Author Topic: Class D bass head amps?  (Read 376 times)

southpaw

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Class D bass head amps?
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:10:39 AM »
Hi All,
 
I noticed recently the class D heads are getting smaller, louder, more features and cheaper.  What an amazing change in music electronics since most of us started playing.     
I currently have an Eden WTX 260 bass head that I really enjoy, it is quite a few years old but works great. I may purchase another micro amp.
This leads me to ask for opinions and recommendations on the latest class D amps from our gang here at the club.
It appears most manufacturers have expanded into this area for some years now. Your thoughts and experience are appreciated.  Thanks.
- Southpaw
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 11:12:27 AM by southpaw »

lbpesq

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 12:12:18 PM »
Well, I am a guitar player, but I've been playing an F-2B into a Carvin DCM200L class D power amp for a couple of years now.  My back and I both love it.  Stereo, switchable to either 60 or 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms.  One rack space, 4 lbs.!  I also recently picked up one of Vox's new MV50 mini amps.  Nu-tube preamp (a super miniature tube developed by Korg) and a class D power amp.  25 watts into 8 ohms, 50 watts into 4 ohms.  Weighs about one pound and fits in the palm of your hand.  And it's a real amp!!!!  Big thumbs up on Class D. 

You might want to check out Carvin.  They are closing down everything but guitars and having a big going-out-of-business sale.  Currently everything is 25% off, and I wouldn't be surprised to see even bigger discounts as they clear stuff out.

Bill, tgo

southpaw

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 03:23:35 PM »
Thanks Bill, it's good to hear guitar guys enjoying to perks of light weight technology too.   Wow, 4 pounds and 1 pound amps nice.
Tube pre amps are suppose to help provide a warm sound too.  I think the cabinet also plays a big part.
Yes, I see the Carvin sale, I may grab a small micro bass head for giggles, you can't beat the price.  I think the F-2B helps make any amp sound better. It is truly a long way from the days of the Ampeg SVT 100 lbs. cabinets.  I was in Nashville last year  and noticed most guitar / bass players in the bars using small heads on small cabinets but still produced huge sound.  Be safe Bill, we are keeping our California friends in our prayers these days. If you see flames, run!

mario_farufyno

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 04:44:16 PM »
Love my Carvin BX500... not as small as other class D but filled with fine features as defeatable tube pre, semi parametric Eq, graphic Eq, built in "overeasy" compressor, contour, drive and volume for DI. And, cheap!
Not just a bass, this is an Alembic!

flpete1uw

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 05:33:57 PM »
Ive been gigging with the Mesa Boogie D-800 Subway with a Bergantino CN212. 800 watts and a 46lbs cab sounds amazing and loud! I sometimes use my F2B / SF2 rack going into the aux in of the Mesa.
Have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first when looking for a backup to my Mesa Walkabout but I'm a big fan of this amp. So is my back! ;) 
Worth a look you'll be surprised
Good luck, peace
Pete

edwin

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 07:07:15 PM »
I played through a D800 Subway for the California run of shows and I have to say that I loved it. Great sounding amp, much more authority than my Eden WXT500 and even lighter. I would definitely recommend it.

StephenR

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 07:33:08 PM »
While not at the point where I would have a class D power amp as my only choice, when I had the opportunity to check out a D800 I definitely liked it a lot. A friend was supplying backline for the Shakedown Street Festival in Berkeley last year. He was bringing an Aguilar rig, which Wolf played out of and if I remember correctly liked, and a D800 to have a spare head just in case. I wasn't that into the sound of the Aguilar for what I like to hear. I ran the D800 through the two Aguilar cabinets and thought it sounded close to what I was looking for. Ended up using my preamp running into the aux input of the D800 with the Aguilar cabinets since I felt more comfortable using the tone and EQ controls I was used to. I was definitely impressed with the sound and portability factor, thought it would be a nice amp to have around.

I currently own an Acoustic Image CodaR and have been very happy with it for low volume situations where I need something small and extremely portable. Less than 20 lbs with the speakers.

cozmik_cowboy

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 07:47:42 PM »
As the resident roadie, allow me to put forth the idea that Class D is evil; you all need tubes - lots of them, with huge freakin' transformers!  Keep the kwipies working!  ;D


Peter (who is apparently in total denial about any correlation between years of lifting amp racks, pianos, & B-3s and those 2 back surgeries)
"Don't take life so serious; it ain't no ways permanent"

Pogo

bigredbass

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 11:51:16 PM »
Randall Smith and Mesa will quickly tell you that the first amp they made was a bass amp.  Over the years, they have steadily turned into quite a force in bass rigs, and 800 / 800+ are hits, riding the Class D amp / neo cab wave.  Their tube amps are my-t-fine as well.

For a Neanderthal like me who easily remembers folded 18 cabs and 80# SVT heads (or Heaven help us, those 150# Macs), it is utterly amazing to see what has now become common today.  I've been jealous my whole life that a &%*#( guitar player could show up with a guitar and a single 12, 100w amp and he's ready to go, while I was in the furniture moving business to try and compete on stage.  Interestingly, I'm almost there now.

fmm

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 06:34:11 AM »
I have the Carvin BX250, love it, it's now out of stock.  The BX 500 is similar (adds a graphic EQ, more power, get one now before they are gone).
I also have a GK MB200.  very small and sexy, but it's been in the shop twice, so I don;t fully trust it.  It's been fine for several years, and I bring it as a backup.

Both are great for bar gigs.
fmm

lbpesq

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2017, 08:56:35 AM »
"Randall Smith and Mesa will quickly tell you that the first amp they made was a bass amp."

I thought his first was a modded Princeton Reverb that he did as a joke.  Carlos Santana heard it and said "that little amp really boogies", and the rest is history.  At least that's what I've heard.

Bill, tgo

southpaw

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 03:40:53 PM »
You are correct Bill.  The Mesa Boogie website under 'Randall's Story' -  the first amp Randall built was a modified Fender Princeton, as a  prank on Barry Melton of Country Joe and the Fish. Carlos Santana played it and said "...That little thing really Boogies!”. Good reading.  The Subway 800 looks amazing.  Mesa's appear to be top shelf, I love what I have heard, they are a bit pricey, understandably for the quality.   BigRedBass, I love your comment; "while I was in the furniture moving business to try and compete on stage." ;D  The memory of dragging around my first amp, A Peavey TNT 50 watt cabinet as a young teen, a beast it was!  What an amazing journey we have witnessed in the past few decades in amplification.
Amps are also safer electrically. I have a friend who collects old amps and I see the cloth power cords with no ground, old, frayed... Not at my house, plug them in and play them at your house! Great info guys, thanks. - Southpaw

lbpesq

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 05:12:42 PM »
I love Mesa amps.  I played through a Mark III combo for over 20 years.  I still have a Mark IIC+ head.  I stopped playing the Mesa amp when I started playing my first Alembic, an Electrum.  For some reason I find that Alembic guitars just seem to match better with Fender-type amps.  I'm really happy with my current setup, using the Fender-based F-2B.

Bill, tgo

gearhed289

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2017, 08:04:02 AM »
As the resident roadie, allow me to put forth the idea that Class D is evil; you all need tubes - lots of them, with huge freakin' transformers!

I tend to live in that world myself. I own a '74 SVT head and a '96 SVT III Pro (5 tubes in the pre, solid state power). They are the be-all, end-all of tone in my opinion. However, a year ago, I picked up a used Genz Benz Streamliner 900. 900 watts at 6.5 pounds. And 3 tubes!  ;D It's a nice little amp. I still prefer the Ampegs, but it's a great option for some gigs. Class D is a real thing now found in top of the line pro audio power amps.

StephenR

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Re: Class D bass head amps?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2017, 12:34:40 PM »
I was just checking out the D800 Plus. The plus model adds an effects loop, way more robust EQ section, bright switch and a high-pass filter. The only thing it is missing for my needs is a stereo power section with a balance control. I like to mix speaker cabinets. With my F2-B and a stereo power amp I have control of gain and tone for each cabinet and is a killer basic rig. My Eden Navigator has a balance control which makes it play nice with two different cabinets when using a stereo power amp, robust EQ and an effects loop or sidechain that I can use with my SF-2, still the most versatile pre-amp I own. I do love the sound of and simplicity of the F2-B, though.

Been very happy with the sound and whomp I get with my Crest CA6 and have been thinking about getting a Crest ProLite amp for times when I want to use something more compact but this newer version of the D800 sure looks like a contender, too.