#1
I thought I knew how the pre-amp and power amp sections worked (in basic terms) until just now. I was wanting to get my guitar rig downsized a little (a head amp isn't the easiest thing to move around). I was planning on using a rack mounted setup instead. I have a Cavin TS100 tube power amp and I'd thought I could just get a good tube pre amp that would do pretty much everything that my head amp is doing.

... I thought that until I read something someone was saying about it being impossible to get the sound of a full-on head amp using a pre-amp + power amp setup. It wasn't too clear but I gather that he was saying that power tube distortion can't be achieve as well this way. It confuses me because I thought that a head was basically just a pre-amp + power amp in one box and that a separate pre-amp and power amp would be the same thing once put together.

If someone could offer some clarity, it would be appreciated.
#2
they are the same thing essentially
My Gear
Guitars:
-Gibson Les Paul Studio
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul
-Ibanez S470
-PRS SE Custom

Amp:
Marshall TSL100
Marshall 1960a cab

Effects:
Dunlop 535q wah
Visual Sound Liquid Chorus

Pickups:
Guitarforce
MHD
#3
Quote by JLT73
they are the same thing essentially


You mean putting together a pre-amp and power amp is the same thing as having them both in one? That's what I had always thought. The only difference I can think of is that I think my Carvin power amp has a built-in pre-amp section that a pre-amp (for distortion) would be run through. I think with some power amps, you can run a pre amp straight into the power amp section... I'm a little fuzzy on how exactly this works or should work.

I don't know... Maybe I just ruined what I already knew by listening to someone who didn't know what they were talking about.

Let be rephrase my question: if I run a good tube pre-amp through my Carvin TS100, would I be sacrificing anything in quality (or potential quality) vs. using the built-in distortion channel on a tube head amp.
#4
you wouldn't be sacrificing anything. You may actually get better versatility depending on the preamp you choose
My Gear
Guitars:
-Gibson Les Paul Studio
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul
-Ibanez S470
-PRS SE Custom

Amp:
Marshall TSL100
Marshall 1960a cab

Effects:
Dunlop 535q wah
Visual Sound Liquid Chorus

Pickups:
Guitarforce
MHD
#5
Quote by JLT73
you wouldn't be sacrificing anything. You may actually get better versatility depending on the preamp you choose



Many thanks! That's the response I was hoping for. I haven't yet decided on a pre-amp but some of the Mesa stuff looks like it might do the trick...


Thanks again.