I had the opportunity this week to turn up the volume and am rather disappointed. I'm using the EPQ900 for bass guitar, bridged into an 8 ohm cabinet, and it runs into limiting/clipping at a lower volume than the power amp it replaced (Samson Servo 300).
I've previously been skeptical of stories about Behringer's power figures being overly optimistic, but this amp really lacks volume compared to the (supposedly) less powerful Samson. I was a broadcasting technician for 20 over years so I'm not technically illiterate. The amp is set to bridge mode and I'm using 2+/2- connections on the Speakon connector. This should give me 580 watts RMS according to the specs.
So honestly, how realistic are the power specs for this amp? Is my experience to be expected or have I got a faulty amp?
I don't own any Behringer amps. I use another brand. But they are all very similar in nature. And I do own a number of other Behringer items, including the X32. But I am willing to try and help you with your problem.
First of all the limiting/clipping that you see will be on the input side of the amp, not the output. In other words, the signal coming into the amp is too hot. Pushing it beyond that point only distorts the signal.
Now to the output. I would think that this amp (EPQ900) is relatively similar in output of the Samson (Server 300). I had to lookup both amps in their respective documentation and neither stipulates output in RMS. But both companies make relatively good products. And I have some friends that have Behringer amps and love them.
So now to the setup. First of all, is the switch between the inputs all the way down (bridge mode)? Next is the speakon with the 2+/2- configuration connected to output 1? Finally, is the other end speakon connected to the 8 ohm cabinet configured as 1+/1-? This latter has to be configured the way the speakon jack in the cabinet is configured.
Thanks for the reply Paul. I'm running the level controls on the EPQ900 at maximum and controlling level with the output level control on my preamp so there should be no problem with input level. I can progressively increase the level and the EPQ's level indicators rise accordingly up to the point when the limit LEDs come on. At this point the volume is considerably less than from the Samson under the same conditions.
Yes, the output connections are as you described - 2+/2- at the amp end and 1+/1- at the cabinet end. The switch is in the bridge position and level indicators on both channels light up with signal.
The spec sheet for this amp lists both peak and RMS power figures. 8 ohm bridged should be 580W. According to Samson, the figures for their amps are always RMS, so 300W as against 580 for the EPQ.
I do have a technical background and I think we can eliminate user error. It's difficult to interpret power figures as even "RMS" is a misnomer although it's often taken to mean continuous average power. Burst power ratings seem to be more common these days but unless the burst duration and distortion level are specified (which is almost never), the figures are pretty meaningless.
Thanks again for your suggestions. I hope someone from Behringer will put in an appearance.
It looks as though you have everything covered and the problem is pointing to the amp. I'm sure someone from Behringer will come to your aid. This is one of the nicest forums that I participate in and one of the best for getting answers from the product company.