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Converting head to just power amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Oren Hudson, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Hypothetically - would it be possible to convert a standard amp head to just a power amp? What would be involved and would it work the same as a standard power amp when all is said and done? Maybe more trouble than it's worth? All questions inquiring minds want to know. :)
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    In many instances, you can bypass the tone / preamp section of an integrated bass head. What's the larger scheme....IOW, details?

  3. Got an fx loop? You're all set.
  4. Hi.


    Adding one isn't usually very demanding either if Yours happen to lack a FX loop or Power amp in.

    Removing the whole pre amp section makes no sense though, unless it's already missing or beyond repair.

  5. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010

    and this..

    curious indeed..
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Why not just get a power amp. Power is cheap these days.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Just bypass the preamp. No need to do something that would be hard to undo. Just run it without the pre. Then, if you decide to get rid of it, it is still a bass head.
  8. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    It's a thought that occurred to me. I have several bass heads and had thoughts of using one a just a power amp for some of the vintage lower powered rigs without having to go buy a power head. That would be the goal. But at how much work to get there. I guess that my next question would be how to by pass the preamp and is it the same procedure on most heads? Simplicity would be a key for me.
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Effects Return is the input to the power amp on most Bass amps. Your goal is ready to be realized. All you need is a patch chord (a short instrument cable).
  10. The_Janitor


    Jun 30, 2012
    Madison, Wi
    As others have stated, if the heads have an effects loop you're all set. Run the effects send (sometimes called preamp out or somesuch), from the vintage head to the effects return of the head with the power section you'd like to use. Done.
  11. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    If you DON'T have the effects loop - it is definitely NOT worth it to try to cut into the circuitry to add an amp only input jack, if that is what you are thinking. Too many unknowns and potential ka-blooeys.
  12. This ^
  13. nojj

    nojj Guest

    May 20, 2013
    IMO it's not worth it to try structural mods.
    As stated, the FX return is more than adequate for most applications.
    Have a bi-amp rig I put together for the studio using the same principle.
    Works fine and sounds good for a lash-up rig.
  14. As mentioned most amps have a way to only use the power amp. Some amps have a power amp in, others like my swr750x that i use with a sans amp RBI actually uses the effects return.
  15. Your vintage head can't be a tube amp unless you run a cab on it or a dummy load. Otherwise it would burn up.
  16. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Thanks for your answers, replies and instructions. Lots of food for thought. :)

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