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Down sizing my amp rack

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citizensc View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 August 2018 at 12:26pm
Hi Guys

The busier we get with our sound system, the more we realise how important it is to make your load in easy and set up/pack down times short. 

Right now we have 14U of amps, 2U of processing, 4U rack mixer and an unracked distro spread across 2 racks in the most convoluted, time consuming and mistake prone way. Its honestly getting a bit silly so we have decided our next big spend will be shrinking it down and simplifying. 

Basically i'm just looking for a sanity check. Is it a big mistake to dump most of our amps that have been reliable and sound good to replace them with 1u 4 channel amps?

Current Setup is: 
4 x De250 - plx1602
4 x 8pe21 - plx2402
8 x 15nd930 - 2 x pl236 
12 x 12.00sw - 2 x pl380
Ultradrive - processing


Monitors:
GX5 powering 2x de250 and 2x colossus 12mb processed by a separate ultradrive. (this works out to mono) 
= 16U in amps and processing

Plan:
LC-4004U - 4x de250 + 4x 8pe21
LC-10004U OR JAM Systems Q10 - 8 x 15nd930
keeping the pl380s on bass (like them too much) 
Xilica processing 

Monitors - Active (K12 or similar, will audition in a store)
= 7U of amps and processing

Is it a mistake to buy PKN, especially in Australia? People on this forum that are not obsessive PKN fanatics seem to consistently have issues with them and then seem to consistently have terrible experience trying to get them repaired. This isn't going to be easier from Australia. 

Would it be a mistake to save a bunch of money and get the JAM Systems Q10 for kicks? It would have loads of headroom so it should sound okay right? Does the amp have much impact on the sound of the kick section, 90-350? 

I honestly have more faith in Blue Aran than PKN to support me if I have issues. It being 4 way mono, if I blow a channel up, I can just run another at 2ohm to get through the night. Not that anyone has reported any reliability issues with them. 

What do you guys think? If you were me would you do the same?
Are there any other amps I should be looking at? (No, I cant afford powersoft x series)
And no, I cant hire/demo these amps. They are rare in Aus. 
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I-shen Soundboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote I-shen Soundboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2018 at 2:50pm
Couldn't comment on your amp chioces, but before you spend big, try sticking everything in one big case, with power distribution and all wired in. 
If you can route your power, stereo feed and speaker multipins to a panel, it'll take longer to take the covers off than to connect it up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacethebase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2018 at 10:05pm
1 x 8 channel Linea and 1 x 4 channel big boy sub Linea.
www.deltastarevents.com

www.dss-audio.co.uk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizensc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2018 at 8:27am
Originally posted by I-shen Soundboy I-shen Soundboy wrote:

Couldn't comment on your amp chioces, but before you spend big, try sticking everything in one big case, with power distribution and all wired in. 
If you can route your power, stereo feed and speaker multipins to a panel, it'll take longer to take the covers off than to connect it up.

The issue with this is, we do shows down stair cases kinda regularly. The 12 U rack we have that is missing 2 amps, distro and mixer is kinda at the limit of what we want to carry up and down a staircase with two people. There is no way we would be able to move a full ~20u rack up and down stairs. 

Originally posted by jacethebase jacethebase wrote:

1 x 8 channel Linea and 1 x 4 channel big boy sub Linea.

I would love to do this. The idea of having 4u inc processing to power the whole system has me drooling but we simply cant afford it. This is getting in to powersoft dollars. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Speaker Sol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2018 at 11:25am
I'm very happy with my PKNs, Some of the amps in my rack are now getting on to 8+ years old and have never given me any hassle. 

At one point I had one with a bad heat sensor and that was a pain to get fixed. 

And I had 3 that got blown up a genny that had a phase crossed with the neutral (~400v), these got fixed very quickly and cheaply (2 weeks door to door).

I currently have 3x XE6000 and 1x XE4000 in my rack. 
I have not used the 4 channel amps and from what I have heard they are not as good / not recommended for bass.

However as you have said 'if' something was to go wrong, sending amps back to Hungary may be kind of pricey, I don't know if PKN have a local to you repair service (worth finding out). 

Andy at blue Arron, is very good to deal with and his amps are are quite modular, with each channel being on a separate board, I suspect if a channel went down it would just be a case of sending out a replacement board and fitting it yourself. That would be cheaper than sending amps half way across the world and back. I have not used these amps so can't comment on there performance. 

Something to consider with the Linear Research and Powersoft is that you they come with very good DSP, so while they are pricy you will also be eliminating the need to carry your DSPs with you. Some times it is worth just spending the big bucks and sorting something out properly.  Wink


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citizensc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizensc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2018 at 12:52pm
Originally posted by Speaker Sol Speaker Sol wrote:

I have not used the 4 channel amps and from what I have heard they are not as good / not recommended for bass.


Would you consider an Xtro kick bass?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shelfstacker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2018 at 7:51pm
We've been using these recently, to great success:


Not got the balls of an X4/X8, but I'm hanging subs off them for light use and have seen no issues.

PM me for a price, they do smaller ones, and non DSP ones.  I'm unsure of shipping and tax charges to Oz.

I'm not disssing PKN, having never heard one I still trust peoples opinions on here, but Powersoft definitely know what time it is.  Having owned most big brand amps, I'd never go back from Powersoft now.
If you are at the circus and being attacked by clowns - go for the juggler
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote U.Viktor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2018 at 9:37pm
Small Powersoft amplifiers are not really better than any of Chinese scrap-ware (included their really bad modules)
Only the K series is worth to mention.
X series is a *poor* amplifier sold expensively with fancy digitals.
However generally PKN sounds much better, probably due twice of sample rate compared to Powersoft and not relying on single-ended Class-D construction..

If you do not trust me, hear & compare them and check the difference! We did.



Edited by U.Viktor - 08 August 2018 at 9:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote csg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2018 at 10:45pm
err, ok then...
www.impulseaudio.co.uk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote re-production Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2018 at 10:56pm
we were in a very similar position to you earlier this year. Changing from racks of crest and AB with very complicated processing and routing to Linea and we haven’t looked back.
Buy once cry once is our motto, it’s really nice knowing that you have a part of your system you will not need or want to upgrade for a very long time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cravings Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2018 at 11:07pm
i had a 4 channel amp mysteriously go down mid gig last year. if it had been carrying the processing too, it would have been even worse.i don't know how comfortable i'd be with one appliance carrying a whole system..

they are tempting though..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizensc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 August 2018 at 11:55am
Would the Quattrocanali work well for touring? What makes an amp an 'install amp'. Is it engineered to not fall apart being moved around a lot? 

Also i'm not sure 1200 watt per channel driving 8 15nd930 would be enough. I feel like powersoft plays in to the whole inflated amp spec game aswell so with all 4 channels driven, i'm not confident it would be able to deliver when pushed. The Pl236 is very much what it says on the box https://www.abeltronics.co.uk/amptesting/amp-meet-two.php and id say 2 of these are barely enough. With the system at its limit they are on the edge of clip. 

Again, id love to have linea research, powersoft x series or similar but we don't do enough shows at this point to justify it. If we were doing ~2 shows a week, every week then maybe we would think about it. Right now we are at 1/3 - 1/2 that and have to pay our other expenses eg. insurance, rent, maintenance. 
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