Ampeg B2RE - how to set gain and get more volume?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Gustopher, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    Hi guys! I have been using an Ampeg B2RE for a while (band owned, don't have my own rig for playing out yet) through an Ampeg HLF410. It sounds ok most of the time, when we play out I usually don't go through the PA, just use the stack to carry the room. This past Saturday we were playing a show and a few people mentioned a lack of bass being heard out in the crowd, I was having a hard time hearing my amp as well and tried to turn it up a little more (gain was around 11 and master was at noon) and just couldn't get anything extra. After a little frustration, I turned up the master to around 4-5oclock and the gain to noon... this helped a lot.

    So I guess what I am rambling about is, how am I supposed to set the master and gain on this thing? I have read that the best approach is just to crank the master all the way and use the gain to control volume? I had set the gain with the master all the way down and then came up from there in the past.... whats the best way to approach this? I am trying to use this until I can buy my own rig.
  2. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    When I owned one (just the B-2 head) I found that opening up the master (like almost full) and controlling the volume with the gain worked best. Multiple speakers/cabs (to get to 4 Ohms) and higher sensitivity cabs will help you get the most out of the head IMO. It was a solid amp and served me well for many years, but was not an all time favorite of mine.

    Two things seem to be commonly felt about those heads IME. First, they seemed to be the Ampeg product for someone who wanted a little different sound than the typical classic Ampeg amp. Second, many folks who owned one felt it had trouble producing volume commensurate with its rating when compared to other heads using the same cab(s).

    Mine lasted for years and was still working fine when I traded it in on a Mesa Carbine M3. I'll bet somone is still using it.
    Gustopher and BasturdBlaster like this.
  3. with the solid state ampegs of this vintage I crank the gain until the peak light is on all the time while playing. Then adjust volume and tone knobs to taste.
    Also keep the limiter off, and I also turn off the EQ. Also you want to be running a 4 ohm load on this amp for maximum power output, which you are with that cab.
    Gustopher and BasturdBlaster like this.
  4. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I think you answered your own question here. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but with this amp I don't think you have to be shy about pushing the master volume up near the max as long as your gain is set to avoid clipping.
  5. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    IME that is the only way it works out well when you need serious volume.
    Lobster11 likes this.
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