Learning skills like how to bypass a guitar amplifier is always an advantage for guitar players who own plenty of guitar amplifiers.
So, what does a bypass really mean? Bypass is where you allow a signal to pass through a specific device without affecting the processed signal. However, the processed signal is affected by any input buffers, which can impart a character or slightly degrade the signal.
If you have heard the word “true bypass,” and you are wondering whether there is a difference between “true bypass” and “bypass,” then yes, there is a difference between the two of them. The difference is that true bypass allows the signal to effectively be hardwired to the output when the effect is not engaged.
For those setups with their device bypasses rather than true bypasses, there are some advantages to it. One of the advantages is that since input buffers act as input amplifiers, it allows for longer cable runs, which reduces the effects of loading when ganging devices such as guitar pedals together.
Although there are some advantages, there are also disadvantages to using a bypass setup. One of the disadvantages is that even when the effect is not engaged, the tone may still be slightly altered by passing through the buffer stage.
Can you bypass a preamp?
You can bypass a preamp of any guitar amplifier. From the tube, solid-state, modeling, and hybrid guitar amplifiers, there are guitar amplifiers that allow you to bypass its preamp.
So, how to bypass a guitar amplifier preamp?
The most basic setup in bypassing a guitar preamp is to use two guitar amplifiers and a guitar pedal. If you have a solid-state guitar amplifier and a tube guitar amplifier, you can bypass the solid-state preamp and feed it to the tube amplifier, or even vice versa.
To bypass, you plug your electric guitar into the solid-state guitar amplifier’s input and connect the solid-state amplifier to the guitar pedal by inserting a cable from the effects send output of the solid-state guitar amplifier to the input of the guitar pedal. After, insert another cable from the guitar pedal’s output to the effects return input of the tube amplifier.
The last step is to connect the tube amplifier to either a speaker cabinet with an appropriate load when it is a tube head amplifier or use a built-in speaker when it is a combo tube amplifier. An important thing to remember is that when you use a tube amplifier as your feed amplifier, it must be connected to a speaker with the appropriate load or risk putting the damage in your tube amplifier.
For solid-state amplifiers, it is safe to use them in this setup without using any built-in speakers or speaker cabinets, but it must always be remembered that an appropriate load is needed for this to work safely, and the impedances of the amplifiers and speakers must match.
The idea of this setup is that you have your solid-state guitar amplifier with all its gain and tone going into a tube amplifier’s volume and tube response, which results in a full guitar tube amplifier. Because you are using the effects return of the tube amplifier, none of the tube amplifier’s channels, EQ, or effects matter.
Any type of guitar amplifier can be used for this setup, as long as it has effects that send output and return input to be able to facilitate the bypassing of the preamp. However, it is very important to remember the conditions for tube amplifiers to be safely used in this setup. All in all, you can also use this setup using two solid-state amplifiers or two modeling guitar amplifiers, as long as it has the requisite input and output for this setup to work.
Another method on how to bypass a guitar amplifier preamp is to use only one guitar amplifier and a guitar pedal. However, the guitar pedal that must be used for this setup is a specific guitar preamp pedal purposely manufactured to bypass the preamp of a guitar amplifier when necessary.
A guitar preamp pedal has a specific output that allows you to plug it in directly into the P.A. mixer while also making it sound like you’re playing through a guitar amplifier. At the same time, it also has a specific output that lets you go straight into a power amplifier section of a regular guitar amplifier.
For this setup to work, you plug your electric guitar into the guitar preamp pedal input and use another cable to connect the pedal’s output to the guitar amplifier’s effects input. In this setup, you can use the preamp of the guitar pedal directly, bypassing the built-in preamp in the guitar amplifiers.
All in all, bypassing a guitar amplifier can help guitar players in some ways that will help them produce a better guitar sound.
What does slaving a guitar amplifier mean?
If you want to use your favorite guitar amplifier’s tone and make it louder, amplifier slaving is the best way to do it. Amplifier slaving can be done by taking the signal of one guitar amplifier and boosting it using the power section of another guitar amplifier. Amplifier slaving allows you to use your favorite guitar amplifier as your tone-generator and the other guitar amplifiers to provide additional volume for large venues.
The first step to slave a louder guitar amplifier is to connect the smaller guitar amplifier’s effect send output to the louder guitar amplifier’s effect return input. Both amplifiers will work by plugging your guitar into the smaller guitar amplifier, and you can control their volume individually. You can also add another guitar amplifier by connecting the slave amplifier to another amplifier, making it an additional slave amplifier, to have a louder volume.
Overall, knowing how to bypass a guitar amplifier is a great skill that will be useful in the long run. When you need to have a louder volume for huge venues, you can use this setup to allow you to have a louder volume without making any sacrifices. When your favorite guitar amplifier is also smaller and has lesser power, it will allow you to replicate the tone to other guitar amplifiers that are more powerful and have a louder volume.