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question about running line level into a preamp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by modepaul, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. modepaul


    Sep 21, 2011
    hello friends, long time reader first time poster. i'll start by saying that the advice and knowledge shared on this website has guided me for years, so thanks! here's my question:

    i am running a line level signal into the front of my bass amp and i'm wondering two things:

    1. is this harmful to the preamp? my guess is that running a hotter signal demands precaution at high volume levels but is generally okay. i should note that this signal is at line level because its coming out of another preamp, so that might be taken into consideration. i have read that running two preamps simultaneously is fine if you set the gain on the second preamp to 0, but the second preamp doesn't have a gain knob, only volume. i'm thinking as long as i don't push the volume super hard it will be fine.

    2. i have a sans amp bass driver DI, if i run the line level signal into there, i believe i can run it out at instrument level. but would that harm the sans amp or is it made to have that ability?

    if you are curious why i would be doing such a strange thing i can elaborate, but it's sort of a long story so i'll only do that if requested.

    thanks in advance!
  2. ulynch

    ulynch Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2010
    Nor Cal
    I don't know that I can give you any kind of definitive answer, but I have a similar sitch here. I run from the instrument into a Hartke VXL Bass Attack pedal, and from its line level output into the front of my Carvin BX500 head. (The VXL has a separate instrument level out, but it's un-effected.)

    Anyway, I've had no problems overdriving the front end of the Carvin, even though I run the VXL at pretty high output (12:00 or past). I've been told that if there's a problem with overdriving the input of the second amp, you'll hear it as distortion, and that it can be resolved by just reducing the output of the first amp.

    Hopefully someone smarter than me can confirm all this.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It's only a problem if the input signal is clipping the preamp. If it isn't, there's no problem.

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