Head vs egnater M4 + poweramp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by KPO, Jan 9, 2008.


  1. KPO

    KPO Member

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    There have been several discussions on the subject amphead vs. pre- poweramp and what sounds best and the general understanding was that a head had more balls, push and power than a racksystem. From my own experience I know thats true, but still use a rackpreamp out of convenience( midi) and versatility, but it can't replace my Marshall JMP 2204.
    Lots of people on this forum rave about the Egnater M4 and the soundsamples I heard are beautifull, but I wonder were this preamp stands in the discussion head vs pre. Is there a notable difference or is it so minimal that it is to be ignored?
     
  2. Ray Gianelli

    Ray Gianelli Member

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    To me there is no truth to the claim that heads are better than racks. A preamp and power amp are simply a separation of the 2 components that comprise a head. I use a VHT Valvulator GP3 and a VHT 2/50/2 power amp, and it performs every bit as good as a head, but with more versatility.

    I've no experience with the M4, but I'm interested in it as it's one of the very few pieces of gear that I've read about where nobody has anything negative to say.
     
  3. Smakutus

    Smakutus Member

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    If you're talking about a tube power amp vs. a solid state then there is going to be a bit of a difference. I have a pre-Rocktron 4 channel Egnater MICA combo and a old red 4 channel Egnater preamp that I use with a Rocktron Velocity 300 power amp, using Vintage 30's speakers with both amps. I can set the tone controls the same for each channel on both set ups and get the same sounds but the tube power section of the combo adds a little extra dirt/buzz/looseness to the sounds on distorted tones. I can use either amp at any time. They both sound great.

    Jeff
     
  4. k_kush

    k_kush Member

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    I'm not sure I really buy that there are inherent tonal difference associated with head vs. pre+power amps. That said, I have the following amps:
    • Bogner Ecstacy 101b
    • Egnater M4 pre with VHT 2/50/2 power
    • Egnater Seminar Amp
    • H&K DuoTone Combo
    I don't think it's possible to say the M4 sounds better/worse than the xtc because it is a pre. The only way to really make an apples to apples comparison is to take an amp that is made in both variations (Mod50 vs. M4 with similar poweramp circuitry or Mesa Dual Rec vs. racked Dual Rec pre). Maybe someone that has had both can comment on differences?

    Since receiving my M4, I haven't touched my 101b. I want to like the xtc better, but find myself going back to the M4. I am using the Deluxe, SL2, ERECT, and EG5 modules. To me, the M4 has a much more open, less compressed sound - but I can't say that has anything to do with the fact that it is a pre only.

    Fortunately, it really doesn't matter! Buy what you like and what sounds good to your ears whether its an M4, an Axe-Fx, a Peavey or an xyz, etc... it's all good!

    It's a great time for us gear sluts that we have so many great amps available to us.:BEER
     
  5. mrboy

    mrboy Member

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    I had Egnater M4 and in a month i went back to head. I tried the Egnater with different power amps (VHT and Mesa) and could not get the same punch and organic feel i get from an amp head. M4 felt and sounded good while playing at home but it would get lost in a band mix. And this is only my opinion. It's gonna be a long time until i try a preamp poweramp thing again.
     
  6. k_kush

    k_kush Member

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    Interesting to hear your experience... I wonder how much of the "punch" or "lost in a band mix" was the modules vs. the pre/power thing. I've noticed some modules are better suited for live/band situations while others sound great alone, but less great with a band.

    That said, which modules were you using?

     
  7. mrboy

    mrboy Member

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    Twin, Vox, SL2 and Recto. I'm sorry to give a negative review, but M4 just didn't work for me.
     
  8. Deaj

    Deaj Silver Supporting Member

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    Perhaps an argument could be made that a separate preamp and power amp utilizing the same circuits and specs as an integrated pre and power amp on the same B+ voltage supply will respond differently (current draw in one part of the circuit may affect the power supplied to another part when the circuits share the same supply whereas this interaction is not present when the preamp and power amp utilize separate power supply's). An interesting (and telling) comparison might be the Egnater Mod-50 head -vs- Egnater M4 into the effects return of an Egnater Mod-50 using the same preamp module(s).
     
  9. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    The difference between a preamp/poweramp/rack and a head is that the rack system is using seperate power supplies, and of course the head is not...This can change the feel/mojo/organic properties of the amp....
    Some of us can feel the difference/some of us can't
     
  10. k_kush

    k_kush Member

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    No worries...it's all good. I have found the ERECT to sound nice by itself, but kinda lost in a mix at times.

    Running an M4 through the effects return of a Mod50 would definitely be a great way to test the tonal differences of the head and pre/power combo. Just have to find someone with both!

     
  11. Ghostman574

    Ghostman574 Member

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    For me, the M4+VHT 2/50/2 combination lacked dynamics and feel. With that being said, I used that combo for some very cool rhythm tones on most of an album. Just like with all amps, it has its place as well as it's pluses and minuses.
     
  12. J D Miley

    J D Miley Supporting Member

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    I used to use all types of pre-amps through a mesa 2:90 power amp. Mesa Studio , Kasha and finally an Egnater IE4 . I found that all of them could do really killer overdrive sounds, but the clean sounds were not near as good as with a regular type amp. The Egnater came the closest to a real fender clean, but still no anything like the real deal.
     
  13. jimosity

    jimosity Member

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    I sometimes use an Egnater M4 with a VHT 2/90/2 (with KT88's)
    I typically use a Salvation custom Salvado (SLO) module and I couldn't ask for much better tone for the style I'm doing. I have had several high dollar heads that have come and gone; but I won't part with my Egnater...though I have been AxeFX'ing it for a while now...not because of better tone; but because it's tone+effects in a single unit making the rack lighter simply because I play quite a few gigs and hauling bigger heavier racks isn't as appealing.
    To really compare apples to apples; compare the preamp sections of the heads thru the same power amp (Fx send to power amp in) or to compare power amp sections; use the M4 into the FX return of an amp.
    A head typically just has a power amp section that's tuned to work with that amps preamp section the most effectively; but with the right power amp - you can have something of better 'quality'. I've tried many different power amps over the years and have found that 'great' power amps are few and far between; while 'good' power amps can be found all day long.
     

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