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Your Help please about preamps and amplifiers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Flag2Flag, Apr 1, 2006.


  1. Flag2Flag

    Flag2Flag

    Dec 30, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Hey this is kind of a stupid question but. what is the diff between a preamp and a regular bass head. can the two be used interchangably?
    Thanks
    Scott
     
  2. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    A bass "head" is is usually a preamp and an amp all in one unit. It can be used as a stand alone, or in combination with preamps or amps.

    An amp needs a preamp to function. The amp provides the power. the preamp provides the tone/volume control to the signal.
     
  3. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    +1

    Also,

    A preamp without a power amp is useless (unless going direct to PA or for recording/silent practice) but you can always use it by going into either the 'Power In' or the 'Effects Loop' of a head.

    I made this pic for a similar thread a while back. Maybe it will help??

    HeadPrePower.

    :D

    Joe.
     
  4. Flag2Flag

    Flag2Flag

    Dec 30, 2005
    Austin, TX
    so if i plug a preamp into a cabinet it will function?
     
  5. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    No. A preamp does not have speaker outputs. It has XLR and/or line outputs to connect to a power amp, It cannot drive speakers on it's own.
     
  6. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Nope.

    A preamp needs a power amp of some sort to power a cab.

    The preamp shapes the tone, and the power amp makes it loud.

    The signal chain looks like this:

    Bass Guitar--->Preamp--->Power Amp--->Cabinet

    A typical 'Head' has the Preamp and the Power Amp built in together. A 'Rack' style head has a separate Preamp and Power Amp.

    Did this help?

    :D

    Joe.
     
  7. 4runner

    4runner WARNING!"WALL OF DOOM" does "exceed" 140 decibels!

    Feb 11, 2006
    Hackensack NJ,
    Lowtonejoe, I was just admireing your rig; it looks awesome!!! Wish I could Hear it.:bassist:
     
  8. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Thanks!

    Yeah, I love it. It's taken quite a while to get it together. GAS is hitting me less hard and less frequently so I think I'm on the right track. As far as getting what makes me happy goes, anyway.

    Uh, nice rig by the way.

    (Very, very heavily understated.)

    :D

    Joe.
     
  9. i've actually always had the same question is mind, but never thought to ask it. I'm glad i found this thread because now i actually know how pre and power amps work.
     

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