ok forgive me for my stupidity but i just dont get it

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by christmetal, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. christmetal

    christmetal Guest

    Aug 21, 2008
    ok i looked on here about preamps but nothing really helped me out
    i need to know what a preamp does really?
    like if there is a preamp on the back of a combo amp and there is a place for a cable to go in there, can i take a cable from there and plug it into a cab or something?
    any help would be GREAT!
  2. Your combo has a preamp in it, it boosts the signal to a level needed by the power amp.
    You can not just hookup a preamp to a speaker if you expect to hear anything.
    Out board preamps can be used to get different "sounds or tones" from a existing amp/combo or to drive a seperate power amp.
    Help any? :)
  3. christmetal

    christmetal Guest

    Aug 21, 2008
    yea that helps a little
    what is the plug in the back for then?
  4. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    There are lots of plug ins on the backs of amps, what does it say?
  5. christmetal

    christmetal Guest

    Aug 21, 2008
    it says preamp out.
    i just want to know what goes there?
  6. That's normally for other power amps you may use to help fill larger spaces, say something more powerful in your arsenal when you still want to use that head. You can also plug that into the "amp in" on a combo and use the combo as an extra monitor; your main head's volume will control both systems. That's what I do on Sundays so the keyboard player can hear me (he really likes bass :) ).
  7. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    OK. Here's the skinny.

    First thing to note - your amplifier most likely contains both a preamp and a power amp. The exceptions to that are straight power amps, which require a separate pre-amp (that's what you see in most people's complex rack-mount setups).

    The signal coming from your bass is a low output signal. Let's call it a "level 1". (and I'm just making up numbers here to make the point).
    A power amp needs an input of, say, level 3.
    So you can't plug your bass into a power amp.
    Speakers, say, need level 10-50 - way more than your bass. A power amp takes a level 3 signal and raises the output level to that 10 or 50 needed to be audible through speakers.
    A preamp (short for pre-amplifier) takes your level 1 signal out of your bass (too low for the power amp, and WAY too low for the speakers) and raises it to a level the power amp can work with - in our example, level 3.

    bass - level 1
    preamp raises that level 1 signal to level 3.
    power amp raises that level 3 signal to level 10 or whatever.

    A preamp adds certain things - (EQ, for example, or warmth or distortion, etc.) to your signal, as well as raising the volume.
    A power amp may also add certain sound qualities to your signal.

    A preamp- out lets you take the higher output, colored signal (the "sound" signal produced by your bass going through the preamp) and give it to, say, a recording console or a PA. So in the latter case, the sound going through the PA should be very similar to the sound coming out of your amp (because both are colored by your preamp).
  8. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    Yea so it means that the section of you amp with the bass,mid,treble controls ect... Its the section that goes into the power amp, hence pre-amp. Preamp shapes and gives voice to your tone, power amp amplifies that signal.

    Edit:Yea what he said ^^^^ lol
  9. christmetal

    christmetal Guest

    Aug 21, 2008
    ok i think im understanding it a little bit better
    so correct me if im wrong
    if i had a bass head and i wanted to use a combo amp as another monitor, or speaker for the sound to come out of, i would just take a cable from the preamp out and put it in the combo amp?
    would that work?
  10. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    We really need to know what model combo were talking here.

    Many combo's have a simple line-out (or fx-send) 1/4" jack with a preamp output intended to power the inputs of Poweramps, mixers, recorders -ect. (not-speakers!)

    Some combos are equipped with extention speaker jacks to plug directly into aditional cabs, but many dont.
  11. christmetal

    christmetal Guest

    Aug 21, 2008
    it is a line 6 low down studio 110
    i am just wondering if i could use it as a monitor or something like that
    and what would be an example of a seperate poweramp?
    just a poweramp
  12. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Your combo could function as a monitor. You'll probably have to connect your mixer's (or :confused:) preamp-level output to your combo's normal input. (it'll probably work out better if you engage your -10DB pad button inward and start out adjusting its sound with your combos volume set very low) It might just sound great, or not.

    A better method for doing this would probably be bypassing your combos preamp section and conecting to its power amp section directly. I checked out your combo: http://line6.com/lowdown/studio110.html It has no FX loop so this method cant be done with yours.