Just a question:
why do big bands use external preamps instead of the preamp in the amp? are there so much better?
There's plenty of big bands who use preamp from their amp. And there are also lots of people who are not professionals and they still use external preamps. It's not like they're being used just by famous bands.

But yeah, recently lots of people swithced over from classic amps to digital preamps like Axe-Fx and Kemper because it allows their tone to be more consistent and that's very important if you're a touring band. They are also very versatile. It can be a lot easier to work with stuff like Axe-Fx (for example) because you can have all your sounds stored in it as presets, it is also multi-fx which means you don't have to carry lots of pedal or rackmountable effects with you, it also has speaker cab simulations which means you can plug your preamp directly into PA and don't have to mess with real cabs.

I'm sure there are other reasons too but none comes to my mind right now.
Last edited by JackovSlayer at May 22, 2014,
Just to be clear, are you talking about Pre-amps, or Amp Profilers and Simulators? There's a fairly massive difference.

EDIT: To be clear, George Lynch has his own signature pre-amp. Something like this


Metallica now uses the Axe-Fx, a simulator.


One is a computer-driven component, one is the distortion and eq taken from a real amp.
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Last edited by JD Close at May 22, 2014,
Well they're all preamps y' know.

Most external pres aren't made to be put through a guitar and a power amp, and the ones that do usually simulate guitar amps.

Most people use amps, some use kempers/axe fx/pods, and the latters are usually chosen for convenience rather than for sound.
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Just to be clear, are you talking about Pre-amps, or Amp Profilers and Simulators? There's a fairly massive difference.

They're all preamps. There are certainly differences in how they go about their business.

I have a couple of all tube preamps -- Carvin Quad-X has nine 12AX7 tubes, four channels, six FX loops, noise gate, bass cloaking (HPF) and a simulated 4x12 cabinet for output directly to the PA mixer. Mesa Triaxis has fewer 12AX7s, but it's essentially simulating all the Mesas delivered up till the time it was designed.

The AxeFX, the Pods, the Kemper, the 11R, etc. are also preamps. They're chosen for convenience AND sound.