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Instrument Pre-amp up all the way?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by flashboom, May 31, 2011.

  1. flashboom


    Apr 4, 2011
    San Jose, CA
    I'm pretty new at all this so I'm still fiddling with my knobs (insert dirty joke here).

    One of my learning resources suggests turning your instrument pre-amp up all the way before turning up your amp volume. In the past, I've always avoided turning the instrument volume up all the way. I tried it last night and liked the sound. So I guess the question is actually: is there any reason not to do it?

    (Technical stuff: bedroom player w/ Ibanez SR400, Acoustic B20 watt combo amp)

    I hope this is in the right place; it seemed more of a technique question than an amp question. Thanks in advance for all your help.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It really is all about what sounds best. The very worst thing that can happen, whether you set the preamp volume low or high, is that it sounds bad.

    Well, you can still blow the speakers through carelessness, but that's not directly related to the preamp volume knob. :)
  3. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    I can't think of a reason not to turn 'em up (aside from the above comment of course). If it's a minor issue like battery life; once that Bass is plugged in (and has no passive switch) you're using that battery anyway & most likely at the same rate.

    Realistically there MAY be a complication with effects (peddles / rack, whatever). Some designs may incorporate an existing preamp design; I'm thinking of certain overdrive or distortion effects but there MIGHT be a few unique ones. Thereby making mud from what would have been a lighter over-driven effect.
    IF you would use effects; it may be a good idea to look into whether you are running a pre amp into another pre amp; but I think that would be rare. If effects are not in the picture, or they are totally passive (old fashioned wah pedal) - it's a non-issue IMO.
  4. russtolium


    Jul 12, 2010
    Recommendations I've read have generally stated the opposite, that boosting EQ via the preamp introduces a higher noise level than if adjusted at the amp. In my experience, the noise level from boosting from the preamp is pretty much the same as cranking up the amp.

    It depends on the quality of your components, most likely. I prefer to keep my bass's preamp flat so that I have the ability to adjust up or down on the fly (for the eq anyway, the volume I always keep at max), otherwise there really isn't much point to having those knobs on the bass.

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