Used Power Amps

Used Power amps can power your church for years. If you buy the right brands and maintenance as we outline below, your used power amps will be powering your church for a long time. After you’ve pick out the best brand that works for your churches needs, check out our top 10 platforms to buy used production gear article to find your used power amps.

3 Tips for extending the life of used power amps

1. Never Push Past the Safe Zone

What if your car said you were driving 40 miles per hour but the speedometer was off? How dangerous would it be if you were driving 100 miles an hour but you didn’t know it? This terrifying scenario can happen with power amps. While this isn’t as scary as wrecking your car, you can easily wreck your power amps if you are pushing the sound past the safe zone. 

When your installer created your system, they should have given you a range to stay in. If you’ve replaced some of your production set up like amps, mixing boards, etc, you’ve increased the chances that your safe zone range has changed. Call your installer and set up a time to have them retune your set up so that they can give you the safe range. 

Next, purchase a smart rig to test the sound from Rational Acoustics. This tool will tell you if you’re in the safe zone. Staying in this zone will ensure your sound is great and your system isn’t being literally stressed into a premature death. 

2. Cleaning the used power amps air filters

This is a simple step to extending the life of your used power amps. Once a month, take a keyboard duster (the thing you use to spray air into your computer keyboard to get little crumbs/dust out) and clean the filter off. If you’ve never done this, you’ll be shocked at the amount of dust that’ll fly off! Think of this filter as your used power amp’s lungs. They need to be cleaned out so they won’t choke. 

3. Used Power Amp Brands > New Power Amps

Be aware that the lower you go down in quality, the more the amp will detract rather than add to the sound quality. The harder a lower end amplifier is pushed the less efficient they will be and the worse they will sound. 

How do you apply this knowledge? If you have to pick between a new amp on our list that is a lower brand, or a used power amp that is a better brand, pick the used amp. Its better to have a used power amp that is a better brand than to have a new amplifier that is a lesser brand. A well cared for used power amp can live for many many years.

12 Used Power Amp Brands

1. Lab Gruppen

These are the top of the line used power amps. Lab Gruppen used power amps are a high end brand that are known for their reliability and high end sonic quality. These power amplifiers are built to make good audio quality great. Have you ever had a packet of unused Chick-fil-A sauce that you took home? Remember how you added that sauce to some leftovers and suddenly they tasted amazing? That’s what Lab Gruppen will do for your sound quality. 

The only downside is that they can be harder to resell when you are ready to move on. However, used power amps like Lab Gruppens are so great that you won’t be looking to sell them anytime soon.  

2/3. Crown & QSC

These two are your bread and butter used power amps. As long as you’re taking care of them, they’ll last. If these amps have their filters cleaned out and their sound securly in the safe zone, they’ll serve your church for years to come. You can park a basic model in your amp rack or you can buy a very high end one. You can depend on these to deliver.  

4/5. Yamaha & Crest Audio

These two used power amps are a level down from Crown and QSC.  They’ll work fine for your church and you’ll be thrilled with the deal you get on them. They’re less popular so they tend to sell at a cheaper price than other amps. However, these amps can come in different quality ranges. If you have the lowest quality version, you will probably notice some sound distortion. Our lead Gear Guru had this to say specifically on this brand: “I want to buy an amp based on sonic quality. These two will not deliver the sonic quality of Crown or QSC. In fact, they may give your sonic quality a slight distortion.”  

6-9. Nexo, Danley, L’Acoustics & d&b

These brands are really in a category of their own because of the purpose they were made for. These used power amps were created by speaker companies that wanted to have custom power amps to pair with the specific speakers they make. These used power amps will serve your church well if you have the corresponding speaker. While a Danley power amp is a great amp, we would not pair it with a Meyer speaker. These brands are not amps you can plug and play with any setup. 

10-12. Behringer, Samson, Peavey, etc.  

“These are the used power amps you buy if you only have $20 bucks in your pocket.” -Brian ChurchGear Lead Gear Guru. 

All jokes aside, these are the basic used power amps. If you purchase one that has been taken care of, keep the filters clean, and never stress the sound beyond its abilities, they will serve your church just fine. If you have a basic setup or need to buy the cheapest option possible, you can definitely make these work. 


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