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Amp noob seeks amp help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by katri, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. Hi
    I am looking to start my first rig/prper bass set up and i have a few questions:
    What are the advantages/disadvantages of going from a pre amp (like sansamp BDDI) to power amp instead of just using a head
    Also i would like to know what is the best head (or power amp) i could get for £500-£600 i presume that i woud have to buy from the UK because of the plug socket difference.

    Many thanks
  2. I paid £250 for an AH400SMX Trace Elliot 12 months ago, 400w at 4 ohms, Vast quantities of tone shaping etc Very tasty indeed...
  3. The preamp + power amp setup (I think) is just a way to get a lot of power.
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    For that money, I would find an ashdown. Those are easy to find in the UK, I hear.
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    It also allows you some flexibility in your rig. If you don't like your tone, you can swap out the preamp.

  6. yer but i have nver cared too much for the ashdown sound
    And i should mention i play with 2 guitarists who both use marshall half stacks and a fairly loud drummer so will that change what i need?
  7. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    It just comes down to what you want out of a preamp. A head is really just a preamp/power amp combo.

    Usually, a dedicated preamp will give you a little more versatility, but that's not always the case. I do know a lot of guys who swear by the Bass POD. They run a line out to the PA, and another line to their Crest or QSC or whatever.

    Yes, the power amp will usually give you more power than a head typically will. Case in point - my sister is using a 300W head. She loves the tone, but she doesn't love the fact that she sometimes needs a little more headroom to get enough volume for large open areas. If she had just a preamp, and a small power amp, she could replace the power amp, or even buy a second one if she so chose. As it is, her options are to buy a new head, or just buy a power amp and bypass the powered functions on the head.

    Of course, sounds will vary. An Ampeg preamp running into a power amp into an Ampeg 8x10 will not sound the same as an Ampeg head with comparable power running into the same 8x10. Something about the matched amplifier and all that jazz... but it's something to look into. Dedicated preamps are usually easier to record or run direct with, since they're assuming that the power amp will perfectly duplicate whatever sound is being fed it.

    It comes down to what you want and what you like and what you want to do with it.
  8. so what power amp would be a good choice any perticular brands and also do i need a bass specific power amp doesnt it just make everything louder???

  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    You're gonna want something that's at least 500 watts, probably more.
  10. how bout the fender MB-1200 would this be a good buy or should i look at any other brands in particular
  11. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    QSC and the Crown CE series are known for reliable power for bass rigs. Start there.

  12. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    And if that's too pricey, I know people who have had good success with Behringer amps. Just remember, you aren't going to need as much power (probably) as a PA system. And you can bridge your amp to give you even more oomph if you so desire.

    Definitely check to make sure you can take it down to 2 ohms. That way, with a typical 2 channel rig, you could run up to EIGHT 8 ohm cabinets or 4 4 ohm cabs... OR, if you find 2 preamps you like, run one into channel A and one into channel B... then get yourself an A/B box to plug into and you're set!

    OR, you could biamp using a crossover... OR, you could reserve one channel for one bass, the other for a different bass... OR, you could run your rig out of one channel, and run a monitor feed to your other channel and power your own monitor!

    Or, you could simply run it in mono and power a 8 ohm cab with each channel... good clean, reliable power, and it's easy on the amp.

    MAN, I think this thread has inspired me to look into this myself! To think, I've been playing with a combo all this time!
  13. wow ! i didnt realise that there were so many options i recon i will definately be goin down the pre>poweramp route thanks guys!!!!!
  14. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    It's worth noting that the addition of another component makes for another thing to go wrong and another thing to have to set up.

    The latter can be defeated by using a rack (which can also house a rack tuner or a standalone EQ, and be infinitely useful). Just leave everything set up and plug into the rack (make sure that your preamp, if rackmountable, has front input jacks).

    The former is just a problem with the game, my friend.

    BTW, don't most pros anymore go with the preamp -> power amp -> cab setup? I've been seeing it more and more, even with guitarists.
  15. i have never noticed guitarist's and not with many famous bassists i thought most still went head>cab
    and i had to explain the concept of a seporate per and power amp to the guitarists in my band
  16. would this suit my needs and also i was wondering what bridged means??

    crown CE2000
  17. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I think the Sansamp BDDI is a little limited to use as your main preamp. Pre/power seems to be real popular just about everywhere though.
  18. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Bridged mode is "combining" both channels of a stereo power amp.
    You get WAY more wattage in bridged mode.
  19. ahh i get that.. so its a good thing right ;)
    thanks cheezwizz
    i was wondering what pre to get i play mostly rock/punk and sumtimes a bit of metal
  20. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    IMHO, there are better preamps designed for bass, although the guitar world is beginning to catch back up. Often, the guitar heads ARE the preamp, and they are specifically matched to a certain kind of cabinet.

    Also, when's a guitarist gonna need more power? If he does, he'll likely be mic'd into the PA or just get another stack... oy...

    To make you feel better, here's a short list of guys who do what you're considering.

    Nate Mendel of the Foo Fighters: Fender P or J bass, Peavey Max Bass Preamp, 2 Peavey power amps, 4 Peavey 4x10 cabs

    Dirk Lance of Incubus: Warwick basses, 3 Eden Preamps, 4 Eden Power amps, 2 2x10 stage monitors, 4 Eden 4x10 cabs, 2 Eden 1x18 cabs

    Traa Daniels of P.O.D.: Warwick/Washburn basses, Eden Navigator Preamp, 2 Eden Power amps, 2 Eden 4x10 cabs

    Mike Kroeger of Nickelback: Warwick basses, Mesa/Boogie Head, Samson Power amp, 2 Mesa/Boogie Powerhouse 1000 cabs

    As far as guitarists go, this one will shut em up... the undisputed god of teenaged angst guitarists everywhere... Kurt Cobain! Mesa/Boogie preamp, Crown power amp, 2-8 4x12 Marshall cabs. Kurt also used Crest amps to power his rig, depending on what time period you're looking at...

    Eddie Van Halen also did the preamp/power amp bit, as well as Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath.

    You're not alone, my friend. You're in good company.

    A tip: If you're going to bridge the amp, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GO BELOW 4 OHMS!!!

    If you want to power 2 4 ohm speakers, you'll have to put it back in mono or stereo (not bridged mono) and do it that way. Heck, most pro amplifiers are steady down to 2 ohms in stereo mode, but it's pouring so much more wattage our when it's bridged that 2 ohms will do damage.

    With the Crown, you probably won't need to bridge it, unless you need to play REALLY loud, or if you're running a 1000W 8 ohm cabinet.

    Good stuff! Rock on!