stupid question but how does a preamp work and what would be a good pre amp to get?
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taken straight from the sticky
Pre-amp. This is used to amplify the signal from your guitar a little bit before sending it on. This is necessary because pickups make a very weak signal and it has to be brought up to ?line level?, which is just the level of signal that is usually used for analogue audio signals (it varies a lot and I don?t want to get bogged down in electronics so I?m leaving it at that). EQ and much of the tonal character of a sound are applied at or around the preamp stage. Effects are also added at this stage, and headphones and line-outs come from the pre-amp.

it depends on what you want, what style you play, what kind of power amp you have, all kinds of things

that being said, my EH english muff'n makes an awsome pre amp (60's and 70's marshally sound)
Quote by pepsi1187
a pre amp is a part of your guitar amplifier..

Not always, you can but separate preamps in the form of the ADA MP-1, MESA/Boogie Triaxis and the like.

Preamps are a bit like the preamp section of any guitar amp in that they mould the signal with EQ and distortion but they generally hold presets so you can have any number of different sounds using just the preamp, power amp and a switching system.

The thing is you need a power section to make it work, you can either buy a preamp and put it in the effects loop of a normal guitar amp or you can buy a preamp and poweramp (like the Marshall EL84 20/20) and plug the out of the power amp into a cab.

As for a good preamp to get you've a got a lot of options; most of the big amp companies do at least one and they can basically do just about any sound that company is known for but they do cost quite a bit and you would need some kind of switching system (probably MIDI) to select the channels, patches and all that kind of thing.

To be honest I wouldn't bother with the whole thing unless you already know what you're doing and you know what kind of sounds you're looking for and there isn't a normal amp that can achieve the whole range.
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