Been playing guitar for like 3 years and still have no clue what a power amp does. someone enlighten me
there are two parts of an amp, a pre-amp which is basically your eq, and certain parts of your gain, and the power amp, which is what powers the pre-amp signal into something that can be heard.
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Quote by The_Crumpet
ah. so if i have no pre amp i dont need a power amp?


No Preamp + No Power Amp = Nothing
I think what he's means is whether or not you need I preamp. I've heard of cases where people run directly into a preamp.
I'm probably wrong though.

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usually there is a pre-amp that makes the sound what it is ie an EQ. The power amp just makes it louder... you usually ahve pre-amp and power tubes.
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a power amp takes an electric signal and boosts it. pa's are typical power amps, so are car stereo's. the goal of a power amp is to boost the signal as far as possible without distorting the signal. Power amps are generally desired to be clean.

guitar amps are completely different. since the signal from a common guitar is passive you can't just feed it to a power amp cuz it is too weak to amplify it properly. hence the pre amp comes into play, it boosts the passive signal from the pickups enough so that the power amp and boost it properly. People found eventually the driving the gain on the preamp created a clipped and saturated sound and also that driving the power amp created a different kind of distortion, more clean but of verbose qualities and still disirable. preamps generally fun 12AX7 vacuum tubes, and power amps usually run EL84's, EL34's, and 6L6 power tubes.

for example, the other guitarist in my band uses a hugh and ketner tube something or other, it is a tube preamp that has a direct recording out to run into a board and an amp out to run into an amp. For an amp he uses the VHT tube power amp, it has basically 2 amps in it, each side independent and able to be stuffed with 2 tube configs. One side runs EL84's and the other EL34's. It is able to be switched from class A to Class A/B(this is just the manner in complexity of the amplifier circuit, class A has a shorter signal path). So instead of using a regular guitar amp he uses a custom 3 channal tube preamp and a modifiable tube power amp.

Hope this explains a bit to ya
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Quote by The_Crumpet
ah. so if i have no pre amp i dont need a power amp?

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