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Pre-Amps? Why are they used. Please help

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by lostatrout, May 9, 2003.

  1. lostatrout

    lostatrout Guest

    Nov 20, 2002
    Bethel, Vermont
    I have been playing bass for about 17 years now but have never used a pre amp. What are the benefits of using one? I don't know anything about racks or pre amps or anything like that and would like to put something together. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    A pre-amp can be useful to bring a passive bass up to the level of active ones.

    But basically the point of a pre-amp - whether outboard or onboard is that with passive amplification you cannot actually boost frequences only cut them.

    A pre-amp allows you to shape the tone to suit what you want and the environment - room etc.

    Most combos and amp heads will have a pre-amp built in, as will active basses - so I doubt you have never used one.

    But I presume you mean you have never used a "separate" pre-amp.
  3. lostatrout

    lostatrout Guest

    Nov 20, 2002
    Bethel, Vermont
    Bruce, you are correct. I should have clarified what I meant. I was talking about a seperate pre-amp. I knew there were pre-amps built into certain amplifiers and heads but was just curiouis about the seperate ones. You answered my question. Thank you.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    A separate preamp offers more flexibility. You can pair it with any poweramp you like. They're also usually designed for more flexibility than internal preamps.
  5. Coleman


    Oct 13, 2001
    Hong Kong
    Tech21 Bass Driver Di is a separate preamp ?
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Yes, among other things.
    YOu DO need and use a preamp whatever happens, somewhere in your chain.
  7. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    In a rack setup, usually the preamp shapes the sound, and the power amp makes that sound louder.

    I use a Mesa Basstriaxis (hence the name), and a Mesa Coliseum 300 power amp. I like having my pre and power separate because it gives me more options for power matching, patching options, and makes repair situations easier. If my pre goes out, that's what goes to the shop, not the whole rig. Nice!

    There are some great examples in the "Show us your amps" thread (mine is especially great:D ).
  8. modular setups almost always sound better than an integrated head, simply because you're likely to have a poweramp with more output (more headroom, better tone) than the alternative. having said that, i'd like to state that i would trade in my rack setup anyday for an eden valvetech series head.:bawl:

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