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Using full range power amp for rack rig.


Senior Member
I'm putting together an 80's style rack rig just for the hell of it. Kind of just experimenting. I want this one to be a high gain type of rig. I have everything including the ada mp 1. Just missing the last ingredient, which is the power amp.
I actually *want* to mess with solid state. Some of the bands I like that this rig will be geared toward used solid state amps. Including, of course, Dimebag. So for this discussion, tube power amps are out of the running.

I'd like to run stereo. Maybe. I could obviously get a Velocity 300. But I don't think 75w per side is quite going to give me the headroom. My cab can handle 400 watts. So I started thinking maybe I'd use a Crown XLS1000

Anyway, has anyone used a full range power amp for guitar use? Any 'famous' examples? And what are the pros/cons?


Widespread Panic have some Crown XLS DriveCore in their backline, but I don't know the application (saw it in a video along with some Fuchs and other stuff I've forgotten).

Silent Sound

I've used a Crown XLS 1500 for a bass amp. It works great for that purpose. The trick with using a solid state power amp is to use a good preamp, because the power amp itself will contribute very little character to the sound. Also, as you noted, headroom is WAY more important with solid state, because while a slightly driven tube amp can sound beautiful, a slightly driven solid state amp will usually sound pretty harsh. So I'd go for about double the wattage you think you will need.

The Crown XLS line are great amps, and if you're wanting something cheap and reliable, they would be my first choice. They're also quite a bit lighter and many other amps (because they're class D and have switching power supplies), so that may or may not be a factor. They also run cooler than many other amps which may or may not be helpful.

One thing you will want to be aware of is that a lot of these higher power SS amps have fans on them, and those fans can get noisy. If you've got your amp cranked, you'll never hear it, but if you're recording with relatively low volume, it may be an issue. The Crown amps don't run their fan as often as some other models I've used in the past and are a bit quieter when they do. But it still could be an issue.

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