Plugging straight into a power amp - Jemsite
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Plugging straight into a power amp

Theoretically, couldn't you plug your guitar straight into a power amp? Or must the power amp only take signal from the pre amp?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 02:27 PM
 
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Theoretically, you can plug a guitar directly into a power amp, but power amps are really designed to take a line level input. Instrument-level input directly from a guitar doesn't have enough power. You'd need a REALLY loud power amp to squeeze decent volume out of a direct guitar input, but it would probably also sound quite thin.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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So you're saying the pre amp powers the signal (more or less)? Or does it just convert it into a line-level signal?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 05:14 PM
 
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well ur guitar volume will sound really really low!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 07:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEMavenger
So you're saying the pre amp powers the signal (more or less)? Or does it just convert it into a line-level signal?
Yes and yes. Both statements essentially mean the same thing. A preamp boosts the output from the gutiar and sends out a line level signal to the power amp. Preamps also generally do most of the tone shaping in a rig.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, I've been hearing Marshalls get a lot of their tone from the power amp, but we shall see soon!

One more thing...can I use a guitar cable to connect the head to the cab? I know this probably won't provide optimal tone, but I can't get a speaker cable around here on a Sunday. Or does it have to be a special speaker cable?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 03:16 AM
 
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It all depends, me thinks, on the power amp. I can plug straight into my Mesa 50/50 and get great volume and clean tone. It only lacks FX, EQ and distortion (a preamp) really.

It's probably a little late, but I would use a speaker cable as opposed to an instrument cable. I found out the hard way that there was a difference. Stupid me! I figured 1/4" plug eguals 1/4" plug. However, I was playing with instrument cables for a while before I realized something wasn't quite right. It may take time to do whatever it does.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 03:42 AM
 
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Don't use a guitar(instrument) cable as a speaker cord. A guitar cable uses the shield as ground, with only one conductor. A Speaker cable is two conductors with no shield.. With the amount of 'juice' running though that cable, a guitar cord just doesn't cut it.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 07:51 AM
 
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I plugged into my Peavey Classic 50/50 directly from my guitar and had to crank it nearly all the way up to get any kind of volume at all. And it's got preamp tubes on each channel as well as 4 EL-84s! Plugging my GT-6 into it, i have yet to turn it up beyond 5 to be heard VERY clearly over our drummer.

Yes, power amps do affect the tone... most PA power amps these days are solid state and probably have flatter frequency response than guitar power amps. The tonal characteristics of guitar power amps will depend on the kind of tubes used... each one has its own sonic signature.

I used to sometimes use instrument cables as speaker cables in our old rehearsal space when we couldn't find a speaker cable and were too lazy to head upstairs to get one from the office. Then i read that using an instrument cable as a speaker cable can blow the output transformers on your amp. I don't do that any more, especially not with my own amp.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, everything's hooked up. The cab came with a speaker cable, so I'm set there. I need to get this thing retubed (volume fades in and out when played hard), but it's LOUD!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 09:48 PM
 
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The Mesa 2:Ninety power-amp has a switch on the back panel;
it let´s you choose between "instrument" and "line" level. Sounds
interesting if you plug straight a good guitar there; or also only
guitars with FX or distortion boxes; since they don´t have a real
preamp level.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2003, 07:09 AM
 
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the marshall vs102's power amp is way bassy, i have to turn the general bass level on my gt3 to the minimum (-20db) so that it sounds normal!
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clean tone , peavey classic , power amp , power amps , preamp tube , speaker cab

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