Mic Preamp / power amp for use before guitar cabinet

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by liquidstudios, Sep 18, 2006.

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  1. say i have a solid state mic preamp like a trident, or neve or something like that and a solid state power amp like a QSC rmx2450. or even for the preamp use of a 610. would that be acceptable and yeild good results for use as a guitar head before a cabinet. so like given that i get the ohm ratings correct (its a standard 1960 cab) and i would have to use a direct box given that it is a mic preamp with XLR in's and not a marketed "guitar preamp" with predominantly 1/4"ers but conceptually from a technical standpoint it seems to pan out, no pun intended. but what do you guys think?

    i know people like kurt cobain have used a Crest, mesa studio preamp before a crown into their cabs.

    i have marshall heads and this and that, but i just wanted to try something else out. it seems to me something that is way better than getting a mesa guitar head. or really any solid state / transistor valve state based guitar head for that matter.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    liquidstudios, sure! However, I think you are going to need something more practical for guitar, particularly rock-and-roll guitar. As opposed to the direct box into the microphone preamplifier, I would suggest something like a "POD" type device for the front end, that will give you the the proper kind of high impedance input along with the tremelo, saturation, sustain, distortion effects, extreme equalization and all the rest that make an electric guitar sound like an electric guitar, instead of an "electric car".

    Now perhaps for some fine Classical or Jazz acoustic guitar, you won't want that other electric guitar sounding stuff? Just a purist approach? I mean, a typical guitar amplifier is a fairly compact self-contained device. You are talking about schlepping around a whole bunch of stuff that could be contained in a portable rack cabinet but the big question you have to ask yourself is, what are you trying to accomplish? The ultimate "LOW DISTORTION GUITAR"? Sounds like a contradiction in terms??

    Of course, I think it sounds really nice to record an electric guitar with a cheap SM57 into a nice expensive API or Neve preamplifier and plugging that guitar directly in can sound pretty fine when passed through an amplifier to a speaker and then "miced" and recorded again but unless you have a way to emulate everything that a self-contained guitar amplifier can provide you with for rock-and-roll guitar, you might find the perfection lacking?

    Lacking a perfectly good figure
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. my basis was obviously input-output stages. i have numerous analog effect pedals. the only reason i am even talking about using the direct box is to beat the XLR input. yes it seems to be of the sensibility that this is "going direct" in a way. becaue these preamps are obviously pulled from what could or used to be a big console consisting of them. but obviously at the same time its not going direct because i would still be micing the cabinet, and would be putting a power amp behind the preamp. someone once told me that you didn't want to have amp going to amp. for what reason was made unclear.

    so your basic analysis is that you just think it wouldn't sound characterstic of a typical rock guitar and would induce the thin-ness that is characteristic of going direct into the board? despite the use of analog effect pedals?

    the chain of events if there is any confusion would be direct box, or preamp with direct input, preamp, into poweramp, into cabinet of speakers. that cabinet miced obviously and recorded into a different preamp or other side of the same preamp.

    a typical self-contained guitar amp contains preamp, poweramp, clean, distortion. so i hope i can?
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    No, that was not what I was inferring. You did not mention that you had "numerous analog effects petals"? So first off, you're plugging your guitar into your first effects petal, which is plugged into the second effects petal, which is plugged into the third effects petal and so on. You then want to take the output of your last effects petal, and plug that into the high quality API/Neve/Universal Audio, etc., preamplifier. Most of which offer a 1/4", unbalanced direct or musical instrument input and so, no worry about the XLR or need for direct box. OK!

    And so, what are you planning on? A transistor or a tube type power amplifier? They both sound different you know? Closed or opened back cabinet? They both sound different you know? JBL or Celestion speakers? They both sound different you know? AC or DC? They both sound different you know? Ford or Chevrolet? They both sound different you know?

    Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dumb? They both sound different you know?
    Ms. Remy Ann David

    Decisions decisions....
  5. look i will appreciate anyones advice but i am so sick of the apples and oranges philosphy occuring among engineers, yeah i do know. i like to compare celestion to jensen myself.

    well my trident in particular doesn't have 1/4" inputs.

    my main concern would be not screwing anything up like overdriving the speakers with my RMX2450. so you see nothing wrong with a path from preamp to poweramp. thanks
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW

    Its statements like this that cause the flaming. Remy offered her VERY expert advice and all you can do is come back bitching about what is an ACTUAL REALITY in the world of capturing and producing sound.

    ITS ALL APPLES AND ORANGES . Thats what makes your questions so hard to answer. The experts here know this fact and live with everyday and every session. Describing the physics of sound and the relationship to music is like dancing to architecture.( Not my saying but very appropo here)..

    Every device does a certain job in its basic form. Every device of the same ilk, different manufacturer, does the same thing a little differently with differing results, DEPENDING ON HOW CLEVER THE ENGINEER IS.....

    If I were you.....I would learn how to be clever in this recording business rather than how to be technical.
  7. well hey man, learning to be "technical" in audio engineering is what? pushing buttons, spinning knobs? don't read into it the wrong way but it's very true in a sense.

    i'm by no means bitching, i find and have found it to be that the apples and oranges idea is a great escape, when you read a book to stay awake.

    everyone loves to say 'Garbage in garbage out" but then in the same turn people will say, oh yeah this great engineer could do anything with a cheap piece of equipment. i understand the sensibility, again don't read me wrong. but remy anyways if you are still listening, i'm always asking questions and trying to learn so ... give me a yellow dot for it
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Please don't think I'm on the offensive and scolding anybody here? Your question and idea are a valid one. I'm not getting down on you for such a question. I think your concept for a "SuperStudioGuitarAmplifier" is a fabulous idea! I mean just how wrong can you go when you choose a fine piece of studio equipment as the ever so important "front end"? A fine high-powered low distortion amplifier to belch its power into the speaker du jour. MMMMMMM gooooood

    I think the only issue that our discussion truly involved was the musical application for such a beautiful guitar amplifier system? Classical? Jazz? Rock-and-roll? Distortion capabilities? No distortion capabilities?

    We all know that thermionic electron tubes do some wonderful things to electric guitar sounds. You might want to consider a nice quality tube microphone preamplifier, along with an active FET direct box as the front end, which I think would be a better idea than a transformer direct box that only has a 50,000 ohm input impedance as opposed to the one million ohm or more, input of an FET, that would more closely mimic the proper load for either a directly input guitar or the output from your effects petals. That coupled with a George Massenburg parametric equalizer looking at your lovely amplifier and cabinet combination, I think would make for a bitchin' system? Trident you say? There you go! It's all transistor and will not give you that tube like, class A, heavily second harmonic saturation distortion. But I would still get the FET input direct box, if you decide to go with the sugarless module.

    Don't forget to post examples of the luscious and gorgeous sounds you will be getting?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    >>people like kurt cobain have used a Crest, mesa studio preamp before a crown into their cabs<<

    CREST and MESABOOGIE are made FOR guitar. Trident isn't.

    As a guitar player, I can tell you this:

    1) If I need overdriven sound I will use one of the many, excellent tube guitar heads avaialble, NOTHING else will do for me.

    2) If I need a CLEAN, electric or acoustic guitar sound (for Jazz especially) I have used for studio AND live a Millennia STT-1 (which I own and use often) as a pre-amp/EQ/compressor - this signal was then sent to the FOH and the monitor engineer who then, retuned it to me (and the band) via the floor monitors.

    I also use my Millennia for my B-Band Entity system which is installed in all my acoustic guitars. It is powered by the Mil 48v Phantom power and it benefits greatly from the TUBE mic pre and the EQ on the STT-1.

    3) for more 'serious' gigs I havea rack which is a combination of analog tube pres and digital efx processors which is then fed to whatever amp is needed. I also have a BOOGIE, stereo tube power amp.

    It all depends on the sound you want. Anything is possible if it serves YOUR purpose.
  10. man... just because im asking this question doesnt mean that i dont throughly believe in the JCM800!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i don't know how i can iterate that any more.

    remy, first of all the trident is a solid state op-amp based pre, not transistor, also when you mention those direct boxes that you are talking about, what exactly are they? i have a radial D2. i'm not sure if it uses transistors or not. my immediate guess would be no. but yeah anyways i have a 610 with a DI so i get the concept. my opinion is that sure there are some damn great tube heads out there. that's why i started this whole thing off with the words "solid-state." would i love a bassman, or a '65 twin reverb, or a vox ac30, yeah i would. but for solid state i see absolutely no point in getting something like a mesa boogie. unless for what remy said in that you crave built-in FX. i don't know the exact circuitry chasis, is it transistor? well oh well it doesn't matter even if it is because i've used those marshall AVT150's and they're alright but nothing great and i think most people will agree with you. thanks
  11. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Yeah, Remy! You didn't know that a solid-state opamp doesn't use transistors? Geeeeeez...
    BTW, where can I get a solid-state Mesa Boogie with the built-in effects
    you crave?
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    liquidstudios, I'm not sure you have a clue as to what you are asking about?? Your Trident doesn't have transistors? What? I think you'll find that a modern-day Trident uses both integrated circuit chip operational amplifiers along with a host of transistors. I believe the original Trident A series was all discrete transistor only.

    Every integrated circuit chip relies on a silicon substrate. What do think a transistor is made from? Everything inside and integrated circuit chip is essentially millions of transistor junctions some of which mimic resistors, capacitors and transistors. There are good sounding integrated circuit chips and there are bad sounding integrated circuit chips. There are good sounding discrete transistor circuits there are bad sounding discrete transistor circuits. There are good sounding tube circuits, there are bad sounding tube circuits. So just what are you hoping to ascertain here?? So you believe in your Marshall amplifier. OK big deal? So plug your guitar into your audio console and listen to it on your controller monitors that is what you're talking about!

    Perhaps you should look into the new hydrogen powered amplifiers? One wrong note and you can really blow the crowd away!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  13. oh my god. jesus christ you guys are to predictable. yeah great. nice insight, i realize every piece of circuitry involves transistors. there is a difference though between the basis of the circuitry itself. op-amp, transistor, or tube. when you define the basis of a certain piece of equipment as transistor, i assume that you mean FET, JFET. afterall why are we going to state the obvious that most every piece of electro magnet circuitry contains tiny little transistors? you know, i really never assume that any of these members on the board don't know something. you guys however do, very easily.

    i don't typically define certain pieces of equipment as solid-state (all of which being completely transistor), or tube. for the front end input stage, that is. because i believe there is a difference from a 5532 op-amp chip, and an FET input stage. i organise it as op-amp, transistor, and tube circuitry basises.

    YEAH, my trident has transistors. but i just don't define it as being based on a transistor chasis as much as it is based on an op-amp chasis. do you ?

    and hey man i don't know the ins and outs of mesa boogie, ive never paid much attention to them. for god sakes im still learning. and i dont claim to know everything, but you sure as hell will crucify me for not knowing it all.
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    QUOTE}...i don't typically define certain pieces of equipment as solid-state (all of which being completely transistor), or tube. for the front end input stage, that is. because i believe there is a difference from a 5532 op-amp chip, and an FET input stage. i organise it as op-amp, transistor, and tube circuitry basises. {END QUOTE...

    Well we obviously all need to adjust our learning which has taken most of us years to understand so it fits into your catagorization methods.

    Especially since you claim to only be learning and not really knowing it all....Its comforting to know that.

    Your COMPLETE misunderstanding of the tenor of most peoples posts here is reason enough for anyone to think you dont have a clue what you're all about.

    The fact that you take everything said to you as a personal affront is obvious. Remy's lighthearted and humorous posts as well as her obvious AGREEMENT with your direction here is a perfect example.

    If you want to assume someone is taking affront at your posts then let it be me.

    I am.

    You've been given, NUMEROUS times, great and factual information...answers to your questions, (not just opinions)...things that most folks pay college tuitions to learn and yet you have ZERO appreciation for this NOR do you even recognize this simple fact. You are either a TROLL or a MORON or you have not had much contact with humans these many years. I, for one, am sick of your little game. I'm certain I am not alone. This site is a great one and its that way because of the community nature we have. You bring this attitude about web-sites that says ALL sites have people who lie, are devious, who dont answer directly due to some hidden agenda or to make themselves seem better, and other sick predeterminations on folks you dont know and DID NOT KNOW $*^t ABOUT before you came here. But you brought your attitude with you. And you seem to have no problem at all throwing it out on a relatively peaceful exisitance which was in place before you showed up.

    You want to know why people dont take you seriously here?


    Get it ??

    TRY being a real member of a real community. You do that the same here as in every walk of life. You EARN it by showing respect.

    Got it??

    Lets not hear any frickin whinning about rights of speach and that old card...no one is condemming you for having opinions....just think about how you present them and who's house you're visiting.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    spot on!... remy, what would we do without you. :cool:
  16. putting words in my mouth. for the billionth time im not unappreciative of your opinions. maybe we are both misreading each other a little bit. i think you might be misunderstanding and take some of my responses personally as well. maybe personally isnt the right word, overzealous to the negative connotation is more like it? but it doesnt matter, i didnt come here to argue about this $*^t with you. you shouldnt expect anything less than a rebuttal from me, its not even a rebuttal per se. this is a place to shoot the $*^t, so i ask a question, you can answer with what you think. and its not like im replying with a statement bashing what you think. at most, i demand technical effort and reason for why you think it. this technical effort can sometimes be defined as the sound of your ears.

    but nonetheless, not to be ungrateful for this forum, im here for a reason. but please stop expecting new users to prove themselves in some stupid way. this is JUST a forum, its not personal. so i see no need to earn my respect through the community. i never have among music, because ive never really like much of what the community is a part of. this has nothing to do with personal bias at all, i ask questions that i hope to receive factual technical answers and opinions variated. i feel that i have been respect at least equally to the respect that i have been given in my posts. so despite what you think i know a little, i know a little, i know a little bout

    transistor technology

    ps. maybe you should make a disclaimer that says before you register the community expects silence of you or to tell you what they want to hear for a minimum of 5 months, so that way you can build up your credentials and earn respect from the community thereof.

    but anyways im not trying to be offensive this is a nice sentiment you have. but i respect the answers im given, and if you dont mind id rather just be a loner here on RO, love me or hate me. i just ask questions that i seek answers from, if you really arent comfortable with that, then i guess dont respond to me. but that really is shitty you know because although i may not actively participate in the community, i participate in the pursuit of knowledge.
  17. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    >>for solid state i see absolutely no point in getting something like a mesa boogie...don't know the exact circuitry chasis, is it transistor?<<

    The Boogie is a valve amp...
  18. as in pertaining to the previous studio mesa boogie preamp that i was talking about?

    the one i said cobain used?
  19. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    That one too - they are all tube designs. Their combo amps, pre-amps and power amps.
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    QUOTE}..maybe you should make a disclaimer that says before you register the community expects silence of you or to tell you what they want to hear for a minimum of 5 months, so that way you can build up your credentials and earn respect from the community thereof. {QUOTE

    Exactly what I'm talking about. This statement apart from the rest of the post stirs animosity and fails to deliver your message without rancor. THIS is what the problem is....Loner or no, if you respond to people in a way that suggests something other than the point in fact, then you are fomenting dissention on your part. You're taking a shot at a community which DOES NOT have any such rules nor a bent towards these things you suggest. It has been this very take of YOURS which you constantly throw in your rambles which just irritate the crap outta me and others, and prevents anyone here from caring whether you get a straight answer or no. You continue to dig your own grave and dont seem to care. Its not the policies that effect you , its your attitude.

    A LOT of kind folks have given you more than a chance to respond in kind to your posts, but you berate them at every turn. IF we were like some 'other' websites, someone would put up a poll asking whether liquidstudios was an ass and should be banned. Anything like that happen here? Have you visited 'other' sites? Go to PSW much? HomeRec?

    If you want a free exchange of ideas, then look to your own actions towards others and be an adult about things.

    And learn to frickin TYPE! and use punctuation whenever possible. It would be much easier to read and maybe you wouldn't look like such a fool.........
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