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small form factor preamp to drive a poweramp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dave, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. My needs for an amp have changed some now that I am in college. Im consistently going straight into the PA, but I would like to change my setup around so that its versitile. SO heres the skinny.

    I want to get a power amp (maybe a QSC PLX or something) and put in a small rack that I can use for with my cab (Epifani UL410, not the II model) for when I need my amp. But I want all of my tone shaping/tuner/DI in a small pedalboard. So, the problem is, Im not well versed in what I need to be looking for in features of preamp to be able to tell if it will have the oomph to drive a power amp. I would love to retain a nice tubey, thick sound that I get with my Walkabout, so I was looking at the EBS Valve Drive. I searched around and it seems it can drive a power amp, but from what I could understand, they were being used as a distortion, therefor having the gain up. I want to keep the gain low enough to not be overdriving the tubes. I was also looking at the Radial Bassbone. Would something like this work for driving a poweramp? I know Im kind of rambling so heres the main points.

    - small (can fit on pedalboard)
    - at least some EQing options (just for taming a boomy room or something, nothing big...I run flat most of the time.)
    - can cleanly drive a power amp (having the option of some tube grit isn't bad, Id like to be able to dial some in if I want)
    - would like to have DI for running to board for house mix too
    - actual tubes are big plus
    - tuner out would be nice too
    - $300ish or less

    final thought...would it make a difference to run XLR vs an unbalanced signal to the amp? If so, is there a way to have two direct outs (one for console, one for my amp?)

    Sorry for the long winded post, but Im new to the whole pedal/pedal board thing and I need a little guidance that I couldnt find through searching.


    EDIT: Also just thought about the Sadowsky pre/DI...thoughts?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Please check out the "preamps explained" link in my sig for some groundwork info that will help you know what questions to ask that will help you weed out the devices that will actually work for you.

    Most instrument amps do not have a balanced input (the MB LMKII being one exception), but with power amps it's all across the board. Some take balanced only, some (older/cheaper ones) take unbalanced only, some take both equally well, and some take both but are more efficient with a balanced input. Unfortunately you have to RTM of every power amp you might be considering, to sort that out. More details are in that preamps link.

    If you use the Google TB advanced search on something like "pedal preamps", there have been many many threads on that subject. Of course it will take some weeding through to find the useful threads, but they are there. Make the same search over in the FX forum too, as I know there are good threads about pedal pre's there as well.

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