Pre-amps? Power-amps? Integrated amps???

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:22 am

I appreciate this might be a basic topic for many of you, but could somebody explain if or why a separate two box Pre/power amp is an advantage or step up from an integrated?

I see there's a flexibility element at play. For instance, my linn intek is not the greatest amp ever but it does have a good phono stage that does MM and MC and it has a Pre out. I can use this with a separate power amp and as in another thread below I'm considering a Sugden class A. I guess in this case most of the characteristics of the sound will be dominated by the Sugden class A power amp, but I get to keep the benefit of my Linn phono stage.

Is this generally a reason for people to go pre/power or is there some other advantage in sound quality??

Last edited by Iardyle on Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:12 am

IMO, it's not a step "up", just a step "sideways". It allows you to get, say, the preamp of a Vox AC30 and the power amp section of a Marshall. Or vice-versa. It's just a different way to achieve the tones you are after.

When I saw that NAMM video of Steve demo-ing those preamp modules, I thought "everything old is new again!", as back in the late 80's-early 90s these rackmount preamp and power amp things were what alot of us used.... then they fell out of favor when hard rock died, and now they are making a comeback! :D

I had a rackmount Marshall preamp, which I did NOT like, and replaced it with an ADA MP1 which I LOVED, going into a Marshall rackmount power amp with EL34s. The tone was glorious, for the day.
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