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Budget amp lines from QSC, Crown and Thomann??


Solstace

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I'm in the market for some replacement power amplifiers to squeeze a little more life out of a couple of our systems before a bigger upgrade happens. We've been trundling along adequately with the present Chameleon amplifiers for just short of ten years but I'm fed up with having to take a soldering iron to one or more of them several times a year.

 

I've been learning to shy away from cheaper kit since taking on this post, with everything being purchased for the long-term view and being built (and priced) to last.

 

The speakers are sets of Bose 802 or 402. These will be used with one speaker connected to each amplifier channel, and I'm looking to feed each 802 with a max of 500W, and each 402 with a max of 250W. This is not so we can drive the speakers to silly levels - but I do want some headroom, as I'd rather wind down a more powerful amplifier than overstress a weaker one. A large gig last year prompted me to hire in some stronger QSC amplifiers to test this theory and the sound of the system was transformed - it really was a night and day difference.

 

A further consideration is that whatever amplifiers are purchased now may very well need to be recycled as power amplifiers for monitors within a year or two, likely to be D&B Max 12's or similar.

 

I've done some research and am a little confused as to which way to go. I'm under some pressure to only buy "named" brands, and so have looked primarily at:

 

Crown XLS802/402

QSC RMX2450/1450

 

But then I've seen Thomann's TA2400-MK-X, or even their TSA-4-700. The TA2400 comes in at basically the same price I think as the smaller Crown/QSC amps I've looked at. Or it seems I can get 4x490W into a 2U unit for just a shade under what I'd pay for two channels of the larger Crown/QSC amps. We're using 1U amplifiers at the moment and cooling is certainly an issue for them - so I'm loathe to spend out again on so many channels per box.

 

Personally I suspect that at this end of the budget all these amps are going to be much of a muchness in terms of longevity, engineering and sound quality. I'm wondering whether anyone here has any practical experience with any or all of these amps? Are any of them built significantly better than the others? Are they all likely to give 5 years or more of trouble-free amplification in a permanent install, where they'll barely normally drive more than 1/4 of their rated output?

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Presumably the design is similar between the TA models, so I will give my opinion.

 

I have 2 of the TA600, run at around 1/2 most of the time, and so far have been very happy with them, I have had them for about 2 years now, and not had any problems with them, mine are racked and moved around alot by hand, so would think that would put greater stress on them rather than on an install as you suggest.

 

the only thing I have noticed is the fans draw front to back, all my other amps are back/front so just make sure there is space behind to hot air to dissipate.

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re: the fans - it's just clicked with me why the fluff build up is worse on the Thomanns than the others!

 

I've had 2400/1500/400s in a rack, abused and neglected for quite a while - often running into no load, and being on for extended periods of time - they've been brilliant. There are a couple of QSC and Peaveys in there too - all have been no problem whatsoever.

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Thanks to this thread I've just discovered the T.AMP D4-500, which looks ideal for my little Celestion SR rig, replacing a something like 10u wheeled rack with two old school big ass MTR amps that is just too much weight at my age, with a 1u tiddler tipping the scales at five bags of sugar - 4.9KG!!!!

 

Anyone any experience of this amp?

 

Edited to add: how does one find manuals on the Thomann site????

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I've got several T-Amp 1050's that I have used for several years and not had a problem with any of them. They replace some Alto and Tapco amps that were a bit of a pain with cutting out when they got too hot even though they weren't being pushed to the limit. I believe the T-Amps are the same as C-Mark. The C-Mark MR2350 is exactly the same in appearance and spec as the T-Amp 1050.
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have looked primarily at:

Crown XLS802/402

QSC RMX2450/1450

 

But then I've seen Thomann's TA2400-MK-X

 

 

If its a simple toss-up between the t-amp, QSC and Crown, then the QSC or Crown every time. The QSC are road-proven and well made, the TA2400 is a cut-down copy of the QSC as mentioned soooo many times on BR before, and the Crown XLS is a re-cased C-Audio.

 

The Crown and QSC are beautifully made, the T-Amp is most certainly not.

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I've never heard of the similarity between the QSC RMX and the TA series. There are LOTS of TA series knocking about being abused that have provided faultless service for a few years. The same can be said about the RMX's. Though I've known more issue with the Crown XLS range, they still seem a reasonable amp.

 

I'd have no problems recommending the TA2400's. I've got some of the TSA amps on demo so I'm going to be seeing how they perform in the next couple of weeks. I'm trying to get a D4 500 to try too.

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re: the fans - it's just clicked with me why the fluff build up is worse on the Thomanns than the others!

 

stops the hot air being blown all over me though!

 

Edited to add: how does one find manuals on the Thomann site????

 

the TA manuals aint worth bothering with, basically 4 sides of A4 (a folded A3 sheet) front, a nice pic, model Nos etc, back blank with contact info on the bottom, inside left is the ins and outs (not too taxing there) and on the right the tech specs.

 

as far as I know all the info is on the site.

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I've never heard of the similarity between the QSC RMX and the TA series

 

It's a well-trodden path.

 

I am extremely experienced in the dismantling & repair of both QSC RMX and the (T-Amp/Cmark/Audiohead/Soundlab/DAP Audio) unit. Whilst there are subtle differences between the quality of the ones I put in brackets, (no doubt the standard of build is specced by the brand owner) they are all basically the same and almost identical, schematic-wise, to the QSC RMX. There are also many, many more the same with different front and rear panels but the same/similar chassis, for example this one:

 

http://www.westmusic.pl/galerie/d/dap-audio-palladium-vint_26.jpg

 

The TA2400 is about the cheapest amp available at that size, so bear in mind how this might reflect on quality.

 

br page

 

For the more technically minded, here's a link to an electronics forum thread which I'll dare to post as it's not really a competitor forum to BR but deals with amps at component-level.

 

amp thread

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Interesting, I've known the comments about the RMX amps and the Behringer EP series, but never with the TA series (and their cousins) before.

Thomann do give out a 3 year warranty with theirs though despite the low price.

 

My other question would be to output power. We know the RMX2450 is a 750wpc at 4ohms amplifier, and the Behringer EP2500 is about the same, (no surprises) but the TA2400? On the bench it does what it says on the tin, so which model does this compare to, and which model in the range compares to the RMX2450 etc. The Larger in the RMX range are in a 3u chassis.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm looking for some cheap, lightweight amps to power monitors. A couple of T.AMP TSA 4-700 amplifiers would lighten my racks by about 90 kilos. Has anyone on here actually tried this amp yet? I'd be interested to know how it performs.

 

It would also be interesting to hear any feedback about Thomann's other lightweight amps, the TSA-2200 and D4-500.

 

I've not been able to find any manuals or specs for these amps apart from the basic item description on Thomann's website.

 

Thanks in anticipation.....

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My Thomann D4-500 arrived today, but it is not yet screwed into a rack.

 

One day it will be, I'll plug it up, and report back :)

 

As noted above, the manuals are not terribly informative, but there is a chart which lists power consumption under differing operating conditions, one of which is flat out sine waves...

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The T.AMP TSA 4-500 certainly looks neat and great value. Do we know if these 4 channel T.AMP cheapies have decent protection, and power on thump suppression? If they do, and if they deliver the stated power reliably, then they look like being great value little cookies!
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