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if i go pre/power setup

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MCBTunes, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. How small can I get it? I mean, if I picked up a svp-pro and _____ power amp could I get it like 200 watts @8ohms/500@4ohms and 800@2homs? Just so theres room incase I start gigging?

    I do not gig, Sometiems I play with some guitarists, but look forward to finding a band. Currently my 25 watt combo isnt even cutting it in my room.

    So I have 2 options. usedpre/power or a eden wt400 type thing....now.... With a pre/power setup do I need all that other mumbo jumbo like power conditioners etc?Or can it stay simple?

    I only plan to run a 2x10 cab to start until i find a band, which is why i dont want a 600 watts at 8 ohm power amp.

    Which route is the right way for me? Are there other issues I should look into before decideing? Can you suggest some decent power amps available on ebay or online in canada?

    I know a wt400 is enough power right now, but I like the upgradable aspect of a pre/power.... but then again simplisity of a head....

    oh please :help: haha
  2. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Check out a ton of choices by clicking here.

    One of the things to keep in mind is connectivity. Do they have XLR, 1/4 inch, RCA or terminal strip inputs? And do they have 1/4 inch, Speakon, Bananna or terminal strip outputs?

    That way you can either make, order or buy in your town the cabling that you will need.

    All you need is a preamp, a power amp and a rack.

    Everything else is unnecessary but sometimes really nice to have.

    Keeping it simple is always best. I have a 4 space rack, power conditioner, preamp and power amp in mine.

    You can always get a 2 space rack, a 1 space preamp and a 1 space power amp.

    Generally you want XLR and 1/4 inch inputs and 1/4 inch, Speakon or Bananna outputs.

    QSC is available in Canada, of course. They make excellent power amps but I do not think they make 1 space units.

    Look at some of the options in the link above. I don't know if they ship to Canada but you can always call or e-mail them to find out.

    Yeah, sometimes it 6 of 1 or 1/2 dozen of the other. If you are looking for a specific tone you will want to take your time and do some research.

    What is it you are looking for tone-wise?


  3. strummer


    Jul 27, 2005
    A Pre/Poweramp isn't really all that different from a head, except there will be two boxes. Also, you might start with a smaller power amp and upgrade later. Or, you may upgrade the preamp as your preferences change.
    There is no more need for a power conditioner in a pre/power setup than there is with a head.
    I have a Yamaha P2500S power amp, that puts out 275W/ch at 8 ohms, and about 500 W/ch at 4. It has been loud enough so far, but there is never anything wrong with lots and lots of power. So get a powerful amp while you are at it.
    When shopping for a power amp, I'd suggest looking at features and known reliability issues. Also be aware that almost no power amps, while many capable of driving two ohm loads, are designed to do so.
    There are a few bass-specific power amps out there, but these are (at least here in sweden) very expensive and hardly worth the money (unless you want to go all-tube).
  4. I'm not 100% picky about tone... I really like eden and ampeg though, full bodied bass tone, with really cool slap....

    check out the basstasters.com ampeg BSP w/ v5 w/ eq for slap tone,
    The groove link seems a little muddy.... which i dont like... but it could be the cheap recording or my speakers.


    If you've ever heard an eden metro 2x10 thats my finger tone?

    Another thing is price is a big deal for me....
  5. i dont understand the connectivity part...

    another thing i dont understand is what mono/bridge means?
  6. strummer


    Jul 27, 2005
    The most common ways to connect a preamp to a power amp are either TS (tip-ring) 1/4" (6,35 mm) mono plug(s), just like your bass cord, or balanced XLR (like microphone connector). Therefore it's a good idea to make sure the power amp has those inputs.

    To connect the speaker(s) to the power amp you usually use either TS, XLR, SpeakOn (Neutrik) or banana outputs. Having all connectors isn't really important, as long as you have the right kind of connector in both ends of the speaker cable.

    mono/bridge means you use a stereo amplifier's 2 channels together on one speaker. Most power amplifiers are stereo, but most of us use "full range" cabinets, so we need just one channel. To use the whole power amp, you can then bridge the two channels into one powerful channel.
  7. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    That just amounts to knowing what kind of cables you will need to go from your preamp to your power amp and then from your power amp to your speakers.

    You know, so you can use the darned thing.


    Most (but not all) stereo power amps allow you to combine the left and right side into a single output therefore typically doubling your power.

    There's a catch.

    If the power amp only goes down to 4 ohms per side you will only be able to bridge your output into an 8 ohm cab.

    If your power amp goes down to 2 ohms per side you can bridge your power amp down to a 4 ohm cab or two 8 ohm cabs.


  8. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Uh yeah...what he said.


  9. ok so stereo is the norm for running 2 cabs? and you can still stereo to one cab though.... then bridged is for a single cab with a greater power rating?

    Now if i run a 2x10 cab(most are ~200watts at 8 ohms)

    QSC RMX850
    200 watts @8, 300@4, 450@2 or bridged to 600@8 or 830@4
    seems very verstile and only 300 bucks new.

    Crest CPX900 and the Peavey PV900

    Those all look good.... Will any preamp work with these sizes? And how different will the tone be with the same preamp on all 3? I'm thinking my preamp will be the ampeg. For cost as much as tone...

    See but now I'm getting into 600USD for something I could get out of a wt400 for 450USD? Am i wise?
  10. strummer


    Jul 27, 2005
    Stereo isn't exactly normal when it comes to bass. It's more like dual mono ;)
    Anyway, to me it's all about speaker impedance. I want lots of power, but at the same time I don't like "loading down" the amp (having it run bridget into low impedances).
    So, If I had one 8 ohm cab I'd run ANY power amp bridged.
    If I had 2x8 ohm cabs I'd run them on one channel each, unless my power amp was specifically designed for low impedance work.

    And forget about the power handling of the cab, you do not win anything by "matching" power output to power handling. Actually, I rather like to have lots more power available than my cabs can nominally handle.

    Any preamp will work, yes.

    I do not use my pre/power amp any more, because I got myself an Aggie 500. Don't know the WT400 too well, though, so can't advice on that particularly. With a pre/power setup you gain flexibility but lose portability, at least to some degree. I think it's mostly a question of wether you have a clear idea of what you will need some time from now, and that's always a tricky question.

    If you go preamp, I would suggest looking at getting a used one.
  11. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
  12. hah you 2 are very helpful. one more question for tonight though if anyone is still up. Then maybe another one tomorrow ;)

    Low you said no stereo into one cab, and strummer you said you always bridge with one cab... now isnt a 600watt bridged 8ohm cab a little harsh on a 2x10 even if it is just headroom?
  13. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Mmmm.....that's not quite how it works.

    Just because am amp is rated at 600w bridged doesn't mean that it will always be pushing that much into your cab. That only means it has the potential to provide 600w.

    Very generally speaking the louder your rig gets, the more watts are going through it. Right? Well, you control that 4 ways.

    1. the attenuators on the power amp
    2. your preamp gain
    3. your eq
    4. your master gain

    It is possible (but not probable) that even with the attenuators turned all the way down a preamp can have enough juice for the power amp to put too much power through your speakers. It is possible for your eq to be set so that even at moderate volumes there (bass boosted very high) that you will overpower your speakers. So it is all a balancing act.

    Through time and paying attention you can learn where the best place is to set you controls for your cab.

    I generally run 2 cabs in dual mono (as pointed out by strummer) with my rack. An 8 ohm 200w 115 and a 4 ohm 350w 210. So potentially the 8 ohm cab will get 425w rms and the 4 ohm cab 700w rms. That's not taking into account peak wattage.

    There is no meter to let me know what each cab is actually getting, so what do I do? I listen. You can hear your cab straining if it is turned up too high. It sounds like garbage. So I back off untill it sounds good. Then you know what? Then I back off some more because its too danged loud!

    Just listen and pay attention to your rig and you will be fine.


  14. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Hi MCB,

    You can run a stereo amp with one cabinet, but only using one channel.

    I have an Eden WT500 (250Wx2 at 4 ohms, 500W 8 ohms bridged), as well as an SVP-Pro.

    It's more convenient to have a head than separates, but separates are more flexible. Sometimes I wish I would have bought a power amp instead of the WT500, but it would be more gear to carry around. Then again, with separates you can always change your preamp if you want a different tone. When I want a more overdriven sound I use the SVP-Pro with the WT500 as a power amp.

    What cabinet are you looking at?

    Over/underpowering is much debated topic. 600W into a 200W cabinet is not good if you plan to run the amp at full volume. However, if you keep it from clipping, it will probably be okay if you remember to listen for signs of speaker distress. Speakers can only take so much abuse. I've creased the speakers in my old Eden D210XLT by bridging my WT500 into it.
  15. strummer


    Jul 27, 2005
    What he said :)
  16. Wait a minute.... you can make your WT500 run off the ampeg preamp and bypass the eden pre? maybe thats a good solution.... buy the wt400 or similar and an ampeg pre so I can have both tones.

    As far as cabinets. I havnt REALLY looked into it, I want something to counter act the sometimes muddyness of ampeg, something clear etc so I can play some clean tapping and slap. I'll probably go into L&M and mothers this weekend and see what kind of stuff they suggest and try some of it out. Oppinions in this thread are welcome too.
  17. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have done a lot of experimenting over the last few years and gone back and forth between head an dpre/power rigs. Everyone has pretty much listed all the pro's and con's of each rig.

    Here's my $.02 worth. Many of us carry around more power than we really NEED for most gigs. I know I'll get blasted by all the "head room" and "I need to feel it" guys. To some extent, this is true, but in most cases, if you are really honset, you can get away with about 500 watts and a 4X10. I get by just fine with an Eden WT-550 and a Bergantino HT112. Yes, I play small to medium clubs, but when I need more, there's a PA. I've played outside with this, I've played upright, 5 string, etc.

    Remember that as things get smaller and lighter, they get more expensive. You could get a Focus SA III. It's like 5 pounds, 10X6X3 and does 450 watts at 8 ohms. That's small. The price is about $900. You still need a preamp.

    I used to have an Avalon U5 and a PLX power amp. My 4 space rack was bigger and heavier than my cab. That was rediculous to me. I decided that I liked the sound of the Eden preamp and it was plenty powerfull for my needs. It's 20 pounds, compact an deasy to carry. Thta's what I went with.

    Sorry I kind of rambled and went on a bit of a tangent.
  19. I think you should give consideration to the SVP-CL preamp. With a solid state power amp it is nice and clean, not that muddyness that Ampeg is commonly associated with. It reatains that Ampeg tone because it's a reproduction of the old classic SVT front end.

    The QSC RMX 850 power amp will suit you very well for now and down the road.
  20. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Yep, you just patch the preamp's output into the Effects Return on the Eden.

    Mother's has some Aguilar cabinets which I think sound quite good. In addition to L&M, also check HEL and see what they have. Who knows, you might like 1x12" or a 2x12" better than a 2x10". I would suggest that you bring your bass along and try out everything you can and see what you like best.