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How does it all work?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CursedEarth, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. CursedEarth


    Nov 10, 2002
    Winder, GA
    Hey people. I am not really new to bass. I just never had the time to look at amps and what not. I'm not sure how all of the pre-amp, amp, head, cabinet thing works. Like, what does the head do etc....... I was just wondering if someone could fill me in with this. All have is a small Crate practice amp(in which you just flip it on and play). Now I am ready to move on to a bigger thing. I figured I had better know before I start looking for stuff. :confused: :confused:

    Thanks to anyone who fills me in.:)
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    it's a big world out there. We'll start at the beginning. Basses often have active electronics these days. What that will do is allow you to cut or boost your frequencies, whereas a tone control will only cut frequencies. All active electronics require power, such as a 9volt battery. So, with a 2-band equalizer in your bass, you can add or reducetreble, or bass. 3-band adds a mid control. Now, that's the bassics(pun intended). Then we go the the first part of your amp. The preamp. It is what take the very tiny signal of your bass, and turns it into a more pwerful, shapeable signal. The signal in the preamp is usually not in excess of a few volts. What the preamp does is allow you to shape tone. Add bass, treble, mids, low-mids, high-mids, you get the idea. It also allows you to add effects, usually in an effects loop. When the signal comes out of the preamp, it is what is called a line-level signal. Then it goes into the power amp. The power amp give you that earth shaking noise coming out of your speakers. The power amp takes the signal from the preamp, and turns it into a much larger signal. around 30 some volts, + or - allowing for volume. In your little amp, it is all in one unit. But some amps are designed to have sparate units. An amp head can be a combined preamp and power amp in one unit, or separate units. A head always consitutes amp and speaker(s) separate. a combo is amp and speaker(s) in a single unit. Hopefully that clears some of the mystery. Any questions? Just ask.

  3. CursedEarth


    Nov 10, 2002
    Winder, GA
    Thanks. Everything is clear now. I just wasn't sure what plugged into what mostly, and now I know. Thanks again:)

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