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Can I use a "traditional" amp as a pre-amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sejarus, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. sejarus


    May 8, 2002
    I have an Eden WT-800. I'm thinking of going to a more powerful separate amp for a little more headroom. If I do that, can I/should I use the WT-800 as a pre-amp?
  2. I don't know the amps in question. The answer is almost certainly "yes" but it depends on what you've got in mind and how you see it working.

    I use a vintage Laney 50 Watt valve amp in that basic fashion then drive a SS slave.

    What had you in mind, Sejarus?
  3. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    If you have a line out on the WT800 and more than one cab, you could use both a separate power amp and he WT800 power stage.
  4. sejarus


    May 8, 2002
    My main cabinet is an Eden D-XLT4x10. I'm not really looking for much more volume because I usually end up going through the pa in large-room situations. But I've read and heard that more power gives a stronger, cleaner sound. That's what I'm looking for.

    I also have a Bergantino 1x12. I e-mailed Jim Bergantino on some issues a while back, and he suggested that a more power would give me a better sound.

    Adding another cabinet may be something for the future, but for right now I want to know: If I buy a separate power amp, would I also want to, or need to, get a separate pre-amp.
  5. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Yes, you can. I do this with my WT-300. I find that it's best to use the DI (the XLR out) to connect to the poweramp.
  6. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    You can use most bass heads as preamps, by simply not plugging a speaker into them (note: you can damage some amps by running them without a speaker, I think this only applies to all-tube amps though,) and running a cord from the line-out (or any jack with roughly the same output level) to the power amp's input. On the WT-800, you can either use the DI (this might be a little too quiet or bypass all your tone controls) the FX loop "send" jack (if you want all the eden's tone controls, make sure you use the "post" FX loop,) or the headphone jack (this might be a little loud or harsh, though.)

    You can still use speakers with your Eden head, if you want even more volume than the poweramp can provide by itself.

    When people use a preamp/poweramp setup, it's usually because they prefer the sound of their preamp to any bass head. If you like the eden's tone better than any preamp, keep using it. But if you're going to let the wt-800's power go to waste by using it as just a preamp, you might want to consider a smaller eden (like the wt-300, they all have the same preamp section anyway, right?) or the Eden Navigator preamp.
  7. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    i may be wrong but i'd rather err on the side of caution...i dont think that using the headphones out is such a good idea... they are two completely different types of signal. it would be like running your speaker out to the input of the power amp (but on a much smaller level) still i think its not exactly a good idea...
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    You probably can, but my sugestion is that you sell your head and buy the WT-100 which is the Eden preamp.

    Actually if I remember correctly, Munji has that setup or one similar. He should be around here.

  9. sejarus


    May 8, 2002
    Thanx for all the advice and info. I stumbled on TalkBass just a few weeks ago and I've already picked up a lot of good info. I'm always impressed not only at how knowledgable some of you guys are, especially on the electronics end of things, but on how willing you are to share your time and knowledge.
  10. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    About the DI vs. Effects Loop: I had the effect loop set into my poweramp for about few days, and even with the DI volume cranked, it wasn't even half as loud as the XLR DI. The XLR is much louder and clearer, at least on my WT-300.

    And the Eden WTs do not all have the same pre-amp. The WT-300's have a non-defeatable compressor, while the WT-400's compressor is bypassable. The 800's the compressor is there again, but as a whole unit, (i.e. threshold, ratio, ect. controls). The Navigator is the same preamp as the WT-800, though.
  11. Before I got my Eden navigator, I used my SVT-3 Pro as a preamp into my QSC (the Ampeg had a pre-amp out jack) - it worked, but made for one heavy as hell rack.

    The Navigator of course has two seperate outs (1/4 inch), to run in stereo or for bi-amp'ing (hi and low out). This is in addition to the XLR outs. I love it.
  12. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    Doesn't an XLR out generally come before the EQ and even the gain stages of the amp? This is fine and all, but you'd just be sending a dry bass signal to the poweramp, so you might as well just use a DI box.

    Embarrassing secret from my distant past: I once operated a tube amp into the line in jack of a recorder using a "slave out" jack, and forgot to plug a speaker into the tube amp. I think this was for an extended period, possibly an hour. Believe it or not, the amp survived and didn't develop any abnormal problems (though the amp never worked great to begin with.) Looking back, I don't know why it didn't break. I recorded the output, so I know it was on and producing signal (I didn't blow a fuse or anything.)
  13. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, I don't know, but it sure works great for me. I think the actuall label might be "record out" but don't quote me. Either way, used the XLR out to the XLR in on my Carvin DCM1000, and it's fine.
  14. One of the XLR's on the navigator can be used pre or post EQ and/or compressor. I believe that is the "recording DI", which can also be controlled on the front with the level control for it. I believe the other ones are dry.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    No, I don't use my WT-300 as a pre-amp, but I could. I could run it into my QSC MX1500a, then to the JBL subs. Hmmmm ...

    Anyway, I did a different cool thing the other night. I wanted to see how my new Avalon U5 sounded without the Eden's pre-amp coloration, so I ran the U5 into the effects return of the WT-300, bypassing the pre and the EQ. This is just using the power amp of the Eden. Sounded ... you guessed it ... bitchen.

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