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Amp vs. Amp + Preamp...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Beserkerbass, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Beserkerbass


    Jan 9, 2014

    Putting together my first bass rig (already scored a brand new Avatar 4x10 on ebay for a little over $200) and I'm in the market for a head to power it. To give some specifics as to the tone I'm after: I'm looking for something more on the vintage side (fat bottom end, tube-sounding, warm, etc.) A good example would be "Poptones" from Public Image Ltd's "Second Edition."

    So my specific query is this: would it be better to try to find an amp that produces the sound I want? Or save money on the amp by buying a cheaper, solid-state model with the power I need (cab is rated at 800 watts) and coupling it with a tube preamp? One of the options I want is a good DI to the PA for any place I play and from what I've read a good preamp is a better way to go than running straight from a bass head (but I have no experience so this could be wrong).

    Please respond with any experience and/or suggestions as to equipment that would help achieve the sound I'm looking for.

    Thanks a lot...
  2. Depends on the style tone you want. I play hard rock and metal and prefer sans amps. If you get a separate pre you can buy a cheaper head or power amp and still get a really good tone so money wise they are often about the same costs
  3. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Many bass amps have pre-amps with great DI's so there is no generic difference between the two options in that regard. You can get equal performance in the house PA from either. Separate components offer the ability to add outboard features in a rack, while micro amps can offer great sound in a minimum size/weight package. I'd try some amps out to see if you like what you find. Having had many of both, I never found one option less expensive than the other for similar features.
  4. Beserkerbass


    Jan 9, 2014
    Thanks for the responses. Any experience or recommendations as to specific gear?