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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pooja, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. pooja


    Jan 17, 2006
    Hi im new too the forums, i wanted to know if i could just run my bass into a power amp without a preamp. I have an active bass so i dont know if that matters or not.
  2. pooja


    Jan 17, 2006
    cant anyone help me out, i tried searching but didnt really find anything.
  3. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    You can, but you would be putting more stress on the power amp and not get its full potential. Think of the signal as being amplified in stages. First your hand, then the pups, then the electronics in the bass, then the preamp, then the power amp. If one stage is lacking, the next stage will have to pick up the slack and in doing so not be able to do its stage as well.
  4. Soulfinger


    Sep 20, 2004
    Houston, TX
    There are plenty of preamps to be had out there for as little as 50 bucks. In the $50 - $100 range you could get a used rackmount bass preamp, or get a small PA-type mixer (new even) which would work fine as a preamp.
  5. pooja


    Jan 17, 2006
    thanks for the info
  6. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Also keep in mind that the preamp is the main tone shaping control interface as well. You should invest in one that will last, as you may change power amps but your tone will stay the same.
  7. pooja


    Jan 17, 2006
    could i run my bass into a di box then into a power amp?
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Welcome to TB:) Some DI boxes have preamps in them (like the sansamp stuff). That would work fine... but a passive DI would not help you out. There are many nice bass preamps out there for not much money that will really sound a lot better than just running your active bass into the power amp.... that won't sound so good.

    Also... most preamps have DI's... so it's better to think of it as getting a 'preamp with a DI'... versus 'a DI that can drive my power amp'.
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Your active bass should have a spec for its maximum output voltage, and most power amps have a similar spec for a minimum input voltage required to reach maximum output. Sometimes this is referred to as "input sensitivity." If your bass puts out enough voltage to drive the power amp to clipping, you're all set. Not having a preamp in between won't damage anything.
  10. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    True, it won't damage anything. But it probably won't sound very good either.

    Most on-board pre's just don't have enough output to efficiently drive a power amp directly. An active DI or a preamp/DI will be wanted.
  11. get a simple preamp/DI combo like the sansamp, Hartke VXL etc.

    If you are playing live, they will let you send a DI line to the desk as well.

    The EBS one will even let you use it as a headphoned practice amp in your bedroom.
  12. I dont think you would regret getting a separate preamp..
  13. Triclops

    Triclops Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    can I run a zoom b2 pedal as my pre amp? or do I still need
    a signal booster?:meh:
  14. The Zoom still puts out an "instrument" level. It may be possible to crank the gain in a few different places on the zoom, but I bet it will sound positively horrible. The noise would be outrageous.

    I would strongly suggest you check the couch cusions for a while and save for a preamp of some kind.

    Haste has cost me a lot of money on gear, just taking the time to research what you need and scratch together a little money will be time well spent for sure. Heck mow a couple of yards or paint someone's fence, you'll be on easy street in an afternoon. :bassist: