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Pre amp/Power amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by markofled, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. markofled


    Aug 23, 2007
    What is the difference? If you got a Pre amp do you need a power amp aswell? If you do then could you run a 300w Pre amp and a 300w Power amp into one 300w cab?
  2. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    A preamp is the front end of an amp head. It shapes the tone. The power amp amplifies the sound. A head has both. If you run a pre-power setup, you need both, unless you go ampless. In that case, you would send your preamp signal to the main mixing board.
  3. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    no such thing as a 300w pre amp; there is such a thing as a 300w amp which is the pre amp & power amp as a single unit, and there is such a thing as a 300w power amp which is a stand alone unit but it need a "pre" amp to provide controls like gain, tone (ie;bass, mid, treble) and other goodies
    hope this helps
  4. markofled


    Aug 23, 2007
    Yea thats very helpful thank you
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Not the best one to answer this question but a head is essentially a combination of the pre and power sections. The pre has the bells and whistles to shape a tone, the power section increases the output sufficient to make it useable.

    If you have a hot enough signal you can get output from a power amp alone. A pre alone on the other hand is usless without something else to boost the signal. There are no 300 watt pre-amps.

    I originally was going to post "See FAQ." But I decided to check FAQ first. I guess I've never looked in FAQ in this forum cause to my surprise it doesn't look from the titles to cover the amp basics like this question - unless it's camouflaged by those titles.
  6. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    One more thing to make note of is that some pedalboards, the Sansamp BDDI, or even the Bass POD are also candidates to serve well as preamps. They can do your tone shaping and send a signal right to your power amp or the soundboard.

    Back in the "I noodle with guitar" days, I thought that anything aside from a combo amp or a head was just an effect, etc. and couldn't act as a preamp on its own, so I just wanted to throw that log on the fire.

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