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Author Topic: Power amp life expectancy  (Read 5844 times)

Scott (Abrahamson)

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Power amp life expectancy
« on: May 30, 2017, 11:45:40 pm »

I have three Crown CE4000's that are around fifteen years old and doing 30 to 40 gigs a year that are in excellent condition and still working great.

Would you trust using them for another five years?

 Is there a practical lifespan for power amps?

Scott

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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Power amp life expectancy
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 12:53:40 am »

i have about 50 QSC Series 3 amps. Some were made in 1982 and still work fine. I will use them until the quit and cannot be repaired. The B52 bomber is expected to fly another 25 years and I have flown on DC-9 jets that were made in the 60's. I also have a 65 mustang, a 68 torino and just parked my 1995 ford f250 that is going to be making a 4000 mile trip in august. I also have a 1973 fender twin amp and a 1974 fender twin amp. i dont know what the lifespan would be as long as they are working properly and the ps caps are not leaking , popping or buldging.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 12:59:00 am by Jeff Bankston »
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Power amp life expectancy
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 07:30:44 am »

I have three Crown CE4000's that are around fifteen years old and doing 30 to 40 gigs a year that are in excellent condition and still working great.

Would you trust using them for another five years?

 Is there a practical lifespan for power amps?

Scott
If they are working well, keep using them.
Even if you have to repair them, it can still be cheaper than buying new ones.
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Stu McDoniel

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Re: Power amp life expectancy
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 08:01:01 am »

I have three Crown CE4000's that are around fifteen years old and doing 30 to 40 gigs a year that are in excellent condition and still working great.

Would you trust using them for another five years?

 Is there a practical lifespan for power amps?

Scott
Electrolytic Caps have a shelf life and they start to dry up and change value with age. 
Heat can age them fast.   There are people who completely re-cap everything from amps, to consoles
etc.   Just keep this in mind.
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scottstephens

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Re: Power amp life expectancy
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 09:55:40 am »

Scott,

   I have 2 Crown MA amps(1200, 2400) that were built in 1988 and are still kicking hard, but only see limited duty these days. Partly because the rack is so heavy, however. Dust and dirt are the biggest enemies. If you can, remove the covers and give them a good blowing out and if they have them, clean the filters so air flow isn't restricted. But in the end, if you aren't completely happy, replace them one at a time with something on the same level or better. Peace of mind is priceless.

scott
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Power amp life expectancy
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 10:27:32 am »

Trust but verify.... Probably not a bad idea to plan for replacement eventually and carry at least one safety back up...  Use them till they stop, but trust depends on what happens (to you) if they fail?

Amplifier technology has continued to advance, so modern amps are smaller, lighter and cheaper. A cheap back up may be surprising.

JR
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Power amp life expectancy
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 10:44:59 am »

... modern amps are smaller, lighter and cheaper...
Smaller and lighter maybe, but in my experience they haven't gotten cheaper (at least over the last 5 years - I realize that 30 years ago prices/watt were higher).  Behringer and possibly Peavey/Crest excepted, the newer amps are more expensive than similar products a few years ago, largely because of the "black box" mentality (overall a good thing) requiring you to buy matching amps to speakers.  Even mid-tier amps like the QSC PLD series are more expensive than the prior PLX.

TJ "my amp rack is worth more than my car" Cornish
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Power amp life expectancy
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 10:51:24 am »

Smaller and lighter maybe, but in my experience they haven't gotten cheaper (at least over the last 5 years - I realize that 30 years ago prices/watt were higher).  Behringer and possibly Peavey/Crest excepted, the newer amps are more expensive than similar products a few years ago, largely because of the "black box" mentality (overall a good thing) requiring you to buy matching amps to speakers.  Even mid-tier amps like the QSC PLD series are more expensive than the prior PLX.

TJ "my amp rack is worth more than my car" Cornish
My reference frame is from last century when I was an amplifier product manager. So maybe scrape the cobwebs off my response...

Yes, back in the day $1/watt used to be cheap.  ::)

JR
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Thomas Le

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Re: Power amp life expectancy
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2017, 10:52:29 am »

Over at my church; there's a rack of MA2400's for tops, 3600VZ's for subs, and XTi2000's for wedges for the occasional weekend outside pavilion events. Still tickin'.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Power amp life expectancy
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2017, 11:22:45 am »

Scott, at one point we had over a dozen CE4000.  We sold most of them off to purchase XTi6002 but still have 4, I think.  We use them to power passive monitors and distributed SoS rigs.  We have one unit that needs 'jump start' and in spite of going to our Dr. Amplifier we've never found the cold solder joint.  At this point the memory is a little hazy but I don't recall ever needed to send one to Crown for service.

I suspect your CE4000 still has another 5 years left in it, maybe more.
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