Solid state preamp into valve/tube power amp?

petejt

Active member
I have a solid state amp head (actually a JVC hifi stereo amp) that I'm wondering about converting to all-valve. But then I wondered if I could just take a line-level signal from it and use that to push a Mesa/Boogie 50:50 50 watt valve power amp into "high gain" distortion, thrash metal levels. Would it sound crunchy and tight? Or just crumble into a splattering fizzy mess?

Is this basically like a glorified Tube Screamer into a valve power amp? Is it feasible? Isn't this how some of the old Music Man amps worked? Solid state preamp section into valve power amp section?
 
petejt":3b089d5j said:
I have a solid state amp head (actually a JVC hifi stereo amp) that I'm wondering about converting to all-valve. But then I wondered if I could just take a line-level signal from it and use that to push a Mesa/Boogie 50:50 50 watt valve power amp into "high gain" distortion, thrash metal levels. Would it sound crunchy and tight? Or just crumble into a splattering fizzy mess?

Is this basically like a glorified Tube Screamer into a valve power amp? Is it feasible? Isn't this how some of the old Music Man amps worked? Solid state preamp section into valve power amp section?

No direct experience with those setups, but one glorious day we ran an EVH overdrive pedal into a Roland JC-120, and fed the Roland line out into the front of an EVH Stealth half stack (don't ask how that came to be). It was slick processed crushing metal heaven.
 

dirtyfunkg

Well-known member
petejt":3ficoodz said:
I have a solid state amp head (actually a JVC hifi stereo amp) that I'm wondering about converting to all-valve. But then I wondered if I could just take a line-level signal from it and use that to push a Mesa/Boogie 50:50 50 watt valve power amp into "high gain" distortion, thrash metal levels. Would it sound crunchy and tight? Or just crumble into a splattering fizzy mess?

Is this basically like a glorified Tube Screamer into a valve power amp? Is it feasible? Isn't this how some of the old Music Man amps worked? Solid state preamp section into valve power amp section?

It works. I used to use a Fender M-80 preamp into the effects return of my tube amp and it crushed.

Consider that any digital/modeling pre is also solid state, and those run into tube power amps just fine.

Your JVC hi-fi amp, I don't know, though. Are you trying to drive a hi-fi amp into distortion? That sounds like an unpleasant sound, tube or not.
 

skullfxr

Well-known member
Regarding music man, they sound great. I have a 100RD now and had a HD130. I like them just as much as my silver face bassman, Bandmaster, and twin reverb. Just a bit different.

Edit: the purpose of that statement was to say that SS preamps can sound great through tube power sections, but I have no experience with hifi
 
I don't think your plan would work like that. In theory, using a hi-fi amp as a preamp is possible, but pushing it stupid loud wouldn't really net you that thrash distortion like you're wanting. You need preamp distortion, in this case you wouldn't be getting really any preamp distortion at all, just a fuckton of power amp distortion, which won't sound great more than likely. You'd need a proper preamp, or maybe a distortion pedal, but at that point you might as well cut out the middle-man and just plug the pedal straight in.
 
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