Hi all.

So it looks like I will be getting my first piece of rack equipment! It's a preamp. It's nothing too fancy, but I'm excited about it since it's my first piece of rack gear. Please forgive my newbness when it comes to the rack gear question.

As far as I can tell, I have three methods available to me for hooking it up, since I don't have a dedicated power amp unit:
1. USB audio interface
2. Behringer DI box with cab sim
3. effects return on my main head, a Peavey VK100.

I realize the effects loop return on the VK100 is probably the go-to answer; it seems like what most people are talking about on the 'net, plus I would get to use my main speaker cab, but I'm wary of doing this because I'm not sure how the power section will react with that particular setup and I can't bear or afford to break or get into repairing anything on that amp right now.

It seems like it would be okay to run the output to either the interface or the Behringer DI, but I'm not quite sure since those are supposed to accept "instrument level" signals and I'm assuming the preamp would bring things to at least line level. I don't want to fry anything as I've been on a bit of a gear craze recently and I can't really afford to replace anything.

Should it be okay to plug the output of the preamp into the interface or the DI box? This preamp is not going to be replacing my main head (the VK is actually pretty darn sweet for its price range), but I need to test it when I get it.

I'll take a stab at this.

First, it would be very helpful to list the exact gear you're talking about - rack pre-amp, USB audio interface, and Behringer DI box are a bit vague. . .

For instance many newer pre-amps will have a USB interface built into them for direct recording. This is what I thought you were talking about the first time I read it but now I'm thinking you have an external Guitar to USB interface like you use to hook up any guitar to a computer.

The model number on the Behringer DI box would be great as well. I've never used one but thought that they hook into the speaker connection after the power section to put a load on the output transformer but allow you to connect into a computer/board for recording. If that's what you have then I have no idea if that will work plugged into the pre-amp output but I'm guessing it won't and it could produce some smoke.

Without any more details the safe play is plugging the output of the preamp into the effects return on the VK.

And you say you "look like" you will be getting. . . . So details please on what you're trying to do and the model numbers of all of the pieces please!
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
Thanks for the response.

The USB interface is a USB Dual Pre, which I use to either plug instruments direct or for recording with a mic. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/615405-REG/ART_USBDUALPREPS_USB_Dual_Pre.html

The Behringer isn't an attenuator as you're suggesting, it's simply what I plug the end of my pedal chain into when I want to run signal straight into the computer. It converts the unbalanced guitar signal to a balanced, low Z signal for transfer to a mixer/interface, plus in this case the particular model provides cab sim. So I would connect anything to that, then run from that to the interface/computer. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GI100?adpos=1o2&creative=54989263441&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CODarYvbsscCFYyQHwodXqYDJw

My main amp head is a Peavey ValveKing100 - the older version, but it has an effects loop.

The preamp is a Rocktron Gainiac, which I know next to nothing about, other than the fact it looks pretty stripped down. There is one output on the back, which would normally be routed to a power amp.

From everything I've seen online, I should just be able to route the preamp into the effect loop return on the head, but I'm not sure trying that is going to work with the ValveKing without messing something up.

If it will be okay to use the DI box for testing purposes, I'd like to try that since this is only going to be a temporary setup.
Last edited by Mirakus at Aug 18, 2015,
Quote by Mirakus

From everything I've seen online, I should just be able to route the preamp into the effect loop return on the head, but I'm not sure trying that is going to work with the ValveKing without messing something up.

Why would it? That's what the loop is for; line level output and inputs.
All in all, I think I might have over-analyzed this. The more I think about it, any of the three options I listed should work. I'm going to go ahead and try it when I get the unit. If anyone sees a big no-no in what I'm describing, please post back!

Thanks for the help.