Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by will16, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. will16


    Aug 30, 2003
    hey! this may be in the wrong forum but sure anyway.....
    I don't know what a preamp is!
    is a preamp the volume and tone(eq) knobs on a bass? I'm just guessing here maybe it counts as the pickups or maybe its the pickups and the volume and eq knobs?!?!?!
    also does a preamp VU monitor not work if you do not have an active bass
    any help would be much appreciated- cheers!
  2. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    A preamp in a bass is referred to as an 'on board' preamp and is usually a small circuit in the control cavity used to give boost/cut to the signal before its sent to the amp. Active basses (basses with batteries) have preamps in them. Also a preamp is the signal shaping section of an amplifier. Pre-amplification basically means "before the signal is amplified."

    Just a heads up on asking questions like this because usually a lot of people chime in with nothing but "try searching the forum." Although its a good idea sometimes people here get annoyed at simple questions. ;) :bassist:
  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    yup, what metron said
    usually when preamps are mantioned here we are talking about rackmount units designed to bring the instrument level signal from your bass up to "line level" which is suitable to plug into a power amplifier
    a bass "head" is a combination of a preamp and power amp in one box, and a combo is all that plus a speaker
    preamps also usually include eq, some have effect loops, and a lot have "di" outputs designed to be plugged into a pa or recording deck (they are weird looking plugs which take 3 pins instead of the ususal 1/4" plug ya put in your bass)
    a lot of people use a preamp and poweramp seperately in order to get the sound they want (all preamps sound different) and to use more watts than they can get from a bass head (seperate power amps can go up to rediculous wattages, where bass heads usually range from 100 - 1000 watts)
    an onboard preamp is an electric circut run by 9 volt batteries in your bass, these are used to alter the sound of the bass, or more frequently to allow you to have "active" eq on your bass where you can boost or cut bass, treble, or sometimes mids. passive eq usually is just 1 knob which rolls off the high frequncy
  4. will16


    Aug 30, 2003
    thats cool thanks for the replies
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    any other questions don't hesitate to ask