What’s the most convenient way to get a line level?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JazzyJacuzzi, Nov 24, 2021 at 3:10 PM.

  1. JazzyJacuzzi


    Sep 17, 2021
    Title, basically. I purchased a so-called preamp pedal which I was hoping to use in the return input of a bass amplifier. Is there anyway to conveniently remedy the situation without having to purchase a different preamp pedal or 10 boost pedals?
  2. JazzyJacuzzi


    Sep 17, 2021
    Sorry for the confusion. I don't mind buying another piece of gear; I realize I'll most likely have to.

    I want to get line level with that specific preamp pedal and from my understanding, the difference between line level and instrument level is about 40 to 60dBs, which say would require at least two TC Spark drives.

    Is it possible to achieve line level with only one product?
  3. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    Yes a DI box with the option to switch the output from mic level to -10 or +4 dB line level will do this.

    If the pedal is putting out instrument level is there a reason why you cannot just feed it to the input of your amp in lieu of using the line level effects in?

    Maybe a fuller description of what products you have and what you are trying to achieve would help with people giving you advice.

    Haroldo, DirtDog, DJ Bebop and 4 others like this.
  4. JazzyJacuzzi


    Sep 17, 2021
    It’s a Broughton Fliptop. I bought it because I don’t like the amplifier at the rehearsal space so I wanted to use it in its effect return input. Also because I sometimes jam at friend’s house where I have to go through a PA. I was just going to buy a JDI next time I was going to go.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  5. BasturdBlaster


    Feb 19, 2012
    Crandon WI
    Have you tried the pre into the return on said amp already? Just curious :)
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  6. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Something like a Radial J4 might work. It's intended to boost -10dB to +4dB and has 17dB of gain. In your application the problem is the outputs are balance XLR, and it appears you need unbalanced 1/4"
    JeezyMcNuggles likes this.
  7. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    Well Broughton has no information on their website about the output of this pedal but it looks to be instrument level. You might contact them and ask them what the output level range is.

    As the other poster suggests, just try putting the pedal into the effects return of the amp and see how it sounds; if the output level is too low it will be readily apparent.

    What kind of amp is at the rehearsal space? Have you tried setting everything on that amp to flat and then run the pedal into the input?

    I'd try both of these things out before you go buy a direct box, most effects loops are at -10 dB so if you get a direct box with a line output make sure it can do that.

    Al Kraft, DJ Bebop and BasturdBlaster like this.
  8. JazzyJacuzzi


    Sep 17, 2021
    I did. The master on the pedal and on the amplifier, an Aguilar Tone Hammer 700, were dimmed and it still wasn’t quite enough. I play with two guitarists, a drummer, a keyboardist and three singers.

    I also tried in the input with the amplifier set flat, but it still had that Aguilar vibe I’m not a fan of.
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    The difference between nominal bass instrument level and +4dBu line level is between 12 & 20 dB

    Some amp’s returns (or aux in) have enough available gain to accommodate this, some do not.

    A pedal that has an unbalanced output AND a maximum output level of about +10dBu will work fine.
  10. goldenboy12981

    goldenboy12981 Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    So I actually had asked Josh pretty much the same question about a month with my setup since I was running pres from my board and running straight into the return of my Aguilar TH500. This was question:

    “I was wondering, does the SV-Pre have enough juice to drive a power amp or would it be best paired with a DI that puts out a line level signal? I wonder the same about the Fliptop.”

    And he responded with:
    “Neither are designed to do it, but you could certainly get a good amount of signal output. It may not be enough to go to full power, but it might suffice. The SV-Pre has more output volume available. The Fliptop can get more clean headroom with a higher voltage, but the available gain is a bit lower. You could always try, it won't hurt anything.”

    He went further to elaborate:
    “It really depends how strong your signal is coming in. The output impedance of most of my pedals can drive a power amp without any losses. The question then becomes is the signal strong enough to drive the amp to full power. That depends on the amp's input sensitivity, the level of your signal, and the gain of the pedal. I'd say the L+HPF and Messenger would be able to reliably get you there as long as your signal isn't too weak, and you give them enough supply voltage for the headroom. I'm pretty sure the SV-Pre would get you most of the way there, enough to where you would just bump the power amp volume up a tad if you were missing any volume. Most of the previous boost pedals could probably get you there, too. Synth Voice has a ton of volume on tap, but might be a bit weird having an octaver drive your power amp. Another thing you could try is just have two pedals give you the volume you need. For instance, an SV-Pre followed by a clean booster to make up any volume that is missing. You could use the L+HPF or Messenger for that purpose.”

    So to summarize, you’d need a clean boost to get you to comfortable balance between the output of the Fliptop and the power amp of the AG700. The Xotic EP booster is one of favorites I recommend to most. Hope this helps!
    Al Kraft and JazzyJacuzzi like this.
  11. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Why not just run it in front of the amp which will readily accept an instrument level signal from a preamp?
  12. OP posted he tried that but it had too much “Aguilar” sound to it for their tastes.
    Zooberwerx and DJ Bebop like this.
  13. OP the key might be more gain going into the Fliptop. I suppose that’s the idea behind the clean boost, it’s going into the fliptop, not on the fliptop’s output going in to the amp’s power amp input.

    The MXR Micro Amp is pretty clean and has quite a bit of gain, and is reasonably priced.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I wonder what Josh meant by "higher voltage". I mean, I know he meant a higher voltage power supply. But how many volts exactly?

    @JazzyJacuzzi how many volts is your power supply? If it's 9 or 12, look into whether or not it can take an 18 or 24.

    Never mind. Here it is on the Broughton site. It'll take up to 24. That's the first/easiest/cheapest thing to try.
    tdstiayw and DJ Bebop like this.
  15. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Q-strip. Completely neutral, completely useful for almost any situation.

    It has any and all output scenarios covered. Without coloring your tone. Or, coloring your tone...if you want it to.
    Al Kraft and el murdoque like this.
  16. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    The Q\Strip is an option.
    With everything set to neutral and gain set to unity, there is no real difference between pedal on or off.
    This will provide a strong enough signal to drive a power amp.

    A super cheap and easy way for those that think outside the box is a small and inexpensive mixer.
    Something like the Behringer Xenyx or the Mackie Mix5. All you need is an input with a gain knob and an output that's either XLR or 1/4".
    You can get a used one around 20 bucks most likely.
    Al Kraft and JeezyMcNuggles like this.
  17. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I missed that in the original post.

    To the OP: EQ your Aguilar as close to flat as possible (use an analyzer and don’t assume that knobs at noon is actually flat) and then put the Broughton in front of it. Problem solved with no additional devices required.
    Al Kraft, Zooberwerx and HolmeBass like this.
  18. JazzyJacuzzi


    Sep 17, 2021
    I am running it at 24. But the difference between 9 and 24 on the Fliptop is minimal, at least compared to the Cali76 running at 9 vs. 18.
    two fingers likes this.
  19. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    Note that on the TH’s if you want flat I would keep the Gain and Drive Off, set the eq controls to 12:00 and go from there. Keep in mind the Bass is set very low at 40hz. But running eq into another eq can be tricky. I have a P-15 and a TH500 and the P-15 sounds much better going into the fox return.
    Haroldo likes this.
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