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Question on Pre+Power amp operation

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bazzanderson, Jun 1, 2005.


  1. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Ok...I'm going the Pre+Power amp route soon. Quesion....do you use the power amp's volume/level as the Master volume or do you crank the power amp and use the Preamp's volume/level as Master volume? Your advice is appreciated.
    Thx,
    -Barry-
     
  2. down to personal preference i think

    Its just like having a pregain and a master volume on a normal all-in-one head isnt it?
     
  3. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX

    I guess the next question would be what are the pros and cons of each?

    Thx,
    -Bazz-
     
  4. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    My amp's got a "power amp in" input which bypasses the volume/tone and preamp circuit. Used that way, the amp is full volume and the preamp controls all volume & tone. If you run through the regular input on the amp, you'll have a gain/volume setup as mohawk stated. You've got a lot of choices so mess with it and see what you like.
     
  5. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    How do you TBers use your Power/Pre setup? Level on Pre as master or level on Power as master??

    Thx,
    -Bazz-
     
  6. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    I usually set my preamp volume just below the 'clip' level and use my power amp volume to turn up or down.
     
  7. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Me too. I find that the best approach is to turn the preamp volume up to just below where the tube starts to distort, and control overall volume with the power amp.

    Lonnybass
     
  8. You'll get the best signal to noise ratio when the signal is strong throughout the signal chain. Using that guidline you should use the power amp's gain control for volume.

    With that said I usually max out the power amp and use my pre for volume control because my gain knobs are in the back of my power amp. This usually works just fine. If I need to I will set my power amp gain on half (or lower) and fine tune the volume with my pre.
     
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I prefer to use my preamp's volume as my master. My power amp is a QSC PLX1602, and the gain control moves up in notches-not in a completely curved adjustment, so I prefer to set the power amp at the notch which reflects the loudest I plan on possibly going at that time, and adjust my preamp's volume accordingly, as it moves in a completely smooth manner, allowing more specific volume adjustments.
     
  10. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    ^^^I use the same power amp (QSC PLX 1602) and find that the "notch" dial for the level works great to just set it at an applicable volume and then fine tune it with the preamp's controls.
     
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Both ... I often set the levels on my Crown to the max I'll need for a particular room. I do like to get the Demeter working a bit so I generally have it around noon on the dial. Clear as a bell there but a little warmer than say 9:00.

    But - depending on which cab's I'm running I may run one side higher or lower than the other as a sort of gross EQ. If the 15's or the 12's are a little boomy, dial 'em back a bit and leave the 10's up. If the room is really dry, bring the 15's up just a bit and leave the 10's alone.

    This is part of the beauty of a rack setup. Total flexibility ... down side to a rack setup is that there is no surer path to becoming a gear junkie. WHen you get tired of new pre-amps, processors and poweramps, there are all those friggin' cabinets to try - and they all act like tone controls! just ask Tom Bowlus ;~) - sorry Tom!
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Great minds think alike :D
     
  13. Ahh all you people with your pregains this and your post gains that, at first it bugged me but now i love just having the single master volume :D
     
  14. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Thanks again for all of your suggestions and opinions! yeah...I figured there endless possibilities when going the Pre/Power route.

    Thx,
    -Bazz-
     
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Took me a while to find this post, but dang if it ain't true! Guilty, as charged! :D