im so confused. please help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by U Know, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. ok im new to the whol bass thing. i have a behringer 60watt combo but i want something bigger but i don't understand all this power amp, pre amp, cab stuff.

    Can someone explain what you do with a poweramp and what the difference between a pre amp and power amp is and what i need to get so i can amplify my bass. (i won;t alot of watts, band and stuff you know)

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Forget all that stuff - just think :




    You don't need to be worried about anything else and can get really loud and high quality sound by just thinking -

    HEAD - is the smaller box of electronics with the knobs on that allows you to shape tone; and usually sits on top of :

    CAB(s) - these are bigger boxes with speakers in and are conncted to the HEAD with a speaker cable.

    Just try as many as you can in shops and buy what sounds best to you.

    The END.
  3. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    You WANT alot of watts?

    Combos: all in one package pre, amp, speaker.

    Pre: raises the signal to "line" level so you can tweak the sound. here you can adjust tone, volume, effects if they are plugged in. its the first step.

    Amp: this is the part that make the signal REALLY loud and sends it to the speakers also know as the cabinet or "cab".

    Cab: just the speakers in a box

    you can buy these things together in a "combo" or separatly for more choices of performance. Some people, even serious bass players get by with just a really good combo. In my opinion you should expect to pay $500 USD to $1500 for a "serious" combo. a serious combo will have sufficient power for alot of situations (100-400watts) and at least one 12 or 15 inch speaker with a tweeter. some people like two 10" speakers and that is o.k. to. If you buy a combo you should be sure to get one with a "speaker out" or "ext Speaker" connection (that DOESN'T turn off the internal speaker) this way you can expand your combo for the occasional bigger sound and higher volumes. also be sure to have a "line out" or XLR out so you can connect your amp to a mixer or P.A. system and use the combo just for personal monitor volume.

    Buying separates will probably cost you more money in the long run, but usually result in a much louder "rig". This part of my explaination gets really biased.

    PRE: If you go separates I'd suggest starting with a Tech21 RBI rack mounted "pre". The RBI has a good reputation as a fairly inexpensive ($300 usd) good sounding, solid state (no tubes), and quiet (low noise) preamp.

    Amps: QSC if very popular and if you go to their rebuilt site (search QSC on talkbass and you should find a thread with the link) I think they only sell stereo amps, but most of them can be "bridged" which combines left and right channels into a more powerful mono signal. Yamaha also makes a very powerful and cheap ($400 usd) power amp the CP2000. that'll give you 1000/channel into 4 ohms or 2000/mono into 4ohms.

    CABS: cabs come in all shapes and sizes. different styles of playing are better suited for different sizes of speakers. 4x10 cabs seem most popular and if you get more than one you should probably get 8ohm cabs. get cabs with at least 300w capacity. if you get too low a capacity you might fry the speakers before you know what happened. AVATAR is a popular low priced cab company. I've heard some complaints, but more people than not seem to like them especially for the prices you can get a 210 (2 10") for $260 where more popular companies may be charging $400 (swr wm210) $600 (swr pro210). 410, 115, 810 are usually heavy cabs (70LBS plus!. 810's can be 150LBS plus) so consider what your willling to carry. I personally like single 12" speakers in my cabs. I had swr Bass monitor 12 pro-wedges (33LBS ea.) but now I'm getting EA CXL-112L (46LBS) some people really rave about the Aguilar GS-112's and their cheaper than most hi-end cabs, about $400 ea.

    I forgot to mention "heads". heads are pre's+Amp in one case. you can get moderate power (150-800watts) in heads depending on the manufacturers. I like my SWR Bass 350 (silver face, non-x) these (the 350s) sell on ebay for about $400 or $300 for the older (redface) version.

    If your just starting out like you say and don't havve tons of money buy a used combo or maybe an avatar cab and a used 300w head. I really, really like the SWR workingmans 12 combo <wink,wink>
  4. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I forgot to mention buyiing just a head and cab is less confusing than trying to figure out how to connect an fancy power amp to the cab. combos are even easier to connect! power cord, guitar cord!
  5. thanks for that evrything is clear now. im think of the 300 watt behringer head its like $270us. if after i found out i wanted to be louder could i put this into a power amp to boost the watts?
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

  7. yes if there a line out,if u took the speaker outm and connected to a power amp. i think u would have a fire.
  8. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    what the other guys say is true. The "Speaker out" of a combo or the outputs of a power amp are alot higher voltage than your guitar or from your pre. speaker out and amp voltages SHOULD ONLY GO TO SPEAKER CABINETS!!!!

    When I was in recording school some kids in a band didn't no this and they plugged the output of their favorite guitar "head" into the mixing board and fried half of a $20,000 board!!!

    if with the 300 watts you feel you need more volume you could do two things, number one is to buy one more 8ohm cabinet and plug it into the "speaker out". it is quite amazing at first to realize that a smaller amp like 100watts with several speaker attached can sound louder than a bigger amp that has only one speaker attached. you get more air moving rather than one speaker moving a little farther in and out. the drawbacks to this is most combos can't handle more than one extra 8ohm speaker. and many amps cant go below 4ohms for speaker loads.

    SPEAKER LOADS: my swr amp can handle 2ohms minimum. the higher the total ohms of the attached speaker the harder/less watts my amp can easily get down the wire. for example I currently have two 8 ohm cabs. electrically speaking my amp thinks there is 4ohms of resistance. calculate load by dividing the totals of ohms on each cab by the total number of cabs (boxes). some people may advocate cabs of lower ohms like buying 4ohms or 6ohms. if you had a 4 and a 6ohm cabs you load would be 5ohms.