Guitar Amp or Personal Preamp?

Which one do you prefer, use the stage guitar amp or have your own preamp to use on stage?

I have an AMT M2, and works great!

Just want to know your opinion or collection too.

Thanks! Cheers! :beers:

I like having a guitar amp. I like the idea of the sound of my band being an actual real acoustic event up on stage; ie that the drums and other instruments are naturally balanced so that if the PA died it’d still pretty much sound like a band, where possible. I think that helps foster inter-band dynamics, and (a very crucial factor in some of the venues I’ve played) reduces the opportunity for a bad soundperson to mess everything up.

The other thing is, I consider the cab and speakers as much a part of my instrument as the guitar - the whole chain matters to me. That’s not to say other approaches are less valid, it’s just that I define my instrument as the whole lot, and feel like my responsibility is to deliver the exact sound the music needs to the point in space the sound guy puts his guitar mic. Anything from there onwards is down to them.

Always amps.

??? Mesa, Fender, Vox, Dr Z, Matchless, Badcat, Peavey, Budda, H&K, and a ton of others…don’t know how that’s going to help you though.

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I prefer to use both. I use a preamp with effects and speaker simulation that runs to the PA. I also run a line from the preamp to an amp that is used as the guitar monitor. This lets me keep the stage volume to a minimum while delivering a consistent sound to the PA.
I always hear people mention the dreaded “bad sound person”. I’ve never dealt with this problem. If someone sucks that badly at running sound then how do they get gigs?

You are very, very lucky. Of course, it depends on the gigs you do. We’ve rocked up at plenty of pubs/ bars/ clubs where the sound guy is working for beer, or has the job because he’s the owner, or the guy who owns the stuff. Being able to hear hasn’t always been a necessary qualification.

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I prefer amps as well ! I HATE from the bottom of my heart PA monitor speakers. Its probably because I don’t do realy big gigs with nice gear, but they always sound dead.
I’m even thinking of making my own. In the form of a 1speaker cab in the form of a monitor. So I can go strait from my amp into that one and have a good comfortable guitar sound on stage.

Whoa! You have tons of great amps! Killer! :cheers:

Well, that’s how it supposed to be as a guitarist (in particular), I think. Maintain the live situation is an important thing. But I’m a pretty control freak, tho. So, sometimes I don’t believe the sound guy that much. Even if I bring my own sound guy, I’ll make my chain as “safe” as possible before enter the mixer. That’s why I prefer to use the AMT M2 so far.

Nice perspective, mate! Thanks! :beers:

Thanks…what I was saying is that the collection is largely built around what I’ve needed in the past and needed today. For instance, I do very little heavy rock stuff. Those are the amps I use for church music, modern country, blues, radio pop etc… but regardless its a fair question for curiosity sake :smiley:

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ENGL E530 preamp. for modern rock to metalcore music

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For guitar I use a Traynor YCS100 half stack mic’d for dirty tones and a Vox AC15 mic’d for cleans. If you’ve never heard of Traynor amps, check them out. Highly underrated and not well known, made in Canada. They are reasonably priced, quite versatile, and have lots of good features.

Bass I use an Eden head and 410 cab for stage volume, but DI out of the Eden head for front of house.

I’ve never tried to DI guitar for live stuff (besides acoustic).

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As a guitarist on stage I like having amps and a half stack. My collection is 6505, JCM900, Carvin MTS3200, Jet City, Egnater. I guess playing in small venues most of my life and having little practice spaces I like being closer to the cab, on large stages it can get weird when monitoring is not done properly and I think on large stages is where you really need a good monitor guy. Outdoor stages, where you aren’t really getting any reflections from the room and the bass can get out of control on the stage make this even more important. Either way I still cant see myself ever wanting to use just a preamp and just monitoring thru the floor wedge.

As a sound guy, either at FOH or in monitor world. I want the artist to be comfortable, and I actually prefer to mic cabinets even with a DI out or preamp out (even on bass). It just seems like an easier mix situation, even though its not quite like an Amp sim there is something about the dynamics that does not feel right for me. The next best thing other than micing a guitar cab is using the H&K Redbox, which requires speaker output from the amp and still needs speakers to work properly. I use this sometimes as a backup on larger events in case the mic gets knocked over or the mic/line goes out. this still has the dynamics seems just to have a bit more attack, which can be good or bad, sometimes I pan them opposite and run both.

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Thank you all! Lot of good perspective that I can consider from you guys!


I just did an outdoor event this weekend, and the both the guitarist and bass where just line out of the Line 6 pedal boards (not sure the model). It actually sounded pretty good except the guitar was bitey, and that’s my really only problem with them. they were actually pretty good and I was happy to see a cover band not playing the same old songs. This is where I can see this technology being great, as a guitarist can have all the tones for every song they perform right there and just need loaded. Even with the technology as great as it is, it still doesn’t have quite the same output as mic properly capturing a nice guitar amp/speaker combination, and it really made my job a bit harder trying to soften the bite, I ended up using a transient designer to soften the attack a bit, but I would have preferred not to have to use it.