Power Amps

Power Amps

Postby Duhigg » Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:34 am

Ok this may be a silly noob question but it's been on my mind. In regards to power amps I'm a little confused. Isn't he power amp just an amp to push the speaker cab or what ever it's powering? So for example the macintosh that Jerry used to push his JBL's...say I were to use a different power amp (insert amp name here) is there that much of a difference in tone if your using the same speakers. I mean the sound is coming primarily from the speakers right? I'm pretty sure I know the answer is "yes" it does effect the tone but like some explination. Thanks gear heads!

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Re: Power Amps

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:14 am

Ideally power amps should be completely distortion free, have a perfectly flat frequency response, and therefore have no effect on your sound except for an increase in volume.

In reality there are of course tonal differences, and differences in how quickly the power is sent to the speakers. This is especially noticeable on bass where power amps that deliver quick transient power have a nice "Thump" while those that don't, don't groove as hard or have the same physical impact on the audience.
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Re: Power Amps

Postby strumminsix » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:21 am

It depends. Some folks use the poweramp as part of their sound while others do not.

In a very simplified world the poweramp should not matter where theoretically it only amplifies but does not color the sound.

However, in a gearheadd's world it is significant.

Example I prefer my solid state guitar poweramps to PA poweramps due to frequency responses.

Also different poweramps have different knobs. On the front some have a input gain while others output gain.
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Re: Power Amps

Postby Duhigg » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:41 pm

Thanks for info guys.
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Re: Power Amps

Postby mijknahs » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:18 pm

Duhigg,

Check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=319&t=7125

I highly recommend McIntosh amps (not the big MC2300) though. Get a smaller one around 100 watts. The tone far surpasses any other power amp I've heard. They are NOT all basically the same (well, maybe they are except for the McIntoshes).

Jim
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Re: Power Amps

Postby bpg21 » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:10 am

I'm with Jim in regards to the Macs. I was skeptical about tonal differences between amps but decided to take the plunge and try a Mac and the results far outweighed my expectations. The Mac was the missing link in my search. It has the warmth and fullnes that other amps (including my fender with power tubes) lack. It cuts through a loud mix without the blare or shrill. I was using a QSC before which is a fine amp for PA applications. I did an A-B comparison between the two and the MAc won hands down. If you were to hide the mac and tell a listener that you were just playing through a regular Fender amp, they would probably tell you it was the nicest sounding Fender they have ever heard. It really compliments the Fender tone especially if your using the AB763 pre amp. Unless you have a road crew, you do not need the MC2300. I run the MC2100 it has more than enough juice and is less than half the weight.
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