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Author Topic: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?  (Read 1074 times)

Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« on: April 28, 2019, 11:43:25 pm »

Short version: what low to moderate cost (think sub $500) power amplifier would you recommend to power some JBL MRX515 tops?  This would replace the existing inuke 3000 which, although it works well, is only putting out around 300W into 8ohms.

Back story: Built a PA in my buddy's club using a combination of gear leftover from another club and some of my surplus gear.  Club is a small (~2k sq ft) club/bar.  Ceilings are about 8'; carpeted floor, but reflective walls and ceiling.  We have begun to regularly host rock bands and EDM DJs.  Over the weekend, I was doing sound for a local metal band and noticed that the inuke 3000 driving the MRX515s was hitting limit more often than I would like.  I also could have used a few more dB from the tops to get the vocals out cleaner.  The subs are powered about right, but are outrunning the tops easily.  None of the other amps in my stable would likely yield any worthwhile increase in output (IPR 1600, XLS 2500) from the top cabs.

System:

Mixer: XR18
Processor: DCX2496LE
Sub AMP: iNuke 6000
Subs: 2 x Carvin TrX218N
Top amp: iNuke 3000
Tops: 2 x JBL MRX515
Monitors: several Mackie SRM450.

System is run stereo.  Crossover is at 90Hz; cannot remember the details for crossover slopes, but will see if I can get on site this week and verify.  The system overall sounds very good and gets a lot of positive comments.   However, I can tell that, when the system is pushed hard, the tops run out of gas before the subs.  Replacing the tops is not an option at this time.  We can trade/sell some other surplus gear to fund an updated power amp, but high-dollar gear is not in the cards.  The amps are rack mounted and are rarely moved, so the replacement amp does not need to be particularly light.  Reliability and high bang/buck ratio are the most important factors.

Thanks for any assistance and advice!
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Scott Gaines

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2019, 12:12:46 am »

Well as an owner of a pair of MRX515s, I can tell you the more power the better. I've since graduated to SRX815s, but I have fond fairly recent memories of my old tops.
 
I had a Carvin 3800w stereo power amp that pushed a cool 900w per side, and they took it all in stride... And they sound better and better the more you feed them.
 
Don't kill em with anything below 80Hz, of course.
 
One of the big issues with those speakers, though, is the rattling of the cabinets under load. They need like a little help in the bracing department.
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Will Knight

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2019, 03:05:23 am »

QSC GX7 would be a perfect fit for those speakers.  I owned a pair along with the M500 series subs (MX518s) and ran them off of 2 GX7ís in stereo. Ampís rated @800w/8Ohm load which matches speakersí RMS/Program requirements. Single 20A circuit, Class D power, built in crossover point & QSC quality and warranty. Worked like a charm for my purposes at that time.



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« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 08:03:05 am by Will Knight »
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Mike Santarelli

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2019, 06:56:49 am »

These were my first decent pa speakers. I powered them at first with qsc gx5 and it worked well.  I found the gx7 to be a perfect match and thatís what I used  for years with no issues.

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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2019, 07:07:53 am »

Short version: what low to moderate cost (think sub $500) power amplifier would you recommend to power some JBL MRX515 tops?  This would replace the existing inuke 3000 which, although it works well, is only putting out around 300W into 8ohms.


I'm not surprised at the lack of output for the inuke.  There's several youtube videos showing tests/results/readings for the inuke amplifiers (various inuke models) being close to 30% less actual output than what Behringer's marketing materials show.

I do not own any inukes, but have mixed bands which do own the inuke models.  It was audibly evident those amps were not producing the output anywhere near what their marketing material indicated.
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Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2019, 09:43:03 am »

I'm not surprised at the lack of output for the inuke.  There's several youtube videos showing tests/results/readings for the inuke amplifiers (various inuke models) being close to 30% less actual output than what Behringer's marketing materials show.

I do not own any inukes, but have mixed bands which do own the inuke models.  It was audibly evident those amps were not producing the output anywhere near what their marketing material indicated.

Bob, you are 100% right.  I found some bench tests results on the iNukes that provided me with the more accurate numbers that I used above.  The general rule is to take the claimed rating and divide by SQRT(2) to get the continuous power at ~1% THD.  Curiously, the iNuke 6000 tests out right at 2kW per side at 4 ohms for the subs, which has proven a great fit.  Sounds good and has been in service for 4 years now without complaint.  More than enough bass for this small space.

Thanks, everyone.  I will look into the GX7 and any other amps that are suggested to me. 
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Scott Gaines

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2019, 03:26:11 pm »

One thing I love about those speakers is how light they are!
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Rob Spence

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2019, 03:29:43 pm »

I use a PLX1804 for my MRX512 speakers. Light, not too expensive. Of course I donít do serious rock & roll with them.


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Steve Litscher

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2019, 03:41:27 pm »

+1 for the GX7

I don't think you'll find anything else with better performance for the same $$... We had a few GX7's prior to switching to PLD4.5 and they always worked well. If you shop around and are patient, you can find smoking deals on these on Craiglist and the like. We bought one of our GX7 used from a local guy for $300.

David Winners

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 04:05:32 pm »

Why not just use another iNuke 6000?
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Travis_Valois

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 05:46:12 pm »

A local club that I work with has an MRX system for the restaurant/lounge upstairs from the club, MRX 515 over MRX518. Tops are powered with PLX 3102, bottoms with PLX 3602 with a Driverack PA+ for processing.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

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Rory Buszka

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 07:00:56 pm »

Why not just use another iNuke 6000?

The line has been refreshed as the NX series, and the NX6000 is the amp you're thinking of. With DSP, the NX6000D.
IMO at the price point the DSP in the D amps is hard to beat. Making changes on the fly is way easier than with, say, my XTi2002 (soon to be joined by an XTi4002), where you really do have to connect a laptop to them to see anything because the display is not dot-matrix. That said, if they are in an installed system then that may be desirable because there's less desire for normies to futz with them. I put 4 of the XTi2s in a high school gymnasium half a decade ago bi-amping four Altec Lansing DTS 645 cabinets, with care paid to proper crossover, relative level, and corrective EQ. (Now, would I do the same with the Behringers? Only if I could keep an eye on them.)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 07:06:41 pm by Rory Buszka »
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Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2019, 08:44:55 pm »

Why not just use another iNuke 6000?

I am considering that as well.  Would be a touch on the high side power wise for the MRX, but I can keep that under control with proper setup in the processor.  Thanks!
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Mike Santarelli

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2019, 09:13:14 pm »

I am considering that as well.  Would be a touch on the high side power wise for the MRX, but I can keep that under control with proper setup in the processor.  Thanks!


A friend just picked up a few of the nx6000 and just ran a small street fest where my band played. Iíd felt they sounded very good with a good amount of power. If you get the dsp version that would help in limiting the power.

The gx7 is a near perfect match though power wise.
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Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2019, 10:45:22 am »

Thanks, everyone.  I appreciate the advice.  I am scouting now for a suitable amp in the area.  Curiously, decent power amps rarely pop up used near me.  The good news is that the system works fine now, so we are in no great rush and can wait until we can find the right gear at the right price.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2019, 01:47:05 pm »

Just a quick FWIW, if you could run the system mono for a test, you could bridge your current NU3000 into the pair of JBLs and have a good approximation of what an NU6000 will do for you.

Chris
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Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2019, 05:10:09 pm »

Just a quick FWIW, if you could run the system mono for a test, you could bridge your current NU3000 into the pair of JBLs and have a good approximation of what an NU6000 will do for you.

Chris

That thought had occurred to me, but I am reluctant to push a "value" amp bridged into that low of a load. 
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Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2019, 04:35:18 pm »

Just a quick FWIW, if you could run the system mono for a test, you could bridge your current NU3000 into the pair of JBLs and have a good approximation of what an NU6000 will do for you.

Chris

Follow up on this topic - I forgot that there was a Behringer EP1500 (RMX 850 clone) driving monitors.  Bridged, it is right at 1400W into 4 ohms.  Any input on bridging that to drive the tops and moving the iNuke 3000 to monitor duty?
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2019, 08:01:58 pm »

I'd be more comfortable bridging the iNuke. The EP2500 bench tests pretty well, but the EP1500 IIRC won't go much above 500w/ch into 2ohm, and it'll run like a hairdryer trying.

My recommendation would be to test with the iNuke bridged and see if it's enough of an improvement to stump up for the NX6000D.

Chris
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Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2019, 10:35:02 pm »

I'd be more comfortable bridging the iNuke. The EP2500 bench tests pretty well, but the EP1500 IIRC won't go much above 500w/ch into 2ohm, and it'll run like a hairdryer trying.

My recommendation would be to test with the iNuke bridged and see if it's enough of an improvement to stump up for the NX6000D.

Chris

Thanks.  I believe I will heed your advice and try the iNuke in bridge mode for the moment. 
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Dave Guilford

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2019, 08:27:18 am »

Thanks.  I believe I will heed your advice and try the iNuke in bridge mode for the moment.

For what itís worth, I have used the Inuke series bridge pretty often with no problems at all
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Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2019, 01:44:34 pm »

For what itís worth, I have used the Inuke series bridge pretty often with no problems at all

Thanks.  Will give it a try and see how it works out.
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Re: Suggestions for power amp to drive MRX 515?
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