Ampeg... aren't they supposed to be loud?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Spanqubus, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. Spanqubus


    Apr 28, 2003
    Hey guys, I've got an Ampeg SVT-2 pro and an 8x10 cabinet. It never seems as if I can get as loud as I need to be for shows and practice. Once I get to about half way on the volume knob the cabinet doesn't seem to take it very well. It gets distorted and just doesn't sound good. I play a MIM 5-string jazz in dropped-d tuning, and I admit I do play very hard. I've got a BBE 362 in the loop and I don't know if this has something to do with the sound distorting or maybe the cabinet not being able to keep up. I have my gain half way between 1/4 and half way. I want a good distortion.. but not the kind i'm getting on the low notes.. everything above the E (D) is good. Do I need to just get a pedal and not try and let the amp do it? Is there something else causing this, I like alot of bass in my sound.. but I have had the bass down to like 11 o'clock and it still does it. Any suggestions on what could be doing this or what I need to do to get rid of it would be appreciated.

  2. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    I'd think that head is a bit underpowered for that cab, and you're maxing what the amp can do which is causing distortion. That or with a maximizer you're just trying to shove way too much low end into it.

  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Don't boost your lows so much and make sure you're not dialing out all your midrange. SVT cabs don't go super low...only to about 60 huge EQ boosts below that will just make the cab fart out and possibly blow the speakers.

    How can an SVT head be underpowered for the 8-10 cabinet it was DESIGNED to work with? That's a pretty weird comment, troll...

    If that rig isn't loud enough for PRACTICE you guys are practicing way too loud, seriously.
  4. Redhotbassist


    Oct 19, 2002
    Hmm troll might be right, I thought the ''SVT 4'' pro was perfect for the 8x10 and it could handle any input from the Head. or something to that affect.
  5. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    I agree with Brian... you must be playing too loud. Oh btw theres no such thing as "underpowering" a speaker. Remember that originally the 300W SVT was designed to power 2 8x10 cabs. ;)
  6. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Brianrost has it. The 8 10 cab does not go really low, it is "pre-slotted" in the mix to a certain extent.

    Really low lows sound great, but don't always cut thru. (hardly ever, actually) There have been a bunch of threads on that.

    If you want low lows, there are other cabs that are better at that job. The 215, 410HLF, etc.

    Plus, lows DO eat power, and if you want pure low frequency power, that loses the "tube amp watts" advantage to some extent. You use up a lot of watts on lows, and if you distort it sounds bad/farts out.
  7. BassDemon


    May 18, 2004
    This is the reason I went away from a 2 x 4x10 cabs

    Never enough volume and low end at the same time.

    Gets the lows to where you want and the cab can't take it and produces a nasty distorted "fart" noise.
    Cut the low end and you get enough volume but the room doesn't shake.

    Thesedays I use a Bi-amp rig, 1x18 + 1x15 + 4x10

    With the 18 and 15 handling the low end I can roll off the lows to the 4x10 and get crushing bass plus all the volume I need.

    I you case an SVT2-Pro should have heaps of power for an 8x10
    I think the problem is the cab can't deal with all the low end.
    Make sure your bass EQ on the Bass is flat.
    Set the Bass knob on the head flat.
    Turn up to get the volume you want.
    If there is not enough bass at this volume increase the Bass knob on the head until your sound is bassy enough.
    You might find you get the farting speaker problem again.
    If you do you'll have to turn the bass EQ down.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Take it out of the loop or just turn it off and see what happens. You don't have the Lo Contour on the BBE cranked way up, do you?
  9. Start again put the eq flat turn off the ultra low take out the BBE tune back to E and try that adjust the eq slightly and go from there.

    You have far too much low end (typical Ampeg ) and with drop D the cab will not take it.

    The input gain sounds a bit light i would up that to about 12 o clock at least and start from there.
  10. ampeg66


    Dec 29, 2002
    Even though the Ampeg 810 is a classic and an industry standard, it’s not the perfect cab for everybody. I tried really hard for a whole year to like my 810. Never happened, for pretty much the same reasons found in this thread (see the first part of BassDemon’s post, well-said).

    An Aguilar GS412 solved the problem nicely. 50 lbs. lighter, goes down to 37hz, fits in the back seat of my Maxima, and eats the 810 for lunch with room left over for a snack.

  11. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Could all you "Ampegs aren't loud enough" guys please call the soundmen my band uses and convince them of that?? In there opinion I'm always too loud. Last saturday I had my SVPCL/B4r through 410 over 1 15 rig on 3.... That's the 9 o'clock position. at the end of the night my soundman came up to me and said "well I finally got the band loud enough to where I could add a little bass into the mix". That Ampeg sounds great but it sure is loud. Friday he left me out of the mix all together.
  12. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    In that its a 300 watt head running into an 800 watt cab, I'd say it's possible to run it hard and get the head distorting. I'd say the 3 or 4 is more apt at running the 8x10.


  13. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Jordan, I experienced the same exact thing with my SVT-2 Pro/810E and SVT-CL/810E setup. I became frustrated with the distortion and I ended up selling the setup (but let's try a few things first)

    I didn't run anything in the SVT-2's effects loop, so I don't think it's the BBE. But take it out of your effects loop to be sure.

    Don't automatically think you need to retube the amp. I retubed my SVT-2 thinking I would get more volume and less distortion; it didn't help.

    About the only thing I can recommend is to run the master volume at full and use the preamp gain for your overall volume. I really liked the 'drive' control, but at higher volumes I think it contributes to the distortion, so experiment with it at different levels. Experiment with your EQ levels and the mid frequency selector. I ran my mid selector in it's center positition and cranked it's mid-level control. This gave me a tone that 'cut' better. Experiment with it's graphic EQ sliders, the Ultra Hi and Ultra Low switches too. And lastly, try not to boost it's extreme low end too much; this gobbles up the watts and will make the amp distort at lower volumes.

    Good Luck, I hope this will help.
  14. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I usually run my highs and lows at 12 oclock, and the mids higher. Volume seems to come from the mids more than anything. My SVT-2, running through the same cabs as my 400+, is louder than the 400+. Either amp is too much for my 810 at high volumes, but my 810 is the ancient low wattage type.
  15. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    My experience is the same as yours.

    I usually played the SVTCL + 610 at most at 12:00 - and it was friggin' huge.
  16. Spanqubus


    Apr 28, 2003
    Hey guys, thanks a bunch this is a lot of good information. At the moment I am on vacation and am away from my rig. :bawl: As soon as a I get back though I will try all of your suggestions. I was at my local Guitar Center the other day and they had a 2-15 used ampeg for 500 bucks or so... maybe I should look into that to go along with my 8x10..(that would be killer). I'll try ya'lls suggestions first though.. thanks again.

  17. _Unregistered_


    Nov 3, 2004
    I would suggest your adding a 15 or an 18 (or two) and a SOLID STATE amp to drive it. With that and your Ampeg together, "loud enough" will never again be a concern.
  18. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    You are all crazy, I play in Dropped B flat and at one gig I only had room for my backup head - The trusty BX3000T - so I plugged into an 810 Classic.

    Honestly, before that night I thought they were complete garbage, but I prolly had the best tone ever that night, even with the low B flat it was the loudest amp on stage, I would hate to imagine hooking a 300 watt tube amp to that thing...
  19. I always found that as Ampeg are dark sounding by setting the mid range selector on position 4 and turning the mid control up full ( 1.6khz ) it made it far more punchy and loud sounding.

    Try it set at pos 4 and max the mid control, treble at about 2 o clock for fingerstyle or 11 o clock if pick player.

    Ultra low out and bass at about 2 o clock.

    Dont use ultra bass in as it boosts bass but pulls out the 500 hz mid range completely ( smiley face ) and although sounds deep and huge it doesnt cut in the band sound
  20. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    So it sounds like a little EQ-tweaking was all you needed. I'm glad it's working well for you now. :)