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Ampeg B1 Preamp? Anyone with experience/knowledge?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Planet Boulder, Apr 30, 2003.

  1. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    So I'm considering a used Ampeg B1 head for use as a preamp and I was wondering if anyone could tell me anything about it. Has anyone here tried one out, struggled with one, owned one or been impressed by one? If so, why or why not?

    What features did you like most?

    Thanks in advance for the help!
  2. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Do a search and you'll see that someone else on this board bought one. I also tried to get some info but was not successful. If you buy it please come back and let us know everything about it. I think it has tubes but wouldn't swear to it. I'm also curious if it has the same ultra low boost that my SVT 200T has. :bassist:
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The preamp in the B1 is quite similar to the one in the SVT Classic.

    Unlike most hybrid heads (SWR, Eden, etc.) Ampeg uses more than one 12AX7 in their preamps.

    Should work just fine, have fun.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It had 2 tubes working in push-pull.
    Real tube pre.
    Sounded a lot like a SVT-Classic.
    No modern sound a la SVT-PRO
    Ultra low and Hi. Bass mid treble knobs with shifts on the low and high.
    Excellent head. They discontinued it because it needed a lot of air to correctly get refreshed. This made problems.
    You won't have any using it as a pre.
    It also had the coolest option ever.
    A boost channel with an advanced tone knob and drive. Excellent.
  5. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    actually the b-1 is a discontinued 150 watt 1 space bass amp
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Uh, yes.
    I think Boulder knows that but wants to use it as a pre.
  7. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I have an Ampeg catalog at home with info that I'll share later... In the meantime, I found these pictures of my former amp on my computer...

  8. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    tone controls...
  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The back
  10. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Inside...the two 12AX7s are in the left front corner
  11. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Ampeg was even kind enough to print a block diagram on the top...
  12. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Hey thanks for the pix BillyB_from_LZ
    I am interested in knowing if anyone has A/B'd this amp with an SVT3 pro and or an old SVT 200T. The reason I am asking about the ultra low button. I am looking for something that sounds like the ultra low boost on my old SVT200T. Big rumble with growl. Unlike the bass boost on the SVT3pro that sucks out all the mids along with boosting bass.
  13. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Here are the B1-R's specs from the 1995 Ampeg catalog...

    150 watts @ 4 ohms

    Input -20 dB pad switch

    Primary EQ
    Low +/- 9 dB @ 40 Hz
    Mid +/- 8 dB @ 200 - 600 Hz
    Mid Select + 8 dB @ 80 Hz
    High +/- 9 dB @ 5 kHz
    Ultra Low + 6 dB @ 50 Hz
    Ultra High + 8 dB @ 10 kHz

    Secondary EQ
    + 8 dB @ 10 kHz

    Limiter Yes

    Effects Send and Return

    Preamp out/Power amp input jacks
    XLR Balanced out

    15 lbs.
  14. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    The Ampeg B1 head should be a single rack unit head.
    Since I found one used I would like to understand if this single unit low powered head has a tube preamp or not.
    Do you have a catalog or manual?

    thanks for the help.
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Yes it's an hybrid head with 2 preamp tubes.
  16. Lboogie35


    Jun 15, 2009
    I have an ampeg B-1 amp and i,m wanting to hook it to another amp as a preamp do i hook the preamp out on the ampeg to the poweramp in on the amp or what? I,m slow so work with me!
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Yes you can hook the preamp out to the power in of any other amp.
    You can even take the head out of the combo if you don't plan to use the internal loudspeaker.
  18. RobbieNuke


    Jan 22, 2008
    I bought one of these new in '98. Most excellent bass combo amp ever made. The cooling comment above is untrue, there was never a cooling issue with the B1 (there is a fan for forced air cooling with a well designed flow path). These were just very expensive rigs ($1000 MSRP) at the time and didn't sell as expected. I would rate this as the best bass amp for variety/wedding bands as long as the drummer isn't too loud. I played in a rock band with this for years as an onstage monitor (DI through the PA never a noise issue)... but I did wear out the speaker! Very reliable... except the pre-amp out/power amp in loop jacks got dirty and intermittent. A patch cable fixed that since the jack are PCB mounted and a PIA to replace (this is a common problem in many amps, nit particular to this one).
  19. mazdah


    Jan 29, 2010
    Kalisz, Poland
    I choose this topic, because it is the longest one on Talkbass about this little beast ;)

    I just got mine, here are some photos (along with the SVP-PRO:






    (gotta throw those JJ's away, terrible tubes!)


    The sound is quite similar to SVP-PRO, but the EQ works in a different way, there are no semi-parametric mids but lows and highs can control two frequencies (shiftable), also shifting mid control.
    The sound is tighter and cleaner than my SVP-PRO, Ultra LO filter works better (it's GREAT!), because it only adds 6db on 50Hz, without boosting highs and cutting 500Hz. The overdrive is not so impressive, but the growl IS there. 150W seems to be enough with two cabs, but I'll have to wait till first gig to be sure.
    The fan is super-quiet, there is no buzz or hiss.

    "Solo channel" is AMAZING! And it's a good way to have more control on mids if you don't need two channels.

    Overall - pretty damn impressive!

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