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Old 2007-10-10, 08:32
Soeru's Avatar
Soeru Soeru is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Land of Dust
Posts: 3,551
Using a PA power amplifier as a guitar poweramp(Soulinsane look here)

I've got a question, can I use a generic PA poweramp like this:

With a speakon plug to 1/4" speaker cable adapter like this:

connected to a guitar cabinet? Is this safe or would there be some grounding issue involved? The adapter does say "not intended for use with equipment rated over 6 amperes", what do poweramps generally operate at?

I read at wikipedia that speakon's have shielding and that it's dangerous to use a 1/4" with a speakon because part of the connector is left partially exposed unlike speakons that can twist and lock leaving the connector completely covered.

I just want to know if this is safe.

I don't plan to buy a poweramp right now but I am buying a preamp and am considering getting a cheap solid state poweramp to power it in the future.
PA poweramps are all way cheaper than guitar poweramps, even the low end solid state ones!

The sound on these things are completely transparent right?
Originally Posted by far_beyond_sane

(Did you know In Flames had a 2005 album called "Come Clarity"? How prophetic. I think they're trying to tell us all their sperm are dead.)

Last edited by Soeru : 2007-10-10 at 08:37.
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Old 2007-11-22, 00:29
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Soulinsane Soulinsane is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
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Sorry I'm so late about getting to this. A SS pro audio power amp will work for guitar purposes but, like you said, they are designed to be very transparent. These power amps are normally used in mid/large venues as sound support with the signal coming from a mixer with mic/DI inputs from several sources, with the intent to keep those input signals as pure and undistorted as possible. SS pro audio amps can be used as a dedicated guitar power amps with awesome results but it also means all of your tone has to come from your preamp stage due to pro audio power amp transparency. I have done this before and I loved it as far as loud ass crisp razor edge SS tone went, aka Pantera, but a miced tube amp via a pro audio power amp also sounds awesome. With the advances in modern preamps and even most pedals designs it's really hard to tell the differences between SS and all tube tone when using Direct Input (DI). The only difference I have ever noticed in playing though a SS power amp as opposed to a tube power amp was in the reaction of the amps. Playing though a tube amp demands paying attention to lower freq sag and attack while with SS one needs to pay attention to hard clipping and pick attack sounding harsh. While listening to a skilled player I can not tell much difference between playing through SS vs a Tube power amp.

The amp you posted, I would not and could not connect to normal guitar cabs. Speakon connectors use balanced cables just like normal guitar cable but speakon was designed as a current amp circuit configuration. There are many SS pro audio power amps that you can connect to a guitar speaker cab safely via 1/4" phone connectors though, and a guitar cab will NEVER draw any were near 6 amps!. I highly suggest getting a amp that can use both just in case your band needs change in the future. For example, Carvin make supreme SS power amps that can be used as guitar and/or proaudio.

Again sorry for the delay.
Authorized Mercury Magnetics tech/dealer

Last edited by Soulinsane : 2007-11-22 at 00:31.
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