some jbl speakers and you'll be blown away by how dank a 70's show sounds through it. My car came with jbls all around so I replaced the amp under the seat with a Mac and holy shit, makes for some serious listening on long rides on tour.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby JonnyBoy » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:22 pm

One main reason these solid state macs sound so good is because the circuit was centered around having a HiFi, dementional tube-like "tone" in a SS package. They also used huge and awesome tranny's. It also has an autoformer which contirbutes to its unique smooth tone. The components in the circuit are audiophile top notch from that era, all made in the USA. I am sure it can be copied, but without the oldschool iron in the trannys, its not the same.

Amps today are made fast, with cheap components and loaded with other circuits that may or may not affect the tone. Adding in buffers, tone stacks, circuit protections, limiting, roll offs, power and signal protections all add to the behavior of the amp itself. The mac is almost so primative, but perfect, that it behaives like a tube amp in a combo... the more signal you throw at it, the more you push it, the more you push it, the more harmonic it becomes. Thats why some opt to remove the mac's protection circuits on the larger, more expensive models.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby gr8fl4295 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:39 am

Ok, so if you want to buy a Jerry sounding amp, but don't have the cash for a Mac, what do you look at? What's gonna get you close? <$500?
I'm also looking for something that is bedroom level.
Is this a good route?>>
SMS Classic Jerry Mod Pre Amp > Fender Super Champ X2 HD Amp head > Speaker Cab w/ Beyma 10".

Remember, bedroom level and on the cheap (sunk a lot into the guitar).

Thanks,
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