Solid State Amplifiers > Preamps and Effects

what exactly is a preamp

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franklin01:
i am completely new to this whole guitar amp thing, and i have no idea how they work, for example, what is a preamp and what does it do? ive heard of thm but never really had thm explained to me, please help me!!
thanks

Crystallas:
Its an amp that gives you a set of options and adjustments to add to the main amp.

joecool85:
More specifically it is a device with an amplification stage, it boosts the signal high enough for the power amp to use it effectively.  A guitar normally only puts out a few tenths of a volt, a preamp boosts it to several volts.  Some preamps are just that one part I mentioned, others have EQ sections as well (treble, mids, bass) and even effects.

franklin01:
ohhh, i think i get it now, so the preamp is the part usually near the top with all this nobs, and the power amp is the actual speaker? do i have this right??

joecool85:
Close.  This is how it works:

Input (in our case, guitar) makes the signal, it gets processed by the preamp to make it into a usable voltage for the power amp.  The power amp amplifies the signal to speaker level, the speaker hooks directly to the power amp.

Input         [-----------PREAMP--------------] [POWERAMP]
Guitar ----> Treble | Mids | Bass | Volume | Master ----> Speaker

Does that help?

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