Should I have something between my amp and monitors?

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by weaver7, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. weaver7

    weaver7 Active Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    Home Page:
    Should I have something between my amp and monitors, or just get something that will give me a better sound, such as a new amp, pickup, or distortion pedal?

    When I record, for now I go out from the headphone output of my little 10w amp to a Y-adapter with 2 RCA's that go into the RCA inputs on my monitors. This works good, but the sound coming from my monitors is different than what I hear coming from the amp speaker. I am guessing this is because it is being split into stereo and also because the monitors are more accurate than that lowly little amp speaker in my ESP 10w amp that was included in a starter pack.

    Should I be using a preamp or something like that? I will eventually want a better sound and a variety of sounds for recording, but I don't want to go spend money on a new amp or distortion unit and have the same thing happen.
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Several things....

    Going from the ESP to the RCA inputs of your monitors doesn't account for how you're doing the recording. How are you doing the recording part?

    The speakers in a guitar combo amp account for about half of the overall tonal character of most guitar amps. So yes, your monitors are going to have a different tone than a speaker tailored for guitar. And there's likely some distortion going on from the mismatched input/output levels.

    A headphone output puts out enough wattage to drive a small pair of speakers (your headphones). If your monitors have RCA inputs, they're self-powered and have their own amplifier built into them. Therefore, the input of your monitors is probably looking for a much colder signal. That's not good for the devices at either end, and could potentially damage both the ESP and the monitors.

    Something like a Pod for guitar will give you a wide variety of tones. It won't be quite as cool as a great guitar amp, in a great room, with a great mic in front of it, running into a great recorder- but something like a Pod puts you miles ahead of where you are now. That other cool stuff is expensive and can take years to master.

    The guitar and amp aren't a stereo source to your speakers, but you might perceive it as wider because of the distance and angles between the speakers.

    Are you sure you connector is stereo?

    If you're not using some sort of recording interface that you plug your guitar and monitors into - you should be. That would send sound to your computer/recording software via USB or Firewire and let you monitor out of the interface through your speakers. If you have plans of doing anything bigger let us know and someone can probably recommend the best bang-for-your-buck that will get the job done and save you a more costly upgrade later.

    Good luck, we'll be watching for updates.

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