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Recommendations On Rack Mounted Pre amp/power amp Combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by poppedcollards, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. poppedcollards


    Dec 31, 2017
    I'm looking to get a rack mountable Pre amp and separate power amp to run 2 Markbass 4x10 cabs (8ohm 800w/ cab). I've scoured the internet and am having trouble finding opinions from people about this kind of set up. I currently have a Markbass Little tube 800. I want more power and headroom. I also like the idea of having everything rack mounted. Thanks for your thoughts.
  2. Anything with a input sensitivity of 1v or below will work
  3. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    As an experiment, I purchased a Crown Power Base I amp and found a Carvin preamp on eBay. I think my total investment was less than $300 USD. I am running this into either two Ampeg PF115HE's or one PF115 and a Carvin 210 extension cab. All are 8 ohms, so the amp see's 4 ohms. The Carvin preamp has 1 Ax tube, and the amp is all solid state. I have to tell you, that it is probably the best combination I have ever played through! My Ampeg SVT 7 Pro is now my back-up amp!Good luck with your quest, and if you see the Carvin preamp - buy it!
  4. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    There are tons of options.

    What is your budget?
    What kind of sound are you looking for?
  5. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    You could start with your Markbass effects send into the preamp (most likely), or the DI out to a balanced input on the power amp. Then if that works out you can decide which pre to get, or if you even need to get one. Most of the rack preamps I've read TBers are using are pretty pricey for my wallet. There's quite a bit on the Sansamp GED 2112 in the effects forum. A pedal like the Subway preamp with DI out might be another option for you. On the power amp, you'll have a better chance of things working together if you get something like one of the Crowns that have a switch to select more sensitivity for lower level signals: "Selectable input voltage (.755V or 1.4V) lets you set up your rig to match your gear"
    Amory2113 and blubass like this.
  6. Interceptor


    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    A few ideas for preamps:

    ART ProChannel II - does warm and clear really well. Inexpensive, decent eq and useable compression.
    SansAmp RPM or VT rack mount - get your Ampeg simulator here!
    Peavey - Surprisingly good all around 1 rack unit preamp
    Yamaha PB-1 - Another winner in the clean and warm camp
    Eden Navigator - Awesome preamp. Almost infinite range of tones possible
    BBE - All were workable, the BMAX tube is really good at fat and clean
    Ashley - Great eq, super easy to use. Warm and clear, again. Not so common on the used market

    Yeah, I've been down this road. The one I kept is the ART. It now lives in my home practice rack with a Mackie mixer, a Marantz CD player and a Marantz SSD deck and a pair of Sony 7506 headphones. I can get the ART to sound close enough to my stage rig that I'm happy with it all.
    Amory2113, murphy and BadExample like this.
  7. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    ART stuff is a huge bang for the buck.
    murphy likes this.
  8. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Sansamp RBI or RPM into a reasonable power amp of your choice. Three space rack, dual channel, and light class D power if so inclined. Throw a good rack mounted compressor like the DBX 160a in there as well and have a killer rig in a four space rack. Best thing is if you don't love the preamp, sell it and get another. The Ged 2112 is a dual channel pre I'd love to try as well. Lots of choices under 400 bones. I'd suggest going with a QSC, Crown, or other nicer power amp. I have a friend that has been using Behringer power amps with good luck as well, so I guess there are some good and cheaper power amps out there as well.
    packhowitzer likes this.
  9. Interceptor


    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    One more thing.

    All of the preamps I listed above will play well with any of the public address style power amps, they all have more than plenty output level to drive a power amp fully. Preamps with plenty of output level make things much easier when shopping for a power amp - input level sensitivity of the power amp is something you can then ignore.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i'm with dave w. i think there are more 'rack options' than floor-mount/pedal versions (although i'm used to looking at PA pieces). i also agree that budget may expand/narrow your search for the right piece(s).
  11. Is the MB 800 not 800w already? More power will most likely mostly end up as voice coil heating.
  12. poppedcollards


    Dec 31, 2017
    Great Suggestions! My budget is like 2k. There are just so many options its hard to decide. I'm definitely interested in class d power. I like the having things light and easy to move.

    I'm really considering returning the Markbass. I like it but is seems somewhat limited with options and with power. I'm going to look at some of the suggestions you guys have made.

    Are there an Crown or QSC Power amp models that you would recommend? I've been looking at a few that I've seen listed in other threads on here.

    I've looked at the GK 1001rb, Mesa 800, Svt4.etc... Just not sure about any of them. I have limited options to be able to try these out in a store.

  13. poppedcollards


    Dec 31, 2017
    The MB is an 800 but my Speaker configuration maxes out at 1600
  14. poppedcollards


    Dec 31, 2017
    My Budget is $1500-2k.
    Ill be playing mostly metal and rock
  15. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    I don't know if basstasters.com is still up, but there you have a lot of preamps tested and sampled being played using various instruments. Give it a look.
  16. kittywithabanjo

    kittywithabanjo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Coquitlam. BC
    Would help to know the general sound your going for. I use a QSC PLX 2502 with a pope Mpp-2. For my clean sounding rig. I think their 1804 would be a good option as well.
    Check the classifieds here I know there is at least one similar rig there that might check your boxes.
  17. have a read of the sticky regarding thermal and displacement power handling ratings, power compression, a week's worth of bedtime reading.
  18. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    not trying to be a weiner ... as i've been there , done that ... a few times ...

    my experienced recommendation ... Don't
  19. Jayhawk


    Sep 6, 2006
    Kansas City
    I use a VT Rackmount into a Crest Pro Lite 2.0 to run two Ampeg PF-115LF cabs. Tons of vintage Ampeg sound. Works great for what I'm after.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  20. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    Feels like you're putting the cart before the horse. How did you come to the conclusion that you want a pre/power rack setup, but dont know what you actually want? Also, in what capacity have you utilized all 800 watts of power from that Markbass that left you feeling like you need more?

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