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Thinking of going Power amp pre amp setup.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by joel406, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    I'm thinking about moving to a "Pre Amp" "Power Amp" setup instead of a standard bass head. Was looking at crown.


    zon6c-f, Pbassmanca and gelinas666 like this.
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It was a good setup 20 years ago. Nowadays with 1000W heads weighting less and talking less room than dedicated rack preamps, I don't really see the point.
    I use separate pedal preamps though, with active cabs.
  3. I don't see myself switching from pre/power amp setup anytime soon
    BassmanPaul and Nev375 like this.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Pbassmanca likes this.
  5. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Pre/power gives the flexibility to change the voicebox of the system with a smaller level of investment, and also allows combining or alternating between different preamps. The downside is that not every good amp is represented as a stand-alone preamp, so there are fewer choices.

    Crown makes fine power amps, as do a few other popular brands. In some rare cases there won’t be a good pairing between the signal output level of the preamp and power amp, so I am a big fan of using a line mixer between the two to allow for finer control of the interaction. It also allows for extensibility and the aforementioned blending.
  6. Gatlin


    Sep 22, 2016
    Ellisville, MS
    I've run my Sansamp BDDI pedal directly into my power amp numerous times with great success. A pedal/power amp setup will depend a lot on the pedals output though. The BDDI has a +10 db button and with it pressed it sends a nice hot signal to my power amp.
    bassman74 and quickfix like this.
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Yep. BTDT. Still haver a few empty SKB racks to prove it, too.
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Here's mine. Amp is only 12lbs. Total rack is less than 30lbs.
  9. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Keep the discussion going guys. Any help or ideas are appreciated.

    I'm currently using the Mesa D-800+ into 2 GK 410's. Both cabs are rated at 800 RMS each. So I don't need to dip down to 2 ohms at this time. Don't really need tubes either. But it's a thought.

    I was thinking of either a Sansamp, Mesa or GK pre pedal. The Alembic pre is a little pricey.

    By the way, both my cabs are 8ohms each.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  10. rwkeating


    Oct 1, 2014
    It is important to match the pre-amp and power amp in terms of input/output impedance and input/output voltage. For example, if the power amp expects a certain voltage to make max power and the pre-amp can't output that voltage, you will not get the full power out of the power amp.

    There is more to know about this (and I don't know more) so I hope someone will jump and maybe give a good reference source so we can all learn more.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  11. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010

    Here's my setup, Tube pre + Compressor + Power amp in a shallow 2 space. Not a bad schlep at all for a rack.

    The SKB amplite is a little tricky to find these days, but not impossible.
  12. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I’ve been using a pre/power system of one sort or another since the late Sixties. It can offer the best of both worlds. Currently Carvin are the backbone of all my stuff. I recommend their equipment without reservation!
  13. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Any advise on amp "brand" or "model"??
  14. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    alaskaleftybass and BassmanPaul like this.
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I'm using the Crown DriveCore stuff I bought 5 years ago...XLS 1500's & 2500's which are also assigned to the PA. My pre is an ancient original SansAmp rackmount.

    kartiste and BasturdBlaster like this.
  16. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I'd like to get one. ;) It'd go well with my SKB rack cases. :smug:
  17. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Crest Pro-Lite's are excellent amps. I prefer non DSP amps that offer parallel mode. Keep it simple.
    jmlee likes this.
  18. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I built my rack around the wonderful Fender TBP-1 preamp. Got a Crown 2500 XLS on here, and just added an Art power supply (thanks, Bassflute). I'm really enjoying the full warm sound of this rig, and don't see myself going back to an integrated bass head.

    Attached Files:

    pudgychef and SactoBass like this.
  19. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Nice. I was thinking about the Fender pre. And I was looking at that amp.
  20. Fangry


    Apr 27, 2002
    Helsinki, Finland
    Do you like the sound of your Subway, and if not, what are you looking for? The Mesa preamp is the pre that you already have in that head, except for some minor extra features in your plus model.

    As for other preamps, why not just get one and try running it in your head's poweramp. The Tech 21 products for example are cost effective, offer ampegy sounds and can also be used as pedals into your existing pre.

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