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Can I use my amp without cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Basspappa, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. Basspappa


    Sep 24, 2003
    Can I use my Hartke3500 head just as a pre-amp without hooking up a cab at all? It might sound like a dumb idea but it would be my only option at the moment (I do have a cab, but I don't have a proper mic to pick it up with). As I've heard some bad rumors that it might harm your amp if you drive it without speaker load, I though I'm better off asking first, 'stead of harming my precious.

    Don't tell me to plug the cab and turn down the master volume, because the cab isn't going to be present at the recording session.
  2. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    If this is a solid state head, you can.
    Tube heads CAN NOT be run without a speaker load!
  3. i heard that it only harms tube amps when plugged in without a load, ive plugged my crate in without cab alot for recording and its still fine i think(threw in closet once i got SWR head) but someone else should probly clarify this.

    edit: oh nm posted same time as me :cool:
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yes, with some exceptions the general rule is: solid state amps are okay to use without a load, but tube amps should never be run without a load.

    The exceptions include some solid state amps that use switching power supplies, sometimes they don't like to be run without loads.

    I don't think your Hartke is in that class though. You'll probably be okay running that as a preamp.

    If you want to err on the side of safety, pick up some low value high wattage resistors and build an 8 ohm dummy load, I'm sure you can do that for under 10 bucks, and your amp will be perfectly happy.

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