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First Foray into Pre-Amps...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Brendan, Jun 27, 2001.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I find myself more and more attracted to the idea of a massive poweramp (1000w, or what have you) with a Pre-Amp...mainly because It's a little cheaper than going whole hog, and chances are, I could get more power this way.

    Anyway, I have no Idea where to start on a PreAmp (offbaord)...Probably the same situation as just any old Amp, hu?...Ok, but here's where I get a little balled up...some people, Like Demeter, Aguilar, ect. sell onboard pre-amps...does this eliminate the need for and offboard? (Not that I'm really interested in an Onbaord...just wondering)

    Do power amps "color" the sound, regardless of the Pre-amp, or does the pre-amp take over everything tone wise?

    Is is in anyway possible to "miss match" Pre/power amps? (not brand but electronics wise..)

    anything else I should know?
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
  3. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Brad...I know the Onboard is IN the bass...but the question remains the same: does the onboard eliminate the nessity of an offboard (rackmount)? Or is it just something nice to have in the basses Electronics?

    And I'll check out that PB-1...

  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    No problem, Cruise4;)

    Brendan, you'd probably want a hotter signal than most basses can supply, running to a component preamp. That's why I said what you are probably looking for is something along the lines of an F-1X.

    It's possible to run a power amp from a bass, especially one with a high output but it's not the optimal way to do things. The bigger the signal to the power amp, short of overloading the input, the bigger the signal-to-noise ratio.

    Onboard electronics main benefits (IMO) are the ability to shape tone at the bass and to reduce signal loss and associated issues on long cable runs. I have yet to see anyone running a bass direct to a power amp input without the inclusion of some type of gain stage/preamp external to the instrument in the signal chain.

    You can also run into a power amp with the smaller outboards like the SansAmp.

    Separates allow the freedom to upgrade only the part of your rig that you want to, either the power amp or preamp.
  5. This is sounding like where I'm moving twoards. I'm upgrading my rig size currently (more cabs) And I'll be able to handle 1400W rms. So I've now got a SWR GrandPrix in the mail. And I'll run it through my Hartke 3500 until I recoup enough for a good power amp.

    About the SWR GP, I've played one in a local studio. I was truely impressed by it's abilities. Being a tube preamp, DI output options, tone shaping..etc. Good for what I'm doing. Luckily, I bought it cheap so I could sell for profit If I don't like it.

    I've got a 1x15 cab now, I've got the 4x10 parts on order as of today, and I think I can score some cheap eminence Kappa Pro 10's for a 2x10 that will handle ~800W rms @ 4Ohms. After all that, I'll build a 1x18 with a Kilomax. So this should give me some decent flexibility when It comes to gigging, In terms of picking the speakers for the place we are playing.

    Power amp choices: Mackie 1400i, Good power handling, Good thermal efficiency. PV2000, Workhorse, DJ friend of mine has used one for about 2 years, and it's unstoppable. QSC RMX1450, Class AB Power, Priced right.

    Those are just some of my ideas, HTH
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Yes. I believe that they do. I use a Bass POD Pro for a preamp. I have used Carvin, QSC, Peavey and Crown power amps with it and they sound different. When it came to simply reproducing the sound of the POD the QSC and the Carvin were the flattest sounding. The Peavey was OK but the one I borrowed was noisy. The Crown was an extra one out of our PA rack, I was all excited about using it and after a few minutes, switched back to my Carvin. The crown very much colors the sound. It is very midrangy sounding. I think I was using an SE2000. Ampeg power amps sort o have an Ampeggy tone to them even when coupled with a different maker's pre.

    Other advice I would offer is to get a stereo amp and a crossover. (maybe your SWR pre has one built in?) But the stereo amp allows you to bi-amp if you want and also offers a built-in backup. Most are basically two amps, so you can blow one side and still gig.
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Thanks fo the info guys, (Brad especially).This is really helping me figure things out...Any reccomendations on a poweramp? I was looking at a Carvin...but just supplying power, does it matter not so much on volume, but on reliability?...anyway, at least I don't feel like a fool at this point:)...
  8. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I've really liked my Stewart World 1.2 Power Amp. One rack space, ~12 lbs., 1200 watts @ 4 ohms bridged mono. This is their least powerful amp. Also consider the 1.6 and 2.1.

  9. i do experience some coloration from my poweramp in the upper mids. i'm not happy with this coloration and am looking for a different amp.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    There are lots of competent power amps out there. My favorites are Crown and QSC...doesn't really matter though, I'm an ex-biamper and don't plan on going back;)

    My favorite "big" rig is running my 115 and 210 full range.

    Biamping is fine if you spend the time matching the components (including speakers) to get the sound you want. One of the things I really like about my Yamaha (that I don't use;)) is that instead of a single crossover point it has low pass and high pass filters. Here's why this is good: depending on the speakers you use, a single point crossover can create a hole in the sound, where your high speakers and low speakers meet. With two crossover filters you can overlap the cutoffs and solve this problem.

    I know, TMI:D

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