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a question i should probably know the answer to

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by swanky, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. swanky


    Oct 21, 2002
    alright. so i was looking at amps today and discovered that i know pretty close to nothing about them. I know that you need the head and the cabinet, but whats the deal with the preamp things people buy? do i need one? what does it do? I think i might have brain damage but if someone could explain this crap to me it would be much appreciated.
  2. a amp head is a pre-amp and a power-amp in one, which is the easiest way to go for a beginner wanting a louder setup. alot of people like to buy the pre and power amp separate to get exactly the kind of tone they are looking for, but this requires more space, knowledge, and most often money. thats the basics, im sure someone will post something more detailed soon.
  3. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I also think you have brain damage...

    But seriously you can get a:

    That's your basic options. The pre/power option is basically what's inside the head - just self contained. The purpose for seperating them is both for more flexibility, tone, and power.

    But really, start off with a decent head and decide if you want more. SWR, Eden, GK are all great choices IMHO.
  4. swanky


    Oct 21, 2002
    thanks a lot dudes
  5. Well, you've come to the right place. There are people on this forum that know everything about bass amps. And then there are guys like me.:D . Anyhoo, your basic amp head has everything you need to plug it into a cabinet and play bass. The pre-amp section of an amp head contains the input jacks, the volume and tone controls, and sometimes even a compressor or chorus effect. You can buy these controls in a seperate box called a pre-amp that then has to be plugged into a power-amp. The power-amp usually only has one or 2 inputs and a volumn knob. It doesn't have much in the way of tone controls or effects. Why would you bother to purchase a seperate pre-amp/power-amp? Two reasons. If you want to run really big power like thousands of watts then the easiest and cheapest way is to get a seperate pre-amp/power-amp. The other reason is flexability. You can mix and match pre/power amps to get a certain tone that you just can't live without. Is it all worth it? I've ask myself this several times. Last week I heard an old friend of mine playing his vintage 63 Jazz through an Ampeg portabass pb250 with a 35lb 2x12cab. He sounded great. It's all in your hands.....

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