#1
What is the difference between poweramp and preamp distortion? how do you get the different kinds of distortion and is there a difference in sound?
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#2
Ted nuggent is power amp distortion. Ie cranking the volume knob to max just the power tubes breaking up giving distortion. Nice and warm tone. Classic rock like AC/DC etc. Now heavy metal you want the preamp cranked and the power amp at a reasonable level. Gives a tighter sound you dont want the power amp tubes to break up.
So for power amp distortion turn the preamp down and the volume up. For preamp distortion the opposite.
#3
Well preamp distortion is distortion generated from the gain stage in the preamp, it tends to be tighter than power amp distortion and what is generally wanted in a modern metal amp.

Power amp distortion is what you get from driving a tube amp hard and over-driving the power stage. This tends to be a bit warmer and looser and generally what you hear when you listen to older records like the old blues guys, Hendrix and often newer bands that have a very 'vintage' sound to their guitars.

They both have their place but preamp distortion tends to be much tighter which is why you generally can't get lower wattage tube amps designed specifcially for metal and is the same reason that the Deizel VH4 is rated at 90-160 watts and the Herbert is 180w.
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#4
i've heard that on a tube amp with volume and master volume, you could get power amp distortion from cranking the master volume and controlling the overall volume level with the other volume knob and vice versa for preamp distortion...is this true?
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#5
Quote by hell_monkey
i've heard that on a tube amp with volume and master volume, you could get power amp distortion from cranking the master volume and controlling the overall volume level with the other volume knob and vice versa for preamp distortion...is this true?

You won't be able to turn down the volume if you have the master cranked because it comes after the preamp, a very crude way of thinking of it is the volume is the distortion/gain and the master is the 'loud'. Once you have the master cranked for poweramp distortion the volume of the preamp will mostly affect the gain levels.
#6
hm so you can get tight preamp distortion at lower volume levels, but for poweramp distortion you have to crank everything?
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#7
Basically, however depending on the amp you will sometimes find the preamp distortion lacks the tone you were looking for - so you have to consider the playing situation when you get it. Some find that 5150's have great preamp distortion at bedroom levels which makes for an arguement pro-preamp distortion, there are however plenty of amps that need to be cranked to sound halfway decent.