Im thinking about buying a rig for my bass, and was wondering how big a difference a preamp would make?
A preamp is the first step of the amp. It takes the super low signals and boosts them to a level the power amp can work with. All heads/combos have them built in.
Think multi effects unit. Although some pre amps dont have any effects
My Gear
Fender Strat ('97American Lonestar HSS)
Ibanez RGTHRG1
B-52 AT100
Marshall1960A Cab
Marshall 1960B Cab
In an amplifier, A preamp takes the signal from your bass (which is very very quiet) and brings it up to a level where it can be manipulated best. Most tone shaping happens in the Pre-amp section of an amplifier.
The preamp signal then gets sent to a power amp, which effectively, brings the volume up again to the level you need to work with (out of your cabinet).

Most amps have a preamp and poweramp in one unit. If you buy one of these, you won't need a seperate preamp.

Some amps consist of a seperate preamp and poweramp.

Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Warwick Corvette $$
Rockbass Streamer Fretless
Hartke HA5000
SWR Triad

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