Ampeg ba115 regrets??

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Phenomoron, Jan 25, 2014.


  1. Phenomoron

    Phenomoron

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    So I bought my ba115 new and read all about the hiss from the tweeter.
    I've been fooling around with sounds and tone,I have a jazz and I turned up both volumes and tone to the max (probably a bad idea).On the amp everything was flat but turned up the treble past noon and it buzzed and hissed at me like it was under pressure but once the treble was down it went away.Amp sounds great otherwise but I called the shop and the guy said it could be an earth wire issue (certain sockets can cause a buzzing)..but he said to give myself some headroom on the jazz and not to max out controls on the guitar?...thoughts?
  2. P Town

    P Town Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    An open earth, (ground) wire may cause hum, (at 60 Hz), not hiss, (much higher frequency content, like "white noise".

    Every BA series amp I have tried has some hiss.

    It did not stop me from buying a BA110.

    I live with it.
  3. Phenomoron

    Phenomoron

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Cheers p town,ill be using her for small gigs too but I have my first practice tomorrow night so I hope it brings some confidence.
    I had a Marshall mb 60 for two weeks and so far it sounded just as good!!
  4. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    I own one. I like it a lot but the hiss was to much for me. Disconnecting the tweeter quieted it right down and is a common modification from what I read on TB.
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  6. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    I reconnected the tweeter later and wound up burning the tweeter out. After searching for the correct replacement (Ampeg has used a few different ones over the years...) I bought a better unit and didn't like it (the hiss came back). So now I am back to running it tweeter-less...
  7. bobba66

    bobba66

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    Disclosures:
    I'm just glad I have a job.
    Mine spent a lot of time in the shop. Out of warranty now. Going to the curb soon.
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    Cabinets don't hiss. They reproduce what's fed to them. If they're fed hiss, and they have a speaker or tweeter that can reproduce that range, they do.

    Jazz basses with single coils tend to buzz a bit, unless the two volumes are mostly paralleled.

    I'm guessing your amp head is putting out some ugly high end that your tweeter is more than happy to reproduce.
  9. bassmeknik

    bassmeknik

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fair Haven, MI
    The OP's Jazz bass is absolutely contributing to the problem but the real issue is the BA115 (a combo amp) has a long history of the OP's complaint (hiss). The BA series were/are an inexpensive design and IMHO (I have played through many and own a BA 115)(I have tinkered in amp repair for 40 years now) the hiss is characteristic to the entire BA series of amps (and I love Ampeg). Many users never turn up the treble knob and never experience this issue, those who do hear the hiss either disconnect the tweeter or turn down the treble (or eventually blow the tweeter). I don't want to start a disagreement about Ampeg (I also own a 1975 SVT and an SVT 4 Pro) so not all Ampeg models will hiss when the treble is turned up but a quick look at the cost and the relative simplicity of the schematic will show the BA series amps are the econo line of Ampegs whether they call it by that name or not... forgive me but the BA series are "cheaper" Ampegs in many ways.

    I am 56 and used tweeter-less rigs for years (decades) so going back to no tweeter was easy, I also use a predominately bright clean sound so the hiss was objectionable to me with tweeter but inaudible without it. This made the decision to disconnect the tweeter easier. Going back and listening to my (recorded) bass direct through my studio monitors (with really good tweeters) the treble sounds about the same as the tweeter-less BA 115 live (no big difference in brightness) so all the tweeter was doing in my BA 115 was showing off how poor a design the amp was.

    If your sound requires the use of tweeters then the BA series is not for you IMO. Research this topic here on TB, many have just disconnected it because they found the sound of the tweeter to be objectionable.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Disconnect the tweeter and play it the way the good Lord meant an Ampeg to sound ;)
  11. Basshappi

    Basshappi

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson,AZ
    AMEN!
    I have be playing my BA115HP for over 10 years and love it! I turned off the tweeter the day I brought it home from the store and it's stayed that way ever since.

    Tweeters=:scowl:
  12. Phenomoron

    Phenomoron

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    That helps guys,the ba115 has her first practice tonight so this is the deal breaker for me.
    I had a loan of the Marshall mb 60 and sounded great so I'm wondering is the mb 150 better than the ba115 or do I just knock down the treble and live with the ba115?
    My return to playing bass has been a turbulent one!
  13. mazdah

    mazdah

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Kalisz, Poland
    Ba115 is GREAT amp, but you gotta listen to Jimmy to get the best from this amp. Disconnect the tweeter and you'll get that classic Ampeg sound.
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    And that's the answer I've never played a combo that you could turn the treble up and not hear something? I know they may exist I've never played one. I think your combo is one of the best sounding I've ever heard when I go to Guitar Center it's the only one I plug into. It must have been a guitarist who decided cabs needed tweeters and amps,basses needed a treble control. :)
  15. Phenomoron

    Phenomoron

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Cheers lads,ill get back to you after tonight's practice and see will she hold her own.
    I expect she will ;)
  16. Kevindavid3

    Kevindavid3

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    I have a BA-115 from about 6 years ago. I have had nothing but problems with it. Super loud hissing and constant crackling and buzzing ever since I had the purple smoke come out of it. So then I bought a Markbass CMD-102p and never had a problem......Tell I had to sell it and go back to the demon ampeg. :(
  17. Batmensch

    Batmensch Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chester, Pa.,USA
    My only regret about my BA115, is that haven't really had an opportunity to use it in the 5 years I've had it.
  18. Phenomoron

    Phenomoron

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    So...practice went well but the Marshall mb 60 was way warmer!
    The ampeg also picked up interference from an electric fence outside and had to be turned off!!Back to the shop??

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