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new rig time... preamp/power amp suggestions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ImNotGeddyLee, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. right now I am running a badly beaten GK800RB into a Bag End 4x10 (800 watts 8 ohms). I know im really underpowering this cab and want to move up to a power amp / pre amp rack setup.
    I really want versatility without having to totally bankrupt myself.

    For now (and probably ever) I want to stick with the Bag End as that cab is amazing. Im thinking maybe a 1000-1200 watt stereo power amp this way i can possibly bi-amp it later for maybe an 18" subwoofer.
    Which brings up my first question. I am not to familiar with this whole pre amp/power amp situation especially when it comes to bi amping. Can i bi amp with one stereo power amp... i imagine i could... isn't it essentially two amps in one? Would I need two pre-amps... are there bi-amp pre-amps available?

    I have been currently looking at the GK 2001 Pre-amp (pricey), the ampeg tube pre-amp (forget the model), and the sansamp pre-amp rackmount (heard the overdrive is incredible). I have also heard of people getting away with just running a Sansamp BassDI pedal into a power amp and cab... I like that idea as its lighter, cheaper, and I generally keep my eq flat.

    I also have my eyes on a BBE Sonic Maximizer which i also heard people using strictly as their pre-amp.

    'gasp' well that was a long post. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. The Guitar Centers and other music shops really suck around here so I wont have much chance to try this stuff out without ordering it and sending it back...
  2. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    hey dude, as far as bi-amping i really wouldn't worry about it. i would get the most power i could and bridge it into your cab. if you add an 18 later i would run that cab in parallel for a 4 ohm load.(assuming it's also an 8 ohm cab)

    you could bi-amp with a stereo power amp but you will need a crossover or a pre that has one built in. next you will get much less output from your amp bi-amping. i have a crown ce2000. bridged at 4 ohms its about 2000 watts, but if i run it stereo at 8 ohms per side it's like 225 watts(per side). so you're looking at 4 times the power to run both cabs in parallel. very big difference especially pushing high wattage speakers.

    i wouldn't worry so much about running either cab full-range because of the natural rolloff of the different speakers. GK amps bi-amp the tweeters and bass drivers which is not the same thing you're talking about here.

    as far as an amp and a pre i have been very happy with my crown. i have a custom built pre so i can't suggest it to you but i will suggest a bbe bass preamp. they just reissued them but you can find originals for less than 100 bucks sometimes. the tech 21 rbi is another good one (around 300 or so) if i were to go with a tech 21 i would spring for the rack mounted version because when it comes to racks neatness counts. the less complicated and the fewest seperate pieces the better. you will curse every time you have to load up. find something that works for you and put it all in a good rack case so that you can keep it wired up all the time. when you move it you just unplug it from the wall and the cab pop on the covers and go.
  3. thanks for the suggestions. The only reason I was contemplating bi-amping was that my bag end tends to get a little of the old "speaker fart" when pushing lower frequencies... this may just be that im not moving the speakers properly due to low wattage...
  4. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    yea more power will help tighten up your sound. i would personally put at least 1000 watts on that cab and be reasonable with the volume knob. also try running flater eq especailly with the bass freqs because that sucks up power quick on a small amp. you might have tough speakers but if you clip an amp hard enough or long enough they're gonna go.
    you will be supprised that cutting you bass knob down a bit doesn't really change your sound as much as seems. the audience will never know the difference. actually they'll probably hear you better
  5. yeah i think i have really hurt these speakers already... i may have to replace a few of them (especially the tweeter... distorts like hell). I run my EQ pretty flat on my amp and give a slight "smiley" curve on my stingray's electronics.
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    You're going to love the preamp/power amp rig when you've finished putting it together. I see the Ampeg SVP-Pro show up on Ebay often. The Sansamp-RBI is very popular around here, I'm sure there are a few to be had on the used market. Another cool preamp is the SWR I.O.D.. I use one for the occassional rock gig, it's tube distortion is nice. They come up on Ebay quite often too.
    There are too many great power amps to post, but I've always had good luck with Crown, Crest, QSC, and Peavey. There are plenty of other brands available that offer great power and performance. All can be found used.
    You're probably right about the farting sound. You're not giving that Bag End cab enough juice. If I remember right it's rated at either 600 or 800 watts. Do a seach on this forum in regards to how much you can safely over-power your cab's ratings. I've found it's better to have 'too much' power than the other way around. You may be able to get away with using just that one cab once you give it more power.
    As far as bi-amping goes, it's didn't work for me but it does for a lot of players. I'd do a search on it also.
    I think with some shopping you'll be able to get up and running without breaking your budget. As always, IMO. :)
    You're going to love it!
  7. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    You could try something like an Alembic F1-X preamp, which has a built-in crossover, and is natively bi-amp capable. And yes you're right, you'd need a stereo power amp (or two mono power amps) to drive the separate sets of speakers. I use Bag End speakers too, S-15's and S-12's, but I use EV subs (they're much more robust than the Bag End 18). The subs only get called on for outdoor gigs, for "normal" club gigs the Bag Ends are fine. When I use the BagEnds by themselves, I tend to turn down the extreme low frequencies, as you say the speakers have a lower range beyond which they don't like to go. But they're wonderful speakers for those situations where you don't need to make someone's pant legs vibrate at 50 yards. One thing to watch out for in the preamp, is the lower limit of the crossover frequency. I like to cross over "low", so the BagEnds get everything above 50 Hz or so. Not all crossovers will go that low. But, that's mainly a matter of taste, and also a matter of how you want to distribute the power across your speakers. Generally the subs will need a lot more power than the mains. In my rig, I use a 1200 watt main amp (WW Ultra), and then supplement that with a Stewart World 2.1 (2100 watts) to drive the subs. I run the crossover through the effects loop in the WW, the highs come back in and the lows go out to the power amp.
  8. yeah im definetly going to give the cab lots more juice and see how she feels... even if every speaker is fried i think it may be worth replacing them... it just sounds so good.

    anyone have any luck just using the sansamp di pedal as a pre-amp?
    i may go with that "not just for guitar" rackmount model. It has lots of adjustable presets and heard it was great for bass. It will also be great for the studio with bass and/or guitar.
  9. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    This is also a good thought. Someone recently suggested the Sansamp or POD Rackmount to me. I've been considering having a handful of classic bass amp sounds. I have'nt priced them yet, I'd personally be leery to buy one used.....