Power Amp & PreAmp vs. Bass Head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by funkysurfer, Aug 20, 2001.

  1. funkysurfer

    funkysurfer Guest

    Apr 20, 2000
    Coconut Creek, FL
    I am in the market for a new amp and I have been checking out numerous bass heads. Now I am considering buying a power amp and a quality preamp. I was wondering if there is something I am missing here because it seems to me most people use traditional bass heads. I haven't tried out any power amps or preamps yet, so any insight would definitely be helpful. However, what I would really like to know is, what are the pros and cons of choosing this route, and is it a good way to go? Another thing to note is, out of all the heads I played, I really dug the Galien Krueger and SWR's tones. Anyway, I have about $600 cash and a $250 credit at Guitar Center to shop with for now.
    Thanks for any help,
  2. Frankly, I think for a lot of us (by no means all) the choice rests on (1) money and (2) convenience. Preamp-power amp systems tend to cost more and be bulkier and heavier. My own bias is that for the kind of sound I like, you can get better tone by doing the separates thing, but I personally am unwilling/unable to shell out the bucks and deal with the carting. (However, if an SVT is your ideal of tone, no preamp power amp combo I've heard will get that exact sound.)

    You may not be able to go the separates route with the budget you have (unless you go used), nor is GC the best palce to look for that sort of stuff. If that credit locks you into GC, I personally would go with SWR (G-K does nothing for me).
  3. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    I recently sold my head and opted to go with a rack and here is where im at .

    Carvin 1500 watt power amp (8months old) ebay-$400.

    Ampeg svp-pro preamp, from H.C. (1 1/2 years)

    Dbx 160a compressor H.C. $200

    total $880 for a 1500 wt system that sounds great and about twice the power of any head you can find ( with exceptions).

    Cons- Can be heavy,

    Pro's- each section is upgradeable, If you shop around you can get more power and better sound for less bux,
  4. I think separates give you a higher level of quality in each piece, than you get from a head. There is also the ability to increase power or change tone (preamp) without replacing everything else. If you bi-amp using a second amplifier, you have a built-in spare.

    The downsides are the mandatory rack, much increased bulk and weight. If you shop carefully, you can buy top grade used gear from eBay without overpaying. Buying new, or from a music store will be more expensive with separates.

    As to the SVT tone only from an SVT... I cannot answer that. I would suggest an Ampeg SVP-Pro preamp might get you awfully close, but it still won't have the tube power amp distortion, nor all the other issues of a tube power amp.

    If you have the time, audition separates as much as possible first. Try to A/B also.