Amplifiers are an essential part of audio production. Without amplifiers, we can’t do any more with the amplification of sound.
However, there is a lot of confusion when we want to buy one for our needs.
From RMS wattage to impedance and mono to stereo there are several things we need to take care of before choosing a power amplifier.
Actually, different amplifiers are built for different types of works.
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There is a whole range of amplifiers available in the market according to the specific use. Though, we can divide them in two main categories.
- Studio amplifiers
- Power amplifiers for live sound
The main difference between the two is WATTAGE.
Studio amplifiers are generally low powered ranged from 200 watts to 1000 watts where live sound amps range between 1000 watts to 12000 watts.
We need much more loud sounds in live concerts so these amps are called POWER AMPS.
But again, we have a lot of confusion when choosing a power amp for live concerts.
From RMS/peak wattage to sound quality, resistance, and brand, there is a huge amount of in-depth knowledge we need to gain, otherwise, we could end up with the wrong choice.
So, I have compiled this list of 9 Best Power Amplifiers for Live Sound that will help you in your search for the best one.
Now without taking any more time, let’s jump into the list.
1. Behringer EP4000
When it comes to the audio industry, Behringer is known as one of the most popular brands.
They have a huge range of audio recording and live sound products. Behringer EP4000 is the bestselling an amplifier in their product list.
If you want to buy a power amp dedicated to concerts and live programs the Behringer EP4000 should be your first choice.
The features of Behringer EP4000 makes it a perfect amplifier for live sound. Let us see them.
- 2 x 2,000 Watts into 2 Ohms; 2 x 1,400 Watts into 4 Ohms and extends up to 4,000 Watts when used in bridge mode
- Provides extra punch and clarity with ATR (Accelerated Transient Response)technology.
- Equipped with switchable limiters for overload protection
- Detented gain controls.
- Provided with Precise Power, Signal and Clip LEDs to monitor performance.
- XLR and 1/4″ TRS input connectors make it compatible with any source.
- “Touch-Proof” binding posts support most speaker wiring systems
- Low-frequency filters remove ear-damaging infra-sound frequencies
- Automatic DC and thermal overload protection on each channel to protect amplifier and speakers
- High-current toroidal transformer.
- Ventilation system for reliable operation
- 3-Year Warranty Program*
So here were some of the main features of Behringer EP4000. Features like high power transistors, overload protection, XLR and TRS connectors, etc make it an ultimate choice for live sound and concerts.
Whether you are a DJ, live sound operator or engineer, this power amplifier would be a great fit in your equipment list.
If we talk about the brand then Behringer is one which has been sounded audio industry with their great products ranges over time and very reliable.
Afterall you will also get 3 years of warranty with this amplifier.
When it comes to price, Behringer EP4000 doesn’t cost you a much like other brand amps.
So wanna buy this?
2. Crown XTi 6002
When it comes to Power amps, the one brand comes into mind which is totally dedicated to live sound technology.
I think each and every live sound engineers listened to this brand.
Crown has been making live sound equipment for decades.
The other thing which makes Crown the number one brand in this field is it’s sound and build quality.
If you can invest a few extra bucks, I would always suggest you buy Crown Power amps. They have a whole range of power amps.
Crown XTi 6002 is their mid-range products which can deliver up to 2100 watt in peak power.
Let us see its features then you shall decide whether you will buy it or not.
- Rated Power Output (per channel) – 3000W 2Ω, 2100W 4Ω, 1200W 8Ω
- Signal to Noise Ratio – 103 dB (A-weighted)
- To provide ultimate system performance and protection with full control over threshold, attack, and release Peakx Plus™ limiter technology is used.
- Equipped with Enhanced Subharmonic Synth section which provides user control over frequency, gain and filter type.
- 3 types of fan mode controls for specific applications.
- Integrated cast-aluminum handles for easy handling durability.
- Locking power cord clip provides a secure connection between equipment.
- Updated HiQnet System Architect™ control software.
- Increased number of presets to a total of 50; 49 of which are user-definable.
As I’ve said earlier, if you can spend a few extra bucks then it’s a great choice for you.
When you use both the amps you can easily observe the difference. Hence the price Crown charge for their product is not vain.
3. Seismic Audio – MBG-4000
Started in 2000 seismic audio gained huge popularity by manufacturing state of the art equipment in the audio industry.
According to “Steve”, the people behind Seismic audio, he started selling audio parts from his apartment in 2000 on eBay.
But with time and perfect planning, it became a popular brand in the audio industry. Now Seismikc audio has a whole range of live sound equipment that delivers professional-quality audio.
However, this is a new name in the audio industry, with their extraordinary audio quality and price that fits into the pocket they create a great market for their products.
If you are looking for a quality product that suits your pocket then Seismic audio is one of them.
Let us see the features of Seismic Audio MBG 4000
- Power Handling
- 2 x 500 Watts @ 8 Ohms
- 2 x 1000 Watts @ 4 Ohms
- Momentary Peak Output 4000 Watts @ 4 Ohm Bridge
- Technical Specifications
- Input level: 0 dB
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20K Hz
- Rising Speed: 45 v/us (BTL-MONO 90v/us)
- Distortion for adjustment: <0.01%
- General Harmonic Wave Distortion: 20Hz-20K Hz <0.1%
- Input Resistance: 20K ohm
- Signal Noise Ratio: >95 dB
- What comes on the front panel
- Channel A and B volume controls
- Power indicator
- Power red when started
- Clip maximum level indicator
- Signal indicator
- Rear panel
- Channel A and B signal input (XLR & 1/4″ jack connectors)
- Channel A and B power output (Speakon & binding post connectors)
- Stereo/Bridge Mono switch
- Lift/Ground switch
- Fuse: 10A
- AC input: 110V, 50-60 Hz
- Dual cooling fan
- One Year Warranty
Wanna buy this power amp?
4. Peavey IPR2 3000
Peavey is a very known name in the live audio industry.
With a whole range of PA speakers and power amplifiers, it’s the 2nd largest brand in this industry after Crown.
As compared to Crown, Peavey equipment doesn’t put a heavy load in your pocket yet delivers great sound quality.
They have a whole range of power amps but one of them is the bestseller. ie; Peavey IPR2 3000.
If you are looking for a mid-power amplifier then this amp perfectly fits in your expectations.
Let us see the main features of Peavey IPR 3000 power amp.
- 2- Channel independent fourth-order Linkwitz-Riley crossovers technology
- DDT – This technology protects drivers and ensures that sonic integrity is maintained, in extreme overload conditions.
- Revolutionary IPR class D topology yields the highest audio resolution and efficiency available.
- XLR 1/4″ inputs
- Speakon output connectors
- Light Weight
- LED illuminated
- Detented input controls
- 1750w at 2 ohms, 950w at 4 ohms and 525w at 8 ohms.
- Individual signal pass 1/4″ jacks on each channel.
Well, you have read the main features of this amplifier. If you want to learn more about this amp, you can refer to their official website.
5. Behringer NU6000 DSP
In the first, I have discussed the brand so there is nothing to discuss Behringer here. Let us directly see the features of Behringer NU6000 DSP.
- This portable amp delivers 2 x 3100 Watts into 4 Ohms, 2 x 1600 Watts into 8 Ohms.
- High-Density Class-D cooling technology with “near-zero” thermal buildup.
- Ultra-efficient switch-mode power supply for noise-free audio, with the superior transient response and low consumption of power.
- DSP powered and 24-bit/96 kHz converters deliver ultimate signal integrity and extreme dynamic range.
- Features sophisticated delay, crossover dynamics processing with lockable security settings.
- Front panel LCD display. Now you can operate this amplifier without the help of PC.
- Front-panel USB connector and remote software.
- “Zero-Attack” limiters with reliable overload protection.
- Built-in Subwoofer/Satellite crossover.
- Detented and illuminated gain controls.
- Precise 4-segment Signal and Limit LEDs.
- XLR and 1/4” TRS inputs for compatibility with any source.
- Speaker connector locks for ultimate reliability.
- Independent DC, LF and thermal overload protection on each channel that automatically protects amplifier and speakers.
- 3-Year Warranty Program*
6. QSC RMX 5050A
As a 50 years old company, QSC is one of the best choices when it comes to PA systems.
Especially in Cinema sounds there are no such competitors of QCX.
However they are active in cinema sound, they have a great range of PA amp systems including the giant QSC RMX 5050A.
Starting from 2500 watts and light weight technology QSC RMX 5050A would be one of the best bet in live sound systems for you.
Not only the wattage capacity but in clarity and quality of sound QSC RMX 5050A will definitely win your heart.
Here are some of the great features of QSC RMX 5050A amp.
- First of all Compact size — up to 2500 watts in two rack spaces, or 5000 watts in three rack spaces. I know as a live sound engineer you need to worry about the size and handling, right?
- A great transformer system ie; High-current toroidal transformers, for 2-ohm power and low noise.
- Independent clip limiters reduce distortion.
- User-selectable low-frequency filters (30 Hz or 50 Hz) that protect speakers and increase headroom.
- Touch-proof binding post and Neutrik Speakon® outputs
- Feature a dual mono, high-current power supply for increased reliability and performance over the years.
- Balanced 1/4-inch (6.3 mm) TRS, XLR, and barrier strip inputs
- Front-mounted gain controls for easy access to engineers.
- Signal and clip LED indicators for monitoring performance
- Independent DC and thermal overload protection on each channel that automatically protects your amplifier and speakers.
- 3-year warranty.
So, these are some of the features of QSC RMX 5050A. Wanna buy one?
7. Pyle PMXAKB2000
If you are searching for a mid-range amplifier for DJ operations small programs then Pyle PMX AKB2000 will best fit you.
It has several features that an average music player wants in his amp.
Features like Bluetooth Wireless Music Streaming Ability to USB Flash and SD Memory Card Readers mak it the best choice for every musician.
This overall amplifier system also works like a mixer where you can mix your live performances.
Let us see some of the features of this all-in-one amplifier.
- MAX Power Output: 2000 Watt
- 1000 + 1000 @ 4 Ohm
- 750 + 750 @ 8 Ohm
- Karaoke / PA Stereo Amplifier
- Connects to Home Theater and External Speaker Systems
- Microphone Talk-Over Function
- Digital LCD Display
- Easy Audio Mixing with Mix (2) Mics with Bluetooth / RCA Input Audio
- Bluetooth Wireless Music Streaming Ability
- Dual Channel (A/B) Digital Amp Design
- USB Flash and SD Memory Card Readers
- (2) 1/4” Microphone Inputs – Front Panel
- RCA Video Connector Input / Output Connectors
- (3) Pair RCA (L/R) Audio Output Connector Jacks
- (2) 1/4” Microphone Inputs – Back Panel
- (2) Pair (L/R) Speaker Terminal / Bind Post Connectors
- (2) Pair RCA (L/R) Audio Input Connector Jacks
- Connects to Video Display, TV or Monitor
- Effect Loop (L/R) RCA Connectors
- Input Selector and Digital Key Controls
- Compatible with Outboard Effects Processors
- Front Panel Rotary Control Center
- Audio Master Volume and Mic Master Volume Control
- Independent Mic Audio Configuration Controls
- Mic Echo/Low/High/Repeat/Delay Control
- Built-in Ventilation Cooling Fan
- Music Low/Mid/High/Balance Control
- Rack-Mountable System
8. CVR D-1502
Another amplifier that you can add in your PA equipment is CVR D-1502 by CVR Audio.
CVR audio is a Chinese company originated in Guangzhou.
But don’t let is go anyways because it’s one of the best Chinese companies that shook the world of music with their great product ranges.
Let us see the features of CVR D-1502.
- 2×1500W at 8Ω/Stereo, 2×2550W at 4Ω/Stereo, 2×4760W at 2Ω/Stereo
- Temperature control fan for quiet operation.
- Class D circuit provides high efficiency,energy-saving, and low operation.
- Comply with the safety and EMC standards.
- First-class components from international high-end manufacturers.
- The size (1U) and weight are only 1/3 of the traditional amplifier.
- 90~260VAC / 50~60HZ wide-range power supply.
- Modular design and maintenance is convenient.
- The reasonable design makes you feel relaxed in the process of using.
- Very suitable for mobile shows.
- Environmental protection
9. Rockville 5000 (RPA12)
Perfect for DJs Rockville 5000 has the power to rock the disco as well as live concerts.
It’s one of my best amps in the world. If you ask me genuinely what to choose from this list, I will go for this amp.
I’m not saying this blindly. Actually it is used in some of our concerts and gave the mind-blowing result.
The clarity of sound as well as the quality and power it’s perfect to buy for any type of application where sound amplification is used.
Let us see some great features of Rockville 2000 amplifier.
- Rockville RPA12 is a 5000 Watt Peak 2 Channel Professional/DJ Rack Mount Amplifier.
- It has LCD displays volume in dB per channel as well as operating temperature.
- 2U rack space.
- It has a built-in limiter that protects your speakers from distortion and clipping and also damaging.
- For use with a subwoofer, Bridged mode allows you to combine both channels power into one channel.
- Stereo mode is great for 2 speakers or 4 speakers in left and right.
- Its parallel mode gives you a dual mono output signal, Perfect for monitor use.
- Built-in crossover switch which bypasses 80 Hz, 160 Hz.
- Channel A & B Clipping Led Indicators.
- Channel A & B Separate Level Controls.
- Power, signal, clipping, and protection LED indicators on the front of the amp.
- Heavy-duty rack-mount handles and ears.
- Built-in variable high-velocity quiet cooling fans.
- Maximum headroom.
- Level controls for precise setting and matching of sensitivity.
- Computer-controlled IC protection circuitry against speaker short circuit, thermal overload, DC overload.
- Frequency Response 10 Hz – 30 Khz
- THD + Noise @ 1Khz full power: <0.03%
- Input Impedance: 10K Ohm Balanced
- Input signal voltage: 660mV – 1.5V
- Input sensitivity: 0.7v
- Damping factor: ( 100Hz, 10w, 4 ohms): 40.8
- Damping factor: (1Khz @ 8 ohm): >400:1
- Effective damping factor (100Hz, 10w, 4 Ohms) 1.08
- Output impedance at speaker terminals: 0.09803 Ohms
- Frequency Response vs THD+N (worst case, across normal bandwidth 1W) 0.11%
- Signal to Noise Ratio: > 100dB
- IMD 60Hz & 1kHz, 4:1: <0.04%
- SLEW RATE (input filter limited) : 40v/uS
- Power Requirements: 120V / 50-60Hz
- Weight: 26.5 lbs
- Dimensions: 19.09 x 16.93 x 3.35 inch
Wanna buy this amp?
Final Verdict: Best Power Amplifiers in 2020
So, here were the 9 best power amplifiers for live sound and DJs. However these all are great in performance and price point of view, I recommend two of them
These amps are tested and reviewed by me and perform like a charm when it comes to precise amplification of sound, especially live sound.
Now it’s your time to choose your power amplifier. Let us know after ordering your amp on Amazon so that others could also get the right suggestions.
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Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves music, writing and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.