So, you say you’re in the market for a new amp. You need something that is proven trustworthy and reliable but you don’t need 8,000 or even 6,400 watts of output like some of the large touring style amps. You want lightweight yet powerful, professional but without the large price tag. Well, my friend, the EV CP3000S ($2,330) should be the amp you are looking for.
Product PointsApplications: Live reinforcement, installation
Key Features: Two-channel; onboard high-pass and low-pass filters; limiter; 60mm sliders; “cut-only” mode.
Contact: Electro-Voice at 952-884-4051, Web Site
First thing I noticed was the weight – a mere18 pound. and only two rack-spaces. Output is rated at 1,600 watts per channel at 2 ohms. The CP3000S is powered using a switch-mode power supply which gives the amp a Class H design. This “switch-mode” is derived from varying the voltage to the permanent voltage rail depending on the requirements of what is being amplified. In all, what this means is that you have an amp that for normal operation requires less voltage and in turn produces less heat so that it can run more efficiently.
The CP3000S has a frequency response of 15Hz to 40 kHz (±1 dB). Crosstalk is rated at <-80 dB with a damping factor of >300. Maximum input level is an astounding +22 dBu (9.76 Vrms). Input sensitivity is however a high +5.8 dBu (1.51Vrms). Protection for the amp includes audio limiters, high temperature, DC, HF, back EMF, peak current limiters, in-rush current limiters and a delayed power-up. The CP3000S also features two cooling fans with a front-to-rear flow and three temperature regulated fan speeds.
The rear panel has all XLR connectors for input and loop outs. Outputs are all Neutrik Speakons for Channel A and B outs as well as a separate Speakon output for bridged operation. The AC input is a detachable euro or CPU connection. EV has also placed some very convenient switches on the back panel. These switches are for AC ground lift, bridged mode operation and paralleling a single input to both channels. The front panel contains the main power switch, gain controls for both channels and three level “Christmas tree” lights. The gain controls are separate for each channel and move in detents (1 dB increments). The lights for each channel are signal, 0 dB and limit. There is also a power and a protect light.
I have had the opportunity to use/work/play with this amp now for several months. I have powered small subwoofers to generic full range speakers with the EV CP3000S. I must say it has impressed me for what it is. Lightweight, low heat and a good amount of output power all combine to produce a great product. The 1,600 watts at 2 ohms is just what I need for small corporate gigs with subs.
To take the CP3000S through its paces I used it to power some DJ monitors. At 8 ohms I expect smooth response, no noise and the ability to handle the all-night abuse. It performed with flying colors. I was very happy to see it handle the heat in the club so well. This amp has some features you wouldn’t expect to see from an amp in its price range. The “Christmas tree” is an awesome feature that I always harp on because from a system standpoint I feel it is good to have a visual reference to what is happening all the way through the signal path.
Next I took the CP3000S out on a small corporate gig with EAW KF300s and some 250 subs. I ran one side of the amp to power the KF300s and the other side to power the subs. Now I will admit that this is not a typical amp setup for this configuration. Yes, I should have more wattage powering the low-end cabinets but for what the show was (talking heads with video playback hitting subsonic frequencies only) this was fine. This setup gave the CP3000S different ohm ratings for each channel and tested the response of the switch-mode. The fast, flawless performance impressed me, and the unknowing corporate “big wigs”.
Since the CP3000S has such amazing features and performance I was surprised to find an AC CPU type power connector at the rear panel. I have always found those to be unsecured and can potentially wiggle loose at the back of a rack. I was also shocked to see such a high input sensitivity (1.51 Vrms). I think I am more familiar with the now common 1.4 or the old standard of 0.775. Never the less, even with those minor attributes the amp was a hit in my book.
Here is an amp that can compete with the “big dogs” in the touring arena; yet is made practical for smaller sound companies, nightclubs and install work. The CP3000S took all the abuse I could throw at it and came out shining. It runs cool and stays cool and in my opinion that stands for a lot with the rest of us hot heads.
Numark DM1200 mixer, Yamaha PM3500, M2000 consoles; Sony XE400 CD player; Apple Ipod; Shure SM58,57, MX412 microphones; EAW KF300, SB250, FR159 speakers.