Question for Pedalboard owners with Class D heads

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by 707GK, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. 707GK


    Jun 13, 2013
    Putting together my first pedalboard and I’m thinking about adding a preamp/DI for gigs (after quarantine). My dilemma is that I have a class D head and while technically it’s not on my pedalboard, I could bring it to a gig without a speaker and essentially use it just like a preamp/DI. It’s lightweight and fits in my gig bag so it’s not an issue at all to bring it to gigs.

    So for those of you that have a Class D head as well as a pedalboard, do you have a Preamp/DI on your board? Is it any more or less convenient than having a class D head and using it without a speaker?

  2. I use a pedal preamp for my main sound (what gets sent to the PA) and use a class D basically for monitoring, using the eq to tailor what I hear on stage without messing with the soundguy's mix
  3. Treblefree


    Apr 8, 2016
    Upstate, SC
    I DI out of my class D head each week.
    bassopotamus102, HOTCARL and 707GK like this.
  4. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    I’m guessing the xlr out on your head is post EQ?

    i’ve done it once by accident (with a LMKII) as i was told there was a cab at the venue (there wasn’t). Can’t say i would bother doing it again!
    707GK likes this.
  5. 707GK


    Jun 13, 2013
    I have the option for pre or post!

    I guess I forgot to mention this would only be for gigs with FOH & monitor support.
    knumbskull likes this.
  6. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    ah right. Well, if you like your amp’s EQ and don’t mind lugging it to gigs, why not :)

    I’m a big fan of preamp pedals for shaping sounds, both in general and to ensure i’m sending something i like to FOH. But your method would work fine with no extra expenditure.
    707GK likes this.
  7. Wissen

    Wissen Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2007
    Central PA
    My amp and cab is a lifeless, characterless Carvin pair. I have never been able to get a pleasing tone out of it. Funny thing is I didn't know that until I built a pedalboard and started using some preamps for bass tone shaping. I was so oblivious about my tone that I didn't know it sucked until the day it didn't.

    When I gig on bass anymore, the Carvin rig certainly comes along, but it sits dead flat and I do all the tone work on my pedals.

    Not all Class D amps are able to run without a load. Right? I don't think my Carvin can. So if I ever don't need to bring my own on-stage volume solution, I leave it the hell home.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
    707GK likes this.
  8. I use a preamp for warmth and tone shaping with my GK MB500 which I run very clean with lots of headroom and use the EQ to compensate for different cabs and rooms. For a vintage warmer tone I use a John K FET-F2B or Zoom Bassman model and for studio or clean a Southampton Ictineo. I will also occasionally use my Joyo California Sound if I really want to pump a Mesa 400+ tone through a classic 2x15 cab for a blues rock boogie workout.

    For coffee house gigs I often use a powered speaker so having a preamp for tone is crucial.

    The GK MB500 has a worthy tone of it's own but I don't really do that 80's - 90's solid rock thing much anymore but it is a solid performer, light weight, flexible and dependable. It is in that sweet spot power wise enough to deliver clean performance and plenty to get frakking loud! Plus it works well with all my speakers both my 1x15 cabs and 2x15.
    707GK likes this.
  9. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    Don't create no problem, won't be no problem.
    I have a killer class D amp... a Bergantino B|Amp.

    I don't use any type of preamp on my pedal boards. Not necessary for me. The Berg is the best amp I've ever used. Better than the Genzler MG 800 that is now the rehearsal studio amp, or my old Demeter HPB1.
    HolmeBass, Ryno1330 and 707GK like this.
  10. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I think if your amp as a tone that you like and the sound engineer can use a preamp pedal is just along for the ride. But if you don't live the DI on your amp or you need to manage some noise in your signal chain a clean preamp is a really great solution. So it can't hurt to have one in you bag or on your board.
    707GK likes this.
  11. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    When using a speaker -- I've always just used my amp, and don't like to "complicate" things by adding a second pre-amp to my signal chain - to me it can get hard to tell what is doing what when you start adding too much.

    If I was doing regular gigs, with no amp on stage and a pedal board - I might invest in a pedal format preamp -- but just to have a nice tidy board / stage set up.
    I jammed with a band for a few weeks, and those guys rehearsed without amps, and I just used my Class D head, with no speaker.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
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  12. xI Jonathan Ix

    xI Jonathan Ix

    Jan 8, 2020
    I have a tube preamp built into my class D amp so the only time I use my seperate DI is if house won’t take the effected line out. Then they get the DI + a mic’d cabinet (effected).
    707GK likes this.
  13. Low Down Brown

    Low Down Brown Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2018
    I run a Line 6 HX Stomp into a Quilter BB800. I chose the Quilter because it's a relatively neutral sounding amp and translates all the Stomp amp models really well. Sometimes I run a compressor > preamp/EQ (Barber Linden, LBA NuVision, etc.) > HX Stomp > BB 800 and that allows me some extra tone shaping. If I don't need the amp, usually end up with a simple signal like the Markbass Compressore > HX Stomp > P.A. and that sounds incredible.
  14. 707GK


    Jun 13, 2013
    This was mainly my thought process, keeping set up and strike times to minimums as well as keeping the stage tidy (sometimes not possible, anyways).
    hennessybass likes this.
  15. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I have a couple of preamp DI units. in my previous band, I was ampless - we were al FOH and I used in ears so I used the DI to connect to the board.

    I use an amp for stage bass in my current band. I run FOH from my head. For a while I had one of the DIs on my board in case I ran into an FOH guy who wanted my sound before any effects, but recently took it off because I just don't use that many effects combinations and it ate up a lot of room on my board. I do have one in my spare bag at all times, just in case.
    xI Jonathan Ix likes this.
  16. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Riff-finder General Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    Springfield, MA
    Same, except it's a Two Notes Le Bass instead of the HX. I already owned and loved the Le Bass, got the Quilter to be a neutral amp.

    That said, I'm actually considering switching out both for an amp with a better built-in preamp. Those newer Mesa ones look niiiiiiice.
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Packing a small pedalboard or just a preamp pedal shouldn’t lead to stage clutter or have anything but a negligible effect on your setup and strike times.

    I’ll often park a preamp on top of my amp and not even put it on the floor. Same goes for any always-on effects like a compressor, HPF/LPF, or an EQ.
  18. _One//Man//Mutiny_

    _One//Man//Mutiny_ Gold Supporting Member

    I use a Darkglass Microtubes 900 and I have just started using a Sadowsky SPB 1
    It definitely is a bass preamp more than an amp preamp.
    Makes all my all of my passive basses sound like they have never sounded before, like they have an active 2 band preamp.
    It also makes my actives sound even better, I'm very enamored with that preamp. I love the sound of my amp and I never got along with other preamp pedals like the tech21 stuff. The Sadowsky beefs up the sound of my bass without trying to emulate another amp
    burk48237 likes this.
  19. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    I think he was saying that having a Pre on his pedal board would be cleaner than having a pedal board + using his regular class D head as the preamp - on a silent stage, or as the OP says, with no speakers.
    One thing to deal with (the board), rather than two (the board and the amp).
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  20. wheelsup247

    wheelsup247 Wherever You Go, There You Are. Wear it low. Supporting Member

    To me, both my Markbass LMIII and the FOH (using one or both) sound better after my Noble preamp DI.