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Help with Preamp/Amp setup...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Heavy_E, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. Heavy_E


    Jul 2, 2002
    I am in the process of researching the best way to amplify my bass... I am currently using a 100watt combo (SWR) that is not loud enough. I was going to go with the traditional Head/Cabinet setup. I have been reading where some of you are using an Audio Amp (Crown, QSC, etc). How does that work? Do you have to start with a preamp -> Amp -> Cabinet? Most amps are sterio , are you only running one channel or are you bridging left and right? I am clueless... What do you think the best options are?...

    Thanks for the insight...

  2. it really depends upon what you're trying to accomplish and what kind of cash flow you have.

    the question you should ask yourself before embarking on this type of rig is, "what do i have, and what do i need to buy?" i had a cabinet and an amp, so i only needed a pre. perhaps you already have cabinets, but you need an amp and a pre. you buy things piecemeal, too, like if the head you already have has a power amp input, you can get a preamp and wait to buy a new power amp.

    i was fortunate enough to buy a crown K2 for very cheap, so i didn't have to worry about bridging to get enough headroom. i had one cab, so i only used one side, but if i had added another cabinet, i would have used both sides.

    i used a cabinet i already had (a combo with the head part removed), and i get my hands on a couple preamps. first, i tried using my johnson j-station as a preamp. i wasn't to enamored of the results. i don't like their bass models recorded, either. then i got a peavey max and an ampeg svp-bsp billy sheehan. they were both very cool in their own rights.

    i have to sell the K2, and i sold the max, as well, so now i just have my old carvin combo (the aforementioned cab), and my svp-bsp for recording.

    you have lots of options. some things that are important to remember in choosing a rig:

    o the rating your power amp can exceed the rating on your speaker cabinet by as much as double. that means if you have a 300W RMS cabinet, you can safely use a 500W RMS amp without any worries.

    o if you're using two cabinets on the same output (i.e. parallel or daisy-chained), they're only drawing half of the amp's output power. two 300W RMS cabinets would only draw 250W RMS each with the same 500W amp.

    my dream rig included a pair of 300W cabinets (acme low-B2 or aguilar GS112 or bergantino HT112, which is actually over 300W) powered by my K2 at 500W per side into 8 ohms, and then whatever preamp i wanted, which will eventually be of my own design. i have also wanted to try a demeter and an alembic. i never lacked for power using a 300W carvin 1x15 with horn, so two 112s would be more than i could ever use.

    as for specific components, a lot of guys around here have had success using stewart and QSC amps, but there are a few crown guys around, too. there's even a couple mackie fellas, and a good peavey contingency. you can get anywhere between 12lbs./1U (like a stewart world 1.2), to my 38lbs./2U crown K2, and anything in between (QSC PLX and RMX amps).

    there are threads around here about what amps everyone uses, and there's a major preamp shoot-out in the works by vanselus and funkyj. search for it, as they've already posted round 1, between the preamps on their Korg D16 digital multitrack, an avalon U5, and an aguilar DB680.

    i hope this is not too much to confuse, but enough to be thorough.