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Is an outboard pre amp really needed?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by David A. Davis, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Do you really need an outboard pre amp if you have a good onboard pre?
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
  3. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    No, but you might use something like a Sansamp Bass Driver DI to get a particular tone. Also, just a plain old DI box can come in handy in many situations.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I have five preamps to get different favors I have two basses with onboard pre's but they also benefit from the outboards.
  5. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Depends on the amp you are trying to drive. Some are less sensitive and you will need the boost from the pre.
  6. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Are there any onboard preamps with enough output to fully drive a power amp?
  7. Tuned


    Dec 6, 2007
    Depends on the sensitivity of the power amp. My IPR 1600 is particularly sensitive, I can drive it with my onboard Bartolini preamp but not to full output. If I could change the EQ frequencies I could get by without an outboard pre for most gigs. Mine's not even 18V, those have plenty of snot to drive an IPR.
  8. No. I usually run passive straight in. I think most people do. (??)
  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I use a Sansamp BDDI blended in my FX Loop for metal purposes. For other styles, I put it in front. Lately I have been trying to get the same tones only using my onboard stuff and bass controls. I can get about 80% there for my non-metal sounds.

    My head excels at certain things... burly mids like no other amp I've owned. The BDDI is the opposite... great wide lows and a lot of detailed clangy top end (and also some OD). I try to blend the best of both worlds, sum is greater than the parts!
  10. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Maybe I misunderstood the intent of this thread. Are we talking about completely eliminating an out board preamp or using an outboard preamp in addition to the preamp built into an amp head?

    Interesting. I have an IPR 1600 in my PA rack. I'll have to experiment with that and see how it comes out.

    Does running 18 volts increase the output level? I always thought the only difference between 9v and 18v was the headroom/compression when the EQ was boosted a lot.
  11. i like preamping my direct signal a little. i use the preamp of my head (PF500) which does a subtle change to the midrange of my passive J. though unless you have tube pre i dont really think its nessecary provided you have good sound guy/onboard pre/amp or whatever your clean signal is going into. as mjac28 said, you get different favors frmo different pre's. hartke bass attack will give you a different sound than an eden preamp or a sansamp. but its certainly not nessecary
  12. I'm talking about completely eliminating the out board preamp. Other than boosting the signal and maybe the lack of a gain stage is there really a need? If you have a good, flexible on board pre, do you really need another pre amp? This is my thought: Bass>Reddi>split the signal AB/Y, one to the board, the other into a power amp. The only "pre amp" would be in the bass. Would this work? It seems that by using the Reddi, it should be capable of producing an adaquate signal for the power amp.
  13. BeSharp


    May 17, 2011
    Annapolis, MD
    For me it's always been either/or. I am now using a Sadowsky pre-amp/DI. With a passive bass (although I don't have any at the moment) I'd turn on the active pre-amp in the Sadowsky if I wanted a more active sounding tone. With a good on-board pre (right now I'm liking the J-Retro) I simply turn off the active circuit in the Sadowsky and use it as a DI. I found that if I doubled up - active in the bass to and active out-board pre it caused some unwanted issues.
  14. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    I think the REDDI is capable of something like 15dB of gain. (To my way of thinking, that means it IS a preamp.)

    Your idea should work. Do have any way to try it out?
  15. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    You will get > +4dB out of the Reddi which is plenty, so you do in fact own a pre amp.:bassist:
  16. mtsens1

    mtsens1 Merle Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    Kennesaw, Georgia
    Same here.
  17. I do not own a Reddi, but know someone locally that does.
  18. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If you open the bass up, some onboard pre's have a gain control on them.
    No pre-amp needed to drive a power amp.
    I use a lot of tone shaping, signal conditioning, but one option is always to bypass all this for pure bass to the amp. If you have a good sounding bass, with onboard pre-amp, it works well.
  19. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    If you are trying to drive a power amp you'll need some sort of a pre-amp to get the required voltage swing to drive the amp fully. This can be something as cheap as an ART tube MP unit.
  20. Whats the point of preamp on top of preamp on top of preamp?? Unless is a tone box like a Sansamp or Aguilar Tone Hammer used for overdrive tones... I don't see the point.

    You have EQ (preamp) on your bass.
    You have EQ (preamp) on your amp.

    Why do you need more?