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Author Topic: Advice on hooking up several pre amps  (Read 3213 times)

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gibsonrich

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I want to be able to select from 4 or 5 pre amps and also run them at the same time in parallel if I want. Does this sound like it would work - I am thinking if I plug into an 8 channel bypass looper and hook up my pre amps 1 to each send of the switch and not return to the switch but rather out to my Rane 8 Chanel mixer then out to my power amp. That way I can select from my pre amps or any combo of them. Does this sound like it would Work? Or any other ideas would be great. Thanks
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van Sinn

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Yes, it'll work; you'll have to live with all preamps being i parallel, though.

You could also shop a looper/router with programmable send/returns; some of those have programmable send- and return-levels, some can also route channels in series and/or parallel, which is what you really desire.

To my memory, most are mono-only, while some have a combination of most channels mono and two or three being stereo.
I don't remember which are which. Maybe Roland/Boss; they at least have this as a floorboard MIDI controller + looper/router board.


EDIT: Hey dude, haha, I didn't really notice who asked, sorry 'bout that. Good to see ya again! :wave:
« Last Edit: Time Format by vansinn »
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gibsonrich

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

Hey Van nice to see you. I want them in parallel . That way I can choose or a/b my mp1, mp2, classic, mesa boogie etc.  Or even combine some. Blend your favorite pre amps
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Soloist

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

I run 4 preamps which I can run 1,2,3 or 4 at once.
I run into a voodo labs amp selector, it runs the 4 pre's plus a tuner out. After that they run into my 8 channel stereo line mixer ( Alesis multimix8 rack unit). Then out to my effects and power amp. Seach the rig pics thread I think I put a schematic in there. :thumb-up:
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MarshallJMP

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Hey GR

Another possibility is run all the preamps into a mixer and use the master volume as a sort of send level to the mixer,this way you blend the preamps and even take them out if you set the master to zero.And you don't need an extra looper/ switcher.Now this will only work with programmable preamps. But for the ADA's it won't be a problem.
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GuitarBuilder

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

I run three ADA's in parallel, but never all at the same time.  I use Lehle's 1 at 3 for the input, 3 at 1 for the output slaved together via MIDI.
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van Sinn

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

I run three ADA's in parallel, but never all at the same time.  I use Lehle's 1 at 3 for the input, 3 at 1 for the output slaved together via MIDI.

Yep, and all that's needed will be a splitter to drive the 3-4 preamps.
If some are non-programmable, simply use a programmable mixer to sum them, and use it's internal per-channel volume to control the mixing.

There's got to be some programmable [stereo] rack mixer with build-in effects too. This would allow mixing preamps while also do away with the usual stand-alone effects device.
Time to go peek'n'poke the net..

EDIT: And one of the first hits were the Behringer X32 rack mixer: https://geartechs.com/store/pdfs/behringer/behringer_x32-rack.pdf
Now, at first glance, it seems rather overkill, but read on..
It'll  mix more preamps than your spouse will allow ;)
It has build-in effects
It has a mix bus, so inputs  (pre's) can be routed to/fro effects
You can mix, send to effects, and then route out to external amps, and wire the cab/mics back in
It's programmable, has MIDI too
It has both USB and Firewire for direct recording
It has more than enough inputs to also serve as your home recording interface
Costs a mere $1300 new

Saw one at €800 on ebay.de - and a Braun MX32 Standmixer at just €9 :lol:
« Last Edit: Time Format by vansinn »
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gibsonrich

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Thanks for all the input. All good advice
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Kim

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

Thanks for all the input. All good advice

Except for the Braun mixer...unless you only plan on mixing cake and brownies with it.   Lol
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Dante

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

Thanks for all the input. All good advice

Except for the Braun mixer...unless you only plan on mixing cake and brownies with it.   Lol

There's Kim - Helping out  :lol:

Thanks for asking about this GR - That has always perplexed me, how you guys run several preamps at the same time. I keep my stuff SIMPLE for a good reason, I don't like to think....gets me into trouble when I do  :thumb-up:
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gibsonrich

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #10 on: Time Format »

It's  that I have a lot of amps. The one I am working on is basically for me to experiment with different pre amps. I have a couple other racks that I keep simple
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rnolan

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #11 on: Time Format »

A simple way would be use a Behringer Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro mixer, I have a couple of these and they are well appointed and not particularly expensive.
Plenty of input channels all with mute switches (easy A/B ing) and 4 sends, 2 x monitor but has pre/post fader switch to use as FX sends and 2 FX sends.  Send 3 also sends to the internal FX at the same time as to the send 3 output if you want to use the internal FX as well (just turn the returns up).  The first 8 channels have direct outs for recording and insert jacks.  Channels 9 - 16 are stereo pairs (9/10, 11/12, 13/14, 15/16) good for FX returns.  Main L/R outs and 4 sub groups so you can rout to 3 stereo power amps simultaneously, just assign the channels where you want them to go.  Also comes with a rack mount kit.  (here's one on Evilbay for $250 http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/like/162261626110?lpid=107&chn=ps).  IIRC they cost around $600 AUD new.
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Slimjim

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #12 on: Time Format »

I use a switch that is 16x16 balanced mono to do exactly that. I have several outputs connected, and can crisscross as desired. For me, one preamp at a time is used. I connect both preamp outputs (left/right) to the switch. They often match in signal strength, but not always. The Mesa Rec Recording has one side that is stronger (only at low volumes) and the JMP-1 does a similar trick (only at low volumes). Once they are all balanced, the switch will permit you to control each jack coming in. For the Mesa I have to set its volume a hair bit higher to balance the outputs and cut them at the switch to balance them with the other preamps.

The switch allows me to send the preamp output pair to 3 stereo poweramps, so they all get connected and output simultaneously, providing noise to 6 separate speakers. The rig currently has 2ea of 6L6, EL34, EL84 channels that fire up when 1 preamp is selected. Moving to the next preamp will output another 6 channels.

On each speaker is a SM57, which will eventually output to the computer interface. In software the choices are made which speaker is getting playback thru the reference monitors. You can choose as few or as many as desired and put them as mono for both speakers playback, or hard pan them and combine pairs.

Of course the options are limitless, and the signals that go to the interface can be preamp only, or guitar only, so getting the raw un-amped signals is how re-amping is performed (for those with the patience). I am short of patience and want instant results, one touch of a button.

The switch is the ultimate rig controller, mine has two assignable expression pedals, which can control the variable inputs and outputs as desired. It also has relay switch control, and will act as a traditional channel switch button. This switches the Mesa from clean/dirt as well as the Marshall Voice (2), and it also controls the Mesa 'Modern' mode. The 'switch states' are programmed into the patch.

It will switch channels faster than the ADA, which is saying something, as we all know the ADA switches instantly and smoothly. However, milliseconds can be adjusted per device in case you wanted everybody to wait for a processor patch to load. More features than I can utilize, all MIDI controlled and one touch.

If you are buying used, expect some I/O issues, where some jacks will have static connections. I recommend new, I bought used and regret it. The weight of 38 cables hanging off the back, is too much for them to hold up long term. I ended up hanging all of the cables from a swag chain which dangles behind the gear and I use an assortment of Velcro and mini Bungees to tie up selected wires, removing any and all stress on those jacks.
« Last Edit: Time Format by Slimjim »
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #13 on: Time Format »

Hey Jeff,

    That's what I'm doing with my large rack. Are all your preamps ADA? Do you want to be able to run each one through your effects chain, or are you dedicating certain effects to each one? What about your power amps, one for each or each one routed into a single poweramp?

    As long as you don't use a Voodoo Labs GCX for selecting preamps, you won't have issues. It's good for selecting effects, but causes a hum when sending the ADA's through it. The Voodoo Labs Ground Control is a good one for this application. Of course if you want to spend the money on a Switchblade 16 like Slimjim has, that's fully programmable. They are a bit pricey.
    What Midi controller are you using?

       Harley 8)
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gibsonrich

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Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
« Reply #14 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley. this rack will stay in my garage  for being able to use different pre amps, combinations of pre amps and a/b'n them to see which ones I really like. some  pre amps are ada others are non midi.
so this is what I am thinking of doing..   Guitar > 8 channel true bypass looper box > various pre amps > 8 channel rack mixer > effects processor > 1 power amp > speakers. I plan on using a midi pedal just for the effects ( which I don't use much ). I should be able to turn on / off any of my pre amps at the looper box. In theory it sounds like it should work. Now I need to mortgage my house to buy all the cables.. Haha
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