Is an outboard pre amp really needed?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by David A. Davis, Nov 14, 2012.


  1. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

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    Do you really need an outboard pre amp if you have a good onboard pre?
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

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  3. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3 Supporting Member

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    No, but you might use something like a Sansamp Bass Driver DI to get a particular tone. Also, just a plain old DI box can come in handy in many situations.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    I have five preamps to get different favors I have two basses with onboard pre's but they also benefit from the outboards.
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  6. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Depends on the amp you are trying to drive. Some are less sensitive and you will need the boost from the pre.
  7. wcriley

    wcriley

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    Are there any onboard preamps with enough output to fully drive a power amp?
  8. Tuned

    Tuned

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    Depends on the sensitivity of the power amp. My IPR 1600 is particularly sensitive, I can drive it with my onboard Bartolini preamp but not to full output. If I could change the EQ frequencies I could get by without an outboard pre for most gigs. Mine's not even 18V, those have plenty of snot to drive an IPR.
  9. vin*tone

    vin*tone

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    No. I usually run passive straight in. I think most people do. (??)
  10. chaosMK

    chaosMK Supporting Member

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    I use a Sansamp BDDI blended in my FX Loop for metal purposes. For other styles, I put it in front. Lately I have been trying to get the same tones only using my onboard stuff and bass controls. I can get about 80% there for my non-metal sounds.

    My head excels at certain things... burly mids like no other amp I've owned. The BDDI is the opposite... great wide lows and a lot of detailed clangy top end (and also some OD). I try to blend the best of both worlds, sum is greater than the parts!
  11. wcriley

    wcriley

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    Maybe I misunderstood the intent of this thread. Are we talking about completely eliminating an out board preamp or using an outboard preamp in addition to the preamp built into an amp head?


    Interesting. I have an IPR 1600 in my PA rack. I'll have to experiment with that and see how it comes out.


    Does running 18 volts increase the output level? I always thought the only difference between 9v and 18v was the headroom/compression when the EQ was boosted a lot.
  12. backup

    backup

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    i like preamping my direct signal a little. i use the preamp of my head (PF500) which does a subtle change to the midrange of my passive J. though unless you have tube pre i dont really think its nessecary provided you have good sound guy/onboard pre/amp or whatever your clean signal is going into. as mjac28 said, you get different favors frmo different pre's. hartke bass attack will give you a different sound than an eden preamp or a sansamp. but its certainly not nessecary
  13. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

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    I'm talking about completely eliminating the out board preamp. Other than boosting the signal and maybe the lack of a gain stage is there really a need? If you have a good, flexible on board pre, do you really need another pre amp? This is my thought: Bass>Reddi>split the signal AB/Y, one to the board, the other into a power amp. The only "pre amp" would be in the bass. Would this work? It seems that by using the Reddi, it should be capable of producing an adaquate signal for the power amp.
  14. BeSharp

    BeSharp

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    For me it's always been either/or. I am now using a Sadowsky pre-amp/DI. With a passive bass (although I don't have any at the moment) I'd turn on the active pre-amp in the Sadowsky if I wanted a more active sounding tone. With a good on-board pre (right now I'm liking the J-Retro) I simply turn off the active circuit in the Sadowsky and use it as a DI. I found that if I doubled up - active in the bass to and active out-board pre it caused some unwanted issues.
  15. wcriley

    wcriley

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    I think the REDDI is capable of something like 15dB of gain. (To my way of thinking, that means it IS a preamp.)

    Your idea should work. Do have any way to try it out?
  16. Bassmec

    Bassmec

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    You will get > +4dB out of the Reddi which is plenty, so you do in fact own a pre amp.:bassist:
  17. mtsens1

    mtsens1 Merle Supporting Member

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    Same here.
  18. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

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    I do not own a Reddi, but know someone locally that does.
  19. seamonkey

    seamonkey

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    If you open the bass up, some onboard pre's have a gain control on them.
    No pre-amp needed to drive a power amp.
    I use a lot of tone shaping, signal conditioning, but one option is always to bypass all this for pure bass to the amp. If you have a good sounding bass, with onboard pre-amp, it works well.
  20. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    If you are trying to drive a power amp you'll need some sort of a pre-amp to get the required voltage swing to drive the amp fully. This can be something as cheap as an ART tube MP unit.
  21. Modern Growl

    Modern Growl Supporting Member

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    Whats the point of preamp on top of preamp on top of preamp?? Unless is a tone box like a Sansamp or Aguilar Tone Hammer used for overdrive tones... I don't see the point.

    You have EQ (preamp) on your bass.
    You have EQ (preamp) on your amp.

    Why do you need more?

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