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Light(er)-weight power amp recommendations...


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Well, after doing my back in (again) after last night's gig, I've restarted my quest for a more lightweight solution...


The culprit this time was an 8U rack. It's on wheels, so easily moveable on the flat; the problem was lifting it down off stage and then into the back of the car. It's a lightweight ABS flightcase so no huge weight there.


Inside, there's a 1U mixer, a speaker controller/processor, a FX unit and a CD player. That's 5U of not-very-heavy. Round the back there's some 13A power distro. At the bottom, there's a Yamaha P4500 which weighs about 17 kilos.


So in total, it's probably about 30 kilos. It's an awkward one-man lift, due to the way it's balanced.


So.... to save my poor back, I'm looking at 2 options:


1. Split it into 2 cases - have the power amp separate from the rest.

2. Get a lighter amp.


Does anyone have any recommendations for lightweight amps with a similar spec (and ideally similar price-point) to the P4500?


Having said that, the 2-case option is probably the easiest...

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The P4500 (now discontinued?) weighed 16kg. The closest to your old Yamaha woud be the Yamaha P5000S, which is slightly more powerful, but still weighs 12kg.


To get really lightweight (and maintain the same or *better* quality) I would suggest the QSC PLX2 series. These weigh in at only 5.9kg, and the PLX1804 will give you 800W into 4Ohm per channel.


A quick look online suggests that thte Yamaha is around £450, the QSC around £620.


I'd agree that separating the amp and control rack is a good move...!


Hope this helps,




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In the gym 30k would be just the bar! then you add weights! It's not the fact that it's 30kilos it's the odd shaped lift with the weight and handles in the wrong place.


I prefer kit in pairs for a symetrical lift that makes the strain on the back less!


I had good service from a Chevin Research amp til someone "borrowed" it -Black box, enough protection, did what it said on the tin, in half the weight of anything else then on the market.


Adding wheels to cases just means you have the wheels too to lift onstage after carrying them up stairs. Good for loading trucks on tour NBG for carrying into a town hall from an estate car!

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Handles in different positions overcomes the wheels issue, by being able t carry the rack n its back/front/upside down you eliminate the need for that extra height to get the wheels onto the stage/surface.


I'd calculate your rack at more than 30kg but that's not the point. Crown XTI series are proving popular, I've just bought a few and so far so good, mine are the 4000's but the 2000 may be ok for yourself. priced under £500 inc vat from the right place, its about 8kg and has built in DSP too. 800wpc at 4ohms similar to the other suggestions.


That all said, a separate rack for the amp would still be a favourite. What do you use the speaker controller for? the XTI's build in DSP is very good and appears to do everything you could want from a crossover and parametric eq/limiter but its front panel functions are somewhat limited. You need a laptop and a USB cable + System Arch software to access the rest.





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Apart from the Lab's (which I love) the other recommendation I would give would be these


Fohhn D2.750


750 per channel into 4 ohms, class D amp technology (read: very efficient), full DSP onboard and only 9.8kg. List is around £1500 so may be out of your price range. Now, okay, I am slightly biased as we deal these but they are darn good and incredibly clean sounding.


Also a vote in the QSC direction too. The PLX's we have on our hire stock have been reliable workhorses for years.


We have both on the hire stock, Bruce, so feel free to come over to have a play. We're only over in the 'Burgh!



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That all said, a separate rack for the amp would still be a favourite. What do you use the speaker controller for?


The more I think about it, a separate rack seems to be the way to go. It probably means that on a gig I'll need an extra trip out to the car (currently I can bring in all gear+instruments in 4 trips), and the setup time will be at least 30 sec longer ;)


Speaker controller is a Celestion SR1c - I'm driving SR1s


We have both on the hire stock, Bruce, so feel free to come over to have a play. We're only over in the 'Burgh!


Thanks - I might take you up on the offer sometime - although I'm further away than the "Glasgow-ish "profile info suggests - I work there, but live about 30 miles further west...

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Remember that the best way to lift a difficult case is to use more than one person!


With one either side of the case, you will both have your hands next to each other, and be able to bend with your legs etc. Rather than having to strain yourself to get one arm either side of an award load.

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Define what you need for power, budget and frills.

The digital stuff mentioned by others looks good and I would follow that route for gigging musicians..

My experience: seperate amp in its own rack box: one small heavy item + one lighter bulky (power plugs at back, mixer, eq, CD, etc) one is preferable - powered speakers muddle matters requiring BOTH power and signal cables.


For conference work requiring 4+ independant 110w+/- channels (stage monitor, L,R and distributed delays) we've been studying the use of custom module amps + switched PSU but the economic times at the moment place investment/time priorities elsewhere, so we make do with a couple of "toolbox" amps (easily carried individually with their signal/power cables tied in to not go walkies !).

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