what is a poweramp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tusitala, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. tusitala


    Nov 15, 2004
    i'm sorry for my ignorance (...i'll go to hell i know...) but can anybody be so kind to explain me what a poweramp is and what is it for?

    ...as if you are trying to explain it to forrest gump...

    just thanks
  2. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    there are three kinds of guitar signals when you use electronics.

    FIRST: the signal out of your guitar before it goes anywhere, but eventually to a "amp" or "rig" etc is INSTRUMENT LEVEL. its a very small eletrical signal, up to ab out 1/4 of a volt for passive instruments.

    TWO: the signal then goes into a "preamp" either this is a separate unit like an RBI or similar "preamp" this unit raises the voltage to a volt or two. in the preamp is other things like bass and treble control adjustments.

    THREE: Then the signal is sent to the "poweramp" which again can be in the same box with the preamp like a "head" or "combo" (which also has a speaker) or it can be a separate unit, like a stewart or QSC or Crown etc... The "poweramp" increases the voltage again to many many volts DC, AC is in the wall. The louder your volume the higher the voltage. this voltage is sent to the speakers

    People buy separate preamps power amps and speakers for many different reasons, sound, price, wattage, name brand etc... usually I think its for more power and ease of moving several smaller boxes instead of one huge "bass combo" if all my separate bass components where in one box it would be 120 LBS!!! instead I lift a 42+42+36 Lbs boxes separately.
  3. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    mcrelly hit the nail on the head. for all intents and purposes, a power amp only amplifies the signal without modifying it(as far as EQ and effects go).

    because of this, a PREAMPLIFIER is needed to amplify your bass's output signal before it is amplified by the power amplifier.
  4. tusitala


    Nov 15, 2004
    so if i have my SWR Baby Baby Blue and i love its sound but i want to have more volume, i can add additional speakers and i may need a poweramp to let them work better and achieve the volume i want???

    do you think this combination could work?

    do you know any brand of good poweramplifiers?

  5. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    No, not exactly. if you like the sound of your Bass guitar and like the 'sound' of an amp and cabinet, the poweramp will make that sound louder.

    your baby baby blue does have a "poweramp" inside of it, but its only about 120w.
  6. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    One important thing also is that a power amp is designed more with pushing current in-mind - shoving lots of electrons down that wire.

    The others mostly deal with voltage, and very low current.