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Amp can't take my Spectors output?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mrpillow, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. mrpillow


    Jun 1, 2008
    Montgomery, TX
    I have a Spector Euro 5 with the Tonepump preamp which is 18v boost only. With my Traynor DB800H, running through the active input, no matter the master setting or overall volume, if I have the EQ's up past halfway and the gain even higher than like 1/3 the way up, I get some nasty sound square-wave distortion going on. SS preamp or tube, worse with tube. Is the output from the Spector just too much for the Traynor's input? Is there something I can do about this short of not using the onboard EQ much? Having to keep the gain down this low really hinders my overall volume potential and I need all I can get, I'm sometimes running large rooms with no PA on just my Traynor and a SVT-410HLF.
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Amps are designed to run to full output with about 1/10 volt input, so if your bass actually puts out an 18v signal it's grossly over-hot, though if that 18v refers to using two 9v batteries it doesn't have 18 v output. Still, it's obviously too hot for the amp and should be internally attenuated to make it usable.
  3. mrpillow


    Jun 1, 2008
    Montgomery, TX
    It uses one 9v battery and has an internal voltage doubler.

    Why would Spector make this their standard preamp arrangement if it's way too hot for production amps...?
  4. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn

    I have a Spector Euro 5, and the output of the Tone Pump is pretty hot, but I have never had that much problem running it through any of my bass heads (Genz, Peavey, Hartke, Behringer) as long as I used the active input on any of these heads.
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Check to see if there is an output level trim available internal to the preamp. I don't recall, but that would be the best solution. Maybe somebody turned it all the way up before you got it?
  6. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    The Spector Euro has a hot signal - I had a similar "problem" with my Euros until I discovered the pickup volume controls. They're down there somewhere near the tone controls.
    I discovered that they don't have to be all the way up (!). I run mine around half. What a concept!
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 use the volume controls on your bass.
  8. There might be an internal attenuation dial.
  9. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    Have you tried replacing the battery in the Spector?

    Are you sure the clipping isn't coming from there?
  10. Yeah, on active basses, dimming the volume on the bass has no effect on tone, unlike passive instruments.
  11. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm not sure what the problem is. That's what the gain knob is for on the amp's preamp isn't it? Turn the gain down on the preamp until it doesn't clip, use the padded input.

    I never depend on the volume knob on the bass to make things safe volume-wise - it's easy to accidentally bump it or have it turned up for some reason and not remember it.
  12. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The gain knob attenuates the output of the first gain stage, not the input. If the signal is too hot the first gain stage will clip no matter where the gain control is set.
  13. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Use VERY sparing EQ on your bass. You don't need your bass boosted 80 percent, especially with a hot preamp like the tone dump.

    Run your bass guitar with VERY LITTLE boost, and you'll be fine. Tweak at your amp if you want more bottom, etc.
  14. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    I own two Euro 4 LX. There isn't. There's two on the outside, called pickup volumes.
  15. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    Spector told me to run the Euro/Tone-Pump Bass and Treble full counter-clockwise ("off") for the classic NS2 tone, which squares with my experience.
  16. BigLoopDuke

    BigLoopDuke Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    DSM, IA
    Behold, the power of a Spector. I usually ran mine half open. No problems.
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    1) turn the volume on your bass DOWN (there is NO advantage to having the volume at max on an active bass).
    2) turn the input gain on your amp DOWN (there is NO advantage to having the input gain above 1 if you have ample signal from your bass).
    3) Why do you need "the EQ's above half way"?

    Seriously. Start with everything flat on your bass and on your amp. EVERYTHING. Mess with the volume on your bass and the gain on your amp until it doesn't sound like crap. THEN and ONLY THEN should you mess with all the other knobs to dial in "your tone".
  18. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    I got rid of the tone pump - but honestly, stop using the on-board EQ of the bass. Turning the amp up and having a good signal going through will give you the tone you really want. By turning the volume up on the head, a slight boost of the bass on the head will result in nearly the same way you are trying to do on the bass. Spector's generally have good low end response without much need for boosting anyway - coming from using a Euro 5LX and a NS5XL.
  19. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    The obvious answer is to use the gain knob. If it doesn't distort when you have the gain at 9 o'clock, then keep the knob at 9 o'clock. Stop dialing with your eyes.
  20. Delta T

    Delta T

    Oct 3, 2008
    My Euro 6LX has an internal gain control. I wanted to use my Acoustic Image Coda R to practice around the house but the Euro's output was way to hot. I opened the control cavity on the bass and confirmed with Spector that the trimpot inside was in fact a gain control. I cut it way back and it works fine now - problem solved...


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