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Integrated head vs. pre and power amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Blueszilla, May 8, 2003.

  1. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    I recently upgraded to an SWR 750x and SWR Goliath III and SOB cabs. I though this was a bada$$ rig. I just joined TB in April and have been reading all these postings about using preamps and rack power amps and wonder if I made a mistake investing in this setup. I've read where someone had the pre/power rack setup and went to an integrated setup and the other way too. I'm sure someone has had both rigs and might have an opinion or two. My band plays blues and roots r 'n r, the GP plays pretty loud, so the rig works OK in keeping up, but I'm looking for the good tone and good volume. I don't use any effects, I just want a good sound. The rig hasn't really knocked my socks off, but it doesn't sound bad either, maybe I just haven't dialed it in yet. Anybody care to share??? I like both sides of the arguement to shed as much light as possible....
  2. i just switched from a demeter qsc setup, to an ashdown abm 500 head...

  3. PICK


    Jan 27, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Head= Usually cheaper but more portable.
    Pre+power= Usually more expensive but more Flexible
    You havent made a mistake buying that rig. Im pretty sure there are more bass players in the world with integrated heads then there are with Pre+Power rigs. If it sounds good to you then use it.
  4. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I've gone from 'cheap 12"combo' to 'cheap 15" combo' to 'pre+efx+amp+2*4x10' to 'expensive 12" combo' and now finally to 'expensive head plus small cabinets'

    I think it's possible to make some nice sounds with all of the above, but the best compromise in terms of power, sound and portability I've found to be an integrated head. I don't want to lug around a massive amp rack anymore. Unless you don't have PA support or if you play very large venues or outdoors a lot I can't see the need for more power than what a modern integrated head provides. Better go for portability and good sound.

    Just my choice of course, YMMV.
  5. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    Just switched from a QSC PLX1602/Sansamp RBI setup to a Mesa m-pulse 360. The head is definitely more convenient, but not quite as accurate, and transparent sounding. The head I will say has more warmth and punch than the power/pre setup I was using. I would have kept the other along with what I have now if I had the cash.
  6. Moving from an integrated bass head to a pre-amp/power-amp setup is a little like moving from a combo to a head/cab setup. More stuff to hook up, etc. etc. etc. However, if you want to run really big power 1K+, or like to tinker around swapping per-amps/power-amps, effects, and the like then separates are the best choice. The setup you have right now is really all anybody should ever need. If for some reason you needed more volume, adding another matching 4x10 should give you all the volume any sane person should ever need. As for tone, itÂ’s all in the hands anyway.
  7. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    You should be fine with your set-up, It could take a while to dial in your sound from ANY rig. As for power, if you need more just add a cab or go direct to the house. Most places you play in won't let you get insanley loud anyway.
  8. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    My approach to this whole thing changed last night at a gig. Turns out what Greybeard said I took to heart, that your tone is in your hands. I hadn't been diggin' in with my fingers and the tone suffered. Last night the first set was uneven and the GP and I discussed what we thought was happening. I got the red-a$$ to drive it and the rest of the night was great. I have decided that I like the rig a lot and that it sounds great.

    And thanks for your support! ;) :bassist:
  9. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    FWIW, I use a 6 sp SKB light rack:

    Furman PL8 tuner/surge protector
    Kern 777 preamp
    Crown K2 power amp
    FMR RNC compressor
    one space empty-->may get a rack drawer this week

    The size is reasonable and not too cumbersome or not much more than a head. The p.i.t.a. is the Crown amp: it weighs 38 lbs (according to the website). That seems light but it really adds up and I'd guess the whole rack weights about 80 lbs.
  10. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I like seperate pre & poweramp for the head room and with lightweight poweramps like the PLX they are not too heavy anymore. Your rig sounds like a good one that should hold it's own in most situations, but if you feel something is missing maybe borrow a friends pre/poweramp to see if it floats you boat.

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