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Boosting the signal with a preamp vs. the amp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by maturanesa, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Assuming you want achieve the clearest, cleanest and hi fi signal you can,

    Case 1: You have very low output pups and boost the volume on your huge amp.

    Case 2: You have a very low output pups or active pups, and use an onboard preamp to boost the signal, without needing to use your ampĀ“s volume knob.

    Which would be better?
  2. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    The amp is going to provide a much cleaner volume boost than your onboard preamp because that's what it was designed to do and do cleanly. I can almost guarantee that your power amp's s/n ratio is considerably higher than the gain stage on an onboard preamp.
  3. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    The hotter the signal you can feed the amp without clipping, the better imo. This lets you get the most hifi sound possible along with the loudest your amp and speakers are going to play for same volume settings. That can allow you to not need as much wattage for same heard volume. A fair amount of bass amps out their cant handle high output basses very well. Including some brands that are long time popular ones. I allways test bass amps with the highest output bass the store has if I dont bring my own. To me you just dont get quite as full a sound either with low output basses. Even with amps volume raised to compensate.

    I donnt believe in boosting preamps bass and treble for volume boost though. I just prefer high output pups sounds wise, or at least having preamp onboard which boosts the signal of weaker pups by default.

    Case 2 wins as best choice imo.

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