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DIY Subwoofer Amplifier seekers, come and get 'em


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43 replies to this topic

#1 of 44 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted August 01 2000 - 03:19 PM

I have gotten over 30 emails in the past month from DIY sub builders asking me WHERE THEY CAN FIND pro style power amplifiers at good prices. I just wanted to post that a local company I work with has purchased 5 Peavey amps at auction and is selling them cheap (all under $325, up to 2000 watts).

Don't get me wrong, the Peavey amp is not an AMAZING amp, but it will certainly work for subs and should hold up. See Gregg Loewen's posts about his Peavey CS800 (the company selling the amps has one of these as well).

Also, there are a few brand new in box amplifiers coming available over the coming weeks. Specifically, rock bottom prices on the QSC RMX series (which I was quite impressed by!) and the Yorkville AP amplifier (which many in the proaudio world are comparing to the Crest amp, at less than 1/3 the cost).

Anyway, so those Peavey amps are available - and the QSC & Yorkville. By the way: the QSC amps are as low as $.25 a watt, and the Yorkville at less than $.28 a watt - up to 4000 watts!
http://www.qscaudio....mps/rmx/rmx.htm
http://www.qscaudio....s/rmx/mbrmx.htm http://www.yorkville...apamp/apamp.htm

I will put anyone interested in touch with the various companies who have these amps. I am making no money on the sales, these are not group purchases, I just know some guys who have some amps available at real world prices and figured I could help the dozens of people emailing me every week trying to find affordable amplifiers!

Anyone with questions about QSC RMX, Yorkville or Peavey amps can post them here. I'll do my best to tell what I know!

-Vince

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What I Hate About Recording: Producers and Engineers who use meaningless words to make their clients think they know what's going on. Words like "punchy," "warm," "groove," "vibe," "feel." Especially "punchy" and "warm." Every time I hear those words, I want to throttle somebody." - Steve Albini
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#2 of 44 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted August 01 2000 - 03:21 PM

Gimme the hookup!

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#3 of 44 OFFLINE   Patrick_L

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Posted August 01 2000 - 04:29 PM

i'll take some info please.......

patrick

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#4 of 44 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted August 01 2000 - 04:32 PM

Patrick LaCuesta,

I planned to email you some basic information, but your profile has no email associated. I don't want to post prices or anything on the forum, as this isn't the "for sale" area, nor am I the person selling them.

I can provide only contact info, and I can do so via email.

-Vince

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What I Hate About Recording: Producers and Engineers who use meaningless words to make their clients think they know what's going on. Words like "punchy," "warm," "groove," "vibe," "feel." Especially "punchy" and "warm." Every time I hear those words, I want to throttle somebody." - Steve Albini
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#5 of 44 OFFLINE   Patrick_L

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Posted August 01 2000 - 04:38 PM

Vince,

there are only two things i have to say.....

1) i'm retarded..... Posted Image

2) you've got mail. Posted Image


thanks,

patrick

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#6 of 44 OFFLINE   TerryC

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Posted August 01 2000 - 04:51 PM

I might be interested in the other amps, Let me know. Email in profile.

Thanks
Terry

#7 of 44 OFFLINE   Tom Reed

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Posted August 01 2000 - 05:49 PM

I am interested in these amps. Send an email my way.


Thanks

Tom Reed

#8 of 44 OFFLINE   Hank Frankenberg

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Posted August 01 2000 - 11:59 PM

I might be interested in one, price dependant. Please send me an e-mail.
Thanks for your efforts for fellow HTF-ers! Posted Image

#9 of 44 OFFLINE   Ned

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Posted August 02 2000 - 05:24 AM

Vince-

Is the Yorkville CR5 available? It's rated for 250 watts x 2 at 4 ohms and is passively cooled (no fan noise).

The price chart at the site says $639 canadian.

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#10 of 44 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted August 02 2000 - 05:48 AM

Quote:
Is the Yorkville CR5 available? It's rated for 250 watts x 2 at 4 ohms and is passively cooled (no fan noise).

Yo Ned,

I will ask around to see if anyone has any of these amplifiers around. Most of the stuff I listed above just happens to be stuff that guys have right now and are going to be selling-- this isn't a group purchase or anything: I just see who has what locally and give you a phone number.

That said, I will ask the 3 guys I know who are Yorkville dealers and see what is available.

-Vince

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What I Hate About Recording: Producers and Engineers who use meaningless words to make their clients think they know what's going on. Words like "punchy," "warm," "groove," "vibe," "feel." Especially "punchy" and "warm." Every time I hear those words, I want to throttle somebody." - Steve Albini
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#11 of 44 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted August 02 2000 - 05:56 AM

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Guys, please remember- if I put you in touch with a company that has the amplifier you are looking for- these guys aren't walmart! You are calling the shop of a professional sound company, and probably speaking with the shop manager. These guys simply don't have time to quote specs or give you the selling points of these amplifiers.

The reason why these amps are available at such low prices is you are dealing with a pro company - who expects to sell product to other pros who know what they want.

So, please don't call these guys and keep them on the phone for 20 minutes asking about amplifier specs. Know what you want before you call. If you're calling about a Used amplifier, you can ask about condition, but any other info should be gotten from the web or myself.

These guys are doing us a favor by selling used product at a realistic price, and making new products they have instock available: please respect this and let them do their jobs (this is a very busy weekend locally, most companies are prepping 4-5 systems! I hope you understand.)!

SECOND ANNOUNCEMENT

I have placed a call in with 4 other sound companies in my area that I work with. I will be getting a used amp list from each of them, which I will prepare with final prices for new amps, and send them out to everyone who requested info. If you are interested in ORDERING an amplifier you see on the list, drop me an email and I'll send you the contact phone for the shop manager.

Thanks
Vince

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What I Hate About Recording: Producers and Engineers who use meaningless words to make their clients think they know what's going on. Words like "punchy," "warm," "groove," "vibe," "feel." Especially "punchy" and "warm." Every time I hear those words, I want to throttle somebody." - Steve Albini
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#12 of 44 OFFLINE   Julian Data

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Posted August 02 2000 - 06:21 AM

Vince,

I am interested. Email is in profile

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#13 of 44 OFFLINE   RobW

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Posted August 02 2000 - 07:32 AM

Email me. I'm interested.
- "I can longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist perversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids."

#14 of 44 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted August 02 2000 - 07:59 AM

Well, I've gotten a lot of great questions via email, so I thought I would post some of the mroe common ones here:

HOW DOES THE PEAVEY/QSC RMX/YORKVILLE COMPARE TO THE MACKIE FR/CROWN CE?

[the following is, of course, my opinion]

IMHO, the Crown CE, the crown budget amp, which is the worst amplifier Crown makes. This doesn't, by any means, mean it is bad. It is like saying its the worst car Rolls Royce makes!

But, besides the Crown Power Base amps [which are complete junk, and I don't think they make them anymore!], the CE is the low end of the Crown ladder. The CE is crown's attempt to break into the "budget" area for DJ equipment, their attempt to compete with amplifiers like the Mackie 1400i and the QSC RMX series.

On the other hand, The Crown Macrotech is one of the top 5 amps on the planet, IMHO, but I don't know if I would rank the Crown CE in the top 50.

So the Crown CE, the Mackie FR, and the QSC RMX are essentially the same basic thing: budget amp built from cheaper parts to appeal to those of us with a lower budget. Of the 3, I think the Crown is probably the best amp of the group, followed by the QSC and then the Mackie [although it is a close fight between the Mackie and the QSC, I think the QSC will probably last a little longer].

The Yorkville amplifier, IMHO, is a little bit nicer than the Crown CE/Mackie/QSC Rmx amplifiers. The Yorkville is a notch or 2 above the RMX certainly.

The AP series is geared more towards competing with QSC's/Crown's MIDLINE products. I have read a few pro sound guys have said the Yorkville is comparable with CREST, which is also in my top 5 amplifier. I haven't used the Yorkville too much hands on, but I heard them on subs in a friend's shop and they pounded my balls off! I was very impressed.

Then there is Peavey which has been the budget product leader for more than 20 years. I once asked a friend who worked at a music store "why can't someone just make cheap gear that WORKS"... he smiled and said "They do, Peavey". Peavey makes budget entry level stuff, targeted at bands and small PA guys. The amplifiers is probably the best thing Peavey makes, but it is still probably a smidgen behind Mackie for power and sound. Peavey is most likely more durable (there are 20+ year old Peavey amps out there kicking ass every day, time will tell if there is a Mackie 1400i still working in 10!)

WHO THE HELL IS YORKVILLE?

Yorkville is a Canadian company better known for making guitar and bass amps. Recently (3-4 years ago or so) they began making their own line of arena concert speaker cabinets, a 3 way hi/mid box loaded with RCF drivers complete with high quality flying hardware, and a matching double 18 sub, for use in the touring industry (called the Yorkville TX series - http://www.yorkville.com/tx/tx.htm ).

One of the companies I've worked with used about 60 of these TX cabinets. They were pretty damn nice! ($2800 a box for the top, and $2200 for the sub = $5000 per stack... for that price they had better be pretty nice!!)

This company used them for "one off" shows for nationals as well as for large scale raves (I think we did like twenty four double 18 subs per side for one show). There were tons of compliments from touring engineers about the boxes when powered by QSC powerlight amps. (Engineers from Creed, America, the Dixie Chicks, Ziggy Marley, Jay Z, the Wilkensons, Art Garfunkle, etc all used them and liked them.)

Also, Yorkville OEMs for other companies: like Mackie for example. They are building speakers for mackie, as quiet as it is kept.

The Yorkville is a notch or 2 above the super-budget stuff: the Crown CE, QSC RMX and Mackie FR. Close to the Ashly or midrange Crown products.

I WANT TO USE PRO AMPS FOR MY WHOLE SYSTEM, HOW DO THESE AMPS COMPARE TO BIG MONEY HOME AMPS LIKE KRELL?

I have very little experience with "bigtime" home amps like Krell...

But, every bigtime audiophile amplifier or other voodoo tube based product I've heard was just a little on the overly mellow side: everything from about 850hz up to 12khz sounded slightly subdued. Not really muffled, just sounded like the amp was pushing these frequencies a bit more gently- almost like an auto eq feature or something. It is really tough to put into words, it was just a case that when there were areas I knew stuck out a little on the source recording (including recording I myself mixed), it seemed like the amp just smoothed it over a little.

The analogy I like to use is "pushing sound with a pillow vs pushing sound with concrete". The audiophile loved amplifiers I've heard seem to push more with a pillow, gently: so if there is something that would stick out when played on a "normal" amp- in my analogy I think of this as a freq that is harder to push- and so the pillow gives a little. I have found this type of "pillow" sound to also be present on Carver professional amplifiers (specifically the PM series). This results in a "smoother" sound, but not often "accurate".

On the other hand, amplifiers like Crown and Crest push sound with a concrete block! These amps don't allow any "harder to push frequencies" off the hook- they amplify everything, if it is pretty or not. This results in an accurate amplifier, but folks looking for the Audophile type sound might find them a bit edgy or harsh.

So, if you are really looking for the audiophile performance, there is certainly nothing wrong with that- but you might not like any professional amplifier product when used on Mids/Highs. The purpose of the professional style amplifier is accuracy and power above all else (which this sometimes means these amps can be noisy both from their cooling fans, and noisy in their output)-- so most are concrete block type amplification (aside from the above mentioned carver).

I think, as always, you have to trust your ears. If you like the more subdued and mellow sounds of the big buck home amp product: I certainly won't tell you that you're WRONG, but you might not be happy with a professional style product as your amplifier.


FINAL SCORE??

It's pretty simple:

QSC RMX, Crown CE and Mackie FR are all fighting for the same lower end pro market: like DJs and small sound companies, maybe bands with their own small PA. Of the three, the crown is probably the best pure amplifier, although the mackie has a bunch of features. I would prefer the $ go into making a solid amp, but if a slightly lower amp with bells and whistles is your thing, the Mackie is probably your amp.

The Peavey was already dominating the "bands with their own PA" market for 20 years: They are a strict budget product and as such are probably just a half step or a quarter step below the Mackie/Crown CE/ RMX area. Bonus: older Peaveys can be found used CHEAP (Under $300).

The Yorkville is more along the lines with the Midrange QSC product, the Ashly FTX stuff, and Crown's midrange product like the Microtech [not to be confused with crown's top of the line mAcrotech].

Remember boys, speed costs money- look in your pocket and see how fast you wanna go!

-Vincent

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What I Hate About Recording: Producers and Engineers who use meaningless words to make their clients think they know what's going on. Words like "punchy," "warm," "groove," "vibe," "feel." Especially "punchy" and "warm." Every time I hear those words, I want to throttle somebody." - Steve Albini
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#15 of 44 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted August 02 2000 - 08:45 AM

Vince, do you know if these Peavey's input sensitivity are like the normal home electronics amps, or are they lower as in the DJ gear standard (4uBf?) where you need to step up the input from a home-oriented receiver's preamp output? I made this mistake when I bought the Samsom 550 amp last month, and would prefer not to make the same mistake again. I'm wondering about both the 8.5 and 1.3K models from Peavey.


------------------
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#16 of 44 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted August 02 2000 - 09:47 AM

Quote:
Vince, do you know if these Peavey's input sensitivity are like the normal home electronics amps, or are they lower as in the DJ gear standard (4uBf?) where you need to step up the input from a home-oriented receiver's preamp output? I made this mistake when I bought the Samsom 550 amp last month, and would prefer not to make the same mistake again. I'm wondering about both the 8.5 and 1.3K models from Peavey.

Patrick,

Cannot say for 100% certain on these older Peavey products, but some professional style amps have an Input Sensitivity of around 1.15v (+3.4 dBu) to 1.23 volts (+4dBu) [Mackie, QSC]

Some have Input Sensitivity of around 1.00v (+0 dBu) - I think newer Peavey amps operate here, or possibly at .775v.

Most Crown amps use 1.4v.

My assumption would be that the Peavey would require either a 0dbu or +4dbu output to get full wattage from the amplifier, most likely 0dbu.

What does a standard home theater reciever output from its Subwoofer output at 50% volume and sub output at nominal? I assumed it would put out -10 dbv at this setting, is this correct? I've never tested.

What kind of problem did you encounter with the Samson?

-vince

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What I Hate About Recording: Producers and Engineers who use meaningless words to make their clients think they know what's going on. Words like "punchy," "warm," "groove," "vibe," "feel." Especially "punchy" and "warm." Every time I hear those words, I want to throttle somebody." - Steve Albini
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#17 of 44 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted August 02 2000 - 10:35 AM

Vince,

Check out this thread from HTT about the Samson 550. It was just the wrong type of amp for this amplication, that's all.
So if home amp's input sensitivity is 1v at nominal, and the 4dBu are at a higher voltage of 1.23V, then anything near 1V or lower would produce more gain? Joel have me an estimated 0.775V for the Peavey's input sensitivity. Like I said, I just want to make sure I get something whose rated power is consistent with home electronics gear.

Thanks for the dissertation above. Posted Image


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#18 of 44 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted August 02 2000 - 12:42 PM

Quote:
Check out this thread from HTT about the Samson 550. It was just the wrong type of amp for this amplication, that's all.

I see. I read that thread and was quite suprised at how ignorant some folks are concerning the electrical concepts behind their equipment. [note: Ignorant means uninformed, not stupid].

There are so many statments made in this thread that show directly how very little these folks know about their equipment or even about the terms they are using.

I was, however, never able to determine the voltage output of a standard subwoofer output on a home reciever from that discussion. I was also unable to determine the input sensitivity of the Samson amp in question. If I missed either, please post!

I assume, Standard home audio should be based upon the 10dbv output scheme while pro audio is on the +4dbu scheme.

Quote:
So if home amp's input sensitivity is 1v at nominal, and the 4dBu are at a higher voltage of 1.23V, then anything near 1V or lower would produce more gain?

Okay, I'll try my best to explain it.

The input sensitivity rating, which is sometimes expressed in Volts, DBU or DBV- is the amount of signal an amplifier must be fed to achieve maximum output. If an amp is rated 1.0 volts, it would take 1.0 volts of input for the amplifier to output it maximum rated wattage. If an amp is rated .775 volts, it would take .775 volts of input for the amplifier to output it maximum rated wattage.

So, if you have 2 amplifiers:
The first one (we'll call him RALPH) has an input sensitivity of .775v [a very common number].
The second one (we'll call her JENNIFER) with an input sensitivity of 1.0v [another common number].

It would require MORE output from your receiver to reach maximum amplifier power output on JENNIFER than it would for RALPH.

So, basically, the lower the voltage number - the less amount of juice it will require to get to the maximum output.

Of course, remember, if you buy an amp which has the ability to output more wattage than you actually need, then it might no matter if you ever reach maximum. To extend our RALPH and JENNIFER example: sure RALPH would get to his maximum output with less voltage, but if JENNIFER was rated at 1000 watts output and RALPH was only 250- Jennjifer would be spilling oput more watts to your driver, even if she never got to her max!


I don't know what kind of numbers a home receiver will put out, and it is further complicated by DBV and DBU figures.

1 DBV = .775 v
1 DBU = 1.0 v

But I wonder because my old Pioneer receiver allowed as much as a 10db boost or cut on the subwoofer channel: and also allowed a 10db pad on the LFE signal. This allowed you to vary the subwoofer output by 30db (+10db down to -20db with the pad). I assume this would be 30dbv, not 30dbu. This amount of level control should be more than enough to work with almost any professional amplifier, as long as the output of a reciever isn't something super-dooper low to start with.

I find it hard to believe that it would be super-duper low to start with because SO MANY people are using the MACKIE 1400i, which has an input sensitivity of 1.23 volts (+4dbu). Since I have read many people saying they were able to clip the mackie with their recievers (like this thread: http://www.hometheat....ML/001756.html ), I would assume most receivers are capible of putting out in excess of 1.23 volts (+4dbu)!

I would imagine the input sensitivity on that Samson amp was probably 1.23 volts as well (or, at most 1.4) - but the problem was that it was only 250 watts [vs the mackie 700 watts for example]. Even if you could push your reciever to spit out full voltage into the Samson - you'd still only find yourself with 250 watts (and 250 cheapo watts)- which when driving a Dual VC subwoofer speaker, simply isn't much.

Vince

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What I Hate About Recording: Producers and Engineers who use meaningless words to make their clients think they know what's going on. Words like "punchy," "warm," "groove," "vibe," "feel." Especially "punchy" and "warm." Every time I hear those words, I want to throttle somebody." - Steve Albini
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#19 of 44 OFFLINE   Kevin Liedtke

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Posted August 02 2000 - 12:51 PM

I am interested in these amps, please send information.

Thanks
Kevin Liedtke

#20 of 44 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted August 02 2000 - 01:00 PM

Hmmm, Your current email is listed as Not available.

Is that Not@available.com or Not@available.net?

Tough to send info with no email address.

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What I Hate About Recording: Producers and Engineers who use meaningless words to make their clients think they know what's going on. Words like "punchy," "warm," "groove," "vibe," "feel." Especially "punchy" and "warm." Every time I hear those words, I want to throttle somebody." - Steve Albini
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!


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