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sending line level output from Audio Interface to guitar amp

Postby yellotron » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:34 pm

I have a complex live guitar rig in which I'm routing a guitar signal through a pedalboard and into a MOTU Ultralite into a laptop. Then, the signal is routed back out through one of the MOTU 1/4-inch outputs and into a Mesa amp head input jack. It sounds great, but is there a danger to either the MOTU or the amp? Thanks.
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Re: sending line level output from Audio Interface to guitar amp

Postby Wonks » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:49 pm

No danger to the MOTU and the only real danger to the Mesa is just one of always having an overdriven sound if the output is too hot. The output won't be strong enough to do any component damage. A basic guitar signal is 20-25dB down on a standard line level signal, so you can see that unless the output volume from the MOTU is set quite low, the input signal will be a lot hotter than normal.

But it's not any hotter than the outputs of some pedals can produce - and my Strat with a Clapton circuit fitted has a 25dB mid-boost facility, so there's no physical danger to the amp. Any really hot signal will drive the pre-amp valves harder, so you may get a slightly shorter life - but as they should last for years, (if good quality valves) , then you may only be talking a couple of weeks less. But it's the power valves that get worked really hard when the amp's volume is turned up and have a correspondingly much shorter working life.
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Re: sending line level output from Audio Interface to guitar amp

Postby Wonks » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:56 pm

You can get dedicated boxes for re-amping which allows you to send a guitar-level signal to the amp, without having to reduce the line output level .

Radial is a highly recommended company for guitar DI and Reamp boxes and they are certainly pro-level devices. Quite expensive, but very good. Almost too large a range!

https://www.radialeng.com/product_category/reamp

But other people make them, so have a look around at what's available in the market.

If you are struggling with clean sounds, then it's worth thinking about getting one.
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Re: sending line level output from Audio Interface to guitar amp

Postby Watchmaker » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:07 pm

Ditto what Wonks said. a line out won't hurt your boogie and if it sounds great, well then, there ya go.

Something like this might be of interest: ooh! ooh me! click me! click me!
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Re: sending line level output from Audio Interface to guitar amp

Postby yellotron » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:53 am

Good to know. Thanks to all replies.
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Re: sending line level output from Audio Interface to guitar amp

Postby ef37a » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:14 am

To give some idea how tough triodes are, a few years ago son and I were experimenting trying to get an OD sound he liked (he was a fussy B in those days!) .
Ended up putting a load box on the output of an HT-20 and cranking that to a high but clean level then feeding that to the input of an ECC83 in a Dominator "clone".

Result? THE most glorious, creamy ZZ top grind you ever heard!
He played for hours, never harmed the triode one jot.

Most valve guitar inout stages have/should have an RF stopper resistor of about 68k. That means the voltage tother side of that would have to be enormous to harm the valve grid.

Anyway, '83s are pretty cheap unless you are daft enough to fall for the hype!

Dave.
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