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head unit, effects only

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matt Walter, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Matt Walter

    Matt Walter

    Aug 19, 2018
    Hi all,

    have been looking around at amp heads, just getting a basic understanding of amplifying independently of the cabinet.

    is it possible to get a piece of equipment which will do all the things a head unit will do, but only at the signal level? as in it will take in a 1/4inch jack, give tone and volume controls, allow for an effects pedal, and then output a preamped signal, without actually amplifying it?

    excuse my ignorance, i realise this might just not be the way things are done.

    thanks in advance,
    Bassbeater likes this.
  2. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    For sure.
    A lot of people, including myself use a pedalboard with a bass preamp/di at the end of the chain. I can record and rehearse directly via xlr or 1/4" jack, and have pretty much the same tone with any head/cab combination.
  3. Matt Walter

    Matt Walter

    Aug 19, 2018
    brilliant, that's exactly what i was looking for. cheers :)
  4. There's rack preamps and preamp pedals that do similar jobs. Preamp pedals usually don't put out line signals but some do. Nearly all have an XLR out that can be converted to line signal. IME, most rack pre's are designed and priced for the studio.
  5. Matt Walter

    Matt Walter

    Aug 19, 2018
    fair enough, that makes sense - will probably be looking at pedals then, based on price
  6. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    HA! My pedalboard ended up costing more than my stage rig, but I have lots of usable and varied tones that translate well to high volume situations. :D
    There are plenty of good reviews for bass pre/di's on here and on youtube etc.
    Good luck!
    Matt Walter likes this.
  7. Almost any amp head with an XLR out will do this, just do not hook up a speaker cab.

    The silver box on the floor is my Genzler Magellan 800 amp head used as a DI box when cab-less to send to the PA. Sent post uses the eq.


    When using a speaker cab it still goes XLR line out to the PA but it is also an 800 watt amp for said cab.


    Getting an amp head will allow you to use it quiet and for jamming also.
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