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#1
Can you run more than one preamp through a single power amp? I don't mean simaltaneously; I mean, is it possible to be running PREAMP ONE through a single power amp, and then switch to PREAMP TWO through the same power amp?

I'm sure you guys know what I'm trying to say, I'm having trouble wording it at the moment, but here's a diagram anyway!



[b]A.

                  |-> PREAMP ONE ->|
GUITAR -> SWITCH -|                |-> POWER AMP -> CABINET[/b]
                      PREAMP TWO


[b]B.[/b]

                  |   PREAMP ONE   |
[b]GUITAR -> SWITCH -|                |-> POWER AMP -> CABINET
                  |-> PREAMP TWO ->|[/b]


If so, how would this work? Do you need something between the pre and power amp to split the signal, like an A/B box? Is there a limit to the amount of preamps you can run through a single power amp?

Why?

I like the idea of switching between two amps using an A/B system, but I don't like the idea of lugging around two amplifiers and a pair of cabs (I actually really love the idea of hooking up three amplifiers, through a two switch A/B system, but that stresses the negative even more). Rack mounted preamps and a power amp, with a single cabinet, seems like a good solution.

If anyone has any reccomendations for preamps that can handle:

Cleans - I was thinking of getting a Vox AC30, if that's any indicator.
Crunchy Rhythm
Soaring Leads - Think a more 80's tone, somewhere between Gilbert and Smith (of Maiden)

I would be very grateful

#2
What you want to do is very possible, I'm building myself somthing similar. I assume you want all this rackmount?
#3
Yeah, preferably. Personally, I prefer the aesthetic of a head and cab, but the practical side of it all is starting to dawn on me.

EDIT: Can you describe how you hook more than one pre to a single power amp?
#4
couldnt you like AB-Y the preamps or something? i'm not sure, it might have some wierd impedence thingy i'm unaware of.
#6
i cant see any reason it wouldnt work, as long as the power amp has two inputs. i dont think that using 2 preamps would come close to destroying the power amp, since its only a line level signal.
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Quote by AsOneIStand
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#8
Yes.
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#9
Seems like most power amps are stereo, plug one preamp into one side and the other into the other side. Then an aby to the input of the preamps and you could switch between them or use them both at the same time.
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#10
I would assume that the power amp would have to be stereo. I cant be too sure, because I have 0% with rackmount gear, but a stereo power amp only seems logical.

**EDIT** Dammit Kevin, beat me to it..
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#11
Quote by LaidBack
I would assume that the power amp would have to be stereo. I cant be too sure, because I have 0% with rackmount gear, but a stereo power amp only seems logical.

**EDIT** Dammit Kevin, beat me to it..





I'm no expert by any means, but most poweramps seems to be stereo.
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#12
Quote by Kevin Saale
Seems like most power amps are stereo, plug one preamp into one side and the other into the other side. Then an aby to the input of the preamps and you could switch between them or use them both at the same time.


literally before I opened up this thread again I realised that all the power amps I've been looking at are dual channel.

EDIT: I'm just trying to work out how the setup would work... Say the power amp has a footswitch that switches between the two channels (though, I'm not so sure it does), this would mean I'd also have to switch between the preamps to ensure I'm actually making any sound. I need some more info on how the rack setup works, methinks.

I think everyone has satisified my "is it possible" question, now, does anyone have any reccomendations for both pre and power amps? Power amp wise, I've been mainly looking at the Marshall 50/50, but as far as pre amps go, I'm lost.

I want my first pre to be dedicated to cleans; so any dirty capabilities of the preamp would be null as I would not be using them.

I want the second pre to be the dirty channel; a modern rock (not metal - something with bite and crunch. I never know how to describe this really) rhythm channel, with a soaring lead channel - Lead tones, I'm thinking more 80's guitaring greats, somewhere between Gilbert and Adrian Smith.
Last edited by Mathamology at Nov 9, 2008,
#13
I think on the power amps that the both channel are on all the time so just make sure you have a stereo cab and you'll be set.

For switching preamps just use an ABY box, search one if you aren't sure what they are.

I don't know much about rack setups, but I'd think a high quality SS pre might be great for a clean channel, and maybe a marshall pre for a nice rock sound.
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#14
Would you rather have a American or British voiced preamp (not exactly the same as power tube voicing, but I think we know where I am going with this.)

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Engl-Tube-Preamp?sku=481526 That seems like a good choice, it has a clean and gain channel, this way you can get a second hi gain (or even mid gain) that is differently voiced to act as your lead channel.

Maybe like a Marshall pre would be good I think for a lead channel. But like i said, I dont know much about rackmount setups, just suggesting what I think would be close to the sound you are looking for.

**EDIT** for cleans, i think this http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Tech-21-SansAmp-RPM-Rackmount-Preamp?sku=481119

**EDIT#2** or maybe these: http://bass-guitars.musiciansfriend.com/bass-amplifiers-effects/bass-amplifiers/bass-preamps yea they are bass preamps, but why not?
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Last edited by LaidBack at Nov 9, 2008,
#15
Quote by Kevin Saale
I think on the power amps that the both channel are on all the time so just make sure you have a stereo cab and you'll be set.

For switching preamps just use an ABY box, search one if you aren't sure what they are.

I don't know much about rack setups, but I'd think a high quality SS pre might be great for a clean channel, and maybe a marshall pre for a nice rock sound.


Okay, I think I get what you're saying... so if I re-adjust my diagram from earlier, it's actually more like this:



[b]A.

                  |-> PREAMP ONE ->|-> POWER AMP L -> CABINET L
GUITAR -> A/B/Y ->[/b]|                |
                      PREAMP TWO ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET R


[b]B.[/b]

                      PREAMP ONE ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET L
[b]GUITAR -> A/B/Y ->|                |
                  |-> PREAMP TWO ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET R[/b]


So when then signal is routed to the first preamp, the second preamp and power section are still "live", just no signal passes through it?

Quote by LaidBack
Would you rather have a American or British voiced preamp (not exactly the same as power tube voicing, but I think we know where I am going with this.)

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Engl-Tube-Preamp?sku=481526 That seems like a good choice, it has a clean and gain channel, this way you can get a second hi gain (or even mid gain) that is differently voiced to act as your lead channel.

Maybe like a Marshall pre would be good I think for a lead channel. But like i said, I dont know much about rackmount setups, just suggesting what I think would be close to the sound you are looking for.

**EDIT** for cleans, i think this http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Tech-21-SansAmp-RPM-Rackmount-Preamp?sku=481119


I think I'm more into the British dirty sound, but really like the Fender cleans. I've had a look around for Marshal pre's, and I can't seem to find any new. To be honest, I can't seem to find very many preamps here in the UK at all!
Last edited by Mathamology at Nov 9, 2008,
#16
Quote by Mathamology
Okay, I think I get what you're saying... so if I re-adjust my diagram from earlier, it's actually more like this:



[b]A.

|-> PREAMP ONE ->|-> POWER AMP L -> CABINET R
GUITAR -> A/B/Y ->[/b]| |
PREAMP TWO ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET R


[b]B.[/b]

PREAMP ONE ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET R
[b]GUITAR -> A/B/Y ->| |
|-> PREAMP TWO ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET R[/b]


So when then signal is routed to the first preamp, the second preamp and power section are still "live", just no signal passes through it?




Exactly right, it's like nothing is plugged into the input.

Also of note, with the aby you could run both at the same time giving you some awesome stereo sounds.
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#17
Quote by Kevin Saale
Exactly right, it's like nothing is plugged into the input.

Also of note, with the aby you could run both at the same time giving you some awesome stereo sounds.


Ahhh, so you mean:



[b]A.

                  |-> PREAMP ONE ->|-> POWER AMP L -> CABINET L
GUITAR -> A/B/Y ->[/b]|                |
                      PREAMP TWO ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET R


[b]B.[/b]

                      PREAMP ONE ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET L
[b]GUITAR -> A/B/Y ->|                |
                  |-> PREAMP TWO ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET R[/b]


[b]Y.

                  |-> PREAMP ONE ->|-> POWER AMP L -> CABINET L
GUITAR -> A/B/Y ->|                |
                  |-> PREAMP TWO ->|-> POWER AMP R -> CABINET R[/b]





That is a rather cool prospect. I'm excited. It's just finding decent preamps here in the UK! They must exist somewhere.
#18
Just to throw the cat amongst the pidgeons before I go to bed, I'm gonna say my budget is between £1500 and £2000 ($2,375 - $3,170) for a couple of preamps, a power amp and a power conditioner. It's probably not a realistic figure, but it's a starting point.

Basically, this is something I'm going to save up for, so I won't be able to buy it for at least another 9 months. Think of this stage as the conception.


Make love to me, UG.


God, I went too far with that metaphor
#19
Hmmm... My attempt at stirring up some interest appears to have failed

Well, here are the items I've come across thus far that are of interest:

Preamp:

ENGL 530
Peavey Rockmaster
Marshall JMP

Power amp:

Marshall EL34 50:50

Any comments/suggestions

EDIT:

Is there anything that does the 'opposite' of an A/B/Y? I use the term 'opposite' loosely. Here's the kind of thing I mean:


SIGNAL 1 ->|           |
           | MAGIC BOX |-> AMP
SIGNAL 2 ->|           |


Doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would work, but theres no harm in asking!
Last edited by Mathamology at Nov 10, 2008,
#20
ENGL E530 will nail the maiden type sounds easily, same with the JMP-1 as it is what maiden use anyway. I use an old Rocktron Chameleon pre, quite old and hard to come by in the UK, but that easily gets me every sound under the sun, and is midi controllable.

The power amp is also a good choice, but if you need to budget it a bit more then an old Peavey Classic 50/50 will more than suffice.

I know what kind of concept you are talking about, essentially having a stereo signal running through to a mono output. But im not too sure how to go about achieving that, i'd like to say that i know a fair bit about rack setups, but im stumped...
#21
TS, check out the Engl e530 preamp. I use it and it can nail 80s metal wonderfully, and modern metal and rock even better. More than enough gain on tap for any type of music. Wonderful clarity and definition as well.

Also check out the Carvin TS100 power amp. all tube power amp for like 570 USD.
6L6/El34 switchable.

Edit: also your budget is more than reasonable. with an engl e530 and marshall JMP, you'd be more than set.
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Last edited by kayman121 at Nov 10, 2008,
#22
Okay, I think the ENGL sounds more up my street, as I'm after a modern dirty sound too. Any reccomendations for a Fender-type clean channel?

In terms of power amp, I think my heart is set on the Marshall. I'll definitly consider the Peavey when it comes to it, as I am fond of Peavey's, but I think I prefer the bite of the Marshall.

Thanks for responding, by the way
#23
If you're going to a rack rig, there's no reason why you shouldn't be considering Midi components. I agree with kayman121's recommendation on the Carvin TS100, but I would run it bridged (mono) unless you plan on taking advantage of stereo effects. It's a fantastic unit that I actually much prefer to the Marshall power amps...even if price was no concern at all.

With a very rudimentary Midi controller and switching system, you can accomplish preamp switching as well as channel switching and effects bypass.......easily. Something like a Ground Control Pro and a GCX switcher will give you a great amount of control and plenty of room to expand should it prove necessary in the future. In addition, you'll have more options for preamps and effects units open up to you.

If I were you, I'd take a good long look at the SansAmp PSA1.1 from Tech21. The tone is exceptional, and the versatility is downright amazing. You may very well not need two preamps if you have one. It will not sound like some of the boutique preamps (CAE, Soldano, high end ENGL's, etc), but it will pretty much nail all the core tones you should require and a good many that you don't.

Regarding other preamps: The ENGL 530 is a solid unit that sounds good and I won't argue with that recommendation, but also take a good look at the Soldano SP-77. VoodooLab has a quality unit that sounds good and doesn't cost a fortune. The Marshall's are (like virtually everything with a Marshall logo) too expensive for what you get.
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#24
^ Thank you very much for the detailed information and reccomendations; I'm definitly going to be checking them out. I hear what you're saying about Marshall - you do pay extra just for the name, but it's what appeals at the moment.

The MIDI switching system seems more appropriate than an A/B/Y system, but DAMN that board is huge!

I'll outline my basic needs:

I'll be playing in a three piece, so I'll need:

+ A lot of volume
+ A very nice clean channel; clarity, warmth, not really "jangly"
+ A dirty rhythm channel, more of a modern rock sound than a metal sound, but with plenty of gain, a crunchy sound
+ A soaring lead. I mentioned a cross between Maiden and Paul Gilbert earlier, I believe.

They are my basic needs, any extra versatilities are a bonus, but shouldn't be at a comprimise to the core needs.
#25
Quote by Mathamology
^ Thank you very much for the detailed information and reccomendations; I'm definitly going to be checking them out. I hear what you're saying about Marshall - you do pay extra just for the name, but it's what appeals at the moment.

The MIDI switching system seems more appropriate than an A/B/Y system, but DAMN that board is huge!

I'll outline my basic needs:

I'll be playing in a three piece, so I'll need:

+ A lot of volume
+ A very nice clean channel; clarity, warmth, not really "jangly"
+ A dirty rhythm channel, more of a modern rock sound than a metal sound, but with plenty of gain, a crunchy sound
+ A soaring lead. I mentioned a cross between Maiden and Paul Gilbert earlier, I believe.

They are my basic needs, any extra versatilities are a bonus, but shouldn't be at a comprimise to the core needs.
Oh my, how this screams the Lead Channel on the Engl e530 with hi gain mode+contour activated.
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#26
^ Okay, I think I'm pretty much sold on the Engl for my dirty needs. That sounds somewhat wrong.

By the way, I've not really bothered to look yet, but are Power conditioners expensive items? I know that I'm going to want one, just wondering how much I should set aside for one.
#27
#28
Quote by Mathamology
^ Okay, I think I'm pretty much sold on the Engl for my dirty needs. That sounds somewhat wrong.

By the way, I've not really bothered to look yet, but are Power conditioners expensive items? I know that I'm going to want one, just wondering how much I should set aside for one.



nah you can get one for 70-130 USD
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#30
It's possible, but a simpler solution is an Randall or Egnater modular tube head Look em up, because you're essentially putting 3 amps in one, and using one power amp for it all.

EDIT: Disregard my post. I just saw the name "ENGL" up there and fell into complete understanding

EDIT2: Well, don't COMPLETELY disregard my suggestion. You might find something you like with the Randall head, which is MIDI enabled, and if you have the ENGL preamp hooked up to a MIDI device, you may be able to use the head for clean and rhythm, and use the MIDI switching to get to the ENGL preamp for leads.
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Last edited by Shinozoku at Nov 10, 2008,
#31
I don't know much about racks, but I was under the impression ENGL amps had pretty good cleans, I bet that engl preamp would do you pretty well for clean sounds.
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#32
Quote by Shinozoku
It's possible, but a simpler solution is an Randall or Egnater modular tube head Look em up, because you're essentially putting 3 amps in one, and using one power amp for it all.

EDIT: Disregard my post. I just saw the name "ENGL" up there and fell into complete understanding

EDIT2: Well, don't COMPLETELY disregard my suggestion. You might find something you like with the Randall head, which is MIDI enabled, and if you have the ENGL preamp hooked up to a MIDI device, you may be able to use the head for clean and rhythm, and use the MIDI switching to get to the ENGL preamp for leads.


Thanks for the suggestion, looks like it's worth looking into. Don't think I quite understand all the MIDI business yet, I'll have to look into it!

Quote by Kevin Saale
I don't know much about racks, but I was under the impression ENGL amps had pretty good cleans, I bet that engl preamp would do you pretty well for clean sounds.


Yeah, I think you're probably right; I'm beginning to wonder whether I need two preamps if I get the ENGL.

Would the one preamp run through both sides of the power amp (I'm presuming yes)? There seems little point in paying out more if the ENGL can do everything I need it too. In any case, I'll be getting the ENGL first, so I'll know if I need the second preamp afterwards.
#33
Quote by Mathamology
Thanks for the suggestion, looks like it's worth looking into. Don't think I quite understand all the MIDI business yet, I'll have to look into it!


Yeah, I think you're probably right; I'm beginning to wonder whether I need two preamps if I get the ENGL.

Would the one preamp run through both sides of the power amp (I'm presuming yes)? There seems little point in paying out more if the ENGL can do everything I need it too. In any case, I'll be getting the ENGL first, so I'll know if I need the second preamp afterwards.



It has a cool feature called preamp defeat which runs it to another preamp hooked up to it i think. check out the manual online somewhere
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#34
^ I'm a bit confused... what are you replying to here?

I looked up the preamp defeat; I get that if you use that function you bypass the preamp, to the next in line. But surely, if you weren't bypassing it, the signal would be running through to seperate preamps?
#35
How does running an ENGL 530 preamp through a Marshall EL34 50:50, in stereo sound?

I'm plenty interested in other rack stuff (especially a MIDI system), but the above is what I've decided on as a core for my rig.
#36
This is quite very possible. There are diagrams on how to do it with a GCX on the voodoo lab website...... pretty cool ****.
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#37
The ENGL has stereo outputs so you could still run in stereo.
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#38
You should sign up for HRI.... pm me.
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#40
Quote by Brendan.Clace
This is quite very possible. There are diagrams on how to do it with a GCX on the voodoo lab website...... pretty cool ****.


Cool, I shall check them out

I'm definitly gonna want a MIDI setup of sorts, but it's just so damned expensive! Mainly, I wan't to be able to switch channel while simaltaneously switching effects loop.

Quote by Kevin Saale
The ENGL has stereo outputs so you could still run in stereo.


Yeah I'm quite excited. Now for the saving money part...

Quote by Brendan.Clace
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What's the HRI club? Is this directed at myself or Kevin?
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