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transparent power amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by banthaben, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. banthaben


    Apr 3, 2006
    hello all,

    have just purchased a old head which is 120 watts. it produces an amazing sound, but is a little quiet for some of the venues im going to be playing. is it possable to run the head through a power amp into the cabs and keep the sound, or will i lose some of the tone from the head and gain some from the power amp?


  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    If you want to run from the speaker output of a tube amp (I am just assuming) to a power amp, it is not 100% straightforward. I was just educated that a tube head can't be operated without a load, and a power amp doesn't provide a proper load. Also, you would need to attenuate the output of the head in order to avoid overdriving the power amp. If you work those things out, then you should be able to preserve your tone.
  3. MeYHymN

    MeYHymN Habitual User

    Nov 7, 2004
    Charleston, WV
    Running from the speaker output (high output) to the input of a power amp (low input) wouldn't be a good idea at all, imvho. You'll run the risk of frying the input section of the poweramp. They're just not designed to handle large amounts of current. You could A) Turn the amp very low, this will change the tone it produces as it's not really driving the power tubes. B) Is there not an effects loop on the amp? The effects loop is basically the bridge between the preamp and poweramp sections. If you want to use the pre amp of the head use the effects send into the input of the power amp.
    Now that's all said. Keep this in mind. Every device adds some sort of "color" to the sound. It may be very slight, it could be quite drastic, too many variables to be more specific. Typically the more money you spend on the power amp, the more "transparent" it will be. However if you don't have the effects loop I'd be looking for a different preamp. Oh, and while I'm at it, it's not good to operate any amp w/o a load solid state or tube (ie no load at all, or load on one channel of stereo amp that won't go mono).
  4. banthaben


    Apr 3, 2006

    sorry, its not a tube amp, its an acoustic model 120 solid state. on the back ive got 2 speaker outputs plus "power amp input" and "preamp output". im guessing these might work in the same way as an efects loop stated above, as it says underneath the pair in brackets (breaks preamp connection). so im guessing i could run out of the preamp into the power amp into the cabs. with regard to having no load on the head, ive read elsewhere on the forum that this isnt a factor with solid state, so im not to sure about this.

    cheers for the help guys

  5. You would want to connect the preamp out of the head into the power amp of choice. I have also read that using a solid state head with no cabs is ok but not good for a tube amp. I'm no expert, but I used to run an Ampeg B2r solid state head into a QSC power amp without any issues.

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