#1
So lately I've been questing (yes, questing) for a new amp. I don't have a specific price range, but I want it to be as cheap as possible. Well, last night, I had an idea. What if I was to get a fairly high quality preamp and then run it into a power amp. Do many people actually do this? The reason I'm asking is that if I was to get a Carvin power amp or something, and I wanted to upgrade my tone, I could just go buy a better preamp and not have to spend tons of money.

So does anyone actually do this, or am I just crazy?
#2
Lots of people do it. It's definately a good idea. I say go for it!
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#3
Power amps are relatively cheap but its finding a good preamp that can be the problem!

I would look into Crown poweramps, good power at fairly cheap prices.

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#4
ya it's done somewhat commonly. not really common but it works just fine. i think eden makes a preamp for this sort of deal.
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#5
I never thought of this, since I never needed anything bigger than a practice amp. I'm curious though, how much will this cost? And how powerful will it be? Let me know if you ever decide on a combination please.
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#6
Well lets say you have £500 for a preamp and power amp.

http://www.thomann.de/gb/crown_xls_402_d.htm

Thats £260 for 450W x2 at 4 ohms a side.

£240 for a preamp. Finding preamps are hard. I would suggest looking for an old Trace Elliot GP12 on ebay, they got for between £200 and £300 usually.

Now you'd just need cabinets, they can be quite costly, you could start your rig with 1 8ohm cab tho. For a secondhand one, maybe around £200? Then you can build on that.

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Behringer Intelligate IG9
#7
Quote by IndianRockStar

So does anyone actually do this, or am I just crazy?

John Swift runs a simular system, but i'm thinking he uses powered cabs instead of a power amp. yes it will work. you just have to start doing the research on preamps.
btw, it's probably not cheaper than a new amp, but far more versitile.
#8
Quote by 83lespaulstudio
John Swift runs a simular system, but i'm thinking he uses powered cabs instead of a power amp. yes it will work. you just have to start doing the research on preamps.
btw, it's probably not cheaper than a new amp, but far more versitile.


Yeah, I was figuring that I could get a fairly high powered power amp, and a cheapish preamp. Then, if I want to upgrade my tone, I can just get a better preamp, and not have to worry about upgrading my wattage. I think Geddy Lee does something like this? And to think about the prospect of saving even MORE money, could a power amp be used directly from an active bass, say with 18v electronics? Or would the output of that be too low?
#9
Quote by IndianRockStar
And to think about the prospect of saving even MORE money, could a power amp be used directly from an active bass, say with 18v electronics? Or would the output of that be too low?

Way too low.
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#10
on an active, onboard preamp, you would still need something to act as an interface,
between the bass and the power amp. a small 4 track mixer would probably work fine.
#11
Sounds like a great idea to me, TS. If this is your thing, Ampeg makes some nice preamps and power amns also. They have the SVT1600 or something like that, it's the power amp in the SVT-4 pro (1200 watts RMS @ 4 ohms, 1600 peak). Their preamps are pretty nice too from what I hear, you can choose between the CL and the PRO preamps (one being tube, one having a graphic EQ). Lots of versatility compared to a normal head, so it gets two thumbs up from me.
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#12
I've done this before at my youth group. We used a 21-band EQ into a power amp into a PA sub. Didn't sound too pretty, but it worked. Getting a preamp and cab made for bass, though, will sound awesome and be totally flexible. Good luck with this, give us updates if you do it.
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#13
Alright, so when I am seriously looking for a new amp, I'll leave this option in mind, in addition to the "normal" approach. Thanks for the help everyone.

So uh, speaking of this, what are some good preamps around?
#14
Just saying, you can use your current preamp by plugging your power amp input into the effects loop send of your current amp's preamp.
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#15
i have no idea whats being said but is a preamp the volume bit and the power amp the eq or im i completly wrong??????
#16
The pre-amp is where all the tone-shaping is done and the power amp is where the signal is boosted to the desired output.

The Ashdown ABM pre-amp is good but it's discontinued so you may have a job finding one. Worth it if you do though.
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#18
Yeah, wow, somewhere has it in stock! I was looking for one for ages but couldn't find any so settled for the complete head instead.
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#20
I have an EBS Microbass II which is a signal processor with a 3 band eq, an effects loop etc, which has a balanced XLR out.

Could I run my bass through that into a power amp and into some decent cabs to get a sound that'd be loud and decent?
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#21
actually that site seems to have loads of ashdown stock that isnt made anymore from what i can see and is quite well priced